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Manga / 009-1

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Mylene, in action.

009-1 (Zero Zero Nine One) is a spy-fi Seinen manga series by famous manga artist Shotaro Ishinomori. It was serialized in Weekly Manga Action from 1967 to 1970 and returned briefly in 1974. The original manga was named "Zero Zero Ku-no-ichi", a pun on kunoichi and a reference to the main character's occupation as a spy.

Its main story concerns Miléne Hoffman (Mirēnu Hofuman; "Mylene" in the English translation), a female cyborg with machine gun breasts who works as a secret agent. Although it was also created by Ishinomori, and features similar themes and a similar name, 009-1 has no relation to Cyborg 009, which is a shōnen manga (although in the original manga, some of the cyborgs from Cyborg 009 actually do make a brief appearance as a group called "The Nine Group").

The manga was adapted into a live-action drama for Fuji TV in 1969, entitled Flower Action 009ノ1, and an anime series, broadcast on the Tokyo Broadcasting System (TBS) in October 2006. The anime was previously licensed by ADV Films in 2007, before the rights were transferred to Funimation in 2008, prior to the former company shutting down.

A live action film based on the manga, titled 009-1: The End of the Beginning, was released in 2013.


  • Adaptation Distillation: To the original manga. In particular, Mylene's fellow agents never really got much face time if at all in the original, except for 009-7, who was radically different (with resembling Mylene, as well as having the abilities that 009-3 has in the anime) and died in her first and only appearance.
  • All There in the Manual: Mylene's teammates were all only profiled in a booklet that came with the Japanese DVD releases, which is the only source that gives further information on them.
  • And the Adventure Continues: In the anime. When the smoke clears from the final story, Mylene and Zero are able to pass off her rebellion as a secret mission so she can avoid being punished as a traitor. There's still work for her to do.
  • Artistic License Physics: In the finale on the Moon, 9-1 and Loki are flying above the surface in a shuttle type craft, being chased by two other such craft. They first deploy a parachute, which is then cut loose after opening to block their enemy's view. Then, when the second craft continues chasing, the fuel tank is hit and they're forced to use ejector seats, with a specific mention of the Moon's lower gravity as a reason why they'll be able to avoid the shuttle tailing them. This works, and forces the chasing shuttle to crash - with the two characters parachuting to safety on the surface. The problem? Parachutes can't work on the Moon, because it has practically no atmosphere to speak of! One wonders how they could get the gravity right and still completely neglect that fact.
  • The Baroness: Rosa Klebb variation in the first anime episode; Mylene actually seduces her for info on her mission.
  • Break the Cutie: Mylene's backstory of orphanhood, abuse and secret agent missions.
    Mylene: Killing isn't a style. It's just killing.'
  • Casting Gag: Venessa Ibert (009-3) modeled after Francoise Arnoul/003 from Cyborg 009 and is voiced by Satsuki Yukino, who previously voiced Francoise in the 2001 009 anime.
  • Censor Suds: When Mylene gets out of the bath in the 2nd episode.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Not the whole thing, but when Mylene gets captured, and her captors know about her... secret weapons, they'll usually slap a metal bra on her to keep her from using them.
  • Clothing Damage: Mylene gets some on a number of occasions; she also has machine guns in her breasts that cause clothing damage every time she fires them.
  • Combat Pragmatist: Mylene thinks Egg's habits are silly and pointless. The way she beats him is notable. She reveals that her earrings allow her to track and dodge incoming bullets and takes them off. Egg in turn tells her that his eyes allow him to read her next move and agrees to fight their next duel at night. Mylene wins and reveals that she lied — her super sensitive hearing is built into her body.
  • Cyanide Pill: Mylene has one of these (apparently in a compartment in her mouth or a tooth, as there's no other place it could have come from). When captured, she tricks the one guard on duty into kissing her, tongues the pill into his mouth, and then unlocks her restraints and escapes once he's dead.
  • Dirty Communists: The Cold War never ended in this world.
  • Distaff Counterpart:
    • Mylene's teammates have their abilities inspired from the cyborgs from the Cyborg 009 manga, such as 009-4 having weaponry in her limbs like 004, and 009-7 having a shapeshifting ability like 007.
    • There are even two twin girl agents (009-10 and 009-11) who have scarves patterned after the villainous Cyborg 0010+/0010- duo, implying that they may have electrical abilities. Unlike those twins, these two are on the heroic side and don't seem to have a problem with standing near each other.
  • Expy:
    • Agent 020/"Mars" bears a very uncanny resemblance to Jet Link from Cyborg 009, except middle-aged and with a beard. He's even voiced by Keiichi Noda, who had voiced Jet in the 1979 anime. Taken further in the manga, where 020 is known as "Jet" instead of "Mars".
    • As 009-1 and Cyborg 009 aren't intended to take place in the same universe, the manga's cameos of the "Nine Group" can be seen as this (as well as a Shout-Out).
  • Eye Scream: One unlucky soldier in the first episode takes stiletto heels to the eyes.
  • Femme Fatale: Mylene, as one of the very rare protagonist examples. She uses her female charms as a weapon, aside of her Action Girl skills.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: In episode 3, Mylene is being hunted by a highly skilled hitman who only works during the day, and refuses to fight her at night. So for several days they both try (and fail) to kill each other during the day, and act civil towards each other at night, even having drinks and going out on at least one dinner date. On the last night, after another long day of trying to kill each other, Mylene even invites him to her room and has sex with him. She is eventually able to kill him in their next fight.
  • Grey-and-Gray Morality: Although in all honesty it skirts the fine line between being Evil Versus Evil and would most likely be so if it weren't for the fact that the series explicitly states that even though all the characters the viewer sees are amoral, there ARE good people working in both their governments. Mylene herself doesn't seem to have much morality as she'll unquestionably take pretty much all assignments without batting an eye including murdering children.
  • Hammer and Sickle Removed for Your Protection: In the anime, it's just the "Eastern" and "Western" blocs.
  • Honey Trap: One would think that Mylene was specifically designed for doing things like this. It's entirely possible that she was.
  • Last Episode, New Character: The prologue to the last episode has a montage of Mylene's fellow agents, including a few who never managed to get an episode in the series (although viewers might recognize them from the silhouettes in the Team Shot from the opening credits). These characters also made a brief non-speaking cameo in a flashback in episode 8. The booklet that came with DVD 6 identifies them all, but also includes many details that didn't get to show up in the anime.
  • Long-Lost Relative: Loki is Mylene's younger brother, who was believed to have died with the rest of Mylene's family when they tried to defect to the Western Bloc.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Which gets damaged more than once, thanks to her Machine gun boobs.
  • Monochromatic Eyes: Some character's eyes have no whites or pupils, and are just a solid mass of some eye color. Somewhat justified in that this is Ishinomori's style.
  • Morphic Resonance: The shapeshifter of the group is usually identified by her earrings, even when she's impersonating a man.
  • Never Found the Body: Loki in the last episode of the anime.
  • Orphanage of Fear: Mylene was placed in a teenage girls' version of this, after her family died trying to escape the "Eastern Bloc".
  • Powered by a Forsaken Child: The Reverse Explosion system is powered by the Psychic Link between every mutant in the world.
  • Pure Is Not Good: At some point, 9-1 meets a young woman who she can only describe as "pure." Later, the woman tries to kill her when 9-1 tries to stop her from meeting up with enemy agents. It turns out that the girl is actually an android made mostly out of very pure gold that the enemy agents were trying to smuggle out of the country.
  • Retro Universe: The series takes place 130 years after the start of the Cold War, but everything, even the sci-fi elements, still have a decidedly '60s feel to them. It's jutsified in that the source material was written in the late '60s/early '70s, and the original manga had the future taking place in the 1980s.
  • Rogue Agent: One episode involves Mylene tracking down her former mentor, who disappeared with information on a top secret Eastern Bloc weapon after having a change of heart about his mission. Mylene herself goes rogue by the final episode to try and save the mutant children involved in experiments related to said weapon.
  • Shout-Out: The last episode of the anime features ersatz versions of the Eagle and the SHADO Mobile during Mylene's trip to the Moon.
  • Spy Fiction: "Dirty Martini" — Technicolor Ninja cyborg spy girls with miniskirts and machine gun breasts, traveling the world and looking great doing it... while taking part in stories about betrayal, tragedy, and moral ambiguity, with no happy endings to be found.
  • Status Quo Is God: The world political situation at the end of the anime is just about where it was at the beginning.
  • Technical Pacifist: Egg the sniper is a partial example. If he's contracted to kill someone, he'll do it, but for everybody else he goes the Vash the Stampede route. However, this isn't due to any kind of pacifist beliefs, instead just being one of his many arrogant quirks.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Once again, Egg the sniper. Despite his traditional one-shot killing method proving ineffectual against Mylene, he continues to play-act as if he's James Bond around her, despite the whole "gentleman assassin" thing not even being a part of his obsessive-compulsive shtick. He proceeded to give away all his killing secrets, give Mylene all the openings she could want to kill him effortlessly (she only doesn't to fully prove her "The Reason You Suck" Speech as detailed elsewhere), and even agrees to a battle tailored to give up his advantages and let her win. He never once considers that someone who's explicitly told him she doesn't give a crap about anything other than results and who thinks he's an idiot would lie to him about her own secrets.
  • Torpedo Tits: One of the parts of the show viewers are likely to know through Popcultural Osmosis. Mylene's modifications include breasts that fire "bio-bullets", which she frequently uses as a secret weapon when a seduction suddenly goes bad. (See Modesty Bedsheet, above.)
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: Dr. Green and Loki, trying to save the psychic mutant children that the Eastern Bloc experiments on and the Western Bloc exterminates, but at the same time using them as an unwitting psychic weapon to try and turn the Cold War into an actual war, wiping out both blocs so the mutants can take their place.
  • Why Am I Ticking?: In a DVD-exclusive episode, Mylene wakes up after having sex with a handsome dark-skinned musician and is told by him that he knows she's a spy, and that he has put a bomb inside her body and will detonate it if she tries anything.
  • Your Head A-Splode: Though it turns out that the above man didn't actually put the bomb in her, it was in his own head, which blows up when he hit the detonator. Mylene, who had started to feel genuinely attracted to the guy before said revelation, cries and mourns him because she thought they would've been happy together.