“8-Man” is a 56 episode TV show released from 1963 through 1964, based on a concurrent manga/comic written by Kazumasa Hirai ("Harmagedon") and illustrated by Jiro Kuwata ("Batman"), who worked as a character designer on the anime. A year later, it was cut to 52 episodes, adapted for American audiences, and released as “Tobor the 8th Man”. The original anime was followed by a TV special in 1987, and a grittier, 1993 sequel OVA, “8-Man After”. There has also been a live-action movie, and a Neo-Geo side-scrolling videogame.
While engaged in a shootout with bank robber, Saucer Lips, Special Agent Brady of the Metropolitan International Crime Prevention Headquarters is run over by the criminal’s cohorts. Left for dead in the street, with his life oozing out onto the pavement, Brady is discovered by a genius scientist, Professor Genius. Watching the young policeman die, the professor is overcome with the desire to save Brady.
Genius takes the fatally injured man back to his lab, and decides to use his Electric Wave Machine to move Brady’s consciousness into a new body. Not a body of flesh and blood, but a mechanical body with a robot brain. The police agent awakes to find himself reborn as 8th Man, a robot with the thoughts, morals, and emotions of a man. Now, with a brain that can compute 100 times faster than any person; hearing that can pickup any sound; and a body 10,000 times more powerful than any human, able to morph to any guise, repel bullets, fly, and move faster than the speed of light, Brady assumes a new identity, as playboy private investigator, Tobor. But, when his beautiful receptionist, Jenny Hartsweet, and little boy sidekick, Skip, receive a “wrong number” telephone call from his old boss, Chief Fumble Thumbs, Tobor smokes his super energy boosting cigarettes and reverts his form to 8th Man, in order to protect his metropolitan city from any threat -- from prehistoric monsters, to the nefarious schemes of the international criminal organization, Inter-Crime.
Faster than a rocket.
Quicker than a jet.
He's the mighty robot.
He's the one to get.
Quick, call Tobor, the mightiest robot of them all!
A classic 1960s super hero cartoon with a nigh invincible hero, and villains akin to those from Dick Tracy. The American release gave characters fun Dickensian names, and a new opening sequence made in part by Ralph Bakshi. But, the US opening had greater depicted movement and facial animation than anything that would follow in the actual show.