Gara-innards & Ash of Death

Some time ago, I consulted with the ever-knowledgeable Alex about a book being offered on YJA which had piqued my curiosity.
Here is his response:

“Yes, you need that. Don't hesitate. Title is Ultra Kaiju Daizukan: Ohtomo Shouji no Sekai (Ultra Monster Pictorial Anatomy: The World of Shouji Ohtomo) Shogakukan Pub, 1995.

Our man Shouji is considered, I'm not entirely sure why, "the Isaac Asimov of Japan" according to ex-Tsuburaya employee Mr. Brad Warner. Shouji-san created the now-familiar convention of showing the monster anatomy in cutaway diagrams. This collection is of his original sketches for the house artists to follow.”

Well, I didn’t hesitate- but I didn’t get the book (outbid by just a tiny amount, if I recall correctly). However, quite delightfully, Alex sent along these two scans from his own copy:

… and soon afterward, thanks to Google and August, two of the more fully-realized versions (the great work of two unknown, unsung house artists) of this cutaway soon came to my inbox! Here they are in chronological order (I believe) of appearance:

Unfortunately, I have lost track of the info regarding which publications these originally appeared in; perhaps someone will chime in with Garaclarification.

Earlier in the year, I shipped the lattermost image to the amazingly kind and formidably talented Akiko and Jack. Using their respective translation and graphic design skills, they produced what you see below- the very first English-language diagram of the innards of our fave meteorite monster!

They also did a clean-up & translation of the other scanned page from the Ohtomo book:

I marveled at the translated cutaway for some time after receiving it; as a hardcore Garamaniac, it was an illuminating thrill to finally (kinda) understand what made him tick. And hiss. And smash. And drool. Seeing this seemingly well-engineered design is a cuteness-countering reminder of the fact that he was indeed intended to be a planet-dominating killing machine. Besides calling to mind Japan’s completely unique cultural relationship to all things atomic, the fact that he was nuclear-powered also brings up a bunch of story-specific ponderables: is a flaming, hollow ball of rock really the best way to deliver such a machine into Earth’s atmosphere? How did the Science Patrol safely dispose of the robotic carcass? How many employees of Chirusonia’s equivalent of Northrop Grumman lost their jobs (or lives) when this high-tech beast turned out to be a fairly monumental dud?

“Ash of Death”- for days afterward, I couldn’t get that seriously stark label- or the idea that Gary had a big toxic waste urn in his gut- outta my head. I had had three unpainted M-1 GO standard-size Garamon figures lying around for weeks, waiting for customization inspiration to strike. “Ash of Death” proved to be that inspiration, and is the name I’ve bestowed upon the custom piece I’ve been slowly working on (crypto-previewed in recent posts here). I am on the cusp, boyce und gurlce, the very cusp, of the big reveal… stay tuned!*

*You’re like, “Yeah, right… just like your big tattoo reveal… what happened to that?”
Well, that’s coming too, smartass.

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