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Cyborg 009 (サイボーグ 009 Saibōgu Zero-Zero-Nain?) is a manga created by Shotaro Ishinomori. It was serialized in many different magazines, including Monthly Shōnen King, Weekly Shōnen Magazine, Shōnen Big Comic, COM, Shōjo Comic, Weekly Shōnen Sunday, Monthly Shōnen Jump and Monthly Comic Nora in Japan. Ten volumes of the manga were published in English by Tokyopop with all the sound effects left out untranslated; as of 2006 it is out of print though the ten volumes comprising its translation have been put up for digital distribution on Comixology.


In the mid 1960s, nine humans were kidnapped by the evil Black Ghost organization to undergo human experimentation, which resulted in nine cyborgs, with each one having superhuman powers. The nine cyborgs band together to fight for their freedom and to stop Black Ghost. The evil organization's goal is to start the next world war, by supplying any rich buyers with their choice of countless weapons of war and mass destruction.

After the destruction of the original Black Ghost organization,the nine cyborgs also fought a variety of threats, from mad scientists to supernatural beings, ancient civilizations, and the Neo Black Ghost.


Aside from the nine 00 cyborgs, the manga and its adaptations have a wide cast of characters, with each one having their own interpretation of certain personalities and plot details.



Phase 1

The first publication of the manga was serialized in Weekly Shōnen King (Shōnen Gahosha). It depicts the origin story of 009 and the escape from Black Ghost (Birth arc), followed by the "Assassins", "Wandering", and "Vietnam" arcs. Ishinomori began the "Mythos" arc with the intention of it being the ultimate showdown between the 00 Cyborg team and the eponymous Mythos cyborgs, but a change in the editorial department lead to the series being cancelled and him having to rush the story to an ending in the summer of 1965.

Through 1965 and 1966, Separate Shōnen King ran "Cyborg Soldier" side-stories which included the origins of 001 through 008, "Empty War", "The Aurora Strategy", "The Golden Lion", and "A Phantom Dog". Cyborg 009 would briefly return to Weekly Shōnen King for the one-shot "The Man in the High Castle", but would switch publishers soon after.

Phase 2

The Underground Empire Yomi Arc. commenced in Weekly Shōnen Magazine (Kodansha) alongside the release of the 1966 film, with Ishinomori first writing a non-canon "Prologue" story modeled more after the film to introduce readers to the characters. The publisher switch would give Ishinomori the ability to bring the manga to a finish, and his editor Teruo Miyahara was receptive to his ideas. The Yomi arc was highly influenced by Edgar Rice Burroughs' Earth's Core series, including an expedition to the center of the Earth with a drill tank and a reptile race who can use telepathy and grow wings. The story ends with the final battle against Black Ghost.

In the final sequence of Yomi, 009 and 002 burn up in the Earth's atmosphere and are seen as a shooting star by two small children, one who wishes for a toy gun the other for world peace (a scene reminiscent of Ray Bradbury's Kaleidoscope). While Ishinomori intended this as the ending, reader revolt and anguished fan-letters convinced him to extend the series.

Phase 3

Two months later, Cyborg 009 was restarted in Adventure King (Akita Shoten). In the first arc, Monster Island, it is explained that 001 saved 009 and 002 from their deaths with his teleportation at the last minute.

The Adventure King run included six story arcs: Monster Island, Middle East, Immigration, Song of Lorelei, Bottom of the Sea, and Angels. The series abruptly ended during the Angels arc, which was to be its new finale. Ishinomori would explain that he fell into a writer's block, and needed more time to plot out the final story.

Phase 4

Ishinomori attempted a new version of the Angels story, titled Battle with the Gods. It was serialized in COM (Mushi Production). However, he was soon deluged with critical and angry letters from fans that were confused by the more adult direction and anachronistic storytelling that the arc had, and he opted to discontinue the story.

Ishinomori would not resume the series for a few years after this, though he did illustrate two one-shots for the Fun Kindergarten and Medium One magazines.

Phase 5

Three stories were serialized in Shōjo Comic (Shogakukan) through 1975-1976: The City of Wind, The Snow Carnival, and Edda. The stories deal with mysterious and mythologically-based women challenging the 00 Number Cyborgs.

Phase 6

The series jumped around to various publishers through 1976 to 1978 in a series of one-shots: Deinonychus (Monthly Shōnen Jump (Shueisha)), Green Hole (Play Comic (Akita Shoten)), Mysterious Star (Adventure King (Akita Shoten), and Ghost Island (Weekly Shōnen Magazine (Kodansha).

Through 1977 to 1979, the UnderseaPyramid Arc was serialized in Monthly Manga Shōnen (Asahi Sonorama), experiencing a brief hiatus through November to December 1978.

At the time, it was intended to be the penultimate story-line, with a revised Battle with the Gods to resume afterward as the final arc. However, this would not come to pass.

Phase 7

The series got a relaunch in Weekly Shōnen Sunday (Shogakukan) to run alongside the 1979 anime series, causing Ishinomori's plans for the final chapter to be put in hold.

The Neo Black Ghost arc ran through 1979 to 1981, consisting of various self-contained short stories and arcs related to the cyborgs' battles against the Neo Black Ghost. The story is set approximately anywhere from 15 to just under 20 years after the 00 cyborgs' origin, and the personalities and conduct of the cyborgs are depicted as more adult.

However, the continuity is also shown to operate on a "sliding timeline", with the cyborgs' origin now implied to have been in 1970 while the events in this period of the manga take place in "198x".

Phase 8

The People Drifting Between Space and Time was serialized in Monthly Comic Nora (Gakken). It was written as a sequel to the Immigration Arc, and meant as the penultimate story-line, not sharing continuity with the Weekly Shonen Sunday run. The Count of St. Germain from the Undersea Pyramid Arc appears, but his design is different. 003's brother Jean noticeably reappears, with a different design as well.

Ishinomori's death made this the last work of the series, although it is was not intended to be the final chapter by any means.

Between this and the "Phase 9" period, a color one-shot titled Emergency Simulation 1992 ran in the New Years' edition of the Sankei Shimbun.

Phase 9: The Posthumous Conclusion

In August 1997, Ishinomori had finally started to plot out the final chapter to Cyborg 009, with the plot initially to take place in 1999 and on the verge of an apocalypse for the approaching year of 2000. This was later modified through his drafts so the plot would take place in 2012; this is where he decided the full title "2012 009 conclusion GOD'S WAR".

GOD'S WAR was planned to be released as a light novel series and a 10-volume manga installment to run in Media Factory's Comic Alpha. The ailing Ishinomori, who had been undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma, insisted on trying to plot out whatever parts of the arc he could while ill, using at least 20 notebooks to write down his ideas. He had also approached the author Kazuhiko Shimamoto with the offer for him to co-write the arc, as well as head a reboot of "Skull Man" that he gave him free reign with.

Ishinomori had figured the GOD'S WAR project would kick off in 2000, though sadly, this was to not be the case. He would pass away on January 28, 1998, three days after his 60th birthday. Comic Alpha would also go defunct, making the publisher deal for any author who picked up the project an impossibility.

Eventually, the GOD'S WAR project would be resumed by Ishinomori's eldest son Joe Onodera, who released the first light novel in 2006 and the second and third installments in 2012 (after a six-year writer's block and hiatus). Onodera controversially took massive liberties with his father's concept notes, adhering to some portions but throwing out the rest, though also having to profess to writing his own material due to Ishinomori having not plotted out specific parts.

A manga adaptation of these GOD'S WAR light novels would run from 2012 to 2014, being compiled into 5 tankobon volumes by Shogakukan.

Manga Volumes

Written and illustrated by Shotaro Ishinomori; serialized and published in Japan through various companies; published in North America by Tokyopop.

The most speculated reason among American fans for the discontinuation of Cyborg 009 in America at volume 10 was due to Ishinomori's intent to have the Yomi arc be the ending, however, the low sales may have also contributed to Tokyopop cutting the series off. Currently, the rights to the manga have been "frozen" by Ishimori Productions, who refuse to let it be re-licensed and re-translated owing to the low sales and "cultural difference" issues.

The Tokyopop release is based on the 2003 reprints by Media Factory's "MF Comics" label, and follows their chronology.


Asahi Sonorama Drama Albums (1965-1968)

Through the years of 1965-1968, Asahi Sonorama published four "Sonosheet" drama LPs, which contained manga drawn by Ishinomori that would illustrate each story.

The first of the drama albums is notable for predating the 1960s anime works, and has a much different voice cast. The subsequent albums would use the film cast, followed by the 1968 TV Cast.

Cast (1965)

1960s Movies

The first Cyborg 009 film was released on July 21, 1966. It was produced by: Hiroshi Ōkawa (uncredited) and directed by Yugo Serikawa

Cyborg 009: Monster Wars (サイボーグ009 怪獣戦争 Saiboogu Zero-Zero-Nain Kaijuu Sensou?) was the second film for Cyborg 009 and released on March 19, 1967, preceding the wrap-up of the Yomi arc. It was produced by Hiroshi Ōkawa and directed by Yugo Serikawa.


1968 TV Anime

A black-and-white anime adaptation was released on April 5, 1968 on NET-TV and ended on September 27, 1968 with a total of 26 episodes.


1979 Radio Drama

A radio drama was produced for NBS's Kirin Radio Theater from January 29 to February 23, 1979.


1979 TV Anime

A color TV anime for Cyborg 009 was released on March 6, 1979 on TV Asahi and ended on March 25, 1980 with a total of 50 episodes. It was directed by Ryosuke Takahashi.


1980 Movie

A new anime film was released on December 20, 1980. It was titled Cyborg 009: Legend of the Super Galaxy and was directed by Masayuki Akehi. It was not connected to the 1979 series, although many of the actors did reprise their roles, save for 001, 008, and Dr. Gilmore.


2001 TV Anime

A third Anime for Cyborg 009 was released on October 14, 2001 on TV Tokyo and ended on October 13, 2002 with a total of 51 Episodes. It was titled "Cyborg 009: The Cyborg Soldier"


2009 Radio Drama

A second radio drama, entitled Cyborg 009: Birth, was aired in two parts on September 21 and 28, 2009.


Part 1
  • Gamo Whiskey: Hirohiko Kakegawa
  • Erika: Kyoko Terase
  • Dancer: Isao Teramoto
  • Hilda: Akiko Sekine
  • Slave Trader: Keiichirō Yamamoto
  • Boy: Kohta Nemoto
  • Jailer: Masaru Suzuki
Part 2
  • Scientist C: Yasuhiko Tokuyama
  • Crewman A: Masaru Suzuki
  • Crewman B: Kohta Nemoto
  • Crewman C: Keiichirō Yamamoto
  • Robot: Isao Teramoto

2009 "Underwater Pyramid" Live Drama Reading

On October 11, 2009 at the CC Lemon Hall, several voice actors took part in a live drama reading of the Underwater Pyramid arc. This event would be released on DVD along with the 2009 "Birth" radio drama.


2012 Film: 009 RE: Cyborg


2015 OVA series: Cyborg 009 vs. Devilman


International releases

The 1979 version aired in Italy in the 1980s, becoming memorable and popular with Italian viewers. "Legend of the Super Galaxy" would later be dubbed in 2001.

The 2001 version aired on MBC 3 several times starting from 2005 and became extremely popular with Arab viewers.

The 1967 movie was aried in Mexico, and years later, the 2001 version aried on Toonami in 2004, and was later replayed on Cadena Tres in 2007, and was quite popular with Mexican viewers.

North American releases

The 1979 series was broadcast with English subtitles on Japanese-language television in Hawaii, California, and the New York City area. The English subtitles were produced by San Francisco-based, Fuji Television, which did not broadcast the series as part of its Japanese programming on KEMO-TV.

Legend of the Super Galaxy was dubbed in 1986 through Toho and the Tokyo-based Frontier Enterprises, and the poorly-received English dub was first released on home video in 1988 in a shortened version by Celebrity Home Entertainment's "Just for Kids" line, before getting an uncut release in 1995 by Best Film and Video.

The 2001 version was licensed by Sony Pictures USA and dubbed into English through Point.360, utilizing the voice cast from Animaze and ZRO Limit. The first 8 episodes of the 2001 version of the show are currently available on DVD from Columbia TriStar Entertainment in both an uncut bilingual and a dub-only "cut" broadcast version, though as of 2009, none of the other episodes have become available in the US. Japanese and Hong Kong releases remain the only way to see the entire series on DVD.

As of 2015, the rights to the 2001 anime have been revealed to have also been "frozen" by Ishimori Productions, owing to them owning the rights to the characters and it having performed poorly under Sony's watch.

Video games

Three video games based on the series were released only in Japan. One of them was an action platformer released for the Super Famicom by BEC in 1994, in which each level one of the eight adult cyborgs (001 is not playable) is selected as the leader of a strike force for a particular mission and the player is allowed to choose two others to accompany them. This formula is quite similar to the NES G.I. Joe videogame.

The other game (released by Telenet Japan's subsidiary Riot) in 1993 was for the Sega CD and is also a side scroller. It reunited the voice cast from Legend of the Super Galaxy.

In 2002 Cyborg 009: The Block Kuzushi (also known as Simple Characters 2000 Series Vol. 15: Cyborg 009: The Block Kuzushi) was released for the PlayStation by Bandai.


External links

pt:Cyborg 009