Black Jack (manga)

Black Jack (manga)

Infobox animanga/Header
name = Black Jack

caption = The cover for "Black Jack" volume 11 from the Osamu Tezuka Manga Complete Works edition.
ja_name = ブラック・ジャック
ja_name_trans = Burakku Jakku
genre = Medical, Drama
Infobox animanga/Manga
title =
author = Osamu Tezuka
publisher = flagicon|Japan Akita Shoten
publisher_other = flagicon|USA Viz Media, Vertical Inc.
flagicon|Italy Hazard Edizioni

demographic =
magazine = Shōnen Champion
first = 19 November 1973
last = 14 October 1983
volumes = 17 ["Definitive Edition" bunko (as of 2006, out of 18 intended to collect everything).Ann manga|1341. Accessed 2006-12-05.]
Infobox animanga/Manga
title = Black Jack - the Dark Surgeon
author = Osamu Tezuka
illustrator = Kenji Yamamoto
publisher = flagicon|Japan Akita Shoten
demographic =
magazine = Shōnen Champion
first =
last = 9 February 2006
volumes =
Infobox animanga/OVA
title =
director = Osamu Dezaki
studio =
episodes = 10Ann anime|525. Accessed 2006-12-05.]
released = 21 December 1993 - 2000
network = flagicon|USA US AZN TV
network_other = flagicon|Philippines Hero TV
Infobox animanga/Anime
title =
director = Makoto Tezuka
studio = Tezuka Productions
network = flagicon|Japan Animax, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation
first = 11 October 2004
last = 2006
episodes = 62
episode_list = List of Black Jack episodes#Black Jack TV Episodes (2004-2006)
Infobox animanga/Movie
title = Black Jack: Futari no Kuroi Isha
director = Makoto Tezuka
producer = Tomoyuki Saitō
Sumio Udagawa
music = Isao Tomita
studio = flagicon|Japan Tezuka Productions
licensor =
released = 17 December 2005
runtime = 97mAnn anime|3309. Accessed 2006-12-05.]
Infobox animanga/Anime
title = Black Jack 21
director = Makoto Tezuka, Satoshi Kuwabara
studio = Tezuka Productions
network = flagicon|Japan Animax, Yomiuri Telecasting Corporation
first = 10 April 2006
last = 4 September 2006
episodes = 17
episode_list = List of Black Jack episodes#Black Jack 21 Episodes (2006)
Infobox animanga/Other
title = Related anime
content =
* Black Jack: Capital Transfer To Heian (Movie; Sidestory to 1993 version)
* Black Jack the Movie (1996, adaptation of 1993/manga version)
* Black Jack Special: the 4 Miracles of Life (Promotional special; Lead-on episodes of Black Jack TV)
* Ray the Animation (TV)

nihongo|"Black Jack"|ブラック・ジャック|Burakku Jakku is a manga written by Osamu Tezuka in the 1970s, dealing with the medical adventures of the eponymous doctor Black Jack.

"Black Jack" consists of hundreds of short, self-contained episodes 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 movies. "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. [cite web | url= | author=Joel Hahn | title=Kodansha Manga Awards | work=Comic Book Awards Almanac | accessdate=2007-08-21]


Most of the episodes involve Black Jack doing some good deed, for which he rarely gets recognition—often curing the poor and destitute for free, or teaching a capitalist fat cat and his pompous colleagues a lesson in humility. They frequently end with a good, humane person enduring hardship, often unavoidable death, to save others.

Osamu Tezuka drew on his knowledge as a physician in writing "Black Jack", and the manga contains frequent medical details. However, Tezuka chose to generally eschew medical plausibility in his manga: Black Jack is superhuman, regularly performing spectacular and impossible feats of surgical virtuosity, such as operating in absolute darkness completely from memory, and transplanting body parts without any risk of rejection. (However, rejection is accounted for in some anime episodes.) The Black Jack stories also frequently include pseudoscience and science fiction elements.

econdary characters


nihongo|Pinoko|ピノコ is Black Jack's sidekick, a little girl constructed by him who is actually a Teratogenous Cystoma, a sort of tumor also known as a teratoma. As seen in "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, a plastic exo-skeleton that gives her the aspect of a normal little girl. After being rejected by her twin sister, she started to live with him in his house. She always helps the doctor by doing house-chores and even acting as an assistant to some of his operations. She often acts as comic relief in "Black Jack", physically and in many ways mentally appearing to be a girl of elementary school age, but claiming to be a girl of eighteen and engaged to him, despite that he mostly treats her as a daughter.

Pinoko's main form of comic relief is yelling アッチョンブリケ("acchonburike"), equivalent to "Oh my goodness!" in English, whilst pressing her cheeks together with her hands when something surprising happens. Sometimes, this is translated as "OHMIGEWDNESS" to fit the phrase being distorted by the action.

*Voiced by: Yuko Mizutani


nihongo|Biwamaru|琵琶丸 is an acupuncture doctor who specializes in needle techniques. He made his first appearance in episode 51. 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 too many times.

Biwamaru believes that his needle techniques are the perfect solution to any medical problem. He often cures Black Jack's patients, causing Black Jack to feel unhappy and annoyed. One day he found a small kid (who was also Black Jack's patient), 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. Her condition became worse. Black Jack was furious and intended to show the proud Biwamaru about his mistake. Biwamaru was grateful when Black Jack saved the child's life. Later on that night, Biwamaru cured Black Jack's large intestine, which Black Jack has attempted to treat through surgery, by piercing a needle into his foot to return his kindness.

Black Queen

First making her appearance in "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 Makube Rokuro, Rock Holmes, but her being infamous sends troubles for the couple. She met Black Jack, drunk, in the Tom, addressing herself as the Black Queen. The former is impressed by their similarities and falls in love. The end was bittersweet as he later discovered that Rock was actually her fiance.

Megumi Kisaragi

Black Jack's tragic love, they met during their internship. She stayed up late at work and cared more about the patients than everyone else. She discovers that Kuroo Hazama has been the one looking after her whenever she walks alone at night. Later, she reveals 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 confess 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.

Dr. Jotaro Honma

The reason why Black Jack pursued the career in medicine, mentor and life-saver, he played as the young boy's father-figure after the tragedy struck. Kagemitsu Hazama, Black Jack's father, flew to Macau, China with his new wife Renka, abandoning his son Kuro and his first wife (the reasons for Kagemitsu's behavior are later explained in the Black Jack 21 series). The boy 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 the miracle, as seen in "The Leg of an Ant."

Dr. Honma dies because of old age in the episode four of Black Jack 4 Miracles of Life "Just like a Pearl" after a failed surgical attempt by the man he inspired to revive him. However, he plays an important role in Black Jack 21, since he has once worked at the "Noir Project."

Dr. Honma's daughter, Kumiko, is a friend of Black Jack who attends a local high school and works as a waitress in a café that Black Jack and Pinoko frequently visit. When she was a little girl, Kumiko was once about to fall off from a roof, but then a teenaged Black Jack caught her in time; she didn't know about this for a long time since she was too young to remember.

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.

Dr. Kiriko

nihongo|Dr. Kiriko|ドクター・キリコ, the "death doctor", is another shadowy doctor, traveling the world like Black Jack. When Kiriko was a war doctor, he saw many patients in great pain, and got into the habit of using euthanasia. He often appears in the manga, attempting to kill terminally ill patients which Black Jack wants to save. He is so dedicated to euthanasia that he once attempted to kill himself when he got a rare infectious disease. Although he is not exactly a villain or primary antagonist, he is often considered Black Jack's opposite: While Kiriko leads patients to their deaths, Black Jack leads patients to their lives.

Though arch-rivals, they 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".

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 is not greedy for money like Black Jack nor did he consider his style of Euthanasia as a 'Solution to all sicknesses' as demonstrated by his act of charity as 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 shows a proficiency in mechanics and music.

*Voiced by: Kazuhiro Yamaji

Watou and Sharaku Hosuke

The children of a famous archeologist, these two siblings appear rather often after Black Jack saves Sharaku's life. Sharaku himself is a bald, clever, gentle middle schooler with a vivid imagination, who is Pinoko's best friend and is clearly infatuated with her. His headstrong, tomboyish older sister Watou is a famous kendo expert and the best friend of Kumiko Honma.

*Voiced by: Ryoko Ota (Watou), Yuuko Satou (Sharaku)



The manga series was first serialized from 1973 to 1983. 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 started releasing translated volumes of the series in the United States. Vol. 1 was published in September 2008, Vol. 2 will be published in November 2008, and two volumes have been announced for 2009. Vertical will also release limited hardcover editions of each volume that will include bonus stories not printed in any other edition. These collected volumes will include a dozen stories each in the original unflipped format, and the stories will be published in the same order as the Japanese Black Jack collections. [ [ Vertical Inc. Black Jack page] ]

Two translated volumes had been previously published by Viz Communications, but those editions are now out of print.


Perhaps the first televised appearance of Black Jack was in the 1980 remake of "Tetsuwan Atom". Episode 26 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). Presumably, the name changes were due to Western audiences being unfamiliar with the "Black Jack" franchise at the time.

Black Jack also made a cameo appearance in the theatrical film Phoenix 2772 as an interstellar prison warden.

In 1992 Tezuka's protege Osamu Dezaki did the direction for an OVA series. Ten OVAs were made (six of which were originally only available in dub-only VHS form in North America, but all 10 OVAs are now available on bilingual Region 1 DVD), and a movie (also by Dezaki).

There is also a four episode TV special from 2003 called "Black Jack: The 4 Miracles of Life".

A new TV series was released in fall of 2004 in Japan, and a new film entitled "Black Jack: The Two Doctors of Darkness" was released in December 2005. While the television series is an 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 wide-spread, biological war which could wipe out humanity, while working alongside the infamous Dr. Kiriko.

In late April 2006, a seventeen-episodes series titled "Black Jack 21" premiered. Adapted from standalone manga chapters, "Black Jack 21" features an all-new overarching storyline.


*Since 2005, "Black Jack" is rewritten by Yamamoto Kenji under the control of Tezuka Production.

*"Black Jack TV" did not run episode 03, or Karte 03, due to the Japanese Earthquake. According to Fansubber Froth-Bite's Forum [,556.0.html] , it was 'sympathy for the dead', equivalent to having the Twin Towers removed after 9/11 in the movies, because places in the episode featured the places that had most casualties.:This episode was later aired in Japan on July 17, 2006, due to a canceled baseball game, but was not labeled as Karte 03. According to the same forum, it also aired a different 'unreleased' episode on the same date, but it is unclear how it's related to the show at the moment.

*Astro Boy and Unico makes several cameos in Black Jack TV

*Bokko and Pukko from The Amazing 3 appears in the first opening.

*Kimba the White Lion appears quite frequently as a cameo, especially in episode 7 of 2004 TV as the main animal saved (in this episode he is renamed "Luna-luna").

*TV Asahi releases a Top 100 Anime of All Time list at the end of each year. In 2005, "Black Jack" was rated 35th. In 2006, "Black Jack" is listed 54th, while the character itself has been listed as 52nd. [] [] .

*Black Queen is another Tezuka character whose real name is Zephyrus.

*Sharaku and Wato from "Three-Eyed One" first appear as siblings in the "Black Jack" series in "The Missing Needle".

*Famous Japanese singer Utada Hikaru voiced Pinoko in the anime's online version.

*Argentine writer Pablo Nieto published an article that analyzes one of Black Jack's stories from the standpoint of Lacanian psychoanalysis. [ [ Lo siniestro en el noveno arte] ]

*A Black Jack cosplayer appeared in an anime/manga convention in volume 6 of the "Midori Days" manga.

* The voice actor of Black Jack, "Akio Otsuka", also voiced characters with strong charisma such as "Anavel Gato" from Gundam 0083 as well as "Solid Snake" and "Big Boss" from the "Metal Gear" series.

*Black Jack 21 focuses more on the renowned doctor's mysterious past and operations are frequently on himself. This brand-new sequel shows more action and Black Jack deals with dangerous assassins from a top secret organization called the Noir Project.
*Black Jack's assassin is actually his half-sister produced between the union of his father, Hazama Kagemitsu and his stepmother Mantoku Renka.


External links

* [ Official Black Jack TV Site (Japanese)]
* [ Official Black Jack Manga/TV Site (Japanese); Has Officially all the Black Jack + Spinoffs chapter/volume lists]
* [ Official list of Black Jack collected editions in Japan] (partially out-of-date: 17th bunko was published in 2003)
* [ Official list of all 242 Black Jack chapters]
* [ Black Jack manga at TezukaOsamu@World]
* [ Black Jack OAV at TezukaOsamu@World]
* [ Black Jack Movie at TezukaOsamu@World]
* [ Black Jack: Capital Transfer to Heian at TezukaOsamu@World]

ee also

*Osamu Tezuka's Star System

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