EPISODE 1: The Time for Revenge Has Come! Attack the Iron Cross Army!
The first episode starts out with a storm, a cave and a mysterious man (Garia) calling out telepathically. His calls include calling Marveller/Leopardon to Earth, where it is seen clearly not only by Earthlings but also Professor Monster and Amazoness of the Iron Cross Army. While a bit startled at the ship arriving, they seem more concerned that the scientist Doctor Yamashiro will find the ship. Amazoness assumes her human disguise as Saeko Yoshida (using the most ingenious of all disguises in superhero worlds, glasses) and heads off to spy.
The ship was noticed by Doctor Yamashiro and his daughter Shinko. Takuya Yamashiro is working on his motorcycle alongside his little brother Takuji when his sister and also his girlfriend, news journalist Hitmoi Sakuma, tell him that their father may need his help going out to investigate, but he claims not to believe in such things as aliens. Just then, he hears a strange voice (the same mysterious voice heard earlier) and sees the shadow of a spider, but noone else sees it. He seems confused, or angry, or perhaps scared.
A small group including Doctor Yamashiro, Shinko, Hitomi and a couple of others arrive at the suspected site of the space ship coming to Earth. At the same time nearby, Amazoness places an action figure on the ground that grows into a dino-alligator-cyborg-with-an-axe-hand monster, Machine Bem Boukunryu. Also at the same time, Takuya and his little brother are about to head out on his motorcycle when Takuya once more hears the voice, as well as seeing a web in the sky out towards the area his family is seeking the ship. So he tells his brother to wait and heads out alone.
The monster attacks Doctor Yamashiro and the girls, but runs off with only the doctor. Takuya arrives and is stopped by the girls, who tell them the doctor was attacked. Takuya seeks and finds his father dying, who tells him that there has been a lot of strange alien activity lately and asks Takuya to find out who they are before dying in Takuya's arms. Takuya finds strange tracks nearby, following them for only moments before being attacked by strange grey creatures with big orange noses that he accuses for his father's death. A fight ensues and he barely escapes alive by running and falling into a cave.
Within the cave he meets Garia of the planet Spider, the one who had been calling for him, first accusing him of being the one to kill his father, then collapses beside. Garia places the Spider-Bracelet on Takuya and injects him with "Spider-Extract" to save his life (as well as giving him his powers). After Takuya awakes, he explains that the Iron Cross Army destroyed his planet and he came to Earth chasing them to seek revenge, but had been trapped in the cave for 400 years. He begs Takuya to become Spider-Man and take revenge for him, then transforms into a spider.
Takuya goes home and mopes around. But Garia shows up on his wall (as a spider, not some hologram or anything alien-y like that) and tells him to use the Spider-Bracelet to bring forth the Spider-Protector (the Spidey suit). Takuya brings it out and suits up before jumping around in a few standard Spidey poses before his siblings head to his room and Garia instructs him to use his powers to hide, which he does by climbing onto the ceiling (because noone can look upwards while indoors in any incarnation of the Marvel Universe, apparently). He web swings outside and overhears that another scientist has been kidnapped, so he heads off to be Spider-Man and confront the aliens.
Arriving at what appears to be a dam, he takes out a few more orange nosed henchmen and sneaking inside and confronting Amazoness, who asks who he as and he responds (and this is my favorite Spidey introduction ever), "An Emissary from Hell. Spider-Man!" before attacking and freeing the kidnapped scientist from being tied up in a chair (Seriously?). After handling a few more orange nose henchmen, he has to face the monster Boukunryu, who grows to giant size.
Now comes the fun part: Spidey summons
Marveller. As Spidey awaits the ship's arrival, he takes out a few more henchmen while the giant-size Boukunryu stomps around before the ship shoots out his flying car for him to ride back up. Upon the ship, Spidey initiates
Leopardon and a short fight ensues, including shooting a boomerang from the robot's head and pulling a sword from it's boot (because all the cool robots in the hood keep swords in their boots). Spidey is victorious (It'd be a crappy show if he was beat in the first episode, wouldn't it?) and drives away in his car.
It was definitely entertaining enough. It had about the same feel as watching any standard Super Sentai series first episode, but with the added benefit of instead of the usual costumed heroes with helmets, it's Spidey!
The girls were cute (hey, I'm watching a Japanese series, of course I'm going to comment on that!).
I'm a little confused as to why Takuya was the only one in the universe to hear Garia's telepathic call (not including the ship/robot), but I assume he's connected in some way.
Overall, it was pretty good for when it was made. I can forgive the clumsiness of the robot parts because it was Toei's first time with that sort of thing (and having read Wiki articles, it was hard for the stuntman to move around in). Ali Rating:
Seven of Nine of Unimatrix Zero-One
I haven't settled on a rating yet, but I'll give it a 4 out of 5 just for keeping me entertained.