The first animated TV adaptation of Cyborg 009 debuted on Nihon Educational Television (NET, now known as TV Asahi) on April 5, 1968. It was produced by Toei Animation and directed by Yugo Serikawa, who had directed the previous two film adaptations of the series. It ran for 26 episodes, wrapping up its run on September 27, 1968.
Overview[edit | edit source]
This adaptation carries over some changes from the aforementioned films, such as 007 being depicted as a 9-year old boy instead of being a middle-aged man. However, some of the character designs were also slightly modified to better reflect Ishinomori's artwork (eg: 009 gained back his bangs, 004's hair was depicted white). This in part was due to some objections Ishinomori himself had raised about the extensive redesigns that the characters had underwent.
009, 003, 006, and 007 are treated as the main characters of the series, with occasional appearances by 001 and Dr. Gilmore. Cyborgs 002, 004, 005, and 008 are lesser-utilized through the series, making sporadic appearances throughout. The team only appear fully united in episodes 3, 14, 24, and 26.
While the Black Ghost organization does not exist in the settings depicted in the series, a similar "Ghost Alliance" can be seen in episodes 13 and 17. Some stories were loosely imported from the original manga, while others were newly-written content or sourced from other Ishinomori stories ("The Girl with the Golden Eyes").
Due to a hurried schedule and some writers not always consulting with each other, this resulted in re-used and duplicated villain motifs, such as Skull from the manga being adapted into two similar yet entirely separate characters ("Skull Mask" and "Ghost"). Though as the writer Masaru Igami was responsible for both episodes, that case was his own oversight.
In the memoir "TV Anime Youth Symbols", the head writer Masaki Tsuji stated that the main theme of this series is "anti-war", which can be seen most clearly in episodes 15 and 16, "Tragedy of the Beast Man" and "Ghost of the Pacific". The latter episode would wind up banned for decades due to the controversy of it referencing the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
During the broadcast of the series, the episodes "Ghost of the Pacific" and "The Challenge of X" would become controversial among Japanese PTA groups for their nuclear war references, and they sent complaints to the TV station over their child-unfriendly content. This caused NET to order Masaki Tsuji and the rest of the staff to tone down the rest of the series. With not wanting to have their creative freedom compromised, the show staff opted to end the series on their own terms at episode 26, marking a short six-month run.
A third feature film was considered to follow this series, but it ultimately did not happen.
Characters[edit | edit source]
The 00 Cyborgs[edit | edit source]
Allies[edit | edit source]
- Dr. Isaac Gilmore
Enemies[edit | edit source]
Episode List[edit | edit source]
- The Terror of Monster Island
- The Challenge of X
- Battle at the South Pole
- The Space Demons
- Ah, Kubikuro
- King Garaliya, Rescue Mission
- The Vanishing School Bus
- The Girl with the Golden Eyes
- The Night the Devil Walks
- The Underground Golden Palace
- The Golden Lion
- Giant of the Heavens
- Secret of the Devil's Castle
- The Cursed Desert
- Tragedy of the Beast Man
- Ghost of the Pacific
- Ghost Alliance
- My Father is the Demon's Apostle
- Terror of the Nuclear Submarine Sea Snake
- The Final Escape
- The Phantom Cavalry Corps
- The Spirit of Revenge
- The Spirit of Revenge (part two)
- Ruthless Challenger
- Revive! Phoenix
- Warriors of Peace do not Die
Production Staff[edit | edit source]
- Director: Yugo Serikawa
- Planning: Shinichi Miyazaki, Shoji Eto, Yoshifumi Hatano
- Music: Kosugi Taichiro
- Scriptwriters: Masaki Tsuji, Masaru Igami, Hiroshi Ozawa, Junnya Sato, Susumu Takahisa, Toyohiro Ando, Yugo Serikawa
Voice Cast[edit | edit source]
- 009: Katsuji Mori (credited as "Setsuya Tanaka")
- 001: Fuyumi Shiraishi
- 002: Ryō Ishihara
- 003: Hiroko Suzuki
- 004: Hiroshi Ōtake (earlier appearances) /Kenji Utsumi (appearances in episode 18 and on)
- 005: Hiroshi Masuoka
- 006: Ichirō Nagai
- 007: Machiko Soga
- 008: Keiichi Noda
- Professor Gilmore: Jōji Yanami
Supplemental Reading Material[edit | edit source]
- Tokuma Shoten Roman Album #2: Cyborg 009 (1977): Covers the previous two animated films and this series, and contains interviews with the cast and Ishinomori, as well as production artwork. Most notably, it contains full-color illustrations of moments from the series, but also contains illustrations of moments from the manga that were not depicted, particularly 009 and 002 falling to Earth in the form of a star (but proceeding to be rescued by 001 and reuniting with their team). At the time of this book's production, an art contest for a "new Cyborg 009 anime" was advertised, but a new adaptation would not come until two years later. However, a cyborg-themed anime by Shotaro Ishinomori named Glacial Warrior Guyslugger would in fact be released in 1977, and may have evolved from a rejected pitch.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- While the actors for Gilmore, 007, 002, 004, and 005 all reprised their roles for the series, the rest of the characters were recast. 004's actor also noticeably changes during the run, possibly due to the character's sporadic appearances (his second actor, Kenji Utsumi, had previously voiced 008).