RAGON (making)

Ragon design drawn by Tohl Narita

Tohl Narita: “I designed a han-gyojin (merman/gill-man) just as it is.”

Judging from Narita’s simple and brief description of Ragon, it might not have been his favorite unfortunately. But, presumably with the excellent sculpting by Ryosaku Takayama, it turned out to be a kaiju who gained much fame and popularity.

While I have referred to it repeatedly, this Ragon has its breasts as it was set to be a female Ragon. The Giant Ragon that appeared in “Ultraman” was a male Ragon without breasts.

Kaiju costume that expresses “emotions” along with the performance by the actor

As Ragon’s face looks different from the drawing by Narita, it might be another kaiju Takayama’s skills of sculpture made more attractive. I think the head sculpted by Takayama looks real and is very much expressive especially with its eyes typical to Takayama’s sculpting. At any rate, Ultra Kaijus sculpted by Takayama have eyes that make us feel as if they are living creatures in real life.

Baby Ragon was a marionette sculpted by Takayama.

This Ultra Q Ragon was played by Bin Furuya after he acted Kemur, and both of them look great reflecting his slender body shape with the use of wetsuits. (While I forgot to mention it in the article about the making of Kemur, the alien might be the first character in Tokusatsu shows for which a wetsuit was used for the body.)

Ragon costume at Ryosaku Takayama’s Atelier May

Furuya says in a recent book the costumes of Kemur and Ragon just fit him even without taking measurements and jokingly adds that he thinks it should have been “some kind of conspiracy.” After performing these two characters, Furuya was chosen for the role of the original Ultraman.

In addition, it is said that this episode was based on the idea worked out by Shoji Otomo, who first planned kaiju anatomy charts, while he came up with the story from the 1954 U.S. movie “Creature From The Black Lagoon,” and the name Ragon was from the word “lagoon” as “L” and “R” are not distinguished from each other in the Japanese language.

Baby Ragon

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