Cyborg 009 is a 1966 animated film loosely based on the manga by Shotaro Ishinomori. It was directed by Yugo Serikawa, with the screenplay written by Takashi Iijima and Serikawa. It was released on July 21st, 1966, with a runtime of 64 minutes.
It is a loose adaptation of the introductory arc, "Birth".
The earliest signs of the film's production can be seen in some early 1966 concept art by Ishinomori, done after discussions with the film planner Yoshifumi Hatano and the changes that the production team planned to make to the characters.
Many aspects were to be significantly altered in the movie, some to the frustration of Ishinomori. The most notable change that had disappointed him had involved Cyborg 007 being changed to be a young nine-year old boy, in order for the film to better appeal to the child audience. However, it was a compromise that had to be made, under the logic that it was much easier to empathize with a child character. The child 007 can be seen in this concept art, and would be previewed in the January 1966 one-shot "The Man in the High Castle". A redesign for 001 would also be depicted there, with his bangs no longer covering his eyes.
Shortly before the film's release, as the Cyborg 009 feature moved to Weekly Shonen Magazine, Ishinomori had to draw up a new origin story for film viewers who would be reading the magazine, although it was not intended to be canon with the upcoming Underground Empire of Yomi arc. This story, "Prologue", was a brief origin story taking cues from some parts of this film.
Other notable changes in the film included the removal of the biracial angle to 009, as well as him being changed from a delinquent to a race car driver captured by Black Ghost. 003 would also be depicted as a ballerina in her backstory, which would be carried forth to further incarnations.
The 00 CyborgsEdit
- Black Ghost Leader
- Beagle and Easel, his subordinates
After a sabotage on the race track that causes the #9 car driven by the racer "Hurricane" Joe Shimamura to crash, an ambulance arrives on the scene to take him away. But this ambulance is in actuality a decoy sent by the Black Ghost organization, the ones responsible for the wreck, while a real ambulance arrives too late.
In being taken to the Black Ghost base, Joe is found to have gone into cardiac arrest, being clinically dead and necessitating the replacement of his heart, and the Black Ghost scientists set to work on remodeling the rest of his body.
Joe awakens later on in a strange white uniform, but is quickly put through endurance tests, eventually winding up in the ocean and emerging to find the scientists congratulating him. He is introduced to eight other cyborgs of the 00 prototype line, who quickly announce their plans to rebel and bring a captive, Dr. Gilmore, along.
Joe, now called "009", soon learns that Gilmore had organized this rebellion with the cyborgs and that Black Ghost made them as weapons to profit off of war. The cyborgs must fight off the Black Ghost fleet following them in the getaway plane, as 003 introduces 009 to each team member and describes their power.
The team land on a deserted island, but soon find their plane blown up by robotic dinosaurs and must face other threats. 009, 007, and 008 take to the sea to take one of the Black Ghost submarines hostage, and the team manage to escape to freedom- for a time.
At Dr. Gilmore's research center, the cyborgs attempt to get used to being on the run and living away from their home countries. 003 tells 009 of her past, in how her parents were killed in a war and how Black Ghost ruined her life further. It is found that Black Ghost still has a base that the cyborgs must destroy, and 009 opts to take only 003, 006, and 007 along with him.
In the area surrounding the base, 009, 006, and 007 fight off against a spider-shaped mecha, while 003 is abducted and put on an operating table to be re-programmed against the other cyborgs. As the others enter the base and fight off against the soldiers, they find the newly evil 003 waiting for them and attempting to shoot them. 009 then discovers that the true leader of Black Ghost is a brain inside a machine, and shoots at it, causing the brainwashing on 003 to be broken. But with the base set to explode, they must escape.
Outside, as they attempt to get back to their ship, they find more Black Ghost soldiers waiting- along with the other 00 cyborgs, who have come just in time to shoot the soldiers and assist their teammates. The nine cyborgs narrowly escape the exploding island.
In the end, the nine stand in civilian clothing (and 003 holding 001), as for the time, they can now go back to their average lives and have peace from Black Ghost.
- 009: Hiroyuki Ōta
- 001: Kyoko Toriyama
- 002: Ryō Ishihara
- 003: Judy Ongg
- 004: Hiroshi Ōtake
- 005: Hiroshi Masuoka
- 006: Arihiro Fujimura
- 007: Machiko Soga
- 008: Kenji Utsumi (mistakenly credited for 005, was corrected in the second film)
- Professor Gilmore: Jōji Yanami
Changes in the adaptationEdit
- 009's origin was overhauled to remove any aspect of him being a juvenile delinquent. Rather than being an escapee from a detention center, Joe Shimamura became a teenage race car driver. The Black Ghost organization was responsible for his car crashing, in order for him to be captured and turned into a cyborg. The aspect of him only being half-Japanese is also never brought up within the film.
- The other cyborgs do not have their origins stated, due to time constraints and the dark subject matter involved in some of their backstories. It could also be due to the production sourcing off the "Birth" arc as initially printed; the 001-008 origin stories would come later in the story "Cyborg Soldiers: Prologue" (which would be folded into "Birth" in reprints).
- 009's acceleration power was removed, likely due to the animation budget constraints.
- 001 is not the one to telepathically greet 009 when he wakes up. His only power appears to be his telepathic speech.
- 009's blood is depicted as a dark green for censorship purposes, when he is shown being operated on.
- The assassin cyborgs did not make the cut into the storyline, although a spider-like mecha resembling 0011 does attack 009, 006, and 007. The brain of the Black Ghost leader also has its holding jar and tank modeled after the manga version of 0012.
- 004 shooting the Black Ghost scientists is toned down to him firing a missile at them as a warning.
- A new subplot is added, where 003 is kidnapped and brainwashed.
- There is no "Skull" in the film; instead, the boss of Black Ghost we first see is a short, green demonic-looking figure, who has a pet cat resembling an evil version of Tom (from the Tom & Jerry cartoons, which had been imported to Japan around this time).
Character design alterationsEdit
- 009's hair was also changed from being chestnut brown (and the indicator of his mixed heritage) to jet black, and both his eyes were rendered visible, as opposed to having his fringe cover one. His uniform was initially green in Ishinomori's artwork up to the Vietnam arc, but would later be consistently depicted as red with gold buttons and scarf. In the film, his uniform is white with blue buttons, and his scarf is red.
- 003's hair had alternated between being blonde or brown in the colored artwork at the time, but was changed to reddish-brown, while her uniform was depicted as a dark pink. Her scarf was altered to be an ascot, and was colored blue.
- All other members of the team were given lavender uniforms, and had their scarves removed.
- 001's hair, which had vacillated between blond, light brown, or silver in Ishinomori's colored artwork, was depicted as light brown.
- 004's hair was changed from silver to a reddish-brown shade, and both his hands were given the ability to fire bullets. He was also given the ability to fire missiles from both his elbows, in addition to his knee missiles.
- 002's hair was changed from its usual orange-red to brown. He also received slightly pointed ears, olive-toned skin, a larger jaw, and a hooked end to his nose.
- 005's facial markings were altered to have only two small stripes on each cheek, and only a vertical stripe above each brow (as opposed to the stripes going down his cheeks as well). His skintone was also slightly lightened.
- 008 was given dark brown skin and pink lips, as opposed to Ishinomori's artwork that gave him black skin and white lips. Ishinomori's artwork also tended to give 008 lighter hair, while his hair is depicted black within the film.
- 006's facial shape was slightly altered, and his mustache was depicted in more of a straighter, Fu Manchu style.