Adaptation Dye-Job: Joe seems to get a new hair color with every new anime adaptation despiste the manga clearly describing him as having brown hair. In the 60' series he has black hair. In the 79' series his hair changes to a dirty blonde, he finally gets brown hair prior to the Defenders of the Vortex OVA, only to be switched to orange in the 2012 movie (and American reboot).
Laser-Guided Amnesia: Starts the 2012 film with this, though he's aware that he's not entirely human. Due to his age and how cyborgs age, it's just easier to erase his memory and have him relive high school every three years.
Mundane Utility: Can be seen using his acceleration to get fresh ingredients to 006's restaurant, at one point.
Not Himself: Happens twice; first during the Ixquic incident, and later during The Yomi Arc. He also starts the 2012 movie this way.
Time Stands Still: How he perceives the world while accelerated. One episode leaves him stuck like this for a while. It's nightmarish for him. Depending on the adaptation, he also can't hear or touch anything 'normal' for collateral damage reasons, in this state.
A Fiery Redhead from New York City, he used to be part of a gang before getting into just a little too much trouble and winding up with Black Ghost. In addition to being able to fly via rocket engines in the soles of his feet, he possessed the prototype Accelerator, underscoring his relationship with Joe. Kind of looks like Brendon Small.
Accidental Murder: In the manga, a skirmish with a rival gang unexpectedly turned lethal when the switchblades came out. (This is where he gets picked up by Black Ghost.)
The Ace: In the Gary Stu-style stories he tells to his young friend Jimmy in the 2001 series, at least.
In the actual story however, he almost borders on being a Renaissance Man. Combining all of his different incarnations he's been a football player, a bullfighter, a race car driver, a fighter pilot/NSA agent, and a Broadway dancer.
An Arm and a Leg: His legs tend to blow up on him quite often, and he got his arm torn off in the '79 series.
Big Brother Mentor: To his little New York City friend Jimmy and a bunch of esper children.
Boisterous Bruiser: Especially in light of the fact that the other 3 1st generation Cyborgs all originally had major drawbacks. (001's abilities drained too much of his energy, and 003 and 004 originally rejected their implants.)
Character Development: Compare the selfish, whiny Jerk Ass from the beginning, who bitches everyone out because he just wants to bash Black Ghost... with the strong, loyal Jerk with a Heart of Gold of the second part who cries when he urges the esper children to defend themselves from their oppressorsand, in the Grand Finale, is willing to die rather than abandon Joe to his luck.
Arm Cannon: He has gun barrels for fingers on one hand; he has to hide this by wearing gloves and long sleeves at all times. For bonus points, there's a knife on the side of his other hand, and he has Knee Cannons, too. And in some versions, the guy even had a nuclear bomb in his stomach.
The 2012 movie adds to this by pointing out that most of his weapons are costly and difficult to resupply, as they're either custom-made for him or no longer used.
Artificial Limbs: Goes hand-in-hand with the above. His body is the most obviously reconstructed of the lot. In one episode, an underwater shoot-out with a horde of enemy jellyfish leaves everyone but him paralyzed: as only the brain and the spinal cord remain, his body isn't organic enough to suffer from the venom. He does get a fake skin covering later on in the manga, though.
Depending on the Writer: In the manga and other series Albert's angst over his and the others's situations was channelized differently. Instead of being quiet and thoughtful like in the 2001 series, he went for the snark and a very bitter Knight in Sour Armor attitude, sometimes coupled with a Death Seeker streak.
Supplemental materials establish that his day job in the 2012 movie is "GSG-9 Trainer of all things (apparently because his built-in weapons are all difficult to restock, meaning he can't fight on the front line like he used to).
Monochromatic Eyes: His eyes are completely white in the manga and earlier anime versions. In the 2001 series, his eyes have light blue sclera and dark blue irises with no pupils.
Number Two: He's the second most effective Cyborg in combat on the team after 009. A good indication (in the 2001 Series) of whether or not 009 is fighting the Villain single-handily is to check whether or not 004 is still standing.
What Measure Is a Non-Human?: Is the one with more modifications, since his body was horribly torn in the explosion that killed Hilda. In the 2001 series he sometimes worries about it very much, specially in "Compu Utopia" and "Man or Machine?". Originally his brain and spinal cord rejected his "enhancements", making him collapse in the middle of testing while he was trying to help the also just cyborgized Francoise and Jet; this causes Black Ghost to shut down the cyborg project for 40 years until technology catches up to solve the problem.
Angst? What Angst?: Notably doesn't angst about his status as a cyborg. It's never explained why exactly, though his age (40s), his general personality, and the fact that he was picked up by Black Ghost in the midst of hanging himself probably add up to it.
Once one of the best British actors, he was transformed into a ShapeshiftingMaster of Disguise who could transform into anything simply by touching his bellybutton. He frequently plays a Large Ham to entertain the others and distract them from navelgazing.
The Atoner: Tries to be this in "The Fog of London" episode of the 2001 series. He was supposed to act with his girlfriend Sophie in a small theater, but he ditched it for a greater acting chance. Twenty years later, he finds out that Sophie's daughter Rosa is acting in a revival of exactly the same play...
Backstory: In all continuities, he's a former actor, but the details behind his fall from the spotlight vary:
'79 series: Used to go hiking in the mountains with his best friend, a fellow actor named Henry Brown. During one of their trips, however, equipment failure led to Henry falling to his death. Since this happened shortly after Henry had gotten a lead role over the future 007, everyone assumed he'd killed himout of jealousy. Unable to Clear His Name and reeling from the loss, he descended into depression and became a drunkard.
2001 series: Started out in a small theater with his close friends and his girlfriend, Sophie. As they were preparing to perform "Mists of London", he received an offer to act at a prestigious theater; though he was reluctant at first, Sophie encouraged him to go. He became a great actor, but left his old friends and flame behind in the process. When his star fell, he was too ashamed of that abandonment to contact them, especially as he spiraled into drunken depression.
Flip Flop of God: While the '60s anime was running, Ishinomori incorporated his child persona into the manga by having Gilmore upgrade him. First introduced as a permanent new form, it later flitted between Sleep Mode Size to a Super-Deformed mode for comedy moments to being discarded and forgotten entirely and back again. A Whole Chapter Flashback that Retconned their escape so that 007 was already in child mode (or just flat-out a child) didn't help, either...
James Bondage: Mainly in the original manga and '79 series, where his attempts to spy on the enemy often went awry. He was more savvy in the 2001 one.
Magic Pants: Zig-Zagged in the original manga, where he had to strip out of his clothes before transforming, but usually got to keep his underwear. All later adaptions let him stay dressed.
Master of Disguise: Uses his abilities like this. His acting skills are very helpful, too.
The 2012 version upgrades this to full-on Chameleon Camouflage. (And yes, his eyes are still the first thing to reappear.)
An African ex-slave/guerrilla warrior (depends heavily on which media we're talking about) who was remodeled into an underwater warrior, able to swim at great speeds and breathe underwater. Was also one of the only cyborgs who had combat experience before crossing paths with Black Ghost.
Ace Pilot: Operated the Dolphin (and any other vehicles the 00-Numbers use).
Berserk Button: In the older series, anything having to do with slavery.
Played straight and constantly Lampshaded in the '79 series: whenever a battle involved going underwater, he always explictedly pointed out he was the best man for the job before diving in. (Most of the other cyborgs, save 007, had to use breathing apparatuses whenever they headed underwater.)
Team Dad: Becomes a father figure for the Cyborgs. Good thing, since several of them were orphans or abandoned by their parents.
What the Hell, Hero?: Gets called out twice in the 2001 series - once by his younger self calling him on his motives during a Heroic BSOD, then again after upgrading Pyunma. The '79 series also had him getting called out by the daughter of two of his colleagues, who were killed during the escape.
Fallen Hero: Not shown in the anime, but within the larger Ishinomori-verse, Black Ghost is revealed to be A resurrected Tatsuo Kagura, also known as Skull Man, in the epilogue of the 2007 Skull Man anime. He's also revealed to be Joe Shimamura's father. It's questionable if this is canon to 009 or a reference exclusive to the source, however.
Cyborg 0010, the next result of the 00-project and the first assassin sent after the heroes. Like 009, he benefited from being the latest model, has his own Accelerator, and got bonus lightning powers thrown into the mix. Unfortunately, he's also an overconfident Jerkass. Oh yeah, and there's twoof them.
Tragic Monster: He was a normal young boy before being cyborg-ized. Even when fighting 009, he went out of his way to protect any Innocent Bystanders, punished the people who killed Joe's adoptive father and kidnapped the Cyborgs's ally Dr. Koizumi, and was finally Driven to Suicide because he knew he'd never recover his freedom.
You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Pulls this on Joe's old friends when they can't bring themselves to kill him first, then on Helen, when Gilmore's house is burned to the ground (which triggers Viina's Heel-Face Turn) and ultimately on the five Pu'awak sisters.
Doctor Gamo Whisky (Dr. Gamo Asimov in the English dub)Another colleague and rival of Gilmore's, as well as Cyborg 001's Disappeared Dad. Already not very well in the head beforehand, Gamo went fully nuts searching for a cure for his child's lethal illness, and used a group of Time Travelers for his own purposes, deleting their memories to make them his puppets. Counter-intuitively, he converted his son into a cyborg to save his life.
NicholasThe original leader of the group and a survivor of the wars from the future, as well as Lina's lover. In the middle of an apocalyptic future, this young man discovered a lost journal that depicted more peaceful, love-filled times, thus he told his friends to attempt time travelling and search for the owner of said diary.
A member of the Psychic Assassins, she appears to be a cold bitch but is actually the most soft-hearted and gentle of the group. She seems to be the only one who retains a part of her memories, attempting to take care of Phil since he reminds her of her missing little brother and hesitating more than once in regards to her mission.
Dark Magical Girl: Despite her powers being psychic and not magical, Lina acts like a DMG.
Living Emotional Crutch: To Phil, despite his protests. When she's thrown into the Bad Future, Phil is devastated to the point of a BSOD, and Mai lampshades the trope by saying that without her, the child simply will NOT survive.
Snarky, cold and efficient, this young woman is the most levelheaded and mentally stable member of the group. She's the first one who expresses open doubts about the deal, and when Joe and Lina are thrown into the future, she contacts the Cyborgs to join forces and rescue them.
The five princesses from the Pu'Awak subterranean kingdom, forced into slavery by their rivals the Athans, which have them as their living food supplies. The Black Ghost group comes in and offers help, but soon they prove themselves to be just as bad as the Athans, and force the five girls to be a part of their plans. However, the girls decide to rebel themselves... And yes, they're quintuplets. Look at the color of their tiara jewels to distinguish them.Sadly, the five girls are coldly killed by Von Bogoot towards the end of the arc. Many tears were shed by fandom.Viina
The eldest sister, has a blue tiara. She's also the first one to rebel, when Von Bogoot abandons Helen to her luck and bans Viina from rescuing her. Viina does so anyway and they join the Cyborgs. She and 004 fight a lot because he doesn't trust her intentions, but they ultimately bond over their wish to be free, change their destinies and give their people a better life.
Heroic BSOD: Has a severe one when Helen and several of the Cyborgs are brainwashed by the Athans and almost kill 004 and her. It gets worse when she and 004 are captured by Von Bogoot and about to be executed. She does recover, but just in time to be killed off with her sisters.
Fourth sister, purple tiara. Very insecure and heavily traumatised by the whole deal. That causes her to betray the sister's plans and give info to Von Bogoot. Too bad Aphros catches her in the act. To be fair to the girl, she does try to repair the damage done and frees Gilmore and some of the other Cyborgs, captured by Von Bogoot...
The youngest of the girls, red tiara. Also quite insecure, but for a different reason: she has been mindwiped by Von Bogoot, who uses her as The Mole to discover where the Cyborgs live and destroy their HQ. He commits the big mistake of abandoning Helen to her luck once this is accomplished; that causes an horrified Viina, who used their Twin Telepathy to see through Helen's mind and tell him info, to double-cross him instead.
Hey, It's That Voice!: Like with most of the characters Dr. Koizumi gets his voice from another Digimon Adventure character: Old Gennai. Anybody who's seen "8-Man After" will recognize him as the police chief.
HildaAlbert's fiancee, who tried to escape from war-torn East Germany with him. It didn't end well. To make matters worse, it's implied in most versions that they only got caught because Albert forgot to take his wallet back from the guard after showing him his pass. The guard called out, Albert panicked, and... Well, the results are obvious.
The daughter and only remaining of a scientist who was kidnapped and forced to work for Black Ghost. To keep him in line, they also capture Cynthia some time later and try to use her as a hostage, but she's rescued by the Cyborgs. She asks them to help her rescue her dad, but is deeply shaken when she discovers what Dr. Finder has been doing...
The guardian of a mysterious pyramid made of gold, along with a robot named Kabrakan. She's very kind and gentle, but also clingy and weak-willed; to make things worse, Kabrakan often goes in murderous rampages as soon as it sees/senses other people around, and she cannot control its instincts.
Clingy Jealous Girl: Actually averted. She is clingy to Joe, but she's too passive to be the jealous type.
Fate Worse Than Death: She can't die since she's a Robot Girl with a huge healing factor. She can't interact with the outer world unless some conditions are met. And now that said conditions are broken and won't ever be met again, she's stranded in time and space... forever. OUCH.
CathyJimmy's recently-divorced mother, she works very hard to sustain herself and her son but has grown disillusioned of the world. Considers Jet as a mere slacker and jerk that fills Jimmy's head with stupid fantasies at first...
The son of an old friend of Gilmore. He develops a crush on Francoise when the Cyborg Team visit his father in the cyber city that father and son built, Compu-Utopia. The most remarkable thing, though? Carl died the year before. But somehow, his emotionally-needy and genius-level mindset was uploaded into Compu-Utopia's main control, the powerful computer "Sphynx"...
One upon a time, Two Guys and a Girl were Joe's friends in his times in the orphanage (or as a teen delinquents, in the manga). They cared for him very much and he saw them as his first True Companions ever. Later, they'll meet again... but this will end in tears, as they were forcibly made into cyborgs by Von Bogoot and have been tasked with killing him.
Forgotten Childhood Friend: Francoise's. Subverted: we're led to believe that she has somehow been linked with Black Ghost, but it turns out it's actually a cyborg and that Fran has hallucinated that she's there. Her only real presence is in Francoise's flashbacks.