Spider-Man: The New Animated Series Episode Review

Episode #111, "Sword of Shikata"
Original Episode Airdate - July 11th, 2003
Richard Damien, a wealthy businessman / avid collector hires Shikata, master martial artist / swordswoman, to capture Spider-Man for his collection of rare animals. Shikata and Spider-Man soon have their first head-to-head fight and Shikata decides that he is too noble a foe to simply capture - they must fight to the death. Shikata informs Richard Damien that they no longer have a deal and that instead she plans to lure Spider-Man into the fight of his life. Richard is not a fan of this alternative strategy and sends his thugs to kill Shikata. Unfortunately, it is the goons who find themselves victims of Shikata instead. Afterwards, Shikata hunts down Spider-Man and informs him that they must fight until one of them is dead. Soon the pair is engaged in an all out brawl on the streets. Things begin to look grim for Spider-Man until Mary-Jane Watson arrives on the scene with a bit of information that may help Spider-Man vanquish Shikata without compromising his integrity.

Screenplay By: Todd Felderstein, Morgan Gendal
Directed By: Brandon Vietti
Music By: John Digweed, Nick Muir and William Anderson
Animation By: Mainframe
Guest Starring: John C. McGinley as Richard Damian, Gina Gershon as Shikata

Review and Media by Stu::
The fluid animation during the fight scenes are the best aspects of this episode. The animation is still a bit stiff when we see the Spider-Man out of costume, or see one of the supporting cast members. But as soon as the tights are on, it becomes something to behold. Mainframe really does an amazing job when animation Spider-Man and the fluidity of his character. It's amazing to see him web sling through the air, or fight his foe. Thankfully, we see a lot of action in this episode because that is the only thing that saves it.

The episode is about an assassin named Shikata who is sent to capture Spider-Man by a wealthy game collector. However, Shikata realizes that Spider-Man is too much of a hero to simply capture - she must kill him. And that sets up the finale fight between the two.

The major problem is that we have no idea who Shikata is. All we know is that she's a damn good assassin. That and she has these weird powers that are never fully explained, either, which makes the climax with her character all the more clueless, and pointless. The final battle between Spider-Man and Shikata is an amazing thing to watch, specifically Spidey using fisticuffs, but we have no idea how Shikata's powers really work, which makes the fight anti-climactic. Regardless, the animation on Spider-Man is top-notch. This is easily is best animated portrayal ever.


Check out much more at The World's Finest.
Spider-Man, the Character: TM & copyright Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. All rights reserved. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Contact us.