Shin Godzilla NAGNAGNAG and Hamahayao interview

On August 15, 2008, he released his first original Sofubi, "Boryoku Genjin",
and since then he is superior artist who has given shock and excitement to the world.
At the end of the same year, he began collaborating with
New York-based fashion brand MISHKA and the West Coast's leading artist Coop.
He has released collaboration works with Frank Kozik, Tara McPherson,
Johnny Ryan, Have a Good Time, and more.
His producing works include "Chogoken Rikidizer 3" (Distributed by Goro).
In recent years, he has been developing a Godzilla project with MEDICOM TOY.
*This interview was recorded on October 27, 2023

1. About "Shin Godzilla" sculpture
1) Please tell us about the background of the "Shin Godzilla" project. and why did you choose "Shin Godzilla" as the character for this project?

Mr. Takayuki Takeya oversaw the Shin Godzilla design, but when I heard that Director Anno approached Mr. Takeya to complete the design as
a three-dimensional object at the draft stage with the first original Godzilla created by Billiken Shokai in hand,
I wanted to realize a “reverse answer” to the story of the birth of Shin Godzilla by having Mr. Hayao Hama,
who was in charge of the prototype of the first Godzilla at the time, sculpt Shin Godzilla this time.
I had hoped to work with Hayao Hama on the Zombie Ice Baby sculpture that I produced with Tara McPherson in 2020,
but I did not have a connection with him at the time, so we were finally able to make it happen.

2) Mr. Hama is making the prototype this time. I heard that it was you, Mr. NAGNAGNAG, who requested him to be in charge. Could you tell us why?

I’ve been a fan of Hama Hayao's prototype since the birth of the first soft vinyl figure from Billiken Shokai.

3) I heard that you did not modify the completed prototype at all, except for specifying the posing. What was your impression when you saw the completed
prototype for the first time?

It was Hama Hayao's prototype just as expected. (Laughs)
It took nearly two years to complete the prototype, but it was worth the wait.

4) I understand that you oversaw all painting this time. How did you approach the painting of the Hama sculpture? What was your concept?

As usual. I tried to paint the model by making the best use of the sculpture.

2. Regarding the "Godzilla" that Mr. NAGNAGNAG have worked on so far
5) Mr. NAGNAGNAG, you have worked on various "Godzilla" soft vinyl figures for MEDICOM TOY.
What are your thoughts behind the creation of each "Godzilla" soft vinyl model?

To make it look amazing in 3D. To make colors that do not exist become a reality.
It is important to make it something that you also want for yourself.

6) Please tell us about your thoughts on the "Godzilla" movie series, which has continued from the Showa era to the present day.

What attracted it to me first was Mechagodzilla. Next was MosuGoji.
I also like post-Heisei era Godzilla, but it took me a while to get used to it.

3. About the prototype sculptor, Mr. Hayao Hama
7) I heard that "Shin Godzilla" was realized out of Mr. NAGNAGNAG’s respect for prototype sculptor, Mr. Hama Hayao.
Could you tell us about the charm and thoughts on Hama's prototype?

The glamour and fluency of the lines. It’s not just Shin Godzilla, but also his recent work Robot Detective was wonderful.

8) Mr. Hama has created various prototypes in the past, such as SF monsters, Toho monsters, Ultra monsters, and so on.
If you have any personal top three Hama prototypes, please let us know.

I prefer his early works such as Metaluna-Mutant, Ymir, and Cyclops.
In particular, the Metaluna-Mutant. Although it’s an old model, I think Hama-san's prototype is still the best.

9) This "Shin Godzilla" is the first time you worked with Hama-san on a project. Please tell us your thoughts.

I think this is the first live-action sculpture in a long time since Miklas was released by Billiken Shokai in 2017, but his aesthetic sense is still intact.
Painting it ... was difficult.

10) I heard that "Shin Godzilla" may be the last realistic model sculpture by Mr. Hama. What are your thoughts when you heard that?

I don't think that's possible. Looking at his sculptures of comic book works,
Mr. HAYAO HAMA's unique line is still alive and well, and I hope he will continue to present his works.

4. The current projects with MEDICOM TOY
11) We believe the "Godzilla" project with MEDICOM TOY will continue in the future.
Please tell us as much as you can about how you are planning to develop the project in the future.

Basically, I improvise and come up with new projects. After a night's sleep, and if the project still seems right, then we proceed with it.

12) Lastly, could you give a message to the fans who are looking forward to this "Shin Godzilla".

The item is guaranteed.

Hama Hayao
Born in Amakusa City, Kumamoto Prefecture in 1957.
'75-'78 He lived the life of a ronin, aiming to enter an art university.
Since then, I've been mostly vagabond.
'83 At the invitation of Mr. Mihara, the owner of Billiken Shokai, an antique toy store in Minami Aoyama,
he made his debut as a figure kit sculptor with the cast kit "Metalna Mutant."
In the same year, "Metalna Mutant" was commercialized as a soft vinyl kit.
It is said to be the world's first soft vinyl kit product.
Since then, he has been active as a figure sculptor.

1. About Shin Godzilla molding
1) You were nominated by NAGNAGNAG for this MEDICOM TOY “Shin Godzilla”. Please tell us about the process behind
your participation, or how you felt when you received the request.

I heard from Mr. Washizawa from Otakick that I had been nominated by NAGNAGNAG for this MEDICOM TOY “Shin Godzilla” project. I was very happy.

2) Regarding this "Shin Godzilla", did you have any orders regarding the modeling? And what were your first thoughts on how to mold it?

I think the request was to make it in “Hayao Hama style”. So, I had to design it myself...

3) Please let us know if you have any modeling concepts for this “Shin Godzilla”.

I heard that director Anno asked Mr. Takeya to use my “Shodai Godzilla” as a reference material when designing
“Shin Godzilla” for the movie. So as a self-parody, I decided to give this “Shin Godzilla” the same pose as the “Shodai Godzilla”.

4) Please let us know if there was anything you were most careful about or had trouble with during the modeling work this time.

I tried new materials, new techniques to express variety on the body surface mold...

5) Looking back at the completed prototype, how did you feel?

I think I was satisfied with the flow of my previous work, but it's a shame that I couldn't make it as ordered and it ended up looking more realistic.

6) And the soft vinyl is now completed. Have you seen the sample? Please tell us your impressions after seeing the soft vinyl sample.

I saw the photo. I would like to get my hands on it soon and look up from my feet.

2. About “Shin Godzilla” and the Godzilla series
7) I believe you watched "Shin Godzilla". Please let us know your impressions.

I love it. Especially Godzilla concept and molding!

8) Please let us know if you have any impressions about the design or characteristics of the "Godzilla 2016" character that was created for "Shin Godzilla".

It is similar to Hedorah metamorphosis growth. It has homages to previous works and innovative ideas,
such as the representation of Shin Godzilla tail, like the last egg in the Hollywood Godzilla movie it conveys the message that even if you defeat the Godzilla in front of you Godzilla continues. It is amazing.

9) What are your thoughts on the Godzilla series, which has continued from the Showa era to the Reiwa era?

To be honest, I didn't have the urge to make every Godzilla from '84 Godzilla onwards. "Shin Godzilla" is my favorite!

3. About your career as a sculptor
10) Talking about Hama-san, your name became familiar to fans when you were making the prototypes for
Billiken Shokai Realistic Model kit Series in the 1980s, at the start of the “Garage kit”. Many “Godzilla” were released in the series, but when it comes to Godzilla-type monsters,
I have a strong impression that other sculptors were mainly in charge of the modeling. What do you think?

That's right. There is a part of me that lives in nostalgia from my childhood,
like for me it was like the Ultra series ends with Ultraseven and Godzilla ends with Mothra vs. Godzilla! It seems I wasn't interested in anything after that.

11) So far, you have worked on various prototypes such as SF monsters,
Toho monsters, and Ultra monsters. Do you ever look back at those original works? If so, do you have special memories?

Once in a while, when I pick it up and look at it, I notice the detailed expressions and craftsmanship that I had forgotten.
There are times when I feel like “I did something like this!'' and I am surprised at myself for doing it and for forgetting it.

12) If you have any personal top three prototypes, please let us know.

“Metaluna Mutant” my debut works. Maybe the first soft vinyl figure? “Alien Baltan” I think it was the first Japanese TV monster I worked on.
“Garamon” I am proud that I was able to reproduce such a cute monster. And I'd like to add this latest work, "Shin Godzilla", as my most confident work!

13) This time you were nominated by NAGNAGNAG, but when it comes to Hama-san's original models,
you are perceived like a hero to Garage Kit and soft vinyl fans all over the world. How do you feel about the fans thinking that way?

Am I really that highly evaluated? I lack this type of perception.

14) I heard that due to age and eye problems, this may be the last time you make a real model prototype. Is it true?

I keep changing 4-5 glasses with different prescriptions. I feel like it’s about time...

15) Previously, you also worked on prototypes such as the [Handori series], which are not real models but deformed styles.
How about an interest in such deformed style prototypes?

I'm already doing it. (Without revealing my name) It's fast and fun! However, it takes a good sense to make deformation.

4. About current activities with MEDICOM TOY
16) Recently you worked with MEDICOM TOY on Ishinomori original work,
I believe that connection is linked with your nomination this time. Looking back on your participation in this “Godzilla” project, please let us know what you think.

I hope I did it my way?

17) Lastly, please give a message to the fans who are looking forward to this “Shin Godzilla”.

“Shin Godzilla” is the best Godzilla design of all time!
For the first time in several years, I used all the power I had acquired. I would be happy if it was recognized as one of my masterpieces.

※This product can only be applied from the United States and Canada.
※The lottery reception ended at 23:59 on Wednesday, April 10th.