Manga: The Secret Story of Chogokin Mechagodzilla's Birth


The Secret Story of Chogokin Mechagodzilla's Birth

Japanese Comic Title

超合金 メカゴジラ〈生頼範義ポスターVer.〉誕生秘話
[Chogokin Mekagojira (Orai Noriyoshi Posuta Ver.) Tanjo Hiwa]


Shinji Nishikawa


Shinji Nishikawa
Shinji Nishikawa
Bandai / Tamashii Nations


Shinji Nishikawa



English Translation


As the original manga is only available in Japanese, an English translation was made for readers to enjoy. The full translation, with consent from artist Shinji Nishikawa, can be viewed in the link supplied.

View translation

English translations by hea777 and Joshua Sudomerski.



By: Joshua Sudomerski

A supplementary item included with the Chogokin Tamashii MIX Mechagodzilla (Ohrai Noriyoshi Poster Ver.) figure, this short-but-sweet manga tells the tales of two men: Toho monster designer Shinji Nishikawa during the development of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993), and Bandai's Akira Terano during his Godzilla-centric youth into adulthood. The paths of both men eventually cross after a tragic event, ultimately leading to the making of Chogokin Mechagodzilla.

Manga: The Secret Story of Chogokin Mechagodzilla's Birth
Back cover

Beginning in 1992, the manga starts off with a little preview of the inner workings of Toho. As part of a group of movie staff led by special effects director Koichi Kawakita, Shinji Nishikawa is tasked with designing a "combining Mechagodzilla" - a Mechagodzilla capable of deforming and fusing with up to two or three other units. Some panels even show official concept artwork by fellow Toho artists such as Minoru Yoshida, which was an unexpected surprise! The manga goes on to briefly explain why Noriyoshi Ohrai's poster turned out the way it did, and how a brand new Mechagodzilla concept completely changed the direction of Mechagodzilla's design.

As for Akira Terano, his younger self pops up every other page or two as he geeks out over Ohrai's illustration - and in particular over the Mechagodzilla featured on the artwork. However, Terano's excitement is fairly quickly dashed as he attends a screening of the movie, only to see the Mechagodzilla on-screen bears no resemblance to the one on his promotional materials. Childhood fades to memory as the manga jumps to 2014, where Terano - now the head of Bandai's Chogokin line - is asked what kind of figure would appeal to consumers of his generation. And after reading in the local newspaper of Noriyoshi Ohrai's passing, Terano's memories of Ohrai's Mechagodzilla return, and he is fueled with the desire to recreate the Mechagodzilla of his youth.

The passing of Ohrai also serves as a catalyst for Nishikawa's involvement with Bandai, as Nishikawa is commissioned by an unrelated party to draw Ohrai's poster version of Mechagodzilla. This garners the attention of Terano, which eventually leads to both men meeting and designing what would become the released figure.

The Secret Story of Chogokin Mechagodzilla's Birth really is a tale almost stranger than fiction, as two men are brought together by what seems like fate. Each panel is charmingly illustrated, with fantastic details on both the prototype and finalized Chogokin Mechagodzillas near the end of the book. The inclusion of some official Toho history and artwork also makes it a special treat for fans of the Godzilla series. Some instances of the story can be a little confusing, as not many of the characters are really properly introduced and the passage of time is not always noted, but the manga still manages to accomplish weaving together a coherent story in the pages allotted. Its lighthearted nature and brisk storytelling make for a quick and easy read that easily entertains. While not really a reason to recommend buying a Chogokin Mechagodzilla by its lonesome, its inclusion with the figure is still more than welcome, and is sure to leave an impression on those invested in lost Toho lore.