Black Jack (manga)
Cover of the first manga volume
|Written by||Osamu Tezuka|
|Published by||Akita Shoten|
|Imprint||Shōnen Champion Comics|
|Magazine||Weekly Shōnen Champion|
|Original run||19 November 1973 – 14 October 1983|
|Black Jack: the Dark Surgeon|
|Written by||Kenji Yamamoto|
|Published by||Akita Shoten|
|Original run||9 May 2005 – 9 February 2006|
|Original video animation|
|Directed by||Osamu Dezaki|
|Released||21 December 1993 – 16 December 2011|
|Anime television series|
|Directed by||Makoto Tezuka|
|Original network||Animax, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation|
|Original run||11 October 2004 – 6 March 2006|
|Black Jack: Futari no Kuroi Isha|
|Directed by||Satoshi Kuwabara|
|Produced by||Tomoyuki Saitō
|Music by||Isao Tomita|
|Released||17 December 2005|
|Anime television series|
|Black Jack 21|
|Directed by||Satoshi Kuwabara|
|Original network||Animax, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation|
|Original run||10 April 2006 – 4 September 2006|
Black Jack (Japanese: ブラック・ジャック Hepburn: Burakku Jakku) is a Japanese manga written and illustrated by Osamu Tezuka in the 1970s, dealing with the medical adventures of the title character, doctor Black Jack.
Black Jack consists of hundreds of short, self-contained stories that are typically about 20 pages long. Black Jack has also been animated into an OVA, two television series (directed by Tezuka's son Makoto Tezuka) and two films. Black Jack is Tezuka's third most famous manga, after Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion. In 1977, it won the 1st Kodansha Manga Award for shōnen. About.com's Deb Aoki lists Black Jack as the best "re-issue of previously released material" of 2008. Osamu Dezaki's anime film adaptation, Black Jack The Movie, won Best Animation Film at the 1996 Mainichi Film Awards.
Most of the stories involve Black Jack doing some good deed, for which he rarely gets recognition—often curing the poor and destitute for free, or teaching the arrogant a lesson in humility. They sometimes end with a good, humane person enduring hardship, often unavoidable death, to save others.
- Black Jack aka Kurō Hazama
- First Appearance: Volume 1 Chapter 1: "Is there a Doctor?"
- Pinoko (ピノコ)
- First Appearance: Volume 1 Chapter 3: "Teratogenous Cystoma"
- Pinoko is Black Jack's loyal assistant/surrogate daughter, who was actually a Teratogenous Cystoma (a growth more commonly known as a teratoma). As seen in Volume 1 Chapter 3: "Teratogenous Cystoma", she was a rare type of parasitic twin, living in one of Black Jack's patients' bodies for eighteen years until Black Jack extracted her and gave her a real body. He constructed her from the mass of organs included in the growth and provided her a plastic exoskeleton that gives her the appearance of a human child (around 7 or 8 years). However, this exoskeleton limits some of her abilities, most notably halting her physical growth and not being able to swim for a long duration nor float (Volume 13 Chapter 1: "Water and the Badness"). Her exoskeleton is only made for walking and running, and if she tries to swim, she will sink to the bottom. She speaks with a strong lisp which may be due to her exoskeletal skull. Only her limbs and internal organs are real; her face and body are artificial. After being rejected by her twin sister, she started to live with Black Jack as a sort of daughter to him.
- She always helps the doctor by doing household chores and by even being his assistant in some of his operations. She often acts as comic relief in Black Jack, claiming to be a girl of eighteen years of age and married to Black Jack, despite her childlike appearance and personality. Her main value is companionship and source of affection for the ordinarily cold-natured doctor.
- When she started living with Black Jack, she couldn't cook, clean, or take care of the house; she couldn't even walk, let alone move. Eventually, she learned them and could take care of the house when he is out. But sometimes she is able to mix ingredients around in her cooking, like using salt instead of sugar.
- Black Jack thinks of her as his daughter while she thinks of herself as his wife.
- Black Jack modeled her face after a cute girl he had seen in a medical journal who suffers from a lung ailment of unknown origin (from Volume 7 Chapter 4: "The Two Pinokos").
- Pinoko's life was put in danger a few times; she was kidnapped (Volume 2 Chapter 8: "Kidnapping", Volume 14 Chapter 2: "The Third Call", Volume 15 Chapter 1: "Treasure Island"), swallowed a potassium cyanide pill (Volume 4 Chapter 12: "Gas"), shot from a bullet (Volume 7 Chapter 10: "Black and White"), crashed a car (Volume 8 Chapter 8: "A Visit from a Killer"), and caught an aggressive form of leukemia (Volume 9 Chapter 2: "Pinoko Lives").
- Pinoko says she is 18 years old because that is how long she was in her sister's body, but Black Jack says she is 0-years-old when he built her. Because of that, she sometimes acts like an adult while other times as a 7-year-old. She cries when she is injured or throws things when she is mad. She is sometimes seen drawing pictures, playing games, or reading children's stories.
- Throughout the whole manga series, she is never seen going to kindergarten, although she nearly did take the high school entrance exam.
- Black Jack never tries to give Pinoko an 18-year-old body even though she wants to be bigger. She almost received one when she nearly died in Volume 9 Chapter 2: "Pinoko Lives".
- If she was an adult, she may have looked like the Pinoko in Black Jack's dream in Volume 11 Chapter 14: "The SL Called Life".
- She sometimes talks in third-person, using "Pinoko" instead of "I", "me", or "my".
- Some of the stories take place when she is 18, other times 19, other times 20, and sometimes 21.
- Pinoko got drunk from alcohol a few times.
- She was temporarily adopted by a couple in Volume 17 Chapter 1: "Pinoko is Adopted".
- Before Black Jack extracted her from her twin, she telepathically talked to him. That is why, in Volume 13 Chapter 4: "Teratoid Cystoma, Part 2", she was able to talk to a teratoid cystoma in a patient in her sleep.
- Pinoko's main form of comic relief is yelling アッチョンブリケ(Acchonburike)—a phrase that has no real meaning but taken as a rough equivalent to "Oh my goodness!" (often spelled "Omigewdness" in fansubs) or "I don't believe it!" (as translated when she appeared in an episode of the Astro Boy 80s series), in English—while pressing her cheeks together with her hands when something surprising happens. Also, she says Aramanchu!, which has no real meaning, but can be roughly translated as "okey dokey!". Her name is derived from Pinocchio.
- Voiced by: Yuko Mizutani
- Pinoko's Twin Sister
- First Appearance: Volume 1 Chapter 3: "Teratoid Cystoma"
- Pinoko's twin sister's name is never revealed in the manga. She doesn't like the fact that her teratoid cystoma is actually her twin sister. She would always look away and say that that thing isn't her sister. Her face and background is never revealed until Volume 17 Chapter 10: "A Visiting Memory".
- Her second appearance is in Volume 9 Chapter 2: "Pinoko Lives" where she donates some of her blood to Pinoko.
- Her third appearance is in Volume 17 Chapter 10: "A Visiting Memory" where her face and background are finally revealed. Dr. Crab tells Black Jack that she is actually the daughter of an important Buddhist line. She was constrained by pedigree and form. The family is always churning in drama, and she ended up deeply depressed. Then she tries to commit suicide by jumping from the third floor of her house. She survived and, with a huge amount of cash and amnesia, ended up at Black Jack's house. Pinoko and her had a sister bond without knowing her identity. When she saw Dr. Crab, her memories returned and she forgot about Pinoko. Pinoko didn't know who she really was, Black Jack did.
- Dr. Jotaro Honma (本間 丈太郎 Honma Jōtarō)
- First Appearance: Volume 1 Chapter 5: "Sometimes like Pearls"
- The reason why Black Jack pursued a career in medicine is because of Dr. Honma, his mentor and life-saver, who acted as the young boy's father-figure. Kagemitsu Hazama, Black Jack's real father, left his wife and son to live in Macau with his new wife Renka. (The reasons for Kagemitsu's behavior are later explained in the Black Jack 21 series). As a child, Black Jack suffered from paralysis in all four limbs and spent many lonely years in a wheelchair until he regained the use of them. Dr. Honma wrote a book about this miracle, as depicted in Volume 1 Chapter 11: "The Legs of an Ant".
- The medical community accused him of conducting a live experiment on a patient with a rare "Honma's Hematoma" and killed the patient. He was then forced to retire. When he died, Black Jack went through Dr. Honma's old files and found a letter addressed to him. Dr. Honma wanted Black Jack to find out the mystery of "Honma's Hematoma", but until he solve the mystery, to not operate on any patients who have it. Lumps of blood in the heart will form, even after many surgeries to get rid of them, they will come back. Because of that, many patients die of weak hearts. In Volume 13 Chapter 9: "Honma's Hematoma", Black Jack found the cure. The patient's heart will be replaced with an artificial heart. But it turns out that "Honma's Hematoma" is a disease caused by patients who already have artificial hearts.
- Dr. Honma dies of old age in the episode four of Black Jack 4 Miracles of Life "Just like a Pearl" after a failed surgical attempt to revive him. However, he plays an important role in Black Jack 21, since he had once worked at the "Noir Project". In the manga, he dies in Volume 1 Chapter 5: "Sometimes like Pearls."
- He is seen in a dream in Volume 11 Chapter 14: "The SL Called Life".
- Dr. Honma is "played" by Saruta, a member of Tezuka's "star system" who appears in multiple volumes of Tezuka's Phoenix and other manga stories by Tezuka.
- Voiced by: Osamu Saka
- Megumi Kisaragi (如月めぐみ Kisaragi Megumi)
- First Appearance: Volume 1 Chapter 6: "Confluence"
- Megumi Kisaragi is Black Jack's tragic love, whom he met and courted during their internship. Her first appearance was in Volume 1 Chapter 6: "Confluence" in the manga. She stayed up late at work and cared more about the patients than everyone else. She discovered that Kuroo Hazama had been the one looking after her whenever she walked alone at night. Later, she is revealed to have ovarian cancer, and is afraid to tell Black Jack because of her fear that having these parts removed will interfere with their relationship. Nevertheless, the couple confesses their love before the operation while Megumi is "still a woman" (in reality, a hysterectomy or oophorectomy can affect sexual function, but the side effects associated with these procedures are not as extreme as those depicted in this story).
- Afterwards, Megumi changed her name to Kei, a male name, and started living her life as a man, treating sick patients as a ship's doctor.
- She is seen again in Volume 11 Chapter 14: "The SL Called Life" on the same train as Black Jack.
- Konomi Kuwata aka Black Queen (桑田このみ Kuwata Konomi)
- First Appearance: Volume 1 Chapter 9: "Black Queen"
- First making her appearance in Volume 1 Chapter 9: "Black Queen", Kuwata Konomi was a doctor specializing in amputations, thought to be heartless by many, earning her the nickname 'Black Queen' in the medical world. She is engaged to Rock (referred to as Makube Rokuro in the TV series, probably to make up for the lack of "Carved Seal" episode), but her being infamous causes troubles for the couple. She met Black Jack, drunk, in a bar, naming herself as the Black Queen. The former is impressed by their similarities and falls in love with her, but he would eventually discover that Rock was her fiancé.
- She is seen again two years after her first appearance, now in Volume 5 Chapter 5: "The Last Train". Her name is now Konomi Suzuki, after she married Rock. Half a year after Rock's surgery, they got married. She got fired and left for a plane to meet her husband.
- Voiced by: Atsuko Tanaka, Naoko Matsui
- First Appearance: Volume 2 Chapter 7: "Where Art Thou, Friend?"
- Takashi grafted some of his skin to Black Jack when they were younger because Black Jack would always lend him his notes and help him with his homework. He donated 20 cm x 20 cm skin from his right buttock. Because he was of a mixed blood, half-African and half-Japanese, the skin that was surgically sewn onto Black Jack's face is tan. By the time Black Jack could remove the bandages from his body, Takashi had moved away. Years past and Black Jack started searching for Takashi. Takashi gave an unknown man a letter to deliver to Black Jack in Algiers. The letter explains that Takashi wanted to become a doctor who heals the earth but couldn't when he was slain in Algiers. He was a member of an environmentalist group which strongly opposed plans to build nuclear power plants in Africa. Now the skin on Black Jack's left side of his face became a memento. Black Jack considers him a friend.
- Maestro Morozoff
- First Appearance: Volume 2 Chapter 11: "Stradivarius"
- Maestro Morozoff is a world-famous violinist who sat beside Black Jack on a plane ride from Tokyo, using a route through the North Pole. The passengers on board stayed in an Eskimo village until the blizzard died down and a rescue team could come. He considers his violin to be his son. When he went out to search for his violin, he caught a severe case of frostbite. Because Black Jack left his medical equipments in the plane and the blizzard snowed in the door, Black Jack couldn't do anything. Realizing he couldn't play anymore when he saw his dead fingers on a tray, Morozoff decided to retire. When the blizzard came to an end, they buried his fingers near the village. When they left, the couple that let the passengers stay, found the violin. They decided to bury it with Morozoff's fingers.
- Biwamaru (琵琶丸)
- First Appearance: Volume 2 Chapter 14: "The Blind Acupuncturist"
- Biwamaru is a wandering doctor who specializes in acupuncture. He made his first appearance in Volume 2 Chapter 14: "The Blind Acupuncturist" in the manga and episode 51 in the anime. He is blind, but he can walk on his own to many places, and goes wandering everywhere where his sensitive nose takes him, since he is able to smell out the whereabouts of people who are sick. He cures his patients without accepting any money in return, making him homeless. Biwamaru carries a walking stick and a huge purse-like bag with his medical equipment. He dislikes operations, saying that humans are not supposed to be operated on too many times and should depend on the healing power of their own bodies.
- Biwamaru believes that his needle techniques are the solution to any medical problem. He often cures Black Jack's patients, causing Black Jack to feel unhappy and annoyed. One day he treated a patient of Black Jack's, a child; but he made a terrible mistake. He had thought that his needle techniques were perfect, but what he didn't know was that the small child had a fear of needles, worsening her condition. Black Jack was furious and intended to show the proud Biwamaru his mistake. Later, Biwamaru cured Black Jack's large intestine, which Black Jack has attempted to treat through surgery, by piercing a needle into his foot in return for Black Jack's kindness in helping him fix his error with the patient.
- He is seen again in Volume 5 Chapter 7: "Two at the Baths" in the Pitbottom Hot Springs. When he accompanied Black Jack to a skilled swordsmith by the name of Hyo Jisai, the swordsmith knew that he needled 10,000 people, 200 of which are injured.
- Voiced by: Nachi Nozawa
- Dr. Kiriko (ドクター・キリコ Dokutā Kiriko)
- First Appearance: Volume 3 Chapter 9: "Two Dark Doctors"
- Dr. Kiriko, the "death doctor" ("Reaper's Avatar" in the manga), is another shadowy doctor, traveling the world like Black Jack. He wears an eye patch covering his left eye. When Kiriko was a military doctor, he saw many patients in great pain, and came to practice euthanasia. He often appears in the manga, attempting to put down terminally ill patients whom Black Jack wants to save. He is so dedicated to euthanasia that he once attempted to commit suicide when he contracted a rare, infectious disease. Though arch-rivals, Kiriko and Black Jack have been in situations where they had to cooperate in order to survive or to accomplish a task, and manage to do so with good results. Whenever he is confronted by Black Jack after a successful operation which avoided the death alternative, Kiriko simply replies with something along the lines of "I'm a doctor as well, you know." He only gives people death if they ask for it or the chances of survival is 0%, no suicide.
- He is seen a second time in Volume 5 Chapter 6: "There was a Valve!", when he tries to kill yet another patient, which is his father who has pneumothorax for five years. Dr. Kiriko couldn't find the hole until Black Jack pumped oxygen into his trachea but it was hopeless. Dr. Kiriko injected poison into his system. He died in the operating room.
- He is seen yet again in Volume 5 Chapter 10: "99% Water" on an uninhabited island; he has gumma. Yuri brought Black Jack to the island to find out how to cure him. Black Jack found out that gumma was caused by an amoeba, similar to a jellyfish, which consists of 99.9% water. You have to freeze it to see it.
- He made another appearance in Volume 6 Chapter 14: "Terror Virus" in the manga.
- He is seen a fifth time in Volume 8 Chapter 10:"One Hour to Death" when he bought a new drug called cardiotoxin. Anyone who drinks it will fall asleep, then their heartbeat will slow down and, in one hour, die.
- He is seen for the sixth time in Volume 11 Chapter 14: "The SL Called Life" on the same train as Black Jack.
- 7th time in Volume 13 Chapter 6: "A Fussy Suicide"
- 8th time in Volume 14 Chapter 6: "Urashima"
- In the Clinical Chart OVA series, Dr. Kiriko is introduced only as Mozart, in homage to his affinity for classical music. In this OVA, it is also shown that Kiriko does not charge immense amounts of money like Black Jack, nor did he consider his style of treatment as a 'solution to all sicknesses,' as demonstrated by his act of charity when he provided basic nutrients and some food to a patient suffering from what appeared to be severe anorexia at one point.
- In the same series of OVA, it is shown that he travels by motorcycle and has proficiency in mechanics and music.
- Voiced by: Kazuhiro Yamaji
- Tetsu (in the manga) aka Master (哲（てつ） Tetsu)
- First Appearance: Volume 4 Chapter 7: "Tetsu of the Yamanote Line"
- Tetsu is a pickpocket. He could pickpocket anyone on the Yamanote Line and they wouldn't know it. He can tell how much money people are holding from the nervous look in their eyes. The inspector in charge of him kept an eye on him, to catch him in action, and arrest him. When Tetsu followed a man, who he thinks have a lot of money, through the line, he ended up being surround by his gang. They took him to a back alley and cut off four of his fingers. The inspector, who was following him, found him in the alley. He took him to the hospital and had Black Jack operate on Tetsu. The inspector wanted Tetsu's fingers to be restored to before the accident, to how nimble they were. His fingers were fully restored when he showed the inspector his stole badge, pen, and wallet. Then they went out to drink.
- His second appearance is in Volume 11 Chapter 14: "The SL Called Life" when he is the conductor of an SL train.
- In the anime, he has a steady role as the owner of Tom's, a coffee shop that Black Jack frequents. Owing his gratitude to Jotaro Honma, he fosters Kumiko and treats her as his daughter. In the past, he was a nameless magician who took up pickpocketing.
- Tetsu is "played" by Shunsaku Ban, a member of Tezuka's "star system" who appears in several manga stories by Tezuka.
- Voiced by: Kōsei Tomita
- Largo (ラルゴ Rarugo)
- First Appearance: Volume 4 Chapter 14: "Thieving Dog"
- Largo was a stray dog found by Pinoko, Wato, and Sharaku during a car accident, in "Thieving Dog". Contrary to the manga, she is saved after an earthquake caused Black Jack's house to collapse on top of her, and she becomes his pet dog. She is named Largo for her lethargic nature, but she compensates with her sharp senses in detecting danger.
- In the manga, she stole an umbrella from a stranger, causing her to get run over by a truck. Black Jack and Pinoko found her lying on the road. Black Jack refused to treat her but with Pinoko's screams, he treated her. Now she lives in a box, decorated by Pinoko, on the porch. She is an extremely lazy dog who uses a straw to drink water and takes two days to fetch the newspaper. It was her instinct as a dog, when she stole a necklace given to Black Jack by the President of Republic of Cainan, to force Black Jack to chase her with the necklace out of the house. Black Jack caught her and made her return it to his house. When she went into the house, a high magnitude earthquake shook his house. She is an extremely smart dog who stole something from someone to prevent them from dying from a fallen debris. She dies from a ceiling beam falling on top of her.
- Voiced by: Makoto Ishii
- First Appearance: Volume 5 Chapter 6: "There was a Valve!"
- Yuri is Dr. Kiriko's sister. She is a kind girl who tries to prevent her brother from killing people. When secretly went to Black Jack to have him heal her father. In the end, Dr. Kiriko poisoned him.
- She is seen again in Volume 5 Chapter 10: "99% Water" in Black Jack's house, to escort him to Dr. Kiriko to an uninhabited island because he has gumma.
- Mio Hazama (間みお)
- First Appearance: Volume 7 Chapter 5: "Unexploded Bomb"
- Mio Hazama was Black Jack's mother. She died after the incident which was explained in Volume 7 Chapter 5: "Unexploded Bomb". Her husband left her for another woman. Black Jack was filled with murderous attempts while she wept. Before she died, she told Black Jack to forgive his father, because she already knew the reason why his husband left them, which was mentioned in Volume 10 Chapter 2: "The Mask Chosen".
- Voiced by: Mako Hyoudou
- Kagemitsu Hazama
- First Appearance: Volume 10 Chapter 2: "The Mask Chosen"
- Kagemitsu Hazama is Black Jack's father. He left his wife and son after the incident which was explained in Volume 7 Chapter 5: "Unexploded Bomb" and wasn't heard from for 20 years. Later he flew to Macau, China with his new wife. But the reasons for Kagemitsu's behaviour is later explained in the Black Jack 21 series. In the manga, Volume 10 Chapter 2: "The Mask Chosen", he asks Black Jack to go to Aoyama to cure his second wife of Hansen's disease. Kagemitsu immediately reveals that he had an ulterior motive for summoning his son: because Hansen's disease had made Reika sterile, Kagemitsu wished to have Kurō live with them and become the heir to his fortune. When Black Jack asked him if he still loved Mio, he said no and only loves Reika.
- His second appearance was in Volume 10 Chapter 8: "Fresh and Blood". He had a stroke and ended up in a coma for three days. He later dies and his son takes his body back to Japan to be buried with Mio as a final revenge against his father.
- Reika Hazama
- First Appearance: Volume 10 Chapter 2: "The Mask Chosen"
- Reika Hazama is Kagemitsu Hazama's second wife and Black Jack's stepmother. She met Kagemitsu in Macao when he came for work. They started living together and he never went back to Japan. In Volume 10 Chapter 2: "The Mask Chosen", she had Hansen's disease and Black Jack surgically repaired her face. Out of revenge for Kagamitsu for not loving Mio, Black Jack gave her the face of his ex-wife, Mio.
- Her second appearance was in Volume 10 Chapter 8: "Fresh and Blood". She called Black Jack to help Kagemitsu wake up from a coma but, instead, he dies. The reader later finds out that she sent Black Jack to come to Macao to then later kidnap him. She wanted Shoren to inherit Kagemitsu's legacy but Black Jack was in the way. In the end, Shoren is killed by the same assassins Reika had hired and her stepson has severed all ties with her, leaving her alone in the world.
- First Appearance: Volume 10 Chapter 4: "Unfinished House"
- Ushigoro was the carpenter who built Black Jack's house before he was the owner. Before Black Jack moved in, the previous owner asked Ushigoro to build the house. He always leaves his trademark hand print on the places he built; if the owner doesn't like it, he leaves it in the attic. He told Black Jack, who was right out of med school, that he built the house in '32. From a blood sample, Black Jack was able to diagnose that Ushigoro has late-stage leukemia. Black Jack helped him build an operation room and a patient room. Even with leukemia, he pushes himself to finish building the house. The reason how he has leukemia was from the radiation at Hiroshima. He never noticed it for 30 years until a few years ago. Ushigoro became Black Jack's first patient at the new clinic. But since Black Jack was fresh out of med school, the leukemia was too much for him. He told Ushigoro to go to a large hospital; and each made a promise – Ushigoro will come back and finish the construction while Black Jack will become the world's best doctor. Even with Pinoko around, Black Jack's promise to Ushigoro is still kept.
- Shoren (in the manga) aka Benitokage (紅蜥蜴 Benitokage)
- First Appearance: Volume 10 Chapter 8: "Fresh and Blood"
- In the manga, her name is Shoren. She is Black Jack's half-sister. The daughter of Kagemitsu Hazama and Reika. In the manga version, when she finds out what her mother did to Black Jack in Volume 10 Chapter 8: "Fresh and Blood", she spat on her and told her servants to deliver her father's corpse to Black Jack. At first she despises Black Jack since she thought he only came for the inheritance but after finding out the truth, she secretly forgave him. She later dies saving Black Jack from a pair of assassins her mother hired, but not before she and her half-brother wordlessly reconcile.
- In the anime, Black Jack has two sisters. The first one is named Shoren and she plays a similar role to her manga counterpart, where she shuns Black Jack and believes he is after their money and sends him his father's corpse in exchange he leave their family alone. Unlike her manga counterpart, she is not sympathetic to him. The other sister is named Benitokage. She is raised by her grandfather, Zen Mantoku as an assassin to silence him and Pinoco everywhere he went for the sake of finding out the truth of the incident that happened during the bombing disaster on the mine field. She becomes increasingly obsessed with killing him since he always manages to escape and even disobeys orders to leave him alone as she claims it is her way of life to end her target. However, while obsessed with killing him, she ends up learning that she is his half brother taken from her parents by her grandfather due to his dislike for his son in law and she sacrifices herself to save him. she is similar to the manga counterpart in that she sacrifices herself to save Black Jack at the cost of her own life and the two reconcile at her death.
- Voiced by: Yumi Touma
- First Appearance: Volume 12 Chapter 13: "Prone to Laughter"
- Guffaw is a boy who went to the same school as Black Jack. In the school, he is always seen laughing and everyone knows it. Everyone who heard it, laugh themselves, except Black Jack. He didn't like how Guffaw would laugh even when his parents left one night and committed suicide in a car. There was something about him that brought them together. One day when Black Jack visits him, Guffaw told him that he wanted to be a manga artist, so anyone who reads it will laugh. Later that night, the debt collectors came for his parents. Thinking that his parents secretly came home and leave, they attacked Guffaw. Black Jack threw one of his darts at one of the collectors. That person used it to stab Guffaw in the throat. He ended up getting cyanosis and eventually transferred far away. Laughter in the school faded away. Later, Black Jack studied medicine at a university and, after 8 years since the accident, he went to search for Guffaw. When Black Jack found him in the sanatorium, he still has the recurring effect of cyanosis. Wanting Guffaw to laugh again, Black Jack operated on him. The surgery was a success until a secondary infection occurred. Knowing his end was nearing, Guffaw laughed until he could laugh no more. Then he died.
- Kumi Yamashita (in the manga) aka Kumiko Honma (本間久美子 Honma Kumiko)
- First Appearance: Volume 14 Chapter 4: "Full-Moon Disease"
- In the manga, her name is Kumi Yamashita. She is Dr. Jotaro Honma's 18-year-old daughter. She used to work at a coffee shop until she came down with Cushing's Syndrome or known as Full-Moon Disease. Her ex-fianceé, Shoichi Marugiri, dumped her because of it. Black Jack was able to find her and surgically repair her. Her ex-fianceé came back wanting to marry again but Black Jack got rid of him. Other than her, Black Jack is the only one who visits Dr. Honma's grave.
- In the anime, her name is Kumiko Honma. She is a character original to the TV series, she is an immigrant from China who transferred to Oana Senior High School.The daughter of Dr. Honma, whose life was saved by a teen Black Jack when she was a little girl. She works in Black Jack's favorite café and keeps an Inter Generational Friendship with him. Contrary to her best friend Wato, Kumiko has an introverted and attentive personality. For trying to save her father, healing Tetsu's fingers, and restoring her eyesight, she supports Black Jack. In the 2004 series she has glaucoma, so she has to get a cornea transplant to save her eyesight.
- Voiced by: Akiko Kawase
- Dr. Yamadano
- First Appearance: Volume 1 Chapter 12: "Two Loves"
- Dr. Yamadano is a good friend of Black Jack. He sometimes calls Black Jack to help him on difficult surgeries. He is usually seen wearing a monocle on his left eye, sometimes right.
- He is seen for the second time in Volume 2 Chapter 14: "The Blind Acupuncturist"
- 3rd time in Volume 5 Chapter 11: "The Helper"
- 4th time in Volume 9 Chapter 11: "Gift to the Future"
- 5th time in Volume 11 Chapter 1: "Spasm"
- 6th time in Volume 14 Chapter 4: "Full-Moon Disease"
- 7th time in Volume 14 Chapter 13: "Black Jack Disease"
- 8th time in Volume 15 Chapter 10: "A Surgeon Lives for Music".
- 9th time in Volume 16 Chapter 2: "Miyuki and Ben"
- 10th time in Volume 17 Chapter 7: "Money! Money! Money!"
- Osamu Tezuka (手塚 治虫 Tezuka Osamu)
- Osamu Tezuka is a character that is the self caricature of the main author of Black Jack. Tezuka often inserted himself into his works and is distinguishable by his small round nose and round trimmed glasses and short brown hair. In the manga he sometimes appears in cameos as himself or in humorous situations or to break the fourth wall. In the anime, he appears as a doctor and friend of Black Jack, often referring patients with difficult to operate diseases to Black Jack and Black Jack tends to respect and listen to his opinion. He appears more often in the anime than manga (he does appear in the manga at least once as a doctor but more often than not appears as himself).
- Inspector Tomobiki
- Inspector Tomobiki is an inspector with a minor role in the manga and a slightly more recurring role in the anime. He is an inspector and appears in a couple of other Osamu Tezuka's works known under the name Acetylene Lamp. He is characteristic for having a candle appear on the back of his head when he has an idea. He mainly sets out to arrest Black Jack for not having a license, but tends to fail each time. In the manga, he forces Black Jack to operate on Tetsu, a pickpocket after his fingers are cut off so that way the inspector can finally catch the pickpocket in the act of stealing and arrest him. Later, he tries to arrest Black Jack because Black Jack failed to cure his son of a disease but instead is commissioned to watch over Black Jack and makes sure he takes a test to see if he is qualified to have a license. He is tasked to operate on a boy with a skin disorder and succeeds, and it turns out the child is the inspector's son. However, Black Jack is still unable to receive his license and the inspector walks away in shame when seeing Black Jack as he had previously accused him of not being able to heal his son. The anime mainly has him keeping the same role though in Black Jack 21 he helps temporarily hide Black Jack by using his authority to proclaim Black Jack is dead. He appears briefly in the Black Jack: Two Doctors of Darkness Movie trying to find the kidnapped Black Jack. He also appears infrequently in the OVAs (mainly OVAs 4 and 9) having moved to Juvenile department and having a more friendly relationship with Black Jack.
- Chiyoko Wato (和登千代子 Wato Chiyoko)
- Chiyoko Wato is a character not seen in the manga. A character adapted from The Three-Eyed One, Wato is the captain of kendo club in Ooana Senior High School, and is notorious for her tardiness. With a strong sense of justice, she is an outspoken tomboy, a contrast to her best friend Kumiko. Unlike in The Three-Eyed One, where she is a friend and love interest to Sharaku, in the animated version of Black Jack, Wato and Sharaku are siblings. After Black Jack heals Sharaku's illness in "The Missing Needle", Wato becomes a positive supporter and friend of the doctor. Her father, Dr. Kenmochi, is an archaeologist who works around South Asia.
- Voiced by: Ryōko Ono
- Hosuke Sharaku (写楽保介 Sharaku Hōsuke)
- Hosuke Sharaku is a character not seen in the manga. Sharaku is a schoolboy attending Shiokou Junior High School. He is a gentle boy who takes interest in the supernatural, as seen in "Invaders from Space". Since "The Missing Needle", wherein Black Jack healed him, he has been Pinoko's best friend and her partner-in-crime when it comes to comic relief. He is known to have a limitless memory of random information, yet does terribly in school.
- Sharaku is a member of Tezuka's "star system" and appears in several manga stories by Tezuka. His primary manga is The Three-Eyed One, where he is the main character, alongside Wato Chiyoko.
- Voiced by: Yūko Satō
- Zen Mantoku
- Zen Mantoku is a character not seen in the manga. The true main antagonist in the Black Jack 21 series as he is the one who caused the beach explosion that injured Black Jack and his mother. He is also the one who framed Jotaro Honma by using the medical community to accuse him of human experimentation and forced him to retire. Afterwards, he used his partners as test subjects by improving their blood vessel by using the phoenix diseases in hopes of living for eternity. However, it all failed and they died one by one following by the story. He is the one, who separated the Renka older daughter for the sake to train her to become one of the most deadly assassin. Eventually, he is caused by the phoenix diseases throughout the world for the benefit of his organization around the globe. In the end, his final fate ended up by Renka shot him in his head and died.
- Voiced by: Seiji Matsuyama
- Dr. White
- Dr. White is a character not seen in the manga. Most technology doctors hired by the Japanese World Medicinal Organization with his evolution Machine to cure all the illness.
The manga series was first serialized from 1973 to 1983. Each volume was divided into 12 to 15 chapters; each chapter is about 20-some pages long. The first episode was called "I Need a Doctor!", and the last episode was called "A Question of Priority". Most of the manga series had never been directly adapted into anime form until a Black Jack Special was aired in 2003, thus initiating the Black Jack anime series in 2004, and the Black Jack 21 series in 2006.
Vertical Inc. has released translated volumes of the series in the United States, starting with Vol. 1 in September 2008 and finishing with Vol. 17 in November 2011. These collected volumes include a dozen or so stories each in the original unflipped format, and the stories will be published in the same order as the Japanese Black Jack collections. Vertical has also released limited editions of the first three volumes that include bonus stories not printed in any other edition.
Two translated volumes had been previously published by Viz Communications, but those editions are now out of print.
There is also a series called Black Jack ALIVE which was published in 2005, this series was created from numerous artists adding stories onto the original series. A chapter from this series was published in the last volume of "Magetsukan Kitan". In 2013, he is celebrating his 40 anniversary since his first appearance, along with Princess Knight's 60th, and Astro boy's 50th.
A 2005 remake of the series was titled Black Jack - Kuroi Ishi (manga).
Another manga called Black Jack NEO (manga) was published by a different author. It may be another remake. Not much information is known.
Young Black Jack is another manga, not by Tezuka but featuring his characters, that started in 2011. The story follows Black Jack as a medical student in the 1960s.
The first televised appearance of Black Jack was in the 1980 remake of Tetsuwan Atom. Episode 27 of Astro Boy brought together three separate Tezuka creations, as Astro, Uran, Doctor Roget (Black Jack) and Penny (Pinoko) travel back through time to 15th Century Molavia (Silverland). In this storyline, Black Jack performs a life-saving operation on a critically injured Princess Sapphire (from Ribbon no Kishi), while Astro and Uran fend off Gor, a malevolent magician bent on usurping the throne. Characteristically, Roget/Black Jack refuses to operate until he is offered the key to the treasury vault, but later takes only one commemorative coin from the grateful court (which turns out to be worth $200,000,000 when he returns to Astro's time).
Black Jack also made a cameo appearance in the theatrical film Phoenix 2772 as an interstellar prison warden, and is one of the main characters of the TV movie One Million-Year Trip: Bandar Book, in which he plays the role of a space pirate, somehow similar in concept to Leiji Matsumoto's Captain Harlock.
The sequel is Black Jack 21 (TV), which aired seventeen episodes from 10 April 2006 through 4 September of the same year. Adapted from standalone manga chapters, Black Jack 21 features an all-new overarching storyline. Though the Black Jack 21 series has never been licensed in the U.S., there are several legal subs available on the internet.
The previous two anime, Black Jack and Black Jack 21, depart somewhat from the manga by changing the setting to the early 2000s, allowing for flat-screen LCD computer displays and other items not present in the 1973-83 manga.
A new anime entitled Young Black Jack, about Black Jack's adventures as a medical student, began to air on 1 October 2015, with twelve episodes planned. It is based on the November 2011 and ongoing spin-off manga of the same title written by Yoshiaki Tabata and illustrated by Yūgo Ōkuma. More closely following the timeline of the original 1973-83 manga by Osamu Tezuka, the new anime is however somewhat discontinuous with the 2004 anime. While Young Black Jack is set in the late 1960s against the backdrop of activism against the Vietnam War, the 2004 anime is set in the early 2000s, representing nearly a 40-year time difference, even though Black Jack appears to have aged less than 10 years between them.
In 1992, Tezuka's protege Osamu Dezaki did the direction for a theatrical film and an OVA series. Ten OVAs were made (six of which, along with the film, were originally only available in dub-only VHS form in North America, but all 10 OVAs have since been released on bilingual Region 1 DVD). Wizard selected the series as their "Anime Pick of the Month" for August 1997, calling it "one of the darkest and hardest-hitting made-for-video series of recent years."
A new TV series was released in fall of 2004 in Japan, and a new film entitled Black Jack: The Two Doctors of Darkness (movie) was released in December 2005. While the television series is an (albeit sugar-coated) adaptation of Tezuka's original manga, the film's storyline is wholly original. The film describes Black Jack's attempts to prevent a group known as the Ghost of Icarus from starting a widespread, biological war which could wipe out humanity, while working alongside the infamous Dr. Kiriko. The TV show can currently be viewed for free on Viki (website) and Crunchyroll. Anime Sols has successfully crowd-funded the first 26 episodes of it for DVD release, starting from Episode 0. Right Stuf and Crunchyroll are currently selling extra copies of the first boxset through their website.
- The first live-action adaptation of a Black Jack story was the 1977 film Hitomi no naka no houmonsha (瞳の中の訪問者 – "The Visitor in the Eye" AKA "The Eye's Visitor"), directed by Hausu director Nobuhiko Ôbayashi and starring Jō Shishido as Blackjack. Although the whole film is live-action, the opening titles are animated in Tezuka's signature style.
- In 1981 started the TV drama series Kayama Yuzo no Blackjack, which, as the title suggests, stars actor Yuzo Kayama as Blackjack. In this version, Blackjack's origin story is changed and he is given a secret identity as Miro Ban do, a businessman and owner of an art gallery. The series aired on TV Ashia from 8 January to 9 April 1981, and lasted 13 episodes.
- In 1996, three Black Jack direct-to-video films were released by Band Visual, starring Daisuke Ryu as Black Jack and Honami Tajima as Pinoko.
- In 2000-2001, a series of three made-for-TV movies were aired on the TBS (Tokyo Broadcasting System) TV channel. They were directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi and starred Masahiro Motoki as Blackjack.
- Young Blackjack (ヤング ブラック・ジャック) is a reinvention of Black Jack's origin story, starring Masaki Okada as a young Kurō Hazama, before he became known as Black Jack. It started airing on 23 April 2011.
- Chinese film production company Beijing Enlight Media is developing a live-action internet film series adaptation of Black Jack with 13 films planned and also a theatrical feature film.
Appearances in other media
Between March 03-June 27, 2016, the Osamu Tezuka Manga Museum located in Takarazuka City, Hyōgo Prefecture, Japan, sponsored an art exhibit focused on the "Heroines of Osamu Tezuka". It highlighted the leading ladies of Tezuka's comics, such as Sapphire of Princess Knight and Pinoko of Black Jack. 
- Joel Hahn. "Kodansha Manga Awards". Comic Book Awards Almanac. Archived from the original on 16 August 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
- Aoki, Deb. "2008 Best New Manga". About.com. Retrieved 2009-08-20.
- "BLACK JACK by Osamu Tezuka". Vertical Inc. official page. Vertical Inc. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
- One Million-Year Trip: Bandar Book on the Internet Movie Database
- "Anime Pick of the Month". Wizard (72). August 1997. p. 130.
- Anime Sols Video Listing Archived 10 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Kayama Yuzo no Blackjack" DVD-Set on sale on Yesasia.com
- Covers of the three direct-to-VHS Black Jack films starring Daisuke Ryu (Japanese)
- Black Jack DVD set starring Masahiro Motoki Archived 24 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Okada Masaki to star in Young Black Jack special drama" on Tokyoite.com
- Kobayashi, Akira (September 5, 2016). "Movie version of Osamu Tezuka's 'Black Jack' coming to China". Nikkei Asian Review. Retrieved September 10, 2016.
- Hugh Laurie's House, Tezuka's Black Jack Co-Star in Ad (Updated) - Interest - Anime News Network
- (in Japanese) Official Black Jack TV website
- Official Black Jack Page at publisher Vertical, Inc.
- "Translated Manga Pick of the Month" -(J-pop.com)
- Macias, Patrick. "Black Jack." Animerica.
- eOne Picks Up Manga ‘Black Jack’ For TV Series
- Hitomi no naka no houmonsha on ImDB
- 1973 original (manga) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia 17 tankoubon
- 2003 Say Hello (manga) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia 13 tankoubon
- 2005 Kuroi Ishi (manga) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia 3 tankoubon
- 2006 NEO (manga) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia 2 tankoubon
- 1993 OVA series (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia 10 episodes
- 2001 net series (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia 12 episodes
- 2004 TV series (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia 62 episodes (episode 0 order of operations and 1-61)
- 2011 OVA series Final (anime) at Anime News Network's encyclopedia 2 episodes