Sunday, August 16, 2009

2009 is Showa 41 - listen along with CYBORG 009

Found in a MANDARAKE store in Tokyo by Tim "" Eldred, this CYBORG 009 Asahi Sonorama single is, if you happen to be my brain, something that is constantly playing in the background at all hours of the day or night. I'm a big CYBORG 009 fan. I like the cartoony big-foot Shotaro Ishinomori style, I like the angsty, turned-into-fighting-cyborgs-against-our-will story, I like the bizarre monster combination enemy cyborgs they're thrown against, and most of all I like the fact that American fans of the show are thin on the ground so there isn't a lot of competition when it comes to grabbing CYBORG 009 toys or books at the anime cons (not that there's a lot of 009 stuff at anime cons these days).

As we will remember from the last time I wrote about CYBORG 009, the series is about nine people from all walks of life who are kidnaped by the evil Black Ghost and turned into cyborg soldiers with various powers and abilities. They rebel against the Black Ghost and spend three movies, three television series, dozens of manga volumes, and one Asahi Sonorama single battling for the peace of the world.

The cool thing about this disc is that it's from 1966 and uses the theme song and the basic story from the contemporaneous Toei feature- but instead of cheaping it out with production art from the film, the "book" part of this "book and record" set features all-new Ishinomori artwork. At least it's not artwork I'd seen anywhere before, and I think I'd remember seeing a lot of these illustrations somewhere in my, ahem, sizeable collection of 009 books and memorabilia.

Thanks to the miracle of my turntable and the Internet you can now listen to this Asahi Sonorama record your very own self! Side one is here and side two is here. Remember to set your computer to 33 1/3 RPM for maximum enjoyment!

So cast your mind back to 1966 and enjoy the story of Cyborg 009 and his comrades in cybernetic arms as they struggle to defend us against the Black Ghost! Feel free to sing along with the theme song if you know the words... I believe everybody can handle the first nine lyrics.