Sunday, July 13, 2014

Pachimon Kaiju Showcase: NOT Godzilla

Pachimon, or Pachimon Kaiju, is a term used for various Japanese bromide cards published around the early 1970's. These bromide cards were known for featuring bizarre imitation monsters, directly and indirectly based on more famous characters, if not outright stealing the likenesses completely through pre-digital methods of photo manipulation; hence the term Pachimon, 'Pachi' as in stolen, and 'Mon' as in monster.

Of course, this being simple 'fan slang', the term Pachimon is quite misleading as a good number of these bromide cards also featured fully illustrated, originally designed creations. Hopefully a better terminology will make itself present in the near future but, for now, we'll just refer to these cards collectively as Pachimon Kaiju.

Pachimon are quite obscure as it is, so instead of doing what every other blog has done in the past by uploading these visual oddities in bulk, I'm going to showcase these images a little at a time, along with my own personal insight towards the monster designs featured.

I'm going to start with two Godzilla-based rip-offs, just to get greater exposure among the more fickle American-based Kaiju fans, and to show off just how extreme the 'borrowed likeness' side of these cards truly went.

Above we have the mid-60s Godzilla suit altered with huge ears and a slightly larger bird-like beak. This entry hails from a particular series published by the company Yokopro which had giant monsters menacing foreign landmarks and countries around the world. Despite the Katakana on the bromide card itself (which simply translates as New York), this bird-beaked Godzilla has no real, proper Kaiju name, but a re-purposed playing card reissue of the image does rectify this.

The playing card names the monster Wadorisu (which can also be read as Waadorisu or Wardorisu). Wadorisu is a name that, to me at least, seems to match perfectly with the design's funny beak and ears.

Not much else to say on this New York Pachimon other than that the poor Statue of Liberty was getting harassed by monsters long before baby Cloverfield came along!

Now onto our second Godzilla knock-off who's been altered oh-so-slightly with a neck-frill and porcupine-style spines. The lower line of katakana on this image roughly translates as Yakobu which also means 'Jacob' in Japanese, however, I no idea if this is the monster's name or the airport location that its menacing. For now, we'll just refer to this critter as Yakobu whose design and overall card is a lot more appealing than the earlier New York Pachimon.

Actually, it wouldn't be out of the realm of possibly that Yakobu is the Pachimon version of Jirass from "Ultraman", who itself was a refurbished Godzilla suit with an added neck-frill.

If that's the case, then this would be creature design equivalent of painting pure karat gold bars with gold hobby store paint. And then wrapping those golden abominations in shiny, gold colored foil, bought from a party supply shop.

Okay, so maybe its not THAT bad, but Yakobu still has the nicer looking bromide card between the two shown.

Further Reading Online:

All Monsters Blog's Profile of Jirass
More Pachimon Images

Thursday, July 3, 2014

G-G-G-G-Ghost Godzilla!!!

UPDATE: Here's another official piece of concept art, that I totally forgot to upload the first time around. This one features Ghost Godzilla's visible dorsal fins, amongst some city devastation.

I don't have much time for an extensive article, centered around otherwise trivial nonsense. So here's a brief article...also centered around otherwise trivial nonsense!

And surprise, surprise! It's yet another Kaiju (giant monster) related one!

We'll be discussing unproduced, or abandoned monster movies once again, and this time, with one of the more famous examples of such - "Godzilla vs Ghost Godzilla" (1994-1995).

Originally planned as the final film to close out the Heisei-cycle of the franchise (1984-to-1995), "Godzilla vs Ghost Godzilla" had its then-current incarnation of the title Monster King, go up against the supposedly more villainous ghost of his long deceased, 1954 counterpart.

More information on the unmade project can be found at Toho Kingdom.

The concept was dropped, largely due to the previous two entries also featuring 'Evil Godzilla Clones'. Those being 1993's "Godzilla vs Mechagodzilla II", and 1994's "Godzilla vs Space Godzilla"And "Ghost Godzilla" was replaced with the more original (and ultimately filmed) swan song "Godzilla vs Destroyah" (1995).

In recent years, the one piece of conceptional artwork done for Ghost Godzilla himself, has surfaced on several fan forums. But has yet to be properly posted on actual web-sites and blogs.

So 'Why the Hell not?' I figured!

The rough scan that's being presented below, comes from a licensed Japanese Godzilla book. But I currently have no idea to which one, or to said book's title. Enjoy the obscure eye-candy regardless, everybody!

Probably to the disappointment of many fan artists, the 'REAL' Ghost Godzilla is a fairly simple creature design, as it's just the 1954 original, but given a supernatural blue glow and transparency.

Don't get ME wrong though, as it's highly effective for what it is, and most certainly works as a 'Ghost Godzilla'.

But again, this is merely concept art, from the earliest stages of what ultimately became an abandoned production. And no clue how far the filmmakers would have gone with the Ghost Godzilla character, as to wither-or-not he'd transform between multiple other body stages. Much like The Librarian and her secondary 'back-off' form, from the classic comedy "Ghostbusters".

We are talking about the Godzilla films of the 1990's, after all. It's here (with the arguable exception of Godzilla / Burning Godzilla) that almost every creature featured in these movies, had one-or-more different body upgrades.

Like some kind of nightmarish, jumbo-sized precursor, to ludicrous Pokemon Evolution!