Ibaraki (茨木, no first name given) is a character that appears in the Underground Empire of Yomi arc of the manga version of Cyborg 009. He was a fellow inmate and delinquent friend of Joe Shimamura that knew him from his days at Kurihama juvenile hall.
Ibaraki is a freckled young man with a somewhat squared-off nose, and has light brown hair that's slicked into a sort of pompadour style. He wears a jacket and pin-striped pants, while his shirt seems to have a decorative print of various letters of the alphabet.
After stripping off his clothing and unveiling himself to be modified into a cyborg, it's revealed that he has several holes in his abdomen, chest, and forearms, for ease of him firing ammunition.
Personality and RelationshipsEdit
The two were friends in juvenile hall and had gotten along well, but after Joe's disappearance, Ibaraki had grown to secretly despise him- as he himself had later become modified into a cyborg at some point by Black Ghost.
He was shown to be the most eager to follow Black Ghost's orders to kill Joe, having felt abandoned by him and convinced that Joe was the reason that he wound up losing his humanity.
After being modified into a cyborg by the Black Ghost organization, Ibaraki displayed the ability to fire off bullets from his elbows and abdomen, as a sort of human machine gun.
His truck was also shown to be modified to fire out missiles, while his eyesight was enhanced for him to have target vision.
During the early 1960s, Ibaraki had gotten to know Joe Shimamura as a fellow delinquent teenager, although both later wound up imprisoned at Kurihama for their crimes. However, after a breakout at the juvenile hall, Joe had vanished.
Two years later, Ibaraki himself had been converted into a cyborg by the Black Ghost organization, while Joe had since become a racer after believing them to have been defeated. Ibaraki and two other childhood friends of Joe (Oyamada and Mary) managed to reunite with him, and went back to his house. However, after Black Ghost sent the electronic orders to kill, they unveiled their true purpose and were intent on taking him out at whatever cost.
Despite Joe's pleas for Ibaraki to stop and reconsider, Ibaraki remained adamant in his mission to kill Joe. In the end, Ibaraki and the other two teenagers attempted to charge Joe and take him out, but he leaped away, causing them to miss their target and self-destruct. Joe then realized that the three had been programmed to explode if their thoughts strayed, and that there was no way of stopping them.
- While left without a given name in the original manga, the Cyborg Soldier incarnation of this character has the name of "Shinichi" and is usually referred to that way by Joe.
Claims from the "Shotaro Ishinomori Character Guide Volume 1"Edit
The Cyborg 009 section of this book identifies Ibaraki as being the young man that Joe attempted to escape with at the beginning of the "Birth" arc. However, this was never given any sort of confirmation by Shotaro Ishinomori himself, but was a theory put forward by Junichi Fukuda, a member of the Ishinomori fan club who would go on to author this book, as well as be the editor for the Shotaro World reprints of the manga. Fukuda's books were met with mixed reception due to the author including some of his own theories as fact, substituting them for points of canon that were vague or unexplained.
It is worth it to note that while Ishinomori did change some characters' designs over time, the conclusion of the Kurihama boy being Ibaraki has been met with skepticism and mixed reactions by fans, as both have somewhat different designs (particularly in the hair). Some also believe that the other Kurihama escapee may have died when he was knocked off the ledge, as the last we see of the boy is a panel of him lying silently on some rocks, with his eyes open.
Fukuda may have extrapolated his theory from the fact that Ibaraki states that he knew Joe from Kurihama, along with both boys having squared-off noses and freckles, as well as the appearance of an escapee who could be seen as appearing similar to Oyamada in design (being shorter and chubbier, with dark hair and a large nose).
Ultimately, Fukuda's theory is also debated by those who believe that Ibaraki would have remembered seeing Joe disappear that night, although those who subscribe to the theory believe that he might have suspected something but opted to not say anything about it to Joe upon their reunion. As Ishinomori introduced various details and characters as he went along, the idea that Ibaraki was a foreshadowed character may be unlikely. It is thus left up for readers to decide if the two characters are actually connected in any way.