Cyborg 009 Full Review Project: Manga (1964) Volume 7

Buckle up, ladies and gents, because things are about to get seriously crazy.

The Mythos arc is reaching its grand crescendo, and the 00 Cyborgs keep hanging on by the skin of their teeth. In the sub, the gang is struggling to escape from the mighty Atlas, whose size, armor and strength keep overpowering them at every turn. What’s worse is that Atlas keeps using the environment to his advantage, breaking off chunks of rocks to pelt at the cyborgs, damage their sub and eventually bury it.

005 has to nearly kill himself just to give the other cyborgs time to escape, and even that was mostly fruitless. (And despite clearly losing an arm, he’s very quickly fixed later) 004 asserts that, should their attacks all fail, he’ll utilize his atomic self-destruct device to destroy Atlas.

As if that weren’t bad enough, 009 needs medical attention desperately, but Gilmore can’t perform any complicated surgeries while the sub is being rocked by battle.

Right as 004 sets out to sacrifice himself, Helena decides to trick Atlas by claiming she’s been outfitted with a bomb that is set to detonate if Atlas kills any of the 00 crew. Atlas, being close with Helena, agrees to stand down for an hour, but if she’s not returned to the Mythos cyborgs with the bomb removed by that time Atlas will return and finish what he started.

This gives 009 ample time to frickin’ die.

Nope, I’m not kidding. 009 is technically dead right now. His brainwave frequency is flatlined, there’s no response from any of his systems – Gilmore even straight out says he’s dead numerous times.

However, he’s not SUPER dead.

Being a cyborg, there is still the chance to revive and repair him, but they don’t have the parts there. The closest Black Ghost outpost is in Vietnam.

Thus, he’s dead, the others lose their fight without 009’s help, and the world is doomed to fall under Black Ghost’s horrible war-perpetuating rule.

And that’s the Cyborg 009 manga, everyone. Bit of a downer ending, but–

Wait a minute….Do you guys feel that? Yes, I…I know this feeling. Could it be?

It is! 001 is awake!

And I’m not really being snarky here. The kid is literally the ultimate turner of tides here because the first thing he does when he wakes up – and bear in mind that he wasn’t set to wake up for another two weeks – is, and I’m not kidding, bring 009 back to life. Purely through psychic power, 009 is revived from certain death and is even conscious. He’s not repaired, because that’d just be silly, pbbbt, but 001 literally rose 009 from the grave.

And he’s not done.

It’s been an hour, so Atlas returns, demanding Helena be handed over and restarting his rocky assault on the sub. 001 uses his telekinesis to shoot all of the rocks back at Atlas, finally knocking him on his metal ass while also freeing the sub from being pinned by the rocks. The sub won’t work, however, since the propeller was damaged by the rocks, so 001 uses his telekinesis to move the sub away while they make repairs.

Atlas isn’t down for the count, however, and sends a barrage of missiles at the sub. 001 responds by telekinetically changing their trajectory and sending them back at Atlas, which wounds him badly.

However, he’s still not done. Atlas utilizes an attack which involves separating his body into several sections and shooting them at the sub. On impact, the sections will explode.

His parts explode….but the sub is gone. 001 teleported them 500 miles north to keep them safe from the enemy while repairs are made to 009 (and 005 I assume).

Phew, that was quite the cavalcade of ‘why didn’t they focus on psychic abilities after creating 001’? It’s almost like they try to dance around his clear overpowered nature right before he wakes up too. Gilmore tells Helena that 001’s totally useless because, despite being the most powerful, he sleeps for weeks on end. Yeah, yeah ‘totally useless’ except he always has a tendency to wake up right when he’d be the MOST useful – which is typically right when all that shit is hitting the fan.

I love this series, I do, but 001 truly is one of the biggest deus ex machinas I’ve ever seen in any form of fiction.

Let’s switch gears here and see what 003, 007 and Pan are up to. Dr. Uranus ‘accidentally’ frees them from their prison and they make their escape. Uranus is found out by Gaia and he plans on killing him for his betrayal, so 007 sets out to rescue him while 003 and Pan make their escape.





















Anyway, dinosaurs.

Yup. That’s a dinosaur.

003 suggests that it’s probably a robot, but Uranus says it’s a real dinosaur that lives in the caves around the island. He had always meant to study it but he never had time.

…..Excuse me?

Ex-frickin’-cuse me?!




A real, live, breathing….for some reason creepy as hell, DINOSAUR. How have you not gotten around to studying this!? I get it, the cyborg stuff takes up a lot of your time….



She manages to narrowly escape the dinosaur only to be captured yet again by Centaurus D.

Not kidding. I burst out laughing when this happened. What, is this like the fourth time 003 has been kidnapped in this arc? Someone do some investigating – she and Mokuba might be related.

Using his power of invisibility, 007 managed to knock out Gaia and save Uranus off-panel, but since the others teleported away, they’re stuck on the island with nothing to do but wait and hope for their return. 007 wishes for 009’s return most of all, because screw the others I guess? His imaginary image of 009 suddenly turns into the real, good-as-new 009 standing right before him in a rather cool and triumphant panel. He and the others have returned and they’re ready to have their final face-off with the Mythos cyborgs.

We then reach “The Final Chapter” Yeah, I’ll talk about that in a bit.

Rewinding a little, we cut to right before the gang teleports back to Magma Island. 001 states that he feels they must go back to Magma Island, but Gilmore argues that he, and I quote, doesn’t “think (he’s) ready to trust the unclear psychic premonitions of an infant.”

Gilmore……it astounds me that you can be such a genius and ignoramus at the same time.

You don’t think you can trust the premonitions of the PSYCHIC infant? The infant that is the smartest person on this team and just took down Atlas and saved all your asses in one fell swoop single-handed minded? The infant who is basically just an infant by sheer happenstance because he’s locked in that form due to his cyborg nature? The infant who might as well be a demigod at this point? That infant?

As if he were somehow channeling my frustration (and that’s possible, he is psychic after all) 001 telekinetically flings and holds Gilmore up in the air demanding he never call him an infant again. Whoo, yeah! You go off, Ivan!

Helena shares the information that the Mythos Cyborgs also have an esper on their team (who is not named here, but is named Hera in the 2001 anime) so 001 and Helena rush off to help the 00 Cyborgs.

Meanwhile, on Magma Island, the volcanoes on the island start to erupt and the ground begins to break apart. The team is met by Minotaur, Lion Man and Horse Man. 002 – 6 stay behind to fight the trio while 007-9 head underwater. The battle starts turning in the Mythos Cyborgs’ favor when they’re met with Hera. However, in the nick of time yet again, 001 arrives to have an esper on esper battle with her.

008’s task is to fight off the cyber sharks while 007 and 009 head into the cave where 009 just punches the dinosaur and says “As if volcanoes and sharks weren’t enough!”


I. Love. This. Series. Only in Cyborg 009 can fighting a dinosaur come off like an inconvenience among a slue of other weird shit.

Once the dinosaur is felled, more rocks start falling around them due to the tremors. 009 wants to use the rocks to their advantage, so he and 007 split up. 007 is meant to find and rescue 003 while 009 goes off to investigate.

Almost as if 009 were psychic himself, right after 007 finds 003, the falling rocks destroy the electromagnetic barrier in which she was being contained. 007 says it was all part of 009’s plan to ‘shake things up’ but he didn’t shake anything up. It was just the tremors from the eruptions.

On 009’s side, he finds Apollo, and the two reignite their battle from before. It’s mostly a lot of chasing each other until the two face off on a cliff side. Desperate to end the battle and save both of them, Helena lunges toward Apollo, burning herself up. The force of Helena colliding with Apollo and the shock of him accidentally severely injuring/killing his sister causes Apollo and Helena to accidentally fall off of the cliff and into the water below, killing them both.

As the other battles continue, the island suddenly bursts with massive surges of ocean water. In seconds, the island crumbles apart and sinks into the ocean. The volume (for this story anyway) ends with “In the calm that followed this fury, no sign of the Cyborg team remained.”


Wow. That was quite the volume. Definitely the most intense volume we’ve gotten so far with an awesome jaw-dropping cliffhanger.

Well…it would be awesome if they continued the story. Sadly, we’ll never get adequate resolution to this cliffhanger due to the bane of existence

*spooky music*

*thunder clap*


When Ishinomori was writing the Mythos arc, Weekly Shonen King, the magazine in which Cyborg 009 was being published at the time, gained a new editor-in-chief who basically shut the door on Ishinomori as soon as his ass hit his new chair. He told him that the manga was going to be canceled immediately, claiming the Mythos arc was too confusing for their target demographic of children, so Ishinomori basically had to wrap things up on a cliffhanger.

While the series in Weekly Shonen King was canceled in 1965, the manga was still running supposedly non-canon short stories under the moniker “Cyborg Soldiers” in Separate Shonen King until sometime in 1966, which is where Vacuum War, The Aurora Strategy, The Golden Lion and A Phantom Dog ran.

As for my feelings on the arc, I really did enjoy it a lot. I don’t see how it could have been too complicated for children to grasp in regards to themes and having too many characters. Do you realize how many heavy as hell themes the previous stories had? And how many characters we’ve had to keep track of in past volumes? I think this guy had a stick up his ass. There’s little information on Weekly Shonen King, but there was never any indication that I could find that the reception for the manga was lacking at this time. Hell, they literally just got done making a Cyborg 009 movie that was so well-received that they made a sequel just a year later. What is this guy smoking?

Admittedly, 001’s powers do grate on the nerves because he’s simply too powerful. I don’t care if he does have weaknesses in his small baby body and his need to sleep constantly, he’s still way too powerful. Between him and 009, you sometimes feel like the other team members just help fill time.

Also, the rematch with Apollo was underwhelming to say the least, but the match with Atlas more than made up for it. That guy was an absolute powerhouse. 001’s powers aside, he was literally the only one who could defeat himself. Everyone else could barely scratch him. Really glad Helena saved 004 from sacrificing himself too. Smart plan. I’ll miss Helena. Even though she didn’t really have any powers, that we were made aware of anyway. She could have made a good addition to the team.

Speaking of the side stories that ran in Separate Shonen King (but got repackaged for the Tokyopop release), we’re at the next chapter – Golden Lion.

Fair warning, this chapter takes place entirely in Africa and, uh, Ishinomori still hasn’t gotten around to not using the racist depictions of black people yet.

Pyunma, Joe and Francoise are heading to Pyunma’s village in Zanzibar to help him with something that is threatening his people – a golden fire-breathing glowing flying lion who is slaughtering people. Ya know, typical Tuesday.


When he arrives at the village, he’s greeted with the tragic news that, literally minutes before he arrived, his family was slaughtered in their home. His mother, father and little sister were all killed by the lion in what appeared to be a hit considering Pyunma was the former leader of the independence movement that lived and still operated in the village.

The lion is actually pretty intelligent and can communicate through typing. He approaches some English douchebags who are trying to take advantage of the land’s resources and offers a deal – he’ll kill and scare off the freedom group who are impeding their plans in exchange for rods of radioactive isotopes, which he seemingly eats…and/or takes back to a glowing golden tentacle tree, of course.

Also, the English douchebag thought the lion was a ghost at first and tried to shoot it, because apparently too many people think that will work.

After the funeral of Pyunma’s family, the three cyborgs vow to take revenge, but they need more information in order to defeat the lion. They obviously believe the lion is a cyborg and note that blasters won’t work on it. He also seems to be as fast as Joe.

I want to take a moment to note that this is the second time Pyunma has thanked Joe for coming on this trip to help him with his problems….but hasn’t said a single thing to Francoise. She’s not doing anything, but neither is Joe, technically, besides talking about doing stuff. What even is Francoise doing here? Is she just arm candy for Joe now?

An odd fellow wanders through the village. Pyunma explains that he’s the lone survivor of a group of ten people who were suddenly slaughtered by the lion. Ever since, he’s been out of his mind. Joe is instantly suspicious of him because he didn’t have the eyes or mannerisms of someone who was traumatized by such an event. His suspicions prove correct when they discover him trying to relay information to the aforementioned English douchebags.

Using the information gained from the spy, they locate the English douchebags and interrogate them. Knowing they won’t get far by talking to the men, they instead take their isotope supply and head out into the jungle to trap the lion. Sure enough, intent on getting his food, the lion arrives and attacks the cyborgs. Once they retaliate, however, the lion flees. 009 pursues and eventually becomes wrapped up in the tentacle tree.

The lion sets 009 on fire, which accidentally sets the tree on fire. The lion rips the burning tentacles off in order to prevent the rest of the tree from burning. 009 leads the lion to a cave using a couple of the radioactive isotopes. Throwing the isotopes in the cave, he manages to trap the lion inside of it by collapsing the entrance with giant boulders.

And, uh, I guess they just leave because we cut to two months later. Francoise and Joe get a letter from Pyunma in Africa (are Joe and Francoise living together now?) He tells them that they have finally opened the cave back up and Joe was right. The lion was dead. Two weeks after opening the cave, the tree had died as well.

Pop quiz!

What the hell was up with the lion and the tree?

A) They were cyborgs sent by Black Ghost.

B) They were cyborgs sent by someone else.

C) They were mutants and this chapter was meant to be a PSA on the dangers of radioactivity

D) They were aliens

If you guessed D for some reason, you were right!


Yes, aliens now exist in Cyborg 009. And….Joe just kinda brushes this off like it’s nothing.

Joe: “Just as I suspected…They weren’t cyborgs. They were extraterrestrials!” Why would you think that?! I mean…you were right, I guess, but how did you come to that conclusion!?

“Lion and tree were somehow linked together. The tree needed the lion to survive. A perfect symbiotic relationship. Without the lion, the tree died.” Dunno how you knew all that either, but it’s more understandable than knowing the alien thing.

Francoise: “What about the lion? I don’t understand what happened to him.”

Joe: “I trapped him in a uranium mine. He ate until his stomach exploded!” How did you know there was a uranium mine around? And if there was a uranium mine in the area, how did the lion not know about it? How did it know a couple of English yahoos could provide him with radioactivity but not that there was a mine loaded with uranium within walking distance? Why was he willing to take a job that required slaughtering people to obtain his food when he had a feast in a cave nearby? How did you know the lion would be such a glutton that he’d eat himself to death? How did you know he wouldn’t just get more powerful?

The letter concludes with telling Joe and Francoise to have fun together while visiting France and he hopes they can come back to Africa some time for a visit.

And that’s the end of the story…..

Yeah….I really don’t know what to make of this story. Taking a step back from the insanity that is everything to do with the alien tree and lion, this chapter is a bit of a waste, is it not? They kill off Pyunma’s entire family and the story ends up not being significant to Pyunma. 009 is the one who does everything. He determines that a crazy guy in town is a spy just because he doesn’t act the way he knows traumatized people act, even though that varies wildly from person to person, he comes up with the plan, he executes it, he figures out what the tree and the lion are, somehow, and somehow devises the perfect way to kill them both at once, somehow, and Pyunma gets to do nothing.

This is framed as a perfect revenge story for Pyunma and he doesn’t get to do anything. He interrogates the Englishmen, but they didn’t get any info from them. He didn’t really participate in the battle against the lion at all. All he did was blast the cave to cause the cave-in, and he only did that because 009 told him to. There’s no reason 009 didn’t do that himself, honestly.

Did I mention that the English douchebags didn’t get any comeuppance? They get a little roughed up by the cyborgs, but they end up being mostly left alone. The guys who called for the hit on Pyunma’s family, as far as we know, don’t get any punishment for their actions. That’s some bullshit.

This story just hurt Pyunma for the sake of glorifying 009 again, and I kinda hate that.

Don’t even bring 003 up. All she did the entire trip was exclaim that the lion was approaching about two panels before he arrived.

Now for the final chapter of the volume, Phantom Hound.

So….I’ve been kinda dreading this chapter to be honest. Dog deaths and whatnot. Let’s just get this over with.

Joe is thinking back fondly on his dog, Kubikuro. Several months prior, he had seen an old man on the street with two dogs. They were performing tricks where the dogs could do math.

A while later, he found the old man and the two dogs dead in the street, seemingly murdered in a hit and run. He notices straight identical scars on both of the dogs’ foreheads and suspects the old man was experimenting on them. Among the bodies was a puppy that he named Kubikuro. He took care of Kubikuro for three months and discovered that the puppy was just as intelligent as his parents, meaning he was also experimented on.

Joe tells Kubikuro that the man who killed his parents was apprehended by police. Shortly thereafter, Kubikuro goes missing. A month later, Joe hears the news that the man who killed Kubikuro’s parents died in a seeming incident of spontaneous combustion. One after another, reports pour in about animal abusers and other criminals being set ablaze. Joe, somehow, comes to the conclusion that Kubikuro is doing this.

He says that his enhanced intelligence made him as smart as a human, but humans are vengeful and cruel. It’s like he’s implying that Kubikuro had no choice but to become a vengeful serial killer because he was smart as a human. That’s a bit of a dark outlook on humanity. I can totally understand Kubikuro killing the guy who killed his parents, but there’s no reason he’s killing all these other people. He’s like an anti-animal abuse anti-hero, but it’s also a bit confusing. He leads a pack of dogs, and when he saves a train filled with pigs he also…lets the dogs kill and eat some of the pigs? I dunno.

Oh, yeah, Kubikuro can set people on fire with a glance, by the way. ……Here’s how the manga explains how this happened.

“Kubikuro, gifted with intelligence only to turn it into a pyrokinetic rage.” Yup, smart as human + rage = pyrokinesis somehow.

Long story short, Joe feels responsible for the monster Kubikuro has become for some reason so he lays a trap for him. Pretending to be part of a convoy containing someone related to the murder of his parents, he lures Kubikuro out of hiding, has one last exchange with him and shoots him. The last shot of the story is Joe crying with Kubikuro’s body in his arms.

This story is….emotionally manipulative and kinda stupid. The former might just be my bias in the belief that, nearly every time a dog or other animal is killed off in a piece of media, it’s for emotional manipulation, but the latter stands. I can believe fully that these dogs gained human-level intelligence from some vague brain experiments, but I can’t believe that this would result in sudden pyrokinetic abilities nor do I feel I can swallow that Kubikuro turned into a monstrous serial killer just because he’s more human-like with human-level intelligence. That’s just silly…..and this is in a volume with dinosaurs and aliens.

Kubikuro was a little pup when Joe found him. He spent three months being lovingly cared for by Joe. He was a sweet little puppy who even offered to clean up his pawprints in the lobby of Joe’s apartment building because one of the other tenants got upset by it. You don’t suddenly turn into a monster after all of that just because you learn that the person who killed your parents was apprehended. Hell, that’s a good thing. Did Joe not teach him about justice? Like I said, I don’t even get his motivations. It seem like he just wanted to be a vigilante against animal abusers, but that goes out the window when you realize he was letting some of the animals he was saving be killed by his allies.

And then Joe has to Ol’ Yeller Kubikuro, and I just wound up feeling hollow. I saw it coming from a mile away. It’s sad, of course, but I feel like the backbone of his story was so flimsy that it managed to make me not feel tearful at a dog death. I felt much more like crying over Kubikuro’s parents, and they were barely in the story. Kubikuro was adorable, even considering Ishinomori’s odd style in drawing dogs, but he didn’t need to be written as a monster, especially in the sloppy manner he was here. Give him a real reason to be doing what he’s doing and be consistent in his actions but still leave him sympathetic.


And that was volume seven! I am disappointed that Ishinomori had to cut off the Mythos arc here. It was a really interesting and exciting arc for what it was worth, and he did the best with what he had. I mean, granted, if the entire manga had actually ended here it would have been terrible. Maybe the reason I’m not as shaken by it is because I know the series continues on. But imagine being a fan back then and thinking that the last image you’d ever see of the series was a barren shot of the ocean with looming implications that the characters you’ve come to know and love drowned?

Then we have the…..eehh….interesting side stories we’re left to enjoy until volume eight. I didn’t really hate or even seriously dislike either story. I just felt like the first was a big wasted opportunity for Pyunma to get some focus and the second was poorly executed.

Next time, we start what was actually intended to be the grand finale of Cyborg 009 – the Underground Empire Yomi arc!

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2 thoughts on “Cyborg 009 Full Review Project: Manga (1964) Volume 7

  1. Good Cyborg 009 manga review. The manga seems way wackier than what I have ever expected as you pointed out with the dinosaurs and radioactive animals. At least you found some humor in that. Haha!

    I’m going to go into rant mode for this part of the comment and you can guess what I’m going to talk about, not that it’s your fault. It’s a serious pet peeve of mine when fiction takes place in Africa and it’s talked about like a whole country and not a continent with dozens of independent nations (not counting overseas colonies, but that’s a story for another day). When was the last time you’ve seen this done for Europe, Asia, or even the Americas for example? Sadly, I still see that ignorance from people to this day. 008’s home county wasn’t fully confirmed until 1992 when it was revealed he was Kenyan and Zanzibar is part of Tanzania. Even that country’s name is a literal combination of the mainland country (Tanganyika) and Zanzibar. The situation with the British villains has fridge horror since the British colonized multiple African nations in that area such as the aforementioned Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, etc. Side note: Pyunma isn’t a Swahili name, and I doubt it would be a name in another African language, but I digress. Sorry, my fandom frustrations and geography nerd rage popped up again and it didn’t help I just posted today about what’s going on with The Proud Family.

    Yeah, that is weird with how they ended that part of the 009 manga. I wasn’t aware of those particular issues, but I appreciated knowing about that.

    Liked by 2 people

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