When it comes to Japanese manga, I’m vastly under-informed. (Even though I like this Space Pirate Captain Harlock trailer for Space Pirate Captain Harlock.) I’m the loser who meekly brings up Scott Pilgrim while everyone else’s judgment-filled eyes guide their way out of the room I’m in. Why did I even come to this manga party?!?
The series in question is 009ノ1, written and illustrated by Shotaro Ishinomori, which has gotten a big-screen adaptation from long-time Mighty Morphin Power Rangers director Koichi Sakamoto. The film is called 009ノ1: The End of the Beginning, and it looks fucking bonkers. I mean, if you held it up next to an episode of the Power Rangers series, you’d think to yourself, “Well, these look similar on a special effects level,” but this movie actually features a cyborg woman with weaponized breasts. Why didn’t they focus on those for at least half of the clip?
This is a pretty ridiculous-looking trailer and all, what with its blood splashing, circular lens flares, rampant explosions, and feminine men beneath sheets, but I can’t imagine it coming anywhere near Manborg on any level under the sun. But maybe it doesn’t have to. Maybe it can be a better movie…directed by the guy who did all those Power Rangers episodes. To be fair, he’s also behind many Kamen Rider and Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger episodes and mini-features, which don’t have similarly shitty reputations.
In case you didn’t get anything out of the unsubtitled trailer, the film focuses on the titular cyborg secret agent Mylene “009-1” Hoffman (Mayuko Iwasa), who is caught between two violent factions in a world where the Cold War was never resolved. The manga is popular for its over-the-top gun battles, and if the trailer is anything to go on, we’re going to be seeing some cheapened dramatizations of those gun fights when the film gets released nowhere around here in September. Incidentally, the film commemorates the 75th birthday of Ishinomori, who died in 1998.