Wrong, but how wrong?

I enjoy all of the stories in Vertical’s collections of Osamu Tezuka’s Black Jack, but I feel kind of off in that my favorite stories feature Black Jack’s creepy little ward, ambulatory tumor Pinoko. In part, it’s because she’s just so wrong on every level. It’s also that the relationship between anti-social vigilante Black Jack and utterly tragic sidekick Pinoko always strikes me as a stripped-to-its-disturbed-core version of Batman and Robin.

So for today’s survey, how wrong is that?

6 Responses to Wrong, but how wrong?

  1. gia says:

    Pinoko is love.

  2. davidpwelsh says:

    I’m so glad it’s not just me.

  3. ScottGreen says:

    If you want to see disturbing Pinoko, check out the Osamu Dezaki anime. Black Jack is like a medical Golgo 13, with occasional glimpses of a soul, and Pinoko is this cherubic kid hanging off him. In the manga, you can sort of put aside the notion that Pinoko is a person and appreciate her as a lively cartoon entity. When Pinoko is depicted in flesh tones for the anime, the disquieting nature of the pairing is really staring you in the face.

  4. Lavode says:

    I think facepalm-inducing weirdness helps keep your brain limber. That’s why I like to read Bobobo-bo Bo-bobo when not working on my paper.

  5. […] Each story in Black Jack Volume 5 showcases Osamu Tezuka’s excellent cartooning and storytelling while also deliverying a gripping story.  Whether the focus is on Black Jack, Pinoko or another doctor, Tezuka’s stories are always grounded with a humanity that rings universal and true.  Even Pinoko’s stories have a tinge of humanity to them, even if she is a walking tumor? […]

  6. Evangeline says:

    Wow, that poll is hilarious! “Now you have me picturing Robin screaming, ‘I’m the wife!'” LOL! (I seriously need to draw a picture of that sometime.) So yeah, I love Pinoko to bits. She’s both tragic AND comic, adorable and insanely creepy, all at the same time.

    Tezuka knew exactly what he was doing when he made her a major part of the stories, and a closer look reveals that she’s something much more than just an injection of cute. She’s Black Jack’s foil, his complete opposite–being naive and loudmouthed where he’s cynical and laconic. (And instead of having a “cherubic kid hanging off him” making BJ LESS menacing, it actually makes those qualities STAND OUT!) Ironically, she’s also his kindred spirit in one way…that they were both abandoned by their family at a young age, after being rescued by a surgeon who recognized that child’s will to live. I’m convinced that’s why BJ saved her in the first place, other than his instinctive response to save any life he can.

    Hey Scott, your comparison of BJ to Golgo 13 is really interesting, especially since Dezaki did that anime too. But you make a sound arguement. I’ll NEVER watch Clinical Chart the same way again…the chills are running down my spine as I type, for the love of Billy Shears. ; )

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