Haha, that's a mouthful! I love the names of bad guy teams so much in this stuff. Reconstructive Experiment Empire Mess are the bad guys of Choushinsei Flashman, who travel from one planet to another to harvest living things for their biotechnological experimentation. Their monsters, as a result, are such a wildly gorgeous menagerie of outlandish alien mutants, referred to almost anticlimactically as "Beast Warriors," that I might have reviewed all of them if there hadn't been fifty of them!
TOKUSATSU MONSTER DESIGN:
13 Favorites from Reconstructive Experiment Empire Mess
As you may know, these villain teams often have a little gimmick they use for powering up their monsters, but for these guys, it's symbiotic jellyfish! The Kuragen are beautiful little transparent jellies, each with one big red eyeball, that can fuse into a Beast Warrior when it needs to grow kaiju-size. Love their little folded up gumdrop mode, too. That's when Kuragen are scurrying! Scurrying off to their very important job that they do!!!
THE MENONGAEvery Beast Warrior gets a "the" in its name, which is great, and every Beast Warrior has the same extra eyeball somewhere, even if they already have multiple eyes, like this one! The Menonga is just considered a "reptilian" Beast Warrior, and besides simple fire breath, its ability is simply to generate goggles on people's heads that "reveal their true intentions," making them basically see whatever situation they wish they were in and act accordingly.
Design: The Menonga is flabby pink humanoid with no head where a head ought to go; instead its big, bulging upper torso is just completely covered in what can only be compared to embryonic bird faces; fleshy beaks with big bulging eyeballs mostly covered over by ther lids. The coolest detail is that inside the beaks are more lamprey-like rings of long teeth! Then there's that stray eyeball I mentioned all the beasts having, sort of off-center but otherwise where the face of the humanoid might have been expected. I share Menonga first because its story and abilities aren't too weird, but its design is one that really sticks out to me, and those bird-fetus heads are practically something people stereotype me (correctly) as constantly drawing myself.
THE MASHIRASNow things get weirder! This is a swordfish themed monster, and its power for whatever reason is that it has an extra spine it can manifest with a bell on it - just a normal little grey metal bell, not even some weird alien one - and when it rings the bell, it breaks into pieces. Its head and limbs can all just function independently!
Design: A humanoid covered in overlapping plates of blue fish skin with a lot of sharp, hooked spines, its head is more like an alligator gar with large, orange, reptilian eyes and a pair of forward-sweeping barbed horns. Its arms end in tripartate jaws with eyes of their own, and its feet split into vertical jaws, also with eyes, and all four limbs have their own wing-like fish fins for when they detach! Its extra eyeball is also in the middle of its chest. A beautiful but fearsome sea monster whose gimmick is not only cool and freaky as hell but nicely evident in the design itself; the armored segments of the limbs make it obvious where they detach into roaming fish-minions!
THE GARIBURUCreated from the DNA of a chameleon, this monster can attack with its prehensile tongue and turn completely invisible by changing color. An actual chameleon only changes color to communicate, rather than camouflage, and this power shouldn't work like invisibility anyway because the Gariburu can only change one color at a time; we actually see it jump in front of monocolored surfaces before using its power, so I guess maybe the hero team is just deeply deeply stupid. They manage to confuse the poor creature with multicolored balloons, forcing it to change into many different polka dots. Sad :( ...the monster is even performed in a pretty pitiful, fearful sort of way, really panicking over those damn balloons, too!
Design: Awesome, but also 0% "chameleon." This thing is more like a huge, pale sea cucumber than anything else. Its stumpy legs and boneless-looking arms are covered in short, fleshy tubes. Its extra eyeball is in an orifice in the middle of its chest that's filled with short, pinkish cilia and flanked by two dangling snail-like antennae. Its upper body then continues into a tall, smooth pillar of flesh with a weirdly tiny salamander-like head on top, with dozens of little teeth! Literally not one single feature in common with a chameleon or any reptile, to the point that I wonder if the chameleon connection was even intended from the beginning. The design really evokes a mollusk, or even a parasitic worm!
THE GALUBARIThe obligatory plant monster has the powers you expect: thorny vines and a big mouth that can eat stuff. However, it can also transform any Earthly plant into another giant, carnivorous monster plant! Hell yeah!
Design: Has there ever been a murderous flower that didn't aesthetically kick ass? This one is mostly a huge, round, blood red rosebud, with bundles of thorny vines as "arms" and a pair of humanoid legs. It has the Beast Warrior eyeball in the chest again, teeth lining its rose petals to give it a sort of vortex-like mouth, and another set of jaws on a green, eel-like secondary head!
Not every Beast Warrior lives up to its concept art, but the Galubari's final costume is superbly done! The only major different is that the vines are green, and they honestly would have looked cooler if they were as red as the petals, like in the production sketch, but no big deal. The inner eel-mouth is performed via hand puppet, and frantically chatters its jaws almost non-stop!
The other mutant plants are delightful as well; mostly massive, splayed out, less rose-like red flowers with heaps of vine-tentacles. Some have fly-trap jaws at their centers, some have weird, slimy looking red beaks and some have a strange green trumpet with a sucker-tipped tongue! Like their creator, each one is a beautiful precious baby.
THE DEVILUBThis is an extra nasty one! It can turn the souls of the dead into its own little minion creatures, and for whatever reason primarily chooses the souls of children. When someone's bitten by one of these undead mini-demons, they become trapped in a hallucinated world of their greatest fears.
Design: The Devilub itself is the most ordinary and least original Beast Warrior, technically speaking. It is literally a green demon, a clawed humanoid with bat wings, pointy ears, long horns and a doglike muzzle. It's got a pretty funny little pointy mustache though, and it definitely belongs here for its bizarre powers; especially what those minions look like!
Depicted by another green hand puppet, these adorably nasty vermin are just fat bulbs with long, thin tails, and with heads like needly-fanged bats! The big, long ears are situated in place of the eyes, too. Very fun, unsettling little designs, like limbless and hairless rats!
THE SAIZARThis is a mighty odd concept; a large lizardlike monster whose tail ends in an organic flute that can be played - by someone else - in order to mutate and control wildlife. This is, however, only done to control plant life in the episode, which is a bit redundant with Galubari, and it's to slightly less interesting effect when it only creates a lot of writhing green vines. The effect can also be cancelled out by other loud enough noises, and the hero team of this series ride motorcycles, so, not the best evil scheme.
Design: pretty interesting! It's a dinosaur-style kaiju, but the reptilian head is long and pointed, with four large, narrowed, sinister looking pure white eyes that reach almost to the end of its snout. The upper jaw is lined with short metallic pipes that bend downward like an additional row of large teeth, and the monster's upper back is covered in many more pipes. The rest of its back is covered in flat, overlapping growths kind of like shelf fungi, and its arms end in large red hooks. The flute on the tail is the strangest feature, a seashell-like knob that tapers into a long, hollow tube lined with little holes. The flute is also where we have that signature eyeball! It's a design that feels like a "generic" giant monster in silhouette, but its every detail is creatively peculiar and its gimmick is one of the weirdest, especially that one of the villains has to hold the end of its tail and play the flute herself.
THE JAGANThis monster has few powers other than physical fighting prowess, though it can roll around as an armored ball! The real strangeness of it is that it was created from a human character and retains its conscience. That's right; this thing has a moral compass, able to resist control by the villains at least some of the time and sort of befriending a little kid at one point.
Design: The Jagan is actually a human fused to a weird little bug-like critter the villains brought from, presumably, some other planet, though the wiki claims it's based on "a Cestoda," which would mean a tapeworm. I'm not really seeing it. Whatever it is, it's a very cool looking semihumanoid covered in rugged, yellowish armor plating, and its entire body from the waist up is like one gigantic mouth. Its head its a sort of flattened centipede creature with a single, red eye between its mandible-like horns, but its shoulders and arms form four petal-like, tooth-lined jaws and everything between them is just raw, red flesh filled with dozens of suckers! I guess I can see where someone got a tapeworm impression, like a giant scolex, but the rest of the creature is a bit too arthropod-like to be of the Platyhelminthes. Then again, I guess it looks as much like a tapeworm as the Gariburu looked like a chameleon, so what do I know!
THE ZULULUKThis poor guy appeared in only the second episode, and didn't demonstrate many powers other than tentacles and explosive tooth-like pellets, really only existing at all to show us for the first time that the villains can make their monsters giant-size and that the heroes have a giant robot.
Design: It may have been underutilized, but this nautilus-themed monster looks amazing! It's like one big, red nautilus shell, its flared opening aimed straight forward and fringed with a comb of very long, thin, curving teeth instead of a bunch of tentacles. Inside this opening is a set of nasty giant teeth in gnashing, pinkish gums, it has small eyeballs with horizontal slit pupils on the sides of the shell, and then it has four humanoid limbs completely covered in a thick, shaggy coat of red tentacles! These limbs also end in long, black claws for good measure, while the shoulders and upper thighs are encrusted with translucent, veiny yellow blisters. It's a design that communicates "genetically engineered alien weapon" pretty much instantaneously, and to top it all off, the extra eyeball is basically on its crotch. Haha.
THE ZEHGULThe spookliest! This Beast Warrior is based on a "skeleton" and themed around a "jailer," neither of which are necessarily things with their own special DNA but whatever. It has the ability to conjure chains and shackles that weak whoever they bind. Simple, but appropriate!
Design: Nice and grisly! Zehgul is a hunched, big-shouldered humanoid covered in rounded plates of metallic looking armor, but with raw red muscle tissue visible between the seams. Its forearms also bare opposing sets of ribcage-like "teeth," and its head is a fanged, alien skull with black, sort of insect-like eyes, while the Beast Warrior Eyeball stared out of its mouth!
THE DESCOMThis one is an electrical monster that can convert its own matter into energy, which somehow allows it to travel through electronic devices, kidnap people, convert them into energy and imprison them in a computerized game world.
Design: The Descom is based on a goosefish, a kind of anglerfish! It's mostly a simple yellow-brown humanoid with webbed digits and spiny looking fins, but its whole upper chest from shoulder to shoulder opens up into a wide set of goosefish jaws, surrounded by four whiplike feelers. On top, where a more humanoid head should be, is instead an eyeless, long-necked eel-like head evoking the angler's lure. The Beast Warrior eye on its right pectoral, right where a nipple ought to be, is the only eye anywhere on the design. It's a simpler Beast Warrior, but its anatomy is still inventivey weird.
THE ZERAGILLAnother creepier one! This apparently monkey based warrior has multiple heads that can actually fly off and possess living victims! Not only are they taken over by the monster's mind, but they gain fangs, claws and superhuman strength.
Design: as threatening and nasty as it should be, with an angle like that! It's a hulking, shaggy-furred ape beast with pointed, slothlike claws, a big bushy tail, and five heads arranged in a circle. The faces are hairless, earless and noseless, more like fanged skulls with the thinnest covering of skin and large, pupil-less yellow eyes. The five necks and the chest are also hairless, corpsey looking flesh, with the Beast Warrior eye disturbingly at the very center! Every Beast Warrior feels like a design you might see in Devilman, but I feel like that applies to this diabolical primate most of all. If you pointed to this thing walking down the street towards us and you told me it could turn us into demons with its detachable faces I think I would say "of course it does exactly that, I'm not stupid, I mean look at it."
In this concept art, you can also see that the heads were almost going to have tentacles that would wrap around the possessed hosts, but that doodle is crossed out! DISAGREE! I know it's been decades since this already aired but LET HIM HAVE TENTACLES!!!
THE BIINONThis monster has one of the most unexpected, cleverly insidious and potentially hilarious abilities you'll have heard all day: it fires a beam that can make inanimate objects invisible, doing so to causes all manner of disastrous mishaps. I'm surprised to realize I've seldom seen such an ability used that way; the more you think about it, the more versatile and dangerous it really is, never mind that this monster also carries bombs around so it can make them invisible.
Design: Biinon is created from a stingray, and that's most of its design; just a big fleshy cloaklike creature, with a cute little face on the front kind of like a cow nosed ray with fangs, and the upper corners of its body have some clusters of red spines reminiscent of clawed "hands" holding up the "cape." Its extra eyeball is down its belly, and that's basically it! Maybe the very simplest Beast Warrior, but it makes for a great visual, and looking like an animate cloak certainly gives it a "mystical" atmosphere appropriate to its powers.
THE BUCROSSThis one uses DNA from fish and frogs, which explains its design but not so much its ability: by engulfing a human in its expandable sack, it can de-age the victim, even rewinding their memories! A unique and unsettling power I don't see too often.
Design: Superb, if a bit difficult fr me to put into words; overall a pale blue with froggy looking skin, it has somewhat thick legs with more chickenlike feet, and two small, clawed arms at its waist. A middle pair of arms are much larger and longer, reaching all the way to thr ground with thin, hooked fingers. At its shoulders, the body continues farther up to where there's a third pair of smaller limbs, and a set of long jaws full of fine, needly teeth. Its round, red eyes are at the very end of its flattened upper jaw, a lot like a deep sea fish, and the lower jaw merges into the huge pelican-like throat sac that continues all the way down the torso. The extra eyeball is on its shoulder, and fInally, the back of its head is another massive baglike mass, like an octopus, covered in little fleshy papillomas. Every part of it is cool and interesting, dangerously predatory looking but also obviously like it has to have some sort of really weird, unexpected power, which we know it does. It's the small jaws and red fishy eyes that I think tie its whole personality together.
BONUS: DOUBLE SLUGS!So you are NOT GOING TO BELIEVE THIS, OH MY GOD, but this series has TWO (2!!!!!!! DOUBLE THAN ONE!!!!!) slug based monsters I completely missed when I reviewed just slug based monsters. In fact, they were already going to be my main reason to review this particular monster line before I finally decided to just retroactively fit them into the slugs post, so, Read That Again to find out more about the two absolute best Beast Warriors! One of them is even maybe my new most favorite slug!!!
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