As an attempt to gain more fans in Japan, Marvel Comics tried to recreate various of their characters in one of the biggest markets on the world, and to do it, they give their rights to Japanese creators so they can translate their works onto Japanese Media. Although there were other intents like the Toku TV series as well the anime version of The Tomb of Dracula and the special anime intro for X-Men, manga was the best way to start as one of the first (if not THE first) adaptations of Marvel's works was about the friendly neighborhood.
The first attempt was Spider-Man: The Manganote , made between January 1970 and September 1971 by Ryoichi Ikegami (of Crying Freeman and Sanctuary fame) in pencils and Kousei Ono (and later Kazumasa Hirai) in script, lasting for 25 issuesnote and published by Kodansha's Monthly Shonen Magazine. The story is basically the same than Earth-616 Spider-Man but in a Japanese context: A junior high school student named Yu Komori is bitten by a radioactive spider, which gave him spider-like powers, just like his 616 counterpart. Although there're recreations of known Spider-Man enemies, there're also some other new enemies created for the manga, especially for the last volumes.
The second attempt is a bit more actual: Spider-Man J by Akira Yamanaka from November 2004 to May 2005, also published by Kodansha under the Comic Bom Bom magazine. In the year 200X, a supervillain who goes by the name Lord Gokibu wants to steal the fossil of the Insect King, 15 year-old Sho Amano uses his new spider powers to become Spider-Man J, to prevent this from happening. During his time as a superhero, he meets Japanese versions of Elektra, Doctor Doom, Blade, and the Fantastic Four. Different from the past intent, here there're even more liberties, being Sho Amano more a Spider-Man In Name Only and being a Short Runner comparing with Ikegami's work, being reprinted by Marvel as part of Spider-Man Family (Vol.2), a compilation of short stories of Spidey from various magazines.
Both versions haven't any relationship with the other, with the exception those 2 are based on the same myth than the source base (iconic costume included) and both are focused on Shōnen (Demographic). Also, these works were translated and distributed by Marvel for Western audiences: Spider-Man was reprinted from December 1997 to April 1999 as its own title (as Spider-Man: The Manga) and Spider-Man J from April 2007 to November 2008 as part of the volume 2 of Spider-Man Family. Also, both versions had being recognized as canon by Marvel, being part of the Spider-Verse crossover.
See also the other Japanese Spider-Men here in TV Tropes: Takuya Yamashiro from Spider-Man TV series, a Super Sentai Humongous Mecha version of the friendly neightborhood; the Spidey version of Marvel Mangaverse, a young Ninja part of a secret Spider clan; Izumi from Marvel Fairy Tales, a Japanese man bitten by a Tsuchigumo version of Venom that gives him spider-powers; and SP//dr, a Japanese adopted girl with a mech suit from Spider-Verse (adapted as Peni Parker in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.)
Spider-Man's manga versions provide examples of:
- Alternate Continuity: Both titles have been recognized by Marvel Comics as part of the Marvel Universe as canon, being Ikegami's Spider-Man from Earth-70091 and Spider-Man J from Earth-7041.
- Animal-Themed Superbeing: Spiders. Also, "The Kangaroo" for Ikegami's Spider-Man and "General Wasperus" for Spider-Man J.
- Expy: Not just Spider-Man, also various of their main characters, since Aunt May and Mary Jane Watson to villains like Green Goblin and Doctor Octopus, have Japanese counterparts that work almost like in the source, but not necessarily having the same names.
- Intra-Franchise Crossover: Both versions of Spider-Man are part of the Spidey's Crisis Crossover Spider-Verse, in which Yu and Sho are part of the Spider-Men who fought Morlor and the Inheritors.
- Original Generation: Both manga have their own original characters, being allies as well villains that are integral part of every manga and don't have Western counterparts.
- Transatlantic Equivalent: Both versions have been treated as if "Spider-Man was created in Japan" by Marvel, recruiting Japanese creators to get creative liberties by adapting Spider-Man for Japanese demographics. A totally different case happened with the Mangaverse, in which Western creators made "Japanese stuff."
- Badass Bookworm: Just like Peter Parker.
- Darker and Edgier: Apart from being more serious and having almost no humour compared to the original Spider-Man, this incarnation (specially under Hirai's pen) became darker than its American counterpart, having sexual and gorn scenes to be focused to a more adult demographics.
- Bowdlerise: When Marvel translated and reprinted the manga in 1997-1999, they censored and cut various violent scenes to get more friendly with Western readers. But only 8 of 13 volumes were fully translated before the series was cancelled starting the ninth volume.
- Death by Adaptation: Electro and the Lizard both die at the end of their respective debut arcs.
- Friendless Background: Yu has no friends in his school, and continues like that for the rest of the manga. His only friend in the early chapters is Rumiko, a girl who lives in another city, and who turns out to be Electro's little sister. It only gets worse when he gets accused of attempted rape (which he wasn't guilty of, he actually saved her from the people really trying to rape her, but she assumed he was one too and managed to grab his pen with his name on it before running away).
- Genius Bruiser: Just like Peter Parker, Yu already had scientific knowledge at his school, so having his new powers makes him think how he could imitate a spider by making his webshooters, as well designing his costume.
- Market-Based Title: Ikegami's Spider-Man was reprinted as Spider-Man: The Manga by Marvel.
- Monster Brother, Cutie Sister: Here, Yu meets Rumiko, a cute schoolgirl who resulted to be the only Yu's friend at that moment. Sadly, at the end of the chapter Yu discovers Rumiko is the little sister of Electro, the first supervillain he fights as Spider-Man... and even more sadly, the discover occurs few moments after Yu killed Electro in the process.
- Ordinary High-School Student: Yu, before he were bitten by the radioactive spider.
- Pen Pals: Yu and Rumiko "Rumi" Shiraishi, who lives in Hokkaido.
- Renamed the Same: For a new title with plenty of new (and local) Japanese names, the aunt who raises Yu is called "Mei."
- These Hands Have Killed: One of Yu's biggest differences from Peter Parker is that his "Great Responsibility" moment came not from the death of his Uncle, but from the guilt of accidentally killing Electro during his first outing as Spider-Man (he had gone after Electro purely for the bounty money, and had little interest in being an actual hero).
- Yuki-onna: One of the new foes of Spider-Man is about a girl known as "the Winter Woman."
- Big Bad: Lord Gokibu.
- Cool Aunt: Mami Amano is Sho's young, happy go-lucky aunt. She loves Sho like he is her own son, and is overprotective of him. She owns her own dress shop. She is quite relaxed, and is known for her spicy curry.
- Crossover: Apart of Spider-Man's allies and foes, there're also various Marvel characters in his story. Just to name a few of them: Elektra, Doctor Doom, Blade, and the Fantastic Four, all of them are Japanese counterparts as this Spider-Man.
- Dub Name Change: When was distribuited by Marvel outside Japan, the names of main characters were changed to original ones from Earth-616:
- Sho Amano is Peter Parker.
- Megumi is Mary Jane Watson.
- Mami Amano is Aunt May.
- In the case of Original Generation, names also were translated to English ones: Makoto is Detective Flynn and Lord Gokibu is Lord Beastius.
- A special case is Densuke, who was translated as Harold Osborn, being known as the Japanese counterpart of Harry Osborn, but having nothing to do with him in the original work but being just Sho/Peter's friend.
- Love Interest: Megumi, Sho's girlfriend.
- Mythology Gag: Apart of the Dub Name Change in Western editions, Sho has three pets called "Leo" (a cat), "Par" (a dog) and "Don" (a bird), a nod to the famous Humongous Mecha Leopardon.
- Recursive Canon: Densuke is a fan of Spider-Man J, but also a fan of "Comic Bon Bon" (the magazine that published this work), even having a t-shirt with the magazine logo on it.
- Shout-Out: An external Marvel reference: the year 200X.
- Super-Deformed: This manga has a chibi style different to Ikegami's style that resembles Western comic books with a bit of manga, style that was also translated to his appearance in the Spider-Verse crossover.
- Team Pet: Sho's mascots Leo, Par and Don.
- Tomboy: Megumi.