GOGA (making)

The primary design of Goga drawn by Tohl Narita

Tohl Narita: “The idea came from a shell and a slug.”

It is explained that the concept of a shell monster originated from a rejected script titled “Fossilized Castle.”

It is said that the script was based on a sample story titled “Living Fossil” worked out in the planning stage of the show featuring a shell monster named “Kaigeru” (probably it came from the Japanese word “kai” that means shell).

It is very much intriguing to find the design of Goga drawn by Narita has the settings meant to be instructions for sculpturing, and, probably based on this, three puppets of Goga in different sizes, large, medium and small, were made by Ryosaku Takayama.

The finalized design of Goga drawn by Tohl Narita
A sketch of Goga with the settings and instructions for sculpturing (click to enlarge)

The instructions put down by Narita are:

(about the eyes) Freely extendable. Firing from the tips.

(about the mouth) Mouth (just the specification)

(about the skin) Skin like a slug. (The body) Comes further forward than it is in this drawing when the entire body shows up. (with another arrow) Darker than the shell.

(about the front part of the shell) Smooth (like a steel board)

(about the shell) Whitish

(about the drill) This is where it rotates. Like a drill. It digs into the roof and ground.

(about the way it moves) Crawling with up-and-down movement. Usually walking with its bottom up.

Goga puppets at Ryosaku Takayama’s Atelier May

Along with these settings, specifications about the sizes can be found to the right as “diameter 3 jaku (shaku) =approx. 36 inches; 1 shaku =approx. 12 inches; 2.5 sun = approx. 3 inches.

Incidentally, shaku and sun (pronounced like shortened “soon”) are almost obsolete Japanese units of length people of my generation and younger are unfamiliar with.

It is a rarity to see such settings added to a design by Narita while it might indicate that they had time to spare for precise arrangements at this point when they were working on “Ultra Q” as all the details of such settings should have been decided through discussion with those concerned.

The largest puppet is said to have been burnt and destroyed for real in the ending scene of the show…

The drill mechanism is said to have been installed by Shigeo Kurakata.

A snapshot of one of the Goga puppets with the puppet of M1 behind

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