As previously described on this blog, it’s quite interesting to find the sculptor Tohl Narita drew kaiju designs and the painter Ryosaku Takayama modeld kaijus according to Narita’s designs.
I find it a great team work between the sculptor who could imagine the finished form of his design as a costume and the painter who could ‘read’ the design drawing and enrich the image to model an actual costume besides faithfully reproducing the appearance.
At any rate, Takayama definitely breathed life into the kaijus designed by Narita.
I think the greatest feature of costumes made by Takayama was that they had living, not lifeless, eyes which make us feel they are actually alive alongside the living feel of the entire surface.
It should be nothing less than Takayama’s skillful craftsmanship.
I think that a great feature about costume monsters lies in the feeling of being alive they make us feel.
As I wrote before somewhere on this blog, it’s known that Takayama often told the art university students working part time as his assistants to be aware that they were making and dealing with living creatures.
I think this is a story which makes us imagine how much Takayama loved the monsters he was modeling.
Alongside the outstandingly excellent designs drawn by Narita, a sense of life force/energy was applied to costumes by Takayama with his careful and elaborate work.
In the same line with the charm of Narita’s kaiju designs, I believe that Takayama’s modelling abilities should be an integral part of the attraction of the Ultra Kaijus adored by people even today.