Spider-Man Episode 18: “The Boy Who Restores His Faith In His Mother”
Aired September 13, 1978
A boy finds about five million yen while going home from school and when his mother tries to hand it over to the police, the Iron Cross Army takes it away. Can Spider-Man restore the boy’s faith in his mother after this bizarre incident or will another family be torn apart by the machinations of his foes?
That is basically what happens within the few first minutes… The kid runs home but almost gets run over by Takuya, on a job with Hitomi. They are trying to find a Spanish-style house somewhere in the neighborhood, which should prove to be a challenge considering most of the houses are of the working class. The boy returns to his mother’s restaurant and shows her his high mark-earning composition homework. Kayo looks inside and her co-worker suddenly declares there’s about five million yen in the bag. (In today’s money it’s at least $8,600, and in 1978 money, about $2,600)
She tries to head to the police station but a suited thief takes the bag and leaps a wall, but not before she notices something weird on his neck. Takuya reaches the scene just as the leaper gets away and pursues him as Spider-Man. The thief shoots at him, but a Spider-String disables him until Amazoness, standing close by, destroys the cyborg by remote control. She takes the bag and drives away.
While Kayo tries to explain about what happens, the police have a hard time believing her, despite the recent rash of bizarre crimes by robots and modified humans in the past eight years. It really doesn’t help that Takuya and Hitomi leave before giving them their witness statements. It is furthered exacerbated by her claiming that she believes that the Iron Cross Army had to do something with this, since she noticed the guy had a chip on his neck and he wall jumped. The cops take her down to the station anyway. Meanwhile, Takuya is trying to figure out why the Iron Cross Army would take such a small amount of money.
That night, Kayo returns home and while Ryoichi reads his homework, we learn his father dies of a car accident. Wow, another single family taken away by a car accident, can’t use a deadbeat dad writers? Anyway, after he finishes reading the composition, Kayo tells her son about what really happened today and he has a hard time believing her.
Amazoness heads back to the Iron Cross base and suddenly finds a gust of wind blowing at her. It’s none other than the newest Machine Bem Carnivorous Plant. Professor Monster has a jolly good time with this and tells her that its abilities involve shooting an acid strong enough to melt the mascot skull. Amazoness tells her boss that they don’t need a monster to ruin their plan, but the Professor tells her that it will destroy anything that invigorates the human spirit, nature! Seriously, this episode doesn’t need a friggin’ monster, I mean they aren’t selling toys of them right?
The master plan is that the Iron Cross Army has been behind a bunch of strange incidents that made the headlines within the past six months. A cop committing 12 robberies and murders, a teacher beats the hell out of some Junior High School students, and just today, a female student leaps to her death after being suspected of stealing from the student’s association. With all of these incidents, society will crumble and citizens will lose faith in one another, mistrusting each other constantly and all that jazz. The hardest woman working on this show, Amazoness, has been there to see through what happened. I guess after not showing up for work anymore, she has A LOT of free time on her hands. Professor Monster laughs brusquely at this plan.
At dinner, Takuya is catching on to the Iron Cross’s plans. Shinko chastises him for reading while eating once again, she learns about the strange incidents too and takes the paper from him. More incidents have happened, including a famous education critic being accused of shoplifting and a patricide over high school tuition. He thinks it’s a conspiracy, but what will Spider-Man do?
The next day, the kids hassle Ryoichi over how his mother stole the five million yen. They don’t believe him, especially since this is bupkes to the Iron Cross Army. They all say he’s a thief and he starts a fight and gets beaten up. Takuji stands closely by, apparently forgetting what happened to him in the past few months, and two episodes ago. At home, Takuji asks if Ryoichi’s mother is a thief, all while ruining his big brother’s bedspread with his cracker. Hitomi bursts in and demands Takuya take her on a job, despite him finally being busy. He heads to out and looks for Ryoichi, trying to cheer up the boy. He is met with some anger, and the boy runs away. Takuya picks up something the boy left behind, the composition letter from earlier this episode and he understands what’s the matter with Ryoichi’s struggles.
Later, Kayo has an unexpected visitor while she tries to comfort her son. It’s a department store delivery with lots of crap, and who is leading them? None other than Amazoness! The neighbors look in, and this snaps the boy and he runs away. Looks like Kayo’s definitely in trouble now. As she runs looking for him, Spider-Man is close by and slaps a Spider-Tracer on to the delivery truck.
As Amazoness and her cronies drive away, Ryoichi is inside the truck’s cargo space. Spidey follows closely, not obeying the rules of tailing a truck. He lets himself be seen by Amazoness in the rear view window. Though to be fair, it’s hard NOT to notice such a gaudy car. Going through a tree-lined road, the Carnivorous Planet appears and challenges our hero to battle, throwing vines willy nilly.
The truck arrives next to a bridge, which looks suspiciously like the one in Izu when Takuya came to visit Ichiro. Amazoness climbs out, dressed in her costume, and tells him to come out alread. Some cyborgs manhandle the boy and will throw him off the bridge. The apparent suicide will make matters worse for Kayo. The man who protects the love of a mother and her child arrives to save Ryoichi, and begins the requisite fight. No Ninders this episode, especially since Professor Monster has upgraded to gun-toting thugs in suits. The giant monster battle begins and he is quickly taken care of as usual, with no chance to use his acid breath.
Ryoichi runs home and tells her that Spider-Man saved him from the Iron Cross Army. I guess this means the neighbors feel ashamed for doubting Kayo earlier, and they teach a lesson to their children or something. If not, looks like mother and son have to move again.
The Machine Bem did ruin this episode, but then again it was more like a blink and you’ll miss it sort of thing. You’d think Takuya would now have his hands full with the mysterious incidents, but like many things, this is quickly forgotten.