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009 Re: Cyborg

North American Premiere
  • Japan
  • 2012
  • 104 mins
  • DCP
  • Japanese
  • English (subtitles)

“On par with the original GHOST IN THE SHELL… melding high philosophy with bursts of intense action” – Fernando Ramos, OTAKU USA

His Voice is calling out, telling them to teach the world new humility. Around the world, tremendous acts of violent terror are triggered by ordinary individuals, guided by His Voice in their heads. Mostly ordinary, that is — that can’t be said for Joe Shimamura, codenamed 009, a super-powerful fighter in a currently dormant team of rebel cyborgs. But what is this formerly heroic figure doing, planning the utter destruction of Tokyo’s Roppongi district? The 00 Cyborg team has sought him out, unaware of his activities, and rebooted his memory as they set out to confront what they initially suspect is an American-Israeli corporate conspiracy to unleash very profitable global conflict. Uncovering the truth behind 009’s strange circumstances and the brainwashing power of “His Voice”, however, will take the 00 Cyborgs around the globe and ever deeper into an ancient mystery…

On our shores, KAMEN RIDER and SUPER SENTAI — cornerstones of Japanese pop science fiction — are the best-known creations of celebrated manga artist Shotaro Ishinomori. His long-running manga series CYBORG 009, though, shouldn’t be overlooked, remaining to this day an iconic property in the epic sci-fi action genre that has seen numerous anime adaptations in its half-century of existence. Ishinomori’s playful, yet dark and thoughtful, series made its debut in 1966 — the same year the renowned anime studio Production I.G’s Kenji Kamiyama, director of this tight, smart, sophisticated re-imagining of the CYBORG 009 franchise, was born. Kamiyama masterminded the GHOST IN THE SHELL spin-off TV series (and more recently, the excellent EDEN OF THE EAST films and shows), and with 009 RE: CYBORG, he continues a tradition of injecting resonant realism, moral maturity and high-tech precision into previously fanciful works that began with Mamoru Oshii’s legendary GHOST IN THE SHELL film. Production I.G’s patented style of dynamic, seamlessly blended 2D and 3D animation truly shines here, and Kanji Kawai’s stirring score matched the depth, scope and dramatic intensity of the tale. Anime otaku craving a measure of intellectual and technical heft in their Japanese entertainment, this is your must-see this summer!

— Rupert Bottenberg