Category Archives: Ultra Q Kaiju

CICADA-HUMAN (ALIEN TILSONIA)

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Episode Episode 16: Garamon Strikes Back
Alias Space Mysterious Man
Height 1.8 meters
Weight 150 kilograms
Homeplace Planet Tilsonia
Features Controlling Garamons
Designer Tohl Narita
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama
Actor Unknown
Human Form  Michio Gina

Alien Tilsonia is the alien who was controlling Garamons.

While he seems to be described as Planetarian (as a human of a planet) Q in the script and is actually referred to as Planetarian and Alien in the drama, he is better known as Semi-ningen (Cicada-human) among us.

As the name shows, he’s an alien who has an appearance like a cicada in a transparent suit (he wears a business suit).

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In disguise of a man who looks kind of androgynous, the alien took back the electronic brain to control Garamons from the Astronomical Physics Laboratory with the use of a remote controller.

While the man got a ride in a truck (sort of hitchhiked it) with a cello case that had the electronic brain inside and fled away, the radio wave emitted from the device called in a group of Garadams from space and made three Garamons appear out of them.

But, as the man was chased by Manjome and others and cornered near a lake, the electronic brain was recovered after a fight over it and the radio wave managed to be cut off, which brought the three Garamons to a halt.

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After shot with a pistol, the man showed his true colors as Alien Tilsonia, but he ended up being executed in flames with a beam attack fired from their spacecraft that emerged from the lake.

Although the spacecraft flew away, it is stated at the end of the episode that the crisis is not over yet as long as we remain unable to destroy the electronic brain made of Tilsonite, which I find it really threatening.

The head of Cicada-human is said to have been remodeled into the one of Alien Baltan.

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GARAMONS

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Episode Episode 16: Garamon Strikes Back
Alias Meteorite Monster
Height 40 meters
Weight 60,000 tons
Homeplace Planet Tilsonia
Features Robot monster controlled by Alien Tilsonia
Designer Tohl Narita
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama
Actor Minoru Takahashi

This episode features multiple Garamons sent to Earth for invasion while the alien controlling them finally showed up.

After the first Garamon was defeated in Episode 13 ‘Garadama’, the electronic brain was stolen from the Astronomical Physics Laboratory by a man with remote control where it had been stored.

Attracted to the radio wave the electronic brain started emitting, multiple Garadamas came flying to Earth immediately, and three Garamons emerged out of them.

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Each of these Garamons had a marking on the chest to make the individuals distinctive although they had the same appearances as the one that appeared in Episode 13.

The two of them showed up in Tokyo, and the Tokyo Tower was shaken and destroyed by one of the two.

While this one seems to have been described as an extraordinarily huge individual lately because of its height compared with the Tokyo Tower (333 meters), I think the scale should be an issue you should overlook in this case and it’s appropriate to deem all Garamons to be in the same size.

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The alien in the human form continued to flee with the electronic brain, but Manjome and others managed to capture him at last.

When the electronic brain was taken back and the radio wave was cut off, Garamons came to a halt all together throwing up the liquid.

To show two Garamons in the same scenes, the image of Garamon was duplicated by optical compositing with the use of the single suit (the same one as in Episode 13) with distinctive markings.

The use of markings to make multiple individuals look to be there was also applied to U-tom in Episode 17 ‘Underground: Go! Go! Go!’  of Ultraseven even though optical compositing was not used for the robot with no scenes in which plural U-toms appeared simultaneously.

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Garamon rampaging in the streets of Tokyo making a mystetious hissing sound (I like to find that Garamon doesn’t roar)

KANEGON

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Episode Episode 15: Kanegon’s Cocoon
Alias Coin Monster
Height 2 meters
Weight 200 kilograms
Homeplace Suburb of Tokyo
Features Feeding on coins
Designer Tohl Narita
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama
Actor Haruyoshi Nakamura
Voice Mitsuko Aso

Kanegon is a human-sized monster Kaneo Kaneda (Satoshi Tsujisawa; voiced by Mitsuko Aso), a boy who awfully loves money, mutated into.

The monster characteristically has a head shaped like a coin purse (it has zippers as well) with down-slanting eyes sticking up and a nicely bloated belly like a pregnant woman.

He also has two tiny balls on the top of each foot that glow every time he steps on the ground.

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Kaneo and his parents

Although Kaneo’s parents reproved his extreme attachment to money by saying he would become a kaiju named Kanegon if he should stay greedy with money, the impudent boy just laughed it away.

Right after this, however, Kaneo was sucked into the cocoon (it became huge) he had got from his friends and brought back home as it rang like it had a few coins inside.

And he found that he had truly turned into Kanegon!

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Kanegon coming out of the cocoon

As his energy source is coins, Kanegon had to eat money to live, and he would allegedly die if the cash register on his chest should indicate zero.

Kanegon caused a stir showing up at a bank where he ended up devouring coins a woman had dropped in surprise at the sight of the kaiju.

And his friends figured out he would be able to turn back into Kaneo if Hige-oyaji could have been made to stand on his head.

Hige-oyaji (literally mustache old man) was a foreman of the construction site where the children used as their playground and their arch-rival seeing kids playing there as enemies.

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Kanegon will die without eating money constantly

They managed to turn Hige-oyaji upside down on the cliff side as the result, and Kanegon turned back into Kaneo (how funny!).

When Kaneo got back home with glee, an unbelievable sight awaited him there. (I’m not going to say what it is even though I assume many people already know it. Watch the DVD!)

This is truly a hilarious and sarcastic episode I really love featuring one of the masterpiece monsters while this episode is also known as the one in which the regular cast members didn’t appear at all.

The names Kanegon and Kaneo Kaneda came from kane, the Japanese word for money.

HIgeoyaji (left) going the rounds in the construction site on crawler tractor

GARAMON

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Episode Episode 13: Garadama
Alias Meteorite Monster
Height 40 meters
Weight 60,000 tons
Homeplace Planet Tilsonia
Features Robot monster controlled by Alien Tilsonia
Designer Tohl Narita
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama
Actor Minoru Takahashi

Garamon is the monster which came out of a meteorite that fell down in Yumigatani Valley.

First of all, a small meteorite made of Tisonite, a substance that was not around on Earth, was picked by kids in the locality.

Meteorites were often found to fall in Yumigatani, and local people called them Garadama (literally meaning Gara Ball. Gara doesn’t make sense particularly).

In a while, with a mysterious Dellinger phenomenon, a huge meteorite crashed into the dam water in the valley, and Garamon emerged from it (the crash seemingly vaporized the water).

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Huge Garadama containing Garamon

Although Garamon looks like a living creature, it’s a robot monster controlled by invasive aliens (Alien Tilsonia who didn’t appear in this episode) through radio waves emitted from the small meteorite that serves as the electronic brain.

Its somewhat awkward movements along with toy-like stepping sound makes Garamon more likely to be a robot.

The spines covering its entire body are set to be the radio wave receivers, and the electronic brain was so rigid to destroy in any way.

When Garamon was about to head for Tokyo after smashing the dam, the staff members of Department of Physics, Tonan University, managed to block the radio waves at Yuriko’s suggestion.

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At that moment, Garamon came to a stop throwing up slimy liquid through the mouth.

While Garamon is described just as Monster in the drama and the credits, the name is said to be the abbreviation of Garadama Monster, and it is also explained that it was named as selected in an open call before the broadcasting.

Garamon reappeared in Episode 16 ‘Garamon Strikes Back’ of Ultra Q.

In Ultraman sequel to Ultra Q, Pigmon that exactly looks like Garamon appeared including Reborn Pigmon in Episode 8 ‘The Wild Monster Zone’ and Episode 37 ‘The Littlest Hero’ respectively.

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Small Garadama (electronic brain) controlling Garamon

LARUGEUS

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Episode Episode 12: I Saw a Bird
Alias Anscient Mysterious Bird
Height 7 centimeters – 50 meters (wingspan: 100 meters)
Weight 300 grams – 15,000 tons
Homeplace Unknown (ancestral bird species set to have been around before the third glaciation)
Features Usually taking the form of a Java sparrow
Designer Unknown
Sculptor Unknown
Actor None (puppet)

Larugeus is the monster bird Dr. Ichinotani assumes to be in a species of ancestral birds that lived before the third glaciation.

Although it usually takes the form of a bird like a Java sparrow, it transformed into a giant bird and destroyed animals of a zoo and livestock to feed on them.

An assaulted zoo keeper found lying on the ground breathed his last saying, “I saw a bird.”

The monster in the form of the little bird was found in a wrecked sailing vessel presumed to date back to the 10th century that suddenly appeared on the sea like a ghost ship.

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Shipwreck like a ghost ship

The vessel had a ship log in its room that also ended with the words “I saw a bird.”

As soon as the log was found, the ship started melting down like wax (wax was used for the shooting actually) and sank in the sea.

The little bird flew to a boat driven by an adventurous boy Saburo (Akihide Tsuzawa) on his way to an offshore island.

He named the finch Kuroo (/kuro-o/), and the bird and boy spent a few days in unity in a fisherman shed on the isolated island.

Whereas the local police caught the dangerous bird and put it in custody, it shaped into the giant bird ruining the police station and soared into the sky.

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Saburo and Kuroo

In the end, after flying around over people including Manjome and Saburo as if saying goodbye to the boy, Larugeus flew away somewhere.

This is an episode that has a fairy-tale feel with special end credits the other episodes don’t have along with a piece of lyrical music overriding the end credits that was newly recorded for this episode.

It’s also known as the episode in which Akihide Tsuzawa played Saburo before he acted Hoshino in Ultraman.

I think he performed his role pretty freshly and impressively in this preceding Ultra Q episode.

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Strong wind cause by Larugeus’ flapping inflicting enormous damage on the local city

BALLOONGA

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Episode Episode 11: Ballonnga
Alias Balloon Monster
Height 50 centimeters – ∞
Weight Set to be unknown
Homeplace Space
Features Infinitely growing up absorbing any energy
Designer Tohl Narita
Sculptor Akira Sasaki (He says he doesn’t remember making it at all in a recent book interview)
Actor None (puppet)

Balloonga is a monster like a giant balloon with creepily wriggling tentacles on its surface floating in the air that grows big infinitely while absorbing energy on Earth.

Its spore initially adhered to the manned Saturn rocket Saturn 1 bound to return to Earth and made it crash into the sea by absorbing the fuel.

And, after the spore was found in the Cessna Manjome had flown over the waters where the rocket went down, it started growing larger and went up to the sky.

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Floating in the air over the heart of Tokyo, Balloonga paralyzed the city by absorbing any energy including electricity on the earth and the power of a typhoon and kept growing.

Balloonga’s spore was found 20 years ago originally by Dr. Akihiko Naramaru (Hirayoshi Aono) when it came flying on a meteorite.

And it was killed by him as he anticipated that it could destroy human civilization if it’s allowed to grow up.

Dr. Naramaru was a scientist who had secluded himself from the academic world as his scientific paper on Balloonga was not appreciated with no evidence as the spore had been destroyed and he was left branded as a con man.

Dr. Naramatsu

At Dr. Naramaru’s suggestion, however, an artificial sun was formed by a rocket launched from the United Nations’ satellite, and Balloonga was lured to space having remembered its native food: (energy of) suns.

While watching the balloon monster leaving for space, Dr. Naramaru explained that Balloonga was a life form that ate (absorbed) stellar energy drifting in the universe, adding that the deceased pilot of Saturn 1 was his son.

He also impressively described Balloonga as a natural phenomenon, God’s warning and the natural enemy of civilization.


M1

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Episode Episode 10: The Underground Super Express Goes West
Alias Artificial Life
Height 2 meters
Weight 180 kilograms
Homeplace Tokyo
Features The first life form to have been artificially created
Designer Tohl Narita
Sculptor Ryosaku Takayama
Actor Haruyoshi Nakamura
Voice Masao Nakasone (words uttered at the end; Nakasone is the voice actor who provided his voice for Ultraman’s shout)

M1 is the life form artificially created for the first time in human history by Dr. Aikawa.

After its unstable cells were sealed in a high pressure cylinder to prevent cell division, it was initially to be transported by air to a research institute in Osaka by the Hoshikawa Aviation for which Manjome and Ippei work.

But it was mistakenly loaded in the Underground Super Express Inazuma (lightening) about to go on a public trial run.

The Inazuma is (fictionally) a high speed train that connects Tokyo to Kitakyushu in 3 hours at 450 kilometers (279.6 miles) per hour.

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Inazuma

The cylinder ended up being stored in the storage locker of the train made of special alloy just after a newspaper reporter took pictures of it.

And the cells reacted to the flash and shaped into a human-sized life form like an ape man as the strong light promoted cell division.

Although it is not an aggressive kaiju but a docile, charming one with humorous behavior, fiddling with the control device in the Inazuma’s cockpit, M1 made the Super Express Train run out of control.

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Itachi

In the end, the first car of the train disconnected from the passenger cars smashed into the car stop with M1 and Itachi (meaning weasel; played by Tetsuo Yamamura), mischievous shoe shine boy who sneaked into the train out of curiosity, on board and exploded enormously.

The impact hurled M1 and the storage locker with Itachi inside into space, and the two started turning around Earth in a comical way.

While it’s hard for me to understand what the ending stands for, the words uttered by M1 at the very end of the episode came from the call sign Chaika (seagull) of Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to have flown into space in Vostok 6 in 1963.

The name M1 is said to represent ‘man-made one.’

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M1 in the train cockpit with Itachi in the back

TARANTULA

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Episode Episode 9: Baron Spider
Alias Giant Spider
Height 2.5 meters
Weight 120 kilograms
Homeplace Cape Ishizaki in the suburb of Tokyo
Features Dwelling in an abandoned western style house
Designer Yasuyuki Inoue (Special Art Devision of Toho)
Sculptor Special Art Devision of Toho
Actor None (puppet)

Tarantulas are the giant spiders found in an abandoned western style house Manjome and his fellows wandered into in the woods to shelter from a dense fog one night.

They encountered two Tarantulas in the house while they had to stay overnight there with a man among them who fell unconscious when he bogged down in a  bottomless swamp of the woods.

The house was owned by a man who was there 90 years ago and was known as a spider lover nicknamed ‘Baron Spider.’

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Tarantula initially appeared in the lighthouse on Cape Ishizaki

It was implied that the giant spiders were the incarnation of Baron Spider and his beloved daughter.

After the people were attacked by one of the giant spiders and Manjome stabbed it to death with a knife, they tried to flee from the Baron Spider’s House.

While they were attempting to go down the wooden walkway over the deadly swamp frantically, they found the other Tarantula getting closer from behind chasing them.

Manjome and his friends about to stay overnight in the abandoned house

As soon as they hit and killed the Tarantula by a car, they saw the abandoned house break down in flames.

The scenes of Tarantula approaching the car with the people aboard to go at them while the engine wouldn’t start easily is so creepy and horrifying even now when I watch them.

The main cast members say that the interior set of the abandoned house built so elaborately as a movie set was very much impressive to them.

This is a horror story rather than a kaiju show.


MONGULAR

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Episode Episode 8: Terror of the Sweet Honey
Alias Mole Monster
Height 50 meters
Weight 20,000 tons
Homeplace In the suburb of Tokyo
Features Mole enlarged by Honey Jellion
Designer Unknown
Sculptor Unknown
Actor Yukio Fukutome

Mongular (just described as Big Mole in the drama) is the monster that a mole turned into after eating Honey Jellion, a kind of nutritional supplement developed by Kimura (Susumu Kurobe who played Hayata in Ultraman), researcher of an agricultural experiment station.

The giant mole made a locomotive fall off the cliff by derailing it as it bulged up the ground and inflicted enormous damage on villages and their agricultural products.

The Honey Jellion is a substance that functions to make creatures grow huge although the purpose was not explicitly described in the drama.

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While the substance was being cultured in the nests of ground bees, Itami (Hiroshi Iwashita), Kimura’s colleague, put a mole in the greenhouse where the bee nests were stored to let it eat the bee larvae and pupas so that the ingested Honey Jellion made it a giant mole.

Itami had been jealous of Kimura’s academic success in the development of Honey Jellion and his engagement to Aiko (Keiko Sawai) while Itami was seemingly in one-sided love with her.

Unaware of Itami’s ploy, Kimura, deeming the giant mole attributable to his mismanagement, deeply felt responsible for the incident.

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When Itami’s wrongdoing was revealed, the crooked man tried to detonate himself together with Mongular in a cave as a way of atonement.

The detonation drove Mongular out of the cave, and it disappeared after it came under heavy fire from a group of tanks and rocket launchers.

Itami breathed his last telling Kimura to make Aiko happy.

Right after that, a volcanic eruption with large landslides and cave-ins in the ground occurred, and Dr. Ichinotani assumed that it showed Mongular had died after crashing into  the volcanic layers.

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From left: Itami, Aiko and Kimura

Mongular is a cute-looking monster with tiny round eyes, and the scenes in which the sinless giant mole was being put under shellfire attacks writhing in agony made me want to cover my eyes.

This is an episode showing us that the ‘unbalanced zone,’ the theme mainly featured in Ultra Q, lies not only in the realm of nature but in the human mind in the form of extreme egoism.

The name Mongular apparently came from mogura, Japanese word for mole (As the word for a mole on the skin is hokuro, don’t say someone has mogura on his/her face if you’re a learner of Japanese!).


GORGOS

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Episode Episode 7: S.O.S. Mount Fuji
Alias Rock Monster
Height 40 meters
Weight 100,000 tons
Homeplace Pond at the foot of Mt. Fuji
Features Made up of rocks clustering around a glowing nucleus
Designer Tohl Narita
Sculptor Undescribed
Actor Haruyoshi Nakamura

Gorgos is the four-footed monster with short limbs whose entire body is made of huge rocks.

With an acceleration in volcanic activities around Mt. Fuji, a large mass of rock suddenly soared into the air out of the pond and fell down to the ground at the foot of the mountain.

The rock had a ‘nucleus’ mysteriously beating like the heart with a glow that makes it tantamount to a ‘living rock.’

As it was in the way, the rock was blasted with dynamite by workers while they were unaware of the nucleus, and the pieces were dumped by trucks in a depot.

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And that night the dumped pieces clustered around the nucleus as they were attracted to it so that the mass of rocks became a rock monster.

Gorgos (with the same roar of Godzilla) started rampaging at the bottom of Mt. Fuji, and Takeru, wild young man living alone in the wilderness, stood against the rock monster.

Takeru jumped onto Gorgos courageously and managed to take the glowing ‘nucleus’ out of its back while holding on to the monster frantically.

Then he finished off the nucleus by shooting it with a pistol he had got from a police officer friendly to him.

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Takeru (doll: top right) holding on to Gorgos

Gorgos is a kaiju I find quite interesting although it’s not the one that stands out so much in the series.

Although it’s a rock monster, it also looks like an aquatic creature such as salamander.

Above all, I found it fun and creepy that it had a glowing nucleus that attracted pieces of rocks as a kid.

As it seems that Gorgos was set to be a kaiju made up of a meteorite that came flying from space in ancient  times (it was not described in the drama), it could have been a space monster originally.

Takeru aiming the pistol at the nucleus of Gorgos

As Kemlar that appeared in Ultraman had a similar glowing organ on its back, I remember I mixed them up as a child.

It’s also said that Gorgos was to reappear in Episode 25 ‘Strange Commet Cyphon’ of Ultraman but it was replaced by Red King (II) instead (perhaps because of the suit’s condition).

I feel like I wanted to see Gorgos appear again in Ultraman.