Hey guys Blue Beast from the Shard warriors here. Ill be reviewing "Supaidâman" the weird japanese take on the webcrawler. The first episode is fun as long as you don't expect it to be really even close to the Marvel original (other then the costume and basic powers). Click on "Read More" to read my thoughts on episode 1
Introduction of the show:
Welcome, True Believers, to the review of one of the weirdest Tokusatsu shows out there:”Supaidâman aka SPIDER-MAN!”
You read correctly: this is not the illegal and cheaply made version of the character produced in Turkey at about the same time. As you can see by the official copyright of Marvel in the intro, this was sanctioned by Stan Lee himself.After the short lived CBS series was canceled (even though ratings were good for the show), Stan Lee agreed to a three year contract with Toei in which Marvel and Toei could use each others characters in their media.Even though the story has nothing to do with Spider-Man (other then the costume and his basic powers), Stan liked the special effects and the stunt work for the show since they mimicked Spidey's quick spider-like movements envisioned in the comics. In comparison, the CBS version of Spider-Man moves like a grandpa, which I always disliked, even as a kid. Takuya Yamashiro has appeared with other Spider-Men from around the Marvel Multiverse in issues of the Spider-Verse and Spider-Geddon comics, making this show's universe canonically part of the Marvel Multiverse (officially designated Earth-51778).
I could go into more detail, but I should start the review before this becomes a novel:
Overall opinion: An action packed pilot episode that sets up the series nicely. Definitely recommended for tokusatsu fans, and Marvel fans interested in checking out obscure spidey-related media.
In the first episode, the spaceship “Marveller” (You just gotta "MARVEL" at the creativity here, ;) ) crash lands on earth and Dr. Yamashiro investigates the ship with his two female assistants. He wanted his son, motorcycle racer Takuya Yamashiro, to accompany him, but he wants to go to a race instead.
"Shutup nerds, the only thing that matters is the RACE!!!"
Dr. Yamashiro is killed by the Monster of the week, a giant lizard cyborg thing (Maybe slightly inspired by “the Lizard”, one of Spidey's enemies) while the chicks flee. Takuya gets constantly psychically called by his “brother”, so instead of going to the race he follows the call to the crash site.
"Tiny Kaiju is cute (and in mint condition), but remember don't feed it after midnight..."
"...because you will get full size MURDERING KAIJU! (Batteries not included)"
There he finds his dying dad, who tells him about the alien invaders he has been tracking, and makes Takuya swear to find and defeat them. Takuya is understandably upset and cries. I really think the writers were doing their version of “Uncle Ben's” death, as Takuya refuses to go help his dad, instead going to a race, in a same way Peter refused to defeat the robber who kills uncle Ben. It doesn't match up perfectly, but I do believe that was the starting point
"Remember Pe..Takuya, with great power comes great responsibility"
Takuya gets attacked by Iron Cross Army mooks. The mooks have weird beaks, but otherwise look like any Tokusatsu cannon fodder. He gets his ass handed to him and is fatally wounded on the neck. As he is bleeding to death he stumbles into a cave where he finds Garia, who saves him using an armband that injects Takuya with Garias “Spider-Blood”. That saves Takuya and gives him the powers of Spider-Man. Garia is the last surviving member of “Planet Spider” that was destroyed 400 years ago by the Iron Cross Army led by the evil Professor Monster who, you guessed it, is planning to take over earth. Garia has been poisoned by Prof Monster 400 years ago, and held on to find the one person who can hear his psionic plead for help, Takuya. He then collapses and turns into a spider, because why not?
"We are the Beak Biker gang, and were here to strike a pose and peck you TO DEATH!"
"Im from Planet Spider, and I have this green rin...I mean "Spider Extract" for you."
This origin feels more like a mixture of Superman and Green Lanterns origin to me, which I don't mind. This is a crazy ride and I am not complaining so far.
Later on he gives Takuya a crash course on his powers and gadgets and Spider man suits up for the first time, with the suit being released from a chamber in the bracelet then hilariously flying on Takuya super fast. It is similar to how the flash has his suit compressed in a ring that he wears, good stuff.
"With a push of a button..."
"...you can be Spidey too!"
Takuya, aka now Spidey for the first time hides from his family the same way Tobey Mcguire did in Spider-Man, by climbing on the ceiling of the room, a classic scene from the comics.
"Did Sony rip off Toei then?"
"Supaidaman, Supaidaman, does whatever a "Supaida" can..."
"Supaidaman", then follows the Iron Cross Army using his Spider-Sense. There is a small montage of web slinging and building climbing stunts, that look pretty cool for the time and budget of the show. He saves a Prof Fujita, and beats the shit out of the “Beak” goons, and even uses his webs multiple times. Amazoness the female releases the toy sized “Machine Bem” which grows to human size. Spidey fights him, until he grows to colossal kaiju size. He webs the Lizard dude who smashes spidey into a mountain (its a neat effect using a spidey toy or doll). Holy shit this Webs linger can take a beating! Peter would be probably dead or at least injured and knocked out. Takuya calls for Marveller, jumps into his flying car, shoots missiles at Lizard then docks with the ship. Because as we know, this isn't yet his final form!
"I got you!"
"Kaiju has got a Yo-yo! SMASH!"
He changed Marveller to Leopardon fights Lizard dude using boomerang, and finishes him off with his sword. Spidey drives of in his car into the sunset swearing revenge, and Prof Monster declares Spider-Man the greatest enemy of the Iron Cross Army. The end.
"What shall we name Spideys robot? Mechaspider, Arachnotron or Optimus Web? All wrong! We will call it Leopardon, because you know, Spidey has alot to do with Leopards!"
"I Dr Do...ehm Prof Monster will get you next time SPIDER-MAN!!! MUAHMUAHMUAHAHAHAR!!!"
Even tough the shows shares little with the source material, this episode was a fast wild Tokusatsu ride with plenty of practical stunts, and lots of dramatic zooms that were typical for this era and this genre. I only wished they would co produced a US show, but with the effect and stunt directors of Toei I would wished if the villain would have been more like the Green Goblin or something. However I believe Prof Monster is very loosely based on Dr Doom.
All in all it was a fun episode, and I recommend it to Tokusatsu fans and Spidey fans, that don't expect a classical spider man story.
Till next time true Believers!