Spider-Man Episode 19: “Phantom Boy and a Village that Doesn’t Exist on a Map”:
第19話 [まぼろしの少年 地図にない村]
Aired September 20, 1978
A young boy with mysterious powers enlists the aid of the friendly neighborhood rope-slinger in order to save his sister from being sacrificed to the village god. That’s right, it’s one of those debunkery episodes.
While practicing his biking, Takuya nearly runs over a boy standing in the middle of a dirt road. The brat smiles, more than satisfied with what he finds, Spider-Man. Takuya denies that he is, but the kid keeps insisting the truth. Our hero asks how the hell he knew, and instead of replying that a certain woman told him, the kid just stares him down. Takuya rides away and when the turns to look, the kid disappeared and he still can’t shake the feeling that he’s being watched.
Suddenly, Takuya’s Spider-Sense tingles and he sees the image of his siblings being tortured in a scene very similar to anything you’d see from 60s movies, or at least the Monkee movie Head. Rushing home and breaking down a window, he finds nothing but a fading illusion. Outside, he hears Shinko and Takuji arriving home after a day’s worth of shopping. They find him squatting in the kitchen trying to clean up the glass.
Going up to his room, the kid is there angry that Takuya lied to him. He decides to show him instead of telling, and two lights shoot out of his eyes! They show an image of Takuya on a bike and then in his Spider-Man guise. Shiro tells him that this is called a “memory psychograph,” and it one of several psychic powers he has. Spider-Man is given his next mission, to go to the hidden village of Amagahara to rescue Shiro’s sister. If he fails, she’ll be sacrificed to the river god.
The boy leads Spidey to some place in the mountains, and they have to go through some caves to get to the village. When they arrive, Shiro tells him that they worship some kind of shiny thing that is supposed to represent the god, if anybody touches it, they get cursed. Soon they arrive in a clearing where a bunch of kids are trying to catch some insects. Spider-Man gets surprised that a girl is actually flying, and asks the boy what’s the deal with this. Supposedly, 20 millenia ago, there use to be an ancient civilization that lived on top of Mount Fuji, and when it exploded, their survivors scattered around the country living in secret. Shiro’s sister appears and she yells at him for bringing an outsider into the village.
The guards arrive and point their modern weapons at Shiro and his sister, while Spider-Man rushes to stop them. Three guards’ eyes glow and they prove to be a match for the masked hero. They lift him up and try to throw him to the ground, leap attack him, etc. All Spider-Man can do is swat them away. The fight ends with the siblings captured. The head honcho tells them that the ancient text demands that when Kamenger (the god) is angered, a sacrifice is needed. They take his sister away.
After putting her in a cell, the honcho secretly heads to another part of the cave. He opens a door and Amazoness, now dressed in a new outfit, comes out and is told about Spider-Man. Professor Monster is relayed this message through a video screen, and he laughs as usual, finding the psychic guards and the Machine Bem enough to eliminate his nemesis. Meanwhile, Spider-Man arrives and frees both Miyo and her grandfather. While honcho Araki arrives, the old man refuses to leave. In the struggle, he ends up getting killed because it’s already 12 minutes without a dead person. Spider-Man takes Miyo and escapes.
Later, the town is called into action and Kamenger tells them that the sacrificial ceremony is tonight. The river is rather foamy, and Araki tells everyone that the god is especially pissed now that Spider-Man has entered the scene. The whole town is thrust into action. At the same time, Miyo is trying to run but they are twarted by the trigger happy townsfolk. Just exactly why the hell do they have so many guns if gun control laws are ridiculously strict in this country? Oh right, they’re alien villagers. Shiro tells Spider-Man to follow him and they find the “ancient text.” They also see Araki talk to Amazoness and that he’s wearing some doodad on his belt.
Later, the ceremony begins and Araki activates a switch on his belt. Specializing in fighting monsters, Spider-Man arrives and yanks Miyo with his Spider-String, surprisingly not harming her or snapping her neck. He begins to debunk the village’s myth, by revealing that the ancient text is a fake and that they were worshiping a PA system. He also reveals that Araki was working with the Iron Cross Army to take over the village. Kamenger emerges and Bob’s probably not your Uncle. Araki and his men try to run away, but Amazoness and her men finish them off since they have failed.
The episode ends with Spider-Man talking with Shiro and Miyo about the fate of the village. The two do not believe that humans and their people can live in harmony and they basically knock out Takuya with their psychic powers. Spidey awakens to find the entrance sealed off, with Amagahara retreating behind a veil. He desperately tries to find them and fails.
After watching most of the Trick series, I’m getting sick of the insular and gullible villagers trope, but I do start to wonder how long has such a thing existed? Oh well, next episode, Spidey has to deal with another psychic child.