SUDAR; KAIGYO (making)

This snapshot shows the size of the Sudar puppet

Tohl Narita: (about Kaigyo) “As an experimental design of a kaigyo (mysterious fish), this is a design I like very much. But I was told that they would like to make an octopus appear as the script was written assuming the octopus from Toho. If the kaigyo had appeared, it would have become one of the best kaijus.”

As Narita explains in his art books, the monster to be featured in Ultra Q Episode 23 “Fury of the South Sea” was changed from the kaigyo to the giant octopus Sudar with the use of the puppet used in the 1965 Toho movie co-produced by the US company Benedict Pictures “Frankenstein vs. Baragon/Frankenstein Conquers the World.”

Sudar’s tentacle at Ryosaku Takayama’s Atelier May

Incidentally, “kaigyo” represents “mysterious fish” and not the individual name of the giant fish monster (it should have been dropped before getting any specific name).

As to Surar, while scenes with a real octopus used were added, the puppet octopus also looked real as it was excellently sculpted.

A giant tentacle was sculpted by Ryosaku Takayama and was used for a scene of the tentacle attacking Manjome while the prop was also excellently sculpted.

It is said that the idea of this episode “Fury of the South Sea” can be traced back to a sample story titled “The Counterattack of Giant Octopus” covered in the first planning paper of “UNBALANCE,” the planned show that turned out to be “Ultra Q” in the end.

Kaigyo design drawn by Tohl Narita

In “The Counterattack of Giant Octopus,” Manjome seems to have been planned to fight with the giant octopus with a supercar he boarded including fight scenes in the sea and the showdown at Haneda Airport (this sounds like sort of an off-the-wall story that makes me feel like watching it).

I have to admit I personally found it a bit disappointing to see this episode just feature a giant octopus when I was a kid, but, given how Bostang was portrayed in the show, it makes me wonder how well the kaigyo could have been depicted with techniques of the time although the design variations Narita drew make me fully aware that he should have put a lot of energy into designing it while I find his kaigyo attractive enough.

Kaigyo design variations drawn by Tohl Narita

5 thoughts on “SUDAR; KAIGYO (making)”

  1. I found this picture is the Title page in Shonen book Special edition and it has Three colours and I try to fill colours in this picture and design episode title in Thai Character.

  2. I didn’t watch this episode when I was a kid so I don’t know anything about sudar, Till I’ve read many data of UltraQ series from the internet (may be 10 years ago). A story about the giant octopus from the UltraQ make me recalled a comic about a giant octopus that I read when I was a kid, I searched for this comic from the old comicbooks that I collected Then I found it, first I’m Not sure that it’s the same story because of the different title (Thai comics in those days were badly translated and they didn’t used The name Sudar ) untill I found The picture of Ultra Q comic (by Kentaro Nagajo 中 城 け ん た ろ う) In website yahoo japan Then I Know I’ve read the comic of ultraQ Sudar Episode since 1968

    1. Oh, that’s great! I think Kentaro Nakajo had become a very skillful manga artist in later years with an elaborate touch and impressive drawings.
      Thanks for sharing your experience!

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