KEMUR (making)

A: Kemur design drawn by Tohl Narita

Tohl Narita: “This is really a satisfactory design. I attempted to incorporate Egyptian art techniques organizing impressive and expressive angles into a single side while it is unnecessary for kaijus as they are three dimensional. I drew ‘C’ more recently that was featured on the cover of an issue of the magazine ‘Uchusen‘ as well.”

Although Kemur is such a popular alien here in Japan among fans along with Alien Baltan, it is truly a shame that no pictures showing its sculpturing process seem to be available exclusive of only a few still photos (ones of Kemur holding the Ferris wheel and running in front of a police car).

I think Narita was also saying somewhere else he wanted to make it hard to tell which side of the head is the front while I believe the design reflects the concept of the alien defined as physically deteriorated species despite of the longevity they gained.

B: Kemur head design drawn by Tohl Narita (the third eye at the back may have been added afterwards)

It is interesting to find an antenna-like part sticking from top of its head in the design with a funnel-like shape added aside. The mechanism to move the two front eyes side to side while glowing done by Shigeo Kurakata is so fabulous and greatly helped to make the alien look even more mysterious managing to give expressions to its face that could have been very much expressionless otherwise.

Of course, the sculpturing by Ryosaku Takayama is so fascinating as always. As no color pictures of Kemur seem to be available, it is unknown exactly what color the body was while Kemur II was made from the head and a new wetsuit differently painted (only the head was used for Alien Zetton again with the head slightly diagonally positioned to make it look like a single-eyed alien).

C: Kemur illustrated by Tohl Narita (I do love skies  Narita drew)

Bin Furuya who acted Kemur says in his book that, when he tired the suit on, the head was so heavy and unstable with the high center of gravity position and that the motors to move the eyes positioned above his head made sounds from outside almost inaudible.

Moreover, as Narita started spraying paint over the dark brown suit worn by Furuya, Furuya says the smell of thinner made him feel so painful. Furuya was fed up with suit acting after the difficulties he had to overcome in playing Kemur and Ragon for “Ultra Q,” but it is well known that he ended up acting Ultraman at the strong request of Narita who found Furuya’s thin body shape with a tall height and long limbs would best fit the new unprecedented alien hero.

Tetsuo Yamamura says in a book he saw the Kemur head used in the show with the mechanism removed placed in storage for long.


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