Plot: Nine individuals are kidnapped by the evil warmongering organization known as Black Ghost. While in their clutches, they’re forcibly turned into cyborgs, meant to act as weapons of war. The cyborgs manage to escape Black Ghost, but they soon return to destroy the organization and stop their evil deeds once and for all.
Breakdown: In my last manga volume review, I mentioned that 007 suddenly changing into a child, whom I dubbed Lil’ 007, was a forced change to help advertise the Cyborg 009 movie that was being released around the same time. Well, this is that movie, baby.
That’s right, we’ve finally reached the first animated venture into the franchise, the 1966 Cyborg 009 movie directed and written by Yugo Serikawa and co-written by Takashi Iijima.
The movie is a reimagining of the origin story of the 00 Cyborgs, condensed to fit a full storyline in a little over an hour. There are many changes to the origin story made throughout this movie. Some changes I really liked, others not so much. Some changes were made for understandable reasons, like animation limitations and time constraints, and others I can’t find a single goddamn reason for.
Let’s enjoy a gentle stroll down Cyborg 009’s first movie.
The movie starts out with Joe Shimamura in the middle of a race. I haven’t posted it yet, but in my review for volume eight I mention that Joe becomes a famous racecar driver after a four year time skip in a time of peace. I kinda wondered why he became a famous racecar driver because he had never expressed an interest in racing before, but I guess it kinda made sense because his trademark power was super speed.
Him choosing a profession where he easily became famous, especially considering he technically had an edge in his cybernetics giving him vast knowledge and skills in piloting vehicles of all types, was more confusing, though. You’d think he’d want to keep a low profile.
However, this is not a movie based on volume eight. Quite the contrary. That part of the manga was actually based on this part of the movie.
Joe was the most drastically altered character in the entire movie. They removed his delinquent backstory, seemingly made him full Japanese instead of mixed race (marked by him having black hair instead of his trademark brown hair…..barring that one time he went blond.) and just made him a….really good racecar driver?
They boring’d the hell out of Joe, and I really have no clue why. Is it just because they didn’t want their main hero being a delinquent?
The fact that they seemingly made him full Japanese instead of mixed race is the most disappointing, though. A big part of his backstory was that he was constantly ostracized for his appearance. He never felt like he belonged because he was a mixed race boy living in 1960s Japan. That was also one of the factors in him becoming a delinquent. The fact that the 00 Cyborgs accepted him fully without caring about his heritage was very important to Joe.
Now he’s just a normal Japanese guy who became a successful racecar driver? Couple that with the fact that they retained the whole spiel about 009 being the best cyborg on the team because he was the latest model with all the best powers and that he becomes a combat specialist and leader of the team immediately just cuz (acting like he’s a seasoned war vet even though there’s no way he has any battle experience) put in a dash of saying he’s also the bravest of them for no real reason, and you just made yourself a Gary Stu, good sir.
Black Ghost operatives cause Joe’s car to crash. He’s unconscious, basically dead, and they kidnap him right under everyone’s noses, which confuses me.
In the manga, all of the people that Black Ghost kidnapped for this project were specifically targeted because they were down-on-their-luck individuals who wouldn’t be missed by many people, if any at all.
You have Ivan, who was just a baby, being willingly offered to Black Ghost by his father after his mother was killed, Jet, who was running from the law after accidentally killing a rival gang leader in a street fight, Francoise, who was just an average French girl who lived alone with her only family being her brother, Albert, who was trying to escape Germany during WWII with his wife, who perished in the escape, G. Junior, who was out of work and living on the streets due to discrimination against Native Americans, Chang, who was an impoverished pig farmer whose situation was so bad that he was about to commit suicide when Black Ghost found him, GB, who was a drunken washed up theater actor, Pyunma, who was a resistance fighter who had just escaped being sold into slavery, and Joe, who was a delinquent orphan.
It’s too risky to take people who are high-profile. Many people will miss that person, and there will likely be an endless investigation into what happened to that person reaching out into current day where there will 34,000 podcasts and Youtube videos with titles like “Hurricane Joe: Gone with the Wind” “Joe Shimamura: Vanished in the Blink of an Eye” “Crashed Out of Existence: The Joe Shimamura Story” and “joe shimamorra was turned INTO A CYBORG?! #TRUTH”
Not to mention you’d be parading around a famous person as your cyborg? Keep in mind, the cyborgs have so much of their bodies replaced with cybernetics that they don’t age. People would start asking questions after a decade or two.
They also kidnapped Francoise who, in the movie, was a successful/famous ballerina, which is what she becomes in the manga in volume eight as well. So now they have two famous people on their team. They also have a baby and a young child, whom, for all we know in this timeline, are being furiously sought after by their parents.
Joe is turned into a cyborg by Black Ghost, and he later wakes up in some dark warehouse with a spiffy new version of his uniform. Instead of the uniform colors he had at this point in the manga, which was green with a yellow scarf, or even his most well-known colors, red with a yellow scarf, he is sporting a white uniform with a red scarf.
The rest of the 00 Cyborgs are wearing lavender uniforms with no scarves because they’re not the leader.
Oh, wait, back up, did I say the rest of them? I meant all except one.
Because, of course, they had to put the lone girl in the group in a goddamn pink uniform.
Can you not find enough femininity in friggin’ lavender?
When Joe awakens, he’s suddenly met with a voice telling him that the test will be starting soon. Unlike in every other iteration, this voice isn’t 001 communicating with him telepathically. Instead it’s….who I think is Gilmore? It’s hard to tell with the voice. I don’t know exactly how he transmitted the message though since Gilmore doesn’t have any powers. Maybe it was a PA system or something built into his head?
Joe, now known as Cyborg 009, is quickly attacked. He’s buried under tons of rocks, but survives and escapes easily. He’s chased and shot by a fighter plane, but he can run away really fast and survive getting shot in the back repeatedly.
Oh yeah, one other thing they changed with 009…..they took away his accelerator switch.
Yes, his main claim to fame, the thing that made him mostly unique among the crew, is absent in this movie. Supposedly, this was because of either animation limitations back in the 60s or budgetary constraints, but I can’t buy that. Joe’s acceleration powers should be really easy to animate. You just animate running and freeze everything else. Hell, sometimes you don’t even have to show everything frozen. There are plenty of moments where they show 009 using his accelerator and choose to put him over a black background. Heck, you don’t even have to do that. Just make off like he looks like he’s teleporting.
But 009 is still heralded as the best cyborg of the line because he supposedly has all of the powers of the previous cyborgs in the line, even though we know that’s not true. In fact, he actually might have fewer powers in common with the other cyborgs as he does in the manga because it’s possible 002 kept his, admittedly weaker, accelerator.
009 passes the test with flying colors after downing the plane by ripping it apart with his bare hands and causing it to crash. He’s met with the other 00 Cyborgs as well as a slew of other Black Ghost operatives, including Dr. Gilmore.
001 looks okay. I think he looks a bit too large, but overall, he’s designed pretty accurately, barring his hair color which is brown here. His hair color’s not technically inaccurate since it fluctuated throughout the series, but he’s usually known for his silver hair. Sadly, 001 also got a major power downgrade in the movie as his only power is telepathy. He kept his heightened intellect as well, but his telekinesis seems to be entirely gone.
His telepathy is largely useless here as well because they also gave him the ability to TALK. Why they did that when it gave them an excuse to not animate his speech is beyond me.
They took the ultimate deus ex machina from Cyborg 009 and basically turned him into a pretty useless cyborg baby. I wonder if this nerf at least allows him to avoid that pesky weakness of needing to sleep for 15 days straight.
002 looks way too angry. They elongated his face upwards and slanted it forwards to give him this almost comically angry face. They also gave him brown hair instead of his usual red hair, and they, for some reason, added a hook to his nose.
003 looks quite a bit different. Her hair is much longer, and she’s now brunette instead of a blonde. She also has INSANELY HUGE and VERY CREEPY blue eyes. Even for anime, and even for Ishinomori’s typical style, they’re way too big. I think they did this to highlight that her senses were her main powers, but no one else has any physical attributes changed to reflect their powers, so I’m left to believe that 003 is either an alien or a My Little Pony.
004 has a horrid haircut. It’s not even like an actual haircut. It’s like someone took the clay pot they made in art class and plopped it on his head. His original hair color is meant to be gray/silver. 004 actually has powers added to him. They gave him missiles in his elbows in addition to the ones he usually has in his knees, and both hands house machine gun fingers instead of just one. I like this change because it makes him a little more badass.
005 looks pretty decent. Some shots make him look stretched out, though. Also, his face markings were changed a little.
006 was basically drawn to be even more stereotypical than he already was. They darkened his skin just slightly, kinda deflated his face and gave him a Fu Manchu mustache instead of the thin handlebar-esque one he typically sports.
007 is Lil’ 007, only his head is kinda caved in for some reason. His powers are left alone, which only muddies the limited animation/budgetary constraints excuse for 009’s lack of accelerator even more. How is it easier/cheaper to animate a character who constantly transforms into other things than it is to animate a character with super speed? Or did they allocate all of their budget towards animating his transformations that they didn’t have enough left over to properly animate 009’s acceleration powers?
I really think that Lil’ 007 was leaned into a bit hard with this movie. He gets basically as much screentime as 009 and he gets a big dramatic hero moment in the end, complete with speech. He’s also the only one, besides Joe and Francoise, who gets his fate explained in the epilogue. They really wanted to push this movie towards kids. The tone is noticeably lighter with more comedic moments and the fact that the new war that develops later in the movie is between two fictional countries – The Caesar Republic and the country of Divine – instead of two real ones.
008…….*sigh* Poor 008 can’t catch a frickin’ break.
He already had a problematic design by default, but look at this.
His lips take up half his face, and his nose was enlarged by about 700%. What the hell were they thinking when they did this to him?
They convince 009 to come with them, Dr. Gilmore acting as a hostage (he’s in on it and helped orchestrate their escape out of guilt.) and a massive battle ensues between the rebelling cyborgs and Black Ghost. They’re confronted with the usual suspects in this franchise; faceless thugs with laser guns, tanks and fighter planes.
They steal one of Black Ghost’s fighter jets and take off. 009 is able to pilot the plane flawlessly. 001 explains that he was already a masterful racecar driver, and his cybernetic brain enhanced his driving/piloting skills, allowing him to be an expert with any vehicle instantly. That actually does make a lot of sense, and I’ll take that as being his unique power over the others.
It’s weird how some of them have powers that correlate to their own personal stories, but some of them don’t. Like 006 has fire powers, which greatly help him in his later career as a chef. 007 can transform into anything, which is something very reflective of an actor. 004 and his wife were shot up and blown to hell, so he’s loaded up with guns, missiles and explosives. But no one else really has powers that correlate to their personalities or stories. That would’ve been pretty neat.
Anyhoo, it’s during this aerial battle that we get to see all of the 00 Cyborgs’ powers on display. It’s a really cool moment and battle. They’re forced to take an emergency landing on a nearby island.
It seems like they’re in the clear, but 003 quickly points out that there are spy dolphins nearby, transmitting their location to the enemy. 009 kills the spy dolphin, but a whole slue of enemy robot underwater dinosaurs with missiles in their throats attack. Ya know, typical Tuesday.
009, 002 and 004 take them out in a really exciting battle, but they’re still not done.
003, for some reason, sounds really happy to share the news that they’re being approached by a whole fleet of fighter jets and ships. She’s smiling and everything. The voice acting combined with the smiling leads me to believe some wires were definitely crossed with the intended tone of this scene.
The amount of firepower that Black Ghost is sending their way is, honestly, way overboard. Look at this insanity.
And this isn’t even showing the numerous submarines chasing them.
All of this just to retrieve or destroy the cyborgs. The money that they spent just launching all of those planes and ships would probably cover the expenses on making nine new cyborgs and just letting these ones go. I get that they might not want this technology to get out to the general public, but still.
009 knows they can’t fight all of that firepower, so he concocts a plan to steal one of their subs.
Somehow 008 looks even worse in this shot.
009, 007 and 008 head underwater to defeat the other spy dolphins and steal themselves a sub. Cue extended scene of Lil’ 007 shenanigans, including turning into a birthday cake that says “Happy Birthday Day”….???
Happy Birthday Dan? I dunno.
Anyway, screw that little punchline. 008, you’re up!
To his credit, even though this is his lone time to shine in this movie, shine he does. He zooms around the sub so fast that it starts disrupting their equipment, and when he reaches the nose, he simply stops the sub dead in its tracks with his bare hands.
That was so badass, even the doors of the sub are going “Dang!”
009 attaches a transmitter to their sub that tricks them into surfacing. 008 is such a baller that he’s just standing on top of the sub smoking a pipe when they come up.
009 and 008 force the Black Ghost operatives out of the sub and take it for themselves. When the whole team is aboard, 009 has 003 send out a Morse code message to Black Ghost claiming that sub number 557 has been commandeered by the cyborgs when they’re really on sub 556.
557 gets the shit bombed out of them from above and below, killing everyone on board.
Good job, guys. We immediately went from peacefully acquiring a Black Ghost sub to turning a dozen people into chum in one scene. Simply amazing.
009: “That went well.” It sure did, you loony.
Don’t get me wrong, I know that they did that to distract Black Ghost and make them think that they were dead, but the 00 Cyborgs are supposed to be largely against killing. They typically only kill as a last resort. That’s why so many of their enemies are robots. And that’s why 001 made a point in the beginning that the planes that were following them were merely drones, even if they implied they were being piloted by people considering a bunch of Black Ghost soldiers were ordered to head to the planes to pursue the cyborgs. They wanted the green light to cause a bunch of destruction without the implications that they were slaughtering people. 006 was fully MELTING PLANES IN MIDAIR. No one wants to imagine the people in there melting like candles on the surface of Mercury.
For anyone thinking the sub may have also been a drone, they show the people inside as it’s being attacked.
Since Black Ghost is off their tails, they decide to head to Green Reef – a secret island hideout/laboratory belonging to Gilmore where not even Black Ghost can find them.
After a small time skip, we see Francoise and Joe relaxing on a cliffside as the sun sets. Joe says it’s only a matter of time before Black Ghost finds them. They should take the initiative and strike at them first, hopefully taking them down once and for all.
Francoise, however, vehemently refuses. She is tired of war, she’s tired of fighting, and she’s definitely tired of death. She shares her backstory with Joe, explaining that she was a successful ballerina until WWII arrived in France. After a very dramatic montage of the attacks, we learn that Francoise’s parents were both killed in the war, which is why she hates it so much.
I actually love this change. It adds so much more to her character, explains where her parents are and gives her a very good reason to already hate war and fighting long before the others do (Well, except 004.) The fact that she still also has the reason of her heightened senses forcing her to see and hear every atrocity of war that happens within 50 kilometers of her makes her situation all the more horrific and tragic.
After hearing Francoise’s story, Joe responds in the best way possible……by giving her a big ol’ smile.
I really think there was a disconnect between the artists and writers somewhere.
Joe convinces her to rejoin the fight by telling her that, if they don’t stop Black Ghost, then more people will suffer like she did. It’s rather open and shut, but the entire thing makes for a big romantic moment for the two of them.
When we next see Black Ghost, they’re preparing for their next scheme. In order to draw the 00 Cyborgs out of hiding, they’re going to send two fictional nations into war – the Caesar Republic, which I think is meant to reference the Roman Republic, and Divine….which…I don’t know what that’s referencing, if anything at all. There’s no information on this stuff on the Fandom page or the Wiki or any other source.
The best I could find was Carthage, which was the real Roman Republic’s biggest enemy, but I can’t find the connection of the names. Carthage means “New town” which doesn’t sound very ‘divine’ to me, so…..*shrug* Maybe they just bullshitted some names, or maybe I’m a geographical dummy, I dunno.
The troops for Black Ghost are being lead by some new character who looks like a huge naked goblin.
His name is Beagle.
And no, you can’t take him seriously because of both of those facts.
To make it even less plausible to be scared of this guy, he has a cat that he strokes menacingly. Bonus: This cat is meant to be an evil version of Tom from Tom and Jerry. And if you don’t get that the first couple times you see the cat, don’t worry, near the end of the movie 007 will turn into a carbon copy of Jerry so they can have a nice comedic chase.
The Fandom page explains that Tom and Jerry was just reaching Japanese shores at this time, so it was probably just meant to be further grasping at that young child audience. I also believe the manga makes another Tom and Jerry reference during the Mythos arc.
The 00 Cyborgs learn the news of this burgeoning war, so they decide to head to the battlefield to put a stop to Black Ghost’s evil manipulative ways.
009 calls upon 003, 6 and 7 for the mission. Leaving 001, 2, 4, 5 and 8 on shore doing nothing for some reason.
Why does 009 only take three people with him, you may ask? Because it’s hard and expensive to animate nine people in battle conditions, silly. And they’ve already done it twice, so we gotta cut some expenses.
However, I really have to wonder why he chose this lineup specifically. 003 I get because she can get recon easily and from a distance. Lil’ 007 I guess I get because he’s also good in covert situations and spying. But why 006? And why not any of the others, especially 008 considering they’re heading off on a submarine? Actually, put that last question in your back pocket. We’re going to bring that back up in a few minutes.
When they reach the shore of the Caesar Republic, 003 overhears a Black Ghost operative making a deal for weapons with one of their military leaders. As they continue to spy on them, 003 is suddenly just grabbed by a pair of metallic black arms and kidnapped right from under the noses of the other three.
Which is bullshit.
For god’s sake 003, your only use is to see and hear things that the others can’t. You’re unofficially known as the radar of the 00 Cyborg team. You’re telling me a cyborg or robot or what have you sneaked up behind you – in the goddamn woods – and was able to grab you without you making a sound? Come on.
The other three are able to tail her in the submarine by tracking a beacon in her headband, but Beagle shows up to stop them with his mind-controlled giant octopus.
How much would you believe me if I said this is actually mirroring a plot point from the manga? Actually, only partially because the one in the manga was just super aggressive because of radiation from the war polluting the ocean.
Worried their sub will be crushed by the creature, they head out to fight it.
006, while underwater, shoots flames at the octopus numerous times.
See why I’m confused about bringing 006 along but not 008?
Apparently, fire can exist underwater in the right circumstances. All you need to do is force oxygen, fuel and heat together, but 1) I don’t know if 006 has the means to do that. As far as I’ve ever known, 006’s fire breath works on the same principle that a flamethrower does. The fuel is thrown/expelled and then ignited. With people who ‘breathe fire’ it’s the same thing. They keep fuel in their mouths, hold up a flaming stick and spit the fuel out on the fire to create the stream. But 006 has no method of delivering the oxygen as far as I know, so I can’t see this working.
And 2) even if he could create fire underwater, I doubt he could make it into an accurately shot stream like that.
Anyway, this poor octopus is blown apart, sliced up and even has one of his tentacles ground up with a grater, which is nightmarish to think about. The idea of grinding up the limbs of any creature is gross enough, but the grater in question was Lil’ 007. I can’t imagine the feeling of limbs being ground up in what is basically my torso……
Once the octopus is defeated….
Lil’ 007: “Something else is coming!”
009: “Not just sharks….sharks with guided missiles!”
We’ve already seen these sharks in the manga before, but there’s something about these lines that really makes me want to re-embrace what a beautiful amalgamation of genius and goofy nonsense this franchise can be sometimes.
So they start blowing up the missile sharks, which is a cool sentence to say, but poor sharks. These animals aren’t doing anything wrong, they’re just being controlled or manipulated by Black Ghost and yet they all have to suffer such horrible fates.
Meanwhile, someone else is suffering a horrible fate – 003 is going under the knife again to alter her brain so she’ll be fully controlled by Black Ghost…..which just brings up a huge issue with this entire franchise that I’ve already discussed a little before – why don’t they just mind-control them entirely? They must have the technology. Weren’t they even working with Ivan’s father, Gamo, who worked exclusively with technology involving the brain? Instead they just hope that these people they kidnapped and mutilated and had their lives ruined forever will just hop up and say “Well, golly gee, Mr. Black Ghost, I sure will be your tool of perpetual war!”
In the manga, it takes them until 0013 before they finally realize that they should put some failsafes in these cyborgs, but even then it kinda backfires on them.
By the way, they actually do perform the surgery, and she’s not only fully mind-controlled later, but she basically turns into a weird monster for some reason? More on that later.
The trio reach the shores of Phantom Island. Some robot snakes show up and attack the three.
*the robot snake breathes fire towards 009*
009: “Are these things robots?”
No, no, 009. These are rare Firebending Snakes. You must have missed Phantom Island and accidentally landed on Shuhon Island.
Sadly, none of the 00 Cyborgs beyond 001-009 are shown in this movie, but we do get a brief encounter with a robot that looks and acts an awful lot like 0011. However, it’s not even clear if this robot spider is actually a cyborg. He has about two lines and then dies.
Something else weird about 006 – The robot shoots fire at them, and even though 006 is meant to withstand insanely high temperatures, he still reacts to the fire like it’s too hot even for him, which I sincerely doubt.
Once the snakes are destroyed, Lil’ 007 splits off from the group to infiltrate the base by himself. 009 and 006 go another way and find 003 unconscious and tied to a chair. When they wake her up, they’re shocked to find her face all monster-fied and that this whole thing was a trap.
I was really shocked to see that they actually did go through with the surgery on 003. The last shot of the surgery scene did suggest that they were seconds away from cutting into her, but a surgery to make her a mindless slave is something you’d think would get interrupted by the heroes.
Also, I guess they altered her height real quick too because she’s towering over these Black Ghost soldiers. Either that or Black Ghost set up a recruitment drive in a middle school.
Beagle and his goons corner 009 and 006. One of the soldiers conveys to Beagle that they caught 007 as well. They’re about to have the same procedure performed on them when the soldier from before attacks Beagle. Surprise! It’s Lil’ 007 in disguise!
Cue the overly long heroic speech they let Lil’ 007 have for some reason.
After completely demolishing Black Ghost’s forces so easily it’s almost sad (and bear in mind that it’s only three of the nine 00 Cyborgs fighting them) 009, 6 and 7 corner Beagle. They think they’ve won, believing Beagle to be the big boss of the entire organization, but Beagle reveals that he’s not actually the final boss. He’s one of those annoying decoy final bosses who eats up all of your resources right before they throw you into the REAL final boss fight that comes out of nowhere.
At this point, I was getting really excited because I thought they’d reveal Skull here….but no. He’s not in this movie at all.
Instead, the real final boss is not given a name. He’s just Black Ghost Leader….Also, he’s not even given an original design. They took the design of the central hub of 0012 and made that the design of the Black Ghost Leader.
To say I was disappointed would be a massive understatement. You traded Skull, one of the most iconic villains in classic anime/manga, and traded him for a brain in an upside-down salad bowl.
BGL immediately kills Beagle for failing him, and then he explains to the cyborgs that he’s been around much longer than they think he has. He was responsible for the first two World Wars. He very easily triggers these wars with just a little manipulation. He feeds off of greed and the pain and suffering of war. He even states that he’s not human, which is something reinforced by the fact that he uses the term ‘human’ as a derogatory term. He also says that he didn’t create himself, or I guess more to the point that he didn’t start out like a normal being and then eventually became corrupted into the being he is now. He came into existence as an embodiment of the greed of humankind, which I guess is why his organization is so set on war profiteering instead of being a ‘take over the world’ type deal.
But that just begs the question as to where the brain came from and why he rides a giant crockpot if he’s just the embodiment of greed. Seems a little inconvenient, is all.
You can argue back and forth about who Skull really was – in no iteration do we ever learn of his backstory – but he was a cyborg who was constantly getting upgrades that left him as the most advanced cyborg, which is why the final battle with him is such a big deal. His character design is very imposing, even with his manga version’s sadface look, and, as his name also suggests, his presence just screams ‘death.’
I just can’t understand why they used 0012’s central hub as the design of BGL here. 0012’s actual hook was that she was a sentient immobile murder house. If you take that away, her design is in no way intimidating.
BGL decides to use 003 to finish off the cyborgs using a special laser gun that can take them out with one shot. He traps them within a super strong metal box and sends 003 in. However, 009 strongarms her, accidentally causing her to shoot the glass surrounding the brain of BGL, which for some reason causes the rest of his robot body to start blowing up. Flawless design there.
That’s another silly aspect of this design. His brain is obviously his weak spot, so why does he keep it in a glass case on top of the robot instead of secured in the middle of this hulking behemoth so it’s as safe as possible? Again, it made a little sense in the manga because 0012’s house was protecting her central hub and her brain.
003’s back to normal again somehow, which is very confusing. You guys operated on her brain, yet you made her mind-control completely reliant on the integrity of a brain in a jar? Also, why do the changes to her face instantly go away when she’s freed?
Anyway, BGL is not going to die quietly. He has an H-bomb hidden on the island that will explode in five minutes. That’s right. He’s going to kill himself, all of his surviving subordinates and destroy all of his equipment in an H-bomb explosion just to kill four of the nine 00 Cyborgs. That’s some crazy nonsensical dedication. Oh well, at least he’s giving them a five minute head start.
They’ll need that head start too because they need to break out of the metal box. Using 006’s flames and the lasers of their super guns, they slowly manage to weaken the metal enough to break it by throwing a giant…..electronic box thing, I dunno what that is.
When they get to shore, they find that their sub is being commandeered by Black Ghost operatives. They won’t allow them to board the sub, but the rest of the cyborgs arrive to blast them away and save the others.
002: “We came because we figured something like this might happen.”
Then…why didn’t you just go with them in the first place?
They escape, utilizing the sub’s ability to turn into a plane, and watch as the island is disintegrated. Black Ghost is seemingly gone now. And the narrator explains that peace came to the world once more….So…Divine and the Caesar Republic stopped warring because Black Ghost disappeared?
The movie wraps up with an epilogue that explains that the cyborgs “returned to their original forms” which, huh? That’s impossible. I’m pretty sure they’re still cyborgs. And they returned to their homes and old lives. Joe returned to being a racecar driver, Francoise returned to her life as a ballerina, Lil’ 007 returned to his life as a ‘mischievous brat’ in London, and no one else matters enough to mention.
Just know that they all returned to their normal, happy lives, but they still knew that one day they might need to return to action again should Black Ghost resurface. They can only pray that will never happen.
And that was Cyborg 009’s first movie, and I really enjoyed it a lot. It was exciting, it was fun, it was a little funny, and as far as retelling the events of the origin story while also wrapping up the entire Black Ghost conflict in one barely over one hour long movie goes, it did a pretty good job. It obviously felt kinda rushed, and I’m really, really disappointed that basically every cyborg barring 009, 003 and Lil’ 007 had to be completely amputated, in terms of character exploration anyway. They did get some really cool moments in battle, and at least they went through the unique powers of each, but I’m really disappointed that we don’t at least get some nice non-battle moments with them or even learn their real names. Hell, we don’t even learn Lil’ 007’s real name despite them shoving him into the spotlight quite a bit.
They also didn’t do that good of a job giving them distinct personalities. Everyone, again, barring the main three, act about the same. Joe takes the role as leader, Francoise is the emotional one and Lil’ 007 is the clown. Everyone else is just a nice, brave and responsible person. 006 is kinda goofy, but that’s about it.
They crammed a lot of cool enemies and battles into this movie, which I appreciate greatly, but I actually kinda wish they’d toned it down a tiny bit or made the movie longer because it was almost too much stuff going on too quickly.
The animation was decent for the time. It’s an anime from the 60s, you’re not going to get anything too impressive, but some shots looked pretty damn good……and some looked really laughable.
There’s a shot near the end where 009 and 003 are fighting each other, and Lil’ 007 and 006 are just bobbing their heads as a reaction, and it reminded me of a badly animated ‘What is Love?’ meme gif.
The music’s pretty good. Very fitting and impacting. Nothing horribly memorable, but still good.
All in all, I had a lot of fun with this movie, and I’d gladly watch it again. I’d also suggest it as a fun watch for any fellow Cyborg 009 fan or anyone who doesn’t mind some classic anime cheese. It’ll be a little while before we cover the sequel to this movie, Cyborg 009: Monster Wars, but I look forward to covering that and seeing what else these movies have to offer.
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