Cyborg 009 Wiki

The Star System was a term notably coined by Osamu Tezuka, in treating his multiple characters like actors when he would recycle their designs and roles, re-using them as necessary in each title, whether in a significant part or a cameo.

This term has also been used many times by fans to describe the habit of other manga-ka in doing the same with their characters, with Shotaro Ishinomori and Go Nagai being two notable examples. This is an attempt at listing Ishinomori's most notable "stars", some which debuted in Cyborg 009, and their history through his works.

Some of these characters will often be "cast" in similar roles to their best-known appearance, although there will also be clear variations where a heroic character will be used in a more villainous role.

However, unlike Tezuka, the line can be blurred between specific types of Ishinomori characters that were recycled. While some, such as the ones on this list, can be boiled down into specific names and types, there were no official classifications by the author himself.

There are also characters that can overlap in design, as while it may be common to think Ishinomori had a set amount of characters he recycled, there were actually many designs that were entirely original or that blended aspects of different popular characters. For instance, though Jiro from Kikaider can be seen as a recycling of 009 due to the softer face and some of his hair style, there are many differences and he can also overlap with other popular designs of the time (such as Ryu from the Ryu trilogy).

The names used here for each character type refer to either their earliest incarnation or their most popular usage.


Bon Bon[]

A large young man with a gray buzz-cut, round nose, and "3"-shaped closed eyes.

He is most notable for his own series, but was another favorite stock character for Ishinomori to use. Bon Bon has mysterious ESP-driven powers, and in his own series can be seen with a boy named "Gon", a variant on the Tamageta character.

Manga Appearances:

  • Bon Bon
  • That Strange Strange Girl (Kiyoshi-kun)
  • And Then There Were None... (in a panel seen in the explosion)
  • Cyborg 009 (On television in "Monster Island", as Vidar in "Edda")

Anime Appearances:

  • Cyborg 009: The Cyborg Soldier (cameo in "Friend", DVD version)


A short and plump Chinese man, most notable for his appearance as Cyborg 006. He would occasionally pop up in a title, either as an active character or simply as a cameo when a Chinese character was needed. His notable features include the "3"-shaped closed eyes, and a large round nose with a thin, loach-like mustache.

It is worth it to note that another Ishinomori stock design of a Chinese character existed as a potential design for 006, and would come to be known as Ra-Men ("Ramen") when he would appear. This character also displays unfortunate stereotypes and caricatures of Chinese people, though in a different way than 006 had with large buck teeth, slanted squinty eyes, and a braided cap.


  • Cyborg 009 (Chang Changku/Cyborg 006)
  • Horror Hunter (Chang)
  • 009-1 (A "00 Number" in chapter 5)
  • Guy Punch and Ann Doll (Mr.Awamori, chapter 2)
  • 2001 Baseball Story Guts GO! Majingun


Full name: Etsuko Sarutobi.

She is a young esper girl, who initially appeared in the title That Strange Strange Girl (Okashina Okashina Ano Ko). After the anime adaptation titled Sarutobi Ecchan, a second series would run under that same title.

Aside from her own series, she has popped up in cameos in other Ishinomori works, especially when a sighting of another esper is needed.

Manga Appearances:

  • That Strange Strange Girl
  • Mutant Sabu
  • Genma Taisen (cameo in the final battle)
  • Kinnaru Yatsura
  • Sarutobi Ecchan
  • Esper Ecchan

Anime Appearances:

  • Donkikko (cameo)
  • Sarutobi Ecchan
  • Cyborg 009: The Cyborg Soldier (cameo, original broadcast version of "Friend". Cameo removed in DVD retake)


A heroine type of character, best known for being Cyborg 003. Early prototypes of this design can be seen in titles prior to 1964, however, showing that this sort of look was one of Ishinomori's favorites to use.

She tends to be "cast" as a sister character, or a love interest of a male protagonist, if not as a lead (such as in Agartha). She tends to be most often depicted as blonde woman, regardless of her ethnicity in the title, though she is also occasionally seen with brown or black hair.

More often than not, her other appearances tend to have her as a normal human heroine, or sometimes with esper powers.

Manga Appearances:

  • The Fog, the Rose, and the Star (Lily, Lamica)
  • Super Men (Maya)
  • Cyborg 009 (Francoise Arnoul/003)
  • Mutant Sabu (Mari, in the Shonen Sunday version)
  • The Story that Begins at the End (Mary)
  • Fantasy World Jun (Various cameos as young women)
  • Blue Zone (Rina Hirokoji, late-term design)
  • The Way of Ryu (Maria Henderson)
  • Agartha (Remi Tachibana, early-term design)
  • Future Rescue Team Earth Guard 7 (Romi O'Hara)
  • Gilgamesh (Kiyoko Madoka)
  • 2001 Baseball Story Guts GO! Majingun

Anime Appearances:

  • All Cyborg 009 works
  • The Age of the Great Dinosaurs (Remi Tachibana)


A tall, muscular man, usually of Native American heritage but sometimes utilized differently. His most notable incarnation is Cyborg 005.


  • Cyborg 009 (Geronimo Junior/Cyborg 005)
  • 009-1 (A "00 Number" in chapter 5)
  • Message from Space (Urocco)
  • The Starbow (Ketarus)
  • 2001 Baseball Story Guts GO! Majingun
  • Kamen Rider Black


An old man, often cast as a father or grandfather figure. He is first and best known as Dr. Gilmore in Cyborg 009, though he has had many other appearances through Ishinomori's work.

Variations on his design can be seen, such as him lacking his beard or having darker hair and being a little younger.


  • Cyborg 009 (Dr. Isaac Gilmore)
  • That Strange Strange Girl (Baiyun Sarutobi)
  • Guy Punch and Ann Doll (Mr. Rum, chapter 2)
  • Iron Mask Cross and Iron Mask Detective Gen (Tsuyoshi Jumonji)
  • Robot Detective (Inspector Shiba)
  • 2001 Baseball Story Guts GO! Majingun


A character first notably seen as Cyborg 004, and initially set with the name "Heinrich" before it was extended to "Albert Heinrich".

He is one of Ishinomori's often "cast" characters and archetypes, with his face or sometimes entire design re-purposed for a title. In addition, there are characters that do not recycle his design, yet still have elements of the 004 incarnation imported over to them, such as certain cybernetic elements or his overall role and attitude.

The different characters directly visually modeled from "Heinrich" are subject to much variation in age, sometimes even ethnicity, and sometimes being more on the robotic side or cast as ninjas or those living in the Edo era.

It is also not uncommon to see bald variants, which due to their sheer number, can be put in their own class and offshoot (see "Ichi"). Though the original character of 004 was not meant to be blind, the blank eyes are occasionally explained as such on some of those inspired.

The various similar counterparts, along with their differences and variety, are occasionally jokingly referred to in fan sources as the "Pewter Clan" (due to the silver hair on some, as well as the universal white eyes).


  • Cyborg 009 (Albert Heinrich/004)
  • Earth Man (Harris)
  • Android V (Android K, Sukiku)
  • Time Clerk R (X)
  • Genma Taisen (Count Alucard)
  • 009-1 (A "00 Number" in chapter 5, Dr. Edison Night in chapter 6)
  • Kinnaru Yatsura (Kamisore)
  • Guy Punch and Ann Doll (Mr. Johnnie Walker in chapter 2)
  • GR Number 5 (Hugh)
  • Iron Mask Cross (The Golden Destroyer)
  • Peeping through a Fusuma (Cyborg Soldier, chapter "The Cyborg Soldier")
  • The Starbow (General Hakenrich)
  • The Magical World of Jun (The Blue Knight)
  • Message from Space (Hans)


A blind swordsman, making his debut in Sabu and Ichi's Detective Tales. His face was lifted from the "Heinrich" model of character, and this can be seen in the early, more simplistic art style. Some aspects of his later design were even briefly reflected back on Cyborg 004 when the Big Comic run of Sabu and Ichi ran at the same time as Cyborg 009, causing 004 to gain facial wrinkles.

Ichi's exact age is left ambiguous, as it is first made known he lost his sight as a child, "over 20 years ago", thus placing him possibly in his late twenties to his thirties.

Although, a later depiction of his flashback has the past Ichi not visible but seemingly taller, leaving some to assume if he was an adult then (while the anime adaptation of the story has the younger Ichi cry out in a feminine, childish voice, confirming him as a youth). Nevertheless, he seems to treat Sabu as a much younger man, and live-action adaptations have cast Ichi with visibly middle-aged actors.

Characters in the "Ichi" model tend to not only be bald and have featureless eyes, but also tend to have some degree of age lines on their face, reflecting his later design.


  • Sabu and Ichi's Detective Tales
  • The Dog World (God)
  • 2001 Baseball Story Guts GO! Majingun (Ichi Kurayami)


A robot character, depicted as a black metallic figure with red eyes. Though usually masculine in appearance, a female robot variant appears in the short story ROBOT, based off Isaac Asimov's laws of robotics. The version of the robot as seen in The Way of Ryu thus derives its name from Asimov.

Manga Appearances:

  • The Story that Begins at the End
  • The Way of Ryu
  • GR Number 5 (Garakuta, lit. "Junk")

Anime Appearances:

  • Cyborg 009: The Cyborg Soldier (as Scarecrow, episode "Mystical Island")


A character that debuted as Cyborg 002. He is always depicted as a man with long, exaggerated windswept hair, as well as an over-sized pointed nose (and sometimes a large chin) to denote him as a Western man, sometimes an American like his best-known incarnation.

Some variations of the character wind up being much older men with beards, or in one case a thin mustache used to denote him as an obvious villain. Besides his incarnation appearing in Cyborg 009, it's not uncommon to see a "Jet" as a villain or as a rival-type character, if not simply put as a minor cameo.

The analogue seen in Guts Go! Majingun has a somewhat toned-down hairstyle and features, but his inspiration is still evident with the nose and the style of eyes.


  • Cyborg 009 (Jet Link/002)
  • Android V (Nameless villain, referred to as "The Boss' Younger Brother" in the Shotaro Ishinomori Character Picture Guide)
  • 009-1 (A "00 Number" in chapter 5, Jet/020 in chapter 7)
  • Guy Punch and Ann Doll (Mr. Tequila, chapter 2)
  • 2001 Baseball Story Guts GO! Majingun
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (Roam)


A memorable Ishinomori design, best known as the hero Cyborg 009. His role is often similar as a kind protagonist, though he is also sometimes seen in the form of a much younger boy.

As the original character was designed to be biracial, "Joe" will tend to fill the roles of both Japanese and foreigner characters. He often appears with brown or blond hair, although with his counterpart in Finpy and I, he can sometimes be seen with silver hair as well. Occasionally, a Joe-type will also have black hair.

The prototype to the Joe character appearing in THE ENEMY has both eyes exposed, as Joe himself would initially and occasionally be depicted, until his design was settled as having his fringe always covering an eye. A recurring theme seen with some of his counterparts is that he has no mother, or no parents at all.

When not a cyborg, he is either depicted as a normal young man or even an android in some cases.


  • THE ENEMY (Cyborg #37, prototype/pilot to Cyborg 009 series)
  • Cyborg 009 (Joe Shimamura/009)
  • That Strange Strange Girl (Jim Flash)
  • Android V (V)
  • Angel 2 (Angel 1)
  • Mezzon Z (Ken)
  • 009-1 (A "00 Number", chapter 5)
  • The Way of Ryu (Jimmy Henderson)
  • Agartha (Yu)
  • Future Rescue Team Earth Guard 7 (Ken Manabu)
  • Finpy and I (Akira Amemiya)

The protagonist of GR Number 5, Akira, bears resemblance to a darker/gray-haired Joe on some covers and fufills a similar role, though his actual design in the manga at points is more akin to the Ryu character in this list.


An artistic young man, first created as an alter-ego character to represent the teenage Ishinomori. His father (based off Ishinomori's own) is shown to bear a design much like the caricature that Ishinomori would use for himself, being a short squat figure with squinted eyes, a button nose, and long, down-turned mouth.

He is most known for his short, light hair with long fringe that covers one of his eyes. In colored artwork, his hair is usually gray/silver, although variations of him as a blond or brunet man are also seen throughout publication. His most iconic outfit to recognize him by would be his black turtleneck shirt and khaki (or black) pants.

His design would initially appear much differently in his own title, with both eyes exposed, and then a slightly rougher and more "shonen"-looking design before eventually evolving into the gentle-faced character he is usually seen as.

A small child variation of the character also exists, and is most notably seen in The Magical World of Jun. In some titles, a "Jun" character will initially start out with an entirely different design (such as the Blue Zone Jun initially being Rokube from Kinnaru Yatsura) and lack the fringe covering an eye, before evolving to bear that look.

Manga Appearances:

  • Fantasy World Jun
  • Blue Zone (late-term design)
  • 7P
  • Agartha (Shun Kuroki, late-term design)
  • The Dog World ("The Human")
  • The Magical World of Jun (younger variation)
  • Green Glass (Yu Hikawa)
  • Cyborg 009 (The Commander, a random bystander in "At the Zoo", and as Philippe in "The People Drifting Between Space and Time")

Anime Appearances:

  • The Age of the Great Dinosaurs
  • Cyborg 009: The Cyborg Soldier (Cain)
  • Cyborg 009 vs. Devilman (0018)

In posthumous manga works not by Ishinomori, Jun can also be seen "cast" as Philip in Masato Hayase's illustrations of Kamen Rider W, along with being the character of Alain Deneuve in the published version of GOD'S WAR.


A shifty-looking young man with reddish (or another light color) hair covering one of his eyes. He has a strong, clefted chin, and a somewhat squared-off nose.

He is most notable for debuting as the brothers in Gilgamesh, including Kuro, the first one to be seen and to die in the story.

Manga Appearances:

  • Gilgamesh (all members of the Gilgamesh)
  • Cyborg 009 (Baldr, "Edda" arc)

Anime Appearances:

  • 009-1 (Psychic boy)
  • The Skull Man (SIRKS 01)


A dark-haired young woman with short hair held back by a headband. She tends to be an older sister type, but is also seen without siblings or as a little girl.

It is believed that like other Ishinomori heroines, she was particularly modeled off of his deceased sister Yoshie.


  • Cyborg 009 (Girl at the end of the arc "The Underground Empire of Yomi")
  • Kikaider (Mitsuko)
  • Star Child Chobin (Ruri)
  • Bancho Planet (Marippe)


A young man best-known for his role in the "Ryu Trilogy"; three titles that each have a theme of "Past", "Present", or "Future", and all connected by an incarnation of the character.

He has spiky, swept-up dark hair and may sometimes be confused for a re-use of the Joe character.


  • The Way of Ryu (Ryu Shibata)
  • Primitive Boy Ryu
  • Bancho Planet/Ryu in Another Planet (Ryu Todoroki)


Another common Ishinomori character, being a young man that's portrayed as a mutant/esper or some other sort of hero protagonist. His best known incarnation is in Mutant Sabu, along with his appearance as the lead in the Inazuman manga (instead of the character being Goro Watari, ala the tokusatsu series).

Though initially created for a shoujo audience, Sabu is better-known for being a shonen title protagonist. In at least two titles, he is known as being part of the Boy Alliance (Shonen Domei) super-team, in its self-titled publications and in Inazuman.

In addition to Sabu, his Boy Alliance co-stars of Miyoppe and Eliza would become repurposed for the Inazuman title.

Had Ishinomori not chosen the "Joe" name for Cyborg 009, one of the alternate civilian names in consideration had also been Sabu.


  • Mutant Sabu
  • Boy Alliance
  • Genma Taisen (cameo in the final battle)
  • Command X (Ken. Was renamed "Sabu" for an Asahi Sonorama reprint, but the name was reverted in subsequent reprints)
  • Time Clerk R (R)
  • The Story that Begins at the End
  • Sabu and Ichi's Detective Tales
  • Thousand Eyes Teacher
  • Inazuman

Shotaro Ishinomori[]

Similar to other manga-ka, Ishinomori would occasionally use himself as a cameo or active character within various titles. While directly called "Shotaro Ishimori" in some instances (as most of these appearances were before his pen-name alteration to "Ishinomori"), there would be times where this design would be used for another character, as a nod.

There are a few variations on the design, as Ishinomori would change how he would draw his alter-ego over time.

Initially, Ishinomori's character appeared as a wide-eyed young man with black hair and a long fringe, wearing a beret. However, this would soon evolve and give way to a more common depiction of a short, squat figure with a round head, squinted eyes, long mouth, and round nose. This depiction of Ishinomori had in fact been inspired from a caricature made of him by Osamu Tezuka, and wound up sticking.

The later design for the Ishinomori caricature has some variations of its own, with its hair changing depending on his given hair style at the time, or depicted as a bald man with only a few hairs sticking up like his "Mutant Mole" character or with facial hair. At times, he can be seen wearing a beret and business suit.

Manga Appearances:

  • Cyborg 009 (Panel in "Aztec" arc, "Ghost Island", "The Count of Saint-Germain". Also appears in the original magazine release of the Weekly Shonen Magazine "Prologue")
  • Fantasy World Jun (Appears in an early afterword, and caricature used for Jun's dad)
  • My Friend (Early caricature)
  • Blue Zone
  • Agartha
  • Gilgamesh

Anime Appearances:

  • The Age of the Great Dinosaurs (Jun's father, also voiced by Ishinomori)
  • Several background characters modeled after the squinty-faced Ishinomori caricature appear in the 1979 Cyborg 009 series. A later depiction of Ishinomori, based off his appearance from the 1980s to 1990s, appears in the Conclusion GOD'S WAR: Prologue OVA.


A small, bald boy with the top of his head resembling an onion bulb, and a single giant buck-tooth.

A variation on this character type would wind up as the design for the child version of 007, with the onion bulb top of his head replaced with a small curly hair.


  • Tonari no Tamageta-kun
  • That Strange Strange Girl (Kuritaira)
  • Cyborg 009 (Great Britain/007 child variant)
  • Cyborg-chan (Variant based on the above)