The film was made to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Shotaro Ishinomori's manga career. Although it shares some of the voice cast, it is not connected to the 1979 anime series.
Prior to 009 Re:Cyborg , it was the only theatrical film of the franchise to get an English release, under its original title as well as an edited version known as "Defenders of the Vortex".
The production of this film happened to fall after the abrupt cancellation of the 1979 TV anime, due to Nippon Sunrise having pulled out of backing the series. In contrast, the film would be solely handled by Toei Animation.
The new film would be unconnected to the recently-cancelled series, in part due to the toy company Takatoku claiming merchandising rights and not allowing specific mecha designs to be used, such as the Dolphin II (although it had also been used in the manga). The Neo Black Ghost organization from the manga were initially considered as the enemy force, but this idea did not get far.
In Ishinomori's concept, the team would travel the solar system, but by mandate of Toei, the plot was tweaked for them to travel to another galaxy. Initially, the Galaxy Express 999 director Rintaro had been attached to the project as screenwriter and director, but bowed out due to the difficulties with the screenplay (he would eventually go on to direct another Ishinomori-inspired film a few years later, Genma Taisen). Ryuzo Nakanishi was then hired to write the screenplay, while Masayuki Akehi directed. The American consultant Jeff Segal was hired to make further revisions and suggestions to the plot, in order for it to better appeal to Western audiences.
One notable factor is that the film became the first piece of media to have utilized a redesign for Pyunma/008. This came about due to consultation with Jeff Segal, who had informed the creative team that Pyunma's original design adhered to racial stereotyping and blackface, and that if they wanted the film to be successful overseas, that it would be in their best interests to redesign him and remove the unfortunate implications. Pyunma's new design was modeled after the actor Sidney Poitier. However, Pyunma's skin is depicted as a gray color within the actual film. This design change was not without conflict among long-term readers, as there was some resistance and disputes over it.
While the film was to be unconnected to the 1979 series, the magazine Animage ran a fan poll asking readers who the voice cast should be. Most of the actors of the series wound up reprising their roles due to winning the popular vote, however, 001 and Dr. Gilmore wound up with their 1968 actors favored most, and 008 was voiced by Kazuyuki Sogabe, who had previously voiced 002 in the Kirin radio drama that predated the release of the 1979 series.
In the years since the 00 Cyborgs had defeated the Black Ghost organization, they had returned to their home countries in an attempt to regain normal lives. Dr. Gilmore and 001 have been living at the laboratory in the years of peace, although Dr. Gilmore's research assistant Dr. Cosmo has been striving to find the existence of a super energy source out in space that he's named "The Vortex" and seeks to gain control of. But for Dr. Gilmore, all he would prefer is a peaceful retirement.
001 starts to throw a tantrum, and in the commotion, he reveals that an invader known as Zoa is heading to Earth, and plans to conquer the universe. Dr. Gilmore realizes that Cosmo expects him to call the cyborgs back into action, as he thinks of how each of them are spread across the world, living their lives;
- 002 has moved to Spain to be a matador
- 003 has continued her ballet career in France
- 004 took up skiing as a pastime
- 005 rides horses in the Wild West
- 006 continues his Chang Changku restaurant
- 007 has revitalized his acting career as a comedian
- 008 operates as a poaching surveillance officer
- 009 continues his job as the F-1 racer "Hurricane Joe"
Although he hates to tear them away from these occupations, he reluctantly relents to Cosmo's insistence. Around this time, a bird-shaped aircraft from outer space makes its way to Earth, causing commotion in its wake and ultimately settling in the ocean.
The 00 cyborgs are brought to the laboratory to investigate the occurrence, and 008 opts to go out under the ocean to get a closer look at the spaceship. But he is suddenly called back, as 003 realizes that something will be emerging from the ship. As the alien teleports itself from the ship into the laboratory, the 00 cyborgs prepare to open fire but are told by 001 that the alien is not their enemy. The alien reveals himself as Saba, a young boy from the distant planet of Komadar.
He explains that his planet had been destroyed, and that he is the only one left as a survivor on his ship, as all the adults died in their transit to Earth, including his mother. The adults had been killed by "nerve-system destruction lasers", while he had hidden in a protective capsule. Saba elaborates that Komadar was once as advanced as Earth in being like its "brother planet", and had once sent an expedition party to it several eons ago. Dr. Gilmore realizes the possibility that the people from Komadar might have been the ones responsible for the Nazca lines left in Peru.
However, Komadar was eventually destroyed by the aliens of planet Dagas, lead by Zoa. Saba's father, Dr. Corbin, was abducted in the wake of the disaster, due to his discovery of a super-energy in outer space. Dr. Cosmo realizes that Corbin must have also discovered "The Vortex" as well, as Saba continues to explain that Zoa intends to use the super-energy to conquer the universe. One of Zoa's ships makes its way towards Earth, with a large hologram of his commander, Garro, appearing before the 00 cyborgs and Dr. Gilmore. Garro boasts how Zoa will be the new ruler of the universe, and vanishes. 003 confirms that the illusion of Garro was projected from somewhere in space, and senses that the fleet are heading towards the moon.
The 00 cyborgs are now tasked with helping Saba retrieve his father from Zoa, and stopping the alien overlord from taking over. The cyborgs will take Saba's ship "The Ishmael" into outer space, while Dr. Cosmo insists on finding a way to shield it from the nerve-system destruction lasers.
Later on, 002 is hanging around outside the laboratory, and is approached by 004, who senses he was busy reminiscing about his days in New York. Both relate their struggles of being cyborgs and having to keep fighting, and 004 confesses that he had wished that he had died several years ago in the accident that had claimed his fiancee Hilda and left him to be captured and converted by Black Ghost.
Around the same time, 009 and 003 have a discussion in which 009 wants 003 to stay behind on Earth, as he considers her too important to lose and feels that she's meant for greater things. But an upset 003 reminds him that as part of the team, it's her responsibility to fight as well. The two are alerted to 001 being in distress, and head back to find that he and Dr. Cosmo have been abducted by one of the ships in Zoa's fleet. The hologram of Garro re-appears to inform the team that Zoa has ordered 001 and Cosmo to be taken to the fortress of Kadets, abandoning the plans to go to the moon.
The 00 cyborgs make the decision to take off into outer space as immediately as possible, setting off in the Ishmael. Dr. Gilmore tearfully watches them depart, hoping that none of them may die out in space and that they'll make it back. The 00 cyborgs say farewell to Earth, and learn of the "Star Gate" that they can travel through to get to Kadets.
But the path to the Star Gate is littered with mines set on asteroids by Zoa's fleet. One sticks to the ship, and must be thrown away by 005 and his super-strength. After the ship travels through the portal, they learn that they've traveled 400,000 light years from Earth. Dagas fighter crafts are waiting for the Ishmael, leaving the cyborgs to have to use the ship's lasers to do battle against them. After the clash, the Ishmael is found to be losing power due to depletion of its hydro-crystal, leaving the cyborgs to find the nearest habitable planet to land on.
Their new quest takes them to Fantarion, a planet that as a supply of hydro-crystal and that had done business with Komadar in the past. In noticing that Fantarion has a symbol in its ground much like the Nazca lines, the cyborgs find that it is also a landing port for the ship but are startled by it being sunk into an underground hangar. As they split up to investigate, Fantarion turns out to have unforeseen threats such as a giant sea worm that 002, 005, 006, and 008 battle against.
009 and 004 explore another section of the planet, believing it to be a sign of a dead civilization, and are ambushed by the aliens of Fantarion. They find themselves teleported to another part after attempting to draw their Super Guns, and come into contact with 002, 005, 006, and 008, who were also teleported to the area. A princess named Tamara appears to the cyborgs, along with her pet dog Pulala. She reveals her abilities of ESP, and requests that 009 help save her people. She also reveals that she is only a psychic hologram, as her true body is being held captive by an evil robot named Roduk, and that Fantarion looks like a wasteland due to the attack on it by the Dagas fleet.
The cyborgs enter a temple, where they find Roduk, as well as Tamara imprisoned in a large hydro-crystal pendant he wears around his neck. The combination of their fighting efforts brings Roduk to an explosive defeat, and they follow Tamara's instructions to release her.
Following the rescue of Tamara, the people of Fantarion celebrate. Later on, as the 00 cyborgs prepare to depart, the lonely princess requests that 009 stay with her and for them to raise a family together. As 002 wonders if 009 would really have feelings for Tamara, a distressed 003 notices the interaction between them and is confused as to what it means. 009 reveals to Tamara that he cannot stay on her planet, as his team and his mission to destroy Zoa are important. Suddenly, a Dagas fleet invades Fantarion, and finishes off the surviving citizens.
Tamara is mortally wounded by collapsing rubble after being struck by a laser (that kills her dog). The 00 cyborgs manage to dig her body out, in the aftermath of the disaster, but it is too late to save her. Tamara reveals that she knew that 009 could not stay with her, but was still happy to meet him and had to ask him anyway. 009, 002, 003, and 004 mourn her death, and 009 regrets having had to involve her and her people in their mission, vowing to avenge them.
The Ishmael departs Fantarion, and 003 finds a strange "planet" on its radar. The planet is in actuality the fortress of Kadets, which can track the ship with its radar. Saba points out a neutron star between Kadets and the ship, and believes that if they follow the path of the neutron star, they can mask their presence around the fortress. He also notes that the cyborgs adjusting their heartbeats to the pulse of the neutron star would keep them further masked from Zoa. 009 notes that four of them must go in the escape shuttle to Kadets, while 003 insists on coming along due to her super-senses. 009 is reluctant, as her heart cannot be adjusted, but 002 offers for her to borrow his heart regulator.
003, 004, 007, and 009 are tasked to going to Kadets, while the other cyborgs and Saba are left behind to defend the Ishmael. 002 agrees and states "If we die, we all die together!" but is interrupted by 004 bidding him farewell (and parroting an earlier line spoken by him), causing him to become somewhat confused and irritated at the dramatic line.
Dr. Corbin, Dr. Cosmo, and 001 are being experimented on by Zoa's doctors in the meantime. The aliens reveal that they've extracted information from the adults' brains, but that 001's resistance is strong and that he may self-destruct if they push their abilities further. Zoa believes the other cyborgs to have died on Fantarion, but his telepathy senses the Ishmael's escape shuttle nearby. The four make it into Kadets, with 007 taking the disguise of a Dagas alien to find out the location of the captives.
In an ambush by Dagas aliens and Garro, 004, 009, and 007 do battle, coming out triumphant and believing all to be dead. As they release the captives, Dr. Corbin is found to have died from Zoa's subordinates, while Dr. Cosmo and 001 are still alive. 009 notices the presence of Zoa watching them, and Zoa introduces himself as the "God of the universe". 001 reveals that Zoa is also a cyborg, and Zoa himself states that had overcome and killed his creators. He teleports away, to leave Kadets and make his journey to the "Vortex".
As the cyborgs go to leave, Garro reveals himself to still be alive and rouses. 004 shoots him, but is shot in the chest for his effort, causing him great pain. 009, 004, and 007 fight more Dagas aliens, but as 007 and 009 follow 003 to the escape shuttle route, 009 notices that 004 won't come. Instead, 004 takes an alien as a hostage and warns the army to stay put. He confesses to 009 that ever since he'd been converted to "that monster" 004, he's wished he could die and that the fortress seems a great place for it. He refuses the orders to come back, as he reveals to the aliens that he has an atomic bomb inside him and that if they'd shoot him, they'd all die.
At being called "Heinrich", 004 thanks 009 for using his human name and departs, leaving his scarf behind. 009 reluctantly lets him go, as back on the Ishmael, 002 becomes aggravated that the other group is late in returning. The escape shuttle makes its way back towards the Ishmael, but is trailed by a Dagas fleet. 002, 005, and 008 emerge in separate battleships to fight off the enemies to let the others get back in safely.
Back at the Kadets fortress, 004 continues holding the one alien hostage and warns the rest of his short temper, but finds Garro is still alive. Garro questions of the other cyborgs' whereabouts as well as the aliens' hesitance to shoot 004. Not knowing of the atom bomb and ignoring the pleading alien soldier, Garro takes out his gun and opens fire on the smirking 004, piercing him with several bullets. The final one activates the bomb, taking out the fortress in a massive explosion, leaving behind a supernova in space.
The supernova nearly swallows up the Ishmael, violently rocking it. 002 questions 009 on the source of the explosion, but notices that 004 is absent from the return party and becomes frantic. 009 reveals that the explosion was from 004, who committed suicide in Kadets. 002 is distraught by the news, though 007 believes the sacrifice to be necessary and that they'll need to avenge him. 005 reveals that the Ishmael's hull has been severely damaged and that there's no chance of them returning to Earth, but 009 and the others make the decision to follow and destroy Zoa, no matter what the cost.
001 informs 009 that the Vortex is on the other end of a "star maze". 001 combines his mental powers with 009's, in order to keep track of Zoa and follow him through the maze. As they reach the Vortex, 009 decides to leave the ship, to 003's distress. 009's escape craft and Zoa's ship are both absorbed into the Vortex. Back in the Ishmael, the other cyborgs can only see the glowing white void of energy. 009 is suddenly teleported back into the ship, but as a seemingly-spectral figure illuminated in white. 003 attempts to rush towards him, but has to be restrained by 002, as the power 009 has absorbed could kill anyone that touches him.
009 reveals that the Vortex was a living thing with its own consciousness, filled with all the emotions and powers of every being, and beyond human comprehension. A brief flashback is shown, as 009 mentions that Zoa was destroyed while in the void, due to absorbing so much of the energy. The power 009 had absorbed from the Vortex starts to wear off, as 001 reveals that the ship has suddenly arrived back to Earth. 009 confesses in turn that he had used the power to wish they could return home.
Later, at the outskirts of Gilmore's laboratory, Dr. Gilmore, Dr. Cosmo, Saba, and the remaining eight 00 cyborgs hold a memorial service for the departed 004, tying his scarf around a cross to represent a grave. Dr. Gilmore mourns the loss of 004, though Dr. Cosmo insists that if he made a new cyborg that resembled him, the others would be relieved. But 002 puts a stop to the idea, stating that the life of a cyborg is miserable, as he embraces the cross. Dr. Gilmore agrees and assures 002 that he won't make any more cyborgs or a replacement 004. The team hears 004 agree that it'd be pointless, and witness him emerging from a nearby forest, sans his scarf.
The mourners are taken aback by his presence and casual return, and 002 demands to know how he's alive. 004 answers that it had to do with 009 being in the Vortex, to which 001 adds that 009 had wished for Zoa's destruction when he'd acquired the Vortex's power, as well as having prayed for 004's resurrection. 009 becomes surprised at the knowledge of his wish, and admits to it, but is still incredulous that it could have actually worked.
As 004 retrieves his scarf from the makeshift grave, he confesses to Dr. Gilmore that 009's wish had brought him back to Earth as an ordinary human being (as evident by the lack of his gun hand) but that there must have been a "mistake" in doing so, and that he wants Dr. Gilmore to remodel him back into a cyborg. A confused 003 states that 004 had always wanted to be human again, and 009 wonders why he had a change of heart. 004 reasons that he was able to die satisfied as a 00 cyborg, and that it makes no sense for him to be resurrected as a human being separate from the others. A confused 009 can only say "Heinrich..." as 004 winks at him.
Later on, 003 approaches 009 and asks why he hadn't wished for Princess Tamara's resurrection as well. 009 can only answer "I don't know". 003 then asks what he plans to do with his life next, for him to reveal that his next race is at the Monaco Grand Prix and that he plans to go back to France with her. The two embrace and watch the sun set.
Over the ending credits, the Ishmael and Saba are depicted leaving the Earth to return to Komadar.
The 00 CyborgsEdit
- Director: Masayuki Akehi
- Executive Producer: Yoshinori Watanabe, Chiaki Imada
- Producer: Kei Iijima, Youichi Kominato
- Screenplay: Ryuzo Nakanishi, Jeff Segal (consultant)
- Animation Direction and Character Design: Yasuhiro Yamaguchi
- Art Direction: Iwamatsu Ito, Kazuo Ebisawa
- Mecha Design: Koichi Tsunoda
- Music: Koichi Sugiyama
- Director of Photography: Shigeyoshi Ikeda, Tamio Hosoda
- Background Art: Noriko Ishida
- Key Animation: Shigemitsu Koshiba
- In-Between Animation: Yasuhiro Nakura
- Casting Director: Toshio Furuichi (Aoni Production)
Japanese Voice CastEdit
- Narrator: Ryo Ishihara
- 009: Kazuhiko Inoue
- 001: Fuyumi Shiraishi
- 002: Keiichi Noda
- 003: Kazuko Sugiyama
- 004: Keaton Yamada
- 005: Banjo Ginga
- 006: Sanji Hase
- 007: Kaneta Kimotsuki
- 008: Kazuyuki Sogabe
- Professor Gilmore: Jōji Yanami
- Dr. Cosmo: Ichiro Nagai
- Saba: Noriko Ohara
- Emperor Zoa: Toru Ohira
- Commander Garro: Chikao Ohtsuka
- Princess Tamara: Hiroko Suzuki
English Voice CastEdit
- Narrator: Avi Landau
- 009: Walter Carroll
- 001: Mary Malone
- 002: Don Pomes
- 003: Michelle Hart
- 004: Richard Nieskens
- 005: Frank Rogers
- 006: Jeff Manning
- 007: James Keating
- 008: Clay Lowrey
- Professor Gilmore: Cliff Harrington
- Dr. Cosmo: Mike Worman
- Saba: Gerri Sorrells
- Emperor Zoa: William Ross
- Commander Garro: Lanny Broyles
- Princess Tamara: Deborah DeSnoo
German Dub (approx. 1981)Edit
The German dub holds the honor of being the earliest foreign-language adaptation, produced some time after the original release.
However, this dub divided the film into two, titling the first portion "Space Station Cyborg 009" and the second portion "Dangerous Countdown for Cyborg 009". The second film included a 10-minute recap of the first portion. The DVD releases of the film(s) retain this style of editing.
International English Dub (Toho/Frontier Enterprises, 1986)Edit
The English adaptation of the film has the distinction of being the first part of the franchise to be dubbed into that language.
This dub was produced at William Ross' Tokyo-based Frontier Enterprises in 1986, with the film having been commissioned by Toho as an international English version. All the actors that had worked on the film were foreign citizens living or working in Japan at the time. William Ross had himself voiced the Emperor Zoa, along with already working as the voice director and the ADR scriptwriter for the dub.
It was first released on home video in 1988 by Celebrity Entertainment's "Just For Kids" label, albeit in a heavily-edited format as "Defenders of the Vortex" where it was shortened to 92 minutes for time and content. However, the original print of the dub was later released in 1995 by Best Film and Video.
Dub Name ChangesEdit
Although the English script ran close to the original in some sections, save for liberties taken by Ross in word choice, added jokes, and some softened lines, various characters' names were changed for unknown reasons.
- The 00 Cyborg Team were renamed "The Galaxy Legion", perhaps to better explain to viewers why they'd be going off into space.
- 002's name was changed from Jet to "Jedd".
- 003's name was Anglicized from Francoise to "Francis" (albeit in the incorrect masculine spelling).
- 004's full name was changed from Albert Heinrich to "Heinrich Struller".
- 005 was briefly referred to as "Chief".
- 007 was renamed "O'Shaughnessy", and acquired an Irish accent.
- 008 was renamed "Puma", with inconsistent pronunciation.
- The planet Komadar was renamed "Gamadar", and the planet Kadets was renamed "Gadats". Dagas and Fantarion kept their names, though the latter was pronounced more like "Fontarion".
- "We'll Never Say Goodbye" was entirely removed and substituted with an earlier instance of "Love of 1 Billion Light Years", which in turn was localized and retitled "Light of Love".
- A later insert song was also removed, but left as its instrumental track.
- The space travel sequences were shortened in the "Defenders of the Vortex" print, to save on runtime. The fights on Fantarion and the Kadets fortress were also shortened, along with 004's death sequence. 004's flashback to Hilda's death was entirely removed.
- In a notably controversial directing decision by William Ross, 006 was given a stereotypical Pidgin accent and broken grammar, along with constantly reciting about "old Chinese proverbs".
- Due to 007 being changed to an Irishman, his line about London (upon leaving Earth) was changed to him saluting the "bluffs of Killarney".
- 004's pre-death speech was softened a bit, with the removal of him referring to himself as a "monster" and toning down the implications of his suicide. In addition, 009's line that 004 "committed suicide" in space was also softened. The dialogue surrounding 004's resurrection was also toned down a little, although 007's line about God was retained.
- Confusingly, some lines where characters referred to each other by name were altered to reference their number instead, along with the reverse where numbers were swapped out for names.
- When the team splits up for the invasion of the Kadets fortress, 004 originally states to 002, "Abayo, dachi ko" ("Goodbye, friend!"), repeating a line spoken by 002 earlier in the film, causing 002 to irritably ask "What's with that line!?". In the dub, this is changed to an exchange of "See you later!" "You BETTER see me later!".
Spanish Dub (approx. 1987)Edit
Retitled Agente Especiale 009 and later Cyborg 009: La leyenda de la supergalaxia, this adaptation presented various script and name alterations. It was dubbed in the Castilian dialect.
Dub Name ChangesEdit
- 002 was renamed from Jet to "Zanahoria" ("Carrot"), due to his red hair.
- 004 had his name changed from Albert to "Sigfrido" ("Siegfried").
- 007 was renamed from Great Britain to "Chamberlain".
- 008 had his name translated as "Puma".
French Dub (Scherzo Video, 1987)Edit
The French adaptation appears to have been produced around the same time period as the version distributed in Spain, and seems to have recycled the script and name changes utilized for it.
Dub Name ChangesEdit
- 002's name was changed to "Poil de Carotte" ("Carrot Head"), following along the name theme used in the Castilian dub.
- 004 was referred to as "Siegfried".
- 007 was renamed "Chamberlain".
- 008's name was rendered as "Puma".
Italian Dub (DTP Rome, 2001)Edit
The most recent international adaptation was the Italian dub, produced by DTP Rome and distributed by Yamato Video. It was later re-released on DVD in 2004.
It contains no alterations and kept all the music to the film, although the songs were left untranslated. While most of the Italian dub cast of the 1979 series did not return, Massimo Rossi did reprise his role of 009.
A three-part manga adaptation of the film was illustrated by Sugar Sato, and was serialized in early 1981, with its collected volume following soon after. Sato's adaptation appears to reference an earlier draft of the screenplay, including a scene towards the end where 004 offers for 002 to go visit Canada with him (which can be seen in the screenplay published within a guide to the film). But the manga also leaves out some parts, in order to quicken the story's pacing, and other tweaks are made.
A second manga adaptation was illustrated by Gosaku Ota and is done in a more comedic parody type of manner than Sato's serious take, depicting the characters in a super-deformed style.
As part of the mass merchandising hype surrounding the film, five separate light novel adaptations were also released, with a few also referencing scenes that had been trimmed out of the screenplay and each novel having the author's own take on storytelling and characterizations (with Akiyoshi Sakai's version seeming to be connected as a sequel to his Cyborg 009: SF Roman novel).
The authors and further information are listed below:
- Taku Sugiyama (Shueisha Bunko, 1 volume)
- Akiyoshi Sakai (Asahi Sonorama, 2 volumes)
- Tomoko Konparu (Shonen Gahosha, 2 volumes)
- Ken Wakasaki (Bunka Publishing, 2 volumes)
- Takashi Hayashi (Shueisha Monkey Paperback, 2 volumes)
Most notably, Ken Wakasaki's take features an extended version of the vortex scene (featuring a conversation between Joe and the vortex itself), and includes vignettes retelling other manga stories as team members' memories of previous adventures. 004's confession about having been returned to Earth as a human is also cut, leaving readers to assume that the vortex only brought him back as a cyborg.
The Taku Sugiyama and Takashi Hayashi novels also reference the scrapped "Canada" offer at the end of the plot, while the Sugiyama version reveals that the Ishmael's working name was the "Crusader-1".
The versions written by Sakai, Konparu, and Wakasaki incorporate a detail stated in guides for the movie, where it is revealed that 004 being shot and injured had triggered a countdown for his bomb, and that he was set to explode anyway, regardless of whether or not he would have stayed in the Kadets fortress.
Character and Mecha DesignEdit
- 001's hair is changed back to the light brown that it appeared as in the early manga and the '60s films, while 003's hair was also altered to be light brown (possibly owing to confusion from the manga's color art and over how to interpret "flaxen" colored hair). Meanwhile, 009 received brown hair for the first time in an animated adaptation.
- Aside from 008's redesign, other characters went some design revision due to being unable to reuse Toyo Ashida's designs and a new designer being hired. This included 002 getting softened features and larger eyes, 004 becoming sallow skinned with dark gray hair, and 005's skin color and facial features being tweaked some as well.
- Viewers will note that the Ishmael ship has an uncanny similarity to the ship that appeared in the "Cosmo Child" arc, along with the Nazca lines being referenced as they were in the story. Saba's style of clothing also slightly resembles the suits worn by the alien children in the arc, and he has the backstory of his entire species having been wiped out by an enemy alien race. Zoa's spacecraft also somewhat resembles the spaceships flown by the enemy in the arc.
Actor Cameos from Previous AdaptationsEdit
- While Sachiko Chijimatsu and Koji Totani did not return for their roles of 001 and 008, they were utilized for minor background character roles within the film.
- Hiroko Suzuki, who voiced 003 in the 1968 series, appears in the role of Princess Tamara, making for a voice acting in-joke when 009 is caught between her and 003.
- Ryo Ishihara, who voiced 002 in the original films and 1968 series, can be heard as the narrator at the start of the film.
- Ichiro Nagai, who voiced 006 in the 1968 series and Odin in the 1979 series (save for his final cameo), was cast as Dr. Cosmo.
- While they had not been in a Cyborg 009 production, the actors Noriko Ohara, Chikao Ohtsuka, and Toru Ohira had previously appeared in the Toei animated film The Age of the Great Dinosaurs, which had been written and directed by Shotaro Ishinomori and starred his characters of Jun (from Fantasy World Jun) and Remi (from Agartha). The three actors voiced shamans that were in the plot, and Hiroko Suzuki and Ichiro Nagai had been cast as two other shamans.
Production and ReceptionEdit
- While the film did well at the box office, it was still critically panned among long-time fans of the series for factors that included the long running time and inconsistent pacing for a simplistic story, as well as 009 not using his accelerator and the lack of usage or characterization of some of the cast. However, the most controversial and debated points were the final twists where 004 was revealed to have been resurrected as a human, and then revealing that he intended to go back to being a cyborg (criticized on account of the twists feeling cliche and out-of-character). This in part was due to trailers and promotional materials hyping up and spoiling 004's death, which lead some fans to feel disappointed at the full context. Tellingly, the first TV broadcast of the film deleted the entire portion with 004 revealing himself to be alive, although this was a sloppy edit that only created more confusion and fans that would later buy the DVDs of the film would wind up further confused to see that he was resurrected.
- In regards to if the film could fit into continuity with the manga, Shotaro Ishinomori had reportedly said to treat Legend of the Super Galaxy as a movie that the characters acted in and as a separate continuity.
- ↑ http://www.style.fm/as/05_column/365/365_046.shtml "Cyborg 009: The Legend of the Super Galaxy", Style.FM
- ↑ http://cat-punch.jugem.jp/?eid=62 Super Galaxy fan retrospective, Jugem.jp