Iron Man 007 (철인 007) is a South Korean animated film, originally released on December 13, 1976. It was directed by Han Ha-rim, and its runtime is 61 minutes.
In the film, four young heroes are gathered together by Dr. M in order to fight against the evil leader Black Butterfly and the mysterious alien that she takes her orders from. The Black Butterfly syndicate aims to steal an important element known as "Element Q". The team members can merge their mecha together to create Iron Man 007, a super-strong fighting robot.
Somewhat controversially, it lifts its story elements and character designs from Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, as well as Gaiking and Mazinger Z. As Japanese anime was banned from being imported to South Korea until the late 1970s/early 1980s due to the strained relationship between the two countries, there were many films that mimicked certain anime series.
It is also notable for its unauthorized usage of Pink Floyd music, and inconsistent animation throughout the film.
This film was also dubbed into Spanish, under the title "007 Squad: El Secreto de 007", although it kept the original opening and closing themes in Korean. This version is available on DVD.
Dr.M briefs the 007 team, and has their underwater base extend up out of the ocean. The team celebrates, but wind up dropping Hyojin after they toss him into the air in victory.
Zen attempts to make conversation with Jun, but then leaves to go on a motorcycle ride with Min. Hyojin hears the two take off, and angrily protests as they do so. A narrator introduces them, as photographs are taken of the three characters. Hyojin then greets Jun, but gets no response and becomes frustrated. He sees Jun ride off in his car.
Jun arrives at an orphanage, and is greeted by the children there. He then meets with the owner of the orphanage, while Hyojin appears, having been revealed to have followed Jun there. Hyojin offers the other kids cookies, only for them to eat them all, while Jun and the orphanage owner converse. Jun then reunites with his younger sister Yuri. At the same time, Hyojin tries to play around in Jun's car, only to hit the wrong button and wind up panicking when the seat extends. Unbeknownst to Jun and his sister, the villain known as Black Butterfly is conducting surveillance on them and the other team members from afar. After punishing one of her goons, Black Butterfly relates her plan to steal the Element Q. She tasks Agent X2 with the responsibility of assassinating the team members.
Meanwhile, Zen and Min continue their motorcycle ride, but wind up surrounded by Butterfly's goons after entering a tunnel. The goons shoot at the motorcycle, but realize that the two teenagers have vanished. The two have managed to jump up and cling on to the ceiling, and Zen takes the opportunity to use a special pen-like weapon of hers to shoot out the lights in the tunnel. The two jump back on the motorcycle and ride off, laughing over their escape. Shortly after, Zen and Min discuss the assassination attempt with Dr. M, who orders them to go find Jun and Hyojin.
Back at the orphanage, Jun and Hyojin are at a feast with the other children. Jun is contacted by Min, and has to abruptly leave, to the upset and confusion of Yuri. Hyojin departs as well, on his bike. Jun rides back towards the headquarters, but is abruptly followed and ambushed by X2, who attempts to run him off a mountain road. She attempts to pierce his tires with a spike mechanism from her car, but finds that he has backup tires that quickly replace them. She then shoots at the car, but Jun initiates an armor feature. Jun then sees that the road ahead is blocked by a train passing through, but manages to drive his car up into the air and over the train, narrowly avoiding an oil truck. X2 isn't as lucky, and crashes her car into it in an attempt to follow Jun. X2 is thrown from her car, and manages to survive the explosion, but Jun finds that she's injured. He carries her off and rides her to a hospital.
At the hospital, the doctor and Jun converse, and Jun goes to see the mysterious woman. X2 tearfully thinks of how nice Jun was to her even though they were enemies, and then watches a pair of squirrels play outside. However, when she turns back around, she finds that Jun is gone, though she can't get her mind off of him. Black Butterfly learns that X2 failed in her mission, and decides to call in another operative named Shylla, a man whose face is obscured by bandages. Elsewhere, Shylla is approached and taken at gunpoint to meet with Black Butterfly. Black Butterfly reminds Shylla that she saved him once before, so he must do as she says (as a flashback of them is shown to illustrate). Butterfly shows him pictures of Dr. M and the team, and orders the hit on them. Back at the hospital, X2 is recovering and still has feelings for the boy that Butterfly ordered her to kill. One of Butterfly's goons arrives with the intent to kill X2 for her failure, with a gun hidden in the middle of a bouquet of flowers. X2 tricks the goon into looking behind himself, and attacks him. Jun arrives at the hospital with a rose for X2, but finds that she's escaped her room. A note is left behind, thanking him.
Dr. M attends a meeting where other officials discuss Element Q and the attacks on the team. Dr. M reveals that it is the work of the Black Butterfly. Soldiers stand guard outside the building, while the four team members also stake out the area. Juni narrowly dodges a knife that hits a tree, which has a note attached to it, warning him to beware of Shylla. He contacts the other members and warns them as well. Jun spots Dr. M and the other men leaving the building, as Shylla readies his machine gun. Jun yells at the men to duck, while Shylla fires bullets at them. Shylla then jumps down on a motorcycle and chases after the men, continuing his attempt to assassinate them. Jun fires off a ninja star from a wrist guard on his hand, and it hits the motorcycle, causing it to explode. The team then find out that Element Q is about to be stolen, so they transform and fly off.
Black Butterfly operates an unusual, dinosaur-esque mecha to attack the base where the Element Q is stored, but Iron Man 007 flies up to fight against the mecha. Iron Man 007 destroys Black Butterfly's mecha, but she escapes in a smaller flying vehicle. She then retreats into an underwater base, and consults her boss Baltic Fox on how to kidnap Jun's sister. Baltic Fox grants her three mecha (X, Y, and Z) in order to carry out her plan. Back at the secret base, the four 007 team members and Dr. M discuss Black Butterfly. At the orphanage, the owner reads a news article about the team. He discusses the team's victory and Black Butterfly with Yuri, although unbeknownst to them, two of Black Butterfly's goons have arrived. Back at the base, the team gets an emergency alert and attempt to draw the base back underwater. However, the robots X, Y, and Z arrive and start firing missiles upon it. The team is unable to move the base, so they escape in their individual mechas. But suddenly, Black Butterfly informs them that Jun's sister has been taken hostage, and displays her for the team to see. Jun attempts to go rescue his sister, but Black Butterfly attacks the other team members' mechas. The others manage to survive via ejecting, while Black Butterfly then turns her attention to Jun's plane. Jun manages to escape from the craft, but can only watch helplessly as it's fired upon by missiles and left to burn. X, Y, and Z then fire upon the building where the Element Q is stored, and succeed in stealing it.
Another meeting is held by Dr.M and the other officials to discuss Black Butterfly, who plans to create a deadly beam with the Element Q within 72 hours. The team attempts to relax at a bar, and Jun is informed that someone had delivered a present for him. He opens the box, and finds a turtle inside. Later, at a new base, Dr. M informs the team that they must find Black Butterfly's hideout. Iron Man 007 has been rebuilt, along with the individual team mechas. The team members split up into the mechas to look for her base. Jun searches the Pacific Ocean but finds nothing, Zen searches along the Indian Ocean, Min searches the Himalayan Mountains, and Hyojin reports that he can't find anything suspicious anywhere around him. Meanwhile, Yuri is held in a prison cell by Black Butterfly, who taunts her.
Jun manages to spot an unusual island known as "Turtle Island" in the middle of the Pacific, and Dr.M orders him to explore it. The team reconvene and combine their mechas back into Iron Man 007, but are spotted by Black Butterfly. She sends out X, Y, and Z to attack the Iron Man once more, but it manages to defeat all three. The giant robot enters the base, while one goon frees Yuri from her cell. The four team members fight against the army of Butterfly goons sent after them and make it into the next room, but find Black Butterfly waiting there and gloating that she's formed her laser weapon. It tears a hole through one part of the base, causing an explosion to occur. She then readies her laser to fire at the team, but is interrupted by the goon and Yuri, the former holding Butterfly at gunpoint. The goon unmasks, revealing herself to be X2. She announces that she's turned against Butterfly, but Butterfly withdraws a gun of her own that was hidden in her cape and shoots X2. Jun knocks the gun out of Butterfly's hand and rushes over to X2 in a panic. In her dying breath, X2 informs him that the base will explode in three minutes. The four team members and Yuri rush out of the hideout, leaving X2's body behind, and board Iron Man 007. Black Butterfly gets up and reaches for something, but Turtle Island is shown exploding in the next shot.
The team, Dr.M, and Yuri watch the burning base from inside Iron Man 007. As it departs, Jun thinks back to X2 and cries, an image of her appearing in his pupil (as his had appeared in hers when she fell in love).
The ending credits consist of shots of the individual mechas flying, followed by shots of Iron Man 007, a panning shot of the team with Dr.M and Yuri, and finally, Iron Man 007 flying above a city.
- Jun (준)/1: The leader of the team. Is the equivalent to Ken Washio, and may also be made to stand in for Sanshiro Tsuwabuki from Gaiking. He is renamed "Juni" in the Spanish dub.
- Zen (선)/2: Equivalent to Jun. Briefly appears with a "3" on her suit in a quick blooper in the opening theme. She is renamed "Soni" in the Spanish dub. In the actual film, she also appears to bear some resemblance to Sayaka Yumi from Mazinger Z.
- Min (민)/3: The equivalent to Joe Asakura, though he appears much younger and also resembles Kouji Kabuto from Mazinger Z. He is renamed "Mimi" in the Spanish dub.
- Hyojin (짱)/4: Equivalent to Jinpei, as well as Hachirou from Gaiking. He is renamed "Chien" in the Spanish dub.
- Dr. M (M박사): The equivalent to Dr. Kozaburo Nambu. He is renamed "Professor M" in the Spanish dub.
- Black Butterfly (검은나비): Equivalent to Berg Katse, although she is clearly a woman. She has blue skin, though her eyes are obscured by a mask and horned helmet. She is renamed "Red Butterfly" (Mariposa Roja) in the Spanish dub.
- Baltic Fox (폭스발트): The equivalent to Sosai X. Appears as a gold, spider-like creature. He is renamed "Bossman" in the Spanish dub.
- Yuri (유리): Jun's younger sister, who is taken hostage by Black Butterfly. Renamed "Yura" in Spanish dub.
- X2 (스투): A mysterious woman assassin that works for Black Butterfly. She attempts to kill Jun, but is saved by him from a car accident and winds up falling in love with him.
- Shylla (쉴라): Another assassin hired by Black Butterfly. His face is wrapped in bandages. Renamed "Scyllo" in Spanish dub.
The Spanish dubbing gives the team the name of "Comando M", an obvious play on the Spanish name for the Gatchaman team, which was "Comando G".
- 1: A red plane piloted by Jun. Is destroyed mid-film with the other mechas, but is put back together fast enough.
- 2: A fish-shaped vehicle piloted by Zen. It can fly, as well as travel underwater.
- 3: A drilling vehicle piloted by Min, with the ability to travel underground.
- 4: A buggy piloted by Hyojin.
- Iron Man 007: The flying robot made up of those four components, plus one other.
Iron Man 007's abilities
- Missiles: Used to defeat Black Butterfly's mechs.
- Breast Fire: A clone of Mazinger Z's attack, where its chest fires a heat ray.
- Rocket Punch: Another attack lifted from Mazinger Z.
- Whip: Used by Zen against goons.
- Boomerang: Used by Min against the goons.
- Spinning Top: Used by Hyojin against the goons.
- The film seems to pay a bit of a very loose homage to Gatchaman episode 31, "The Plan to Assassinate Dr. Nambu" in part. Black Butterfly employs a mysterious woman named X2 as her second-in-command and orders her to kill Jun. X2 attempts to run Jun off the road and the two engage in a car chase. After X2 winds up crashing her car in an accident, Jun rescues her and drives her off in his own car (though to a hospital). X2 also seems to reference Maya from episode 70, "Death Girls Unite", as she attempts to betray Black Butterfly in the end but is shot and left to die in front of Jun and the rest of the team. The character of Jun seems to reenact the role of Condor Joe in these parts.
- It also seems to reflect "Gatchaman vs. Turtle King", with Black Butterfly's first mecha loosely resembling the Turtle King, along with her using it to try to break into a vault to steal an element. However, the mecha also seems to resemble the Space Dragon from Gaiking, which was actually used by the heroic side.
- Iron Man 007 resembles Mazinger Z, down to some of its attacks, but also seems to have a bit of Gaiking influence as well.
- The combining elements of the mecha are most obviously taken from Gatchaman, down to the leader having a plane and the youngest member riding a buggy. However, none of the team have a car or cycle for their vehicles, other than Min driving a motorcycle when not in costume.
- The Butterfly goons bleed in yellow, as seen when Min slashes one with a razor-sharp boomerang.
- Unlike X, Baltic Fox plays only a minimal role in the plot and quickly disappears after his scene.
- The transformation and some attack cries were mistakenly left in Korean in the Spanish dubbing, leading to the characters having the higher, much different sounding voices in those shots.
- The background music to Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon" is plagiarized when Shylla attempts to assassinate the leaders, as well as when Black Butterfly sends out her three mecha from Turtle Island in the climactic robot battle.
Notable Animation Errors
- As mentioned above, Zen's number initially appears as "3" in the opening, but abruptly changes to "2" when she strikes her pose.
- Dr. M's character design is rather inconsistent throughout the film; He appears in the opening with a mustache and beard, but appears clean-shaven or only with a mustache throughout the film (which also changes its style various times). His hairstyle is also different.
- The lighting is inconsistent between shots in various scenes, the first notable instance being when the other team members toss Hyojin up in the air. The lighting and animation style itself also become inconsistent when Hyojin slides down a pole.
- When Zen enters Jun's room, the scenery and background changes in each shot of her face, until it shows her running out of a much different room.
- Backgrounds often shift between shots in sequences.
- Min's clothing changes between shots, when he offers Zen a ride on his bike.
- Black Butterfly's lipstick keeps disappearing and reappearing, starting at her debut in the film with her lipstick even appearing mid-frame in a sequence.
- Zen's lipstick vacillates between being pink or red. This also happens with X2, and a few shots of Black Butterfly depict her with pink lipstick instead of her usual red.
- Yuri appears with a headband in some shots, and without her headband in others. Her headband also changes colors throughout the film, and she is sometimes depicted with lipstick.
- Sticky notes for frames/scenes can be seen appearing and flashing within a few frames throughout the film.
- The flowers that the goon hides the gun in change from being pink daisies to red roses between shots, and one shot has both types of flowers in the bouquet. The rose that Jun attempts to deliver to X2 also changes between pink and red.
- Iron Man 007 appears for a few frames during the second battle between Black Butterfly and the team, even though he is not supposed to be fully formed in that part.
- The civilian designs of Jun, Zen, Min, and Hyojin in general do not match the ones seen in the opening sequence. Their different designs in the actual film may have been done in an attempt to lessen the similarities to the Gatchaman characters. In particular, the opening credits version of Zen has wavy hair similar to Swan Jun's original hair style, while her hair is much straighter with fringe in the film's animation.
- The component ships that make up Iron Man 007 do not resemble the ones shown in the opening sequence either, and do not appear very bird-like. Although it still splits off into five parts when they go to search for Black Butterfly's base, only four mechas are shown flying off. Yet when Black Butterfly spots the mechas on her surveillance screen, five appear.
- Hyojin is accidentally given the number "3" and Min's uniform color during the individual mecha sequences, but is corrected in the next shot featuring him.
- When the team members leap down into Black Butterfly's base, Zen is accidentally drawn as a boy and then Min is also given a white "2" uniform.
- The team's belt buckles vary between looking inspired by the Science Ninja Team's, to having "7" imprinted on them. One shot gives Min a "3" buckle, and Hyojin a "4" buckle.
- During an attack on Iron Man 007 during the climax, Zen is given Min's suit colors and number. She still has the "3" in the next shot, even after her colors are corrected.'
- When Zen and Min shout to run away from Jun's exploding plane, the backdrops that appear behind them suggest that they're inside a building instead of out in the desert.
- The shot of Hyojin flying from the opening is reused in the actual movie, although the stripes on his legs have been removed.
- The shot of the team riding an elevator in the opening is also reused for the film, noticeable due to the lack of continuity in the heroes' uniforms; while their capes are bird-like in the opening sequence, they wear regular capes throughout the actual film footage.
- Dr. M's poses and movements during the first scene of the film are later recycled for the sequence where he briefs the team before they get in the rebuilt Iron Man 007.
- Zen's flipping is rotoscoped and reused from the opening sequence, although her design was modified.
The Team, transformed
Black Butterfly and other villains
Dr. M's changing position and face
Zen and Min ride off
Constantly changing flowers
Zen becomes "3" instead of "2"