King Joe design drawn by Tohl Narita

Tohl Narita: “This is the second space robot I designed following Windom. I had a hard time to take it apart into the four parts.”

The primary design of King Joe drawn by Tohl Narita has a face that looks like that of a human while it is described as it resembles a crab named heikegani (samurai crab) with a shape that makes us imagine a human face.

Although the design developed into the finalized version we are familiar with, neither the design nor the original costume photographed at Ryosaku Takayama’s Atelier May have the lowered T-shaped part between the eye-like rising parts.

Primary King Joe design drawn by Tohl Narita
King Joe design taken apart into four drawn by Tohl Narita

As the flying form prop (the head part) of King Joe does not have the T-shaped part either, that makes me assume the part was added afterwards to the costume presumably right before the filming.

Although the design has cylindrical parts on its knees and they were actually sculpted by Takayama, it is said that Takayama forgot attaching the parts to the costume and they were left unused as he was not in time for the filming even though he tried to deliver the parts to the studio when he had noticed the mistake.

King Joe costume at Atelier May (the luminescent parts on the chest also look different than it actually appeared in the show)

While it is a shame to see the costume look rather soft for a robot (it is said to have been a means to make costumes safe enough for actors as hard materials could hurt them otherwise. I guess cost-cutting might have been another reason), some fans seem to find the softness to be caused by an unknown space metal used for the space robot in the story of the show.

Current study practiced by fans seem to have revealed chances are Alien Pedan (it is unlikely that it was designed by Narita) was just made from their sculpted heads and sweatshirts (and sweatpants) for the body part (it is likely that figures sculpted with that interpretation are available now).

If true, it is incredible to be attacked by such casually dressed aliens as it makes us aware of the difference of their technological ability that far exceeds the human equivalent…

King Joe costume at the back of the Bisen studio

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