Toto / Gamera
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Toto (トト, acknowledged as Toto)Gamera (ガメラ) upon reaching adulthood, is a giant turtle kaiju who appeared in the 2006 Kadokawa Gamera film Gamera the Brave. He is the successor to Avant Gamera, who sacrificed himself to destroy a flock of Gyaos in 1973.
Toto's name might come from the word "tortoise." In-universe, Toto is given his name by Toru after a nickname his late mother used to call him. Once Toto grows to adulthood, he is acknowledged by several characters as Gamera (ガメラ), although Toru and the other child characters still call him Toto. Toru only refers to Toto as Gamera at the very end of the film as he flies away. The tag for a Bandai Daiei Kaiju Series figure of Toto refers to him as Rebirth Gamera (新生ガメラ Shinsei Gamera) in order to distinguish him from figures of the Showa Gamera and Heisei Gamera, although this title has also been used for Heisei Gamera.:63
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Due to the financial success of Toho's child-friendly Rebirth of Mothra trilogy over Daiei's darker Gamera trilogy, Kadokawa became interested in a Gamera revival which would return the character to his roots.:196-199:201-205:213 Toto was influenced by earlier drafts of Gamera the Guardian of the Universe, in which children raised Gamera from a small turtle hatched from an ancient artifact in a ruin of an ancient civilization where a skeleton of another Gamera is situated.:237 Another influence was the 1923 novel Bambi, a Life in the Woods, and Toto's "codename" during the early stages of the production was "Bambi".:197 The 1982 film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and the 1995 film Babe also inspired the interactions between Toto and Toru Aizawa.:95:98
Toto was initially designed based on the pond slider in reference to the Gamera the Giant Monster, which used live pond sliders for filming; his final design was based on the African spurred tortoise :141 To help make him appealing to children and to make him less "kaiju-like", he lacked any visible protrusions or roughness on his skin and shell.:147 Toto was originally planned to have glowing green eyes as an homage to the Showa Gamera. This is reflected in early promotional material, and actual models of the green eyes were prepared, but they ultimately went unused.:143:150
As a baby, Toto was played by an African spurred tortoise, but when he needed to display varying emotions, computer-generated imagery was also used.
Toto bears a resemblance to his predecessor Avant Gamera but with smoother and more rounded features that make him look like a juvenile tortoise. Though he initially was identical to a juvenile African spurred tortoise as a newborn, Toto has a fairly consistent design while his height rapidly increases throughout the film: standing upright on two legs in his giant state (though as a newborn he walked on all fours), and has five small claws on each hand (unlike Avant Gamera who has long claws on his hands, four toes on his feet), a tail, and red markings in the center of his chest. On his rounded face, he has two large green eyes, a row of small teeth, a pink tongue inside his mouth, and two tusks on his lower jaw that ascend above its underlip. Toto's shell is slightly lighter brown than its skin, with a texture resembling polished wood, and is made of ridged plates that extend somewhat exceed the width of his body.
Toto is the successor to Avant Gamera, a giant benevolent turtle monster who released his internal energy to self-destruct and destroy a flock of Gyaos in 1973. It is unclear whether he is Avant Gamera's child, reincarnation, or simply another member of the species.
In 2006, 33 years after Gamera sacrificed himself to stop a flock of Gyaos, a young boy named Toru discovered a turtle egg sitting atop a red gem on an island. The boy took the egg home along with the red gem it was sitting on. The egg hatched into a baby turtle, which Toru named "Toto", a nickname his later mother used to call him. Toto surprised Toru's neighbor when he started to fly. He soon became too big for Toru to take care of in his home, so he was taken to a shed on the shoreline. He disappeared the next day, but he returned to save Toru and his friends when Zedus attacked his village. He fought Zedus and drove him away, but he was seriously injured and captured by the military.
Knowing the original Gamera was benevolent and it would be a disaster when Zedus returned, efforts were made to get Toto fighting fit and expedite his recovery. Patched up by the military and scientists, Toto was infused with medical solution derived from remnants of the original Gamera. Zedus arrived in Nagoya, and was confronted by Toto, whom had grown larger and broke out of custody. Despite the young kaiju fighting hard to keep Zedus occupied so people could escape harm, Toto was quickly on the back-foot and clearly wasn't at full power. Realizing he needed the red gem his egg was found on, various children relayed the stone closer to Toto and passed it to Toru. Zedus threw Toto into a building and was ready to kill him, but Toru arrived and tossed the gem found with Toto's egg into his mouth, which super-charged him and gave him the ability to fly and breathe fireballs. Toto battled Zedus again, and was able to rip out the beast's tongue and then destroy him with a fireball. Toto collapsed to the ground from exhaustion, and was surrounded by the military. Toru and his friends stood in front of Toto, giving him time to regain his strength and fly away. As Toto flew into the distance, Toru stared at him and said, "Sayonara, Gamera."
Fireballs and Fire Breath
Even as a hatchling, Toto was able to breath fire, scorching a knife that fell in front of him. He fired a blast down Zedus's mouth during their first fight, causing the reptile to plummet from a bridge into the water below and retreat. After Toru threw the red stone which housed his egg into his mouth, he charged up and unleashed a more powerful fireball called Toto Impact (トトインパクト, Toto Inpakuto) which completely obliterated Zedus. When charging Toto Impact, Toto's body emits extreme heat, which instantly incinerated Zedus's tongue.
While the nature of Toto's fire blast against Zedus in Shima in the film is ambiguous, one of the novelizations clearly describes Toto using a traditional Fire Breath (火炎噴射 to burn Zedus's eyes. kaen funsha):113
In one of the novelizations, Toto is agile enough to dodge attacks by Zedus and perform acrobatic movements akin to Showa Gamera. He defeated Zedus by shooting a fireball into his mouth by doing a handstand with Zedus’s tongue.:140:163
As a hatchling, Toto could levitate, emitting a small amount of exhaust as he did so. After he grew to 30 meters tall and Toru threw the red stone into his mouth, he gained the ability to fly by retracting all his limbs into his shell and firing rockets out of his arms and legs holes. He used this ability to tackle Zedus off of one of the JR Central Towers. The form of spinning flight is called spinning jets (回転ジェット. kaiten jetto)
Though born as a regular-sized turtle, Toto grew rapidly, becoming approximately eight meters tall for his first battle against Zedus. After the JSDF captured him and injected him with liquefied red pearls discovered around his birthplace, he grew to 30 meters tall for his rematch with Zedus.
According to anatomical illustrations, Toto has a magatama-shaped organ called Spirits Crystal (スピリッツ・クリスタル which enables Toto to perform several supernatural feats such as telepathy with humans, sensing human emotions, understanding human speech, and sensing evil monsters' emergence from a distance. Supirittsu Kurisutaru) The red pearls may glow in response to Toto's emotion. In one of the novelizations, Toru Aizawa believed that the red stone might have its own consciousness, wanting to protect Toto and leading to their meeting. It is also noted that the more children touch the red stone, the stronger it glows.:125:152
Toto possesses notable anatomical features such as the Heat Muscle (ヒートマッスル, Hīto Massuru) to increase his physical strength, a special skeletal structure which consists of unknown materials, keen eyesight which is the equivalent to 30.0 in a human. He is also capable of seeing ultraviolet and infrared rays, as well as seeing in the dark and deep underwater.
Toto is in the facility of Amemiya throughout the manga. The researchers try to find a way to help Toto to fight Zedus.
At the comic's conclusion, an unseen person held a stone containing Toto's egg, which had started to hatch, while the narration questioned whether the next Gamera would oppose other monsters or humanity.
- Main article: Toto/Gallery.
Rather than Gamera's unique roar, Toto's primary roar is an edited stock roar which dates back to the 1957 Universal Pictures films The Land Unknown and The Deadly Mantis and was also used for King Kong in the 1976 film, Yonggary in Reptilian, and Midon in Big Man Japan. He is also given generic elk bugles and pre-recorded growls originally uttered by Frank Welker.
- The design of Toto's shell was later adopted for Gamera in the 2015 short film GAMERA.
- Toto's concept is very similar to the Godzilla characters Minilla and Godzilla Junior, both being younger members of the main monster's species. Like Godzilla Junior, Toto eventually grew up and took the place of his predecessor following his death. The relationship between Toto and Zedus somewhat resembles that of Minilla and Gabara, as well as Daigoro and Goliath. Daigoro also influenced one of the early drafts of Gamera the Guardian of the Universe.:237
- The marks on torsos of Toto and Avant Gamera may represent the Chinese letter Fire (炎. Honō)
- Toto's biological features including being capable of telepathy and eyesight of 30.0 also correspond with that of the Gamera from the Heisei Trilogy. Toto's Heat Muscle also etymologically resembles High Fever Muscles of Gamera in the Showa series.
- The earlier draft of Gamera the Guardian of the Universe which became the basis for Gamera the Brave was also adopted for Digimon Tamers and Ultraman Tiga.:237
- The transportation of Toto was influenced by the shipping of Gorgo in the 1961 British-American film Gorgo.
- The idea of children riding on Toto akin to the Showa series was likely scrapped to give consideration to public opinion regarding animal welfare.:50
- The 2015 kaiju film Love & Peace bears several similarities with Gamera the Brave as both films depict a giant, endearing turtle that was originally a normal-sized turtles; both protagonists also try to protect the turtle monsters.
- The climax of children guarding Toto coincidentally resembles the unmade 1997 film Godzilla 2, in which civilians stood against an army to protect Godzilla.
- The depiction of Barugon in Gamera vs. Barugon: Comic Version parallels that of Toto as both characters were discovered as eggs from the sites of their predecessors' death, and instantly grow by collecting scattered nourishment that include multiple smaller ones and a large, essential one.
- During the production, Toto Impact was also considered to be a beam attack rather than a fireball, and its depiction was inspired by photon torpedoes in the Star Trek franchise.:99 The attack received its name from a public submission.:283 Interestingly, one of the final candidates was "Azteca" (アステカ which was unique and clearly different from other final candidates. This may or may not have been a reference to Asuteka)Gamera vs. Phoenix, which also features an ancient Mesoamerican civilization.
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