Spider-Man (Toei TV series)

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Spider-Man
Toei Spiderman TC.PNG
Format Tokusatsu
Action
Adventure
Created by Toei Company
Marvel Entertainment
Based on Spider-Man
by Stan Lee
Steve Ditko
Starring Shinji Todō
Narrated by Tōru Ōhira
Country of origin Japan
United States
No. of episodes 41 (plus a movie)
Production
Running time 30 minutes
Broadcast
Original channel Tokyo Channel 12
Original run May 17, 1978 – March 14, 1979
Chronology
Preceded by The Amazing Spider-Man (TV series)
Followed by Spider-Man (1981 TV series)

Spider-Man (スパイダーマン Supaidāman?) is a Japanese live-action Tokusatsu television series produced by Toei Company, loosely based on Marvel's Spider-Man character.[1] The series lasted 41 episodes, which aired on the Wednesday 19:30 JST time slot of Tokyo Channel 12 from May 17, 1978, to March 14, 1979. A theatrical episode was also shown in the Toei Manga Matsuri film festival on July 22, 1978. From March 5 to December 24, 2009, Marvel uploaded English subtitled versions of all 41 episodes on their official website.[2]

While Toei's version of the character wore the same costume as his Marvel counterpart, the show's storyline and the origin of the character's powers deviated completely from the source material. In addition to fighting by himself, this incarnation of Spider-Man also piloted a giant robot known as Leopardon, which he would summon to thwart off enlarged versions of the show's monsters. Toei would adopt the giant robot concept in subsequent incarnations of their own Super Sentai franchise.

Production[edit]

The show was the result of a three-years licensing agreement with Marvel that allowed both to use each other's properties in any way they wanted. Toei initially planned to use Spider-Man as a supporting character for an unmade television series starring a fictionalized version of Yamato Takeru who was sent to the present via a time warp.[3] However, Toei decided to make Spider-Man the protagonist instead and the character of Yamato Takeru was revised into Garia, an alien who gives Spider-Man his powers. The resulting show deviated from the source material completely, outside of Spider-Man's costume and some of his superpowers and gadgets. Other productions by Toei as a result of this licensing deal included Battle Fever J (a show originally conceived about a Japanese counterpart of Captain America) and an animated television movie based on the comic book Tomb of Dracula. In contrast, Marvel would use the main robots from two of Toei's anime programs, Wakusei Robo Danguard Ace and Chōdenji Robo Combattler V, in their comic book adaptation of the Shogun Warriors toyline. A toy version of Leopardon, Spider-Man's robot from the Toei series, was also sold in the United States as part of the Godaikin line.

Although the show's story was criticized for bearing almost no resemblance to the Marvel version, the staff at Marvel Comics, including Spider-Man's co-creator Stan Lee, praised the show for its special effects and stunt work, especially the spider-like movement of the character himself.[4] While it is said that Marvel initially opposed the addition of Leopardon, the robot was viewed as a necessary gimmick to attract younger viewers and was ultimately kept. The show's mechanical designer, Katsushi Murakami (a toy designer at the time), expressed concern about Toei's capability to market Spider-Man to Japanese audiences and was given permission by producer Yoshinori Watanabe to take whatever liberties he deemed necessary. Murakami came up with the idea of giving Spider-Man an extraterrestrial origin, as well as a spider-like spacecraft that could transform into a giant robot (due to the popularity of the giant robot shows in Japan at the time).

The action figure version of Leopardon was initially sold as a part of the Chogokin toyline and became an unprecedented success in the market, which contributed to the TV series' popularity as well.[5] The success of the show made Toei introduce the giant robot concept to their Super Sentai franchise in Battle Fever J (a show which they also co-produced with Marvel) and contributed to Spider-Man's popularity when Marvel began to export more of their properties to Japan during later years.

The head writer of the series was Susumu Takaku (Key Hunter, Mazinger Z, G-Men '75), who wrote 16 episodes and the movie, while former Tsuburaya writer Shōzō Uehara also wrote 15 episodes, including the first episode and the finale. There were many episodes in which the "monster of the week" (usually a "Machine BEM" created by the villain) was not relevant to the plot, as well as two episodes (ep. 12 and ep. 27) which featured no monsters at all. The show also featured a story arc in which the female antagonist Amazoness tries to uncover Spider-Man's secret identity.

Plot[edit]

Young motorcycle racer Takuya Yamashiro sees a UFO falling to earth, in fact a space warship named the "Marveller" from the planet "Spider". Takuya's father Dr. Hiroshi Yamashiro, a space archaeologist, investigates the case, but is killed upon finding the spaceship. The incident also attracts the attention of Professor Monster and his evil Iron Cross Army (鉄十字団 Tetsu Jūji Dan?), an alien group that plans to rule the universe.

Takuya follows his father to the Marveller and discovers Garia, the last surviving warrior of Planet Spider, a world that was destroyed by Professor Monster and the Iron Cross Army. Garia explains that he was hunting Prof. Monster but now needs someone to carry on the fight and he injects Takuya with some of his own blood. The blood of a person from Planet Spider gives Takuya spider-like powers. Garia then gives Takuya a bracelet that can activate his spider protector costume, shoot web-lines, and controls the Marveller ship (which can also transform into a giant battle robot called "Leopardon"). Using his powers, Takuya fights Professor Monster's army and other threats to Earth under the name Spider-Man.

Characters[edit]

Spider-Man[edit]

The Japanese Spider-Man costume.

In this series, Spider-Man's civilian identity is that of Takuya Yamashiro (山城 拓也 Yamashiro Takuya?), a 22-year-old motocross racer. He has the ability to perceive threats from the Iron Cross Army with his Spider-senses. He fights the Iron Cross Army in order to avenge his father's death. To conceal his superhero identity, Takuya acts as a weakling in front of his friends on purpose. As a result, Takuya gets chastised by his friends whenever he runs away from danger and is often compared unfavorably to Spider-Man. Moreover, his financial income as a motorcycle racer decreases after becoming Spider-Man due to his reduced participation in races, forcing him to assist Hitomi in her job to pay for his expenses.

Takuya assumes the identity of Spider-Man when he dons the protective suit known as the Spider-Protector. He is genetically altered as a result of the Spider-Extract injected into his body by Garia, gaining spider-like abilities such as sticking and climbing into walls. Moreover, he can also detect the activities of nearby enemies with his Spider-Senses and his physical strength is greater than the average person. However, he has also inherited some of the same weaknesses actual spiders have, such as a strong sensitivity towards cold temperatures.

Spider-Man keeps his true identity a secret from the public, although his reputation among the public as a defender of justice is established early on. Spider-Man even gets a hit song named after him called the "Spider-Man Boogie".[6] Only Juzo Mamiya and the staff of the Interpol Secret Intelligence Division become aware of Spider-Man's true identity,[7] as they cooperate in various instances in order thwart the various schemes of the Iron Cross Army.

While Spider-Man spends most of the series fighting off Ninders (the Iron Cross Army's foot soldiers), he rarely finishes the Machine BEMs by himself, as they usually turn giant before Spider-Man has the chance to finish one off, forcing Spider-Man to summon Leopardon. Since he very rarely finishes an enemy by himself, always using Leopardon instead, Spider-Man occupies a peculiar position compared to other Japanese super-heroes, in which he has no finishing move or weapon to use such as Kamen Rider's Rider Kick or Kikaider's Denji End.

When Spider-Man faces the enemy in each episode, he will introduce himself while performing a dramatic pose (a tradition also adapted in subsequent Super Sentai shows). The catch-phrase he uses to introduced also varies between episodes. Toei's version of Spider-Man rarely uses his web shooter to swing between buildings, as his main mode of transportation is a car called the Spider Machine GP-7, along with an aircraft called the Marveller (his web shooter instead shoots a rope which he latches onto things and he swings with it using both hands like Tarzan). There are also moments where Spider-Man doesn't use any of his vehicles and moves on foot instead. The scenes of Spider-Man walking in downtown Shinjuku in Episode 23 were shot guerrilla style, since the producers did not ask for a permit to film those scenes

Equipment[edit]

Spider Protector (スパイダープロテクター Supaidā Purotekutā?)
The proper name of Takuya's Spider-Man costume in the show. Unlike his Marvel counterpart, Takuya keeps his outfit stored inside his Spider Bracelet and wears it only when changing identities. When Takuya releases it from his bracelet, it instantly wraps onto his body, allowing Takuya to change into it easily. It is said that only one of the original suits used during the filming of the show has been preserved. The suit that was preserved was the same one that was used during the interview with Stan Lee on the DVD set of the series. When the Japanese Spider-Man suit was seen by American fans on the streets during a photo shoot, many of them were not used to the bracelet on his wrist and asked why Spider-Man was wearing a "silly-looking watch".
Spider Bracelet (スパイダーブレスレット Supaidā Buresuretto?)
A bracelet worn around Spider-Man's left wrist, it substitutes the web shooters from his Marvel counterpart. It is also used to store the Spider Protector when Takuya is not wearing it. Like the web shooters, the Spider Bracelet can shoot nets and Strings made from a special type of liquid called "Spider Fluid", which is stored within the bracelet and is produced indefinitely. The bracelet is also equipped with a homing device that allows Spider-Man to summon the GP-7 or Marveller. No toy version of the Spider Bracelet was ever made during the run of the show's airing, while related products and manga adaptations omitted the bracelet altogether. Moreover, a lighter version of the Spider Bracelet prop was built specifically for action scenes, since the one used in close shots was too heavy for the suit actor to wear during stunts.
Spider Strings (スパイダーストリングス Supaidā Sutoringusu?)
A rope made of spider webbing shot from Spider-Man's Spider Bracelet. It can pull objects that weight more than a hundred tons.
Spider Net (スパイダーネット Supaidā Netto?)
A net made of spider webbing also shot from Spider-Man's Spider Bracelet. It is used to capture a group of enemies at once.

Spider Machine GP-7[edit]

The Spider Machine GP-7 (スパイダーマシンGP-7 Supaidā Mashin Jī Pī Sebun?) is Spider-Man's flying car. The car is equipped with machine guns and missile launchers inside its bonnet. It is usually stored inside the Marveller aircraft and exits the ship from the rear side of its bridge.

Marveller[edit]

The Marveller (マーベラー Māberā?) is the spacecraft that Garia came to Earth with. It is 45 meters tall and weighs over 25,000 tons. It is usually stored underground and surfaces by cracking the ground whenever Spider-Man summons it. The ship's bridge is shaped like a leopard's head,[8] which is where Leopardon's head is stored, and cracks left and right when transforming into robot mode (when it becomes Leopardon, the bridge is located inside its back). Although its shape might not seem suitable to fly within the Earth's atmosphere, it has the capability of flying at a speed of Mach 15. It is capable of flying to outer space at the speed of light. Because Marveller is usually transformed immediately into Leopardon whenever Spider-Man boards it, it is rarely seen in spacecraft mode. The Marveller is primarily equipped with cannons on its bow, which are capable of destroying most Machine BEMs.

Leopardon[edit]

Leopardon, Spider-Man's giant robot.

Leopardon (レオパルドン Reoparudon?) is a giant robot that Marveller can transform into. It is over 60 meters tall and has a weight of over 25,000 tons. According to Murakami, the name may have been taken from the German battle tank Leopard.

Weapons[edit]

Leopardon is equipped with the following types of weapons, which are used depending on the situation.

Arm Rocket (アームロケット Āmu Rokketo?)
A flying rocket punch capable of destroying walls five feet thick.
Arc Turn (アークターン Āku Tān?)
The decoration on Leopardon's head flies around like a boomerang. It emits a ray of light while flying.
Leopardon Strings (レオパルドンストリングス Reoparudon Sutoringusu?)
A rope that attaches onto objects that is launched from its chest.
Spider Protector (スパイダープロテクター Supaidā Purotekutā?)
A shield created from an energy panel emitted by both of Leopardon's lower legs, it takes the shape of a spider web. This shield is shown in promotional materials and stills, but was never actually used in the show.
Sword Vigor (ソードビッカー Sōdo Bikkā?, Sword Vicker)
A sword attached to Leopardon's right leg, Leopardon never actually wields it in combat, throwing it instead for its finishing move against the Machine Bems. It is a powerful weapon due to its capability of destroying most Machine Bems in a single blow.
Apparent invincibility[edit]

Leopardon is said to be the "mightiest instant killing giant robot in the history of tokusatsu programming" according to Toei's official site for the Japanese DVD release of the series.

In reality, only the first few episodes of the series featured actual battle scenes between Leopardon and the giant-sized Machine BEMs, but as the series progressed the dramatic portions of the episodes were made longer, while battle scenes were made shorter in order to keep up with the running time. Because of this, there were numerous episodes in which Leopardon would throw his sword immediately after transforming from Marveller, finishing off the Machine Bem in each episode in a single blow.[9] In the end, Leopardon does not suffer any damages, not even during the final battle against the giant version of Professor Monster, who is finished off with the Sword Vigor throw like most of the previous Machine Bems.

Moreover, Leopardon and the giant-sized Machine Bems rarely appeared together in the same shots,[10] and most of the giant-sized battles involved Leopardon in one shot and the Machine BEM in another launching projectiles at each other.[11] This was because the know-how on building a special effects costume imitating a giant robot was still rather primitive at the time and due to its large size, it often dwarfed the stuntmen in the Machine BEM suits. Due to structural problems, the Leopardon suit was difficult for the stuntman to move in and during the course of the series, the suit was damaged and later lost. As a result, all future fight scenes with Leopardon could only be made using stock footage of previous fights.

As a result, many of the later episodes had Leopardon finishing off each monster as a quickly as possible, making the robot look more powerful than the writers originally intended it to be. Toei's experience with Leopardon would later help them in filming the giant robot battles for their later Super Sentai franchise.

Introductory catch-phrases[edit]

As described above, Spider-Man would stand before the enemy in a dramatic pose, while using a different catch-phrase depending on the situation (in the early episodes, he would often introduce himself as the "Messenger from Hell, Spider-Man" or the "Iron Cross Killer, Spider-Man"). After introducing himself, a version of show's theme song would play as background music as Spider-Man begins to fight. The same shot of Spider-Man conducting the pose would be used repeatedly a couple of times before battle.

Allies[edit]

Hitomi Sakuma (佐久間 ひとみ Sakuma Hitomi?)
Takuya's girlfriend, a 20-year-old freelance photographer. She is the only person besides Spider-Man to ride the Spider Machine GP-7.
Shinko Yamashiro (山城 新子 Yamashiro Shinko?)
Takuya's 18-year-old younger sister, who takes care of the household chores for the Yamashiro residence.
Takuji Yamashiro (山城 拓次 Yamashiro Takuji?)
Takuya's 7-year-old younger brother.
Dr. Yamashiro (山城博士 Yamashiro-hakase?)
Takuya's father. An astronomer who is killed during the first episode after his research led to the discovery of the Iron Cross Army.
Garia (ガリア?)
An alien from Planet Spider. 400 years prior to the events of the first episode, he pursued the Iron Cross Army in search of vengeance after they destroyed his homeworld, but crash-landed into the Earth and was imprisoned in an underground cave for centuries. He is the one who injects Takuya with the Spider Extract.
Juzo Mamiya (間宮 重三 Mamiya Jūzō?)
An investigator in charge of Interpol's Secret Intelligence Division. He manages to uncover the fact that Spider-Man is Takuya and asks for his assistance in their mutual battle against the Iron Cross Army. Upon agreeing, Takuya receives a radio transmitter from him, which allows Spider-Man to rendezvous with Interpol and vice-versa.

Iron Cross Army[edit]

The Iron Cross Army (鉄十字団 Tetsu Jūji Dan?) are the main villains of the series. They are an alien army that has destroyed numerous galaxies in their path of conquest.

Professor Monster (モンスター教授 Monsutā-kyōju?)
The leader of the Iron Cross Army. He was responsible for the destruction of Planet Spider and 400 years afterward, he seeks to conquer the Earth as well. The blood of other lifeforms serves as the source of his immortality. In the final episode, he enlarges himself and turns into "Big Monster", but is defeated by a single strike of Leopardon's "Sword Vicker" attack.
Amazoness (アマゾネス Amazonesu?)
The female commander of the Iron Cross Army. She is in charge of espionage and the planning of attacks. Has the ability to assume numerous disguises. From the beginning of the series, she assumes the identity of Saeko Yoshida (吉田 冴子 Yoshida Saeko?), the editor of Weekly Woman (週刊ウーマン Shūkan-ūman?) magazine. After Spider-Man sees through Saeko's true identity, she disappears from her job and Weekly Woman is discontinued shortly afterward. Although she suspects that Takuya is really Spider-Man, she is unable to prove this without a doubt until the final episode. Her outfit changes throughout the course of the series: she wears a black leotard with her own natural hair for the first 18 episodes; a silver mini-skirt outfit and a red hairpiece for episodes 19 throughout 30 and 32; the same outfit but with a black hairpiece for episodes 31 and 33 to 38; and her original leotard outfit with a hairpiece for the final three episodes.
Bella and Rita (ベラ&リタ Bera to Rita?)
Two ancient female warriors from an uncharted region of the Amazon whose mummified bodies were resurrected by Professor Monster. Bella uses a bow with poisoned arrows, while Rita wields a machine-gun.
Ninders (ニンダー Nindā?, subtitled only as henchmen in Marvel website)
The foot soldiers of the Iron Cross Army. They disguise themselves as humans while conducting undercover missions in public, but are still identifiable by the exposed circuits behind their ears and their metallic hands.

Machine Bem[edit]

Biological weapons created by the Iron Cross Army. A new Machine Bem (マシーンベム Mashīn Bemu?) is usually created for each plot, usually to carry out the Iron Cross Army's plans or to serve as a bodyguard. The origins of the Machine Bems are never fully clarified, although a few of them (like Samson) are actually genetically modified humans, while others (like the Monster Cat) were apparitions brought back to life. The Machine Bems have the ability to change size at will, changing not only to giant size, but also to small palm sizes as well (such as the case with Kabuton). Their ability to enlarge themselves is never actually explained.

  • Machine Bem Boukunryu (暴君竜 Bōkunryū?, lit. Tyrant Dragon) [12]
  • Machine Bem Soutoukin (双頭鬼 Sōtōki?, lit. Double-headed Demon) [13]
  • Machine Bem Genyouchu (幻妖虫 Gen-yōchū?, lit. Miraging Phantom Bug) [14]
  • Machine Bem Mer-Man (半魚人 Han-gyojin?) [15]
  • Machine Bem Chojinju (鳥神獣 Chōjinjū?, lit. Bird God Monster) [16]
  • Machine Bem Robacular (ロバキラー Robakirā?, lit. Donkiller) [17]
  • Machine Bem Sasora (サソラー Sasorā?, lit. Scorpier) [18]
  • Machine Bem Cat Demon Monster (怪猫獣 Kaibyōjū?) [19]
  • Machine Bem Kabuton (カブトン?, lit. Beetleon) [20]
  • Machine Bem Snake Woman (へび女 Hebi On-na?) [21]
  • Machine Bem Sea Devil (海魔王 Kaimaō?, lit. Evil King of Sea) [22]
  • Machine Bem Shinkaioh (深海王 Shinkaiō?, lit. King of Deep Sea) [23]
  • Machine Bem Biker Monster (暴走獣 Bōsōjū?) [24]
  • Machine Bem Big Bat (コウモリ男 Kōmori Otoko?, lit. Bat-Man) [25]
  • Machine Bem Killer Unicorn (キラー一角獣 Kirā Ikkakujū?) [26]
  • Machine Bem Centipede (ムカデ鉄人 Mukade Tetsujin?, lit. Iron Centipede Man) [27]
  • Machine Bem Samson (岩石男サムソン Ganseki Otoko Samuson?, lit. Samson the Rock Man) [28]
  • Machine Bem Carnivorous Plant (食虫植物 Shokuchū Shokubutsu?) [29]
  • Machine Bem Primitive Man (原始人 Genshijin?) [30]
  • Machine Bem Tanto Buffalo (タンクバッファロー Tanku Baffarō?, lit. Tank-Buffalo) [31]
  • Machine Bem Skeleton Beast (ドクロ怪人 Dokuro Kaijin?) [32]
  • Machine Bem White-robed Beast (白衣怪人 Hakui Kaijin?) [32]
  • Machine Bem Sorceress Beast (魔女猿 Majozaru?, lit. Ape Witch) [33]
  • Machine Bem Cockroach Machine (ゴキブリコンビナート Gokiburi Kombināto?, lit. Cockroach Kombinat) [34]
  • Machine Bem Ganima (ガニ魔?, lit. Crub Monster) [35]
  • Machine Bem Volcano Beast (噴火獣 Funkajū?) [36]
  • Machine Bem Magni Catfish (マグニナマズ Maguni Namazu?) [37]
  • Machine Bem Bomb Wolf (爆弾オオカミ Bakudan Ōkami?) [38]
  • Machine Bem Monkfish (アンコウパト Ankōpato?, lit. Patrol Monkfish) [39]
  • Machine Bem Kinokongar (キノコンガー Kinokongā?, lit. Mashroomar) [40]
  • Machine Bem Electric Worm (電気ミミズ Denki Mimizu?) [41]
  • Machine Bem Fire Fox (火焔ギツネ Kaen-Gitsune?, lit. Flame Fox) [42]
  • Machine Bem Scrapman (スクラップマン Sukurappuman?) [43]
  • Machine Bem Tiger Pump (タイガーポンプ Taigā Pompu?) [44]
  • Machine Bem Toothache Alligator (ムシバワニ / イレバワニ Mushibawani / Irebawani?, lit. Tooth-decayed Crocodile / Denture-worn Crocodile) [45]
  • Machine Bem Great Wrestler (大力士ファイター Dairikishi Faitā?, lit. Great Sumo-Wrestling Fighter) [46]
  • Machine Bem Superhuman Fighter (大鳥人ファイター Daichōjin Faitā?, lit. Great Bird-Man Fighter) [46]
  • Machine Bem Air Bomber (空爆エイ Kūbaku-Ei?, lit. Air-striking Ray)[47]

Episode list[edit]

Ep# Translated title/Dub title Japanese Airdate English Airdate
1 "The Time of Revenge Has Come! Beat Down Iron Cross Group!!" / ""
"Fukushū no Toki wa Kitareri! Ute Tetsu Jūji Dan!!" (復讐の時は来たれり! 撃て鉄十字団!!) 
2 "Mysterious World! The Man Who Follows His Fate" / ""
"Kaiki no Sekai! Shukumei ni Ikiru Otoko" (怪奇の世界! 宿命に生きる男) 
3 "Mysterious Thief 001 VS. Spider-Man" / ""
"Kaitō Daburu-Ō Wan Tai Kumo Otoko" (怪盗001vsくも男) 
4 "The Terrifying Half Merman! The Miracle-Calling Silver Thread" / ""
"Kyōfu no Han Kyojin! Kiseki o Yobu Gin no Ito" (恐怖の半魚人! 奇蹟を呼ぶ銀の糸) 
5 "Crash Machine GP-7! The Oath Siblings" / ""
"Gekitotsu Mashin Jī-Pī-Sebun! Kyōdai no Chikai" (激突マシンGP-7! 兄弟の誓い) 
6 "Shuddering Laboratory! Devilish Professor Monster" / ""
"Senritsu no Shikkenshitsu! Akuma no Monsutā Kyōshu" (戦慄の実験室! 悪魔のモンスター教授) 
7 "Fearful Hit Tune! Song Dancing Murder Rock" / ""
"Osoroshiki Hitto Kyoku! Katte Odoru Satsujin Rokku" (恐ろしきヒット曲! 歌って踊る殺人ロック) 
8 "A Very Mysterious Folktale: The Cursed Cat Mound" / ""
"Yo ni mo Fushigi na Mukashi-Banashi Noroi no Neko Zuka" (世にも不思議な昔ばなし 呪いの猫塚) 
9 "Motion Accessory is a Loveful Beetle Insect Spy" / ""
"Ugoku Akusesarī wa Koi no Kabuto Mushi Supai" (動くアクセサリーは恋のカブト虫スパイ) 
10 "To the Flaming Hell: See the Tears of the Snake Woman" / ""
"Honō Jigoku ni Hebi Onna no Namida o Mita" (炎地獄にへび女の涙を見た) 
11 "Professor Monster's Ultra Poisoning" / ""
"Monsutā Kyōshu no Urutora Dokusatsu" (モンスター教授のウルトラ毒殺) 
12 "Becoming Splendid: To the Murderous Machine of Transformation" / ""
"Karei Naru Satsujin Mashīn e no Henshin" (華麗なる殺人マシーンへの変身) 
13 "The Skull Group VS. The Devilish Hearse" / ""
"Dokuro Dan Tai Akuma no Reikyūsha" (ドクロ団対悪魔の霊柩車) 
14 "Giving Father! Fight to the Song of the Hero" / ""
"Chichi ni Sasage yo Tatakae nu Yūsha no Uta o" (父に捧げよ 戦えぬ勇者の歌を) 
15 "The Life of Our Arrangement" / ""
"Boku tachi no Inochi no Yakusoku" (ぼくたちの命の約束) 
16 "Fine Dog! Run to the Under of Father" / ""
"Meiken yo Chichi no moto e Hashire" (名犬よ 父のもとへ走れ) 
17 "Pro Wrestler Samson's Tears" / ""
"Puro Resurā Samuson no Namida" (プロレスラー サムソンの涙) 
18 "In the Mother's Chest: Resurrect the Young Boys" / ""
"Haha no Mune ni Yomigaeru Shōnen" (母の胸に甦る少年) 
19 "The Boy Phantom: To the Villageless Map" / ""
"Maboroshi no Shōnen Chizu ni nai Mura" (まぼろしの少年 地図にない村) 
20 "Riddle: Calling the Riddle of My Secret Birth" / ""
"Nazo ga Nazo o Yobu Watashi no Shuushō no Himitsu" (謎が謎を呼ぶ私の出生の秘密) 
21 "Fall to the Great Skies: Father's Love" / ""
"Ōzora ni Chiru Chichi no Ai" (大空に散る父の愛) 
22 "Shedding Tears to the Dark Fate: Father and Child" / ""
"Kurai Unmei ni Nake Chichi to Ko" (暗い運命に泣け 父と子) 
23 "To the Love Academy of the Homeless Children" / ""
"Ienakiko Tachi ni Ai no Gakuen o" (家なき子たちに愛の学園を) 
24 "Cockroach Boy: Great War" / ""
"Gokiburi Shōnen Dai Sensō" (ゴキブリ少年大戦争) 
25 "Treasure, Dog, and Double Grow Human" / ""
"Hihō to Inu to Fuku Sei Ningen" (秘宝と犬と複成人間) 
26 "To the Absolute Crisis: The Imitation Hero" / ""
"Zettai Pinchi no Nisemono Hīrō" (絶対ピンチのにせものヒーロー) 
27 "Farewell War Buddy: Beloved German Shepherd" / ""
"Saraba Sen'yū Itoshi no Sepādo" (さらば戦友 愛しのセパード) 
28 "The Front of the Alley: Boys' Detective Group" / ""
"Ekimae Yokochō no Shōnen Tantei Dan" (駅前横町の少年探偵団) 
29 "Hurry, GP-7: Time of Stop Sign" / ""
"Isoge Jī-Pī-Sebun Jikan yo Tomare" (急げGP-7 時間よ止まれ) 
30 "Good Luck, Beautiful Police Officer" / ""
"Ganbare Bijin Omawarisan" (ガンバレ美人おまわりさん) 
31 "There Is No Child-Taking Detective Tomorrow" / ""
"Ashita naki Kotsure Keiji" (明日なき子連れ刑事) 
32 "Sweet Whispering Enchantress" / ""
"Amaku Sasayaku Yōjo" (甘くささやく妖女) 
33 "The Boy Teases the Horrible Wild Girl" / ""
"Otokonoko o Ibiru Yasei no Sugoi Shōjo" (男の子をイビる野性の凄い少女) 
34 "Surprising Camera: Murderous Event" / ""
"Bikkuri Kamera Satsujin Jiken" (びっくりカメラ殺人事件) 
35 "From the Unexplored Amazon: Here Comes the Mummified Beautiful Woman" / ""
"Hikyō Amazon Kara Kita Mīra Bijo" (秘境アマゾンから来たミイラ美女) 
36 "The Onion Silver Mask and the Boys' Detective Group" / ""
"Tamanegi Gin Kamen to Shōnen Tantei Dan" (たまねぎ鉄仮面と少年探偵団) 
37 "From the Secret Messenger of Hell: Great King Enma" / ""
"Jigoku Kara no Missha Enma Daiō" (地獄からの密使 えん魔大王) 
38 "The First Tin Plate Evening Star and the Boys' Detective Group" / ""
"Buriki no Ichibanboshi to Shōnen Tantei Dan" (ブリキの一番星と少年探偵団) 
39 "Sports World: One Great Meeting" / ""
"Kakutōki Sekai Ichidai Kai" (格闘技世界一大会) 
40 "Farewell Zero Battle Tricks" / ""
"Saraba Zero Sen no Nazo" (さらばゼロ戦の謎) 
41 "The Hero's Shining Hot Blood" / ""
"Kagayake Nekketsu no Yūsha" (輝け熱血の勇者) 

Movie[edit]

A theatrical version of Spider-Man was shown on the Toei Manga Matsuri film festival on July 22, 1979. It was directed by series director Kōichi Takemoto and written by Susumu Takaku. The movie was the first appearance of the character of Juzo Mamiya, who subsequently appeared in three episodes of the series (episodes 11, 12 and 14). Because of this, the movie takes place between episodes 10 and 11.

Cast[edit]

  • Takuya Yamashiro: Shinji Todō (all episodes)
  • Hitomi Sakuma: Rika Miura (ep. 1-12, 14-15, 17-18, 20-41)
  • Shinko Yamashiro: Izumi Ōyama (ep. 1-39, 41)
  • Takuji Yamashiro: Yoshiharu Yabuki (ep. 1-16, 18-24, 26-27, 29-33, 35-39, 41)
  • Professor Monster: Mitsuo Andō (all episodes)
  • Amazoness: Yukie Kagawa (all episodes)
  • Garia:Toshiaki Nishizawa (ep. 1-2)
  • Dr. Hiroshi Yamashiro: Fuyuki Murakami (ep. 1)
  • Jūzō Mamiya: Noboru Nakaya (Movie, ep. 11-12, 14)
  • Rita: Rie Rinehart (ep. 35-41)
  • Bella: Tina Margo (ep. 35-38), Wanita Somaborudo (ep. 39-41)
  • Narrator: Tōru Ōhira (all episodes)
  • Spider-Man's suit actor: Hirofumi Koga (all episodes), Ryusuke Sakitsu (ep. 17, 18)
  • Voice of various Machine BEMs: Shōzō Iizuka (ep. 1-7, 13-21, 26, 28-38, Movie)
  • Voice of various Machine BEMs: Hisako Kyōda (ep. 8, 23)
  • Voice of various Machine BEMs: Shin Aomori (ep. 24-25)

Staff[edit]

Theme songs[edit]

Opening theme
  • "Kakero! Spider-Man" (駆けろ!スパイダーマン Kakero! Supaidāman?, Run! Spider-Man)
    • Lyrics: Saburo Yatsude
    • Composition & Arrangement: Michiaki Watanabe (listed as Chumei Watanabe)
    • Artist: Yuki Hide
Ending theme
  • "Chikai no Ballade" (誓いのバラード Chikai no Barādo?, The Oath's Ballade)
    • Lyrics: Saburo Yatsude
    • Composition & Arrangement: Michiaki Watanabe (listed as Chumei Watanabe)
    • Artist: Yuki Hide

Availability[edit]

7 Disc DVD Boxset

Because of the aforementioned licensing deal between Toei and Marvel, Toei cannot use the Spider-Man character, nor reprint any photographs or illustrations of the character from the series without paying licensing fees to Marvel. On the other hand, characters and other elements exclusive to Toei's television series (such as the villains and the giant robot Leopardon), are exempt from these legal issues, as these were creations of Toei.

As a result, only a single VHS collection of episodes (which featured episodes 1, 31, and the movie) was released in Japan during the 1980s, and reprints of the official soundtrack had the original cover on the jacket replaced with an image of Leopardon. The rest of the series was unavailable on home video for a long period. The 1995 superhero guidebook Chōjin Gahō (超人画報 The Super Heroes Chronicle?) (published by Takeshobo) was the last time Toei was allowed to officially publish a photograph of Spider-Man. In every official book and source published afterward, Toei was allowed to cover their Spider-Man television series, but they were not allowed to republish photographs of Spider-Man himself.

In 2004, Toei began renegotiating with Marvel for the rights to release the series on DVD in Japan. The Region 2 DVD Box set was released on December 9, 2005, and included all 41 episodes and the movie on seven discs, as well as a booklet which republished every publicity still Toei shot for the series that included Spider-Man. Later, on July 2006, Bandai released a series of toys related to the Toei's Spider-Man TV series, such as the Soul of Chogokin GX-33 Leopardon toy robot (with a Spider-Man figure included), the "Soul of Soft Vinyl" Spider-Man action figure, and a Popynica Spider-Machine GP-7 toy car. However, Toei has advertised the DVD set as the first and last time they will re-release the series, and as a result Toei's Spider-Man movie was excluded in the Toei Tokusatsu Hero: The Movie Box set.

On March 5, 2009, Marvel began broadcasting the series to an international audience for the first time ever on their official video streaming website. A different episode (including the movie version) was uploaded every week until the entire was available on December 17 of the same year.[2] These episodes are shown in their original Japanese audio with English subtitles.

Cultural references[edit]

  • Apart from the costume and powers of the main character, this TV series is unrelated to Ryoichi Ikegami's earlier manga adaptation of Spider-Man or the original Spider-Man comics. However, several manga adaptations of the Toei version were published by different magazines, such as TV Land, Tanoshī Yōchien, TV Magazine, and Bōken'ō.[48]
  • Takuya Yamashiro and Leopardon will appear in the 2014 comic book event Spider-Verse, alongside other alternate universe versions of Spider-Man such as Miles Morales and Spider-Man 2099.[49]
  • After the completion of Spider-Man, Toei began developing a new show with Marvel that would have starred a Japanese counterpart of Captain America named Captain Japan. However, the show was retooled during development and aired as Battle Fever J, the third installment of Toei's Super Sentai series.[50]
  • This was the second series to have a superhero (as opposed to a costumed pilot) ride a giant robot, the first being Ganbaron. The success of this series led to the revival of the Sentai series as the "Super Sentai Series." "Battle Fever J" (1979), the third Sentai Series, was the first "Super Sentai," as the five heroes therein rode a giant robot.
  • Spider-Man's transforming giant robot Leopardon (which transforms from the huge spacecraft Marveller, named in honor of the Marvel Comics Group) was featured in America in both Mattel's Shogun Warriors toy collection (only the 3" figure version, named "Leopardon") and Bandai America's Godaikin toy line (Bandai Japan's deluxe diecast toy with complete transforming features). A new Leopardon toy was produced in 2006 under Bandai's Soul of Chogokin line.
  • One of the monsters in the show has a resemblance to Marvel's Ben Grimm, aka the Thing, having similar rock-like skin.
  • Stan Lee, in an interview conducted by Toei, stated that he enjoyed the way Spider-Man was done, especially with Leopardon and the way that it was filmed. He also stated that he was invited by Toei to do a future sequel to Spider-Man with him doing the storyline.[51]
  • The show was lampooned on an episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, referencing the release of the Japanese Spider-Man 3 trailer.
  • The show was also lampooned on an episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien.
  • The series' main villain, Professor Monster, resembles Dr. Doom.
  • The TV series is referred to several times in the novel Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Leopardon also plays a key role in the novel's story.

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ "Spider-Man on TV". IGN. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  2. ^ a b Japanese Spider-Man Movie Hub at Marvel.com
  3. ^ The character who would've appeared on this show was intended to be identical to the Marvel version.
  4. ^ In a video interview with Stan Lee featured in the Japanese DVD release of the series, Stan Lee comments that the show did a excellent job of adapting Spider-Man's abilities into live-action at a time when there was no CG effects.
  5. ^ According to the August 2003 issue of Japanese magazine Toy Journal, the sales of the Leopardon toy exceeded those of Daitetsujin 17 and Tōshō Daimos.
  6. ^ Episode 7
  7. ^ Starting with the Movie and every episode in the series from 11 and onward.
  8. ^ According to Murakami, one of the early ideas for the alien Spider-Man was that he was responsible for constructing the Sphinxes in Egypt.
  9. ^ There were also episodes in which the Marveller ship destroyed a Machine Bem without transforming into Leopardon. In fact, there are as many as seven episodes in which the giant monster battles only lasted less than 15 seconds. A few episodes did not even feature Leopardon at all.
  10. ^ With the exceptions of a few of the early episodes, such as Episode 4
  11. ^ The majority of the battles consisted of a sequence of three shots: a) Leopardon removes the sword from his foot; b) Leopardon throws the sword at his enemy; and c) the Machine BEM is pierced by the sword, causing the monster to explode.
  12. ^ Episode 1- "The Time for Revenge Has Come! Attack the Iron Cross Army!"
  13. ^ Episode 2- "Mysterious World! The Man Who Follows His Fate"
  14. ^ Episode 3- "Mysterious Thief 001 VS. Spider-Man"
  15. ^ Episode 4- "The Terrifying Half Merman! Calling the Miracle Silver Thread"
  16. ^ Episode 5- "Crash Machine GP-7! The Oath Siblings"
  17. ^ Episode 6- "Shuddering Laboratory! Devilish Professor Monster"
  18. ^ Episode 7- "Fearful Hit Tune! Song Dancing Murder Rock"
  19. ^ Episode 8- "Once Upon a Time in the Mysteriousless World: The Cursed Cat Mound"
  20. ^ Episode 9- "Motion Accessory is a Loveful Beetle Insect Spy"
  21. ^ Episode 10- "To the Flaming Hell: See the Tears of the Snake"
  22. ^ Episode 0- "Movie"
  23. ^ Episode 11- "Professor Monster's Ultra Poisoning"
  24. ^ Episode 13- "Skull Gang VS. The Devil's Hearse"
  25. ^ Episode 14- "Dedicate the Song of the Powerless Brave to My Father"
  26. ^ Episode 15- "Our Promise of Life"
  27. ^ Episode 16- "Clever Dog, Run Back to Dad!"
  28. ^ Episode 17- "Tears of Samson, The Professional Wrestler"
  29. ^ Episode 18- "The Boy Who Restores His Faith In His Mother"
  30. ^ Episode 20- "Riddle: Calling the Riddle of My Secret Birth"
  31. ^ Episode 21- "Father's Love Sparkles in the Sky"
  32. ^ a b Episode 22- "Tears of a Dark Fate for a Father and a Daughter"
  33. ^ Episode 23- "A School of Love for Children Without Homes"
  34. ^ Episode 24- "The Great Battle of the Cockroach Boy!"
  35. ^ Episode 25- "The Treasure, The Dog and The Body Double"
  36. ^ Episode 26- "The Fake Hero in a Treacherous Predicament"
  37. ^ Episode 28- "The Station Neighborhood Youth Detective Club"
  38. ^ Episode 29- "Hurry, GP7! Stop the Time!"
  39. ^ Episode 30- "Fight on, Police Woman"
  40. ^ Episode 31- "No Tomorrow for the Detective and Son"
  41. ^ Episode 32- "The Sweet Whisper of an Enchantress"
  42. ^ Episode 33- "The Boy Teases the Horrible Wild Girl"
  43. ^ Episode 34- "Surprising Camera: Murderous Event"
  44. ^ Episode 35- "From the Unexplored Amazon: Here Comes the Mummified Beautiful Woman"
  45. ^ Episode 38- "The First Tin Plate Evening Star and the Boys' Detective Group"
  46. ^ a b Episode 39- "The Greatest Martial Arts Tournament in the World!"
  47. ^ Episode 40- "Farewell to the Mystery of the Zero"
  48. ^ "Manga versions of Toei's Spider-Man". 
  49. ^ http://comicsalliance.com/japanese-spider-man-marvel-comics-spider-verse/
  50. ^ Spider-Man Page, Japan Hero Encyclopedia. Retrieved on February 23, 2007.
  51. ^ Stan Lee interview, Volume 8, Spider-Man DVD Boxset.

External links[edit]