| The Birth|
Cyborg 009: The Cyborg Soldier
|Season 1, Episode 1|
|Air date|| October 14, 2001 (TV Tokyo)|
June 30, 2003 (Toonami)
|Written by||Shinsuke Ohnishi|
|Directed by||Jun Kawagoe|
The Birth (誕生 Tanjō) is the first episode of Cyborg 009: The Cyborg Soldier. It loosely adapts and modernizes the "Birth of 009" and "Rebellion" chapters from the "Birth" arc.
Half-Japanese orphan Joe Shimamura wakes up one day on an operating table with no memory of who he was, and how he got there. With the help of a mysterious voice, Joe breaks out of his prison and quickly learns that the world is a dangerous place...
The episode begins as Joe wakes up on an operating table, with his head connected to a strange machine through various wires. His sudden awakening alerts a lone scientist who summons a sinister figure wearing a skull-esque mask and a black cape. The figure is Skull, who orders him to fill Joe's room with tranquilizer gas.
Meanwhile, a mentally confused and disoriented Joe happens on a mirror and finds himself wearing a red prototype 00 cyborg uniform. Suddenly all the doors lock shut, and the open ceiling starts to close in. A strange voice orders Joe to jump and escape his prison, for immediately the room starts to fill itself with gas. Joe obeys and jumps to a superhuman height, and ends up landing safely on the floor above. The lone scientist runs away in fright and calls for an emergency, to Joe's confusion.
Shortly after, Joe is confronted by a group of giant robots, one of which shoots at him. To his shock, Joe mysteriously survives, but then he is held against the wall by another robot. Out of desperation, Joe unconsciously uses superhuman strength to crush the robot's hand and throw said robot to the ground. He then punches a second robot, causing it to explode, and makes quick work with the rest of the robots until they are all destroyed.
Unable to process what he has done, Joe stares at his hands and demands answers to his situation. The voice, belonging to Ivan Whisky, reveals that Joe has "the power", to Joe's immense confusion. The voice also introduces himself as "001", and he has been mentally communicating with Joe through telepathy. Joe wonders if everything he had experienced at that point is a joke, when he senses someone coming. Under the psychic guidance of Ivan, Joe escapes the area and travels through a vent, only to end up falling into a rocket shaft. An explosion from below propels Joe upward, and he finds himself in a desolate, rocky environment in the upper world.
Suddenly he hears radio communication coming from a large group of approaching tanks. Joe thinks it's telepathy again, but Ivan explains that Joe has an unstable internal radio receiver in his ears and sarcastically comments that he's "very popular". One tank fires a mortar shell at Joe, but he survives the attack and retaliates by destroying the tanks. After destroying one tank, Joe finds soldiers coming out of it while covered in flames, and realizes with horror that there were people inside.
Another soldier tries to confront him but flees in terror. The tank Joe is standing on suddenly explodes and he finds other soldiers standing on a nearby cliff, holding firearms and other weaponry. Joe realizes that the soldiers he fought were willing to kill their own men. As he tries to back away, Joe finds himself at the edge of a cliff where the sea lies below. This triggers a flashback where Joe, in a former life, was confronted by police concerning a crime that Joe committed. To escape the police, Joe was forced to jump into the sea, which he also does in the present to escape the soldiers' enemy fire.
As soon as he dives into the sea, he is bitten and dragged by a shark. Joe hits it in the eye, which makes it let him go, but he discovers that it's a robot. He tries to swim away, but the robot shark fires torpedoes at him. Just as the robot shark is about to bite him again, it is destroyed and Joe sees a shadowy figure swimming not far away. He later washes up on a rock, wondering what is happening to him. Ivan explains that if he gave Joe a lengthy explanation, it would only confuse him. Only by following his instructions will Joe's questions be answered. Joe screams in frustration and punches the ground.
Later, as Joe is climbing the edge of a cliff, he is attacked and shot at by war planes, causing him to fall down. Joe demands to know why Ivan's "instructions" keeps leading him to enemies. Ivan explains that he purposely guided him this way because he is curious to see what Joe can do under attack. Furious, Joe vows to find Ivan and "punch his lights out" for manipulating him. Suddenly the war planes come back and they shoot at Joe again. Ivan quickly orders Joe to press a switch located in one of his back teeth. Joe obeys, and suddenly everything around him slows to a crawl.
Ivan explains that Joe possesses an Accelerator - when its switch is pressed, the person possessing the Accelerator moves so fast that everything around him slows down significantly. Panicking, Joe begs Ivan to put things back to normal, when the Accelerator deactivates and he is hit by a war plane and taken to a high altitude. Now airborne, Joe tells the "pilot" to put him down, but he finds no one in the cockpit. The two war planes crash into each other in an attempt to take out Joe, but he also survives that and falls down until he is caught by something.
Joe discovers that he is not falling and panics, only to hear someone's voice telling him to relax. Joe finds that he is being carried by a person named Jet LInk, who calls himself "002" and possesses a similar uniform as Joe's. Jet takes Joe to an unknown island where they are greeted by several other people of different nationalities wearing the same outfit as Joe's. While there, Joe spots a baby among their group being carried by one Francoise Arnoul (aka "003") and realizes that Ivan is the mysterious "001". Ivan confirms it and asks if Joe still wanted to "punch his lights out".
Suddenly Francoise detects incoming enemies from behind the mountains. Using her enhanced hearing capabilities and X-ray vision, she finds a large squadron of robot soldiers advancing their way. Using Francoise's precise coordinates. Albert Heinrich (004) launches a preemptive strike against the soldiers by firing rockets from missile launchers installed in his knees, decimating them. However, the robots are followed by tanks manned by human soldiers commanded by Skull to eliminate Joe and his group.
The tanks fire at the 00 cyborgs, but they all employ their blaster guns and destroy the various mortar rounds. When more come, Ivan erects a psychokinetic barrier to deflect enemy fire. While the 00 cyborgs launch a retaliatory attack, Ivan explains to Joe their names and the various abilities each 00 cyborgs possess. One in particular, Pyunma (designated "008"), catches Joe's attention, and he remembers Pyunma as the one who saved him when Joe was attacked underwater.
After the battle is over, Ivan reads Joe's mind concerning their methods used against their enemies, and explains that the 00 cyborgs try to use restraint when they use their abilities. Despite being 00 cyborgs, they're all still human at heart. Francoise pleads for Joe to trust the 00 cyborgs, claiming that they are his friends. Suddenly she detects the presence of a new enemy: an army of flying saucer drones installed with a stinger that injects paralyzing fluid. The drones attach to the 00 cyborgs' face, incapacitating them, but when one targets Francoise, Joe uses his Accelerator to destroy the drones and save the 00 cyborgs.
This display of power causes everyone to look at Joe in awe. Soon more saucer drones fly in and they merge to create a one-eyed metallic monster with tentacles on its face. The monster fires lasers at the 00 cyborgs and uses its tentacles to grab them all sans Joe, Ivan, and Francoise. Albert hands Joe his blaster, but when Joe uses it to attack the monster, it briefly separates all its parts before coming together.
Ivan and Francoise reveal that the monster's weak point is its heart, located in its fourth component. When Joe shoots at the monster and it comes apart, Joe takes the chance to shoot at its heart, destroying the monster permanently. This releases the 00 cyborgs who were captive, and they all stare at Joe once again, astounded by his fighting power. Ivan explains that Joe is the result of years of experimentation on the 00 cyborgs, incorporating advanced technology into his design.
Some time later, the 00 cyborgs travel through an underground cave and find a door in the ceiling. Knowing that direct force will alert the enemy, Great Britain (007) uses his powers to transform into a mouse and open the door without activating alarms. While running through a factory, the 00 cyborgs notice that no one has come after them yet. With Francoise's help, they locate a hanger where they see a military cargo plane they can use to escape, but suddenly all the doors close, trapping them inside.
G-Junior tries to punch his way open with his bare hands, but the doors are too thick. Pyunma tries to blast it open, but the blaster's fire ricochets and nearly hits the 00 cyborgs. Chang Changku (006) tries to burn down the door with his flame breath, but he only manages in creating a slight char. Suddenly the ceiling lights up and reveals several scientists standing on a transparent floor above the 00 cyborgs. The scientists explain that each of the 00 cyborgs' weaknesses have been programmed into the security system, and speak to them as if they are objects or weapons with no free will.
The 00 cyborgs are angered by the way they had been treated by the scientists, and berate them for their actions. Joe sees one particular scientist, Dr. Gilmore, and recognizes him as the man who was there when the scientists experimented on him. This triggers flashbacks of enduring experiments that turned Joe into a 00 cyborg. Ivan explains that all of the 00 cyborgs were once humans, but they were randomly kidnapped by an organization called "Black Ghost" and turned into human weapons.
To their luck, the 00 cyborgs are saved by Britain, who has disguised himself as one of the scientists. Dr. Gilmore tries to attack Britain from behind, but the shapeshifting 00 cyborg threatens to shoot him if his fellow 00 cyborgs aren't released. Once the 00 cyborgs are freed, they take Dr. Gilmore as their hostage in order to gain possession of the cargo plane. Dr. Gilmore gets the human soldiers to back down by warning them that the 00 cyborgs have knowledge of their base's self-destruction code, and he is the only one who can abort that code.
Joe, unsure of what to do at this point, hesitates to go with his fellow 00 cyborgs. Francoise hurriedly tells him to get on, as the plane has started to fly. Ivan informs him that Joe is free to make his own choice from this moment on, but he promises him that if he does decide to go with them, then he will have the 00 cyborgs' support, as well as new allies in the fight against Black Ghost. After a moment of silence, Joe steps onto the plane, signifying his willingness to ally himself with the 00 cyborgs.
As the plane launches into the sky, Joe tries to give back his blaster to Albert, but Albert tells him to keep it and shows Joe his machine gun hand. Francoise arrives, with Ivan in her arms. The infant 00 cyborg holds out a tiny hand, and Joe responds by giving Ivan his pointer finger, giving birth to a new friendship. Ivan declares that he is glad that Joe has joined them, and calls him "009". When Joe expresses confusion, Ivan explains that he was given that designation because he was the last 00 cyborg to be made. From now on, "009" is how Joe will be referred to by his fellow cyborgs.
After thinking it over, Joe declares, "My name is..."
The 00 Cyborgs Edit
- Ivan Whisky (001)
- Jet Link (002)
- Francoise Arnoul (003)
- Albert Heinrich (004)
- Geronimo, Jr. (005)
- Chang Changku (006)
- Great Britain (007)
- Pyunma (008)
- Joe Shimamura (009)
Black Ghost Edit
- 009: Joshua Seth
- 001: Bob Marx
- 002: Sparky Allen
- 003: Midge Mayes
- 004: Jim Taggert
- 005: John Daniels
- 006, Black Ghost Tank Operator: Steve Kramer
- 007, Black Ghost Tank Operator: Michael Sorich
- 008: Mario
- Professor Gilmore: Sy Prescott
- Scarl/Skull: Richard George
- Commander: Anthony Mozdy
- Black Ghost Guard Robot: Jeff Nimoy
- Cop: John Smallberries
- Scientist 1: Gil Starberry
- Scientist 2: David Lucas
- The chapters "Merchants of Death", "The Cyborg Laboratory", "The Men in Black", and "Number 00, the Guinea Pigs" were not sourced for this adaptation. This might have to do with the production team wanting to focus on 009's origin first, as well as the fact that those four prologue chapters were not included in the first serialization of "Birth" that ran in "Weekly Shonen King" (where the story first started with Joe breaking out of juvenile hall). Due to the popularity of the run, Ishinomori would publish a special chapter called "Prologue" in "Separate Shonen King" in January 1965, which detailed the origins of cyborgs 001 through 008.
Alterations in Sony Pictures' English DubEdit
- In the Cartoon Network airings and the version presented on the edited Sony DVDs, the custom "Cyborg 009" opening was placed at the beginning of the episode to make up for its lack of an opening sequence. The ending version of "What's the justice?" was also swapped out with the "Genesis of Next" credits, leading to an awkward cut-off when 001 states "You are..." (as it was supposed to lead into the "009!" vocals). This version is also present in other foreign dubs due to them using Sony's materials, although the short-lived uncut DVD release by Sony presented the episode as it was originally meant to be viewed.
- 002's opening dialogue was greatly toned down to make the character come off less abrasive; in the original, he yells at 009 to "Shut up!" and states that he'll fall if he doesn't. He then asks "But if you insist, where do you want to fall?". In the dub, this is changed to him being more casual with 009, telling him that he's on "flight 002" and urging him "Relax, or you'll fall!". The removal of the "Where do you want to fall?" line in turn removes foreshadowing for episode 48.
- Originally when 004 displays his knee missile, he states to 009 "This isn't for showing off", in a self-deprecating remark about his abilities. In the English dub, this line is changed to him stating "I'll try to cripple them" about the enemies he's fighting. Oddly enough, in the dub of "Gilmore's Notes", the ADR writer for the episode presented further inconsistency when this scene was shown as a flashback clip, with 004's line altered to be "Look at me, man, I'm just a freakshow!".