GUBILA (making)

Primary design of Gubila drawn by Tohl Narita

Tohl Narita: “Designing fish kaijus hardly works out well.  It is not that it doesn’t go well in designing or sculpting one, but I can’t get into it because I can easily imagine the outcome of the finished film. These are the designs I drew while trying to draw whatever variations I came up with.”

I think Narita means, as it was hard to film the action of fish kaijus in water with technology of the time, how they had looked in the finished films tended to put a damper on his motivation to design one.

In the case of Gubila, however, I think they managed to avoid a mess that could have happened to tokusatsu scenes in water as Gubila had a drill on the tip of its head and the fight with Ultaman unfolded after it appeared above ground by moving through the ground with the drill from the sea bed it dug into while the scenes in water were filmed with a puppet.

Primary design of Gubila drawn by Tohl Narita

As I previously wrote, it is said that the design of Gubila was based on the filefish and the drill on the turban shell. It is also explained that, as remodeling Gavadon (B) for Gubila was initially being planned, Narita’s primary design of Gubila had been drawn on that assumption although it was redesigned and newly sculpted in the end.

Tetsuo Yamamura says in a book that the hair planted on top of the costume was made from a broom cut short. He seems to have seen the costume placed in the storage of the Tokyo Bijutsu (Art) Center (abbreviated as Bisen) with its drill removed after the filming.

Finalized design of Gubila drawn by Tohl Narita

The sound Gubila makes is said to have been duplicated from the high-pitched segment of the equivalent of Balgon that appeared in the 1966 Daiei movie “Gamera vs. Balgon” while it is unknown why the sound of a Daiei kaiju was used for an Ultra kaiju although I don’t believe this is a rare case.

Incidentally, Balgon was a kaiju sculpted by Ryosaku Takayama, and it is said that its costume that looks rather thin for a movie kaiju shows it was made by Takayama with his method of sculpting TV show kaijus. It is known that Takayama was also involved in Daiei tokusatsu movies including “Daimajin.”


6 thoughts on “GUBILA (making)”

  1. Your kaiju is great, Prassio! I like the fine details such as the shark snout and the gills on the back of the neck. An excellent design!

  2. This kaiju here is one of my very favorites. So many colors and lifelike details make it incredibly memorable. Only recently I have seen the primary design work by Narita (especially the uncolored sketch) and it really surprised me: it looks very much like the first monster I’ve drawn, years ago. Here it is in a recent illustration. In any case, even if I didn’t know of Gubila back when I first designed this monster, Narita’s work and philosophy ended up influencing its present form and I give him credit for that.

    1. Whow! Your illustration is fabulous! It is fun to find it has detailed settings along with the unique design combining the tengu and goblin shark???
      I think it shows features that tells us you are really well-versed in real-life creatures in every part of the design!
      Thanks for sharing this with us! (It inspires me to draw an original kaiju someday as I used to do drawing a lot!)

      1. Thank you, I’m really glad you like it! That’s right, it’s a tengu goblin shark. I’m very much looking forward to see kaiju drawn by you on this blog one day, Booska san!

        1. Oh, thank you, prassio-san. Although I can’t do drawing as well as you, I hope I will be able to show something on this blog one day!

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