Cyborg 009 Unedited and Uncut Anime DVD Review
2 Disc Widescreen Edition (2001)
- March 10, 2010 -
Cyborg 009 is an anime released in 2001 based on a manga serialized in several different Japanese magazines. The story is about nine regular humans who had been kidnapped and turned into cyborgs to be weapons for the evil Black Ghost organization. They each have different abilities and work together to try and bring down the Black Ghost organization so they can try to lead normal lives again.
The animation makes this series look even older than it is. I know it’s anime, but this is REALLY cartoony. Some of the other cyborgs remind me of that hamburger fellow from Popeye. The features are really exaggerated on the guys to look silly and the girls have ultra emphasized eyelashes. Young kids might like this, but teenagers and adults would quickly lose interest because there is no emotional story or dramatic action to draw you in that would be even close to on par with Naruto, Fullmetal Alchemist, or Neon Genesis Evangelion. The coolest thing about this series is the music. The opening and closing themes are both really catchy and have a bit of a dance J-Pop vibe. The music is way more up-to-date than the series itself.
A little about the story and characters. We begin with 009 waking up and discovering he is a Cyborg and trying to learn his new abilities as he escapes the Black Ghost compound. He is guided by the telepathic voice of 001 which turns out to be a baby when he meets up with the rest of the group 001 through 008. They convince him the bad guys are bad (which is easy since they are being attacked) and to join them. 009 has one of the coolest powers in the group, he has an accelerator button that can slow down time around him so he can move much faster.
002 has a pointy nose and an occasionally abrasive personality and can fly. 003 is the woman and all she does is take care of the baby and have psychic predictions and needs to be saved a lot. 004 is depressed and apparently has weapons in his fingers? 005 is apparently supposed to be Native American but he looks like Mr. T and is the biggest and strongest. 006 is a Chinese chef who can blow fire. 007 can push a button and disguise himself as anything or anyone. And 008 looks like a bad black-face stereotype but with a dark gray face and can swim underwater without holding his breath. You’d think as robots they could all do that…
According to Wiki, these characters all have very detailed backgrounds, motivations, and complex journeys to go on since this manga series apparently originated in the 1960s which would explain a lot about the old-fashioned and out-dated appearance of the characters. Even though they were animated in 2001, they appear to be drawn out of a much older style less impressive than modern anime.
The plot and dialogue is very simple. Clear cut good guys and bad guys and a old professor helping them. After the big conflict of escaping, they end of facing a series of new cyborgs one at a time. Cyborg 0010 has crazy electricity and all the other Cyborgs have to work together to win. And when they beat him….next is 0011 and 0012 and 0013. This can very quickly become tedious. They try to introduce a little more emotion (0012 is only trying to beat them so he can return to his family, 009 has a past history with 0013) but it’s just so undeveloped. I don’t know if the series gets magically better from here on out, but I’m not motivated to watch more, that’s for sure! Why does each new cyborg have to have the double 0’s? Why not 011? No clue.
If you want to learn more about the background of the characters in the original manga, here’s the wiki article I found with more detail: Wiki article on Cyborg 009
These two discs consist of the first eight episodes of the series that are unedited and uncut. Unedited and uncut? What would they have cut out, pray tell? Other than the bad guys talking about needing to “kill” the cyborgs, there isn’t much notable violence, no blood, guts, gore, swearing, sexual situations, anything. So I guess it’s a fancy way of saying they didn’t have to trim it down for commercials? The extras only consist of weblinks and theatrical trailers.