Sunday, August 7, 2011

JSM@CDS: The Deadly Mer-Man! The Silver Thread of Miracles

Episode 4: The Deadly Mer-Man! The Silver Thread of Miracles
MONSTER OF THE WEEK: Machine BEM Mer-Man: He can: slash things with arm blades, breathe underwater, kill Spiderman (or can he?...), go BIG.

Professor Monster has designed a program called the "Spiderman Book of Fate" with precise instructions for how to kill Spiderman. When Takuya sees a notice of a Spiderman funeral in the newspaper, he becomes susupicious an Iron Cross Army plot. Meanwhile, a fish-like Machine BEM wreaks havoc. Can Spiderman beat fate? Will he be able to escape Professor Monster's plot? And most importantly, what do Takuya's bizarre dreams mean?

This is a very significant episode of the series. Though, like every episode, it stands completely on its own, it is the episode where Spiderman meets Professor Monster and Amazoness in person for the first time, and is one of the best episodes of the entire show. One thing that makes the episode great is the Machine BEM's constant involvement in the story. Many episodes give the BEMs minor roles,  often not even appearing until the last five minutes so Spiderman can get in his robot to blow it up, but this is not one of them. Mer-Man appears prominently throughout the entire episode, and is shown as a true thread to Spiderman, rather than another sacrifice to the Sword Vigor ritual. There's also a lot of drama. As I mentioned before, Spiderman meets Professor Monster and Amazoness for the first time here, and the scene is suitably foreboding, as Monster appears here at his most powerful. There's lot of tension here in the Spiderman Book of Fate plotline, as for once it is not clearly telegraphed from the beginning that he will win. In fact, he comes very close to dying, and only survives through a combination of perserverance and coincidence. In conclusion, many episodes of Supaidaaman can be skipped without impacting one's enjoyment of the series, but not episode 4. It is a shining example of the best Toei has to offer. Watch this one at all costs.

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