is an science fiction action/adventure franchise based on the work of husband and wife team Tedd Anasti and Patsy Cameron-Anasti. The franchise began as a series of children's novels and was later expanded to include Anime
, an internet Manga
series, and a series of mini-games.
The spider Riders franchise follows the adventures of Hunter Steele, a 13 year old boy (11 in the Animated series)who follows the instructions in a journal written by his grandfather which lead him to the hidden kingdom of Arachna: A subterranean world where humans and giant insects are fighting for dominance. The humans of Arachna are protected by a group of guardians: the titular "Spider Riders" who fight alongside giant spiders that they summon from inside bracelets known as "manacles". Hunter Steele joins their ranks after stumbling upon a manacle in the first novel/episode.
The first book in the Spider Riders series was published in December 2004 by Newmarket Press. It was intended for an age range of 9-12 and were inspired by the Anasti's son's childhood love of spiders. Book one was later followed by two more novels, published in February and December 2006 respectively. Books two and three were written in co-operation with Massachusetts born author and illustrator Stephen D. Sullivan.
The three volumes are titled Spider Riders: Shards of the Oracle, Spider Riders: Reign of the Soul Eater and Spider Riders: Quest of the Earthen.
See also Episode List
The Spider Riders novels were used as the basis for a 52 episode Anime titled: . The series was produced by Bee Train of Japan in co-operation with Canada's Cookie Jar Entertainment.
Initially TV-Tokyo had planned to screen the episodes consecutively but it was decided to split the series into two at episode 26, with the second half airing on Kids Station from April 14 onwards under the new title Spider Riders ~Yomigaeru Taiyou~. It has been speculated that this change and split was due to the original only receiving ratings of 0.5% - 1.5% per episode.
The Spider Riders Anime ran on Canada's Teletoon Network from March 25, 2006 to April 29, 2007 and later returned as a weekday rerun from September 1, 2008. It aired on America's Kids WB! during the 2006-2007 season and later went on to make its UK debut on Kix (TV channel in June 2008, and Pop in August 2008. US distribution rights are currently held by FUNimation.
Several changes were made to the franchise when it was converted from book to animation, including the lowering of the lead character's age from 13-11 years old and the alteration of plot/time line elements to make it more suitable for an episode based production. The English language release of Spider Riders also differed from the Japanese language release in many places. Differences included the use of alternative character names and the censoring of scenes/altering of dialog to lessen their emotional impact so that the franchise could be marketed to a younger audience. The romance element of the franchise was also toned down with romantic aspects being reduced to platonic friendships.
English voice actors/Crew
- Opening Theme #1: "Alright" (eps. 1-26)
- Opening Theme #2: Brave Heart by Saeko Chiba (eps. 27-52)
- Ending Theme #1: "Twilight Time" by MCU (eps. 1-13)
- Ending Theme #2: "Koi no Keshiki" by Tamaru Yamada (eps. 14-26)
- Ending Theme #3: "Towards a Dream" by Takashi Kondo and Sanae Kobayashi (eps. 27-52)
- Opening Theme: "Calling All Spider Riders" written by songwriter Jason Gleed for Grayson Matthews Audio
On May 31, 2006, the Spider Riders manga premiered at TV Tokyo's ani.tv website, illustrated by Junji Ohno of Studio 23. Final volume (7) was published between 2006-11-29 and 2006-12-27. Previous volumes were removed on 2006-11-29.
Starting from 2006-12-27, the Manga was republished under Monthly Fang Comic site. Under new publisher, two more chapters of the manga were later released.
The web comic was first published in paper form on 2007-6-19, by the Monthly Fang Comic publisher LEED Publishing Co., Ltd.
However, the online chapters were removed soon after. Currently, there is nowhere to read the Spider Riders manga other than purchasing the first volume. Even Shonen Fang, the magazine in which it was serialized in, is being suspended at its September 2007 issue. The web manga has an alternate beginning, where Hunter Steele enters a spider-shaped monument and discovers the manacle (which looked different from the one in the TV series) floating above a spider web. Hunter wears the manacle when it flies to his hand (in TV series, it simply fell into his hand out of nowhere) and falls into Inner World through a gap between web strings (in TV series, Hunter falls into Inner World when the pyramid collapses). Inside the Inner World, Hunter discover Shadow after peeking at the bathing Corona and after trying to rescue a cart of caged humans by himself (neither has happened in the TV series). Each chapter of the web manga ends with the Sparkling Sparkle section, following the adventures of Princess Sparkle and Hortala in 4-square Manga format. In the Boy's Fang Manga version, certain scenes are re-edited (for example, Corona is now naked instead of in underwear when Hunter first met her in chapter 1, illustration is added at the beginning of each chapter, removal of Sparkling Sparkle segments).
produced on online game based on the show, available on the official site, and on 2006-07-29
the Anime X site published Spider Catcher and Oracle Daifugo downloadable phone games based on the show, for the FOMA
-enabled cell phones. The 3rd game, Jumping Spider, was released on 2006-08-09
. Each game cost 105 yen.
List of Spider Rider Characters
For a list of Spider Riders Characters see List of Spider Rider characters .
The Oracle Keys are fractions of the Oracle's power. They take the form of a card that can be split in two. The Invectids hope to gain them for Mantid who wants to use their power to rule Arachna, which is why the Oracle uses much of her strength to protect them. The Spirit Oracle Key passes its power onto Hunter and Shadow, giving them new armor and weapons as well as new abilities.
To activate these keys, the holder must shout "Oracle's Light!". Two in combination can create more powerful armor and weapons. The wielder must have a sincere desire to protect without arrogance, otherwise the keys will not work. The Oracle Key from Nuuma was called by Corona (using her power) to let Hunter use it without him actually holding it.
Mantid had used two of the Oracle's keys to power himself, plunging the Inner World into darkness and preventing Hunter from using his own keys.
Currently four of the locations of the four Oracle Keys are known in the English version:
- Found in the Oracle's shrine in Arachna, the first key is taken by Hunter and Shadow, who retain possession of it throughout the series.
- The second key is brought to Arachna by a page from Nuuma. Hunter and Shadow have it in their possession for most of the series, though it was briefly taken by Aqune and Portia.
- The third key is initially kept in a sanctuary in Nuuma and allows the castle to float in the sky via the Oracle's power. It is taken by Aqune for the Invectids, but eventually ends up in the possession of Hunter and Shadow during the final battle against Mantid.
- The fourth key held by Mantid, powering both Castle Mantid and sustaining Mantid himself, throughout the series until he steals the Oracle's power and abandons it. It ends up in the possession of Hunter and Shadow during the final battle against Mantid.
Differences Between the English and Japanese Versions
- The Insectors in the Japanese edition are known as Invectids in the English version.
- In the Japanese version, Hotarla's vocabulary consists of "Kyu", while in the English version (in her first appearance in "Spider Riders' Ball") she can speak in full sentences. This changes in "Big Bug", and Hortarla's "Kyu" is transferred to the English version.
- Aqune is referred to as a priestess in the Japanese version and an enchantress in the English version
- Some dialogue in the English version was altered, often for the inclusion of puns or English slang, but none have affected the plot so far.
- The opening theme in the Japanese version (Alright) differs from the OP in the English version (Calling All Spider Riders.) None of the Japanese ending themes are used in the English version.
- The eyecatch in each version is the same, with the exception of the language that the logo is written in. However, as of episode 27, the English eyecatch is used for both versions.
- In the English version, the song "Calling All Spider Riders" plays frequently during the series as an insert song. A number of other BGM changes have also been made.
- Several characters have been renamed in the English version of Spider Riders:
- The character Ignus is called Igneous in the English version. This is not an edit, because his name was Igneous in the original novel series. It is debatable whether his name was meant to be Igneous in both versions, however it is written as "イグナス" (I-gu-na-su) on the official Japanese site.
- Grey in the Japanese version is called Slate in the English version
- Lemin in the Japanese version is called Kati in the English version
- Melissa in the Japanese version is called Galena in the English version
- Quake is called Brade in the Japanese version, as well as in the original plans made available in a Teletoon Corp. press release
- Queen Elma in the Japanese version is called Queen Illuma in the English version.
- Toure in the Japanese version is called Solan in the English version.
- Each of the Machine-sectors are given a unique name in the English version.
- Episode differences
- In episode 6 of the English version, the scene of Lumen calling Sparkle cute while watching her play is removed. This is likely because of Lumen and Sparkle's sibling relationship.
- In episode 18 in the Japanese version, the song Aqune hums is actually the second ending theme. This scene is also extended slightly.
- Loraine, a body in which Mantid keeps stored in a room of his castle, is seen on a few occasions in the Japanese version. She was cut from the English version, as her existence was thought to be too disturbing for North American viewers. Shadowed versions of her can be seen, however, in episodes 34 and 50.
- Dialogue in Episode 23 was changed substantially in the English version. In the dub, Buguese explained to Aqune that the Oracle had taken the sun away from the Insectors world as a form of punishment, because they had devoured all the plant-life. In the Japanese, the reasoning for the loss of the sun is unknown to Buguese, who believes Spirit Oracle simply favored the humans. This explains his hate toward humanity and was intended to make his character seem more sympathetic. Interestingly enough, later on in the dub, the changes become inconsistent. In episode 46, Buguese claims to not know the reason that the sun was taken away.
- In episode 27 of the Japanese version, when Grasshop was afraid that his wife had replaced him for an Insector captain, he came to this conclusion after seeing them hug.
- In episode 31 of the Japanese version, a closer shot of Aqune and Corona in their swimsuits can be seen.
- In episode 33 of the Japanese version, Scarab threatens Sprakle with a sword and offers Grasshop the weapon to use against her.
- There were multiple changes to episode 34. In the dub, there is a change of dialogue where Hunter and Aqune make promises to each other. Also, Aqune is much less reluctant to return to the Insectors in the Japanese version. Rather than refusing to go back, even when Buguese takes Corona hostage, she asks Hunter for the keys and then goes back to Buguese in the Japanese version. Also, Buguese asks for Aqune as well as the two keys in his trade.
- Both episodes 14 and 39 originally ended with Stags making a long, drawn-out, psychotic laugh. His behavior is more sane in the English version.
- In episode 48, a scene of Brade attempting to flirt with Corona was cut.
- Some footage was cut in both episodes 42 and 49, probably due to time constraints, of other characters reacting to the fading of the sun.
- In episode 52, Brade asks whether Hunter will choose Corona or Aqune as his love. In the dub, he asks who he'll choose as his battle partner.