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Skullman Manga

Skull Man is a 100-page one-shot manga by Shotaro Ishinomori. It served as a prototype for Ishinomori's popular tokusatsu series Kamen Rider and the main character is regarded as manga's first anti-hero. The manga was continued by Kazuhiko Shimamoto by Ishinomori's request in the 1990s before his death.

The series was then rebooted as The Skull Man starting with a manga by MEIMU and was made into an anime with a significant change to the original format, which also referenced various other Ishinomori works, including Cyborg 009.

PlotEdit

Skull Man (manga)Edit

Tatsuo Kagura is a young man with the dual-identity Skull Man to track down his parent's killer doing anything to get the obstacles out of his way, from murder to shame. Eventually he tracks down Kogetsu Chisato who reveals himself to be Tatsuo's grandfather and tried to kill himself along with the rest of his family as he feels that they don't belong in the world.

In Shimamoto's update of the manga, Tatsuo (now going by the name Ryusei Chisato) and his sister Maya survive and later battle the Syndicate who want to replace humanity with a new one.

The Skull Man (2007 anime adaptation)Edit

The mysterious masked murderer Skull Man has been pulling murder in the town of Otomo. A journalist named Hayato Mikogami (御子神 隼人 Mikogami Hayato?) tries to figure out his identity while finding out that the victims were mutants who were changed by the religious organization Byakureikai. With his childhood friend Yoshio Kanzaki (神崎 芳生 Kanzaki Yoshio?) revealed to be the Skull Man and dying from his wounds, Hayato takes the mantle for his friend's sake and ends the ritual that would have changed all of the drugged people into monsters but is consumed by the suit as a result and is drafted into Black Ghost.

Cyborg 009Edit

The original Skull Man's design comes from Skull with a few minor adjustments including the lack of a mouthpiece. The 1990s manga by Shimamoto featured 009 punching out a mugger. Joe later meets Ryusei and they have a conversation about evil and the nature of man over coffee. 009 tells Ryusei that he will be the one who decides the outcome in the future before they encounter each other again in costume.

The Skull Man (2007)Edit

In the anime adaptation, Black Ghost appears under the cover of a multinational company in the 21st century called Brain Gear. Brain Gear is searching for the Skull Man for his special Accelerator feature to use in their cyborgs.

The end of the anime features Hayato consumed by the suit, with the mask turning black. He is subsequently converted into the cyborg Skull. His friend Kiriko Mamiya (間宮 霧子 Mamiya Kiriko?) is revealed to have given birth to a child with a hairstyle reminiscent of Joe Shimamura (with the possibility of Hayato being his father).

This Skull Man design was later used for the creation of Sekar's cyborg form in the Cyborg 009 graphic novel.

The 2007 anime also features other nods to Cyborg 009, including a counterpart of Dr. Gamo Whisky, who's responsible for Brain Gear's SIRKS cyborg team (with the characters loosely modeled after 002, 004, 005, 006, and 008). Van Vogt also appears under the name "Alucard Van Vogt", along with his secretary named Helen.

References to other Ishinomori Works Edit

  • Alucard Von Vogt and Helen from the Underground Empire of Yomi arc of Cyborg 009 make appearences aiding the antagonists.
  • Gamo Whiskey, a Black Ghost scientist and father to Cyborg 001, appears with a squad of prototype cyborg soldiers in final episodes.
  • Mr. Kuroshio and Chief of Police Haniwa are based off President Kuroshio and Chief of Defense Haniwa from the Toei movie The Flying Phantom Ship, which was written by Ishinomori.
  • Police officer Shinjo Tsuyoshi is a character from Ishinomori's manga and tokusatsu Robot Detective K.
  • Protagonst Hayato Mikogami is based heavily on Kamen Rider's Hayato Ichimonji. Both characters are reporters that stumble upon a conspiracy which leads to them being kidnapped and turned into cyborgs.
  • In episode 2, an image of Kamen Rider 1's helmet can be seen spray painted on a wall below some text that reads "The Rider has Come."
  • The buck-toothed man that Hayato sees die to the Skull Man on the first night is the first criminal apprehended in the manga Robot Detective K
  • Ruyji Kirishima, the antagonist of Robot Detective K, can be seen among the members of the Otomo Concern. He also appears in a newspaper photo shaking hands with Von Vogt in the final episode.
  • The office ladies Hayato questions about the phantom monorail are characters from the manga Green Glass.
  • The two "defective" White Bell Members sent to the switchyard with the fake Skull Man in episode 7 are based on Waruder and Bejinder from Android Kikaider
  • The design for cyborg 01 of Brain Gear's SIRKS division is based on the titular character of Ishinomori's manga Gilgamesh.
  • Nami is a charcacter in the Robot Detective K manga. In the Manga, her and Shinjo are in love and plan to get married, but in the Skull Man anime their relationship is shown to be one-sided.
  • Kiriko's baby in the final episodes appears to be a young Joe Shimamura, the main character of Cyborg 009.
  • After the credits, the Skull Man is revealed to have been remodeled by Brain Gear, transforming him into the Cyborg 009 antagonist, the Black Ghost.
  • After being transformed into a monster, Masaki refers to himself as one of "the new humanity." The new humanity, or neo-humans, are the psychic mutant antagonist of Ishinomori's manga Inazuman.
  • During the tour of the White Bell Society, its revealed that the church was founded by Sokichi Bamba. Bamba's name is most likely a reference to the Inazuman villain Emperor Bamba, leader of the Neo-Human Empire.

2007 Anime GalleryEdit

NotesEdit

  • Both the 1990s manga and the 2007 anime seem to indicate that the Skull Man set the events of Shotaro Ishinomori's superhero universe into motion. There is some truth to this, as the Skull Man was proposed for a TV series but ultimately rejected. After some reworking to the costume and toning down the violence to the network's standards, Shotaro Ishinomori created Kamen Rider, whose popularity launched the TV tokusatsu boom of the 1970s and led to a number of shows created by him.
Legends yet to be told

From left to right, Himitsu Sentai Goranger (top left), Robot Detective (far left), Kikaider (middle left), Inazuman (beside Goranger on the right), Henshin Ninja Arashi (center), Space Ironmen Kyodain (far right).

    • The 1990s manga has a special splash page at the end that features silhouettes of other heroes created by Ishinomori.

See AlsoEdit