It has been forty years since Osamu Tezuka, the pioneer of manga, created the classic series Black Jack, and some of today’s mangaka pay homage to the manga and its bubbly heroine, Pinoko.
The monthly magazine Princess has started a series of tributes to Black Jack. In the recently published May issue, Arina Tanemura (Full Moon wo Sagashite), Sawa Sakura (Manmakoto), Yumi Unita (Usagi Drop), and Hiko Yamanaka (Oujisama to Haiiro no Hibi) have all drawn the character Pinoko.
The original Black Jack, a series about a mysterious doctor who deals with strange medical cases, may feel out of place in a shoujo magazine like Princess, but the artists have done a great job of depicting the doctor’s little sidekick. Tanemura and Sakura have each drawn a short manga featuring Pinoko, while Unita and Yamanaka have drawn an illustration of her with one of their own characters.
Here is a glimpse of Tanemura’s short manga, “Pinoko no Kekkonshiki” (Pinoko’s Wedding Ceremony).
This panel is from Sakura’s short manga, “Kimi no Te Boku no Te, Mizu no Naka” (Your Hand, My Hand, in Water).
The next four issues of Princess are scheduled to feature more tributes to Black Jack from several different artists.
Fans of Black Jack should also check out Black Jack Sousaku Hiwa, the manga that gives authentic production stories told by people who worked with Tezuka, as well as the prequel Young Black Jack by Yoshiaki Tabata and Yuugo Okuma, which tells the story of Black Jack while he was still in medical school.