Cyborg 009 Full Review Project: Manga (1964) Volume 8

So, who wants to go through an entire, beat-by-beat, retelling of Joe’s awakening chapter from the beginning of the series, now featuring Lil’ 007?!

Me either, so let’s just talk about the other 15% of the prologue, which is a time skip.

After Cyborg 009 was dropped by Weekly Shonen King, it was picked up by Weekly Shonen Magazine in July of 1966. This chapter was not meant to be considered canon, as confirmed by Ishinomori. All of the background information about Joe being a race car driver, Francoise being a ballerina and GB still being a child was inserted here for the sake of making the manga more inviting to people who had taken up the manga after watching the 1966 movie.

It’s been four years since the finale of the battle against the Mythos Cyborgs, which means, despite the series getting picked back up we’re still left without any concrete resolution to the Mythos arc. All we know is that they seemingly beat the Mythos Cyborgs and they all survived the battle.

Apparently, whether or not the Mythos arc is even still canon has been a topic of debate ever since this volume was released because it acts as though the Vietnam arc was the story immediately preceding this one. Ishinomori wanted to rewrite the Mythos arc one day to give it a proper conclusion, but even though the manga continued on for a long time, he never revisited it. I’m inclined to believe the Mythos arc is canon, but that’s just me.

One more note before we continue, even though Ishinomori claimed this chapter wasn’t canon, that doesn’t make much sense because a lot of what happens in this chapter will carry on throughout the entire arc. For instance, if Joe becoming a successful race car driver isn’t canon, why does he have that sick house for so long? If he was never followed by reporters wanting to get insight into the famous Hurricane Joe, why do they reappear as his informants later on? If Joe never had this encounter with his friends, how did he meet Helen? It’s very confusing.

Joe has taken up a job as a successful race car driver, but he holds a lot of resentment about his cyborg nature and Black Ghost. Despite his newfound success, he’s also garnered a reputation as being a bit of a grump who won’t talk to the press or take off his helmet while on the track. However, two persistent journalists decide to follow him home to finally get an interview.

Journalist: “One thing I’ve heard is that he’s some sort of half-breed. That would explain why he’s so damn secretive.”

I’ve never heard that stereotype before. They treat being mixed race like it’s a secret identity.

They follow him to a store where Joe meets up with some old delinquent friends from reform school. Ibaraki (incorrectly translated by Tokyopop as Ibaragi) Oyamada and Mary. They’ve gone straight since their school days and are even running a modest moving business out of their truck. Joe invites them to his swanky-ass smart house that has a combination-locked door, flippable floors to switch the purpose of the rooms instantly, a large screen TV, meals that pop out of the tables, etc.

As Mary and Joe get drinks, she suddenly becomes melancholy as she remembers her father and how he abandoned her. She wonders if her life would have turned out differently if he had kept her. Joe consoles her and they go back out to get the party going with the boys.

Mmm….old friends of one of the main characters….getting nostalgic….having fun…….they’re going to die, aren’t they?

It should be noted that this scene was drastically changed from the original version. Originally, it was revealed that Mary and Joe were both bullied as children for being ‘half-breeds’ which caused them to fall into the wrong crowd. I have no idea why this was changed to just being a generic ‘If I hadn’t been an orphan, would my life be different?’ speech. Especially since, as the comparison on the Fandom page explains, the translation claims she wound up at the same reform school, which should be impossible because Kurihama Juvenile Hall is meant to be boys-only.

The boys are watching a news broadcast about a giant robot bat that attacked recently that they believe originated from a Polynesian island.

Oyamada: “The news is so boring.” BORING?! What world do you live in where reports of a giant robot bat attack are boring to you?

A fly gets let in by the journalists, and it turns out to be a robot that triggers the three friends into attacking Joe. They were secretly cyborgs sent to kill him.

Ibaraki is covered in gun barrels in his chest and elbows. Black Ghost made 004 with guns in his fingers, which are extremely easy to aim……then they made Ibaraki with guns in his elbows and chest, which are very hard to aim…I guess this is an upgrade from Mr. “Black Ghost pretty much duct taped a machine gun to my arm stump.”….….……Black Ghost is filled with morons. Ibaraki also has target-vision, which is pretty cool.

Also, nothing to do with his cyborg nature, but look at his shirt.

Cyborg 009 Volume 8 Screen

Did someone look at a bowl of Alphabits and say ‘Yeah, I want that as a button-up shirt.’?

Oyamada is pretty cool looking, having a bunch of ‘tusks’ jutting out of nearly every space on his body. These tusks can spear his enemies, but if he captures one of them in his ‘ribs’ he can crush them to death.

Finally, Mary was turned into a dog-like cyborg who runs on all-fours, creates electricity with her paws, has razor-sharp claws and can control wolves with a cry.

Cyborg 009 Volume 8 Screen2

Ibaraki is the main one attacking at first. He shoots up the joint while Joe runs for his life and tries to convince his friends to stop. He attempts to appeal to their bond as friends and reminds them of the good times they had. They do feel bad about what they’re doing, but they’re not just being ordered by Black Ghost, they’re legitimately angry with him. Joe simply vanished from their lives one day and they haven’t heard so much as a peep from him since he disappeared. What’s worse is that he never warned them about Black Ghost, and they were turned into cyborgs as a result.

The fight continues, Mary accidentally getting shot up by Ibaraki in the crossfire. Ibaraki and Oyamada decide to retreat for the time being in order to get Mary to safety. Before they drive off in their truck, Joe puts a tracker on it. After they drive away, he heads back into his house to put on his good ol’ uniform, hops in his car and heads after them.

They won’t let themselves be followed, however. They activate missiles hidden in the tail lights of their truck. Despite all of the massive explosions, Joe manages to outmaneuver the missiles. Mary wakes up and uses her wolf-summoning powers on Joe’s car, which, funnily, actually makes him stop, get out of the car and take refuge up a tree….Joe….you have super speed…..just run away from them and chase the truck on foot.

He’s trapped until Mary is so far out of range that the wolves no longer attack Joe.

When Joe is finally free, he tracks the trio to an old cabin in the woods.

Also, this creepy-ass owl.

Cyborg 009 Volume 8 Screen3
How many licks does it take to get to the entrail center of your corpse?

The trio pop out of the cabin, but there’s something off about Mary…what it is, I don’t know. I can’t see anything different about her, but Joe asks with a shocked expression what they did to her. Joe tries one more time to talk to his friends, explaining that Black Ghost did the same thing to him as they did to them and that Black Ghost is the real enemy. The only way he made it through becoming a cyborg was with the help of his friends, and he wants to help them now. Despite his pleas, the trio attack anyway.

Shockingly, when they converge on Joe, they all explode.

Joe: “You were wired to explode if your thoughts strayed from the mission.”

Hey…hey Joe….do you do parkour?

…..Because that’s quite the leap you just made.

There was no indication that any of them were actually taking what you were saying to heart, and their final act was to lunge at you, either knowing they’d explode or otherwise. How do you get ‘they were wired to explode if their thoughts strayed from the mission’ out of that? They’d run away from you if they were really starting to reconsider. The Wiki page for all three of their characters also claims that this was a last-ditch attempt to kill him. Their reluctance was not translated to the imagery at all.

Also, would Black Ghost not just go for complete control over their minds instead of blowing them up the instant they even started thinking about disobeying? They basically made the same mistake they made with 0013 only worse. It took quite a while after 0013 considered defecting that he (technically 13 Robo, but still) was set to blow up, but Joe’s friends seemed to blow the instant they thought ‘Hm, maybe I shouldn’t kil–’

How is it possible that, given all the evidence we’ve seen throughout the manga so far, Black Ghost somehow manages to get worse in their tech and even stupider in their plans?

Joe mourns the loss of his friends for a minute before heading off to investigate the cabin. He finds a young woman named Helen tied up on the floor.

Before you ask, yes, Helen is basically just Helena recycled, both in name and design, but she’s not the Mythos cyborg, she’s an entirely new character. Tokyopop was even cheeky about this and changed a line when they first meet from ‘Hey! Hang in there!’ to ‘Hey! I remember you!’ which caused more confusion in me than anything because I thought this was a character that we might have met at the start of the volume/chapter or something. I knew she looked the same as Helena, but we didn’t know her name at this point, and it could have just been a coincidence. Next time, Tokyopop, just say ‘You look like someone I used to know….’ or something. Wording is everything if you’re going to intentionally change lines to make a joke.

There’s something else in the cabin as well – a giant robo-cat. Joe fells the robot rather easily. The robot is a cheap piece of garbage, and Joe wonders why Black Ghost would send such a pile of junk after him.

He and Helen drive off, and she explains her story. Her father, Fishbone, was a widely respected scientist that Black Ghost wanted to recruit. Fishbone, however, refused to join up. Black Ghost never takes rejection well, so he was hunted. Fishbone vanished, but Helen was captured as a hostage.

Joe considers getting the gang back together since Black Ghost seems so active lately. Right as he ponders that, he notices a helicopter following closely behind them. Joe tells Helen to drive while he jumps into the helicopter to confront their stalker.

However, much to his surprise, 004 is piloting the helicopter with a huge smirk plastered on his face. That little scamp.

004 hadn’t visited 009 in a while, so he decided to pop in with his helicopter. When he saw Joe’s fancy car, he decided to tease him a bit. He becomes apologetic, however, when 009 explains Helen’s situation. 004 did have actual business with 009 – the obvious situation with Black Ghost reemerging. 004 and 009 head off to meet Dr. Gilmore and the others, but Helen asks to come.

004: “I’m sorry. This is no place for a woman.” Yeah! There are no women on our tea–….Oh shit.

009: “Don’t be a pig, 004!” Thank you, 009. I love 004 to bits, but he has his moments…

The three depart, and 004 quickly detects and corners the journalists from earlier, but he doesn’t do anything to them. *shrug*

On the way to Gilmore’s place, 004 explains that, when the team broke up, he headed back to Germany. However, everyone was too afraid of his cybernetic enhancements to hire him. He was soon destitute so he tried to find work elsewhere.

Wow. That’s quite the contrast. 009 is able to become an insanely rich and famous race car driver, but 004 can’t even find work and wound up broke. Couldn’t Albert have just….ya know…covered his hands? Those are literally the only parts of him that are outwardly cybernetic. His chest is also noticeably mechanical, but unless he’s planning on being a stripper, that shouldn’t be an issue.

After recapping 004’s backstory, they arrive at Gilmore’s sub, which means DRUMROLL PLEASE

We officially have the Dolphin! Whoo! And we get the blueprints of it, which is awesome. I always love any mech/cyborg/robot etc. anime that provides blueprints or schematics for their machinery. It’s so cool.

The Dolphin is specially designed to go on land, air and sea, meaning they can go literally anywhere Black Ghost travels.

In the sub, 004 expresses distrust of Helen – not for anything she’s done but because she’s leading them on a Black Ghost case, and anyone even remotely connected to Black Ghost cannot truly be trusted until proven otherwise. 009 vehemently argues against this…..but….dude, you were literally just betrayed by three of your closest childhood friends because they wound up in the clutches of Black Ghost……that happened like six hours ago…

They’re suddenly attacked by one of Black Ghost’s robotic undersea dinosaurs, and I love that I get to say that sentence. They’re able to outmaneuver it with the Dolphin’s speed, and 009 uses some of the torpedoes to strike it down. Gilmore is impressed considering 009 has not been trained on the Dolphin yet, but 009 explains that he can intuitively understand how to operate any vehicle thanks to his cybernetics…..which…is something you’d think he’d never have to explain to Dr. Gilmore…the guy who designed 009…..

009: “I’d say that attack proves Helen’s on our side. I don’t think even Black Ghost would fire on one of their own.”…..009….did you suffer brain damage on a page I missed? Black Ghost attacks and kills their own all the time. In fact, again, they literally just did that by blowing up your friends because they maybe, for half a second, considered not fighting you.

Onto the next chapter, we get a news report explaining that the ‘bat’ monster we had heard about earlier was actually a robot pterodactyl with ultrasonic waves so powerful that it can crumble buildings and cause insta-death by vibrating your blood vessels and bones so violently that you basically turn to mush.

That…is ridiculously horrifying and awesome. Also, imagine how different Power Rangers would be if the Pink Ranger’s zord had that power.

Albert heads to China to recruit Chang, who is running his own restaurant.

Next, Joe heads to London where GB is utilizing his shape-shifting abilities to impress audiences in the theater. He’s also utilizing his power to continue looking like an adult because, you guessed it, Lil’ 007…..*sigh* Once he has GB on board, he tells him to head to the United States to find Jet while he heads to France to find Francoise.

Francoise has made it big as a ballet dancer, and she’s living her dream. When Joe confronts her about coming back, she vehemently refuses, wanting to leave that life behind her once and for all, choosing to chase a life of positivity and expression instead. Joe understands and wishes her luck, but she changes her mind before he leaves since she knows there’s a sense of duty involved.

Meanwhile, Jet has made it as a professional football player…….I really, really don’t understand why literally everyone else has found success and/or happiness, four of them ending up FAMOUS AND RICH, but Albert can’t even find a job all because of his robot hands that he can easily cover up.

Anyway, Lil’ 007 pranks Jet by turning into the football he caught, freaking him out and causing him to get dogpiled.

On a Native American reserve, I think anyway, G. Junior is riding around the countryside when Lil’ 007 calls him over by shaping a smoke signal to say 005….somehow.

Enjoy this surreal image of G. Junior dressed as a cowboy and Lil’ 007 dressing like a stereotypical Native American.

The final teammate to retrieve is Pyunma, who is now a gameskeeper in Africa. He’s confronted by a giant robot alligator…..which would be something I’d happily point out as being awesome…..


What the fuck!? He is almost totally obliterated! Poor Pyunma. Rarely has a manga panel made me pause in shock like that one did. Dude just lost his entire family in the last volume and now this?!

Joe acts fast and fights off the alligator. When he leaves, Joe takes what’s left of Pyunma and rushes him to Gilmore as fast as his accelerator will take him.

When he arrives, the damage is assessed, and it doesn’t look good, obviously. All of his vital parts, barring his brain, have been destroyed. Gilmore rushes to reconstruct him, if he can.

While the others nervously wait for news on Pyunma’s condition, the TV suddenly turns on and reveals Skull. He is announcing to the world that they have one year until Black Ghost turns everyone on the planet into followers of Black Ghost. To prove that they’ll have no chance, he uses the robot pterodactyl to completely destroy New York City. The transmission suddenly ends, and the group determines that Black Ghost has somehow managed to take over the broadcast systems of the world, meaning he can beam any message he pleases over any media network at any time. It also means that he’s completely ruined any chance the group had at doing their missions covertly.

Gilmore emerges from the reconstruction room, having finished his work on Pyunma. However, he won’t know of his true condition until he’s had at least a few days rest. Before they’re able to catch Gilmore up on the broadcast, Albert accuses Helen of turning the TV on so they wouldn’t miss the broadcast. He now believes more than ever that Helen is a cyborg sent by Black Ghost, so he drags her out into the water.

He, not kidding, and this is exactly how 001 describes it, is putting Helen through a Salem Witch Trial. In the Salem Witch Trials, one of the tests they used to determine if someone was a witch was by stripping them down to their underwear and throwing them in a body of water – the logic being, if they’re a witch, they’ll float. If they’re innocent, they’ll sink. Here, 004 is using the same concept. She has a half hour of oxygen in her tank – if it runs out and she floats, she’s human. If she sinks, or if she can generate her own oxygen I guess, then she’s a cyborg.

….Uh….guys….don’t you have an x-ray machine?….Maybe….use that instead? Actually, doesn’t 003 have x-ray vision? If you’re dedicated to this stupid test, why did you even put an oxygen tank on her at all? Just throw her out there freebird. You wouldn’t have to wait for a half hour.

Anyway, no time for these murderous shenanigans – missile sharks!

Have I mentioned I love this manga?

They’re closing in fast, so 009 rushes out to save Helen. 004 pulls a super gun on 009 and demands that he get away from her. 009 persists in refusing to allow Helen to get tortured for the sake of 004’s paranoia, but 004 says he has no other options and 009 should trust him enough to know he’d never do something of this magnitude unless he had to. However, sadly, 009 says he can’t trust him that much.

I hate to disagree with 004 here, but I disagree with 004 here. Like I said, they have other options for determining if she’s a cyborg. This test is ridiculous, dangerous and pointless.

Commence awesome battle with the missile sharks. The Dolphin is able to shield them from some missiles because of its force field technology. Additionally, it has an ultrasonic pulsator that can disrupt the signals emitted from the devices on the sharks. The sharks are still mostly sharks, they just have missile launchers on their heads. Black Ghost’s technology allows them to tap into the shark’s innate desire to kill. When this desire is most active, their missiles launch.

….No, it doesn’t really make much sense. Sharks aren’t bloodthirsty murderers. They’re just eating. Their one desire is ‘find and eat food’ not ‘murdermurderdeathkillmurder.’ Killing is part of their eating process, sure, and they hunt, but they’re not processing the killing part. They’re just obtaining food.

Helen runs out of oxygen, so 009 rushes back to the Dolphin to get her treated. She’s unconscious, but alright.

009 confronts 004 about his actions, but he doesn’t believe he has to defend himself. After all, this incident didn’t prove she didn’t work for Black Ghost, it just proved she wasn’t a cyborg. In fact, he’s suspicious as to how the sharks even found them to begin with and suspects she might have a tracking device on her.

He goes even further by saying he’s not the only one who is suspicious of Helen – 001 is as well. Francoise also chimes in to say she doesn’t understand Joe’s blind faith in Helen………..But this is turned into girl things, because 001 claims Francoise is only taking this stance because Helen’s a woman, and Francoise is jealous because of her feelings for Joe. Meanwhile, it’s clear Joe is so adamant about defending Helen because he’s grown to care about her.

001 can sense these thoughts and feelings in both Francoise and Joe, but he hasn’t been able to sense anything in Helen. Just as he says that, he senses something very faint in Helen – a deep feeling of grief.

006 directs their attention to the news where a Japanese company called Mitsutomo has rushed the development of an anti-ultrasonic wave gun to combat Black Ghost… long has it been since Skull made that announcement? Because that’s quite the rush job.

They can’t have a single moment’s peace because, once the news broadcast is over, a new army of enemies appears.

It’s a….*deep breath* school of robot kamikaze drill stingrays….I know I’m repeating myself, but I do really love this so much.

And, taking up the back end, a giant robot plesiosaur.

The stingrays give the ship a good beating, and the Dolphin is damaged even more when they use their ultrasonic wave gun to destroy the stingrays. The Dolphin is now loaded with cracks, and one of their wings has been blown off, but they still try to make an escape. The plesiosaur, however, has other ideas.

Turns out, this is another monster with an ultrasonic gun. It gives their other wing a terrible hit. It looks like they’re done for, but 009 has an idea. He aims their own ultrasonic gun at the beast and prepares to fire right when the monster fires its shot, hopefully canceling each other out. The plan works, but in a manner they didn’t expect.

When the two ultrasonic waves collide underwater, they create whirlpools and waterspouts that shoot them out of the water and into the air. Since the Dolphin is also an airplane, they manage to escape, however just barely because the Dolphin is an absolute wreck at this point.

Or is it?!

Because the Dolphin is such a badass piece of machinery, even this disaster can’t take it down. The Dolphin actually has two exterior shells. One is meant to take the brunt of damage in battle. If the damage becomes too great, it can shed this shell and escape the danger with its main structure.

Once the Dolphin is back in tip top shape, Pyunma emerges from the reconstruction room with his brand new scaly body.

Cyborg 009 Volume 8 Screen4

After a short time skip, Francoise and Gilmore watch Pyunma as he sits outside watching the waves from a cliffside. Francoise asks why Gilmore did that to Pyunma. Gilmore is extremely confused by her question because the body he built for him was much better than the design he had before, and he put a lot of work and passion into building that body for him.

I hate to break the flow of the story, but, uhm….the translation’s already doing that for me. See, in the speech bubble that is conveying the information I just explained, someone from Tokyopop wrote ‘Hahahahaha’ behind the words…..for…some reason. It’s overlaid like it was a mistake, but what the hell is this? Why did they write ‘hahahaha’ anyway? This is a very serious and somber scene but one of the people doing the text not only wrote that but left it in the panel, and this somehow got past quality control.

Cyborg 009 Volume 8 Screen5Gilmore insists that the new body is a major improvement and he’ll be exactly what they need to fight Black Ghost. Francoise, however, calls him out for ignoring Pyunma’s needs as a human being. He now has silver scales from the neck down and will have an awful time trying to fit into human society. She definitely has a point if Albert was experiencing such hardships that he nearly became homeless all because he has metal hands.

Gilmore: “Those scales allow him to move even more quickly underwater. He should be grateful. And silver is far better than the black of his skin. I was thinking of him.”

Gilmore….what the hell? This is the first indication I’ve seen of Gilmore being racist. I legitimately needed time to pause reading and process that. Not just that Gilmore is so blatantly racist here, but the thing is, he’s not just saying he dislikes the appearance of black skin….he’s saying SILVER FISH SCALES are more visually appealing. Wow….just….just wow.

Francoise, however, is having none of his shit. She argues that he definitely wasn’t thinking of Pyunma at all. He’s very proud of his heritage and his black skin, and replacing most of that with scales is an insult to his culture and him as a person. You tell him, Francoise!

After she leaves, Gilmore clearly has a moment of reflection on her words.

Outside, Albert meets with Pyunma and talks to him about his new body. Albert, previously being the most altered out of all of the cyborgs, has a metal cyborg body, and the only part of him that really looks human is his head. I know I mentioned before that his metal hands were the only parts of him that were causing him prejudice – I said that because I can’t see any reason why he couldn’t wear long-sleeved shirts on whatever job he got.

Likewise, I should mention that, for some reason and somehow, Pyunma’s hands are black when the previous shot showed that his hands were whitish-gray and had scales on them. I don’t know if he’s wearing some sort of ‘skin’ gloves or something. It was probably just easier to draw him that way instead of drawing scales on his hands every time he was shown.

Albert learned to accept who he was and how he looked because it gave him the power to make a difference. It’s a curse, but also a gift that he can use to protect people and stop evil.

His pep talk works, and Pyunma thanks Albert before taking off his clothes and diving into the water to test out his new skills. He’s now insanely fast in the water and even shows off for 005, 006 and 007 who are underwater in the Dolphin keeping watch.

Pyunma heads back into the house to thank Gilmore for the new body. Dr. Gilmore was attempting to apologize for what he did, but Pyunma interrupts him to thank him.

I’m….not entirely on board with that. It’s great that Pyunma has accepted his appearance and is learning to make the best of it, unfair as though it may be, and it’s great that Dr. Gilmore was even attempting to apologize, but I feel like he should have actually gotten the chance to apologize because, really, he did majorly fuck up in changing his appearance so drastically without taking Pyunma’s feelings into consideration. Even without the racist comments, no one would feel happy being covered from the neck down in metal scales. For a guy who felt so guilty about turning them into cyborgs in the first place that he chose to live a dangerous life on the run from Black Ghost in order to help the cyborgs, he sure doesn’t understand how they feel in regards to their increasing loss of humanity.

After that scene, we show Albert suddenly shooting off a finger dart to kill a fly. And then we get this looming shot.

Cyborg 009 Volume 8 Screen6

You guys remember the last time we saw a fly? Hmmm?

Anyway, did you know that Jet is from America? Because he has a shirt on that just says ‘USA’ over and over.

Cyborg 009 Volume 8 Screen7

Oh, excuse me, most of the words say ‘USA’ but some of them say ‘UAS’ and ‘ASU.’

001 is back to sleep, so he’ll be out of commission for another two weeks. Meanwhile, Joe has headed back to Tokyo to meet up with the journalists from before who were tailing him. He’s interested in learning if they have any information on Mitsutomo Engineering – the company that made the anti-ultrasonic gun.

According to them, the anti-ultrasonic gun was made a little over a year ago, and the president is someone named Ban Bogart (Whose name was really messed with in translation. His actual name is meant to be Van Vogt, which is how I will refer to him.) who lives in the Hakone mountains. When 009 arrives at Van Vogt’s home, he’s confused to find a building with no windows or doors. When he infiltrates the property, he finds even more oddities such as an incredibly small horse, a sea monster and a weird bigfoot/caveman monster.

What’s even more shocking, however, is that Joe sees Helen through one of the windows that is not supposed to exist.

009 is attacked by the weird bigfoot/caveman monster thing, which has a legitimately horrifying design. It looks like he’s about to be killed when ‘Helen’ yells out the window for it to stop. However, with one final panel showing that the blow connected, we’re left off on the end of the volume assuming the worst of poor 009.


And that was volume eight! We had quite a bit to go through there, but it was a fun and interesting ride from start to finish.

As you can see, this volume kinda acts as a very, very soft reboot of the series once the cyborgs had finished their initial mission and went off to live their lives. I like how mostly everyone found a career and success doing something they loved, but I will never not be confused as to why Albert has such difficulty getting work when his hands are really the only piece of cybernetics anyone can see regularly. Can he not wear gloves? I can imagine people with prosthetic limbs get plenty of discrimination too, but people are so off-put by the mere sight of his hands that he can’t find work anywhere and nearly went homeless? Maybe I’m just not thinking through the era and location.

Let me also clarify – I’m not saying anyone’s prejudice against their cybernetics is right in any way, of course it’s not, but if you can’t help what people think and you can do something to blend in better, I’d think it’d be better to take that option instead of running risk of being homeless.

The fact that literally everyone else went off to find success despite their cybernetics, several of them even finding fame and fortune, just seems weird to me when put in contrast to Albert’s plight.

Also, despite this being a gentle feather-touch ‘reboot’ the only backstories we recap are Joe’s and Albert’s, and Joe’s basically took up an entire chapter. I get that recapping everyone would be tiresome and repetitive, but, to be honest, Joe’s was tiresome and repetitive on its own. It was literally like they copy-pasted the entire actual first chapter and called it a day.

At least Albert’s was a brief flashback that was chopped up.

I liked the addition of Joe’s childhood friends, I just really wish they had been given more characterization. Mary in particular seemed like she had an interesting story attached to her, but they all had potential.

Their story was predictable after a point, everything was just going way too smoothly for this manga, but turning Joe’s friends into cyborgs sent to kill him from Black Ghost was an interesting way to hook him in particular back into the conflict. Things were already going down, but targeting Joe specifically and through his old buddies was a great way to actually get him emotionally invested, even if the way the conflict resolved itself was really confusing and jarring.

I still don’t buy that they exploded because their minds wandered away from killing Joe for a microsecond. Black Ghost is a really backwards company if they keep spending millions of dollars on these cyborgs, allow them to keep their free will but then put a bomb in them that will make them explode if they don’t obey.

Their reasoning is also a bit difficult to follow. They should know full-out that Joe didn’t abandon them, and warning them about the existence of Black Ghost would do nothing. It’s not like they could defend themselves against Black Ghost even if they knew about them. Their only option to protect themselves if Joe did tell them is by staying with Joe, and that’s just as risky if not moreso.

I can excuse this, though, because they’re probably just externalizing their own shame and guilt for being kidnapped by Black Ghost and ‘allowing’ them to turn them into cyborgs.

It was a great moment to get the old gang back together, and I was devastated to see what had happened to poor Pyunma. It makes sense, though. I was wondering why Black Ghost had only targeted Joe and everyone else was seemingly left to their own devices, but then Pyunma is suddenly targeted by this massive robot crocodile and veritably destroyed.

I felt a lot closer to Francoise then ever before. Everyone else just kinda joins right back up again when the call to action comes, but Francoise is very understandably put off by the suggestion. She has finally managed to find peace and happiness doing something she loves. Asking her to give all of that up in order to go back into the torment, pain and death of war is devastating to her, especially considering her powers. However, she realizes it’s a necessary evil. After all, she knows plugging her ears and going ‘lalalala’ isn’t going to help any. The death and destruction will just infiltrate her new happy life.

I also love that she was the one who confronted Gilmore about what he did to Pyunma. They could have easily made this as direct as possible and had Pyunma lash out at Gilmore immediately, resulting in a major fight. Instead, they cut right from our first exposure to Pyunma’s new body to showing Pyunma quietly dealing with the aftermath, lost in a depression.

Francoise has consistently been the one most vocal and passionate about maintaining their humanity at all costs. We saw this in a previous volume where she was appalled at Gilmore giving them new enhancements and powers, further increasing their status as machines instead of humans.

Not only is she defending Pyunma’s humanity, but she’s also trying to get Gilmore to understand that Pyunma’s skin was a very important part of his identity. He treasured his culture, and his skin color was a massive part of that. The fact that Gilmore threw so much of it away was like he was throwing Pyunma away.

Granted, a lot of his body was simply lost either way, but Gilmore has the ability to make artificial skin and could have easily restored his appearance, but he didn’t, which is even weirder considering he gave him black hands, in some capacity. In hindsight, that detail is almost insulting because it’s essentially Gilmore proving he could have restored all of his skin but chose not to because he really wanted to make Pyunma into Troutman. He not only didn’t think it was a big deal in the first place, but he thought he was doing him a favor by getting rid of his black skin in favor of silver scales, which is something I still can’t believe was said by Gilmore.

Francoise is also the emotional center of the group, because of course she is, so she can present her case in Pyunma’s defense very effectively to the point where Gilmore actually starts to feel apologetic for his actions, even though I was really disappointed that he never got to actually apologize.

Likewise, choosing Albert to approach Pyunma about his situation was a great choice since Albert is so drastically changed physically. He’d be the only one who really, fully, understands Pyunma’s feelings and how to talk to him about it to make him feel better.

Time will tell as to how useful his new enhancements will be, but I’m glad that he’s learned to use it to his advantage instead of hating himself for them.

Helen’s part of the story is intriguing so far. You know there’s more to her than meets the eye, but she’s not a cyborg and she’s seemingly a good person. She has this veil of darkness over her character that insists that something’s not right with her, which is ‘proven’ more or less when we see ‘Helen’ at the home of the president of Mitsutomo Engineering.

I definitely believe Albert went too far when trying to test her, though. He can be as suspicious as he wants, and he can even yell all he wants about it – at this point in the story he has a right to be paranoid of anyone with relations to Black Ghost – but doing a literal Salem Witch Trial test on her was way too far. Even if she is a bad guy, even if she was a cyborg, there’s no need for that level of extreme. He could have easily killed her for something that could be determined by using an x-ray on her.

However, in the opposite extreme, Joe’s being way too trusting for a guy who was betrayed by some of his closest friends literally minutes before randomly meeting Helen, who was seemingly being held captive by the people who just betrayed him. I get it. Joe’s a nice, trusting guy and he has a crush on her maybe kinda for some reason, but Albert’s got a point about her. He’s right to be suspicious. He goes too far with it, but he’s right to not trust her entirely.

And for those of you wondering if Helen is somehow controlling or manipulating Joe, she’s not.

Helen is an integral part of the final arc of Cyborg 009 – the Underground Empire of Yomi. I say ‘final’ arc despite being a long way away from the end of the manga, because most fans and even official sources, including Tokyopop, take this as being the grand finale of the series. You’ll see why at the end of volume ten, and when I start talking about all of the…..many…many things that come after it, but for now, there IS more to Helen than meets the eye.

……And it is super distracting that she is designed to look so much like Helena and has basically the same name. I get liking her character design, Ishinomori, but you could at least give her a more different name. The ‘Helen’ at the Mitsutomo house is even dressed like Helena.

Finally, the weird creatures at Van Vogt’s home are very interesting. I love the idea of a dog-sized horse, and that bigfoot/caveman giant at the end was legitimately horrifying.

Join me next time for volume nine!

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

Yu-Gi-Oh! (Manga) Chapter 26 Review (AniManga Clash! Season Zero Placeholder)

Hey everyone! Welcome to another episode of “What the Hell is Wrong with Mokuba? Like, Really. Someone Lock This Kid Up.”

Today, Mokuba ‘invites’/psuedo-kidnaps Jonouchi and Yugi to his mansion for a party, but poor Seto is too tired from all of the preparation on his secret project, Death T, that he’s sleeping and can’t be bothered to tend to their guests. It’s up to Mokuba.

Mokuba decides to prepare them a feast – which is really just a bunch of random mundane foods like burgers and kids meals. However, Mokuba has prepared them in such a way that it is more than worth it to eat them, supposedly. The foods are on a spinning wheel, and one of the foods has a treasure inside. The only way to get the treasure is to eat your whole plate of food.

Jonouchi jokes about Mokuba poisoning the food, which he denies, but then Jonouchi eats it, and, yeah it’s poisoned.

Jonouchi is going to fucking die in 30 minutes unless Yugi can beat Mokuba at this game and find the ‘treasure’ without getting the other poisoned plate.

What….the hell…is wrong with Mokuba?

Mokuba is made out to be so much worse than Seto at this point. All Seto has done is rough up a few people and cheat at a card game. Mokuba has threatened Yugi with an uzi, threatened to chop off his fingers if he couldn’t beat him in Capsule Monsters, and now he’s poisoned Jonouchi and is aiming to poison Yugi.

Shadow Game (Kinda)

This isn’t really a Shadow Game because Mokuba’s the one running it, but eh.

Yami spins the wheel and gets the spaghetti, which is perfectly fine. Mokuba spins and gets the chocolate parfait, which is also perfectly fine. Yami notices that Mokuba touched an empty syrup bottle as he was spinning, which Mokuba says is just symbolic of his fate because of the old saying ‘The misfortune of others is like sweet syrup.’ In actuality, Mokuba’s cheating again. The bottle is a switch, and he can stop the wheel wherever he wants with it both for himself and Yami. He also knows where the poison is located.

He has committed the ultimate sin. Mokuba has spat in the face of 4Kids and every America to be American in America.

He poisoned…..


Yami spins the wheel, but he has a trick up his own sleeve. He ties his Millennium Puzzle to the wheel and gives it a strong spin, smashing the syrup bottle and rendering it inoperable. Mokuba no longer has the ability to stop the wheel where he wants – and guess where it ends up.

Mokuba gets the hamburger, and even though he could simply refuse to eat it, he does actually eat it and gets poisoned himself. Yami gets the antidote and saves Jonouchi, but…I guess leaves Mokuba to die? Because the chapter just ends there.

Granted, I assume he has more antidote for such an occasion, and his servants were coming to help him, but still, that’s kinda messed up, Yami. Is that his penalty game?


This chapter was pretty unnecessary given that we already had a run-in with Psychokuba a couple chapters back, and some elements were pretty nonsensical. For instance, why did Mokuba choose to put the switch in a glass syrup bottle on the table as opposed to being in a remote in his pocket or on the underside of the table or something?

Not only is it very obvious that he’s cheating, even given the extremely weak explanation he gave, but he’s leaving the switch open to being smashed. Even if Yami didn’t do the trick with the Puzzle, he could’ve easily just gone over and smashed the thing. What would Mokuba do about it?

Then there’s the question of why Mokuba would eat the poisoned hamburger. I was going to say maybe it’s a pride thing, but anyone who would cheat at the drop of a hat doesn’t have much dignity to play with. Mokuba would have just thrown the food and surrendered the antidote.

It wasn’t a bad chapter because it set up the main overarching plot for the next several chapters, and the game was pretty interesting and intense, but it was still technically unneeded.

Next time, Kaiba brings Yugi and Jonouchi to Kaiba Land for a fun day out playing games! Also, to try and kill Yugi’s grandpa! Ya know, just a relaxing Sunday.

Final Notes: So, I play Yu-Gi-Oh Duel Links, and one of Mokuba’s decks is called ‘Poison Hamburger.’ It’s centered around the ritual monster, Hungry Burger. I always wondered what the hell Mokuba had to do with hamburgers because I never recalled him doing anything related to burgers in the anime.

This chapter explains everything.

It’s really weird, because Duel Links!Mokuba will also make references to being really good at Capsule Monsters when that’s another thing that wasn’t carried over into the anime.

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

Hell Girl (Manga) Volume 6 Review

Plot: The continuing stories of Hell Girl….

Chapter 22: A Request for Hell

This chapter is very interesting because it breaks some rules of Hell Girl. Most notably, Ai gives our main character, Asuka, a straw doll when the client in question was misusing the service. I’ll explain why later, but Kikuri asks Ai why she gave her a straw doll, and Ai responds, “I wanted to see what she’d do.” That is extremely against the rules. Ai’s personal opinions and emotions do not factor into her job. If they do, she gets in big trouble.

Asuka is being viciously bullied by basically everyone in school, but most specifically a bitch named Ichida. When a cute boy named Katase joined their school, Ichida tried asking him out but he rejected her. He and Asuka had been spending a lot of time together, and the word around school was that they liked each other. Ichida got so jealous that she started bullying Asuka horribly and even got her friends in on it. No one was willing to call them out on the bullying and just left Asuka to suffer.

She didn’t want to tell her mother because she was a recently divorced woman who worked very hard for her daughter. She also didn’t want to stir up trouble at school and risk damaging her record. She saw Hell Correspondence as a way out….but not really. She fully understood that sending someone to hell would not solve her problems. Even if she did send Ichida to hell, her cohorts might still bully her or more bullies might come out of the woodwork. She even overheard that her mother was also being bullied at work.

The bullying gets so bad that she decides to pull the string. Turns out, she called Hell Girl on herself. She’s too scared to commit suicide in any other manner, so Hell Girl was seen as the better option. She should not have even been able to input her own name into the service let alone get a straw doll out of the deal because, as Ai mentions at the end of the story, Hell Correspondence is for settling grudges, not committing suicide. Yet she allowed her to use the service this way just because Ai was curious as to what she’d do.

Asuka is sent to hell and is devastated that the hell she winds up in is basically just a recreation of her life back on earth – being bullied by the same girls relentlessly only now they have supernatural powers and whatnot.

…..I uh….don’t know she expected. Using Hell Girl to commit suicide never made sense to me. I get that mental illness as a whole makes you think irrationally, but typically people commit suicide as a means of ending their pain. I know that there are people who believe in hell who still commit suicide, but it’s really difficult to understand why they would outside of believing they need to be punished even more than they believe they are in the living world for some reason. It’s not like you could ever think hell is preferable to whatever you’re experiencing in the living world. Hell’s whole shtick is to take whatever pain you experienced in life and magnifying it by about ‘fuck you’ many times. It’s a very complex topic that has no firm answer, but in this particular case I don’t get Asuka at all.

How is she gutsy enough to send herself to hell for absolute certain instead of taking her chances with committing suicide in another manner and maybe going somewhere else in the afterlife? I’d be scared shitless if I had a one-way ticket to hell in my hands. Suicidal thoughts are already terrifying just wondering what might happen to you after you die, if you even believe anything will, but knowing for certain that you’d be sent to hell? I can’t imagine why anyone would pull the string.

But she did.


Ai tricked her. She never sent her to hell, she just created hellish illusions to teach her a lesson about using Hell Correspondence properly. It’s not a means of committing suicide – it’s a tool to get vengeance. If she has such a grudge in the future, she’s free to use it. However, Ai notes that she probably won’t be needing such services.

In the real world, she nearly falls off the roof and just barely hangs on to the railing. Katase grabs her in the nick of time and pulls her up, saving her life. He explains that he used to be bullied quite badly in his old school, and her optimistic words to him when they were bonding before she got bullied resonated with him. He felt ashamed for not helping her when she got bullied, but now he’s not afraid to show his affection for her and stick by her. It’s implied that the bullying more or less dies down after this, or, if it doesn’t, they deal with it together instead of suffering alone.

Kikuri asks if this case brought up any memories for Ai, and we get a rough flash of her being bullied as a child.

This is a very rare case where there’s a happy ending and it’s fully happy. As in no one’s going to hell in this one. Granted, yeah, Ichida’s a massive bitch and I wish she at least got some comeuppance, but Asuka’s okay, Katase’s okay, they’re together and happy, and they’re heading for a brighter future. That’s all I can really ask for.

Overall, this was a pretty cut a dry story at face value, and I’m a bit iffy about breaking the rules so blatantly, but it was a good story with strong characters and a very satisfying ending.

Chapter 23: The Bright Dream

This chapter was kinda sloppy, but it ended up being alright. Midori is a middle-school girl who is constantly pressured by her mom to study harder and get better grades. She very rarely gets to do anything else but study. One day, she accidentally rides the train too far and winds up in Shibuya where she has a really good time trying on fashionable and colorful clothes she never gets to wear and allowing herself to have some fun. She’s talent scouted by a guy who says she’d make a great model, and she’s excited for the opportunity, but her mom doesn’t want to let her do that. She’s appalled by her grades and tells her she needs to focus on studying and forget frivolous things like modeling.

Midori is so distraught and burned out that she runs away and finds the talent scout guy, who winds up kidnapping her. Turns out, he has a nice side-business making and selling CP while keeping middle-school girls trapped in his house. If they resist too much, he sells the girls and finds new ones.

She manages to take his phone and call the cops once, but he’s able to send them away without them even setting foot in his house just because he waves it away as a prank. Good job, cops. They point out that the call came from that location, too, which would clearly indicate abusing emergency services, but they just leave without doing anything.

With his phone still in hand, she contacts Hell Girl and sends him to hell. She has a tearful reunion with her mother where she admits that she struggled a lot after her husband divorced her, and she never wanted Midori to go through that same pain. In order to protect her from that, she wanted her to focus on her studies as much as possible to carve out a better future.

This sounds really sweet, but this line kinda ruins it.

Midori’s Mom: “I just wanted you to be a good girl so your dad would care for me again.” Uhmmmmmm…………Fuck you. In that one sentence, you not only placed the blame for your divorce on your daughter, but you also admitted that you treated her like crap because you thought if she was better your husband would come back to you. You’re messed up, lady.

She apologizes to her mom, they make up and everything’s better.

Overall, this was a fine story but it kinda went a mile a minute. It hopped all over the place and felt way too rushed. It’s a fairly realistic and pretty good story, but even then that final line from her mom rubs me the wrong way. I guess it’s good that she admitted it so she can be better later on, but still. Maybe there was a mistranslation there?

Chapter 24: The Winners in Love

This story was……really uncomfortable….and unsatisfying.

A middle-school girl named Chinami asks her teacher, Furuya, out on a date, and he agrees. They secretly start dating, and I have to read lines like “It will be tough dating an adult.” and “When I graduate from middle school, we’re getting married.” It’s no secret at all that this guy is a skeezeball. He’s even more of a skeezeball than he seems because not only is he still dating a woman he’s been seeing since he was a teaching student, but he’s also clearly stringing along other young students behind Chinami’s back. It’s also no big mystery as to who will be sent to hell in this story.

The two twists that actually caught me off-guard disappointed me above all else. First of all, I really thought Orihara, his adult girlfriend, was actually trying to protect Chinami from Furuya because she knew the kind of man he was……but nope. What you see is what you get with her – she’s just an incredibly jealous woman who wants Chinami out of the way.

The second was that they both called Hell Girl and basically had a stand off. Chinami and Orihara seemingly wanted to send each other to hell and attempted to pull the strings at the same time. I could tell from a mile away that Furuya was really the target of one of them, but I was surprised that it was Orihara, and even more surprised that Chinami didn’t pull the string. It’s good that she didn’t, but it was still a little surprising.

Orihara pulled the string on Furuya because she wanted to have him all to herself and find happiness in hell, a statement that has been made by a few clients/targets in the anime, and one that is nonsensical as Ai points out on the ferry ride. “Happiness in hell? I really don’t think so.”

Orihara wound up killing herself shortly after the string pull, and, since she was a client, she immediately went to hell. I don’t know why Ai allowed them to be together in the ferry, especially considering they didn’t die together. Is that even the real Furuya?

Overall, this chapter was fine. It was just a little disappointing and uncomfortable. Admittedly, it was less predictable than I thought it’d be upon first impressions, but I still didn’t care much for what came out of it. I’m really glad that Chinami didn’t get sent to hell, though, because, at the end of the day, she was just a kid being manipulated by a creepy guy. She didn’t deserve to be sent to hell.

Also, Kikuri had more presence in this chapter than she ever has in the manga, but it was mostly to torment Chinami about her decision on whether or not to pull the string. She specifically pointed out that Orihara had called Hell Girl as well so it would put her on edge about possibly being the target, and she observed how lucky she was to have her grudge be taken care of for her. And, yeah, she’s right. Both Furuya and Orihara are both gone and didn’t have to damn herself at all.

Chapter 24: Special Chapter – Ichimokuren

This is Ren’s backstory chapter. It basically follows the same beats as the backstory episode he had in the anime, Silent Gaze, however the client story is entirely different.

In this version, he’s following a girl named Ayana whose father recently passed away. He committed suicide because he borrowed a huge amount of money from work and couldn’t pay it back. Her mother passed away some time before her father, so she’s entirely alone. She keeps getting harassed by people connected to her father’s work who want their money back. I’m not exactly why or how these people are affected by this. She said he borrowed money from his work and couldn’t pay it back, but these people are acting as if he flatout stole money from their pockets.

At the start of the volume, someone is threatening her with a knife and trying to kidnap her, implying that, I guess, he was going to make her pay him back with her body? It’s unclear. Later, someone is sent a message where it says “The father of this house borrowed money and then killed himself!” and the person who got it yells out that “This is the robber!” as if they didn’t know that information beforehand.

She has called Hell Girl before the story even began, but the target is unclear. She just says she’s going to get revenge on her father’s enemies. Oddly, she says her father is probably in hell too. Is that just because he committed suicide, or is she taking the terrible sin of borrowing money as severely as the random people are?

Ayana barricades herself in the house after that because they start pounding on the door and yelling at her, demanding their money and calling HER a thief. One of them even yells that, if she’s not going to work to pay off the debt, she should kill herself like her father.

What the hell is wrong with these people? How were they all so terribly affected by a defaulted debt to a company by a single person that they have such massive hate for them that even committing suicide isn’t enough for them? That they’ll also harass their young daughter and tell her to kill herself? Does she live in the same town as Yuzuki?

As all of this is going down, her clearly creepy as fuck uncle keeps insisting that she move in with him, but she doesn’t want to. One day, her house is set on fire. It was arson, but the fire department was able to contain it quickly, so the damage wasn’t massive.

She runs to her room to pull the string on the doll, but a voice tells her not to. It’s Ren, who is watching her from the shadows. This is the point where the manga differentiates wildly from the anime. In the anime version, Ren never directly interferes with the case. They’re not supposed to interfere at all. It’s against the rules. I don’t know what repercussions Ren would have if he broke the rules. Either he’d be forcibly removed from the Hell Team, turned back into a sword or Ai would have to pay for his mistake. Either way, you’re not supposed to do it, and, in the manga, he did. And this won’t be the first time.

After her house is set on fire, she decides to move in with her uncle, who, being creepy as fuck, quickly starts showing his true colors. And they’re even worse than you probably thought. Not only is he a creepy fuck who is obsessed with Ayana, but he also reveals that he’s been obsessed with her for a long time and wanted her all to himself. He made her father borrow the money and drove her father to suicide. He also set her house on fire to basically smoke her out and force her to live with him. And now, despite having her right there, after all of this, he’s just going to stab her to death anyway because she doesn’t want to give in to his advances.

That’s quite the reveal….I kinda thought he had straight-up murdered her father and made it look like a suicide. I guess he somehow predicted that the town/random people/I dunno would drive him to suicide because they’re all irrational morons without a thought between them.

Ren, realizing what’s about to happen, runs to the house to hopefully save her since he doesn’t want to see anymore bloodshed. He gets there just in time – saving her from being stabbed by standing in the way and getting stabbed himself, which, despite being really sweet and heroic, is also a no-no. He’s very much interfering right now. I guess he’s not interfering directly with Hell Girl business, but he definitely did the first time, and this is still a large form of interference.

In the anime, they faked out Ren interfering. Wanyuudou and Ai were very concerned he would let his emotions get in the way and affect the case. Like here, he was seen running off towards the scene of the final confrontation supposedly to interfere, but, in the end, he didn’t. He just consoled the girl after the events were already over. But in this story he did fully interfere. I can’t even say the circumstances are particularly different. In neither story was he about to interfere in a string pull. In the anime, the main character’s mother was going to kill herself, and in the manga the main character is about to be killed.

I do appreciate that they pointed out the irony of a katana being stabbed, though. I also thought that, while a bit weak, it was interesting that this story kept bringing up blades to create a stronger connection with Ren.

Ayana is safe. Hone Onna says they apprehended her uncle for borrowing the money – what? He wasn’t apprehended for nearly murdering his niece or stabbing Ren? God, what is with this town and borrowing money? At least I can assume he gets the death penalty for that heinous loan.

Ren is content. Ayana may no longer have any family, but she has good friends and hopefully a bright future, and she won’t be sent to hell when she dies. Ren also now realizes that Ai and the others are his family now, just like the revelation in the anime. I guess he gets no punishment whatsoever for breaking the rules of his job. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to see Ren get punished at all, but it’s confusing that the rules keep getting broken without any consequences or even anyone mentioning it.


And that was volume six! And it was…..okay. I like that we’re getting some insight into the backstories of the Hell Team now, but I’m not particularly liking that so many stories ended with a reveal that was both obvious and still surprising, but just because of how insanely over the top it was. I like that the manga is more comfortable ending stories without having the string be pulled. The anime really doesn’t seem to like doing that at all, but it adds a lot of suspense to the stories if you do it right.

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

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!

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

Higanjima Volume 6 (Manga) Review

Plot: Atsushi seemingly gains the upperhand on Miyabi, and things are looking up as the others regroup and find the boat. However, escaping the island is nowhere near that easy. Even in the waters surrounding Higanjima, there are hazards that are life-threatening….and impassable.

The group is forced to bail and head back to the island. Separated yet again, Akira beats himself up for not being strong enough to protect his friends, defeat the threat and help get them back home. Upon hearing Akira’s deep desires to be strong, Atsushi leads him to the camp of a small resistance group he joined when the invasion first happened so he can be trained by his master.

Breakdown: I’d say this is the best volume yet. The first half is intense. The battle between Miyabi and Atsushi reaches a head (pun intended, but nonsensical unless you read the volume…) showing off what a complete and utter badass Atsushi continues to be. It actually has a Miyabi death fakeout in it, but the death was so vicious you’d never think he’d be able to recover, even as a vampire, but nope. His methods of regenerating were…..odd, to say the least.

Atsushi’s even still a massive badass when he meets back up with the group after that battle – he’s so awesome.

Like the faceoff with Miyabi, even with everything they went through, you know escaping the island won’t be as easy as grabbing a boat and running away. And the road block is definitely not something cheap or benign just to keep them there. Miyabi has the entire island under his thumb, and that includes the waters surrounding it.

Katou is practically going through a ‘gonna die soon’ checklist. He’s turned into the biggest coward of the group (Pon has yet to return, wherever he is) ready to run off without his friends when the going got rough. Then when they have a moment of peace seemingly about to leave the island, he reveals he has an engagement ring and is planning to propose to his girlfriend, Megumi, soon so he wants to do everything in his power to live.

Dude, we already did the ‘teens who are so in love they’re going to get married soon, but, horror being horror, they die before then.’ thing.

Akira is also consistently stepping up his badassery, but finds he can’t do nearly as much as he needs to in order to protect his friends and bring them home. Atsushi shares the knowledge that he’s not the only human being left on Higanjima. At the start of the vampire infestation, a rather large group of resistance fighters joined together, but now their group is rather small since they kept getting raided by vampires.

One of the last remaining survivors happens to be the man who trained Atsushi, who will take on the task of training Akira. However, there’s something odd about him. He is a massive goliath of a person who is first seen chained to a wall with a creepy mask on his face in a cavern underneath the resistance camp. Since he is only barely introduced in this volume, we don’t really learn anything about him, but his mere presence makes me very intrigued to see what the next volume has in store.

If there’s one thing that’s kinda getting on my nerves, though, it’s that so many of these characters keep getting crushed to the point of coughing up blood, which would obviously indicate a terrible internal injury, yet not only are their lives not threatened by this injury, they’re up and walking without issue and heal from the damage a short while later. I wouldn’t have felt the need to mention it if it was just once, maybe Matsumoto didn’t think about the continuity at that moment, but to happen several times is a bit much.

Overall, really great volume and I can’t wait to read the next one.

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

Cyborg 009 Full Review Project: Manga (1964) Volume 6

Hey look at this creepy-ass statue.

Cyborg 009 Manga Volume 6 Screen1

Just thought I’d scare you all before the review started because I love you.

In the shadows of Mt. Olympus, a sheep herder tries to corral a black sheep who is running off and causing trouble. He always was the black sheep of the family……..:D

Anyway, the poor sheep ends up getting killed by a centaur after getting pelted in the head with a rock. Yes, this is still Cyborg 009 I’m reading. The centaur claims the poor sheep as a sacrifice to the gods and runs off.

The farmer’s family doesn’t believe his story that a monster stole his sheep, so he’s left outside without dinner.

In the actual first chapter, we see a bunch of centaurs and mythological creatures, known as the Mythos Cyborgs, eating the poor sheep. The one who did the killing is Centaurus D, and he’s being chewed out for it by a panther-esque cyborg named Achilles. D broke the rules that their leader, Dr. Uranus, gave them about not allowing humans to see their true forms, but D whines because he wanted wine and meat at their banquet….which was really just a normal meeting.

The fiery Apollo (who has a really awesome flying horse-drawn carriage) arrives with Dr. Uranus (who looks like a man-poodle) and Dr. Gaia. They convey the news that their Vietnamese Cyborgman cell has been defeated by the 00 Cyborgs. Despite these cyborgs being made in an earlier phase of the Black Ghost cyborg project, they have proved to be formidable foes due to their teamwork and unity, which, notably, the Mythos Cyborgs seem to lack.

Back at, I think, still Vietnam, Francoise tries to find a moment of peace, but her powers keep allowing her to see and hear the fighting and killing that’s going on all around her. I do feel bad for her in circumstances like this. She already has to experience more killing and destruction than all of the other cyborgs, and now she’s in a warzone and can’t get a moment’s reprieve from it.

Cyborg 009 Manga Volume 6 Screen2

Jet is all fixed up with a new leg, which allows him to now exceed mach 5 speed. Back in the lab, we see Gilmore also improving G. Junior. While he states he can’t give the cyborgs more abilities than what they were initially given (This will later prove to be false, but just go with it.) he can enhance their current powers with the technology they obtained. 005 now has the strength of a thousand men and can crush steel into powder.

Gilmore plans on upgrading all of the cyborgs to help their fight against Black Ghost, but Francoise is having none of it. She hates the powers she already has – it’d be a nightmare for her to have even more enhanced senses. She also detests the idea of the upgrades because it pulls them further away from their humanity. She storms out of the room, and Dr. Gilmore criticizes her for not being able to see the big picture – allowing her sensitivity to cloud her judgment. They’re the only line of defense against Black Ghost, and they need to be in top shape to stop them.

I do get where Gilmore is coming from, but he should also see her side of it. Everyone else’s upgrades only better their lives, like 002 will be faster and 005 will be stronger. 003’s may make her more effective in battle, but it’d only make her suffer more in the down time.

They suddenly get a transmission from Gaia and Uranus telling Gilmore and the cyborgs to meet them on Magma Island in two weeks to either surrender themselves or die trying to fight. If they don’t come in two weeks, they’ll come for them and leave a trail of destruction in their wake.

Dr. Uranus begins to sympathize with Gilmore for a second and even suggests he and his team might win, which angers Gaia. Uranus claims it was all a ploy to manipulate Gilmore’s nobility against him, but Gaia thinks he’s being too soft and his views will lead to their downfall.

He’s so distrusting of Uranus’ methods that he recruits D to go off to the 00 Cyborgs’ location right then and take them out….Really? You’re confident with that? You think one man-horse, who isn’t even worthy of getting a real name, can take out the entire 00 Cyborg group?….Good luck, dude.

Pan, the little half-goat boy who can’t really speak, learns of Gaia’s plans and alerts Uranus and the rest of the group. Apollo rushes after D and takes him down. Back on shore, Uranus and Gaia chew each other out. Gaia believes Uranus’ method is needlessly risky and they should sneak attack them instead (Well….then why send them a transmission in the first place?) but Uranus believes he can resolve this entire situation without bloodshed.

After the fight, Gaia again sneaks off with D and decides to upgrade him with some new weapons before sending him off again. Pan, again, hears of this but Gaia tries to buy him off with a sweet egg.

Pan goes back to the other cyborgs to tell them. They whisper some plan, but when Pan tries to get Helena’s attention to join in, she just puts a ribbon on his horn and praises him for keeping them updated on Gaia.

Cyborg 009 Manga Volume 6 Screen3

Chapter 23 is about the 00 Cyborgs’ journey to Magma Island. It’s chaos everywhere as American subs, Soviet subs and even the currents and falling debris get in their way. They don’t have a choice but to go through all of these hazards because they only have three days left on the deadline given by Dr. Gaia. It’s a pretty tense sequence, full of action and suspense, and WOOK AT IVAN’S WITTLE DUCKY BASSINET! WOOK AT IT! IT’S SO KYOOTT!

Cyborg 009 Manga Volume 6 Screen4

….*cough* Moving on.

The Soviet and American subs destroy each other in the chaos, and the cyborgs just barely manage to get through the falling debris field by the skin of their teeth. I love how 008 and 009 manage to outsmart Gilmore briefly during the escape.

After they reach shore, their battle begins immediately. 009 grabs Pan and tries to pluck his horn off in order to stop him from transmitting data to the Mythos Cyborgs’ base, but 003 stops him since the horn is connected to his brain, and removing it might kill him.

003, 007 and 009 face off against Hippo Man (That’s literally his name. He’s never given an actual name. I also don’t know what Greek myth he’s meant to represent. There are no hippos in Greek mythology as far as I know. There’s a Hippocampus, which is a half-horse half-fish creature, but this is literally a hippo….with a tutu on…who has stretchy arms and powerful breath. He kinda sticks out like a sore thumb.) 007 takes the reigns in this fight and manages to defeat him. He also takes on Hippo Man’s identity to help infiltrate the island.

Achilles arrives with an army of panthers that have accelerator switches. 009 takes this match, but he starts getting overwhelmed by the panthers. Achilles waits until 009 is exhausted from finally managing to defeat the panthers to take his opportunity to strike.

Achilles also has an accelerator and a shield which amplifies reflected sun rays so strongly that it can melt rock. 009 has a lot of difficulty with him, and he’s cornered when Achilles takes 003 hostage because tropes. It seems like the jig is up until Pan, who has taken a shine to 003, bites Achilles’ ankle and gets him away from 003.

It seems like Achilles is getting back into the battle, but when he tries to accelerate, he ends up spinning in such a violent fashion that it results in his death. Turns out Black Ghost gave Achilles the most ridiculously obvious weakness he could possibly have – his heels.

He actually has one accelerator in each heel. When Pan bit his foot, it broke one of his accelerators, so his attempt to accelerate with the other one caused him to spin around at a literal breakneck speed. What exactly happened with Achilles’ design? Every other cyborg with an accelerator switch has only needed one, and if one of them failing can result in a fatal accident, why would you even consider giving him two?

It seems like Pan is an ally now, and they come up with a plan to pretend 003 is a hostage while Pan and 007 (disguised as Hippo Man) bring her in.

Cyborg 009 Manga Volume 6 Screen5

Centaur K had overheard their plans, but 009 was able to kill him before he could relay the information. Standing behind him is a shocked Helena.

Helena calls her giant mechanical wooden horse to fight 009. It is a rather impressive robot with a targeting system, laser eyes, spikes, jets and even the ability to split in two, grab cyborgs through a powerful magnet and then squish them by reassembling.

However, disappointingly, Helena shows absolutely none of her own powers during this battle – and even more depressingly, she doesn’t actually seem to have any powers…..which just begs the question….what the hell is the point of Helena? (Is that a pun?….Pun intended if pun.) I don’t really mean that in a character sense, though that’s debatable. I mean in a cyborg sense. Why did Black Ghost make her? Any of the other Mythos Cyborgs could have piloted that horse….or, since it’s a robot, they could have had it be autonomous. 0013 was in a similar situation, but at least he had powers on his own and wasn’t reliant entirely on his robot.

Anyhoo, 009 manages to corner her in the horse and uses a special gas in his blaster to paralyze her. He blows up the horse and leaves Helena on the ground outside, sparing her life.

Back with 003, Pan and 007, their infiltration plan is going over well, though Gaia is very suspicious of 007 in his Hippo Man disguise once he gets word of K’s death and Helena’s Trojan horse defeat. He doesn’t trust that this hippo in a tutu managed to capture a 00 Cyborg. No clue why. Seems legit to me.

His suspicions only grow worse when his spy seagull (…..spygull) spots 009 skulking around outside. Uranus catches onto 007’s disguise, but chooses to not say anything. Gaia tells Uranus to put 003 in an electromagnetic prison while they handle 009, but he doesn’t trust him so he spies on him with a little trained/robot (?) mouse that he calls….Mighty Mouse.

Good taste in cartoons, bro.

Once they’re alone, Uranus ousts 007 and discusses their situation. It seems like he might be on their side, but he pulls out a blaster on them – not out of true malice, but because the Mythos Cyborgs are like children to him, like the 00 Cyborgs are to Gilmore. 003 manages to get through to him, though, when she points out that Gaia doesn’t trust him and is currently spying on him with a mouse.

Pan and a newly transformed Cat!007 give chase, which basically turns into a very long Tom and Jerry skit that runs throughout the following battle.

009 comes face to face with Apollo, and we get this odd exchange where he acknowledges that 009 is a 00 Cyborg, asks his name, and when he hears it’s 009 he….asks if he’s from the 00 series….???

They start their match, and quickly end up in a blaster standoff. Finding the match boring and without a point since they’d both kill each other this way, Apollo proposes to ditch their blasters and fight only using their cyborg abilities to determine which one of them is the supreme being.

Apollo goes all Human Torch on us, and it’s just awesome. He has always been one of my favorite cyborgs because he is such a cool and scary son of a bitch. The fact that he gets his own flying chariot is already major cool points, but the guy is living fire. He can reach temperatures as hot as the sun, he can melt anything he wants instantly with a point of his finger, and he’s obviously a huge threat to any cyborg (Hm…except maybe 006?) because he can melt them in seconds.

009 gives him a bit of a run for his money, but Apollo shoots him three times in the back with his heat beams and sends 009 careening into the rocky waters below.

Believing he has won, Apollo leaves, but we see Helena in the cliffside deciding to rescue 009 since he showed her mercy when no one else did. Once she gains 009’s trust, he tells her where their sub is so he can get patched up. However, they’re being tailed by a spy dolphin.

As 003, 007, Pan and Dr. Uranus are being held captive by Dr. Gaia, Helena reaches the sub with 009 to get him medical attention. 008 sends 006 off to destroy the spy dolphins before they relay their location back to the Mythos Cyborgs, but Atlas suddenly appears and starts an assault on their sub. Will they be trampled by the metal Goliath? How will the 00 Cyborgs get themselves out of this mess?


This volume was a really great introduction to the Mythos Cyborgs, who were always some of my favorite cyborgs in the franchise. However, I do have to note that some of them are disappointing in design. Why even bother with weak and lame cyborgs like Centaurus and Hippo Man when you’ve already made so many impressive cyborgs that are much more powerful? Why make Helena so unimpressive and force her to just be a pilot to a secondary robot? And while Achilles was awesome in concept, the fact that he had such a peculiar and flawed accelerator setup when it’s been perfected and then some throughout the other cyborg designs is just baffling.

The story as a whole is very intriguing because Uranus kinda mirrors Gilmore in that he loves his cyborg team like family and wants to help them but, unlike Gilmore, he still holds a loyalty to Black Ghost. Likewise, many members of the Mythos crew seem like they’re decent people but they also embrace their roles as soldiers of Black Ghost. Pan in particular is a cute little dude. You can tell he wants to be loyal to his comrades, but they also treat him poorly – even Helena – while 003 was nice to him from the beginning and respected his abilities.

The battles were exciting and memorable, and I look forward to covering the conclusion of this arc.

Next Volume….

….Previous Volume

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

Boku wa Imouto ni Koi wo Suru (Manga) Volume 10 (FINALE) + Full Manga Review

Plot: Who cares? This crap is over!

Breakdown: Our first chapter of the final volume starts with Iku and Yori seeking refuge at Yano’s house since Yori has effectively kidnapped Iku. They didn’t even stop to get dressed – they’re just wrapped in a sheet. Yano lends Yori some clothes and dresses up Iku in a maid outfit because of course he does. He even mentions that seeing her in that costume is reawakening his lolicon tendencies…….Can we go one chapter without making me feel icky?

He brings them to his family’s summer home to crash for a while and leaves.

Yori, realizing he never took Iku’s feelings into consideration and asked if this is what Iku wanted before disowning their parents and kidnapping her while naked, asks Iku if this is what she really wants. If it is, she has to kiss him. If not, she can leave right then.

Go choke on toothpicks, Yori. It’s a little late to be asking her if this is what she wants. I don’t care if you admit that – it’s still too late. And, again, you’re basically blackmailing her with ‘stay with me and be my lover or leave and never see me again.’

Here’s exactly what he tells her.

Yori: “You choose! Be mine, or agonize for your entire life over today’s events and become some other man’s woman!” Gee, that sure isn’t worded in a way that is coercing her into one option over the other and isn’t said in a demanding tone.

I will concede and say that Iku has seemingly legitimately fallen for him at this point, but I can never really be certain if she is actually in love with him or she’s trapped in a delusion of love born of panic over possibly losing him. Yori has fucked her up ten ways to Sunday over the course of this manga, and she’s, quite frankly, stupid, naive and easy to trick.

Iku: “I don’t like you…..but….I love you!” *deep sigh* I’m beyond tired of fighting for you, Iku. I have more than extended my fair share of defense and leniency with you. You deserve whatever sex dungeon he locks you in for the rest of your lives.

Yori: “If Iku can hate the unreasonable and bossy me, then I can forget this love. However….the aggressive and forceful me, Iku not only accepted, she seriously replied to me! That was the first time….I felt regret.”

I hate you. Hate. Hate. Hatehatehatehatehate. HATRED. HATE.

You’re only now, for the first time, feeling regret over how you’ve treated Iku?

Now, that she finally admits she loves you too?

Now, that you’ve disowned your parents and subsequently taken her from her family?

Now, that you’ve kidnapped her in the middle of the night while you were both nude directly following the aforementioned kidnapping?

Now, that you’ve treated her like some object you’re entitled to because your Mom never told you that you were only half-siblings, which would barely affect anything.

Now, that you’ve emotionally manipulated her for the better part of two years at least?

Now, that you’ve repeatedly borderline sexually assaulted her several times?

Now, that you’ve made your feelings and relationship to Iku public to many people and essentially destroyed her social life back home should this ever spread, which it certainly will. especially if Tomoka is still in communication with their home town?

Now, that you’ve given her yet another blackmail-y ultimatum which was acting as a test to see if she’d love you even acknowledging that you’re a massive dickhead who knows he acts like a dickhead yet makes no effort to be a better person?



Go to hell. Now.

We cut to a flashback of Yori overhearing a conversation Iku was having with her friends, asking what age they’d like to get married. Iku says she’d be fine never getting married as long as she’s with the person she loves.

Yori then flashes back to their mother confirming that they were technically still siblings, and he comes to the realization that he can’t make Iku truly happy. All he wants is one last memory with her before he leaves her.

*sigh* Alright, look. For the sake of Iku’s future, even though I doubt it’s bright either way considering she has no skills, knowledge, common sense, hopes, aspirations or interests and tends to attract attempted rapists, yes, leaving her would probably be best.

That being said, again, it’s kinda fucking late for this. The damage is done, Yori. You’ve gone too far to turn back now. Turning back at this point will only further confuse and hurt Iku. You are the epitome of a human disaster.

Oh that ‘one last memory’ was sex, if anyone was wondering. Because that also won’t do more damage or anything.

But, hey, let’s also make it gross. Iku says she doesn’t want to have sex right now because she’s all sweaty, but Yori says he likes it that way so he can fully experience Iku’s smell.

For good measure, let’s keep the creepiness up. Iku says it’s too bright. He can see her too well, and it’s embarrassing her. She asks to turn the lights off, but Yori vehemently refuses.

The next chapter is sex….Sex on the floor….the hard tile floor. That was the memory you wanted? You could’ve at least bottomed, Yori. Have some courtesy.

Hair sniffs: 9

Then they basically dick around for a while….Not in that way – showcasing more of Iku being terrible at everything like making god awful food and losing ten games in a row while playing video games, only winning the last game because Yori let her.

They dick around some more, again not in that way, then head to a church where they find the familiar white clover.

Yori: “Iku, did you know the clover is a flower that existed when Adam and Eve were in paradise?”

………Oh no.

Yori: “Since they committed a taboo, they were banished from the Garden of Eden.”

Please, no. You can’t be serious.

Yori: “When they were banished, they said to remember only the happy times.”

It’s like watching a car crash in slow motion.

Yori: “Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, and some people say that act alone had the meaning of ‘doing the most intimate act.’”

You’re not making me do this. No. I’m not comparing the story of Adam and Eve with Yori and Iku. I’m not doing an in-depth analysis on the symbolism of Adam and Eve to see if it could justify Yori and Iku’s relationship.

The fact that this is even here is insulting to me. Not even on a religious level, just in general. I’ve never looked at the story of Adam and Eve in a positive light. You’re not supposed to. It’s literally the fall of man.

It’s not some beautiful love story, it’s not about committing a taboo because you love someone that much – it’s two idiots screwing over the human race for all of eternity because they thought they should listen to a snake over God and couldn’t resist eating fruit from one of two trees in all of the Garden of Eden when there was perfect food sources everywhere.

And the act of eating the fruit wasn’t intimate. It was just her offering it to him.

It’s literally –

Snake: “Yo, Eve, eat this fruit.”

Eve: “God said I shouldn’t.”

Snake: “Who cares? Do it. It’s real delicious and stuff.”

Eve: “Okay. Hey, Adam, want some fruit from this forbidden tree?”

Adam: “Sure!”

*Humanity Fucked*

Their taboo also wasn’t that they loved each other…..They were kinda….meant to love each other. She was literally made for him. And if you even start to tell me that her being born of his rib is a mirror of Yori and Iku’s incestuous relationship, I’m just leaving. I can’t even.

But, hey, considering these are two idiots leaving a path of destruction in their wake, maybe there is more to this connection than meets the eye.

That is the second time I’ve gone off in this volume. I’m not even done with chapter two. Dear god.

According to whatever source he’s getting this from, clovers were brought with them from the Garden of Eden when they were banished because, I guess, after defying God and being booted from paradise, developing feelings of shame and making their lives exponentially worse for all eternity, they thought ‘Hm, we should bring some souvenirs with us. Let’s grab this random plant.’

When Yori first gave Iku the clovers several volumes ago, he was trying to tell her ‘Even if I have forsaken God, I still want you as my lover.’

They enter the church and both pray. Yori prays for him alone to be banished from Heaven since he is responsible for the taboo. Oh, you didn’t think you were bound for hell already? That’s cute.

The next chapter, Yori tells Iku that they’re going home. Not the beach villa home – their actual home, back with their parents. He claims this has been his plan since their dad caught them together. I feel I need to reserve my energy for the rest of this review, so let’s just say ‘Bullshit, go to hell’ and move on.

Yori tells her it’s completely outside of the realm of realism for them to run away together. It’s all just a dream.

Iku pushes him down on the pew. She yells at him claiming he hasn’t even tried anything yet to help them build a future, he’s just needlessly throwing away every idea. He claims he loves her, but he won’t even make the effort to try, despite everything he’s done. She just wants to be with him no matter what.

Yori asks her if she’s ready to fully give up her parents, because that’s the price for them being together. For good measure, he states Yano told him their mother fell ill. You withheld this information from her just to possibly use it in an ultimatum? I’m losing track of how many terrible things you’ve done, Yori.

The very next page, they burst home. Yori was telling the truth. Their mother is quite ill brought on from stress in her tirelessly searching for Iku and Yori since they left home. She’s lost weight, as has her father. Even Inu-Yori wouldn’t eat as long as Iku was gone, but started gobbling up food as soon as she got home. They don’t give a time frame for how long they’ve been gone, but considering their parents’ conditions, I’ll guess a couple or a few weeks.

You guys never even thought to buy a throwaway phone and call, even just to assure them you were okay? Jerks.

The chapter ends with Iku devastated that she caused her parents and Inu-Yori such pain. Despite what she said earlier, she’s now struggling with the idea of giving up her parents forever for Yori.

The next chapter opens with the entire family enjoying a meal together. For a fleeting moment, Iku believes they might actually be able to ignore everything that has happened and be a family together again. Doesn’t take long for the other boot to drop, however, when Yori mentions going to rest.

Their mother suddenly snaps at this, demanding to know where they’ll be ‘resting.’ Yori, with that same dumbass supervillain smirk on his face, replies “Where? Isn’t it obvious? In our room….because we are siblings.”

She forbids them to be alone together ever again. She demands they sleep in separate rooms and do everything apart. Yori points out the obvious problem that she can’t monitor them all the time nor can she do it forever.

Suddenly, Yori comes to realization that, if he truly wanted things to go back to normal, he never should’ve abducted her.

No. You’re supposed to be super-smart. There’s only so many instances of ‘Oops, I never realized this insanely obvious repercussion of doing (blank). My bad!’ that I can believe. You’re a manipulative house of dicks. Burn in hell.

Yori tells them all that the only option is for him to leave the family. His dad tries to stop him, but he’s made up his mind. Iku and Yori meet in their room, and Iku tries to convince Yori to stay.

One more for the road –

Hair sniffs: 10

Yori asks Iku if she wants him to cut her hair since she stated sometime before that she had wanted to, but Iku knew Yori liked it long on her. He starts to cut her hair, symbolizing their ending love and him leaving since he’s cutting off “16 years worth of hair” and they reminisce about a time when they were younger.

Yori would braid Iku’s hair every day, and a boy made fun of him for it because braiding hair isn’t something boys should know how to do. Iku didn’t want Yori to be made fun of, so she learned how to braid her hair.

Yori explains that he gave the boy “a brutal beating” when that happened, because he took away his “privilege to stroke Iku’s hair.” Psychopath. Nothing new here.

When he gets done cutting her hair, he wishes her to have good memories of him after he leaves. She starts crying and asks him once again to not leave. He puts her to bed, claiming they’ll talk about the future in the morning. That was the last time Iku ever saw Yori.

The last chapter starts with Iku and Yori’s conversation continuing from what we heard before. He claims he’ll go away to some place where she’ll never see him again and their lives will move on after some time. She may forget this love and move on, or she might not ever get over it, but they’ll never see each other again. Yori leaves, taking one last look at the house and remembering the good times with his family before leaving for good.

In the middle of the night, Yano gets a text message telling him to take care of Iku. Realizing Yori left for good without that conversation he promised in the morning, Iku falls into a deep depression. She stays locked in her room, not eating for five days. She loses so much weight that the ring Yori gave her falls off. I guess she never looked at the damn thing because she only now realizes it’s engraved with a message that says he was blessed to have her in his life.

Iku blames herself for Yori leaving.

Iku: “This is all because of my weakness.” No, this is 99% because Yori’s a prick. That 1% is reserved for your utter lack of pretty much any positive characteristics.

She decides to finally eat so the ring won’t fall off again. When she grabs a bowl, she finds a note in it from Yori saying ‘Don’t oversleep. You must eat your breakfast!’ She then finds or remembers a slue of other notes reminding Iku to do various daily tasks.

Iku: “If I cannot become a woman who can stand on her own two feet, it will be impossible to continue any form of relationship. Such an obvious thing….I finally understand it for the first time.”

Good. Good girl. Become a strong independent woman. I’ll be rooting for you. Ya know…I’m actually kind proud of you, Iku. Maturing so much. I’m certain that this will stick and you won’t instantly revert to the overly dependent dumbass you’ve been this entire serie–

So the next page has Iku ready to intensely study for entrance exams to Tokyo University…….because she believes Yori will be there.




Of course, Yano points out the obvious that there’s no way Iku would ever get into Tokyo University, even if she went to cram school.

We instantly cut to ten years later. If you needed a boost of inspiration in your life, let me tell you that the most incompetent and dependent idiot in the world, Iku, somehow managed to get a great job and earn enough money to travel the world at 26. She’s in London on business and has been looking for Yori for ten years. Of course she has.

She’s also keeping in contact with Yano I guess because he’s either feeding her money or because Yano is upholding his promise to take care of Iku….or both.

Iku: “I need to rely on my own strength to allow this love to become ‘one ordained by fate.’” Iku, it’s hardly ‘fate’ if you’re combing the globe for over a decade searching for him.

She goes to the local university’s library, and we see that Yori has become a junior lawyer. After some near-misses in their meetings, they finally cross paths. As Yori and Iku’s eyes meet, and they finally embrace once more, Yori thinks to himself “I love my younger sister.”


Thank god.

But also, what?

How is this even happening?

I thought Iku couldn’t give up her parents, that’s really why their relationship would never work. You don’t stop having parents once you become an adult. You still can’t pretend they’re not related – Yori doesn’t even seem like he changed his name. If this is really insinuating that it was ‘FATE’ that they met back up several years in the future once Iku had ‘matured’ and learned to be more self-sufficient, then….the blame really is being put squarely on Iku being weak?

Fuck off.

Don’t get me wrong. Iku was and possibly still is one of the weakest, most dependent, dumbest, poorly written sacks of female I’ve ever seen. How the neurons in her brain fire without a note from Yori, I don’t know.

However, all of this is undoubtedly almost entirely Yori’s fault. If he could’ve kept it in his pants, not been an emotionally, physically and sexually abusive twat all this time, if he could stop being a psycho for five minutes, none of this would’ve happened. I can guarantee Iku never would’ve fallen for Yori. They probably would’ve gone their separate ways in college because god knows she’d never get into the same university. He would’ve lessened his crusade to get into his sister’s panties, and she would’ve gone off to flunk clown college and married some guy who would be cool with supporting her for her whole life and enjoyed the bonus storage space in her skull.

This entire series, if this last part is meant to be taken as fact, was meant to build up to Iku becoming more independent so she could have a real relationship with Yori when that was never the real problem. And Yori’s big moment of development is leaving Iku to pick up the pieces of her broken family, who now realize she had a sexual relationship with her brother for a couple years, her social life, which was undoubtedly screwed over from the rumors, and her love life, which seems like it was non-existent after Yori because who can top that perfect specimen of man?

Meanwhile, Yori, making off like he made some grand sacrifice, gets to go off, start a new life for himself overseas, everyone completely unaware of his escapades in sister boinking, becomes a successful lawyer and eventually gets exactly what he wants – Iku. Go. Drink. Molten. Lava.

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but the ending of the OVA was better. They had a small fling, he realized what he did was wrong and left. His parents never found out, there never was any scandal in his family, only Yano and Tomoka knew the truth about them, but Yano would never tell and Tomoka didn’t seem like she was far enough along in her bitchy development to do anything with it.

Oh well. Like I said, they deserve each other. I still feel bad for Yano, though. Now he’s spent ten+ years chasing Iku to no avail. Granted, he’s almost as bad as Yori anyway, but I’d rather have her go with him than Yori.

But we’re not quite done even now. We have three bonus chapters to go through….Oh happy day.

The first bonus chapter takes place before Yori admits his feelings for Iku. He’s giving her a piggyback ride home, he tricks her into saying she wants to do it with her, changes the subject abruptly and says he just wants to be by Iku’s side forever.

That sure was worth the ink and paper.

The next chapter is a more developed story of something they flashed back to briefly in the next to last chapter. Little Yori is about to be a prince in a play. He wants Iku to be the princess so he can pretend they’re getting married, but their teacher won’t allow it because Iku’s too dumb to remember her lines.

Yori vows to get Iku to learn her lines, but he works her too hard (even withholding food from her until she says the lines he wants her to say) and she falls unconscious with a fever. I know this is a trope, but either Yori’s a slave driver or Iku really is the weakest person alive.

Yori feels insanely guilty….for all of five minutes. We later see an unconscious Iku, still sick with fever, playing Sleeping Beauty opposite Yori. They changed the play to Sleeping Beauty because she’ll barely have any lines to remember, and she’ll be allowed to sleep through a good portion, I guess. Then he kisses her to wake her up. The end.

….So, what I’m getting from this is….Yori forced his sister to partake in a play because he wanted to play pretend marriage with her and kiss her, ran her like a dog until she was sick and unconscious because he really wanted her to keep the role, and the school, for some reason desperate to keep Yori as the prince (The girls in his class practically protest, complete with a sign, for him to be prince, but the only reason any of them would want that so badly is if one of them got to play opposite him, so I don’t get it), changed the entire play so Yori would still be the prince in the play instead of a tree, not even caring that they were putting a sick unconscious child on stage and allowing another child to kiss the aforementioned unconscious child.

Does the horribleness ever stop? The manga is technically over and it’s still happening. Someone please help me.

Also, apparently the teacher is such a doormat for the girls in her class that she agrees to Yori’s terms in regards to letting Iku play opposite him when another girl already has the part. The girl in question, named Rika (whom I don’t remember at all if she’s an established character) clearly doesn’t agree with this arrangement, but since the other girls are so insistent on just rolling over to make Yori happy, she’s forced to play a tree. This manga isn’t for children, but this is such a terrible message. As long as you’re cute and people love you, you’ll have everyone bending over backwards to give you literally anything you want – even if it’s completely unfair to everyone else! Iku didn’t deserve to have the lead in the play, and Yori didn’t deserve to have everyone cater to his screwed up fantasy.

The final chapter is the story of how Yori adopted Inu-Yori.

He went to a pet store looking for a high-energy corgi.

Yori: “If Iku takes it for a walk every day, she can definitely lose some weight.”


The female corgi liked him, which I assume eventually becomes Inu-Iku, but he turned her down because he wanted the dog to be in his stead as he was gone, so he chose the male……….He chose the male because he wanted the dog to be in his stead. I thought it being a companion so she’d never be lonely was the point of this. What does the dog having a dic—forget it. I don’t care.

Manga over.


Well…..that sure was…..*exasperated sigh*

This manga has a 7.08 rating on MAL and a three-star rating on Anime-Planet.




I’ve said my piece on this manga by now, but to wrap things up, this is a terrible manga. This is a terrible thing. These are all terrible people doing terrible things. No character is really likable. Even the dogs end up being a little creepy. This is a terrible ‘romance’ story that never really felt like a romance. Like I said in the tags of volume nine, the story actually is serviceable, but it’s completely burned down to the ground and pissed on by the unlikable and infuriating cast.

Yori’s a rapey jackass who admits flatout that he’s mean, bossy and forceful, and that’s just the tip of the assberg. He never tries to change his ways, and any instance of him doing something good is usually laced with terrible implications or motivations.

Iku’s a complete imbecile who spends her time either acting like a toddler, crying at something Yori’s doing or responding to things going on her around with that HeroineFromAmnesia-esque vacant stare. It’s hard to believe someone so stupid and useless actually exists. Scientists would probably want to study her brain, if they could find it.

They love each other but, despite all this, we never really learn why. Yori only has bad personality traits. Even when he’s going out of his way to care for Iku, he’s still a jerk to her and everyone else. Iku is kinda nice, but her uselessness and stupidity as well as complete lack of characterization outside of her over-attachment and dependence on Yori make her incredibly frustrating to watch.

It’s Yori’s lust and obsession stirring up Iku’s crippling dependency to the point where love is an illusion. The ending may contradict this, considering Iku did eventually stand on her own two feet, but I don’t know if she got that job because of Yano (his family is filthy rich) and her focus is still entirely on finding Yori to the point where I think the only reason she became independent was find Yori, ironically.

The only two emotions this manga made me feel were apathy and anger. The only part that I legitimately enjoyed was the story of Takuma and Mayu, and they left that plot on a damn cliffhanger. Did they ever get together? Did he really die when he hit 20? We’ll never know, but hey, let’s watch Yori sexually assault Iku again, and then we’ll watch Iku be so stupid she forgets how to walk. Quality writing.

I didn’t think this series would get substantially worse than the OVA, but, goshdarnit, you proved me wrong and then some, manga.

If I’ll throw it any bones, I’ll say the art was alright. Like I mentioned in my AniManga Clash!, the art style is basically exactly the same as the anime, but the manga’s was noticeably better. Just slightly. It still looked weird, especially with the mouths and the fingernails, but it was alright. Very typical shoujo style.

Please don’t waste your time or brain cells on this manga. Trust me. It’s not worth it.

Recommended Audience: There’s several instances of nudity but really only in regards to breasts as the crotch region is usually fully airbrushed out. There are numerous sex scenes, but they never get that graphic. I feel I can easily put a rape trigger warning on this series as there are tons of instances of flatout sexual assault and borderline rape, even if they paint it as romantic. Plus, there’s just a lot of squicky creepy talk and gestures. Incest alone is probably a flag for many people. There’s no violence, swearing or blood/gore. 15+

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

Cyborg 009 Full Review Project: Manga (1964) Volume 5

We are in the throes of the Vietnam arc, and what an awesome yet depressing arc this is. When we last left our heroes, it seemed that Black Ghost was perpetuating conflict in Vietnam by giving an insanely technologically advanced tank, known as a Black Monster, to the Viet Cong, piloted by a mysterious man in black that we now learn is known as Cyborgman.

The horrible realities of war unfold all around us as the 00 Cyborgs, starting with 009, 007 and 004 combat the Cyborgman and his incredible tank. As they struggle with its power, the entire Viet Cong unit that had owned the tank gets blown away by an enemy air raid. They’re able to outwit the Cyborgman and destroy the Black Monster, but there’s a problem. It seems Cyborgman is more of a title, and he’s merely number eight in a line of many copies.

Not only that, but there are just as many Black Monsters around, each with unique designs and powers, and several of them have been ‘gifted’ to the Americans and the South Vietnamese to make the fighting even more intense.

A girl named Ran attempts to infiltrate a South Vietnamese camp dressed as a boy to find her brother. She’s about to be killed by them when 009, 4 and 7 save her, but are subsequently taken prisoner. They learn that both of her parents are dead and that her brother is her only family, but he disappeared some time ago. She had feared he was dead, but then she heard that he had joined the Viet Cong so she went off to look for him.

Turns out, one of the Cyborgmen, number eleven, was her brother. Black Ghost had kidnapped him and turned him into a cyborg. Her brother recognized Ran and turned against his allies, destroying several of them with their tanks. However, he felt he couldn’t go back with his sister. He was ashamed of what he had turned into and couldn’t face her anymore. In order to atone for what he did and destroy one more weapon of war, Ran’s brother bid his sister farewell and self-destructed the tank.

The trio then tried to bring Ran back to a peaceful village, but she revealed the harsh truth of the situation to them – there are no peaceful villages in the area anymore. Their entire country is wrought with war and killing. She has nowhere to go and no one to turn to.

As they try to flee, they’re pursued by robotic snakes that shoot lasers from their heads. They can slither around on the ground and in water and even burrow underground. The snakes are all really a part of the main body of another tank with another Cyborgman intent on killing them. Luckily, 003 and 006 manage to save them by digging a tunnel underneath their location before they were hit with the tank’s missiles. 002 is with them, fighting the tank and the robotic snakes in the air.

He’s giving the Cyborgman a run for his money, but with one massive surge of lasers from the main pod of the tank body, 002’s leg is shot off and he’s downed. Being a cyborg, such a wound is not immediately fatal, but Jet’s still in rough shape. His nutrition pipe and energy pipe have been severed. Proper circulation needs to be reestablished or else Jet may die.

They run into another legion of soldiers (They never specify which side they’re on, though they do mention Americans are their enemies, so that implies North Vietnamese/Viet Cong.) Ran tries to reason with them, but the second commander, Ga Diem, isn’t going to hear any of it. He believes they’re Americans with a unit that shot down one of their ally planes. He smacks Ran away and is about to kill them, but their elderly main commander arrives to spare them. He at least wants to hear them out, so he brings them to their base.

Everything above ground at their base is merely set dressing. These people actually live in a series of tunnels underground. The 00 Cyborgs relay their story about Black Ghost and the Cyborgmen, but Ga Diem shrugs it off as being ridiculous. The main commander, however, believes them, but he can’t assist them since he doesn’t know where the Cyborgmen’s base is.

It’s clear that Ga Diem does know, but he’s zipped up tight and acting ignorant. They leave the cyborgs alone for the night to rest, but Ga Diem puts heavy security on them. Jet is in really rough shape and is quickly deteriorating. They have to get him back to the sub so Dr. Gilmore can treat him, but they’re essentially trapped.

Oh and after this point Ran just kinda vanishes. We don’t even see her arriving at the village. I guess we’re to assume that she takes up shelter in their village, but her future still doesn’t look too bright.

In order to investigate and get Jet to some medical attention, they use 006’s fire abilities to tunnel out. GB transforms into a tiger to tail Ga Diem (but doesn’t realize that they hunt tigers in Vietnam) and Joe runs off with Jet to rush to the sub as quickly as possible.

GB manages to infiltrate the Cyborgmen hideout by posing as Ga Diem, Joe and Jet make it to the sub, but 004, 006 and 003 are cornered by the soldiers again and taken prisoner after the reveal that Ga Diem is a traitor.

Once Gilmore looks over Jet, he claims he can save him, but in order to do it properly he needs advanced equipment that only Black Ghost would have. Joe heads to find the Cyborgmen lair in order to search for adequate parts.

Meanwhile, GB is found out by the Cyborgman #1. 007 makes a valiant effort to fight him, even showing off his true ‘Chameleon’ skills by changing his colors to blend in with the machinery, but the Cyborgman has an ace up his sleeve – an electric field that shocks everything in the room. 007 gets downed, but the Cyborgman is unharmed thanks to his suit. He locks up 007 and puts a helmet on him that makes him unable to communicate through radio transmissions.

Back with 003, 006 and 004, the robotic snakes find them again at the village and strike. They burrow away from the robots by using 006’s fire, but they’re incredibly persistent. What’s worse is that they can’t burrow any further due to a pocket of poison gas and molten magma resting right below their location.

009 shows up and saves them from the snakes, but scouting bats tell them that the Cyborgman has 007. They rush to the Cyborgman’s location to save 007, viciously pursued by Cyborgmen, the Black Monsters and fighter planes the whole way. Eventually, it just turns into a ‘009’s the main character so let him defeat everything’ fest. Even 004 points out that 009’s a ‘glory hog.’ Narratively speaking, he does have a point. While 003 and 006 have been very useful on a support level, 004, 007 and 002 keep getting cucked while 009 is able to do most of the heavy lifting.

004 does some stuff, but it’s not that impressive. 007 tries to infiltrate enemy lines three times and ends up getting found out three times – one of those leading to his capture. 002 gets a bit of a cool mid-air fight, but gets his leg shot off and spends the rest of the volume in critical condition. Don’t even talk to me about 008 and 005 who basically aren’t in this volume at all. They stay back on the sub and have barely a few lines between them. Gilmore does more than they do. Are they just meant to guard the sub? Why are they not participating at all? Wouldn’t 008 be particularly useful in this situation, being a resistance fighter back home?

009, however, defeats many of the enemies and saves many people with his acceleration powers. He even gets one really awesome scene where he throws Ran up into the air and defeats a bunch of enemies while in acceleration mode and then catches her after he’s done.

It’s quite odd, too. It seemed for the longest time that Black Ghost thought the acceleration switch was the bees’ knees. They were putting it in every subsequent 00 Cyborg after 009, but once they started work on the Cyborgmen they just thought, what, that it’d be better to not put the acceleration switch in any of them or the Black Monsters and give them a massive tube on their faces as an obvious weak point?

When they arrive at the hideout, 007 is able to warn 009 and the others about the trap the Cyborgman has laid since he accidentally broke the helmet while punching 007 in the face. 009 rescues 007, but 004 tells 009 to step aside so he can take out the Cyborgman on his own. In a literal western-esque shootout, 004 does manage to take down the Cyborgman in one shot. Way to take back the badass reins, Albert.

With all the tech in the hideout, they’ve got everything they need to help 002. And thus our volume ends.

lighten up Ishinomori

Ah, I’m just kidding. I fight pain with humor.


Anyhoo, that was the Vietnam arc, and while it is quite depressing with, by far, the biggest body count of any Cyborg 009 story yet….it’s…kinda to be expected. It is the Vietnam war. Ishinomori was never really shy about his anti-war sentiments, and it really shines through here. Several moments throughout the volume are dedicated to highlighting the harsh realities of war both for the soldiers and the innocents who are caught in the crossfire.

That’s why I wish Ran hadn’t been completely removed from the story once they reached the camp. She had a decent story from an everyday villager perspective, but she’s just kinda forgotten about. She said herself that there was no safe place with the war going on, and even the camp proved to be a dangerous place with the robot snakes popping in, so we’re pretty much just left to assume Ran will live in fear and pain alone for however long until the war is over, and even that’s no guarantee. Which, when you think about it, is even more of a realistic slap in the face. Still, I wish she hadn’t just been abandoned like that.

Though we don’t get a lot of time with him, #11 (Ran’s brother)’s situation was equally sad. Immediately after losing his parents, he’s kidnapped by Black Ghost and turned into a cyborg who is forced to partake in the same war that took his parents’ lives while acknowledging that, even if he did escape, he’d never be able to live a normal life with his sister again. Then he turns on his comrades and kills himself all for his sister.

Then you have the soldiers casually discussing what BS it is that they have to fight in this war. One even mentions that he was a simple farmer before all this and that he detests having to kill and bloody his hands for politicians who can’t and wouldn’t take up arms themselves.

Also, make no mistake, the 00 Cyborgs didn’t end the Vietnam war or anything – they just destroyed everything that Black Ghost injected into it.

Back to the 00 Cyborgs, what a blow 002 took, eh? I remember gasping when that first happened in the anime, even though I knew he was a cyborg so he’d probably be okay. Still, he is human, and such an injury can definitely be devastating.

Also, it was cool to see 007 show off a new power, even if it didn’t help him not get captured. The nickname thing is being brought up a little more than I first thought it was. A volume or two ago, 007 kept referring to 004 as ‘The God of Death’ and it was just weird. He did it like a slip up. “God of Death—err, I mean 004.” Who does that? Usually, it’s the opposite, and done in a sarcastic manner. Like “Albert—err I mean ‘God of Death’”

Next Volume….

…..Previous Volume

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

Cyborg 009 Full Review Project: Manga (1964) Volume 4

Volume four starts with chapter fifteen – Empty War. Or as it’s known originally, Vacuum War – a change I’m perfectly okay with. I know the original title was meant to indicate the vacuum of space, but all I see when I hear that title is a bunch of Kirbys, Hoovers and Dirt Devils shooting each other on a bloodied battlefield. Plus, Empty War kinda sounds poetic.

This story is another one of the side stories from Separate Shonen King that ran while Cyborg 009 was being canceled from Weekly Shonen King.

We start with a plane being shot down by Black Ghost. In the debris, a robot is carrying an old man through the air, dodging the fire from the fighter planes and trying to keep him safe. He bumps into the submarine of the 00 Cyborgs, who offer him refuge from the Black Ghost planes. The robot’s name is JQ and he was designed by Dr. Yamazaki, the old man being rescued from the plane.

Yamazaki was originally an engineer at Black Ghost, but when he realized the evils they were doing he wanted no part in it any longer. He remembered how Gilmore and the escaped cyborgs were fighting to take Black Ghost down, so he also decided to leave with JQ and fight for justice. However, Black Ghost quickly found him out and attacked his plane as he was leaving.

Yamazaki reveals the terrifying news that Black Ghost is setting to launch an armed satellite that will be utilized by the countries of the world to shoot missiles at any corner of the globe. It’s being completed today, and he needs their help to stop them.

JQ, 009, 004, 006, 008 and 003 head out to stop the last two rockets heading to the base. While they’re unable to stop one rocket, they do manage to board the second, but they’re forced to leave 004 and 008 behind.

Having hijacked the rocket, rather easily, actually, they get as much important information out of the pilots as possible. Their rocket is merely for transport and isn’t armed, meaning they can’t use it to attack the base. That’s not the worst part, though – apparently the satellite base is only one of two weapons bases Black Ghost has set up in space. Another has been built on the moon.

They plan to destroy the satellite base by setting their rocket to self-destruct at the exact moment it hits the atomic core of the base, which will cause a chain reaction and destroy everything. They’re able to pull this off, but the moon base is another issue. Black Ghost will be on full alert after the satellite explosion, and they don’t have much of a plan to destroy the base in the first place.

JQ heads off on his own to attack the missiles right next to the control dome while 009 takes care of the cyborgs and robots being sent to their location. After the battle, 009, 3 and 6 go to the base to see what happened with JQ and they find the place in ruins. While there are still some rockets and missiles left standing, the place is completely empty and the control dome has been destroyed. JQ blew up four of the missiles simultaneously with his arms and legs, which destroyed the area, but JQ did not survive the blast.

And uh….it’s actually really abrupt. 003 is like “He’s gone. I see pieces of him everywhere.” 006 says “Poor JQ!” 009 says “He will be missed.” then we get one more shot of the rockets and the chapter’s over. That’s pretty disrespectful of JQ. The dude died trying to save the world and then it’s like ‘Press F to pay respects.’ and we just move on.

Overall, though, I wish the ending was a bit cleaner, but I did enjoy this chapter. I liked JQ and Dr. Yamazaki. I actually felt really bad when JQ was killed. He was a very noble and loyal robot, and I kinda liked his dynamic with Yamazaki, but alas, being a side story character, he was destined to die.

Oh except when he came back as a completely new character in the next chapter – A New Type of Bomb (Thunder and Lightning) or The Bomb Model “Raiden”

This story is a Frankenstein’d from Vacuum War and The Man in the High Castle. Almost all of the artwork is just lifted from those chapters with new writing being put in place to make a new story. I can’t find a solid reason as to why this story is the way it is. The best I’ve gathered is that Ishinomori was unhappy with how these stories initially went, or at least he was unhappy with how Vacuum War ended, so he made this story out of recycled panels and dialogue, but it only came out a few months after Vacuum War and The Man in the High Castle, and those stories are perfectly fine, in my opinion anyway. What went so wrong that he felt compelled to go back and ‘fix’ them, but not even really fix them because he didn’t remake either story, he just stitched the two together? Also, if speculation is correct, he never considered this to be canon either, so why bother?

To make matters worse, this story’s existence and placement in the magazine and subsequent collections, like the one I’m reading right now, make everything extremely confusing as to the timeline, the canonicity of the stories, even in their own little side-collection of stories, and the status of 007.

This story starts off with a plane being shot down by Black Ghost fighter planes. We see a robot in disguise, C-11, who is totally not JQ with a darker head, introduce himself to Dr. Yamaz—Kaminari. C-11 was originally sent there to kill Kaminari, but he has defected from Black Ghost and plans to save him instead – and save him he does.

Meanwhile, on the Cyborgs’ submarine, they catch wind of the news of the attack while simultaneously getting the news that his granddaughter, the Prime Minister’s daughter from chapter fourtee—I mean not her – was kidnapped. He was working on a weapon called Thunder and Lightning which would send snowflake shaped nanomachines into the sky and explode. He didn’t work for Black Ghost, but they wanted his weapon, which he wouldn’t hand over. So, of course, they sent a killer robot to kill him in his plane while also planning on shooting down his plane, almost certainly killing him….WHILE kidnapping his granddaughter? Well, that’s doesn’t make any sense.

They do get information on the location of Black Ghost’s base from the recon dolphins they spot outside, but they don’t reuse the dolphin ‘torture’ scene from chapter fifteen.

The base infiltration scene is lifted entirely from Vacuum War, barring some new shots of 007 and 5. Then when we get outside, it’s back to chapter fourteen and now, despite being shown as an adult about a page prior, 007 is a child again because he was a child in chapter fourteen. Also, despite the fact that we were near Japan all of a page ago, we’re suddenly in some snowy tundra because that’s where we were in chapter fourteen. They explain away the snow by reminding us that the weapon he created uses nanomachines that, for some reason, look like snowflakes.

Also, somehow, despite escaping the planes and Black Ghost with C-11, Kaminari was captured off-screen, I guess?

We get a repeat of Lil’ 007 knocking some guy out as a snowman, and this entire fight scene was ripped from chapter fourteen. Because they’re recovering Kaminari here, they redraw the shot that was originally 002 giving 007 and 009 a lift over the electric barrier to showing 002 grabbing Kaminari and lifting him up.

One of the kidnappers activates the weapon, which causes the snow to explode….but I’m 99% certain it’s just repeat shots of the electric barrier from chapter fourteen.

Anyway, 007 had a growth spurt due to the weapon because he’s now back to being an adult again. Back on the sub – by the way, the other cyborgs saved his granddaughter off-panel – Kaminari explains that his prototype for the weapon wasn’t ready, but he knew he needed to deliver something to them or else they’d kill his granddaughter, so he loaded up the place with gunpowder and, when the snow exploded, so did the base.

009 tells him to use his brilliant intellect for good now, and the story ends.

….So…I had to go back and see what happened because the introduction scene is really confusing. I guess C-11 died in a missile explosion while trying to cause a distraction? They don’t really make it clear. There’s a final panel before we cut to the cyborgs where there’s a black blotch on the ocean floor and I honestly couldn’t tell if that was meant to be C-11’s body or part of it. Also, despite the pilot of one of the Black Ghost planes saying “He’s gone.” I guess that was when Kaminari was spotted by the Black Ghost planes, somehow, and taken away. How did they see him in that barrel? They couldn’t last time.

I don’t really get why Ishinomori made this story. If you ask me, it’s just a very sloppy retelling/chimera of two solid standalone stories. If Ishinomori really was unhappy about how Vacuum War ended, he should have just redone the story from scratch instead of making this because it almost feels like he missed a deadline and just threw this together. It’s not terrible, but I’d much rather take the other two stories on their own.

The next chapter, the 00 Cyborgs are attacked in their sub while Black Ghost utilizes all of their undersea friends – I mean fearsome creatures to attack them including their signature recon dolphins, swarms of regular fish, a manta ray with cameras for eyes, attack sharks, TIGER SHARK MISSILES which are exactly what you think they are, and a giant octopus which tries to crush their sub. I love this series with all my heart.

After 009, 008 and 005 take down the pursuing Black Ghost sub, with 009 hitching a ride on a sea turtle (How can you not love that imagery?) they chart a course for the Indo-China Peninsula because Gilmore had heard rumors that Black Ghost is funding a superhuman guerrilla unit for the Viet Cong in the civil war with Laos. They must head there, investigate and take down Black Ghost if they’re involved.

003 suddenly bursts out that she doesn’t want to go. She’s seen enough killing and destruction, and she wants it to end. Gilmore reminds her of the grim truth, however. They have to stop Black Ghost at all costs or else they’ll perpetuate war and bring about the destruction of the world. They’re the only ones who have a chance at taking them down.

But enough of that, it’s time to be attacked by an army of jellyfish and a plesiosaur! This crazy train ain’t stoppin’. The jellyfish are, somehow, draining all of the power from the sub. When 008 and 9 investigate, they spot a frickin’ plesiosaur who wants to destroy the sub among the mass of jellyfish.

009 gets attacked by the jellyfish, and all of his energy gets drained by them, but 008 saves him and returns him to the sub. 009 is okay, but they have to figure out how to get out of this jam……or jelly….fish. 😀

They decide to forcibly wake 001 up from his deep slumber, and he uses his psychic powers to power the sub manually and move the sub away from the jellyfish. However, the plesiosaur continues to pursue them. 005 decides to fight it, and he RIPS THE THING APART WITH HIS BARE HANDS. 005 needs more spotlight pronto.

They manage to get a sample from the plesiosaur and two of the jellyfish. After analyzing the jellyfish, Gilmore realizes that they weren’t modified by Black Ghost. Their insane power-draining abilities are a result of nuclear bomb tests performed underwater during the war. Realizing that war creates just as much suffering in the environment as it does in the lives of everyday people, the 00 Cyborgs reaffirm their resolve to stop Black Ghost and end war.

We then get a prologue that leads us into chapter eighteen. It philosophizes on the nature of man, violence and war while showing a depiction of war throughout history from the times of cavemen to the 20th century. It’s quite troubling, especially when Ishinomori starts showing images such as tanks driving right next to a dead body, someone running up to hug the body in despair and someone getting executed via firing squad. I was going to take a potshot at 003 for suddenly bursting out like that because I felt like it was another instance where she was just being ‘the girl’ of the group and getting overly emotional, wanting to quit, but after reading this section, I don’t think such a thing is warranted.

It is a little irritating that 003 was singled out for that scene, but I can completely understand why any of them would want to quit after everything they’ve seen, especially if no end seems to be in sight for them. And 003 does have to see and hear the horrible details of everything they go through. Many times, she has to sense things that the others can’t see or hear. In that regard, I feel pretty bad for her.

The prologue ends with us arriving in Vietnam – the US forces rolling up and destroying a bunch of stuff before one of the tanks gets destroyed by a strange man in a full-body black suit driving a weird black domed tank.

Chapter eighteen starts, and we get more backstory on the situation, questioning why the American troops were having such difficulty taking on the Viet Cong. It’s chalked up to either the Viet Cong using the confusing terrain to their advantage since American troops aren’t used to fighting in these dense jungles, the American troops being unable to discern between North and South Vietnamese people, which allowed the north to deceive them OR….Cyborgs, robots and super tanks that turn into robot spiders.

See what happens when you fall asleep in history class, kids? You miss all the cool robot spiders.

Anyway, it uses its buzzsaw arms, because, yes, it has those too, to cut a pathway through the jungle. And then it uses its suction cup feet to climb up a rockface.

This thing is really sick. Just look at the blueprints.

It’s awesome.

The man in black gives the tank to the leader of the Viet Cong unit without any compensation and leaves. Joe, GB and Albert are watching all of this from the shadows, but they suddenly trip a booby trap, and that’s where volume four ends.


All in all….this volume was…okay. Forgive my lack of enthusiasm, but this volume just didn’t have a lot going for it. Most of it was filler a la forcibly included side stories. This doesn’t mean the stories were inherently bad just because they were filler – I quite enjoyed the story with JQ – but the second story was just a recycled confusing okay story at best.

The only true saving grace of this volume was the storyline with all of the awesome undersea creatures Black Ghost was utilizing – plus the super mutated jellyfish and the PLESIOSAUR, that weren’t even created by Black Ghost. That chapter was just buckets of fun, even if it ended on a downer note.

Right when we get back into the thick of things, the volume ends.

The volume wasn’t bad by any stretch, but it wasn’t quite as the same level as some of the previous volumes.

Next Volume…..

……Previous Volume

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at

Hell Girl (Manga) Volume 4 Review | Alt. Title: Literally Everyone is Awful

Plot: The continuing stories of Hell Girl….

Chapter 14: Melody of Sorrow

Uhm….wow. This was one of the more ridiculously over done chapters we’ve ever seen on Hell Girl.

Seriously, it went down to supervillain-esque levels of muahahaha-evil.

Yui has a step-dad, Junichiro, whom she really loves. He’s a sweet guy who always supports her and she loves him just like a real dad. According to her parents, her real dad ditched her mother and her when she was three because he wracked up a lot of debt.

Yui’s class volunteers her to play piano for a singing contest at their school in a few weeks. She really liked the piano as a little kid, but stopped playing. The instant she picks it back up, her step-dad flips his shit and demands she stop learning and tell the class to find another pianist. She’s shocked at his drastic change in demeanor, but her mom encourages her to continue learning as long as she keeps it a secret from him.

Inevitably, he finds out, and holy shit sundae, he goes berserk. He slaps her across the face and locks her in her room for days, obviously not allowing her to practice piano anymore, but also not allowing her to go to school or even eat. When her friends show up to check on her, he verbally reams them for encouraging her to play piano and shoos them off. When her mother tries to sneak some food to her, he slaps her across the face for going behind his back.

After however many days, he finally has a conversation with Yui about why he’s so upset. Get ready….This guy’s a fucking lunatic.

He shows her the picture that was in her piano practice book that her mother gave her. It was a picture of her mother and her biological father, Tadase. Her father was a piano genius and was on a fast-track to big success as a pianist. Meanwhile, Junichiro was always jealous of him because he couldn’t play nearly as well. He only got more jealous when Tadase got married and had a kid.

Junipsycho pretended to be her dad’s close friend for years in college as a part of his master plan – yes, this is actually a ‘master plan’ situation – he was going to wrack up a bunch of debt in Tadase’s name, kill him and then throw his body in the river, claiming he ran off to avoid debt collectors. Meanwhile, he’d swoop in, marry Yui’s mother and become Yui’s step-father.

No, I’m not kidding, and the crazy doesn’t stop there.

I guess even the simple act of trying to learn piano was enough to get him livid about Yui possibly becoming as skilled as her father. However, even he knows he can’t keep her imprisoned forever, so he agrees to let her be free….as long as he can ensure that she never plays piano again.

The only way to do that?


As he’s about to strike, he accidentally stabs her mother in the back as she rushes in to protect her daughter. He doesn’t give a damn about anything happening right now and really seems like he’s going to kill both of them.

Luckily, Yui contacted Hell Girl earlier and decides to pull the string to save her mother’s life.

The hell torture is rather predictable, but fitting. He’s tied up and forced to play piano in hell for all eternity.

Yui’s mother’s going to pull through, and Yui decides she wants to strive to become an amazing pianist just like her father, no matter if she’s damned for hell after she dies.

Just…wow. That was so ridiculous. We’ve definitely seen supervillain-esque targets on Hell Girl before, but this guy takes the cake. He’s managed to keep his cool for about ten years to the point where Yui would never suspect him of killing a fly, but the instant she says she’s trying to learn piano for a school event he suddenly can’t keep himself from viciously violent outbursts of insane proportions. Hell, for all he knew she sucked too and he had nothing to worry about. Piano skill isn’t genetic. He’s not even a practicing pianist anymore, why would he care? Just because he doesn’t want to be reminded of Tadase?

Chapter 15: Puppy Waltz

Stop with the stories of animal abuse in this franchise! They’re not pleasant to read, even if the asshole goes to hell. And they’re all basically the same story anyway. Stop it!

I’ll spare you the story – bitch abuses, neglects and kills her dogs, nearly kills client’s dog, nearly gets client mauled by dogs, somewhat-ish happy ending for client, implied Ai helped her dog survive an attack, target can suck on battery acid through a straw made of used hypodermic needles in hell. The end.

I hope that’s the last animal abuse story I have to sit through as I finish off this franchise, because I am reaching my limit.

Chapter 16: Beautiful Friendship





I wish I could just leave it at that, but considering I just screwed you out of a proper review of the last chapter, I’ll talk about this one.

Makoto and her best friend, Tsuho, are planning to go to karaoke with the other girls in their class. Tsuho decides to invite Tomita. She’s a quiet glasses girl who mostly keeps to herself, typically spending her time reading manga or being on the internet…..*looks in mirror*…..Are they spying on me?

Tomita doesn’t respond to Tsuho, not even when she yanks her book out of her hands and mocks her for liking manga, claiming she’ll never get a boyfriend if she doesn’t stop reading stuff like that.

Makoto grabs the book back from her and tells her to stop making Tomita feel bad.

This must have been translated in Tsuho’s head as the absolute most offensive thing she has ever heard in her 14-ish years of life, because she immediately runs out of the room screaming to her friends that Makoto is uninvited from karaoke. In addition to that, the next day, Makoto finds that everyone in class is ignoring her and treating her like garbage when they actually do pay her mind. All because she was nice to Tomita….

Keep in mind, Tsuho was technically or seemingly trying to be nice to Tomita when she went over there. She was inviting her out to karaoke and she didn’t appear to be kidding, but then she quickly started being a jerk. It’s not like the class hates Tomita for any real reason, either. They just mock her and made her an outcast because, by their standards, she’s weird.

Tsuho keeps calling Makoto a hypocrite, which I thought meant we’d get some reveal where Makoto used to bully Tsuho when they were really young or whatever….Nope. It’s just….something she keeps saying for some reason.

Now, in most other stories like this, Makoto would probably become good friends with Tomita and one of them would have to inevitably send Tsuho to hell because she’s being such a c-bag.


Turns out, Tomita’s a total bitch too. See, if there’s one thing you need to know about this chapter is that everyone – every, single, person – is awful. There’s not a nice person in this entire chapter except Makoto. It’s like there was a zombie virus outbreak, but instead of people turning into zombies they turn into assholes, and Makoto was born with an immunity in her blood.

Tomita believes her only friends are on the internet, who express that they have similar problems, but they’re also negative towards each other in suggesting things like committing suicide. Tomita also says she doesn’t care if her ‘friends’ on the internet are assholes, because she can just delete whatever they say to her. Still, Makoto extends an olive branch, but Tomita swats it away. She tells her they have nothing in common, she never asked for her help in the first place and to never talk to her again.

Makoto is shocked, and she continues to get bullied to even worse extents. I don’t know why Makoto is getting all this harassment. Tomita is also outcast, but throughout this entire chapter she’s pretty much left alone barring that one incident at the start, and that was very mild bullying compared to what Makoto is getting.

The bullying gets so bad (and she can’t tell her mom because reasons) that she decides to join the forum that Tomita was on before. It’s a forum for victims of bullying, so she believes she can find some kindred spirits there, even if there are assholes. One of the messages she finds suggests visiting Hell Correspondence to ferry their tormentor to hell. She decides to call Hell Girl on Tsuho, but she’s apprehensive to pull the string.

She becomes even more apprehensive when one of the girls who has been bullying her musters up the courage to greet her. Then she immediately runs off yelling to not tell Tsuho she did it. Uhm….is Tsuho a high school mob boss? Why does she seemingly have all of this power over the other girls to the point where they’re terrified of what she’ll do if she finds out they had the audacity to tell someone on their blacklist “Morning.”?

After this, Makoto thinks there’s some hope for things to go back to normal. She even greets the class when she walks in, and, even though she is met mostly with cold stares and silence, some of the girls do smile back at her.

At lunch, she tries to sit with the others, but Tsuho trips her and has a big tantrum, asking her what she said or did to the other girls. She tells Makoto she’s “ruining the mood for everyone” and that she’s annoying. Makoto tries to plead for Tsuho to take her back, claiming she’ll better herself if she’s always found her to be annoying – as long as she gets her friends back, she doesn’t care.

Makoto: “I think you’re my best friend!”

This line is met with Tsuho splashing her drink all over Makoto as she’s on the floor.

Tsuho: “I thought you were my friend. But you stood up for Tomita-san. So why aren’t you friends with her instead?!”

‘I thought you were my friend, but then you had to stop my mild bullying of a person who has seemingly never done anything to me before! And that is unforgivable!’

Even in the face of everything Tsuho has done and is doing right now, Makoto still pleads for her to put that behind them and make up. And then everything immediately shifts from devilbitch!Tsuho to this.

And that was immediately followed by me saying this.

Like, seriously, what the hell? How are we supposed to believe for a single microsecond that this harpy is actually now sorry for everything she did? I mean, I guess she does change her personality on a dime, considering how drastically it changed in the start, but this is just ridiculous. Tsuho trips her because she thinks she might be winning some of the girls over again, splashes a drink all over her when she calls her her best friend and then screams that, indeed, her major sin was STANDING UP FOR SOMEONE TSUHO WAS BULLYING, and then it’s just “Oh, Makoto, I’m sorry. :’(“

But they have to at least attempt to make us feel even a little sad for Tsuho….considering the very next shot is of her being sent to hell by Tomita.

Yup, Tomita, possibly breaking the rules of Hell Girl, I’m not sure, also called Hell Girl on Tsuho, but she actually pulled the string. Tomita is ecstatic about what she’s done and rushes off to tell her friends on the internet.

Later, we discover that Tomita hasn’t been to school since that happened, though we never find out why. I also find it very hilarious that they’re calling her a freak for spending a bunch of time on the internet. My, how times have changed. Makoto tells herself that there will be people she’ll want to get rid of in the future, but she’ll never visit Hell Correspondence again.

And the moral of the story is that everyone’s garbage.

I’m not even really exaggerating here. The bullies come off as assholes, of course, Tsuho comes off as ridiculously petty and evil, and even the bullied parties come off looking bad. Tomita’s a bitter psychopath, the people on that bullying forum were the same, and Makoto is just flatout pathetic. She’s really on the floor on her hands and knees BEGGING to be taken back by a girl who has done nothing but make her life a nightmare ever since she did something as minor as just pointing out that she’s making someone else feel bad.

Tsuho had the entire class turn against Makoto, kept verbally harassing her and calling her a hypocrite, she got her in trouble with her teachers, the class wrote horrible stuff about her on her papers, she was told that no one wanted her around, Tsuho knocked her down and splashed her drink all over her – but yeah, sure, she definitely sounds like someone I’d like to go back to being friends with. Why don’t we go see a movie? I hear “I’m a Huge Basket of Ass: The Tsuho Story” is playing.

I’ve had bad fights with friends before, to the point where we stopped being friends, and then we made up, but never to anywhere near this level, and groveling was never part of the picture. It sends a bad message, too. You can forgive someone for treating you like crap if you want, people make mistakes, and as long as they show effort in bettering themselves, then it can all be good, but begging someone like this to go back to being your friend? And acting like YOU’RE the problem and YOU need to change to be less ‘annoying’?

This is clearly a toxic relationship. Even if Tsuho wasn’t sent to hell, I can imagine Makoto would never be able to continue being her friend without living in constant fear of somehow pissing her off and earning her wrath once more.

It would have been better if Makoto decided to continue with what she was doing and try to get the other girls to cool it and befriend her again, because it’s clear that at least some of them were acting out of fear of whatever Tsuho would do to them. Then maybe all the girls could realize they were being foolish, see what a terrible person Tsuho is and ostracize her instead. But nope.

Tsuho didn’t deserve a drop of any sort of redemption they were trying to give her in the end. Just because you go ‘boo hoo’ and have her say ‘sorry’ when she’s been gleefully tormenting Makoto this entire time doesn’t make up for a damn thing. She’s a terrible person, and I have no qualms with her being in hell.

Not saying I liked what Tomita did, though, because she embodies the opposite extreme of the stereotype of the crazy bullied kid (Bonus stereotype points: Is a nerd who spends too much time on the internet and reads comics/manga) who ends up murdering their tormentor. The fact that she’s so giddy about it is equally cringey. This series is no stranger to enjoying revenge, but the only thing Tsuho did to her was be rude to her. Sure, she’s also an outcast, but it’s clear that she doesn’t even want anyone else to fraternize with her.

Chapter 17: Fake Hell Correspondence

Ending on a brief note since this chapter reflects a story told in the anime. However, that doesn’t mean it’s a bad note since the episode in question was one of my favorite Hell Girl episodes, The Fake Hell Link. Pretty much everything in this chapter is the same as the anime, barring the differences in names (Shouko Baba is Akiko Hayashi here. Ikami Waka is Sanae Shiraishi here. And finally, Mami Kuriyama/Manaka is Ochiai/Nishikawa here.) and some minor things like Kuriyama had actually tried to use Hell Link before and learned firsthand that she needed to damn her own soul to make it work, but Ochiai didn’t. She just heard the stipulation through rumors, but other than that, spot on.

I don’t think I was in the right mind to enjoy it as much, though, because I was still reeling from the previous chapter.


And that was the end of volume four!

………It wasn’t that good. Only one story in this entire volume was actually worth anything, and I’m not sure I can give it full marks since it’s mirroring an anime episode. Chapter 14 takes second place in that regard, but it’s difficult to even take that chapter seriously because of how overly evil they made her step-dad.

With the animal abuse chapter coupled with the stupidity of the bully chapter, it’s just not a good volume overall. To make matters worse, we’re also introduced to Kikuri in this volume. Joy. She only shows up looming in the background of one panel, but she’s formally ‘introduced’ in the omake at the end of the volume. So, yeah, from now on we have to deal with Kikuri. Oh well, at least we don’t have to listen to her….

Next Volume….

….Previous Volume

If you enjoy my work and would like to help support my blog, please consider donating at my Ko-Fi page. Thank you! ♥

Buy Me a Coffee at