Cult TV

Cult TV Essentials: Spider-Man (Toei)

Spider-Man (Toei) was a Japanese interpretation of Spiderman which ran for 41 episodes between 1978-1979 and had a movie. A theatrical version of Spider-Man was shown on the Toei Manga Matsuri film festival on July 22, 1978. 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), as the movie takes place between episodes 10 and 11.

Toei_Spider-Man_costume

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.

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, 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.

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