Friday, August 29, 2014

Pachimon Kaiju Showcase: Danpuraa

Although only the third entry into this series, this is the first fully original monster featured in our Pachimon Kaiju Showcase, as opposed to photo-edited redesigns of existing movie, or television characters.

Danpuraa (alias Danpurar, or Danopura) is a plump quadruped, with heavy mammalian features, like some sort of wonderfully freaky walrus beast from a “Flash Gordon” comic strip. And despite not being as large as most Japanese giant monsters, Danpuraa is nonetheless causing destruction by crushing cars, and setting off nearby explosions.

Of course, the stiff upper lipped London pedestrians could care less, as they casually walk away from the mayhem. And virtually giving Danpuraa little, to no attention what-so-ever.

Now I don’t like to harp upon the limitations of artists back in the day, especially since they were able to accomplish a lot with said limitations, than most computer savvy photo-shoppers of today could do with more (myself included).

But little oddball details like the un-amused Londoners are still immensely fun to point out.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Pachimon Kaiju Showcase: Tobozu

Pachimon is the collective shorthand used for various Japanese postcards, playing cards, and trading cards, from late 1960's and early 1970's. Featuring original Kaiju (giant monsters), created through both drawn illustrations, and photo manipulations of more famous creatures from Japanese films and television.

Despite the wealth of fully original characters from these bromide cards, it was the 'rip-off photos' that gave Pachimon (Japanese for 'stolen monsters') its more infamous name and reputation. Terrible shame of inaccuracy and people's misconceptions, really.

And I'm no better either, by continuing my series of Pachimon Kaiju articles with said borrowed infamy.

Today, we have Tobozu (sometime called Tohboze), who seems to be some kind of sea monster, invading a ship filled harbor. And many of you will immediately notice that Tobozu is a thinly disguised Gamera, lacking his original turtle shell, given brown / orange-ish colored skin, head spikes, and an extended set of lower jaws.

But what really gets me is the small group of vacationers by Tobozu's hands / feet, who haven't noticed the monster, or simply just doesn't care. And if you think that tidbit is hilarious, I'll introduce you all to the London-based Danopura next time!

UPDATE: Found a slightly superior scan of the Tobozu card, as well as doing my own artistic interpretation of the monster and its full-body. Less of an educated guess on the latter, than me simply copying Japanese fan art of Tobozu - most notably the Mugen video game version.

Further Reading and Viewing Online:

Wikipedia Article on Gamera
Trailer for Gamera's 1965 Debut
More Pachimon Kaiju Images