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Western Animation / Cybersix

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But deep in my heart, I feel love so alive
In the depths of my soul, I know we will survive.

Cybersix was an Italian-Argentinian comic book that had its rights bought by the now-defunct Canadian company NOA Animation, who then passed the animation duties off to the Japanese studio TMS Entertainment, and the result was this cartoon. One of the first shows produced in association with Teletoon, the series lasted from September to November, 1999 for a total of 13 episodes and is considered a classic in Canadian animation and by longtime viewers of the channel.

By night, Cybersix is a female superhero dressed in leather fighting the creations of her own Mad Scientist creator, and putting to rest the bizarre schemes of his son. By day, "Adrian" is a male high school literature teacher, fending off one of "his" amorous students and trying to hide her Secret Identity from her best friend and love interest, Lucas. With him, her black panther sidekick Data 7, and street urchin Julian, Cybersix defends the city of Meridiana while fighting monsters for the sustenance she needs to survive.

Despite its gorgeous animation, a likable and interesting plot and characters, the show only had 13 episodes, and did not receive a DVD release in English until almost 15 years after it aired. Luckily, its 13 episodes form one continuous Story Arc, and it ends satisfyingly. For years, it aired irregularly in Canada and France, so other viewers have largely had to depend on the kind souls that Keep Circulating the Tapes on YouTube. The English version went live on Hulu in 2013, and it finally received a DVD release in late 2014 thanks to Discotek Media with a Blu-Ray release coming October 2023. As of August 2022, the entire series can be legally watched on TMS' YouTube channel.

If you were looking for the article about the comics, it can be found here.

This show provides examples of:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Anytime someone makes a joke at José's expense, his thugs usually laugh at it.
  • Adaptational Attractiveness:
    • Lori and Lucas receive this treatment, having a more pleasant appearance than their comic book counterparts. Here is a comparison of Lori.
    • The title character herself is also considerably different looking between the comics and cartoon. Cartoon!Cybersix is much less busty and voluptuous and has more of a gymnast's figure, which is what you'd expect for a woman who gets around by jumping across rooftops. Whether or not this counts as a straight example or an inversion is a matter of personal taste.
  • Adaptational Badass: While certainly no slouch in the comic, Cybersix notes she is unable to attack a Fixed Idea and tries to avoid them when possible. Here, she attacks them with almost impunity. It helps that, unlike in the comics, whenever a Techno or a Fixed Idea is defeated in the cartoon, they turn into a pile of clothes and a vial of Sustenance.
  • Adaptational Wimp: In the comic, Fixed Ideas are almost too much for Cybersix, so she avoids them when possible (in the first chapter, even a Techno gives her considerable trouble). In the show, they go down with a few punches, with even regular human Lucas being able to take them on, and both Fixed Ideas and Technos evaporate into a pile of clothes and a vial of Sustenance when killed or electrocuted, presumably because in the comics, Cybersix bites into their neck to obtain Sustenance, which was probably deemed unsuitable for a Y7 audience.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The cartoon to the comic. They removed much of the extraneous Navel-Gazing among many other things, which makes this also a fine example of a Pragmatic Adaptation.
  • Adaptation Dye-Job: In the original comics, Lori is stated to be a blonde, whereas her hair is red in the cartoon.
  • Adorably Precocious Child: Julian.
  • Alien Blood: Sustenance, which is blood for Cybers, Technos and Fixed Ideas, is green. In the comic (which is black and white), it's implied to be red to blend in with humans.
  • All Animals Are Dogs: Data 7 acts more like a dog than the jaguar he is, even licking Cybersix's face on occasion.
  • All There in the Manual: There are certain things that you have to research or read the comic book to understand: where Cybersix got her costume, how she escaped from Von Reichter, where the Adrian persona came from and other Back Story things. It also helps if you want to understand exactly what the Cybers are and how Von Reichter created them, as well as the Technos, Fixed Ideas, and other creatures mentioned on the show.
  • Alternate Identity Amnesia: Lucas, whenever he turned into a werewolf in episode 10.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: The Fixed Ideas are green, with blond hair. In the comic, however (which is monochrome), they're implied to have normal skin tones.
  • Anime Theme Song: The show was produced with help from a Japanese studio, the theme song breaks the convention of the time and feels more like an anime theme song than the traditional western animated Title Theme Tune.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Once Yashimoto confronts Cybersix with the intention of capturing her, he asks her to forgive him.
  • Artificial Human: The Cyber and Techno series and Fixed Ideas.
  • Asian Buck Teeth: Yashimoto and his sister.
  • Badass Cape: It can rival Batman's in pure awesome swishiness.
  • Badass Longcoat: Lucas wears this from time to time, and usually is more effective when he does. Yashimoto also dons one.
  • Badass Normal:
    • Lucas would probably count. He can't do too much against the various monsters that attack, but he's still able to tackle a Fixed Idea that he found strangling Cybersix and has helped in various other ways (along with having no qualms about rushing into dangerous situations to help). He can order Data 7 around; now, that's badass.
    • Yashimoto, who's able to keep up with Cybersix's rooftop escapades and hold off two Fixed Ideas (although he really didn't beat them).
  • Big Bad: Von Richter.
  • Big Brother Instinct: When Adrian is being accosted by students that were mad at him rejecting Lori, Lucas comes in to put a stop to it. He doesn't even do anything and the bullies run away from Adrian. That was just after knowing Adrian for a few minutes.
  • Big Eater: Lucas. Look at him scarf down that food in the opening! Cybersix even cracks a joke in Episode 7 when she finds him at the diner not eating as "a newsworthy event". And the server claims the chef loves cooking for him because if he wasn't there, "he would get out of practice".
  • The Big Guy: Lucas, amusingly enough for a show's main Love Interest. He's big enough and strong enough to be able to go toe-to-toe with Fixed Ideas and actually hurt them, though he never wins any fights with them, and he's shown to be capable of taking a lot of punishment.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Dr. von Reichter is killed, Meridiana is saved and Cybersix is implied to have survived but Jose is still around to finish what his father started.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: José is plenty bratty himself. However, his tantrums and annoying behaviors are actually done on purpose, for laughs.
  • Cape Snag: In the first episode, one of the minions grabs Cybersix's cape and uses it to throw her across the room.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the episode The Eye, Adrian watches Lucas show his chemistry students the effects of liquid nitrogen. Lucas picks up a tennis ball and bounces it on the desk, before spraying it with nitrogen. When he tries bouncing the ball again, it shatters. Cybersix later uses this information to ultimately destroy the episode's Eye monster.
  • Circus of Fear: José menaces Cybersix with a fake circus full of mechanical animals in "The Greatest Show in Meridiana".
  • City of Adventure: Meridiana. Everything seems to happen in Meridiana. In fact, there's only one episode that spends time outside Meridiana, and that was only because the villain of that episode found out that Adrian was Cybersix, and stalked them on their field trip.
    • Sort of justified in that Von Reichter and José know that Cybersix lives in and protects Meridiana and thus continue to send monsters and weapons there to catch or kill her.
      • Not to mention that the comics strongly hint they were there originally, and she purposely hunted them down.
  • Clark Kenting: Cybersix wears no mask, so Adrian brushes their hair differently and wears glasses. Not to mention the cross-dressing.
  • Combat Stilettos: Cybersix wears them in her superhero persona. She is often shown using them as weapons, stomping on goons and so on. Justified in the comic in that she stole the costume off a prostitute.
  • Cool Big Sis: While she knows that he can take care of himself during the day, Cybersix doesn't neglect Julian, occasionally visiting him and keeping him safe when needed.
  • Cool Teacher: Lucas. He's badass enough to intimidate the worst delinquents at his (pretty tough) school, easygoing enough to laugh at himself and joke with the students, conductor of fun science experiments in the classroom and he genuinely likes his pupils, bonkers though they may be. Interestingly, he's one of the few teachers in the media we see preparing for class, setting up lessons and adhering to health and safety regulations (in the liquid nitrogen/Giant Flying Eye episode).
    • Surprisingly, Cybersix's "Adrian" persona is not a Cool Teacher. While extremely academic and clearly fond of his subject, he's pretty dry, has little tolerance for antics, and meets Lucas when certain students ambush him for turning down Lori's attention. No doubt he'd be promoted to Cool Teacher if the students realized what "Adrian" was up to in his free time...
  • Crush Blush: Cybersix herself sports one in "Terra" after fantasizing about dancing with Lucas.
  • Cute Bookworm: Cybersix as Adrian, given that they're a lit teacher and often seen quoting poetry.
  • Delinquents: Lori is the head of her own gang.
  • Demoted to Extra: Julian only appears in two scenes of the final episode.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: In "The Bluebirds of Horror", Cybersix spends almost a full 24-hours holed up with Lucas in his apartment. What were they doing that whole time?
  • Do Androids Dream?: Explained in the books. Referred to as "resistored dreams" in the first chapter.
  • The Dragon: José is this to Von Reichter.
  • Dragon Ascendant: The last scene of the last episode implies that José has become this.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Usually played straight, but played with in episode seven, where a thunderclap that could be seen as Thunderous Underline to the villain's plotting actually startles the villain, because it's a sunny day outside. It turns out to be the precursor of a rainstorm later in the evening.
  • Embarrassing Slide: Provides the only bit of background the audience got on Lucas: that he was once a scrawny boxer. Also a bit of an Establishing Character Moment as he laughs when he sees it, showing him as an easygoing teacher despite how big he is now.
  • Empty Piles of Clothing: Left behind when an artificial human dies.
  • Epic Fail: José tries to intimidate someone with his fighting style, only to trip and knock himself out.
  • Everything Fades: The show used some odd video game references that are almost certainly unintentional. When defeated, the Fixed Ideas evaporate, leaving behind a pile of clothes and a "Sustenance" vial (what actually keeps them alive). What makes this weirdly video game like? The vial they drop is something Cybersix desperately needs to stay alive. It's literally a health power-up for Cybersix.
    • Another variant occurs in the episode Blue Birds of Horror, when Data 7 destroys the Monster of the Week by throwing it into an electrified transmission tower, causing it to literally be burned to ash.
  • Evil Versus Evil: In the final episode, José reprograms the bomb that his father Von Reichter sent to destroy Meridiana, because José doesn't want to lose his position as crime lord. The base is blown up and seemingly kills Cybersix; making it seem like a The Bad Guy Wins scenario...but it is implied that Cybersix is still alive later.
  • Evilutionary Biologist: Most of (if not all) the Monster of the Week candidates are creatures that Von Reichter created. José seems to be heading along the same path as well.
  • Face of a Thug: The creatures Dr. Reichter sets free in the last episode to try to kill Cybersix certainly look monstruous, but the only thing they do once freed is to attack him, not her. One of them even shows Cyber a door she can use to escape, giving her a gentle smile.
  • Fantastic Diet Requirement: All of Von Richter's creations require a substance called Sustenance to continue functioning, including the titular Cyber and her ally/brother Data-7. In fact, her initial reason for tracking Von Richter's group to Meridiana was less to stop his hostile takeover of the city and more to get Sustenance from his Mooks. Cybersix as Adrien can eat normal food and drink, but what, if anything, she derives from it beyond blending in is never explained.
  • Feathered Fiend: The mind-controlled blue birds employed by José and Von Reichter in "Blue Birds of Horror" (which comes complete with homages bordering on gratuitous to The Birds)
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The DVD release makes it possible to see Adrian's school file that Lori happens upon in episode five. The file gives Adrian previous employment at stereotypically British Columbia-area high schools (along with a literature BA from "Okanagan University"), locates Meridiana in "SBC" with a Canadian-style postcode, and states that unauthorized access to the file by students can be penalized by having one's GPA posted in the cafeteria or having to dance naked at the prom.
  • Future Slang: Three kids threaten Adrian in the first episode using incomprehensible lingo.
  • Genius Bruiser: Lucas again. He seems to be not only a biology, but a chemistry teacher as well, a published writer, and some scenes suggest he's trying to replicate Sustenance. He's also a skillful brawler who has no qualms about taking on Fixed Ideas, and winning.
  • Have a Gay Old Time: The regrettably similar-sounding word "cybersex" had not yet passed into common usage when this series was titled.
  • Heartwarming Orphan: Julian, and even Cybersix to an extent.
  • Heroic Bystander: Lucas, Lori, and Julian all step into this role in different episodes.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Terra. And boy is it a Tear Jerker.
    • Also the monster who could turn invisible, who let herself fall off of a bridge to her death so that Cybersix could survive an oncoming train. Cybersix herself could count, when she goes to confront Von Reicter in the final episode and is fully prepared to die. The ending implies that she does survive though.
    • In the series finale, Von Reicter releases all of his created monsters from their tanks to attack Cybersix... but they promptly attack him instead, buying her time to escape.
  • High-Class Glass: Von Reichter's monocle.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Pretty much a Running Gag with José.
    • In the end, this also happens to Von Reicter.
  • Hot for Teacher: Lori, probably for two even!
  • Hunter of His Own Kind: Cybersix and Data 7 hunt other Von Reichter's creations.
  • Implacable Man: The Eye. It never ceases its endless hunt for souls and likely would have eventually gone on to consume the entire world if Cybersix didn't finally take him down.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Episodes featuring Von Reichter, rather than José, as The Heavy are noticeably higher-stakes. Invoked by their differing Leitmotifs: José's is lighter and features an accordion, while Von Reichter's is far darker and incorporates funeral bells
  • Leeroy Jenkins: By the end of the first episode, it becomes fairly apparent that Von Reichter will never be able to create a monster scary enough that Lucas won't try to fight head-on. By the third episode, Cybersix resorts to having Data 7 guard Lucas in his apartment to try to keep him out of harm's way. The man does not seem to even have the concept of a survival instinct. Fortunately, he's a bit more badass than most Leeroys.
  • Leitmotif: Everybody in the show. Even one episode characters. The most consistently recurring ones, though, are Cybersix's (which is based on the opening theme), and another for José, both of which are used so consistently and well that they become musical heads-ups as to who is currently in a scene.
    • Oddly, Lucas is the only major character who lacks one. The composer indicated that this was a deliberate choice, as Lucas was basically the ultimate bystander, always getting swept up in the action.
  • Lighter and Softer: The animated series is way softer than the original comic, which was more violent and had highly sexual content.
  • Lightning Bruiser: Both Cybersix and Data 7. Lucas is pretty agile too for such a big guy.
  • Made of Iron: Lucas, who takes tons of punishment throughout the series, sometimes even more than the heroine herself. We're sure he's totally human, right?
  • Maybe Ever After: Whatever happens between Cyber 6 and Lucas as the two do share a kiss before Cyber 6 ultimately fights Von Richter, and the final scene is Lucas seeing the light to Adrian's apartment turned on, meaning Cyber 6 made it out all right.
  • Meaningful Rename: Cyber 29 —> Data 7.
  • Minion with an F in Evil: The Fixed Ideas. They are simply dumb muscles following commands, when not following commands they are usually just looking at things as a child does.
  • Mooks: Called 'Fixed Ideas', they have green skin and red eyes. Mostly employed by José as bodyguards and movers, and to assemble various devices. When Cybersix knocks them out, they disappear and leave a vial of 'Sustenance' (see Everything Fades above).
  • Mythology Gag: The helmet José wears to pilot his Drill Tank in episode 5 is the same one that he dons at one point in the comic — only in the comic he wore it while pursuing Cybersix in the guise of a toddler riding a tricycle.
    • The man reading the newspaper in the intro is a reused design for an extra in the comics, who was also reading a newspaper.
    • A recurring Techno in the series bears a striking resemblance to a Type from the comics named Sylvester Vidal. While they could be the same character, the tv counterpart is never referred to by name (concept art just refer to him as Techno).
  • Nice Kitty...: When Data-7 arrives to work alongside José in the second episode, the boy says this to the panther to stay on his good side.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Cybersix/Adrian is a genetically-engineered crime-fighting cross-dressing lit teacher.
  • One Name Only: Von Reichter. His first name is probably some variation of Joseph, given that his son/clone is named José, and it would also be a reference to another famous Nazi Mad Scientist who fled to Argentina, Josef Mengele (who fled Argentina under the name "José Mengele" after Adolf Eichmann was captured by Mossad).
  • No Ontological Inertia: In one episode, Lucas is infected by a werewolf monster and turns into one himself. When Cybersix destroys the monster, Lucas's scars immediately heal and the infection disappears.
    • Semi-justified in that one of the ways to cure werewolf-ism was to kill the original werewolf. Doesn't explain the scars, though.
    • Also semi-justified in that the episode implied that those infected by the original werewolf only transformed through her will of it rather than simply transforming every full moon.
  • Not What It Looks Like: In "Lori's Missing" Lori manages to find out where Adrian lives. When going there, she overhears a conversation between Cybersix and Data-7. When she looks through the keyhole, she can only see Six and not Data-7. So she assumes the person Cybersix is talking to, is Adrian. Rather than assume that the woman, who sounds suspiciously similar to her crush, is one and the same; She thinks Adrian is standing her up for Cybersix and tells Lucas about it, who then confronts Adrian about it. Adrian denies the girlfriend part, but stumbles when being questioned about his knowing of Cybersix, which prompts some bitter distrust from Lucas.
  • Oculothorax: The Monster of the Week in "The Eye" is a floating eyeball that gets bigger with every soul that it sucks out.
  • Oh, Crap!: In the first episode, when Jose confronts Cybersix for the José time, he at first just saw her as some vigilante nuisance. However when she shows her identification number, he's the only one who seems terrified of her at first as he, much like Von Richter, thought the Cybers were wiped out.
  • Older Than They Look: We are never given his age, but José is insistent that he is not a child and even shows interest in Lori in one episode. (In the comic, he is a genetic copy of von Richter, with a more or less adult mind in a child's body.)
  • Pass the Popcorn: José gets popcorn when he is watching Cybersix drown.
  • Panthera Awesome: Data 7. Just look at the picture!
  • Parental Abandonment: Let's see, Julian is an orphan, Yashimoto acts as both Ikiko's brother and guardian, and Cybersix and Data 7 have some... issues with their "dad."
    • The only character shown to have two living parents is Lori; they are briefly seen in the finale.
  • Patricide: In the finale, one of Von Reichter's creations finally kills him. Although he may have technically been killed by one of his no-name monsters, he was doomed to die anyway by the hand of none other than José.
  • Phlebotinum Dependence: All of Von Reichter's creations are dependent on the enigmatic Sustenance to survive, including Cybersix herself. Having no direct supply, she's forced to feed on Sustenance contained in the very creatures that Von Reichter sends after her.
  • Pro-Human Transhuman: Cybersix was created to be a Nazi-style Ubermensch, but steadfastly defends humanity against Von Richter.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Lucas and Adrian, to their students.
  • Recycled Animation: Shots of Cybersix running across buildings are reused in the later half of the series.
  • Running Gag: For all the scenes that start with Lucas eating at a restaurant, he never finishes a single meal. It's a shame, too, because the food always looks absolutely delicious.
    • He does in Episode 7.
  • Scary Shiny Glasses: José, occasionally.
  • Scenery Porn: While the whole show is beautifully animated, one scene features a breathtaking waterfall as the backdrop.
  • Self-Disposing Villain: Generally averted (see Thou Shalt Not Kill).
  • Self-Made Orphan: By the end of the series; José, who blows up his father's seaside lab...with him in it.
  • Shared Family Quirks: Both von Reicter and José seem to think they are Surrounded by Idiots.
  • She-Fu: Cybersix is an expert in it, with most of her combat consisting of flips and bounces off the scenery, Goomba Stomping Mooks with her Combat Stilettos.
  • Shout-Out: One of the robotic animals in the Circus is a flying monkey.
  • Smug Snake: José often acts smarter and more powerful than he actually is.
  • Stock Footage: Lucas is always watching the same soccer game.
  • Super-Scream: One Monster of the Week was a flock of flying goblins that could fire sonic blasts from their mouths.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: Inverted in that her civilian identity is the male one.
  • Tamer and Chaster: The original comics are very adult. The show, on the other hand, is tame enough for a Saturday morning cartoon even with the mature themes present.
  • The Team Normal: Lucas, who is also Badass Normal.
  • Technicolor Science: Sustenance, the fuel that Cybersix and Von Reichter's other creations run on is glowing neon green.
  • The Trickster: Compared to the other genetic creations, Cybersix is weak and outdated. She stays alive and topples her assailants through trickery and wit (and some good friends.)
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Generally averted. While Cybersix values human and animal life, she and her allies have little qualms about destroying most of Von Reichter's creations. Data 7 destroys a giant humanoid bird by throwing it into an electrified transmission tower, Yashimoto poisons a giant squid-like monster with toxic gas grenades and then Cybersix crushes it under a giant folding bridge, Cybersix and Data 7 expose the flying goblins to sunlight, and Cybersix and Data 7 eventually kill the werewolf monster that infected Lucas.
    • And, in order for Cybersix to gain Sustenance, she typically does kill Von Reichter's creations, with Fixed Ideas being the easiest prey.
    • Incidentally, in the much grittier comic, she actually largely avoids killing those she takes Sustenance from, only draining them so that they are barely alive, despite having no real empathy for them.
    • Should be noted that despite averting this for the most part, Cybersix has tried to save and/or shown remorse for Von Reichter's creations that seemed to display emotions, because she sees herself in them. She tried to save Terra and Griselda before they both sacrificed themselves for her sake, and she was saddened by Elaine's death too.
  • Those Wacky Nazis: Specifically said in the comic, but only subtext in the show, Von Reicter was a Nazi. José's constantly doing the trademark Nazi goose-walk in the show, too.
  • Thousand-Yard Stare: People that are caught in the gaze of The Eye have their souls taken and have their faces frozen in a soulless gaze.
  • Timm Style: It is based off a comic book.
  • Title Theme Tune: One of the few western animated productions to avert this trope (although it is sung from the title character's point of view).
  • Token Heroic Orc: Both Cybersix and Data 7 are Von Riechter's creation turned good.
  • Token Non-Human: Data 7 who is a Panther with a human brain (Cybersix considers herself not to be human, but by all practical purposes she is).
  • Truly Single Parent: Von Reichter and José.
  • Two-Person Love Triangle: Cybersix/Adrian and Lucas. Amusingly, at times, it sure seems like Lucas likes the male identity as much as the female.
  • Turned Against Their Masters: All the Cybers, including (obviously) Cybersix herself, but it seems that Von Reichter is incapable of creating anything with the slightest bit of intelligence (which excludes fixed ideas and monsters of the week) that does not turn on him in the end. This includes his own son, José.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Cybersix is slender and attractive as both a man and a woman. Lucas, on the other hand, is rather chunky and muscular. He does get better as the series goes on, though, and his personality and loyalty are his most attractive features.
  • The Vamp: Elaine in Full Moon Fascination.
  • Whole-Plot Reference: "Bluebirds of Horror" is pretty much Cybersix meets The Birds.
  • Why Don't You Just Shoot Him?: In "The Greatest Show in Meridiana", when faced with a giant computer that controls robotic monsters, Lucas simply unplugs it.
  • Yellow Face: Yashimoto's episode wasn't aired in the US, due to Yashimoto and his sister's designs being almost as cartoonishly stereotypical as a Japanese caricature from a World War II cartoon. However, the show had Japanese animators and the episode aired with no problem in other regions.


Video Example(s):


Birds of Horror

Meridiana City becomes overrun by hostile birds.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / FeatheredFiend

Media sources: