Credits

I would like to give credit where credit is due. Videos are from YouTube and other sources such as NicoNico while Oricon rankings and other information are translated from the Japanese Wikipedia unless noted.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Yuuki Hide -- Kakero! Spider-Man(駆けろ!スパイダーマン)

 

Well...just when I thought things were starting to quieten down a tad in Marvel Land (haven't seen "What If?" yet) before "Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings" makes its premiere next month, out comes not only the final trailer for "Eternals" but also "Spider-Man: No Way Home". Man, Marvel is really pushing the whole multiverse thing now. 

In any case, in a similar way to how "Captain America: Civil War" looked like "Avengers 2.5", this latest Spidey movie featuring Tom Holland is making me wonder if this is "Doctor Strange 1.5". There's plenty of bang for the buck here and I'm sure that just like "Avengers: Endgame", there is a lot in this movie that is not being shown in the trailer, although we get to see an old welcome face again at the end.


Now going back further in the "Spider-Man" lore, earlier in the spring, I had devoted one of my ROY articles to the finger-snapping theme song for the original "Spider-Man" cartoon series from the 1960s, and as such, I related my memories of watching that series. Since then, I had heard that somehow Marvel gave permission for someone in Japan to create a manga series (can someone confirm?), I believe, and then came an actual tokusatsu show in the late 1970s.

Yup, Toei Company was allowed to produce a one-season series of Japan's own "Spider-Man" spanning a year between May 1978 and March 1979 according to the Wikipedia article. The iconic suit was indeed worn but that was about it for similarities. The hero wasn't photo-shooting Peter Parker but motorcycle-racing Takuya Yamashiro(山城拓也), and this time, he even had a ship called Marveller (ahem) which could transform into the robot Leopardon. Plus, like any tokusatsu hero, this Spider-Man was now battling alien enemy threats to Earth all on his lonesome.

YEAH! YEAH! YEAH! WOW! I'll be honest here and say that the opening theme for the Japanese "Spider-Man" won't ever eclipse the original jazzy theme song by Paul Francis Webster and Bob Harris, especially after hearing Michael Bublé's take on it. Still, "Kakero! Spider-Man" (Run! Spider-Man) has that heroic and disco tokusatsu esthetic complete with syn-drums galore. The singer behind it is Yuuki Hide(ヒデ夕木), someone that I have known for his joint recording with Kotaro Asa(朝コータロー)and Singers Three(シンガーズ・スリー)of the folk singalong and commercial jingle "Hitachi no Ki"(日立の樹)back in 1973. This time, though, Hide is putting more of his growliness into the theme. Chuumei Watanabe(渡辺宙明)was behind the music with Tohru Hirayama(平山亨)on words under the name of Saburo Yatsude(八手三郎), a collective pseudonym used by a number of Toei producers.

To bring things full circle, Diandra Ross, in a November 2019 article for the "Screen Rant" website, stated that Yamashiro and Leopardon will make their debut in the Marvel universe when the sequel to "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" (2018) comes out late next year. Who knows? Maybe they'll even work side-by-side with Holland, Garfield and Maguire. Multiverses are just that unpredictable.

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