Come have a laugh with some out-of-context clips from Japanese Spider-Man

Originally published at: Come have a laugh with some out-of-context clips from Japanese Spider-Man | Boing Boing


Enter Miles Morales, Gwen “Ghost Spider” Stacy, Silk, Spider-Punk, and several other characters that are essentially the New Coke to Spider-Man’s Coca-Cola classic.

I think of it more like the new Coke Freestyle soda fountains…


The stunt actor nailed the comic book poses; very Steve Ditko.

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The live action Spiderman I remember was on The Electric Company.

And all these clips only came from four episodes! (I kid, but I’m seeing some indicators a lot of clips came from a few episodes, here - and given the nature of such shows, you could probably harvest such clips pretty easily from the rest of the show, too.)

The Japanese tv show always has felt rather… ironic. Spider-Man is a very urban character that only makes sense in a densely built-up city like New York (swinging and climbing are his whole thing, so he needs things to climb on and swing from), and Japan is a perfect place to relocate the character, as it has a good number of such environments. Except the budget constraints of the show meant it was disproportionately set in open, rural areas, so it might as well have been Idaho. (So now he needs a car, and the robot because his whole schtick is gone, so he needs something else to make him remotely interesting, thereby accidentally creating the tokusatsu tv show formula of regular-sized masked heroes who fight giant monsters.)

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As an interesting aside, Japanese Spider-Man is a Marvel/Toei co-production, and took over the timeslot from two prior Toei live-action superhero shows - JAKQ in 1977 and before that Gorenger. The prior shows were teams of costumed heroes fighting monsters, but Spider-Man was the first one where the the monsters would grow to massive size and the character would defeat them using a giant robot. Spider-Man was succeeded by a show called Battle Fever J which returned to the team format and kept the giant robot. It was another Marvel/Toei co-production and the characters were all themed around national identity with the original plan that one of them would be Captain America, but that changed during pre-production.

This became an almost annual thing, with a new show coming along introducing a new team of clean-cut young heroes who’d fight monsters that grow to giant size and would then fight them with one or more giant robots, and in 1993, the 16th installment in the series, Zyuranger was licensed for release in the US by Saban Entertainment. Saban kept the footage of the characters in their full costumes and all the effects shots, shooting footage with American actors to frame the action, and this was of course the first series of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.

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