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007 (Manga)

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007

Full Name

Great Britain

Kanji/Kana

グレート・ブリテン

Birth Date

4/1

Great Britain (Real name unknown), also known as 007 and Chameleon, is one of the nine protagonists of the manga Cyborg 009.

Before he was turned into a 00 Cyborg, 007 is a former actor who fell from fame and was later captured by Black Ghost. He is among the more notable members for his appearance and usually serving as comic relief.

AppearanceEdit

007 is a lanky, bald, middle-aged man with large, vertical oval-shaped eyes, an oversized mouth, and a defined nose. In the earliest chapters of the manga, his face has a slightly chameleon-esque cast to it, fitting of his nickname and giving him a bit of resemblance expression-wise to the giant lizards that the team hunt for food.

Over the later period of the manga, his facial features are toned down slightly and he is given a more realistic look, although his mouth and eyes still dramatically stretch for the purpose of sight gags.

When not in his team uniform, he can usually be seen wearing various types of suits or dress shirts and pants.

PersonalityEdit

007 usually served as the mood maker of the team, often pulling crazy antics that got him and the others in trouble at times. When pessimism was about, 007 usually changed the mood inadvertently for the better.

He has great pride in his skills as an actor, and even rehearses lines from great plays such as Shakespeare. While lively, he is serious when he wants to be, especially in battle. 007 is in a good relationship with all of the cyborgs, often working together with 009 and 004 out on the field and is good friends with 006, working together in the Chang Changku restaurant.

AbilitiesEdit

Before becoming a cyborg, he was a notable actor who could play his roles with little flaws.

After his conversion, he gained the power to shapeshift by changing the molecular arrangement of his cells after pressing a switch on his belly button. He often would discard his clothes before transforming, as the transformations are cellular, until his clothing was later modified to change with him. After properly studying a person, 007 is able to shapeshift into that person's form, and with his acting abilities, can copy their voice and mannerisms effectively. This makes 007 a great asset in espionage (or in attempting to mend arguments, as seen in the Christmas chapter "Cyborg Soldiers, For Whom Do You Fight?" when he managed to solve 004 and 002's dispute by masquerading as each of them). However, his transformations are not perfect, at times missing important features on a person and not being able to completely copy their abilities.

His shapeshifting also allows 007 to flatten himself, blend into environments, change into objects like rocks, and grow into a giant. 007 is able to effortlessly adapt to many situations and is highly versatile, activating his switch with his toe at one time.

HistoryEdit

Great Britain was once a notable actor, but had a drinking problem which cost him his career. Left with more problems, Great Britain kept going to pubs to drown out his sorrow in alcohol. He was picked up by Black Ghost agents who brought him into the 00 Cyborg program, by using a bottle of alcohol to lure 007 into their clutches.

After 009 was completed, 007 helped him and the others escape. Although his disguise of a scientist failed, his shapeshifting allowed him to infiltrate a submarine. Afterwards, the cyborgs managed to escape Black Ghost but had to deal with the assassin cyborgs sent to attack them. He usually joined 004 and 009 on other missions, such as rescuing Dr. Dolphin, as well as the fight against the Cyborg Men.

After the battle against the Mythos Cyborgs, 007 became a stage actor, using his shapeshifting abilities to perform fantastic acts. However, 009 recruited him to rejoin the team to fight against Black Ghost's next attack.

In the final battle against Black Ghost, he and 006 tried to get weapons to fight against them, as well as infiltrate the Underground Kingdom with the other cyborgs. In both instances, they wound up caught and had to be freed by the others.

When the original Black Ghost was defeated, he co-managed 006's restaurant and wound up meeting strange people (including people from the future).

GalleryEdit

NotesEdit

  • 007 at times references the popular fictional character James Bond including his nationality, codename, and bringing up Goldfinger in one chapter. Sean Connery was also cited by Ishinomori to have been part of the character design inspiration.
  • This can also be seen in the planning materials reprinted in "Cyborg 009 a la cult", where James Bond was written down as a possible name for 007, along with Shakespeare and Great Britain. Perhaps due to this, the comic accompanying the Asahi Sonorama drama album for "Monster Wars" refers to 007 as "Bond" (although by that point in canon, his name had already been set as Great Britain).
  • Early drafts for 007's character design shown in Shotaro Ishinomori's "Introduction to Manga" book show that he was initially considered to appear as more of a mutant chameleon-esque man with a long tongue and scales.
  • Though his exact age was never given in the manga, the 1979 series sets his age range at "late 40s" and so this is sometimes used as a rough placeholder.
  • There is a very strong possibility that 007 might have been the main inspiration for T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgement Day, since both characters are cyborgs that can transform themselves into any object or living being.

Changes in 007's ageEdit

Due to the release of the 1966 film adaptation, along with pressure from his Weekly Shonen King editor, Shotaro Ishinomori would up having to write a story titled "The Man in the High Castle", that was released as a one-shot to promote the upcoming film. In the chapter, 007 was supposedly "permanently" de-aged to a 9-year old boy, who had much more of a slapstick type of attack method. Historical accounts have shown that Ishinomori hated this change, as it was an executive mandate from the people financing the film to draw in children (a change that also carried over to the black-and-white 1968 series). The mindset was that a child protagonist would attract a younger audience.

This change would briefly carry through to Cyborg 009's next serialization in Weekly Shonen Magazine and a side-story in Separate Shonen Magazine. In the story "The Bomb Model Raiden", Ishinomori sourced artwork from both "The Man in the High Castle" and "Vacuum War" to create a new story, although it had inconsistencies due to 007's fluctuating age. Ishinomori was also made to write a revised version of the team's origin for the sake of new readers that had just seen the film. 007 was thus depicted as a child in this "Prologue".

007 would initially transform into his kid self once more in the start of the "Underground Empire of Yomi" arc as a sight gag, until Ishinomori dropped the idea completely. According to statements in the Cyborg 009 Complete Guide, both the retconned origin preceding Yomi and "High Castle" are not to be considered as canon, due to the child version of 007 being a factor. "The Bomb Model Raiden" and "Vacuum War" are also considered expunged from continuity.

However, despite the above intent, different publishers would later cause continuity problems with the manga when "The Man in the High Castle" was reprinted as part of the "Wandering" arc, along with "Vacuum War" and "The Bomb Model Raiden". 007's age thus seems very inconsistent in those chapters, with no explanation. The situation with the Yomi arc also becomes somewhat confusing, with the Tokyopop localization doing little to alleviate these continuity issues.

Though Ishinomori had not liked the idea of a kid 007, the popularity that the incarnation of the character had experienced via favorite character polls for the 1960s works did influence him to re-use the design for the protagonist of a short gag series titled "Cyborg-chan", featuring a young cyborg boy that could shapeshift.

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