Kaiju Booska (快獣ブースカ, Kaijū Būsuka), also called Booska the Friendly Beast, is a 1966 Japanese black-and-white children's series created by Eiji Tsuburaya (the same guy who made Ultraman) and Toshiaki Ichikawa. It was produced by Eiji's own studio Tsuburaya Productions and aired on Nippon Television. While not part of the Ultra Series spawned by Ultraman, the series is often closely associated with it.
The series centers around Daisuke Tonoda, a ten-year-old inventor who can't seem to get anything right. One day, he feeds his pet iguana an experimental substance called "kuropara" to create his own Godzilla-esque monster. However, instead he ends up with the title creature, a fuzzy man-sized goofball who looks like a bucktoothed teddy bear mixed with a giraffe. Booska is powered by an element called Booskanium (stored in the crown-like Bookan on his head), which can only be replenished by eating ramen noodles — and lots of ramen noodles. As you might imagine, Hilarity Ensues as Booska and Daisuke get into all sorts of wacky misadventures often involving silly monsters and aliens, notably Booska's rival, Chamegon the mutant chipmunk.
This whimsical little series, which ran for 47 episodes from November 9, 1966 to September 27, 1967, proved to be a huge hit with the kids of Japan. In fact to this day, Booska is just as recognizable to many in Japan as Eiji Tsuburaya's other creation, Ultraman, is worldwide. A remake of the series called Booska! Booska! aired from 1999 to 2000 on TV Tokyo, and in 2014, Booska returned once again in a manga series called Booska +. The friendly beast also makes semi-regular appearances to this day alongside Ultraman and some of his most famous kaiju co-stars.
Could use a bit of Wiki Magic.
Kaiju Booska provides examples of:
- Benevolent Monsters: Booska, as his title "the Friendly Beast" indicates.
- But Now I Must Go: In the final episode, Booska and Chamegon leave Earth in a spaceship, promising to return in 20 years.
- Cartoon Creature: Booska. Apparently, he's a mutant iguana, but he looks more like a leopard mixed with a koala.
- Child Prodigy: Daisuke. The kid is only 10, but he created a serum that turns animals into monsters.
- Kaiju: Daisuke wanted to create one, but ended up with Booska instead.
- Monster of the Week: The series had some of these. Most of them were pretty silly, since this is a comedic kiddie show.
- New Powers as the Plot Demands: This is basically Booska's power. By chanting "KA.KA...KA!", his Bookan grants him Buu Power, which allows him to do anything imaginable.
- Revival: In 1999, as Booska! Booska!, which is much the same as the original series, but with less Monsters of the Week and Chamegon being replaced with a duck monster named Kamosuke.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Ramen noodles for Booska; they are the only way for him to replenish Booskanium.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Booska is terrified of turtles because one bit him in the first episode. The bad guys like to take advantage of this.