Back in April, Fukkan, a Japanese publisher specializing in reissuing rare and out-of-print books, announced that in the summer of 2020, they’d be releasing something truly incredible for fans of Shotaro Ishinomori’s Cyborg 009. To commemorate the 55th anniversary of the manga’s serialization, Fukkan revealed Cyborg 009 Graphics, an all-color art book that compiles years of Ishinomori’s 009 illustrations into one volume.
Published in A4 size using the latest printing technology, Cyborg 009 Graphics features highly detailed samples of illustrations originally found in the pages of Weekly Shonen King, COM, Monthly Manga Shonen, and more. Also included are rare drawings and paintings created for supplementary materials like posters, calendars, pinups, and postcards from the archives of Ishimori Pro.
In addition to the art book, Fukkan also announced a limited collector’s edition called Cyborg 009 Graphics Treasure Box. This one-of-a-kind set would include:
- A copy of the Cyborg 009 Graphics book.
- Five A4 size original reproductions of illustrations from each age of the manga series.
- A full-scale reproduction of an A5 size notebook that was produced in the 1960s.
- A postcard set featuring each Zero Zero Number Cyborg from 001 to 0013.
- An A4 size sturdy slip case to hold the above items.
Being the enthusiastic Cyborg 009 fan that I am, I was immediately drawn to this art book. Before I knew it, I had paid for the preorder. And now, months later, I finally have the Treasure Box in hand.
Let’s open it together.
The glossy Treasure Box slip case holds the Cyborg 009 Graphics book and the bonus paper goods. You can view the box’s contents on the obi. (Unfortunately, Joe is not included with either the book or the box set. Sorry! 😉)
The printing techniques used throughout the art book really bring out the richness of Ishinomori’s color work. Compare the Fukkan printing on the left with the 2004 Tokyopop English release on the right. Much more of the color tones within Joe’s uniform, the snowy landscape, and the aurora in the sky are visible in the reprinting.
These photographs don’t do this book justice, to be honest—and really, don’t most things look better with the naked eye? All of the illustrations within the art book are printed at extremely high resolutions on crisp, slightly matte paper. You can practically see the original texture underneath each painting.
Speaking of paintings, let’s look at a few.
Cyborg 009 Sono Sekai『サイボーグ009 その世界』 Title Illustration, April 1978
Cyborg 009 Space-Time Drifters Edition『時空間漂流民編』 Cover Illustration, March 1987
Sci-fi Romance Cyborg 009 『SF ロマン サイボーグ009 』Novel Illustration, February 1978
My Anime 『マイアニメ 』Magazine Illustration, July 1981.
In this two-page spread, Jun, Ishinomori’s artistic persona, makes a special appearance.
Ishinomori World Illustration Album『石森章太郎の世界』 Sketch, April 1978
Cyborg 009 Fan Club Magazine, Paralyzer 『パラライザー』 Back Cover Illustration, September 1997
Emotive 009 Illustrations from the covers of Weekly Shonen Sunday, 1979-1980
Here’s a sampling of the bonus content from the limited edition Treasure Box, including the reproduction notebook, postcards, and print set. Each of the five reproduction illustrations included any original markups around the composition, as seen below in the famous “Moai” painting.
Overall, I think Fukkan did an impeccable job producing this amazing piece celebrating the world of Cyborg 009! The price may be high for the casual fan, but from the top-quality packaging and rich color printing to the bonus prints, postcards, and rare illustrations within, this box set is definitely worth its cost for the hardcore collector.
What other mangaka do you think deserve a “Treasure Box” of their own? Let me know in the comments!
Available from Fukkan
Limited Edition Treasure Box / サイボーグ009グラフィクス／トレジャーBOX
14,850 yen (tax included)
Art Book Only / サイボーグ009グラフィクス 超決定版画集
8,250 yen (tax included)
Please note that Fukkan does not ship internationally. If you are purchasing from outside of Japan, consider using a proxy shipping service to place your order. I used Tenso to receive my order and was satisfied with the cost and the shipping speed. (And no, this post is not sponsored by Fukkan or Tenso in any way! 😉)