DAY TWENTY SIX:
STRANGE CREATURE GAN-Q
Written by Jonathan WojcikWe've seen so many "Strange Creatures," what manner of kaiju could have earned that description as its own unique title? The mysterious Gan-Q initially appears as nothing but a humongous eyeball protruding from the ground, capable of telekinetically manipulating objects, teleporting through wormholes and mentally terrorizing humans by invading their dreams! Weirdest of all is when missiles are fired on the eyeball, only for them to be sucked through its gelatinous surface and launched straight back at its attackers. Eventually, the eye retreats back into the Earth, but soon resurfaces with a brand new form...
Gan-Q's "full body" is supposedly constructed from the minerals, metals and soil it has absorbed, though it looks an awful lot more like something between raw, skinless muscle tissue and gnarled wood, twisted together into a huge, ominous eyelid with humanoid legs, branch-like arms and twisted horns, all pockmarked with additional eyes! The limp shape of the horns also intentionally evokes the tassles of a Jester's cap, because did we mention Gan-Q's signature habit of laughing absolutely non-stop?? The episode is even entitled "The Ridiculing Eye," and you can hear its deranged tittering in any given footage of the monster. As you'll see if you view the clip, the monster can even absorb victims into its own body, where they find themselves in a maddening, hellish void of giggling eyes!
But what is Gan-Q, and what does it want??
Gan-Q emits no heat and no other signs of actual life, as if it technically "doesn't exist" at all, and initially has no known explanation. I feel as though it should have been left unexplainable, but it's interesting in its own right that in a subsequent episode, it reappears in a sort of half-regenerated state, and we learn that the being is actually an incarnation of a long dead sorceror - that it's a kaiju of "magical" origins! This comes with the revelation that this sorceror knew of a cosmic force capable of destroying the world, and sought to return in this new form in order to take some of that power for himself.
When this second Gan-Q completes itself, its new body is much darker, with a network of brighter red veins the designers intended to symbolize its rage, though it still only cackles like a maniac the whole time. How much of the magician's mind is even still intact? Gan-Q's behavior is so chaotic, and it seems so perpetually delighted, it's difficult to say if it counts as the same person at all anymore, or a whole new, twisted creature vaguely carrying out his will.
The second Gan-Q boasts a pretty eerie new power, too, as some of its eyes can detach from its body and transform into hovering, occult-looking discs that fire energy beams of their own!
With its weird powers, endearingly freaky appearance and deranged personality, it's no wonder Gan-Q quickly became a new fan favorite, and has been reused many times now as either new reincarnations of the original or entirely distinct monsters! It's surprising that it took Ultraman until its 14th series in 1999 to have an "eye creature," and it's equally surprising that it hasn't had another since, but for Ultraman's designated Eye-Guy, Gan-Q is a beautiful design that properly emphasizes the creepy-cuteness of a giant eye with a creatively iconic surrounding body and just the kind of whimsically creepy personality you want from such a phantasmagorical entity!