Transforming Human Series

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The Transforming Human Series (変身人間シリーズ,   Henshin Ningen Shirīzu), also unofficially known as the "Mutant Trilogy," is a trilogy of science-fiction tokusatsu films produced by Toho from 1958 to 1960. It includes the films The H-Man, The Secret of the Telegian and The Human Vapor.[1] All three films revolve around kaijin, human-like kaiju, that were spawned by some sort of scientific experiment. Although the films do not share continuity, they share many similar premises and themes, and two of them, The H-Man and The Human Vapor, share the same director, Ishiro Honda.

At their planning stages, The Secret of the Telegian and The Human Vapor were instead designated as entries in the Mystery Science Fiction Film Series (怪奇空想科学映画シリーズ,   Kaiki Kūsō Kagaku Eiga Shirīzu).[2]

Films[edit | edit source]

Monsters introduced[edit | edit source]

Related films[edit | edit source]

Although not officially considered to be a part of the Transforming Human Series, several closely related films are often discussed alongside them. These include:

Invisible Man was a primary inspiration for the trilogy, and included in Toho's 2021 Transforming Human Series Blu-ray set, while Matango is in many ways a spiritual successor, even being directed by Ishiro Honda.

Unmade films[edit | edit source]

Frankenstein vs. The Human Vapor[edit | edit source]

Tomoyuki Tanaka approved production of a sequel to The Human Vapor revolving around Mizuno, having survived the film's ending, encountering Frankenstein's monster. Shinichi Sekizawa submitted a screenplay for the film in 1963, while Ishiro Honda was set to direct and Eiji Tsuburaya was to handle the special effects. The project never materialized, but Toho would go on to feature Frankenstein's monster in their 1965 film Frankenstein vs. Baragon.

Mysterious Human Special Effects Series[edit | edit source]

The Dreadful Human TorchThe Human Torch[edit | edit source]

In 1973, in response to the high ratings of television airings of The H-Man and The Secret of the Telegian, Tomoyuki Tanaka conceptualized a new trilogy of kaijin films which he dubbed the Mysterious Human Special Effects Series (怪奇人間特撮シリーズ,   Kaiki Ningen Tokusatsu Shirīzu). Tanaka submitted a story proposal for the first film in the series, The Dreadful Human Torch, in June of that year. Jun Fukuda, director of The Secret of the Telegian, was chosen to helm the project, with screenwriter Masahiro Kakefuda rewriting the outline as The Human Torch in January of 1974.[4]

The Invisible Man and The Plant Man[edit | edit source]

Though he never put them to paper, Tanaka envisioned two follow-ups to his Dreadful Human Torch story: The Invisible Man (透明人間,   Tōmei Ningen) and The Plant Man (植物人間,   Shokubutsu Ningen).[4]

The Invisible Man vs. The Human Torch[edit | edit source]

The Human Torch went untouched for over a year, largely due to Fukuda's involvement in Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla and ESPY. With the hiatus of the Godzilla series post-Terror of Mechagodzilla, Toho's special effects subsidiary, Toho Eizo, were in search of a new series to fill the void, and turned to Tanaka's Mysterious Human series. Kakefuda submitted a new screenplay entitled The Invisible Man vs. The Human Torch in March of 1975, combining Tanaka's ideas for the first and second entries in the series into one story. Kakefuda further revised the story with the help of Fukuda, turning in a second draft that October. Toho went through with production of the film, announcing it as part of their lineup for 1976. However, the project was ultimately abandoned in favor of King of Monsters: Resurrection of Godzilla and the Hammer co-production Nessie, the former resulting in The Return of Godzilla in 1984.[4]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

This is a list of references for Transforming Human Series. These citations are used to identify the reliable sources on which this article is based. These references appear inside articles in the form of superscript numbers, which look like this: [1]

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

  • Motoyama, Sho; Matsunomoto, Kazuhiro; Asai, Kazuyasu; Suzuki, Nobutaka; Kato, Masashi (28 September 2012). Toho Special Effects Movie Complete Works (1st ed.). villagebooks. ISBN 978-4864910132.
  • Kaneda, Masumi; Oishi, Shinji; Konuta, Kenji; Eguchi, Mizuki; Maruyama, Takeshi (28 July 2014). Toho Special Effects All Monster Encyclopedia (1st ed.). Shogakukan. ISBN 978-4-09-682090-2.

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