Note: The disks I have are in Japanese, without dubbing or subtitles. I only know about twenty or so words of Japanese, although many of those are words that are likely to occur in tokusatsu. The challenge I am setting myself is to see whether I can follow what's going on in these without knowing what's being said.
We start with what my disk set calls an "Intro Movie", although it's only about 25 minutes long.
Our Hero, who seems to be called "Yamashiro", is having a nap, and has a bad dream about being stuck in room. He hears a cry for help ("Tasukete!") and rescues his sister (Well, she calls him " oneechan", so I'm assuming she's his sister) and a kid (Nephew? Kid Brother?) from a gang of thugs dressed like Grey Bird-People (GBP). He switches to Spider-Man and fights them, but they literally vanish.
He is observed by Internal Dialogue Mustache Man (IDMM). Yamashiro gets a disturbing phone call, and then we see Spidey doing a lot of climbing. (Seriously, there are tons of climbing shots in this. Plus, the camera has a tendency to linger lovingly on Spidey's butt.) He breaks into a room, and IDMM is there. I believe IDMM is a cop - at least, he says "Interpol" alot. IDMM shows him footage of kids and young women at a pool. (I think IDMM knows Spidey's ID.) He also shows him footage of Fish-Headed Guy (FHG) firing torpedoes at a ship. I assume that IDMM has successfully recruited Spidey, as we see them shake hands. Spidey battles some GBPs, but it's a distraction as IDMM is kidnapped! Mystey Woman With Hat (MWWH) observes. Spidey finds a note stuck to a wall, which I assume is a ransom or a threat.
Episode 14: I found this one a little disjointed, so bear with me. We begin with explosions, and one of those things with the ball-beatings that bounce off of each other that then something about Spider-Man and Interpol, then exercise class.I don't know what they're called. Rocket Wolf is crawling through airducts. We see Important Guy in a car. A kid on a bicycle (His son?) delivers him a lunch in what looks like a camera case. Hitomi is nagging Tak again. Important Guy blows up. Spidey arrives and chases some heels, and stalks Amazoness through a building. Professor Monster has Rocket Wolf in a cage. Spidey beats up some wispy bachelors, then confronts Rocket Wolf. The fight music occasionally sounds like the Batman theme played at the wrong speed Rocket Wolf kicks Spidey's butt, so he runs away home. We see that Tak has rapid healing.
In civvies, Amazoness receives delivery of a giant humidifier with Rocket Wolf inside. they threaten an old guy. Hitomi argues with Tak, then leaves in a huff. Interpol stakes out a building. Tak goes to the park, where he watches a father and son kick a ball around. He haz a sad. He then goes and leaves flowers at a grace in a Catholic cemetery. Apparently, his father was a Christian? He sees the children of Blown-Up Guy. As Spidey, he confronts the son, and then summons GP-7. I think the gag is that the Iron Whatevers are extorting money from rich people. Spidey infiltrates a building where GBPs are harassing old people, and fights them. (The GBPS, not the old people) Rocket Wolf grows to giant size, and Spidey beats him with just Marveller this time. Tak goes riding with Hitomi, and they see Blown-Up Guy's kids.
Overall: Another OK episode. Rocket Wolf was a good monster design.
Bala-chan-7 was very insistent that she be brushed right now last night, so my attention was distracted early on.
The title had “GP-7” in it, so I assume this one was “Hurry, GP-7 — Time of Stop Sign.”
“The fight music occasionally sounds like the Batman theme played at the wrong speed”
I thought it sounded like the “Batman” theme, too, except instead of “Na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na—Batman!” it went “Na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na, na-na…” endlessly.
“We see that Tak has rapid healing.”
Not only that, but he actually extruded a bullet from his chest through sheer force of will.
“He then goes and leaves flowers at a grace in a Catholic cemetery.”
I agree that was his father’s grave, although he flashed back to the guy who gave him his powers.
“I think the gag is that the Iron Whatevers are extorting money from rich people.”
I believem they had a bomb (or several bombs) set in that building. At the end we are shown a shot of the building still standing… thanks to Spider-Man.
“Rocket Wolf was a good monster design.”
“Rocket Wolf” looked as if he might have been designed by Timothy Truman. In GrimJack, Truman would often populate the trans-dimensional city of Cynosure with killer bunnies, space beavers, werewolves in Santa Claus costumes, etc.
Episode 15: Another one I didn't 100% follow, but I'll do my best.
Samson the pro wrestler loses a bout. He talks to a guy on a crutch about Spider-Man.. Spidey is beating up some GBPs. Amazoness talks to Samson and Crutchman. Hitomi's complaining about something again, she runs away. Tak getsas a phone call about Spider-Man. He goes and talks to Samson and Crutchman about Spidey, while the Professor and Amazoness watch. They must suspect at least a connection between Tak and Spidey, because they have pictures of Tak's family and friends.
Tak spots a camera watching his conversation. He lets Samson knock him down. The Professor has what looks like a mutant rotisserie chicken in a glass cube. Spidey goes to the gym and talks to Crutchman, who tells him that Samson left with Amazoness. Someone shoots at Spidey and Crutchman. While Amazoness confronts Spidey, Samson, wearing a bad Ben Grimm costume, tries to run down Crutchman,who is pretty nimble for a guy with a bad leg. SamsonThing runs him down. Spidey leaps onto the truck, then summons GP-7. What is obviously a toy truck falls into some water. SamsonThing tosses Spidey, then grows to giant-size, Marveller,Leopardon, Sword of Vigor, the end.
Overall: OK. I was a bit disappointed, I thought Samson would be saved somehow.
This one’s title is obviously “Pro Wrestler Samson’s Tears.”
Was the guy on the crutch maybe Samson’s manager?
“The Professor has what looks like a mutant rotisserie chicken in a glass cube.”
I thought it looked like a dinosaur turd.
On a purely meta-textual level, I liked this one because it looked like Spider-Man vs. the Thing.
(I totally missed that “The Thing” was Samson in costume.)
The guy firing at Spidey from the cab of the truck must have been the worst shot on the show ever (and that’s saying something).
Yeah, even I would have been able to hit Spidey at that range.
The title had “GP-7” in it, so I assume this one was “Hurry, GP-7 — Time of Stop Sign.”
No, that's not right. It must have been "Crash Machine GP-7! - The Oath Siblings."
Episode 16: A school kid finds a briefcase with money in it, gives it to his mom who works in a restaurant. A thug takes it from her. Spidey corners the thug, but Amazoness remotely detonates the briefcase. The cops question the mother, but I get the impression that they don't take her seriously. Later, the kid - whose name is Yoichi - reads a paper to his mother about mothers and fathers. I"m getting the vibe that Yoichi's father is dead.
Amazoness is surprised to meet the Professor's latest monster, Plant-Guy, who looks a bit like a cross between Mayor-McCheese-Has-Been-in-a-Fire and a Venus fly-trap. He has hurricane breath. She then reminisces about people hitting each other with sticks. The Yamashiros are eating again. They see something in the a paper. Yoichi is beaten up by his schoolmates, for being a little freak, or something. Tak tries to talk to Yoichi, who leaves in a huff. Tak finds Yoichi's paper.
Yoichi's mom is upset about something. He wgis out, and stows away on the heels' truck. Spidey puts a Spider-Tracer on ti, and follows. Spidey fights Plant-guy. Amazoness has Yoichi thrown in a river, but Spidey saves him. Plant-Guy grows to giant-size, Marveller, Leopardon, Sword of Vigor, the end. Yoichi reconciles with his mom (I get the impression the neighbors think they're both nuts). Tak approves.
Overall: Not a bad episode. I like Plant-Guy's design.
“Amazoness remotely detonates the briefcase…”
…blowing the thug to itty bitty bits.
I"m getting the vibe that Yoichi's father is dead.
Yeah. You know she’s trying her best, though, because their favorite game is making silly faces at each other. Yoichi at first didn’t seem too pleased that the briefcase of money he found was stolen from his mom, but a few silly faces and all was forgiven.
Amazoness is surprised to meet the Professor's latest monster, Plant-Guy, who looks a bit like a cross between Mayor-McCheese-Has-Been-in-a-Fire and a Venus fly-trap.
I can see that.
Amazoness has Yoichi thrown in a river, but Spidey saves him.
One of the better action sequences of the series, I thought.
“I get the impression the neighbors think they're both nuts.”
Maybe if they’d stop making silly faces at each other all the time…
Plant-Guy grows to giant-size, Marveller, Leopardon, Sword of Vigor, the end.
“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. 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, and most of the giant-sized battles involved Leopardon in one shot and the Machine BEM in another launching projectiles at each other. 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.”
Tak always sounds like he's in such a panic when he calls Marveller. I always think of him saying, "Hey, Abbooooottt!"
How do you lose a robot suit?