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The Sword Of Shikata
Review by Spider-Man, Media by Stu

Episode #4 - The Sword Of Shikata
Original Airdate July 11 2003

The master martial artist/swordsman Shikata is sent to capture Spider-Man for a wealthy manís collection of rare animals. Shikata decides that Spider-Man is too noble a foe to merely capture and they must fight to the death!

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: : 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.