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8 Man
Genre Science fiction, Action, Adventure, Drama
Author Kazumasa Hirai
Illustrator Jiro Kuwata
Publisher Kodansha
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Magazine
TV anime
Director Haruyuki Kawajima
Studio Eiken/TCJ Animation Center
Network TBS
Original run 7 November 196331 December 1964
Episodes 56
TV special
8 Man Has Returned
Director Akinori Kikuchi
Writer Masakazu Shirai
Network Fuji TV
Released 31 August 1987
Live-action film
Subete no Sabishii Yoru no Tame ni
Director Yasuhiro Horiuchi
Producer Isao Urushidani
Writer Mitsuyuki Miyazaki
Junko Suzuki
Composer Carole King
Released 1992
Original video animation
8 Man After
Studio J.C.Staff
Released 19931993
Episodes 4
8 Man After
Author Masahiro Suematsu
Publisher Kodansha
Demographic Shōnen
Magazine Weekly Shōnen Magazine
Original run 1994 – ongoing
8 Man Infinity
Author Kyoichi Nanatsuki
Illustrator Takayuki Takashi
Publisher Kodansha
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Magazine Z
Original run 20052007
Volumes 4
Anime and Manga Portal

8 Man (8マン?) or Eightman (エイトマン Eitoman?) is a fictional manga and anime superhero created in 1963 by writer Kazumasa Hirai and artist Jiro Kuwata. He is considered Japan's earliest cyborg superhero, predating even Kamen Rider (the same year, Shotaro Ishinomori created Cyborg 009), and was supposedly the inspiration for RoboCop.

The manga was published in Weekly Shōnen Magazine and ran from 1963 to 1966. The anime series, produced by Eiken with the TCJ Animation Center, was broadcast on Tokyo Broadcasting System, and ran from November 17, 1963 to December 31, 1964, with a total of 56 episodes (plus the "farewell" special episode, "Goodbye, Eightman").


The story

Murdered by criminals, Detective Yokoda's body is retrieved by Professor Tani and taken to his laboratory. There, Tani performs an experiment that has failed seven times; Yokoda is the latest subject to have his life force transferred into an android body. For the first time, the experiment succeeds. Yokoda is reborn as the armor-skinned android 8 Man, able to dash at impossible speeds, as well as shape-shift into other people. He shifts himself into Yokoda, this time christening himself as "Hachiro Azuma". He keeps this identity a secret, known only to Tani and his police boss Chief Tanaka. Even his girlfriend Sachiko and friend Ichiro don't know he's an android. As 8-Man, Hachiro fights crime (even bringing his murderers to justice). He smoked "energy" cigarettes, to rejuvenate his powers, that he carried in a cigarette case on his belt.

The US version

In 1965, 8 Man was brought to the U.S. as 8th Man, with ABC Films as its syndicated distributor. 52 of the original 56 episodes were "converted" into English.

The characters were renamed as follows:

  • Yokota/Azuma/8 Man - Special Agent Peter Brady/Tobor ("robot" spelled backwards)/8th Man
  • Tani - Professor Genius
  • Tanaka - Chief FumbleThumbs
  • Sachiko - Jenny Hartsweet
  • Ichiro - Skip

Animator Ralph Bakshi created the US version's opening sequence. English lyrics were written by Winston Sharples for the theme song, referencing the FBI in one line, which would not be relevant to the Japanese storyline.

The lyrics to the US version are as follows:

There's a prehistoric monster
that came from outer space
the martians created it
to destroy the human race.

It's attacking three FBI agents
through an open window twenty stories high.
What can we do? Who can we call?

Call Tobor, the Eighth Man.
Call Tobor, the Eighth Man.
Faster than a rocket.
Quicker than a jet.
He's the mighty robot.
He's the one to get.
Call Tobor, the Eighth Man.
Quick, call Tobor, the mightest robot of them all!

Japanese characters on signs would be mentioned jokingly, along the lines of "I could figure out where we were if the signs weren't written in gibberish".


  • Eighth Man Appearance
  • Hit Man Gaea Ream
  • Sibling of Satan
  • Capital Punishment Stand B3
  • Dark Capsule
  • Golden Gang
  • Sound Arresting Jet Aircraft
  • Super Small-Sized Missile
  • Light Ray Gun Laser
  • Robot 007
  • Assassin of Vision
  • Uranium of Seabed
  • Human Hollerith Card
  • Super Pilot
  • Black Ghost
  • Mysterious Thief Gold Beetle
  • Ultrasonic Doctor
  • Typhoon Baron
  • Counterattack of Gaea Ream
  • Spy Order 100
  • Robot Tiger
  • Zero Challenge
  • Napoleonic World 13
  • Salamander Maneuvers
  • Superhuman Rhinoceros Bar
  • Earth Zero Hour
  • Large Monster Eera
  • Bacterium Maneuvers
  • Human Missile
  • Cyborg Human Number C1
  • Ghost Highway
  • Solar Satellite Thunder
  • Artificial Life: Valkan
  • Duel
  • Freezing Light Ray
  • Virus 13
  • 7 Days of Nightmare
  • Mysterious Human Ghost
  • Boy Which Makes Vision
  • Transparent Robot: Jupiter
  • 8man Assassination Order
  • Queen Bee Monster
  • The ESP Witch
  • Worldwide Lightning Plan
  • Tarantula: Condemned Criminal
  • Sky Majin
  • Bubble Ball Maneuvers
  • Mars Human SAW
  • 30 Hundred Million Hostages
  • Mysterious Image Giant
  • Aim for the Earth
  • Piranha Fish Food: Human
  • Unknown Title
  • Unknown Title
  • Super Mankind Mutant, Part One
  • Super Mankind Mutant, Part Two
  • Good Bye Eight Man


1991 video game

The 8 Man franchise was revived in the early 1990s by a live action film, video game and new animated series.

Video game

In 1991, SNK released a video game edition of Eight Man for the Neo-Geo arcade and home video game system (both versions are identical) where the player took the role of 8 Man and his robo-comrade 9 Man in a fight against an invading evil robot army. The game was released internationally. While the game stayed true to the concept of a crime-fighting super-robot, it was widely panned for being tedious and relying too much on the gimmick of its speed-running effect.

Live action movie

Kai Shishido as 8 Man in the 1992 film

In 1992, a live-action film version of 8 Man was produced in Japan. Titled Eitoman - Subete no Sabishī Yoru no Tame ni (8マン・すべての寂しい夜のために, lit. 8 Man - For All the Lonely Night[1]), it was directed by Yasuhiro Horiuchi and starred Kai Shishido as the title character and Toshihide Wakamatsu as Detective Yokota. Distributed in the United States by Fox Lorber video simply as 8 Man, the movie was widely panned for its choppy editing, mediocre direction and low-budget feel. Many modern American viewers, unfamiliar with the older animated series, felt the movie was an inferior version of RoboCop, despite the fact that the latter was a much more recent franchise.

8 Man After

In mid-1993, the mantle of 8 Man was taken up by Hazama Itsuru in the OVA series 8 Man After. Existing in a world far more corrupt than that of his predecessor, the new 8 Man had no qualms about being extremely violent towards the cybernetic criminals who had murdered him previously. Licensed by Streamline Pictures, it has since gone out of print.

8 Man Infinity

Currently, a manga series called 8 Man Infinity is being authored by Kyoichi Nanatsuki under Kodansha, which is being serialized under Kodansha's Magazine Z.


External links

This article contains Japanese text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of kanji and kana.

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