Originally a manga by Shotaro Ishinomori, Cyborg 009 has been adapted into four movies, as well as three anime series in 1968, 1979, and 2001.A few years ago, the Black Ghost organization kidnapped nine ordinary humans and performed experiments on them, turning them into superpowered cyborgs. After the nine of them escaped, they were given codenames (001-009) and now, with the help of Dr. Isaac Gilmore, fight the Black Ghost organization and stop their diabolical plot to spark the next world war.RecapThe nine cyborgs are:
001, a small Russian baby named Ivan Whisky. He was probably the most powerful of them all, but as a baby, his powers often exhausted him and can only use them fully once after two weeks of sleeping. Power: A whole array of Psychic Powers (telepathy, teleport and telekinesis)
003, a French ballerina named Francoise Arnoul. Pretty much The Chick, though latter adaptations make her a bit more of an Action Girl (sometimes Faux, sometimes a genuine one) and Team Mom. There was a bit of a romantic subplot between her and 009. Power: surveillance, thanks to enhanced hearing and sight. Some Machine handling skills were added in the 2001 adaptation.
004, a German man named Albert Heinrich. Quite a Deadpan Snarker and excellent tactician, with some degree of angst because of his enhancements and the tragic loss of his wife Hilda. Power: his whole body was chock full of weapons (he was human machine gun/rocket launcher/grenade launcher, etc).
006, a Chinese chef named Chang Changku. Along with 007, formed most of the comic relief. Cheerful, a bit child-like, nagging but fatherly towards his teammates. Power: could shoot fire out of his mouth.
007, a Brit code-named Great Britain (no, really) who was, in his prime, one of the world's greatest actors. Power: could transform into anything.
008, an African refugee/guerrilla warrior (2001), Pyunma. His backstory as a freedom fighter was given some light in a two-part episode. In the original manga, he escaped from slavers before Black Ghost abducted him. Power: could swim at great speeds and breathe underwater without assistance.
009, the leader of the team, real name Joe Shimamura. The Hero of the team, very sensitive and compassionate, with a strong sense of justice. Power: officially, super-speed accessed via one of his molars, but according to the manga, he was the last cyborg created, so he had a much more powerful body than the others (he could breathe underwater like 008, though for a shorter time, and was almost as strong as 005).
All but 5 episodes of the pretty good most recent series, were aired on the Cartoon Network a few years back.There are now petitions to get Cyborg 009 released in English!Joe and friends appear in the Massive Multiplayer Crossover game, Sunday VS Magazine Shuuketsu Choujou Daikessen.A movie was released in 2012, directed by Kenji Kamiyama of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. A manga adaptation of this film also came about, and was published in Monthly Big Gangan magazine. But wait—there's more! In addition to this, a A western graphic novel reimagination was released in September 2013, written by F.J. DeSanto and Bradley Camp and illustrated by Marcus To. Don't quit reading now! Look at the bottom of the GN page.There is also apparently a live-action movie being planned.Through 2012 to 2014, a finale titled "Conclusion: God's War" was published through Shogakukan, adapted from Ishinomori's notes and drafts of a final arc that he'd never gotten to write for the series. It was written by his son, Jo Onodera, and illustrated by Masato Hayase and Sugar Sato, who were assistants of Ishinomori. This officially ended the Cyborg 009 manga, after the series was left hanging for decades and after Ishinomori passed away before he could complete the story.
Contain examples of:
Aborted Arc: In the manga, the "Angels" arc (originally serialized in Monthly Bouken-Oh), which Ishinomori later attempted to resume and retell in the "Battle of the Gods" arc (serialized in COM)... which also ended abruptly, leading to a hiatus which lasted a few years.
The Ace: Parodied in the 2001 series, with 002 befriending a young child from the USA and presenting himself as a Gary Stu like hero.
Adaptation Distillation: The 2001 series, which mainly adapted stories from the first fifteen volumes note In the US release, these first fifteen volumes were compressed down to ten, hence why most fans refer to the initial end of the series as being "at volume 10".(and ended its TV run there, with the "God's War" OVA arc following), but also included a few later stories that were re-arranged to take place earlier in the cyborgs' history, such as "The City of Wind". The general setting is also updated to take place in the modern day, although the historical settings of the first four cyborgs' backstories are retained by having them be cryogenically frozen for decades afterward and them being marked as the "first generation" of the 00 project.
Adaptation Dye-Job: For some reason most characters are prone to change hair color/uniform with every new adaptation of the series (specially Joe's hair).
Adaptation Expansion: The cyborgs' time at Dr. Kozumi's house is elaborated on a little more in the early episodes of the '01 series. 0012 was also given a backstory and identity, while in the manga they were only witnessed as a Brain in a Jar and never had any indication of what they were before.
Adaptation Name Change: Helena of the Mythos cyborgs became "Artemis" in the 2001 series, and also received a design overhaul to distinguish her from the similar Helen (of the Pu'Awak sisters).
Arm Cannon: 004's legs hide missiles and his hands hide either knives or bullets. In some continuities he even has a mini nuclear bomb inside of his body. Lampshaded in the 2001 series when he hands 009 a ray gun and rejects it when 009 gives it back after the first big fight, saying he can relay on his bullet hands.
Bittersweet Ending: For the 2001 series, unless you count the "God's War" OVA arc as canon, as well as volume 15 of the manga (volume 10 in the Tokyopop release): Jet and Joe burn up in the atmosphere upon their descent to Earth, and are mistaken for a shooting star by two children, with the older sister wishing for "world peace".. However, in the case of the manga, this was averted by a fan outcry which led to Ishinomori resuming the story and throwing in a retcon.
"Conclusion: God's War" also has this, at least in the manga (as the anime version cut off on a cliffhanger): All the cyborgs have died, but the world is reborn- and with it, the cyborgs have been reborn as regular humans, and all meet up again on a beach. 001 is the only one depicted absent, however, some believe he too may eventually be reborn into that world.
Blessed with Suck: The Psychic Assassins can't overexert on their powers, otherwise their bodies age rapidly. The 00-Numbers also seem to see their powers this way, though they come to grips with them, to varying degrees.
Brought Down to Normal: Francoise once loses her powers while in the mountains, and under certain conditions as well.
Blood Knight: Cain, leader of the Psychic Assassins team. Self admitted, too.
But Not Too Foreign: Averted with a passion. The 00-Numbers are explicitly all non-Japanese, to the point that they come from eras and backgrounds that largely prevent them from even traveling out of their home countries. Joe is the exception, being half-Japanese and half-American, but he was born and raised in Japan - and got bullied for being bi-racial and a bastard.
Cat Smile: Dr. Kozumi. Once you see it, you can't unsee it.
Carrying the Antidote: A whole episode focuses on the Cyborgs trying to stop the Villains Of The Week who were trying to use biological bombs to get people sick and then sell them the antidote.
Character Development: All of the Cyborgs escaped the Ethnic Scrappy label thanks to their pretty good backstories, specially in the 2001 anime. Like... 002, the ex-Delinquent who bemoaned his inability to save street children from becoming rotten like he almost did; 003, the ex-ballerina who wishes she was an genuine Action Girl but her enhancements and powers don't let her; 004, the thoughtful German who's forcefully given a body chock-full of weapons and is traumatised by the death of his fiancée; 007, the ex theater star who abandoned his girlfriend when he reached stardom and later became an alcoholic out of guilt; 008, the ex-guerrilla warrior/ex-slave who then gets involved in his war-torn homeland's struggle; etc.
Characterization Marches On: As the manga went on and was developed into various anime series, the characters changed drastically. Some of the more obvious examples:
While Jet/002 started out as part of a street gang (and spent part of his original manga introduction performing the dance from West Side Story), he was quickly established as an easygoing, agreeableBig Brother Mentor to Joe. In the '79 series, he even had to remind Joe that he didn't have to be The Hero taking on the world alone and that his friends were more than just 'something to protect'. The 2001 series, on the other hand, starts him off as a Hot-BloodedJerkass desperately searching for targets to lash out at and wary of the other cyborgs, then having him grow from there into a loyal and Boisterous Bruiser who is revealed to carry the pain of not having been able to be the Big Brother Mentor to the New York kids from the sixties. There were hints of his original personality in the 2001 flashback episode, though, as he rescues a confused and panicking 003 from the battlefield she's been thrown into and manages to calm her down before they met up with 004 and 001 and develop a strategy to save their lives.
Chef of Iron: 006, who cooks for the other 00-Numbers and runs a restaurant in his spare time.
Composite Character: Helena and Helen tended to be merged into one character in some media, such as the 1967 film "Monster Wars", as well as the 1993 Sega CD video game. This was probably part of why Helena was changed to "Artemis" in the 2001 anime.
Helena was also given the title of "Cyborg 0010" in the aforementioned film, while the character known as 0010 in the manga became "Cyborg 0011" along with his twin brother.
Corrupt Church: Averted heavily. As with all Shotaro Ishinomori works, extreme reverence towards Christianity is shown. The "church" in the 2012 movie isn't corrupt so much as completely off its goddamn rocker.
Crapsack World: The Black Ghost group wants to create this via War for Fun and Profit And they succeed, in at least one continuity. In the 2001 series Joe is sent forward in time, lands into this apocalyptic Alternate Future, and when he finds out the truth he's this close to cross the Despair Event Horizon.
The manga version of "Conclusion: God's War" has this when the cyborgs are overwhelmed by the gods and creatures that they have to fight. Even with their upgrades from Gilmore that came about due to them being attacked in the earlier fight, they're still unable to defeat the hordes, and the giant Buddha makes quick work of 007, 005, and 002, as well as killing off Dr. Gilmore with a quick squish of his foot.
Darkest Africa: 008's homeland. The trope is played straight in the manga and the older series, but subverted in the 2001 one and averted entirely in the 2012 movie.
Demoted to Extra: 002, 004, 005, and 008 all experienced this in the '68 series- 'specially 002 and 004, while 008 at least managed to get a spotlight episode.
Dub Name Change: While the dub of the 2001 anime mostly kept characters' names, there were a few changes. Von Bogoot became "Van Vogute", while Gamo Whisky had his surname changed to "Asimov".
The dub of the "Legend of the Super Galaxy" film Anglicized Francoise's name to "Francis" (oddly in the masculine spelling), changed Jet to "Jedd", Pyunma to "Puma", and renamed Great Britain to "O'Shaughnessy".
Early-Installment Weirdness: Dr. Gilmore tended to have his eyes shadowed out a lot early on even after escaping Black Ghost, to mark him as shady and ambiguous. This effect would come and go throughout the early manga.
004 used to have to take off one of his boots and roll up a pant leg to fire off his knee missile, rather than his pant leg being able to split and accommodate the ability.
009/Joe wore a green uniform in early colored artwork, and his scarf varied between being yellow or being red (the origin of the "red muffler" line in the theme for the '60s films and series). The entire team was considered to wear green uniforms, but Ishinomori eventually opted to depict them as all wearing red. Early color art also gave Joe blue eyes, as opposed to brown/red.
Combined with Art Evolution; 004 used to wear his hair in a bowl cut, had a sharper face, and had a pointy nose that could almost rival 002's in some instances.
Electric Torture: Used a lot by various Black Ghost villains and other opponents. 0010 is a notable example.
The continuation of the manga past the Yomi arc came from this and fan outcry; Ishinomori had to retcon the Bittersweet Ending and start a new tale with the cyborgs.
Eye Open: The first episode of the 2001 anime starts this way, as Joe/009 wakes up in a laboratory in one of Black Ghost's bases.
Gainax Ending: The 2012 movie is likely to come off as this, unless you're really paying attention and are already familiar with the series... and even then you'll probably need a second viewing.
Gay Paree: 003's focus episode happens in her natal Paris.
Gender Flip: 0012's former appearance is never shown in the manga, but they're referred to by male pronouns by others. They're a woman in the anime, perhaps to diversify the villains a little more, as well as possibly going off a comment in the manga about their laughter being shrill and reminding 007 of his mother's laugh.
Hey, It's That Voice!: The 2001 Dub has many of these, even some in the exact same voice. For example: Ivan as Gomamon. 009 as Tai (or Ken in a pair of episodes), a minor henchman in the Cyborg 0013 pair has the same voice as Henry from Digimon Tamers. Take any voice and look it up on Wikipedia and there will be a full list of roles that the voice actor has performed. Some will be more familiar than others.
Ill Boy: 001 aka Ivan was born with a serious illness.
Love Makes You Crazy - Love Makes You Evil: 0012 has the memories of a lonely lady who lost her husband several years ago. Carl Eckermann aka Sphinx attempts to kidnap Francoise because he's love-starved and lonely. Also, Mad Scientist Gamo started as a not very stable but still not fully evil surgeon who went nuts searching for a cure for his sick child Ivan, who'd become Cyborg 001.
Lethal Chef: 002. That's what happens when you don't take the lessons offered by the local Plucky Comic Relief who happened to be a professional chef. 002 rightfully wonders why the Black Ghost had their Cyborgs able to starve to death. They won't. The food is to maintain their remaining organic parts - their mechanical parts run off of a separate power source - and in the manga continuity they apparently require less than normal humans.
Mad Scientist: LOTS of Black Ghost people, specially Gaia, Gamo and Van Bogoot.
Magical Native American: Played around with 005 in the 2001 anime, whose empathy with Earth doesn't come from his enhancements.
Mailer Daemon: Carl Eckermann's other self, the super computer Sphinx.
Master of Disguise: 007's power. Justified since he was a prize-winning actor in his prime days.
Missing Dub: The English dubbed versions of Episodes 34-37, & 39-45 from the 2001 series are usually this.
Multinational Team: Pioneer in this, preceding even the X-Men. The story goes that Shotaro Ishinomori took a trip around the world just before starting this series, and this inspired him to take this trope and show how it was supposed to be done.
Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: Let's face it, had it not been for Black Ghost augmenting the characters with their cybernetics, most of their lives would have been terrible.
001 would have succumbed to his disease before his first birthday.
002 would have been jailed due to his accidental murder, and if not that then he would have been on the run for the rest of his life.
004 would have died of his injuries sustained from his accident.
005 would have continued wandering alone.
006 would be dead, either from suicide or starvation.
007 would probably have continued living in the gutter as an old drunk.
008 would have become a slave or escaped successfully, living in the wilderness, or died in battle.
009 would probably would have been put back into juvie, or on the run.
Number Two: 004, usually, due to always being able to bring out some big guns when needed and keep his wits more or less cool while using them. The rest of the cyborgs have yet to be shown functioning as a full-fledged team without him. Black Ghost halted the entire program for the guy for 40 years. Not to mention 002 and 009 are all but stated die in the final dubbed episode. Even villains as high as Black Ghost tend to notice (far more than some viewers) about the role 004 plays. The 1st fight with 0010 - leaves everyone else unconscious (save for 003). Pre-battle, 004 is the lead tactician (with 008 as the strategist)He has several character-enhancing discussions with other entities; machines, cyborgs, people. He's the backbone of the team, which is ironic considering he's all machine except for his brain and spinal cord.
Outrun the Fireball: The 2012 movie puts 009's Super Speed to the test when he has to outrun the shockwave and thermal pulse of the atomic bomb dropped on Dubai by a thrall of "His Voice".
Overshadowed by Awesome: Surprisingly Averted. Every cyborg has their own advanced powers. Despite that 009 is the most advanced make of the cyborgs, he actually doesn't render them useless; even 002, despite having an Obvious Beta for 009's accelerator, can still fly. If anything, 001 can overshadow everyone with how he seems to have near unlimited Psychic Powers... when he's awake, that is. 002 proceeds to avert this even more. Out of the 1st Generation Cyborgs, he was the only one who did not need to be fixed in order to work.
Played straight in the first anime adaptation, however. There, 009 Took a Level in Jerkass and was clearlyThe Hero, while some of the other cyborgs were lucky if they even got to appear in the episode. Thank God that was fixed later.
Also played straight with 004's role in keeping the team functioning.
Reluctant Mad Scientist: A few of Black Ghost's employees claim to be this, including Gilmore himself. Some of them are lying... including Gilmore too.
Retcon: A later retelling of the cyborgs' escape from Black Ghost had 007 depicted in his child form (which Ishinomori had introduced due to Executive Meddling, but was never consistent with), although this seemed to get forgotten about later due to Ishinomori's stated distaste for having had to incorporate that change. 004's backstory was also retconned in a later arc to have had him not shot and injured by the guards at the Berlin Wall, but for him to have voluntarily turned himself over to Gilmore, due to his grief over Hilda's death. This backstory change did not stick very long either.
Russian (and German) Guys Suffer Most: Disturbingly, they are also the only ones even slightly justifiable in that Black Ghost saved both of their lives. The 'Russian Guy' is a baby who never knew life outside of constant experimentation (by his own father, prior to the team's escape. The German... hard to know where to start with him.
Ripped from the Headlines : The civil strife in Pyunma's native country in the 2001 anime involves access to a precious mineral. This may have been based on the real-life role of coltan and other "conflict minerals" in central Africa's ongoing strife.
Robot Buddy: A thin, simplistic robot Chang calls Scarecrow.
Sapient Cetaceans: The main heroes of Cyborg 009 named their ship 'The Dolphin', much to 002's chagrin. In the manga, genetically and cybernetically enhanced dolphins were a pretty common enemy, used by Black Ghost as underwater scouts, soldiers and assassins.
Screwed by the Network: As mentioned above, all but the last five episodes of the 2001 series aired on Cartoon Network. The first twenty-five got rerun in the Toonami block several times, while the rest were eventually aired during the Midnight Run. Onces. They stopped right before the end of the Pu'Awak arc, deciding not to air the finale or the Gods War arc. This meant the scene viewers were left with was 004 screaming Viina's name after seeing her and her sisters shot by Von Bogoot. Rather curious, considering that other Cartoon Networks (like CN-Latin America) exhibited the WHOLE series, Gods War Arc included, around a year before this happened.
Secret Project Refugee Family: Gilmore sees his proteges as his adoptive children, and they often live together like a real family. Specially in the 2001 series where Gilmore's beach house is also the home of Ivan/001, Francoise/003, Chang/006, G.B./007 and Joe/009. Lampshaded in one of the earlier episodes of the same series by Gilmore's friend Dr. Koizumi, who dedicates a whole scene to telling Gilmore how he had gained a new family after leaving Black Ghost.
Self-Destruct Mechanism: Was used in the episode 'Mystical Island.' The self-destruct sequence was deactivated when the black scarecrow robot knocked the computer chip out of the self-destruct mechanism.
The names of the gangs are even given as the "Jets" and the "Sharks". The '79 anime shortens the origin sequence some, but retains a bit of the dancing. Jet's would've-been love interest in the episode is also given the name Natalie (after Natalie Wood).
Teru Teru Bozu: One briefly appears hanging upside down in the fourth episode of the 2001 series. To put this in context, the episode takes place after the escaped 00-cyborgs horribly lost their first battle with 0010 but barely survived due to a sudden downpour preventing the enemy cyborg from using his electric powers.
Training the Peaceful Villagers: In the 2001 series, the Cyborgs must convince a bunch of powerful psychic children to fight against the ones who want to enslave them.
Trapped In Villainy: Black Ghost is fond of picking a hero, then going out and getting a nice and sympathetic guy (or tracking down the hero's loved ones if Black Ghost is feeling particularly mean), forcibly augmenting them with cybernetic parts, and ordering them to go kill said hero or the self-destruct mechanism in them will explode. Scarl does this so often that it's practically his modus operandi.
Wham Line: Near the end of the Mythos arc, Dr. Gaia (who built the Greek god cyborgs) reveals that he is still loyal to Black Ghost, even though Black Ghost was seemingly destroyed before the start of the arc.
What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway?: Sometimes, poor 003 could only sit and watch as things went boom, causing her genuine psychological problems and, at some point, almost sending her into an Heroic BSOD until 004 asked if she'd rather be a war machine like him.