Talkback: Gorath (1962)

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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby eabaker » Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:56 am

Either way, the pronunciation is basically "Magma." That "u" is at most a tiny aspiration.
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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby King of the Monsters » Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:48 pm

Toho has always romanized his name as "Maguma" in their official materials and licensed books. As far as I know they never trademarked the name, but the point stands that the English name Toho has chosen for the monster is Maguma, strange of a romanization as it may be.
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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby UltramanGoji » Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:56 pm

Well, I imagine it's a Destoroyah situation where they can't copyright the name "Magma" so they mess with the romanization a bit.
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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby eabaker » Wed Oct 31, 2018 12:57 pm

Man, my empty whining about Toho's clunky transliterations rarely leads to anything like this much discussion.
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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby Godzilla21 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 1:37 pm

I also liked Maguma better. I'm gonna stick with it.
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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby Terasawa » Wed Oct 31, 2018 3:35 pm

I knew it as "Magma" until I guess whenever the TK main page introduced it as "Maguma." I think that might have been popularized in G-Fan and other publications like that. (So not official.) "Magma" is definitely the less clunky but still stupid name, I chose to use "Maguma" in my previous posts because that's how most people here know it and I don't have that much of a preference in this case.
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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby Mr_Goji_and_Watch » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:03 pm

Not that I'm trashing on anybody who uses different spellings for monsters or brings it up in the first place but it's all pretty pointless. We can spend days debating whether or not Gaira really should be called Gaira rather than Gaila (as the Honda biography writes it) or if Megaguirus should be Megagiras. Magma seems like the obvious intent, much like Ghidrah, but we might as well just accept the official modern romanizations despite how they seemingly differ from actual intents and intended pronunciation.
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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby eabaker » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:48 pm

Mr_Goji_and_Watch wrote:Not that I'm trashing on anybody who uses different spellings for monsters or brings it up in the first place but it's all pretty pointless.


Pretty sure I acknowledged that.

For God's sake, it was a skreeonking joke, people. It's really weird to me that so many people have piped in on something so ridiculous.
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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby Zarm » Wed Oct 31, 2018 4:52 pm

We take our Maguma very seriously. :)
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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby PitchBlackProgress » Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:09 pm

What exactly is with American fan’s infatuation with Toho’s more obscure kaiju (Maguma, Giant Condor, Varan, Skeleturtle, Manda) ? Not that I don’t totally love those guys either, but why do these guys clique with us when they’re all but forgotten or ignored by the Japanese fanbase?

And why exactly is Black Moth less regarded than the likes of Skeleturtle and Maguma :lol:
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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby eabaker » Wed Oct 31, 2018 6:14 pm

PitchBlackProgress wrote:What exactly is with American fan’s infatuation with Toho’s more obscure kaiju (Maguma, Giant Condor, Varan, Skeleturtle, Manda) ? Not that I don’t totally love guys either, but it’s a real question as to why do these guys clique with us when they’re all but forgotten by the Japanese fanbase?


My best guess? Over here, it's regarded as more of an esoteric niche hobby, and so fans often have an impulse to demonstrate just how niche their interests are.

"Oh, your favorite Toho kaiju is Rodan? You're so basic."
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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby PitchBlackProgress » Wed Oct 31, 2018 7:20 pm

I mean I'm not saying they're necessarily anyone's favorite monster, but they are brought up here more than they are in the East :lol:
I'm lumping Bagan in there too.
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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby MaxRebo320 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 8:52 pm

Star-studded disaster epic with poignant message of unity < Giant Walrus
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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby Godzilla21 » Wed Oct 31, 2018 9:14 pm

The fact that people have piped in on something so “ridiculous” makes me happy. To know a bunch of people care about a cheesy monster from almost 60 years ago pleases me. A little levity is always welcome
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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby Terasawa » Thu Nov 01, 2018 3:17 am

PitchBlackProgress wrote:What exactly is with American fan’s infatuation with Toho’s more obscure kaiju (Maguma, Giant Condor, Varan, Skeleturtle, Manda) ? Not that I don’t totally love those guys either, but why do these guys clique with us when they’re all but forgotten or ignored by the Japanese fanbase?

And why exactly is Black Moth less regarded than the likes of Skeleturtle and Maguma :lol:


Varan I understand, at least a little. Maguma/Magma is one of Toho’s worst. It’s little more than just a really large walrus and it’s one of the worst monster costumes. It doesn’t have the charm of Gezora, Mysterians’ Mogera. or either Toho Kong. It’s a better costume than the Griffon but that’s about it.

Add to that that it has little purpose in its own movie and I just don’t understand the Maguma love. Sorry, Zarm.
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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby Zarm » Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:36 am

PitchBlackProgress wrote:What exactly is with American fan’s infatuation with Toho’s more obscure kaiju (Maguma, Giant Condor, Varan, Skeleturtle, Manda) ? Not that I don’t totally love those guys either, but why do these guys clique with us when they’re all but forgotten or ignored by the Japanese fanbase?

And why exactly is Black Moth less regarded than the likes of Skeleturtle and Maguma :lol:


Replace 'Varan' with 'Giant Octopus,' and you've got my list to a tee. And for me, their fascination lies in their brevity. It's the same reason that I'm fascinated but all the aliens in the Cantina scene of A New Hope, and couldn't care less about the dime-a-dozen ones from the prequels or the new films.

While it is ever-expanding, Toho kaiju belong to a limited pantheon. There are a certain set of them, which has remained relatively stable for the last several decades. And many of the major recurring characters, such as Godzilla, Mothra, and Rodan, have been explored ad infinitum. We know them pretty well. We've seen them put through their paces, we've explored their back stories and motivations.

But these little guys are anomalies. Oddities. Sometimes they have intriguing or fun designs, sometimes they are simply asides to the story that seem to have no point, yet there they are. Whose idea was it to put them there? What was the thought process behind this inclusion? In-universe, who is this guy and what is he usually up to? Unlike the thoroughly explored mains, these are mysteries. Weird little abdurdities. And I find that fun. They are unknown territory and underdeveloped land within a well-explored map. Familiarity has not yet bred contempt, if you will. (Or at least, in this case, blandness.)

It's the same reason that I think that there is a greater fascination with some fans for one-offs like Megalon, Titanosaurus, and Hedorah than there is for the old standbys like Mechagodzilla and King Ghidorah. Sure, there is a loyal following for those well-worn stalwarts... but there's something interesting and fresh about the ones we've only glimpsed once. The ones that haven't been as thoroughly explored or as- for lack of a better term- 'run into the ground' as frequently recurring characters. The stalwarts still have their value, but it often comes as new riffs on an old motif. Whereas with these one-offs, the motif hasn't grown old to begin with, yet.

(For Maguma, there is the added bonus of those green eyes. In that color palette, with the fire and the brown skin, they almost seem to glow, and I find that a very visually striking and appealing look. Which is why I enhanced it in my avatar.)

So, I think that's a large part of their appeal. What could have been, or could still be; the untapped potential of these unexplored creations (that covers Varan and Bagan, too). Or else the humor of their short, random, inglorious careers. They're pathetic compared to all the other kaiju, which is funny- but they're presented with absolute earnestness and seriousness, which makes them even funnier. Their random little cameo appearances and brief lack-of-contribution of the plot make them fun little oddities; a curiosity that stands out for its incongruous qualities. Which makes them memorable- a random little mystery or the punchline to an esoteric joke. It's the same reason Batman fans joke about Kite Man or the Cobdiment King with affection. In a trivia-obsessed culture, the obsessed especially love the trivial.

And the skeleturtle not only shares both of these qualities, but a third bonus quality- which is the discovery of something new within something old. It's the same delight that I take in deleted scenes from Star Trek or Star Wars, or the existance of Zone Fighter in the canon. It's 'brand-new' more of something that we ceased getting anything new of 40 years ago. In something that was thought to be a closed and fully-catalogued system, a new example appears that has been overlooked. How can that not be a delightful, huge deal? :)

So that's the fascination, for me. I don't think eabaker is wrong, per se. I wouldn't be caught dead with boring old Rodin as my favorite. ;) And I do probably emphasize certain kaiju- like Maguma- a little more because I want to express my identity through something unique or less mainstream. (A little bit of that hipster that's in all of us, I suppose.) But that's not the reason that I'm fascinated by them in the first place; only the reason that I probably elevate them a little higher in discussions or self-presentation. But the interest in the first place, for me, really does come from their nature as little unexplored cul-de-sacs in the avenues of the franchise.

(And in my case, I simply never included Black Moth because I haven't seen him yet. But I plan to rectify that right around Christmas time, and I'm sure he'll end up on my list of criminally-underappreciated kaiju then, too. ;) )

...And that turned into an essay.
Last edited by Zarm on Thu Nov 01, 2018 4:44 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby King of the Monsters » Thu Nov 01, 2018 6:46 am

Love for the obscure Toho kaiju of old isn't lost among some of the people actually working on the franchise either. Shinji Nishikawa included sketches of Skeleturtle in his art book and has sold little models of the creature at conventions as well. Renji Oki included the Giant Octopus, Giant Condor, Griffon, Giant Rats, Maguma, etc. in the anime prequel novels.

Plus there's Cast, the company that makes ornaments of every possible aspect of kaiju eiga, from Cretaceous King Ghidorah's severed tail to the bones located around Skeleturtle in Mothra vs. Godzilla.
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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby edgaguirus » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:38 am

Even the most obscure and brief of monsters can ignite the mind. The big stars get the most attention, obviously, but the smaller role kaiju can be just as appealing and mysterious. The Condor is such a sudden and brief character, but that may be why. It leaves us wondering about the kaiju and, maybe, wanting a little more of it. Maguma is the same way. We're given so little of them when we're use to these giant creatures being front and center.

As for Varan, I think it's his potential that people like. Varan has a great design and could have been better received if the movie hadn't been mediocre compared to the other solo films.
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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby Mr. Yellow » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:03 am

I think for me it's because you simply don't hear about them as often. There's always the intrique about them, what were there original intentions and it's always fun to try and expand upon them. I think Varan used to be the "most popular, non popular kaiju" but he's gotten more recogniton over the years. The fact that he had his own movie to start, like Mothra and Rodan certainly puts him in another class. They believed he had potential, instead of just being folded into the Godzilla movies. And we know he never ascended to Rodan or Mothra's level. Can you imagine if it were Varan in G:KOTM instead of one of them?

I think Maguma and the Yog trio are now the "most popular, non popular kaiju" but that's just my opinion.
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Re: Talkback: Gorath (1962)

Postby Kaiju-King42 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:48 am

PitchBlackProgress wrote:What exactly is with American fan’s infatuation with Toho’s more obscure kaiju (Maguma, Giant Condor, Varan, Skeleturtle, Manda) ? Not that I don’t totally love those guys either, but why do these guys clique with us when they’re all but forgotten or ignored by the Japanese fanbase?


In the case of Varan, Manda, and some others such as Gorosaurus, I imagine part of their popularity comes from the mystery surrounding them *because* they haven't been used very often. Plus some people such as myself might really dig the designs or other aspects of the characters.

In the case of the Giant Condor, Maguma, and especially Skeleturtle, their popularity is more of a fandom-wide in-joke.

And why exactly is Black Moth less regarded than the likes of Skeleturtle and Maguma :lol:


Beats me. I admit, despite owning Latitude Zero on DVD, I tend to forget about Black Moth all the time too.
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