I have finally finished watching the Japanese Spider-man series after having the set of subtitled episodes for over two years. It is Spider-man as the hyphen is there in the credits, no matter how fans want to transliterate it. I've had to come to the conclusion that it's just not that great a show, which the lifelong Spider-man fan in me really hates to say. Had I seen it in 1978 at age 13, I think it's safe to say I would have loved it more than any show in the world. Alas, that didn't happen.
I've thought about why, and I think it's just the stories didn't quite have the flow they should, and were a bit erratic at times. Almost every episode followed the same formula, and it felt like they tried to shoehorn a kid with a dead or dying parent in there as well. There were a handful of really good episodes, but it seemed as though it never quite gelled.
They also could have done a bit more with the subplot of Amazoness and Professor Monster, with Rita and Bella trying to take her spot. That sort of played out in the last episode and also came out of the blue. And having to have Leopardon in every episode really got old. Since most of the robot's appearance was stock footage it got obvious in a hurry, though perhaps a weekly viewing wouldn't be so bad.
I think there's a good movie in here, take about five episodes with a little judicious editing and you'd have an exciting movie. I'd use the first episode, the two with Zubat, I mean Hiroshi Miyauchi, one introducing Bella and Rita and then the end. I'd also only use Leopardon twice, making that appearance much more special. I'd just edit the monsters as getting killed in human size by the heroes. See? Action packed!
Speaking of that last episode, it really does just end, no wrap up like most Japanese superhero shows. I was a bit disappointed in it. So I'll watch the show again in the future and see if any of this changes, but it will be a while.