Before Andrew Garfield, Tobey Maguire, and the 'Power Rangers,' 'Spider-Man' is a Japanese Series

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By Jenille Cristy Maido | May 6, 2014 4:52 PM EST

"The Amazing Spider-Man 2" has been hitting box office records in different countries across the world, but before Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire, Shinji Todo played Spidey gracing Japanese television back in 1978.

REUTERS/Olivia Harris
Actors Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield pose for photographs at the world premiere of The Amazing Spiderman 2 in central London, April 10, 2014. REUTERS/Olivia Harris

Peter Parker's Japanese counterpart is Takuya Yamashiro, a motorcycle racer who became a spider hero after being injected by the blood of the only surviving creature of the Planet Spider. The plot is loosely based on the Marvel famous series.

Toie Company under the licensed of Marvel produced Spider-Man ("Supaidaman") series and created a twisted story with changes in the plot to suit the taste of Japanese viewers. "Supaidaman" premiered May 17, 1978 and ended May 14, 1979. The series had 41 episodes and was eventually turned into a movie.

Yamashiro, Japanese Spider-Man, wear the classic read spider suit, shoots web, and climbs buildings like any Spider-Man in the Hollywood version do. But what is unique with the Japanese version is Spider-Man's ability to to control a spaceship called the 'Marveller' and has its own flying car called the "Spider Machine GP-7." Among others, the Japanese superhero has the ability to summon a giant robot to battle giant aliens. The robot whose name is Leopardon as well as the flying car are based on Toie's franchise of the "Super Sentai" series. The classic pose before and after Spider-Man defeated his enemies is also a distinct action in "Super Sentai". The latter was adapted in the United States which became Power Rangers.

Meanwhile, the latest Spider-Man movie, "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" has accumulated $277 million and the earnings is still growing for its early international release, in a report by CNN. On its domestic opening this weekend, the movie already earned an estimated $92 million topping the box office hit over "The Other Woman" which earned $14.2 million; "Heaven is for Real" which earned $8.7 million; "Captain America: The Winter Soldier" which earned $7.8 million; and, "Rio 2" which earned $7.6 million respectively.

Though the earnings on the opening of the second installation of the "Amazing Spider-Man" was $30 million more than the first in 2012, it failed to surpassed the openings of two of Sam Raimi's installation where "Spider-Man" earned $114.8 million and "Spider-Man 3" earned $151.1 million.

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(Photo: REUTERS/Olivia Harris / )
Actors Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield pose for photographs at the world premiere of The Amazing Spiderman 2 in central London, April 10, 2014. REUTERS/Olivia Harris
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