It’s kind of old news now. Especially since videos about the tokusatsu version of Spiderman, which aired from May 17 of 1978 to March 14 of 1979 on Japan’s Tokyo Channel 12, already went viral a couple of years ago via Youtube. What I missed, and want to share now, is that you can watch all 41 episodes of the live-action series for free on Marvel.com.
The Japanese Spider-Man (simply entitled Spider-Man/Supaidaman) was produced by Toei Company under a licensing deal with Marvel Entertanment. It was only very loosely based on the western version. The more notable differences from the source material consist of the ff:
People who are familiar with the source material have criticized the deviation, but most of the changes were understandable due to the culture barrier that must be crossed. For instance, the Leopardon was included in order to attract younger Japanese kids, since giant robot shows were very popular in the country at that time. Additionally, a number of Marvel staff members, including Stan Lee himself, were supportive of the Japanese show. Lee even praised the Japanese Spider-Man for his “very spider-like” movements.
The episodes streamed on Marvel.com are using the original Japanese dub, but they come with English subtitles so it’s fine for us non-speakers. The quality is as good as can be expected considering the source (don’t expect crisp, clear images and audio.)
You can view the episode listings through the following link: