009 Re:Cyborg, from All The Anime, is based on the original series Cyborg 009 from influential anime, manga and tokusatsu figure Shotaro Ishinomori. Ishinomori is famed for his manga works such as Cyborg 009, as well as in the field of tokusatsu, meaning special effects, with series such as Super Sentai (adapted into Power Rangers in the west) and Kamen Rider. 009 Re:Cyborg is a 2012 3DCG film produced by Production I.G and written and directed by Kenji Kamiyama (Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG). This Limited Edition release of 009 Re:Cyborg from All The Anime includes one Blu-ray with both 2D & 3D versions of the movie as well as a DVD version and a whole disc of extras adding up to over 90 minutes of content, there’s also a replica of the Japanese bonus booklet and collector’s packaging. This isn’t the first time a UK blu-ray release has included the 3D version while the US release is 2D-only, and it is certainly appreciated.
“Many years ago, nine humans were captured and transformed into cyborgs for the purposes of becoming agents of evil. Instead, they rebelled, becoming champions of justice anytime the earth was in need.
Now, in a post-9/11 world, the meaning of “justice” has become clouded. The cyborgs, untouched by time, and some without memory of their status as heroes, have since taken up lives as ordinary civilians. But when a mysterious force known only as “His Voice” compels people across the world to commit unspeakable acts of violence, even cyborg 009, Joe Shimamura, falls victim to the irresistible faceless power. In an era when cyber-terrorism is rapidly advancing, how can the cyborgs combat an enemy that has no face, no weapons, and seemingly no motive?”– All The Anime
The premise is no doubt interesting even for those that haven’t been acquainted with the series beforehand, but I will say that some background information wouldn’t have gone amiss, as you can be left feeling a little out of the loop. This goes double for character interaction; not having knowledge of the history of these characters makes it hard to be invested in their current relationships. Previous experience with the series could only serve to improve the enjoyment of the movie as it is not a re-telling but a continuation. It may be worth, if you’re new to Cyborg 009, watching the special prologue that is present on the extras disc, as this goes some way to explaining the origins and history of the series.
009 Re:Cyborg is a fully 3DCG animated movie; characters retain a very anime feel while becoming slightly robotic which lends itself well to their being cyborgs. The background animation is vibrant and breath-taking; the views of the high-rise cityscape and illumination during night scenes early in the movie are fantastic. Fight scenes are epic and animated perfectly, right down to the smallest detail. There is no doubt that 009 Re:Cyborg is just visually stunning.
The movie comes with both English and Japanese language options, English is presented in 5.1, as is the Japanese, and this goes for both the Blu-ray and DVD versions. The subtitles that accompany the Japanese audio track appear white in the blu-ray version but yellow in the DVD version. The extras disc comes with only a Japanese audio track with yellow subtitles. Composing the music is Kenji Kawai who has worked on a range of anime movies and series including Ghost in the Shell, Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence and Eden of the East which he previously worked on with director Kenji Kamiyama.
Both DVDs include Teasers, Trailers, Promo videos and commercials, and the Special Prologue which was mentioned earlier – a recommended watch before the movie if you need a little history lesson, it also goes on to explain each of the characters powers. The extras disc also includes Behind the Scenes Featurettes RE: ANIMATION, RE: SOUND, Interview with Director Kenji Kamiyama, 3D Preview at Ishinomori Museum in Ishinomaki and Premium Screening at Shinjuku Wald 9. With over 90 minutes of extras, you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied outside of the main feature.
All The Anime have put together a rather attractive limited edition release; the inclusion of both Blu-ray and DVD should appeal to a large audience although the extras being DVD-only is a bit of a shame as is the use of yellow subtitles on the DVDs. The option of both 2D and 3D on the Blu-ray is a huge plus. Previous experience with the series could only serve to improve the enjoyment of the movie as it is not a re-telling but a continuation, it’s still enjoyable as a standalone movie and should inspire viewers to immerse themselves in Ishinomori’s original work.