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Anime Profile: 8th Man

Fields
USA Info
Japanese Info
Image
Title
8th Man 8-Man 8th Man
Released
52 TV episodes 56 TV episodes
Dates
1966 1963
Company
TCJ Animation Center/ABC Films  
Creator
   
Director
   
Genre
Sci-Fi Sci-Fi
Related
8 Man After 8 Man After
Characters
Chief Fumblethumbs Chief Tanaka
· · ·
Peter Brady/Tobor Rachiro Azuma
· · ·
Professor Genius Dr. Tani
· · ·
Saucer Lip Makade

Last I checked, this anime was available on DVD at Amazon, and on VHS at Amazon.

Anime Description: 8th Man

8th Man was a black and white Japanese Anime television series about a detective- Special Agent Brady, killed with his mind being incorporated into a robot named 8th Man; used to fight evil. 56 episodes were produced for ABC films by Gene Prinz with scripts by Reuben Guberman, and were released in Japan in 1963 and shown on Melbourne TV in July 1966 on channel 9 at 4pm weekdays, through ABC Films. They were produced/dubbed in Miami by Gene Prinz and his staff at Copri Films International. The actors hired to do the dubbing were thought to be lost to history until Andy Shepherd uncovered who they were. They were college students and local actors from Miami's little theatre:

  • Jerry Berke (voice of Tobor the 8th Man - Top guy and loves to hear from fans)
  • Frank Schuller (Director and provided the occasional voice)
  • Reuben Guberman (screenwriter/various voices;passed away on March 19, 2000)
  • Sandy Warshaw (voice of Jenny, Skip, and in the first episode, Dr. Spectra)
  • Arnie Warren (various voices)
  • Bob Gaynor (voice Chief Fumblethumbs)
  • Jack Metger - (various voices and voice of Dr. Spectra after the first episode)

Peter Fernandez dubbed the series pilot or a single sample episode for 8th Man before the series was shipped off to Copri Films in Florida for production (production info from Andy Shepherd). The animation and scenery were basic but the story line was exciting and well ahead of its time. There are still a lot of fans out there today that have great memories of 8th Man which formed a great part of their childhood and mine. The introduction wasn't from the original Manga artists. The producers of the English version were given a modest budget to do a title sequence and a theme song. HAL SEEGER PRODUCTIONS (Milton The Monster) did the work. Their credit is on the 16mm print, on the countdown leader film that proceeds the opening. As stated below Ralph Bakshi may have been contracted out by Hal Seeger Productions to do the sequence.

I recently got this email from Dennis Freeland in NJ:

Reuben Guberman told me a few years back that one of the few indulgences/production values they were allowed was a modest budget to do a title sequence and a theme song. I asked him who did that sequence, and he told me, "A kid from New York named Ralph Bakshi." (Mighty Heroes, New Adventures Of Mighty Mouse) When the show aired in the mid 60's on WPIX-TV, it laid waste to its competition. Other New York TV stations moved some of their choice shows out of the 4 pm slot, apparently, because no show could beat 8th Man. Reuben said-- in amazement, not bragadaccio, "We OWNED that time slot." The plots and dialog came entirely out of Reuben's head. He had no translated scripts, so he just "winged it"--cutting out huge chunks of one episode, pulling a scene from a completely different episode to replace it, etc.

In the anime series, 8th Man was made by Professor Genius. He had defected from the Country Armaco which wanted him to make weapons to help conquer the world. He left his wife and son Ken behind. 8th Man's face was molded from Ken's face so they looked alike. In the episode titled "Battle of the brothers," Ken lets himself be made into a robot so he could be strong enough to destroy 8th Man, but Ken is defeated.

8th Man was disguised as Tobor (robot spelt backwards) and had his own detective agency named "The Tobor Detective Agency." In times of danger he changed into the 8th man, a robot of steel, capable of incredible speed and strength. He gained his energy from cigarette-like pills kept in his belt. His secretary's name was Jenny, the chief of police was Chief Fumblethumbs, and his enemies included Saucer Lips, Dr. Spectra, and The Butterfly Gang.

The Original Japanese Name for 8th Man in his human form was Detective Yokota. (Special Agent Brady was his American name). After he was rebuilt his new identity was Private Detective Hachiro Azuma. The Original name for Chief Fumblethumbs was Chief Inspector Tanaka. 8th Man's secretary and girlfriend was Sachiko and the Professor who rebuilt him was Professor Tani. (Thanks to Dave Sternberg for Japanese names.)

Thanks to E. Bernhard Warg for the following information. First off, the Japanese title was "8 Man," and the OVA was "8 Man After" (no "the", not even in the English dubbed version). According to the live action movie he was named this due to Japan's Police Departments having seven divisions and 8 Man being like an entire department unto himself, but I don't know if that was the case in the TV series (my Japanese isn't that good yet). Second, though 8(th) Man used different names before and after his death in the dub and in the live action movie (Brady/Tobor, Yokota/Hachiro Azuma), he was always just Hachiro Azuma in the original TV series (no idea about the manga). In 1993, a four part video series was made in color titled "8th Man After". The original 8th Man has died and a new police officer, slain on the streets, takes his place.

Anime Description: 8th Man

The police find a robotic arm at the train station. Later, two "reporters" from the country of Armaco show up at the Chief's office. They reveal themselves as Status and Samantha 007, and recover the arm. Status states that he has come to bring 8th Man back to Armaco. There is a brief battle between 8th Man and 007, and 8th man loses an arm. He then goes to Professor Genius for repairs, where the Professor tells 8th Man the story of how he left Armaco when he found out they wanted to use his robot for warfare.

Status figures out Tobor is 8th Man, and goes to his office. Skip and Jenny are there alone, but 8th Man comes on the scene. There is another battle, this one ending up on the Tokyo Tower. 8th Man wins and 007 is damaged. Status recovers 007, however, and escapes.

Next he kidnaps Skip and Jenny to lure 8th man into a trap. 8th Man comes to their rescue and once again fights the now repaired 007. This time 007's brain goes haywire and she attacks Status, her creator. Now 007 is out of control. While 8th Man and 007 are locked in a grip, Status uses his machine gun to shoot 007 (in a vunerable area, we are told) to stop her. She and 8th Man fall over a cliff into the sea, and moments later there is an atomic explosion. It was Sam 007 blowing up, supposedly taking 8th man with her. But while Skip and Jenny grieve, suddenly 8th Man comes flying up out of sea. As the sun is setting, 8th Man says goodbye to his "sister" robot wishing things could have been different.

Jon Benson recalls that in the Brother Against Brother episode, what defeated Dr. Genius' robot son was the fact that they used his human brain rather than a true robot brain. 8th Man's one real weakness was heat, which would overheat his robot brain and render him unconscious until it had time to cool down. They didn't allow for this when they used a human brain.

On an additional note, 8th Man smoked special cigarettes when he needed more power, but never when disguised as Tobor the Detective.