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Cyborg 009

Full Name

Joe Shimamura

Designated No.

009

Age

23

Origin

Tokyo, Japan

Species

Cyborg

Role

Field leader

Abilities

Acceleration mode

Joe Shimamura, also known as 009, is the protagonist of the 1978 light novel Cyborg 009: SF Roman.

As written by Akiyoshi Sakai, this incarnation of 009 displays some differences to the original character by Shotaro Ishinomori, with his backstory and role.

AppearanceEdit

Joe is a young man in his early twenties with a slim yet athletic physique. He has windswept golden blond hair in a wild spiked style, the asymmetrical fringe of which usually covers one of his blue eyes. His blond hair and blue eyes make him stand out as a civilian, and are indicator of his "half-breed" status.

In combat, he wears the classic red 00 cyborg uniform with its flowing yellow scarf.

PersonalityEdit

Joe is a sensitive, troubled man whose calm exterior hides an inner despair and vengeful past, stemming right from the untimely death of his childhood friend Midori Aoba as well as having been bullied for his biracial status.

He is quick to take interest in and defend Helena from 003 and 004's suspicions, vehemently believing in her innocence as she reminds him much of Midori. This upsets 003, who has feelings for him, and in turn upsets 004, who is angry and assumes that 009 is willfully neglecting 003's feelings.

However, when Joe believes that Helena has in fact betrayed him, he abruptly and coldly shoots her, not willing to hear any explanations or "lies". Even so, he mourns over her presumed death, regretting that he'd never get to do various activities with her or take her places. He also quickly becomes enraged at the other team members speaking ill of her and mocking her "death", as he feels her to be a victim of the Black Ghost as much as they are.

He later apologizes to Helena after finding her alive and that Black Ghost newly remodeled her as a cyborg, but experiences further tragedy when she sacrifices herself. He is able to reconcile with 003 and for them to admit their feelings to each other, and sees Helena's death and her love for peace as having been key to defeating Black Ghost.

AbilitiesEdit

As with his usual incarnations, he has an Accelerator, as well as heightened reflexes and bringing together select abilities from Black Ghost's previous models of cyborgs. He is also proficient with his Super Gun.

Outside the team, he is an experienced F-1 racer.

HistoryEdit

Having grown up in the orphanage after the death of his mother, Joe was picked on by all the other children for his unusual hair and eyes. That changed somewhat when he met another child, Midori Aoba, who defended him from the bullies and who he came to rely on as something like a sister through their time there.

In their teenage years, Joe and Midori had high hopes when they'd left the orphanage and were of working age, each planning to find successful careers of their own. Midori wished to be a clothing designer and get into the fashion industry, while Joe was happy to settle on being a car mechanic. But tragedy would strike one day, when Midori was callously run down in the streets by an American F-1 racer. Joe's brutal and vengeful attack on the racer that had killed his friend wound up getting him imprisoned at a reformatory.

The 18-year old Joe would attempt to escape from the reformatory, but found himself captured by "men in black" from the Black Ghost organization, who converted him into Cyborg 009. He and the eight previous cyborgs would rebel from the organization, along with Dr. Gilmore, and would spend time fighting against their enemies. When Black Ghost was believed defeated, the team went their separate ways, with Joe becoming a F-1 racer as a way of "getting revenge" against the man who killed Midori. Although he gained fame, he only found an inner emptiness in his career path.

Five years after his conversion and the assumed defeat of Black Ghost, Joe would be called back into action as the organization had resurfaced to abduct a MiG 28 pilot named Petrov who had been staying in Japan. The 00 cyborgs went to the Sea of Okhotsk to investigate, but were caught in the midst of a clash between USA and Soviet Union submarines. In the middle of the wreckage, Joe found an unconscious young woman floating in the sea and opted to bring her back to the Poseidon. This was Petrov's younger sister, Helena, who had also been attempting to track her brother's whereabouts.

Suspicious events began to occur on the Poseidon, with it being targeted by Black Ghost spy sea-life. 004 and 003 believed this was Helena's doing, and had her subjected to an oxygen test to determine if she was a cyborg spy. Joe angrily denounced the test, and rescued Helena from the cold water. But more unusual events would occur, including 001 mysteriously winding up stabbed and the Poseidon's defense systems against Black Ghost's wave cannons breaking down.

After the team's travel to the underground world where Black Ghost's new base could be found, Helena went missing and in Joe's search for her, he was attacked by a pair of twins calling themselves "Cyborg 0011". After defeating them, he assumed Helena must be "0010", and shot her after rescuing her from a carnivorous underground plant. Even with her apparent betrayal, Joe mourned her.

Joe would wind up believed dead by the rest of the 00 team after a shoot-out with Cyborg Men, but he would be rescued by the newly-remodeled Helena. He would return the favor by rescuing her from being incinerated by her boss, Ares, but Helena would die anyway in sacrificing herself to defeat her brother Petrov, the true "Cyborg 0010". After nearly getting shot by 003, Joe would learn that Black Ghost had brainwashed her with hypnosis rays during the submarine shoot-out, and used her jealousy to make her the one behind all the unusual events on the Poseidon (down to trying to kill 001) to bring Helena into their trap as her brother had.

After fighting Skull inside the Ares statue, he would learn that the three true leaders of Black Ghost were a trio of extraterrestrial brains mind-controlling 003. In shooting them, he was able to break their hold on her, but the base was set to explode. Believing they'd die soon, he was able to reconcile with 003 and apologize for taking her away from her average life, but he and the others were thankfully saved by 001's teleportation and an escape rocket in the base.

NotesEdit

  • Joe being a blond, as well as a five year timeskip, would later be employed in the 1979 anime series, of which Sakai contributed 18 episodes to. He would also have the F-1 racer career, which had been inspired by the 1966 film and the Yomi arc of the manga (of which the "Monster Wars" film and this novel were loosely based from).
  • The circumstances behind Joe's delinquency remain vague in the manga, other than him being ostracized for being a "half-breed" and unable to find work. His age in the early period of the manga was also unstated and ambiguous, and Ishinomori would never directly set an age in the series, although adaptations would decide upon 18 and it may be figured that he himself may have envisioned Joe as that. The reason Joe became a F-1 racer is also never really said in the manga, as it was mainly a way to tie into the current animated films.
  • The closest possible analogue to Midori in the manga could be Mary, a girl who grew up with Joe at the orphanage, although Mary was also biracial like Joe and her death would come much later at the hands of Black Ghost (via her being converted into a cyborg sent to kill him).

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