Spider-Man Episode 38- “The Twinkling Star of Twilight, and the Youth Detective Club”
Originally Aired: February 14, 1979
In what seems like a perfect to air an episode that shows the more romantic side of the show perennial couple, Takuya and Hitomi, we are stuck watching the exploits of another freakin’ boys’ detective club. Why are they so persistent on this show? Because clearly, having Spider-Man help kids is a great idea according to the crockpot producers back then, and having kids help him is also good. I dunno.
When a capsule containing a very dangerous biological weapon put up for sale is found missing, it’s a mad race between the Iron Cross Army and Tokyo’s friendly web-swinger to retrieve it. Caught in the middle is a young girl and the head of the local detective club. Can our hero save the day or meet his end at the jaws of a very gullible Machine Bem?
Late at night, Amazoness and a slob of a professor negotiate the price of the botulism bacteria, a very powerful biological weapon capable of wiping out everyone in the size of Rhode Island in the matter of six hours. Half a day later, the area is deemed safe enough for occupancy. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work that way, but don’t you forget, botulism is still dangerous. Anyway, he wants half-a-billion yen for a capsule and starts bragging about how effective it is, “the best!” he says. Amazoness leaves, grumbling about how Professor Ashida is one penurious bastard.
Alone in his study, Ashida walks over to a statue of an elephant and picks up a capsule containing the weapon. He laughs about how this is a make or break moment for him, as he foolishly believes he has the Iron Cross Army, or any militant group or arms dealer for that matter, in the palm of his hand. Unbeknownst to him, his niece was listening in on the conversation. Later on, she takes the capsule, hiding it to prevent the Iron Cross from obtaining it.
The next day, a boy calls for the Sunset Detective Club for a meeting in the middle of a junk yard. The rest of them, three boys, two girls, don’t want to, especially since they’re going to be in fifth grade and they all have to go to cram school. The boys get into an argument and start to fight, and are pulled apart by Takuya, who was in the area. The ex-members tell Takuya that Sanpei is still obsessed with the idea of a detective club and he should let the kid be, as he’s also gotta grow up and not be slacker like a certain somebody. Not far from here, the girl is promised by Sanpei that they will get help sooner or later.
Back at the Ashida household, Saeko Yoshida has decided to torture the location out of the professor to save the Iron Cross Army the money. The Amazon Duo shoot poisoned tip arrows at him, and Amazoness demands the real location of the botulism capsule. She searches the inside of the elephant statue, and finds nothing but cotton. Ashida passes out.
Outside, the girl and her aunt get ambushed by Ninders and taken to the study to witness the death of the professor. Unluckily for Amazoness, before she can do the killing strike, the man who can hear a pin drop from a distance of a hundred meters (it’s true Amazoness, you were right!) arrives to save the day. He easily dispatches the grunts, and has to go outside to avoid the gunfire from Rita. Just as he steps on a ledge, a pair of jaws clamp on his leg, causing him tremendous pain, but not enough to rip it off.
Amazoness boasts that Toothache Alligator will never let go due to his very powerful grip. Spider-Man wonders why this one is called “Toothache” instead of “Death Jaw,” and guesses the monster must be attracted to sweets. He tricks the alligator into thinking that there’s cake, and with a simple Spider-Kick, breaks all of its teeth. The Iron Cross retreat for now.
Inside, Spider-Man figures out that Professor Ashida’s area expertise was specialized bacterium, and that the Iron Cross was after a special strain of botulism. The professor’s wife is in denial despite the evidence and that her husband was a conniving jerk who would sell out the lives of many for a quick buck. The little girl Megumi bursts in to defend Professor Ashida as well, as the couple was kind enough to take her in when her parents died. The doorbell rings, and its Sanpei.
At the Iron Cross base, Amazoness reports that Ashida won’t awaken for a month, while Profesor Monster fashions some gold jaws for the Machine Bem.
Takuya follows the kids as they discuss new developments regarding Spider-Man in the case. If you’re in the Valentine Day’s mindset, it’s a romantic scene between the budding kids, yadda yadda. Hitomi and his siblings find the slacker behind a bush and tell him that they’re going to hunt for Missy, Nessie’s counterpart in the local Green Lake. Throwing an improvised fishing rod made of Bamboo into the lake, combined with his Spider-Sense, Takuya finds Missy in a matter of minutes. Missy turns out to be Toothache Alligator, lounging around in a filthy body of water instead of a pastry shop.
Meanwhile Megumi and Sanpei run for their lives from the Iron Cross thugs, garbed as servicemen. Spider-Man arrives in the nick of time, but the bad guys search every inch of the area, looking for the capsule. Megumi convinces the boy to go around the neighborhood getting the rest of the club, but they’re all too busy with homework and tutoring. Before the two can take a breather, the Amazon Warriors come and kidnap the two, forcing them to leave their badges as an SOS.
Spider-Man finds the badges and talks to the club on where to find whatever Sanpei hid. Before they have an idea, Kenta and the rest have to go back to tutoring. Later on, the kids start feeling guilty for abandoning their friends and tell our hero where their former leader left a message. Spider-Man reads it and directs the kids to go find the two, while he retrieves the capsule.
Sanpei and Megumi lead the Iron Cross Army to an abandoned steel yard for the capsule, but it obviously isn’t there because… A man who believes in the friendship of the Youth Detective Club got to it already! The club arrives and rescues the two, while the webhead deals with the Iron Cross Army. Despite being shot in the knee by Bela and getting chomped in the arm by Toothache Alligator, the battle ends without a hitch.
At the end, Spider-Man reunites with the club, and the viewer learns to believe in the bravery of youths once again.
Well, this was a waste of a valentine’s day episode, and Takuya didn’t get any chocolate!