Union Mechagodzilla 合体メカゴジラ

Union Mechagodzilla
Union Mechagodzilla

Conceived By : Wataru Mimura & Koichi Kawakita / Koichi Kawakita & Wataru Mimura

Powers / Weapons

[1st version] Comprised of 7 units capable of combining together to form one body; flight via rocket nozzles; high-voltage currents from Flying Hands; G-Crusher
[2nd version] Comprised of 2 units capable of combining together to form one body; flight via rocket nozzles; beam attack; high-voltage currents from Flying Hands; Domyumu Missiles; Light Wave Beam Cannon from midsection; G-Crusher

Weaknesses

[1st version] All units lose function if controller cockpit is destroyed
[2nd version] Both units lose function if controller cockpit is destroyed

CONSIDERED FOR

Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (Considered Draft) (1993); Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (Preparatory Draft) (1993)

Series // Unused Character

No Sound

History

A unique form of Mechagodzilla proposed during the early stages of what would become Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993), and one of the more well-known scrapped concepts due to its appearance on a movie poster and the figure later made based off the poster design.

For its first iteration in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (Considered Draft), Union Mechagodzilla would have had the ability to split into 7 unique mechanical units, which in turn could reunite into one powerful Mechagodzilla form. In this form, the arms could shoot "Flying Hands" attached with cables which conduct deadly electic currents, while from the shoulders Mechagodzilla could fire the G-Crusher. Each unit is controlled by the controller cockpit located in one of the machines; whenever the cockpit is destroyed, all units would cease function. Union Mechagodzilla is normally accompanied by the Garuda, which in this early draft does not unite with the main body but is instead a stand-alone combat weapon. For its first mission, Union Mechagodzilla would dispose of a male Rodan while seriously injuring the female. Later, it would fight Godzilla but be forced to retreat after a brief skirmish. The surviving female Rodan would end up reappearing as White Rodan and steal Baby Godzilla, and this time Union Mechagodzilla would be accompanied by the Garuda, the ensuing fight causing White Rodan to die from exhaustion. Shortly after, Godzilla would rise from the ocean for a rematch, but would perish by Union Mechagodzilla's G-Crusher. However, Garuda would end up sustaining irreparable damage and explode, its unstable nuclear core releasing enough radiation to revive Godzilla. Union Mechagodzilla would then be taken out of commission for good after its controller cockpit is destroyed by Godzilla.

While ambitious, 7 units would prove too tall an ask for Koichi Kawakita, who would task staff with designing a unifying Mechagodzilla comprised of only 2 or 3 units. Screenwriter Wataru Mimura would end up using only 2 for his revised story, Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (Preparatory Draft), wherein Union Mechagodzilla is composed of two halves that are equipped with a larger array of weaponry. The upper half of Mechagodzilla would be sent to Adonoa Island to deal with a Pteranodon pair, killing one while leaving the other alive which would later evolve into White Rodan. The first encounter with Godzilla would have the split machines unable to reunite due to a technical malfunction, granting Godzilla the victory. This error would be quickly rectified as Union Mechagodzilla and the Garuda are sent out to take down White Rodan and later kill Godzilla with the G-Crusher, this time requiring the piloting assistance of Miki Saegusa for the G-Crusher's "target lock" function. And just like in the previous draft, Godzilla would be resurrected by the exploding Garuda's released radioactivity, leading to the destruction of Union Mechagodzilla by Godzilla as the controller cockpit is annihilated.

Neither version of Union Mechagodzilla ever received a finalized design, though Kawakita and assistant director Masaaki Tezuka were enthusiastic in making a Mechagodzilla similar in appearance to the ones from the 1970's, but with the transformation gimmick and different body color to set it apart. Kawakita would later go on to commission illustrator Noriyoshi Ohrai for a poster using 2nd Version concept artwork created by Shinji Nishikawa and Minoru Yoshida. Ohrai's popular "poster version Mechagodzilla" would end up using some sketches by Nishikawa, with one of Yoshida's flying units in the foreground.

Somewhere down the line, Kawakita would receive a new Mechagodzilla design from Bandai's Katsushi Murakami, which sported curved silver body plates and an almost futuristic, sci-fi-heavy appearance, while lacking the "unifying robot" aspect. This, coupled with budgetary and technical limitations, would steer Mechagodzilla's model into a totally different direction, and Union Mechagodzilla would be scrapped almost altogether. The only nod to this original gimmick would be the Garuda's ability to simply attach itself to Mechagodzilla's back.

The "unifying robot" concept would remain in Kawakita's mind, however, as it would eventually be passed on to Mechagodzilla's successor, Moguera, in Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994), with Moguera being able to split into two halves: the Land Moguera and Star Falcon.


Images

Trivia
  • The name "Gattai Mekagojira" (Japanese: 合体メカゴジラ) can be translated numerous ways, with "gattai" meaning transforming, unifying, coalescing, etc. "Union Mechagodzilla" comes from a December 2016 tweet from Toho monster designer Shinj Nishikawa, in which his personal translations of the Japanese name were either "Union Mechagodzilla" or "Combine Mechagodzilla".
  • The sketch featured as the article picture is said to be the one used by Noriyoshi Ohrai, according to Shinji Nishikawa: Drawing Book of Godzilla (ISBN: 480030959X), though modified to feature some elements from Minoru Yoshida's take on Union Mechagodzilla (2nd Version) such as the chest and shoulders. According to Nishikawa, Kawakita pushed for a "Red Mechagodzilla" look in order to differentiate it further from the 1970's Mechagodzilla incarnations. Green was another proposed color, as the Mechagodzilla in the film was to be "a military weapon from Earth".

    In the gallery, 2nd Version Mecha Units [1] to [3] would be used to form Union Mechagodzilla (2nd Version) [1]. Nishikawa also designed a completely different set comprised of 2nd Version Mecha Units [11] to [13] to create Union Mechagodzilla (2nd Version) [5].
  • In the special features of the 2016 Toho-published Japanese DVD release of Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993), it was revealed that Kawakita dropped the idea for Mechagodzilla to have a red body color per Noriyoshi Ohrai's request, who thought the machine looked better with a "metallic" look. The early version of the Plasma Grenade also goes by the name of "Light Wave Beam" (Japanese: 光波ビーム).
  • According to the 2012 book Heisei Godzilla Perfection (ISBN: 4048861190), while Kawakita was partly inspired to have a non-silver-colored Mechagodzilla to set it apart from the Showa versions, he was more influenced by the positive reception towards the richly-colored monsters featured in Godzilla vs. Mothra (1992). In the end, his "Red Mechagodzilla" idea would not come to pass, though the coloration would end up being given to Rodan's transformation, Fire Rodan. Union Mechagodzilla's Light Wave Beam is also referred to in full as the "Light Wave Beam Cannon" (Japanese: 光波ビーム砲).
  • Chogokin Mechagodzilla Head Concept ArtIn late September 2017, toy company Bandai and Tamashii Nations released a Mechagodzilla figure inspired by the design featured on Noriyoshi Ohrai's popular Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993) poster illustration. Chogokin Tamashii MIX Mechagodzilla (Ohrai Noriyoshi Poster Ver.) is a recreation of the scrapped Union Mechagodzilla concept, including having the ability to split into and combine 3 unique machines: the land unit "Gundalva" (Japanese: ガンダルヴァ), based off of a heavily modified version of Mecha Unit (2nd Version) [2]; the sea unit "Naga" (Japanese: ナーガ), based off of Mecha Unit (2nd Version) [3]; and the air unit "Garuda" (Japanese: ガルーダ), based off of an altered version of Mecha Unit (2nd Version) [1]. Maser Cannons, the Space Battleship Yamato, and the Super-X served as inspirations for some aspects of each machine.

    The fan-dubbed "Poster Mechagodzilla" came to pass as a result of Chogokin director Akira Terano's love of the design from his childhood, and also as a tribute to the late Noriyoshi Ohrai who passed away in October of 2015. Toho monster designer Shinji Nishikawa served as a supervisor during the figure's development, and even contributed completely new concept art for Mechagodzilla to help steer the direction of the design, among other materials and testimonials. Nishikawa's updated Mechagodzilla face artwork (pictured above) was featured in the January 2017 issue of Monthly Hobby Japan (No. 571). Many details were shared in a 2-page April 2017 interview with Akira Terano and Shinji Nishikawa by GAME Watch, and more in a May 2017 interview with the two conducted by Tamashii Nations.
  • The 1995 Trendmasters-released Power Up Mecha Godzilla action figure bears an uncanny resemblance to the Union Mechagodzilla design from Noriyoshi Ohrai's Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993) illustrated poster. When equipped with its snap-on armor, the toy's upper half and spines carry traits of the poster design, while the lower half appears to be more influenced by the actual movie Mechagodzilla suit.
  • While Union Mechagodzilla's "Flying Hands" would be altered to the shock anchors with cables in the finished movie, the Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II manga adaptation by Takayuki Sakai would retain the original Flying Hands ability.
  • Other details and concept artwork for Union Mechagodzilla and its many divided parts can be found in numerous Japanese publications, including Kawakita's Heisei Godzilla Chronicle (ISBN: 4873763193), Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla Super Data Book (ISBN: 4061032895), Toho SF Special Effects Series VOL. 8: Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla (ISBN: 4924609455), and Encyclopedia of Godzilla - Mechagodzilla Edition (ISBN: 405600174X).