‘SWORD OF SHIKATA’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
This ‘Spider-Man’ episode introduces a new villain called Shikata, voiced by Gina Gershon. She’s a swordswoman hired to capture Spider-Man. There are two inspirations for this villain. One is Kraven the Hunter where somebody wants to capture every animal. This includes Spider-Man apparently. 😐
The person who hires Shikata to capture Spider-Man is Richard Damien, voiced by John C. McGinley. Damien is a wealthy businessman and an avid collector. He’s also a film producer, especially for a film that Mary Jane is about to star in. This puts MJ in trouble as Shikata crosses paths with Damien.
The other inspiration for Shikata is Elektra, I believe. I find Shikata more convincing as a swordswoman assassin compared to Elektra, especially in her own movie. Shikata also has this sense of honour, especially when she combats Spider-Man head to head for the first time in the episode. 😐
I like how the episode begins with Spidey rescuing people in various situations, including on a bus; inside a train and on a construction site. Shikata and other goons witness this in order to get a good idea of what Spidey is like as an opponent. Once Shikata battles Spidey, her opinion of him changes.
She finds him a worthy opponent and is determined to fight him to the death. This is something Richard Damien’s not happy with as they had a deal that Shikata would capture him and not kill him. Shikata stands by her decision to break off her deal with Damien and he sends in his goons after her.
Shikata does come across as a ruthless and swift fighter, especially when Damien’s goons go after her. Damien’s goons soon end up as victims of Shikata’s swords skills and Damien also gets beheaded by her in his home office. MJ is shocked to see Damien beheaded when she’s visiting him.
Spider-Man and Shitaka eventually battle each other in the streets of New York City. MJ arrives on the scene before ending up as a hostage. Shikata threatens Spidey to kill MJ unless he fights her. Very soon, MJ tells Spidey that the sword gives Shikata her powers. Soon, Spidey destroys the sword.
I like how the episode ends with Spidey and MJ kissing each other, though it’s more the right way up rather than Spidey being upside down for MJ to kiss him like in the first ‘Spider-Man’ movie. Overall, ‘Sword of Shikata’ has been a gripping episode to watch in this ‘Spider-Man’ series. Really enjoyable!
The DVD special features for this episode are as follows. On Disc 1 of ‘Spider-Man: The New Animated Series’, there’s a DVD audio commentary with director/executive producer Audu Paden; character designer David Hartman; executive producer/writer Morgan Gendel and Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee. There’s also an ‘Amazing Spider-Facts’ info-text commentary option to enjoy.
‘Sword of Shikata’ rating – 8/10
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