Friday, April 8, 2011

Cyborg 009 Anime Review

Cyborg 009
Saibogu Zero-Zero-Nain
Avex Mode/Columbia Tristar
Unedited & Uncut Edition - 8 episodes
160 mins. - 2 discs
$39.98 (2004)
$48.95 (2004) Vol. 1-2 Pack
$24.96 (2003-2004) Vol. 1-2/ea.
ISBN 043396025769
English/Japanese Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Atsushi Kawagoe
Studio - Avex Entertainment & Japan Vistec

Synopsis: Joe Shimamura awakens in a laboratory with a strange voice in his head warning him of danger.  He is soon battling the forces of Black Ghost, a worldwide criminal organization responsible for turning him into an ultra-powerful cyborg.  Quickly joined by eight other cyborgs along with the scientist responsible for their creation, all are united in their opposition of Black Ghost.  Joe is the ninth entry in Black Ghost's 00-series cyborgs.
Joe Shimamura wakes up in a strange laboratory
with no memoryof how he got there
Each 00 Cyborg (pronounced zero-zero) has their own special powers:
  • 001 Ivan Whisky - enhanced brain gives him several psychic abilities however he is a baby and his body must rest after exerting too much power.
  • 002 Jet Link - jet boosters in legs allowing him to reach speeds up to Mach 5 along with early version of acceleration module.
  • 003 Francoise Arnoul - only female cyborg in group and possesses enhanced sight/hearing
  • 004 Albert Heinrich - enhancements include machine gun fingertips in right hand, razor sharp fingers in left hand, and missiles in both knees/legs
  • 005 Geronimo Jr. (aka G-Junior) - amplified strength and heavily armored skin, native american
  • 006 Chang Changku - flame-breath up to 3000 degrees, excellent chef
  • 007 Great Britain - ability to morph his cellular structure at will by pressing belly-button activator, former actor
  • 008 Pyunma - mechanical lungs allowing him to breathe underwater, african
  • 009 Joe Shimamura - enhanced strength/durability and fully developed acceleration mode (with second stage)
  • Dr. Isaac Gilmore - lead scientist in the 00 Cyborg program

Joe Shimamura meets the other eight 00 cyborgs
Black Ghost continues creating 00 Cyborgs in varying forms and sends them to capture/destroy the group of renegades!
The evil Skull sends more cyborgs to destroy Joe and his group
Pros: Easily found for $5 brand new at Amazon (including s/h), diverse cast of characters w/neat cyborg (super) powers, cool techno opening/ending theme music
Joe does his best Johnny Depp impersonation
Cons: Older style animation reminiscent of Osamu Tezuka's Metropolis (without the digital special effects polish), only the first 8 episodes of a 51 episode series (no ending after episode 8, just another episode preview), storyline is somewhat dated with a hokey 'evil criminal society'
Francoise (003) holds the diminutive yet powerful Ivan (001)
Mike Tells It Straight: Get ready for bittersweet disappointment whether you like this show or not. It's nostalgic with simple, endearing characters and remains true to the source material.  If you love older anime (think Astro Boy, Gigantor) or classic-styled modern anime (Big O, Giant Robo OVA) then you'll enjoy Cyborg 009.
The cyborgs face a mechanical monster sent by Black Ghost!

Unfortunately, it's only the first 8 episodes of a much grander story and will leave you high n' dry.  If you don't like older anime then you probably won't like this one.  Considering the low entrance price it's easy to try for yourself.  I enjoyed it for the old skool animation and story.  Wish we could get the rest of the series released in North America, but it's highly unlikely at this point.  Too bad.

TO BUY and Recommendations: