Category Archives: Kaiju Pictorial

ALIEN ZARAB; ALIEN ZARAB II (making)


Alien Zarab design drawn by Tohl Narita

Tohl Narita: “I tried to make something that would make you unaware of the neck and shoulders.”

Narita’s remark tells us that how to hide the human body shape was an essential part of making kaiju characters to be played by actors with costumes.

The body of Alien Zarab is described to be the reuse of that of Giant Ragon with the fins removed.

Tetsuo Yamamura says in a book that the Zarab head was made from FRP coated with latex on the surface. He assumes the legs of the body might have been shortened as he found the alien was short although Umenosuke Izumi who played Giant Ragon was a tall man.

As I have already talked about it, Alien Zarab’s hollowed eyes show some characteristics typical to Narita while each eye has an eye hole in the center with radiation lines coming from the center outwardly (or the other way around).

The same type of eyes were applied to Ultraseven and Human that Narita designed while the radiation lines seem to have been left out for the mask of Human.

Alien Zarab at the back of the Bisen studio

The mouth movement of Alien Zarab is said to have been brought about by a balloon set inside. Although human-sized Zarab had ears that were found to rise from the head, he only had hollows for those parts when he turned into the giant version.

As Narita’s design of this alien has no raised ears, I guess the tokusatsu part featuring giant Zarab might have been filmed ahead of the drama part that featured human-sized Zarab while the raised ears were added to the costume perhaps because the head shape could look too plain when viewed from the front.

You can see that the head part was not attached and integrated to the body but was just fastened to the body part with bands or straps.

Alien Zarab II had no difference in appearance from the first Alien Zarab with his ears in the caved-in state. His silence opposite to the talkative first Zarab makes us aware Zarab II was being manipulated by Alien Mefilas or just an illusion created by Mefilas.

I think I will post another entry in the future on the making of Fake Ultraman that Alien Zarab changed into along with the making of Zoffy.

(About the cabbage and Alien Zarab, see this post)

OBJECT X KORORIN


Episode: “Kaiju Booska” #42 “Object X Kororin”

Object X: Kororin is a space object that came flying or just falling from space. As a behind-the-scenes story, the name should have come from a Japanese onomatopoeia denoting the movement of something round rolling.

Anyway, it came from space and sucked up all the water of a dam lake in Kinugawa, Tochigi Prefecture. While Chamegon guessed it should be the work of Kororin describing it as a space object, he warned it would be disastrous if it should be allowed to act freely.

Chamegon warning of Kororin

Kororin floats and moves in the air about the size of a ball sucking up water from a hot spring or a fall as it grows bigger. When it has grown to be large enough to suck in humans, Mechataro and Zorome were sucked into the object while calling for help.

Mechataro is a boy who always behaves like a rival of Daisaku and tries to get the better of him all the time, and Zorome is one of Mechataro’s buddies. Incidentally, the name Mechataro pronounced as /mechyataro/ should signify something like “messy boy” as he always messes things up and Zorome represents “matching dice.”

Both Daisaku and Mechataro were tying to outdo each other in making a class newspaper while both of them wanted to feature Kororin on their own class newspapers.

Kororin sucking up water from a hot spring

But Daisaku didn’t hesitate to save Mechataro who had been held captive by Kororin, and, while the space object tried to drive away the kids and Booska by spewing water from the tips of its tentacles, Kororin shrunk when hit by Chamegon’s ring beam fired from his tail.

And Kororin was brought into the sky by Booska, then the dangerous space object was tossed into the Sun with Booska’s telekinesis.

As the photo of Kororin taken by Booska with Mechataro and Zorome sucked in was featured in the class newspaper Booska and Chamegon made, both Daisaku and Mechataro realized they had finally been outdone by the two kaijus.

(I think this is the last one among the main Booska characters featured in the show.)

ALIEN CHAME


  • Episode: “Kaiju Booska” #41 “King Of The Universe”
  • Actor: Ren Yamamoto (Hyūdoro)

Alien Chame (pronounced as /chahmeh/) are aliens who came to Earth to take Chamegon back to Planet Chame so as to make him succeed to the throne as King of Planet Chame after the current king who is seriously ill while they admire Chamegon’s courage as a boy who came to Earth by himself from Planet Chame.

Although their remarks cannot help sounding somewhat abrupt, the amorphous object seen on the occasion of the birth of Chamegon might have been another form of the courageous alien boy while he ended up getting the body fused with a squirrel on Earth through the device Daisaku built to bring a Booska’s brother into being.

Ambassador Hyūdoro

Or it is also thinkable that the amorphous form represented by Chamegon is the original form commonly and usually taken by Alien Chame and that they appeared this time just in human forms using their shapeshift ability. At any rate, such descriptions were not referred to at all in the story.

As the aliens tried to  bring Chamegon back home forcibly against Chamegon’s will to stay on Earth with his buddies, Ambassador Hyūdoro from Planet Chame took Daisaku and his buddies hostage along with their teacher while they were camping (maybe on a school trip).

Hyūdoro attacking Booska’s navel (one of his weak points) with a beam fired from the beam lamp

But, when looking at Chamegon trying to protect them at the risk of his own life and his buddies trying not to allow the aliens to take Chamegon with them, Hyūdoro gave up their plan to make Chamegon succeed to the throne admiring their firm bond of friendship while impressed with their LOVE among other things despite the austere and unyielding attitude Hyūdoro had taken.

As Hyūdoro asked Chamegon to pay a short visit to Planet Chame to cheer the sick king, Chamegon accompanied the aliens on their spacecraft bound for Planet Chame.

Hyūdoro was played by Ren Yamamoto who acted Onita in “Ultraman” and the human form of Alien Icarus in “Ultraseven.”

Chamegon trying to protect his buddies at the risk of his life

KAPPA & THUNDER CHILD


Kappa with a lotus leaf as a parasol; a Kappa allegedly has a beak and webbed toes (he apparently wears swim fins)
  • Episode: Kaiju Booska #40 “The Great March Of Water”
  • Actor: Shinya Sato (Thunder Child)

While these characters who appeared in a Booska episode might not be worth being introduced, I would write about them at any rate.

People living in the town where Booska and Chamegon reside with Daisaku and his family were suffering from a severe water shortage caused by scorching sunlight, and it also troubled a kappa dwelling in a pond.

Thunder Child; he has a horn on top of his head along with drums that were believed to generate thunder

Kappas are imaginary creatures Japanese people are so familiar with as they often appear in Japanese folklore, and they are alleged to live in rivers, ponds or lakes while they are also featured in Ultraseven Episode 41 as, in the story setting, it was revealed they were actually aliens.

As Booska found a carp in a puddle of a dried-up pond, he took out buckets of saved water from Daisaku’s home to pour it over the puddle and offended Daisaku’s father and mother.

Feeling sorry for the carp, Booska tried to call rain clouds by his telekinesis, but, when his telekinesis dropped a Thunder Child instead of rain, he learnt from him there was no water even in the sky.

Daisaku and his buddies with the artificial rain generator he developed

In Japan, it had once  been believed thunders and lightnings were the work of Kaminarisama, deities of thunder and lightning, and they have been portrayed like a goblin called Oni with a horn/horns on his head and fangs sticking out wearing tiger-patterned shorts, so this Thunder Child should be a child of Kaminarisama.

Although Daisaku developed an artificial rain generator, it didn’t work, and Booska decided to bring water of a lake over to his town by telekinesis.

It went well and the carp managed to survive with his pond filled with rain water while the rainfall also made the Kappa so happy that it gave him an irresistible urge to dance (incidentally, this Kappa utters unknown words just like U-tom).

Thus, Kappa and Thunder Child only appeared for a short while, not playing any major roles in this episode. Sorry if this entry has betrayed your expectations!

Booska conveying the lake water to the town

MIMI


Episode: Kaiju Booska #38 “The Sea Is Calling”

Mimi is a giant bivalve like a scallop that had been put in protective custody by a friendless boy named Jiro (Tsuyoshi Iwami) and been sheltered in a cave by him while local people feared the cave as it was rumored a goblin would appear.

As Booska and his buddies happened to be at the beach to enjoy sea bathing, Jiro’s elder sister asked Booska to figure out what Jiro was doing in the cave while Jiro kept it secret from anyone that he was taking care of the giant shellfish by feeding it with fish he caught.

Jiro (boy with a swim mask) and the cave where he sheltered Mimi

Booska messed up as he let his buddies in on Mimi after he found Jiro and the giant shellfish in the cave, and fishermen who overheard Booska telling his buddies about Mimi decided to capture the giant bivalve alive as they thought it should have eaten fish in the water and caused a poor catch.

Jiro and Booska along with his buddies managed to free Mimi, incapable of swimming by itself,  by making it a sailboat with a mast while calling waves and generating a typhoon with Booska’s super abilities as his buddies joined forces with him.

And Mimi sailed away safely to the open sea although the shellfish was so friendly with Jiro that it showed reluctance to leave him.

After the case was solved, it was revealed that poor catches had been caused by a shark that appeared in the water, and Jiro who had been friendless became a bright boy after making friends with Booska and his buddies through this incident.

Jiro’s sister was played by Megumi Tama (1950-2013) who appeared in Ultra Q Episode 20 as she impressively acted Fumiko who handed Baby Ragon back to Mother Ragon.

Megumi Tama