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World-class sprinter Joe Shimamura is seriously injured in an accident and taken away by the Black Ghost, an agent of the sinister Merchants of Death, who intend to take over the world. The kind-hearted Professor Gilmore saves his life, and in so doing, turns him into the ninth of a series of cyborg warriors that were originally designed to carry out the Merchants' bidding all over the world but are now dedicated to stopping them at all costs.

Marrying Astro Boy to the James Bond movies, but also far ahead of The Six Million Dollar Man and X-Men, Shotaro Ishinomori's 1964 Cyborg 009 manga in Shonen Sunday was one of the original Cold War warriors-he was even succeeded in 1967 by the manga adventures of a female cyborg called One of 009. The debut of the animated version was swiftly followed by another short feature film, C009: Kaiju Wars (1967). Here, the Black Ghost uses a resurrected plesiosaur to terrorize the world, while Joe must fight spy-cyborg 0010 and the newest recruit, Plus Minus (0011).

The TV series followed in 1968, introducing many other enemies and allies, including 006, who runs a Chinese restaurant, and the wisecracking 007. In addition to the superfast Joe, each of the other cyborgs possesses one special talent, including telepathy, underwater breathing, flight, superhuman strength, the ability to breathe fire, and psychokinesis. The story was revived in 1979 for a color series, reintroducing the characters for a new audience, directed by Votoms' Takahashi and adapting previously unused story lines from the original, such as 009's adventures in space and the "Neo Black Ghost" chapters.

Much of the same crew stayed on for the 1980 movie to celebrate Ishinomori's 25th anniversary in manga publishing. C009: Legend of the Super Galaxy (aka Defenders of the Vortex) was directed by Masayuki Akehi and is the only part of the 009 franchise available in English. Featuring the tragic death of 004 (who keeps weapons stashed all over his body), the 130-minute color feature pitted Joe's gang against the evil Zoa, who intends to use a space vortex to control the world. Star Wars comic author Jeff Segal contributed to Ryuzo Nakanishi's script, though his involvement was deviously hyped in Japan as that of "the writer of Star Wars." The series was revived in 2001 on TV Tokyo as Cyborg 009: The Cyborg Soldier, a 52-episode remake under the directorship of Atsushi Kawagoe.
Series Credits
Person Name Episode Count
Yugo Serikawa

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Original US Poster Art

General Information Edit
Name Cyborg 009
Name: サイボーグ 009
Romaji: Saibōgu Zero-Zero-Nain
Publisher Toei Animation
Start Year 1968
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