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Alterations in the Tokyopop Release of Cyborg 009

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Through 2003 to 2005, the publisher Tokyopop had licensed Cyborg 009, putting out the first ten volumes sourced from Media Factory's then-recent "MF Comics" reprint of the series (which was in itself a scaled-down version of the earlier Shotaro World release).

Ultimately, the series concluded at the Underground Empire of Yomi arc, with the afterword by the editor Luis Reyes treating it as if it were the true finale to the series. This has lead to speculation that Tokyopop only licensed that far due to it being Ishinomori's first intended stop-point for the manga, or that the publisher had aimed to mirror the 2001 series in having it end there. It is possible that the low sales of the manga were a contributing factor that lead to the English version not covering MF Comics volumes 11-36.

Tokyopop's English version, like select other manga releases put out by them at the time, amounted to being more of a loose adaptation than a straight translation of the story, with consistency depending on the arc. Mike Wellman was credited as the USA adaptation scriptwriter for all ten volumes, with Bryan Matsumoto having handled the simple English scripts that provided the base for being rewritten.

Most of these changes are carried over to the Comixology edition, due to it recycling the Tokyopop scripts, save for an occasional edit or translation of the sound effects. Though Tokyopop has re-emerged in recent years, it is highly unlikely they would resume the manga as its rights are now considered "frozen" by Ishimori Productions.

General ChangesEdit

  • In an attempt to have the character sound British, Great Britain/007's lines were tweaked to utilize various British slang, and some lines were more blatantly altered to reflect the differences between American and British English (see the Yomi arc sections).
  • Jet/002 had his speaking style adapted to a more beatnik '60s dialect.
  • As "Hades" is an acceptable localization of "Yomi" since both refer to the land of the dead in Greek and Japanese culture, "The Underground Empire of Yomi" is rendered as "The Underground Empire of Hades".

Volume 1Edit

Covers the Separate Shonen King "Prologue" chapters to "Escape By Sea (Part 1)" of the Birth arc

Original volume description by Tokyopop: "The nuclear age has brought with it the arms race, which has led to the advent of weapons powerful enough to destroy the planet several times over. Unwilling to take the plunge into Armageddon, the world leaders, in league with a group known only as the Black Ghost, have developed super-soldiers known as the cyborgs, designed to fight the wars of the world...but out in space. Unfortunately, the Black Ghost didn't ask the cyborgs how they feel about their role in this new world order."

Description by Comixology: "Spreading the seeds of war and reaping huge profits by selling weapons to warring nations, the organization of death merchants known as BLACK GHOST plots to dominate the world! With an eye toward super-stratospheric war, they draft a secret plan to develop an invincible warrior, the Cyborg Soldier. Gathering nine young people from various countries around the world, they create a prototype cyborg, the 00- series, for the purpose of mass producing an army of unstoppable killing machines. Appalled by the twisting of science to such evil purposes, Dr. ISAAC GILMORE escapes from the organization, taking the nine cyborgs with him. These nine youngsters must struggle to overcome the trauma of their transformation into cyborgs and fight back against Black Ghost with all the powers at their disposal. The peace of the world depends on them!"

Line AlterationsEdit

  • Much of the dialogue in Jet's origin was altered, with one particular example being during the switchblade fight. In the original script, the other Jet gang members chant "Hey, hey!" "Get him!", cheering Jet on. In Wellman's script, they instead shout "Let's go, spic!" and "We got enough of youse PRs!", with their dialogue now aimed at the Shark leader. This had lead to misconception of the chapter promoting racism (though the Jets are still meant to be racist and discriminatory in the original text, just less blatant and without slur usage).
    • In the Tokyopop edition, Wellman's script changed the line of "Hey Jet, those Shark Gang bastards are here." to "Yo Jet, we got Sharks". In the Comixology edition, an "s" is added to "Jet", making it seem like the other gang member is referring to all the others instead of Jet himself.
  • In Ivan's origin, it is originally specified that Gamo sent Erika away on a vacation, explaining why she had been gone while he performed the experiments on their son.
  • When Albert is shown injured in the backseat of the Black Ghost operatives' getaway car, one originally asks "Do you think that piece of junk will be okay?" (specifically, the term used is ポンコツ ponkotsu, slang for "piece of junk") while the other responds "What?" and "He'll be even better once he's remodeled into a cyborg". In the Tokyopop edition, their exchange is "All he has to do is live." and "Any seriously damaged parts, we'll just replace with cybernetic units".
  • When Jean borrows a bike and hits a pothole, he originally exclaims "Aw come on, don't be like Tokyo!", implying familiarity with the country of Japan. The Tokyopop edition has this altered to "Nuts! Why now?".
  • When the 00 cyborgs announce their rebellion from Black Ghost, Francoise originally states that they've decided to put an end to Black Ghost's horrible plan. Wellman altered this line to have her chiding the male cyborgs to "put down their guns", as they wouldn't want to be like their captors.
  • Originally when 004 and 007 remark on their remodeling, 004 laughs about it and states "After all, it's not like I regret my past!". This is altered to him commenting that it would have been nice if Dr. Gilmore had sought permission.

Name ChangesEdit

  • The Japanese text refers to Ivan's father as only "Dr. Whisky" or "Whisky" at first, though upon arriving at the Black Ghost laboratory, he is referred to as "Gamo". The Tokyopop text prefers to use "Dr. Gamo" for the entire sequence, which had lead to confusion from English readers on whether or not Gamo was his given name or surname.
  • In a pragmatic alteration, Hilda referring to her fiance as "Heinrich" is changed to have her refer to him as "Albert", as at the time of the origin, 004's full name had still not been set and he was only "Heinrich".

Volume 2Edit

Covers "Escape by Sea (Part 2)" of the Birth arc, to "0013 (Part 1)" of the Assassins arc

Original volume description by Tokyopop: "In a classic manga from the Cold War era, nine cyborg prototypes who escaped from the evil Black Ghost organization capture an enemy submarine and take their battle back to the Black Ghost himself and his headquarters."[1]

Description by Comixology: "The Cyborg009 members becoming a team for the first time, they have battled their way and successfully escape from "X Island", military base of the Black Ghost. Now they seized an enemy submarine and return in hope to destroy X Island. But, Joe and the members of Cyborg009 do not know that X Island was only one of the bases of the Black Ghost and much more there were more 00 numbered Cyborgs which would be superior in all means against the Cyborg009 members."

Line AlterationsEdit

Name ChangesEdit

  • Out of 0012's assistants, "Camel" had his name translated literally as "Rakuda", while "Roentgen" was mistranslated to be "Lentgen".

Other ChangesEdit

  • 0012 is referred to as a man, and with he/him pronouns by her subordinates and by the 00 cyborgs.

Volume 3Edit

Covers "0013" (Part 2) to the start of the Wandering arc and "The Man in the High Castle"

Original volume description by Tokyopop: "As 009's search for the kidnapped Dr. Kozumi continues, another danger lurks close by, one that threatens the existence of man and machine-kind. The menace becomes even more maddening when the cyborg team is called upon to rescue Dr. Dolphin, the creator of a device that triggers instant insanity. And all the while, patiently waiting in the shadows, is the Black Ghost, coming ever closer to plunging the world into the perpetual darkness of war..."

Description by Comixology: "The Black Ghost sends superior 00 number cyborg-assassins to eliminate the Cyborg009 team. Being proto-type cyborgs the Cyborg009 could only fight against the assassins as a team, or else defeated. Now 0013 in on his way to destroy Cyborg009 members, and 0013 has an advanced "acceleration mode" equipped, and accompanied with a huge gigantic enemy robot. Joe Shimamura recognize that 0013 is, just like every other Cyborg soldiers, abducted, transformed into a living weapon and manipulated by the Black Ghost."

Title ChangesEdit

  • "The Aurora Strategy" had its title changed to "Man and Machine".
  • "The Man in the High Castle" was translated as "The Man with the Expensive Castle", losing out on the chapter title being a reference to the Philip K. Dick novel.

Line AlterationsEdit

  • At the end of "The Aurora Strategy", Dr. Dolphin's daughter, after rejoicing about her dad hating machines, then states "Machines...", trailing off as she sees 009 and then looks fearful. Tokyopop adapts her line as a more blatant "Machines are evil...".
  • In "The Man in the High Castle", Jet beats up some Black Ghost soldiers while stating "This is what acceleration mode can do!" (indicating his accelerator was still in the settings at this point). In Wellman's script, this is changed to a joke of "...And I'm back, like a bad cold!".

Name ChangesEdit

  • As Tokyopop's release sourced the Shotaro World and MF Comics version, Dr. Dolphin's daughter is given the name of "Iruka" (see Cynthia for more details) rather than "Cynthia".

Volume 4Edit

Continues the Wandering arc and includes "Vacuum War" and "The Bomb Model "Raiden"", as well as starting the Vietnam arc

Original volume description by Tokyopop: "In this thrilling volume of Cyborg 009, our heroes dive to the murky depths of the ocean, fight in the treacherous terrain of Vietnam, and shoot for the stars in the far reaches of outer space. As Cyborg 009 teams up with a renegade scientist to destroy a weapon that can wipe out any city on Earth, the Black Ghost sets its sight on a menacing device that can turn the sky into a bomb. And when war escalates in volatile jungles of Vietnam, will the Black Ghost finally achieve its ominous goal of perpetual global war?"[2]

Description by Comixology: "Failing to destroy the renegade Cyborg009 team by the "superior Cyborgs", Black Ghost uses every technology to terminate their enemy, Cyborg009 team. The destructive technology includes robots, wild sea shark cyborgs , electric jellyfish robots, bio-tech-made-dinosaur and even outer space weapons. Black Ghost then attempt to carry out war in South East Asia to deliver more weapons to the world, which Cyborg009 team will fly into these countries in order to stop their conspiracy."

Title ChangesEdit

  • "Vacuum War" (referring to the vacuum and emptiness of space) was translated rather literally to "Empty War".
  • "The Bomb Model "Raiden"" is changed to "A New Type of Bomb (Thunder and Lightning)"

Line AlterationsEdit

  • Due to an editing error, the Tokyopop released altered Joe's line of "The shark's missile!" in Deep Sea Wanderer to be "Luis, no text!", with the latter perhaps being a note to Luis Reyes that was accidentally put into the speech bubble. The Comixology edition rectified this line.
  • The opening to "The Bomb Model "Raiden"" has narration by Joe, stating that after they escaped Black Ghost, they fought more enemies like this. Unusually, Tokyopop opted to change this to a note stating that the story was an alternate version of "Vacuum War", while providing no explanation for the odd placements of "Vacuum War" and "The Man in the High Castle" in the midst of the Wandering arc.

Name ChangesEdit

  • Dr. Yamazaki in Vacuum War is renamed "Dr. Kaminari" in Wellman's script, which is the name of his counterpart in The Bomb Model "Raiden".

Volume 5Edit

Covers the Vietnam arc

Original volume description by Tokyopop: "As war rages in South Vietnam, the team of cyborgs is confronted by group of guerillas led by a mysterious masked man who has a diabolical plan. With the Black Ghost never far behind, the cyborgs uncover an evil scheme that just might lead to global Armageddon. But before they can act, they must save one of their own from behind enemy lines."[3]

Description by Comixology: "Now Cyborg009 team flies into the war area in Vietnam, but the only target is the Black Ghost who is behind the scene and manipulating the man-made-war-disaster. The soldiers in Vietnam was led be a black costume leader the "Cyborg Man" , 009 Joe, 004 Heinrich and 007 Great Britain intentionally becomes their hostage to get closer to the leader...."

Name ChangesEdit

  • The commander is referred to as both "Ga Diem" and "Go Diem" at alternative points.
  • The Vietnamese girl Lan has her name rendered as "Ran", due to R/L confusion.

Volume 6Edit

Covers the Mythos arc up to the first part of "Atlas Invasion"

Original volume description by Tokyopop: "After the double-zero heroes make their way through the jungles of Vietnam, they are challenged by the mighty and powerful Greek Myutos Cyborg team." [4]

Description by Comixology: "Finally, the Cyborg009 team defeated the evil in South East Asia, but now those who call themselves like the Greek Gods, Apollo, Centaurus, Helena and more living in the Mount of Olympus, led by Dr. Uranus and Dr.Gaea start to hunt the Cyborg009 team with their supernatural power."

Name ChangesEdit

  • The Mythos Cyborgs had their name translated literally as "The Myutos Cyborgs", from the way "Mythos" had been written in katakana. However, this also makes the explanation of their name look awkward, as "Mythos" is the Greek word for "mythology", while "Myutos" would look confusing as the spelling.
  • In localization choices, while most of the Mythos Cyborgs use the Western versions of the mythological figures' names, the Centaurs are referred to by the Latin term "Centaurus" and Helena stays "Helena" (the Latin form of Helen) rather than being Anglicized. However, on page 145, Dr. Gaia mistakenly refers to Centaurus D as Centaurlos D, possibly due to an editor oversight.

Volume 7Edit

Covers the rest of the Mythos arc, along with the side-stories "A Phantom Dog" and "The Golden Lion"

Original volume description by Tokyopop: "The double-zero heroes clash with Atlas, the XXXL Greek Myutos cyborg. Meanwhile, Dr. Uranus butts heads with a giant dinosaur that wants to use the steel supermen as fossil fuel." [5]

Description by Comixology: "Cyborg009 team is attacked by the advanced Myutos Cyborgs. 003 Francoise is captured by them and only 007 is available to rescue her since the huge Atlas cyborg is attacking the rest of Cyborg009 team underwater in a submarine. The largest and most powerful 005 Geronimo challenges Atlas but he is defeated and loses his right arm and left leg. 006 reports "009 is dead!" who was in a coma... Including chapters "Golden Lion" and "The Phantoma Dog; Kubikuro".

Line AlterationsEdit

Other ChangesEdit

  • The Woman Esper (who would later be christened "Hera" in the 2001 anime) was mistakenly misgendered with male pronouns, likely due to Wellman not being aware of her name.
  • Kubikuro was also initially referred to with female pronouns, with the gender suddenly being corrected mid-chapter.
  • In the Kubikuro story, Joe's landlady also refers to him as "Joseph Shimamura", although the original Japanese text simply has her say "Joe".

Volume 8Edit

Covers the Weekly Shonen Magazine "Prologue" chapter, and the first five chapters of the Yomi arc

Original volume description by Tokyopop: "Four years have passed, and the mechanistic macho men seek to retire to the simple life. However, 009 remains as fast and furious as Hurricane Joe, a hotshot race car driver. But a yellow flag is raised when Joe encounters the mysterious, dark power of the Black Ghost."[6]

Description by Comixology: "After fighting and defeated the Assassin Cyborgs and the Myutos Cyborgs, each of them had their life back. Joe became a speed racer called "Hurricane Joe", Francoise is dancing ballet, Jet is an American Football player, Chang is running a Chinese restaurant, Great Britain is an actor, Geronimo back in the west.... But, Joe is ambushed by enemy cyborgs again. No one wanted to but they had to be reunited, for more attacks were coming to the world and Cyborg009 members were the only hope to humanity..."

Line AlterationsEdit

  • In "Prologue", the script rewrites make it seem like the team randomly found a plane waiting for them in the cave, while the original script had Dr. Gilmore direct them there specifically due to the plane. There were also originally lines stating that the 00 team had set explosives within the Black Ghost base, which were removed. This leads to the impression that the Black Ghost base just randomly happened to explode at the end of the story.
  • In Wellman's script for "Hurricane Joe", Mary agonizes over her father having left her and wonders if she wouldn't have wound up at Kurihama if he hadn't abandoned her. In the original script, she reminisces over how she and Joe were bullied as children for being "half-breeds" and how they wound up falling in with the wrong crowd. As Kurihama Juvenile Hall is established to be a boys-only reformatory, the alteration by Wellman made no sense.
  • Another alteration involves Joe's discovery of Helen. While the original script has him shout "Hey, hang in there!" at Helen, Wellman's script has him say "Hey! I remember you!", in an attempt to refer back to the Mythos Cyborgs and reference the similar-looking Helena.
  • After Helen and 009 reunite with 004, 004 reminisces about the death of Hilda. In the original text, he explains that after the accident, a call came for Dr. Gilmore and the Black Ghost men took him (004) away to a laboratory, but that they didn't really help him at all. This monologue was altered in Wellman's adaptation to have 004 state that Dr. Gilmore contacted him, and that his heart had already been cold while Gilmore's men "helped the rest of me along". This may give the impression that 004's origin was retconned and that he'd given himself up willingly, if readers weren't aware of what the text was originally meant to state.
  • When 007 reveals that he's disguised as 002's football, he originally states "It's me, 007!". Wellman's script opted to alter this to a joke of "Of course, this isn't REAL football!", playing at the differences between American and European concepts of "football".
  • Originally, while 008 is being operated on, 002 urges 006 that they have to fight against Black Ghost. 007 then states at 002 "It would be enough if all the people of the world fought, joining their forces…and stopped with the futile wars like the one your country has just started!", making reference to the Vietnam War and noticeably angering 002. Wellman's script changes this to "If the people of the world fight too, then our power will be united! We'll stop their ridiculous war and live in peace.", censoring the Vietnam reference perhaps to avert possible controversy. Nonetheless, 002's angered reaction (and his glaring at 007 panels later) now makes no sense.

Name ChangesEdit

  • Ibaraki is translated as "Ibaragi", due to it being an alternate reading of the kanji.
  • Van Vogt's name is first rendered as "Ban Bogart" in the first mention of him, but he is then referred to as "Van Bogart".

Other ChangesEdit

  • As shown in Tokyopop's volume description and within dialogue itself, the Yomi arc was altered from taking place two years after "Birth" to taking place four years after it, presumably to try to tie the arc closer to "Prologue" (when it was originally unconnected). Although, in the original Japanese script for "Prologue", Joe states he isn't sure how many years passed since he was altered, but figures "three or four" vs. the Tokyopop script outright deciding he was remodeled four years ago.

Volume 9Edit

Covers three chapters of the Yomi arc

Original volume description by Tokyopop: "009 has double vision when he sees two Helens--although their faces aren't launching a thousand ships, they sink 009 into a ball of confusion. The rest of our alloy alliance is in for a double--crossing. While closing in on the Black Ghost, a member of gang zero--zero turns out to be a big fat zero!" [7]

The Comixology volume description remains the same as the above.

Name ChangesEdit

  • Helen's younger sister is referred to as "Venus" in the Tokyopop script, while the katakana for her name in Japanese can translate out to "Vena"/"Binah"/"Veena"/"Beena". It is uncertain if Ishinomori may have intended "Venus" or wanted to pay nod to the name and simply left out the "su" katakana, or if one of the other names is intended. To compare, the Italian JPOP translation by Francisco Nicodemo calls her "Veena".
  • Similarly, another sister is referred to as "Diana" by Tokyopop, while the katakana for her name translates out to the name "Dinah".

Volume 10Edit

Covers the final three chapters of the Yomi arc

Original volume description by Tokyopop: "In the unrelenting battle with the Black Ghost, our double-O heroes have traveled around the world, dived to the murky depths of the oceans and rocketed to the cool, far reaches of outer space. All the while, the Black Ghost has paved a path for perpetual war... but now all roads must come to an end. In this grand finale, the Teflon team journeys deep into the ranks of the Black Ghost, all the way to its secret, central command! But what 009 finds will shock the mechanical daylights out of him. Will the Black Ghost pull the plug on the ennead ensemble once and for all? Or will the machines finally destroy their creator?" [8]

The Comixology volume description remains the same as the above.

Title ChangesEdit

  • "From Here to Eternity" was mistranslated as "From Surface to Deep Freeze".

Line AlterationsEdit

  • 002's line of "God, I'm praying to you for the first time..." was altered to be "Luck, if I ever needed you, it's right NOW!"
  • The final stretch of dialogue between 002 and 009 was altered considerably. In particular, the team members never or rarely referred to each other by their given names in the original text for the early arcs (aside from 003 briefly referring to 009 as "Joe"), but Tokyopop would sometimes substitute the given names for the numbers. This leads to 002 and 009 speaking each others' names before the moment where they were ultimately supposed to do so.
  • 004's final speech at the end of the Yomi arc was also considerably altered. Originally, he was quoting from the Japanese translation of "Exodus", concluding his speech with the line "“Why must we fight for the right to live, over and over, each time the sun rises?". He then laughs and admits that those weren't even his words, but that he was quoting from a guy in his favorite novel. The speech seemed to be altered to a more generic lament of their battle and origins.

Name ChangesEdit

  • Skull is referred to as "Scar".

Other ChangesEdit

  • In the recap and explanation pages for the Yomi Kingdom/Hades, Mike Wellman's script has the Pu'Awak species name (already theorized to be a pun on "Poor Work" as is) discarded, with the descriptor for the species simply being a more literal "Unfortunate Slaves".

ReferencesEdit

  1. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/170470.Cyborg_009_Volume_2
  2. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/170467.Cyborg_009_Volume_4
  3. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/170468.Cyborg_009_Volume_5
  4. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/287332.Cyborg_009_Volume_6
  5. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/287335.Cyborg_009_Volume_7
  6. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/170471.Cyborg_009_Volume_8
  7. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1351017.Cyborg_009_Volume_9
  8. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/287330.Cyborg_009_Volume_10

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