James Bowen

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James Bowen
Dr. James Bowen in Frankenstein vs. Baragon
Species Human
Nationality American
Occupation Scientist
First appearance Frankenstein vs. Baragon
Played by Nick Adams,
Goro Naya (voice, Japanese)

Dr. James Bowen (ジェームス・ボーエン,   Jēmusu Bōen) is a character in the 1965 Toho kaiju film, Frankenstein vs. Baragon.

History[edit | edit source]

Showa era[edit | edit source]

Frankenstein vs. Baragon[edit | edit source]

An American scientist horrified by the tragedy of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Dr. Bowen traveled to Japan and began working at a hospital in Hiroshima to study the effects of radiation poisoning and try to find a cure for it. He worked with his assistants Dr. Kenichiro Kawaji and Dr. Sueko Togami. While visiting Sueko's apartment for dinner, Bowen and Sueko heard a car hit a pedestrian outside of her window, and rushed to see. They saw a taxi speed off after having hit a young boy, who miraculously appeared not injured and got back to his feet. Some time later, while Bowen and Sueko were visiting the grave of one of their former patients, they witnessed a group of children screaming that there was a feral waif hiding inside a cave. The two entered the cave and calmly convinced the boy to come to them, realizing he was the same boy they saw outside of Sueko's window before. The two brought the boy back to the hospital and discovered that not only was he caucasian, but had been exposed to high doses of radiation and was showing no ill effects. As the scientists fed the boy, he began growing rapidly and eventually was relocated into a cell and put in chains. Bowen and his assistants searched for answers, and were eventually approached by ex-naval officer Daigo Kawai, who told them a strange story. At the end of World War II, he was aboard a submarine that received the beating disembodied heart of Frankenstein's monster from the Nazis. The heart was brought to the Hiroshima Army Hospital to be studied in order to create super soldiers, but was lost when the Enola Gay dropped the atom bomb on the city. This presented the possibility that this boy had actually grown from Frankenstein's immortal heart. Kawaji traveled to Frankfurt, Germany, to meet with Dr. Liesendorf, the German scientist who had previously watched over Frankenstein's heart. He returned to Japan and reported to Bowen and Sueko that Liesendorf said they had to sever one of the boy's limbs in order to determine if he was Frankenstein. If he was, his limb would grow back. Bowen was hesitant, while Sueko was completely against the idea.

While Bowen and Sueko had dinner at her apartment, Kawaji attempted to cut off one of the boy's limbs himself, only to be interrupted by a group of reporters. The reporters accidentally agitated the boy, now grown to gigantic size, who broke through his cage and escaped. Bowen rushed to the scene, and frantically told the police not to shoot the boy. The giant soon escaped the city. In his cell was discovered his still mobile severed hand, which had been cut off when he broke free of his wrist chain, proving he was in fact Frankenstein. Bowen suspended the hand in a protein solution, allowing it to survive and continue to grow. Bowen and his assistants lobbied to the police and JSDF for Frankenstein's life to be spared, but as the damage the monster caused mounted, it became increasingly unlikely that they would spare him. While Bowen was away, the hand escaped and died of starvation, meaning the only sample of Frankenstein the scientists could obtain was the monster himself. As mysterious instances of destruction and people being eaten occurred and the JSDF made plans to kill Frankenstein, Kawai visited the scientists again. He proposed that the attacks were not the work of Frankenstein, but another monster that he had seen when the oilfield where he worked was destroyed. However, no one besides the scientists believed Kawai's story, and he gave up trying to prove it. Bowen and his assistants continued leaving food for Frankenstein, and attempted to search the woods around Mount Fuji for him. During their search, Kawaji revealed that he agreed with the JSDF's desire to kill Frankenstein, and had brought along explosives to blind the beast and render him helpless. He said that they could obtain Frankenstein's heart and keep it, and that this was the only way to save his life, but Bowen and Sueko objected. Kawaji began throwing the explosives, which drew the other monster, Baragon, to the surface.

Baragon menaced the three scientists, but Sueko's scream drew the attention of Frankenstein, who came to their aid and attacked Baragon. As the two monsters fought, Bowen and Sueko escaped to their car while Kawaji was left behind and fell off a cliff onto a ledge. Frankenstein rescued Kawaji and brought him to Bowen and Sueko before returning to fight Baragon. Bowen and Sueko brought Kawaji to a nearby village, where he was given treatment for his injuries. The scientists then watched from a distance as Frankenstein and Baragon fought to the death at the foot of Mt. Fuji. Frankenstein finally proved victorious by snapping Baragon's neck, but the terrain around them began to sink into the Earth, swallowing Frankenstein along with Baragon's corpse. Sueko asked if Frankenstein had died, but Kawaji replied that he did not think so, and was sure he would appear again. Bowen only remarked that maybe it would be better if Frankenstein did die, as he was "only a monster."

Trivia[edit | edit source]

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