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 tokusatsu science fiction 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—humanoid kaiju—that were spawned by some form 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, were both written by Takeshi Kimura and directed by Ishiro Honda.

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


Release date Title Directed by Written by Effects director
June 24, 1958 The H-Man Ishiro Honda Takeshi Kimura Eiji Tsuburaya
April 10, 1960 The Secret of the Telegian Jun Fukuda Shinichi Sekizawa
December 11, 1960 The Human Vapor Ishiro Honda Takeshi Kimura

Monsters introduced

Related films

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

Frankenstein vs. The Human Vapor

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

The Dreadful Human TorchThe Human Torch

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

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

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, was 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]


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]


  • 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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