Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Japanese Spider-Man


Marvel.com has putting up their Animated TV series on-line to view for free. That's great and all - but what really caught my eye was the Japanese Live Action Spider-man. It's subbed and everything - You can see the episodes here: Japanese Spider-Man

A lot was changed to make Spider-man conform to other Japanese heroes like Ultraman and Kamen Rider. He doesn't face his regular cast of villains, but fights against the Iron Cross Empire lead by Doctor Monster. Spider-Man also gained his powers from a UFO, which gave him irradiated Spider-Blood. Oh, and he also had a giant robot. The robot was called Leopardon - and it just strikes me as so funny that the perpetually broke Spider-Man can afford a giant robot!

Apparently, this series had a big impact on Tokusatsu shows - as it popularized the idea of a giant robot battle in addition to the regular hero fighting. Battle Fever J, the first Super Sentai series to feature a giant robot, apparently resulted from the deal between Marvel and Toei. Just think about that for a second - as Spider-man, an American icon, helped revolutionize one of the cornerstones of Japanese Pop Culture. The Sentai series, using giant robots still to this day, over 30 years later - is perhaps thanks to Spider-Man in some small way.

While this isn't the Spider-man we're familiar with - the movement and action of Spider-man fits in the Tokusatsu genre perfectly. It simply looked incredible to see the character, in a realistic looking fabric suit, clinging to walls and crouching down in Spider-man's distinctive way.

1 comment:

  1. If only Japanese Spider-Man had been worked into "Spectacular Spider-Man" as a foreign-exchange student...Maybe have Sandman grow to humongous size, which would give him cause to pull out Leopardon.

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