ZPi Logo "Serving the Paranoid
since 1997"
Lyle Zapato

Kure Kure Takora (Gimme Gimme Octopus)

Lyle Zapato | 2011-05-03.7630 LMT | Cephalopods | Entertainment

Besides 17th century poetry, here's further evidence of the general awareness of tree octopuses in Japanese culture:

Kure Kure Takora (クレクレタコラ or "Gimme Gimme Octopus" in English) is a Japanese kids' show that ran from 1973-4, centering around the bizarre, greedy exploits of Kure Kure Takora, a tree octopus who wants all that he sees (hence the "gimme gimme").

(UPDATE: The videos were removed from YouTube -- see below. I removed the broken embed codes but I'm keeping the descriptions in place...)

As you can see in the episode below, he likes to sleep on the limb of his tree, where he has a telescope that he uses to survey the forest for things to steal. Only in this episode, everyone is giving him everything he wants! Is it all a dream...?


Most episodes are more violent/disturbing than this. For instance, here's the first episode, where he attacks Debura (the local law enforcement badger), steals his gun, then goes on a rampage threatening his forest neighbors:


That yellow, gourdish thing is Takora's toady, Chonbo. He's often the victim of Takora's abuse, like in this episode where they do the William Tell apple-on-head bit, only Chonbo ends up riddled with arrows:


The pink walrus-dragon thing is named Monro (after Marilyn Monroe, according to the Japanese wiki). She's the love interest of Takora -- and of most of the other forest denizens too (which include a forest jellyfish and three forest sea cucumbers, for some reason.) Apparently, they had a child together (at least until Chonbo drops it into a river, never to be seen again -- relationship complication averted!):


Those three spiky, svelt-Grimace-looking things abusing the baby are The Sea Cucumber Gang. Here's an episode where one of them destroys the sun with a tommy gun after Takora's unsuccessful attempts to impress Monro with solicide:


Finally, here's one where Takora gets a cannon, takes over the forest by force, and proclaims himself dictator, threatening those who disrespect his flag with execution by bayonet:


I could go on and on posting these. There were 260 episodes made in the single year that it was on (each is only 2:41 long). A lot (most? all?) are on YouTube. There's a fan blog in English that has been posting them in order, some with English plot synopses.

UPDATE: Sadly, as you can tell from the broken missing videos above, all Kure Kure Takora episodes have been removed from YouTube by their copyright owner, Toho Co. Ltd. (the people responsible for Godzilla, BTW). I guess it was inevitable, but humanity is worse off for the lack of ready access to the valuable life-lesson of Kure Kure Takora. The above-mentioned fan blog that was uploading the episodes has a statement. If you want to see them again legally, I guess you'll have to find an out-of-print copy of a DVD collection from Japan, which you may or may not be allowed to view in your region. Good luck.

UPDATE 2014-08-21: Here are some other videos to make up for the removed ones. First, an extended version of the theme song -- almost as long as an episode (lyrics in Japanese [Google translate isn't much help, but it seems to be his back story] and scans of the record cover) -- with some simple stop-motion of a Takora toy and someone capering about in a Takora costume:

Second, a behind-the-scenes making of documentary on the show:

UPDATE 2017-09-08: There seems to be a Kure Kure Takora revival going on. Toho reissued the show on DVD last December (including 3 episodes that were missing in the last set) and created a Takora YouTube channel where you can watch some of the episodes (they apparently re-aired them on TV at some point too).

You can also follow Takora's present-day antics -- such as making in-person appearances at cons alongside his '70s contemporary, Godman -- on his official Twitter feed. And lastly, the Godzilla Store (Toho's online shop) has a Takora section, where you can buy the DVDs (doesn't say, but probably region 2) as well as shirts and other merch.

Some of the shirt designs seem to be implying that Takora exists in the same shared universe as Godzilla (is the Mysterious Forest that Takora calls home a part of Godzilla Island? Just how tall are Takora and his neighbors?) Will the American version of the Godzilla cinematic universe -- the so-called "MonsterVerse" -- follow suit and include an updated, more realistic CGI Takora?

End of post.