Joe Shimamura, after being (sort of) framed for murder ( The police saw him next to the body and immediately assumed that he was the killer ), Mysteriously wakes up in some laboratory, to discover that he has superpowers! After escaping the laboratory, tanks, planes, and gunfire with the telepathic assistance of some mysterious person, he finds eight other people who tell him that he, along with them, were kidnapped by an evil organization called Black Ghost, that had turned them into Cyborgs, in order to create the next level of super weapon. And now, Joe, now dubbed 009, leads the team of Cyborgs in an epic battle against Black Ghost!
[Review Begins Here]
So, when digging in the 4 dollar DVD bin of your local Walgreen’s, you may come across a DVD for an anime called Cyborg 009. Now, don’t be fooled by the fact that it’s located in between some movie from the 50′s nobody has ever heard of, and Fantastic 4: The Silver Surfer ,( A crappy sequel to a crappy movie, based on a superhero team that nobody gives two shits about ). Really, it ain’t half bad. Though, I’m not gonna lie, it’s has it’s fair share of problems.
The manga this series was based on was not only created by an underling of the great Osamu Tezuka, but it was the first ever series about a superhero team! So you fans of Teen Titans, The Runaways, Power Rangers, or anything of the sort all owe it to this franchise. And yes, it was no error that I wrote franchise. This series, from its creation in 1964 to now, has warranted Two Movies, One upcoming movie, One OVA, three animes, a possible upcoming anime, two manga series, two radio dramas, and three video games. Of all that, only one manga, one movie (With the worlds worst English dub ), and one Anime( Minus the OVA) have been released stateside. (and thanks to the horrors of TokyoPop going out of business, the Manga is no longer available) Why is that? Well, I think I have a pretty good reason. The first part of that franchise released in America was the movie. Even without the ungodly horror that is the English dub (That, quite literally, sounds like one person is doing all of the voices,) the movie is famous among fans for how absolutely stupid it is. The second thing released was the Anime, however, thanks to Cartoon Network putting it in a horrible time slot (And yet, giving it the classic, awesome Toonami Promo), nobody saw it. And the last thing released was the manga. It’s a damn good manga, if a little cheesy, and a bit stupid at times. I think the main turn off was the dated art style. While I’ve grown to love this kind of style, a lot of people aren’t too fond of it. But I’m getting off track here.
The animation for the show, is pretty good. I mean it’s no Soul Eater, but then again, that series is more style than substance, so maybe that’s a good thing.There’s not much to talk about there. The English dub, is, well, both good and bad. What do I mean by this? Well, the main characters sound pretty okay. I love the voices they picked for 007/GB, 002/Jet, and 003/Francois, and while I don’t really like how 001/Ivan and 004/Albert sound, it’s more miscasting then bad voices. So that aspect is good. What’s bad then? It’s the extras. Dear god, the extras. Just look at this clip and listen away at the horrible voices! Normally, this doesn’t bother me much, but in this show, there is a ridiculous amount of extra’s, villains, and side characters that will only appear in one episode. Even Disney, Freaking DISNEY had a damn good cast for everyone when they took up Naruto: Shippuden, aside from the cuts and edits they made in order to lower the target demographic.
Also, the writing for this series was pretty weird. Sometimes they have these really genius and interesting episodes, and other times they have either boring preachy, “Oh, war sucks!” episodes, or episodes where I have no idea what the f**k I’m even looking at. The best example, is the freaking opening. For the first half, It’s kind of preachy with the wilting flower over the earth, for the second half it goes into a cool introduction thingy for the cast, and then it’s shows weird symbolic stuff. And now you know why I don’t like art house movies.
All in all, I give this show a 7/10. It can be pretty spectacular at times, but the preachy nonsense, and weirdness it sometimes has drags it down to a passing grade.
My recommended episodes are The Hero, London Fogs, and Tales of a Struggling Restaurant.