If Godzilla is king of the monsters, then my friend Shinichi Wakasa is the king's hand.
Shinichi Wakasa (若狭 新一 is a Wakasa Shin'ichi)Japanese model maker and special effects makeup artist. He worked as a special effects technician and suit sculptor for nearly every Toho-produced Godzilla film from 1993 to 2004, along with several other kaiju films produced by Toho and Daiei. Wakasa is the founder of MONSTERS Inc., a modeling company which created the kaiju suits for the majority of the films on which he worked.
In 1980, at the age of 20, Wakasa founded MONSTERS Inc., his own professional special effects sculpting company. That same year, Wakasa worked on Tsuburaya Productions' series Ultraman 80, where he was in charge of sculpting the monster suits. Wakasa's first major film work came in 1991, where he served as the chief makeup artist for Toho's horror film My Soul is Slashed, directed by Shusuke Kaneko. Wakasa would go on to serve as the chief suit maker for Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, which arguably launched his career as one of Japan's premiere tokusatsu artists. Wakasa performed the same role for the remaining two Godzilla films of the Heisei series, and reunited with Kaneko for Gamera 2: Attack of Legion in 1996. Wakasa continued to work as the chief suit maker for the Rebirth of Mothra trilogy from 1996 to 1998.
For Rebirth of Mothra 3, Wakasa was credited as a "model producer," the first ever individual credited with this position. Wakasa continued to work as chief modeler for every film in the Millennium series, with the exception of GMK. Wakasa had not worked on a kaiju film in nearly two decades until What to Do with the Dead Kaiju?, released by Toei and Shochiku in 2022, though he occasionally worked as a makeup technician on other films. The same year, he helmed the production of a replica of the Showa Gigan suit which was crowdfunded through the "Gigan Suit Rising Project."
Wakasa has made multiple appearances at G-Fest. In 2017, his book Godzilla - King of Monstermaker was published by Yosensha.
- Ultraman 80 (TV 1980-1981) - Modeler [uncredited]
- The Cat (1991) - Special propmaker [uncredited]
- Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (1993) - Mechagodzilla, Rodan modeler [with Rikuo Mikami, Yukihiro Kanetsuna, Takuji Yokoyama, Shigeaki Ito, Masayuki Kurahashi]
- Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla (1994) - SpaceGodzilla, LittleGodzilla modeler [with Shigeaki Ito, Takuji Yokoyama, Akira Yamada, Fumihiko Yagi, Nobuhiro Ekubo]
- Godzilla vs. Destoroyah (1995) - Destoroyah modeler [with Shigeaki Ito, Akira Yamada, Masakatsu Yagi, Takuji Yokoyama, Fumihiko Yagi, Nobuhiro Ekubo]
- Gamera 2: Attack of Legion (1996) - Soldier Legion modeler
- Rebirth of Mothra (1996) - Modeler [with Tomoki Kobayashi]
- Rebirth of Mothra 2 (1997) - Modeler [with Tomoki Kobayashi]
- Rebirth of Mothra 3 (1998) - Model producer
- Godzilla 2000: Millennium (1999) - Modeler
- Godzilla vs. Megaguirus (2000) - Modeler
- Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla (2002) - Modeler
- Godzilla: Tokyo SOS (2003) - Modeler
- Godzilla Final Wars (2004) - Modeler
- Reigo: King of the Sea Monsters (2008) - Bone Fish designer
- Daimajin Kanon (TV 2010) - Modeler
- Godzilla vs. Hedorah (2021) - Modeler[note 1]
- What to Do with the Dead Kaiju? (2022) - Monster modeler
- Fest Godzilla 3: Gigan Attacks (2022) - Modeler
- Monster Maker: Keizo Murase - Treasured KAIJU Photobook (2015) - Supervisor [with Yuji Nishimura]
- Godzilla - King of Monstermaker (2017) - Author
- Rodan, Mechagodzilla (Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II)
- SpaceGodzilla, LittleGodzilla (Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla)
- Destoroyah (Godzilla vs. Destoroyah)
- Soldier Legion (Gamera 2: Attack of Legion)
- Desghidorah (Rebirth of Mothra)
- Dagahra (Rebirth of Mothra 2)
- Mothra Leo, King Ghidorah (Rebirth of Mothra 3)
- Godzilla, Orga (Godzilla 2000: Millennium)
- Godzilla, Megaguirus (Godzilla vs. Megaguirus)
- Godzilla, Kiryu (Godzilla Against Mechagodzilla)
- Godzilla, Kiryu, Mothra (Godzilla: Tokyo SOS)
- Godzilla, Minilla, Mothra, Anguirus, Rodan, Ebirah, Kamacuras, Kumonga, Hedorah, King Caesar, Gigan, Monster X / Keizer Ghidorah (Godzilla Final Wars)
- Godzilla, Hedorah (Godzilla vs. Hedorah) [reused]
- Kibo (What to Do with the Dead Kaiju?)
- Godzilla, Gigan (Fest Godzilla 3: Gigan Attacks)
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