Spider-Man Episode 31 – “No Tomorrow for the Detective and His Son.”
Aired December 13, 1978
Following the theme of the previous two episodes, Spider-Man continues his aiding of the Tokyo Metropolitan Police. This time, he leaps into the world of narcotics, as a drug called “Mash” is sweeping the nation. Can the friendly neighborhood wallcrawler put an end to the Mash trade, while helping a detective’s son regain his senses?
Early in the morning, a man dressed like Clint Eastwood in any of his Spaghetti Westerns practices his shooting, hitting each of the cans right through the middle. His son, dressed in the same attire, looks at his handywork and gives the OK to the cowboy. They head to their jeep and another day begins.
At Jousei University (though it should be Jonan), Shinko heads for another day of school and greets a fellow student playing with a beach-ball a good morning. The guy flips out and starts slashing at Shinko with a knife. Luckily some students and faculty members pin him down before anything worse could happen.
Later at home, her brothers are surprised at this recent event and are puzzled at what might have set Yoshida in a craze. Hitomi barges in and tells everyone that he was smoking a drug called mash, a hallucinogen “that’s gotten more popular than paint thinner and toluene.”
The scene suddenly shifts to the Iron Cross Base, where Professor Monster, high on another drug or something, starts yelling at everybody to keep making and selling mash. He desperately wants to reap in the profits. Amazoness, now wearing a black wig, heads to the lab where the Machine Bem Kinokongar, or as I like to call him “Toadstool Toker,” is readying another batch of mash. All it has to do is grow out mushrooms from its body and throw it into an extractor.
Cut to a scene where a bunch of groovy kids are dancing around in the last vestiges of a 70s disco. It’s more like lurching around aimlessly since they’re all high on mash. The narrator notes the drug has become a big epidemic in Japan. Spider-Man spends his nights investigating companies involved in the drug trade, including a shipping company “Ginga Kosan Co., LTD”
The next day, a lunatic whacked out of his gourd on mushrooms rides a motorcycle and gets hit by a truck. As the uniforms investigate the incident, the cowboy arrives in a jeep and easily determines cause of death. Takuya and Hitomi are on the scene and she identifies the cowboy as Go Tachibana, a narcotics detective. Since when are detectives allowed to dress like Clint Eastwood, then again considering US cops shows at the time that weren’t Dragnet or Adam 12, this isn’t too jarring. What’s more surprising is that the police allow Tachibana to take his son with him on cases. Takuya follows the detective, after showing concern for the boy, and ends up at a Ginga Kosan office.
Inside, Tachibana starts whaling on everybody inside the office with his guitar. You’d think he’d be disciplined on brutality charges, but this is apparently a regular day for Tachibana. His son is by the doorway, and he stares rather blankly, even when his father uses him as a lie detector of sorts. As Tachibana chokes a thug, demanding the location of their president Ryu Kurosaki, he takes out a pack of dynamite to up the ante. He lights it, and everyone starts panicking like a bunch of mice. The thug gasps out that Kurosaki is at Lake Yamanaka. The dynamite was just a fake, as it turns out. Outside, Spider-Man demands he set the boy aside, especially when he’s at work. He should call Social Services ASAP.
Tachibana arrives at Lake Yamanaka, where Ninders dressed in grunt fatigues begin a gun battle. The detective easily disposes quite a number of them, and when another squadron shows us, Spider-Man stops them with his webs. Keep in mind that the boy is only a few steps behind his father the whole time. They enter the house and find Kurosaki drugged out on mash. The former Ginga Kosan president laments that Amazoness betrayed him and dies. Tachibana asks his son if this the man, and all Takeshi can do is stare blankly as usual. There’s no response.
Spider-Mans stops the detective from driving away and demands that he stop dragging his son around on dangerous cases. Go tells the story of what happened last year, when he was investigating Ginga Kosan in a sting. He learns that his wife has been murdered, and his son got hit by a car. Takeshi suffers from amnesia, refusing to recall anything that happened that day, much less say anything. From that day on, Tachibana went on a mission of revenge, looking for the ones responsible for these tragedies.
Later on, Spider-Man sits nearby watching over the father and son as they fish for lunch. Suddenly a bunch of needles appear out of nowhere and it’s none other than the Iron Cross Army. They shoot their arrows sparingly, apparently luring away our hero from the Tachibanas. They lead so far into the forest that his sense of direction has become muddled.
Go and Takeshi sit by the fire for lunch, and the father decides to starts crooning with his guitar. It’s a rather touching song, about how he raised the boy and it’s the family’s song, sung many a night by the fireplace. It’s apparently supposed to jog the kids’ memory, but whatever happened that day may have just too much. Father and son site by the fire, and they look plenty miserable as the song reaches its end.
Amazoness dressed in a hiking outfit stumbles through the shore asking for help, giving a phony story about how her companions have fallen down a cliff. Tachibana goes with her, leaving the boy alone. Out pops out her companions, clearly Ninders due to the claws they show. Spider-Man continues his wanderings until a friendly arachnid decides to show him the way. Tachibana gets pushed down the precipice, and is saved by Spidey from the other side. They run back to the fire, only to find the boy kidnapped.
Spider-Man and Detective Tachibana rush through the forest and find a cave. The Ninders try to hide in the walls, but our hero is too clever for their tricks. Amazoness appears to gloat, but the destroyer of mushrooms shakes off his foes and begins the episode’s fight scene. However, Amazoness summons some more minions, this time holding Takeshi captive. Now that Spidey can’t move, she rips off his mask, only to reveal… that Spider-Man’s secret identity is Spider-Man! How many masks is Takuya wearing anyway or is it a feature of the Spider-Protector?
Dad rushes in and Takeshi remembers everything that happens that day and the boy shouts for his father. Toadstool Toker did indeed murder Mrs. Tachibana, causing the boy to run out into the street, only to be hit by a car. Detective Tachibana takes out his guitar and in one smooth motion, fires it with the rifle hidden inside the main body. Think about the acoustics! The battle heads outside, where Tachibana and Spider-Man beat up the grunts.
Kinkongar grows to giant size, and is easily killed with Leopardon’s Sword Vigor. The Arm Rockets are used to destroy the entire Mash processing plant.
After the battle, Go looks for his son and cries with tears of happiness that he has finally returned to him after all this time.
This was a rather exciting episode, since it had drugs, cowboys, and mushrooms. I’d say the use of Leopardon was justified since Spider-Man can’t walk around carrying bombs like Fiona.
Detective Go Tachibana was played by Hiroshi Miyauchi, best known for playing Kamen Rider V3.