Who is Pinoko, the unique character who journeys alongside Osamu Tezuka’s masterpiece “Black Jack”?

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I would like to delve deeply into the captivating character Pinoko from Osamu Tezuka’s masterpiece “Black Jack.” Pinoko continues to be loved by many fans due to her unique existence and extraordinary background. In this blog, I will introduce Pinoko’s charm from various perspectives, including the secret of her birth, her growth process, the voice actors and actors who played her, and her special relationship with Black Jack.

The Secret of Her Birth

Pinoko first appears in the 12th episode of “Black Jack,” titled “Teratogenous Cystoma.” She was discovered in a state where her brain, limbs, and internal organs were all disjointedly enclosed in a cyst of a noblewoman’s body. Due to her possession of psychic powers that could destroy surgical instruments with telekinesis and drive doctors insane through telepathy, surgery was impossible at other hospitals and ended in failure. As a last hope, Pinoko was taken to the unlicensed doctor Black Jack, and after being persuaded by him, she decided to undergo surgery. Black Jack promised to “extract her without killing her” and successfully performed the surgery. Afterward, she was assembled into a young girl and started a new life.

Episodes from Her Childhood

Pinoko was able to move for the first time the day after she was assembled. However, in later episodes, it was revealed that Black Jack subjected her to rigorous rehabilitation training for several months. This inconsistency was corrected in the paperback version, where it was changed to “when her sister came for a regular check-up a year later.” The relationship with her sister was complex, and every time they reunited, she was often rejected by her sister and family who were concerned about appearances. However, when her sister attempted suicide and lost her memory, Pinoko was able to act like a real sister during her treatment under Black Jack. This episode highlights Pinoko’s growth and the complexities of human relationships.

Pinoko’s Unique Physique

Pinoko’s body has a unique structure, and because her skin is made of synthetic fibers, she would drown if she entered water. Therefore, Black Jack prepared a special pool for her, which was designed with a salinity several times higher than seawater, allowing her to swim due to the high buoyancy. However, if she stayed in the water for more than three minutes, her skin would become irritated, so she had to be careful. Additionally, her hair is not naturally growing but rather consists of her original hair from the tumor. Although it doesn’t come off in strong winds or when wet, it doesn’t grow, so she always has the same hairstyle. Furthermore, her body has stopped growing; she calls herself 18 years old at birth, and ages up to 21 in the story, but her body remains that of a toddler.

Relationship with Black Jack

Pinoko is the only family member living with Black Jack and his loyal assistant. She insists on being an “18-year-old lady,” but her actual behavior is akin to that of a kindergarten child. She calls Black Jack “hubby,” loves him, and shows a jealous side. She is good at cooking, and Black Jack’s favorite dish is her curry rice. Pinoko works hard to write love letters for Black Jack and gives him large heart-shaped chocolates on Valentine’s Day. All the housework is also Pinoko’s job, and because of her small size, she uses stepladders and chairs to manage the chores. Black Jack also cherishes her, and there are many episodes depicting his concern for her.

Touching Episodes

There are many touching episodes that symbolize the bond between Pinoko and Black Jack. For example, when Black Jack fell ill, Pinoko was temporarily put up for adoption to help him. However, Pinoko forcibly returned and played a crucial role in helping Black Jack. This event deepened their bond further. Additionally, when Black Jack performs surgeries, Pinoko prepares the surgical tools as his assistant and hands them to him. Although she doesn’t participate in surgeries due to lack of medical education, her casual actions and ideas sometimes inspire Black Jack, making her a highly valued assistant. Moreover, she takes care of the patients’ meals and provides emotional support, fulfilling roles beyond those of a nurse.


Pinoko is a character with a unique birth, peculiar physique, and a deep bond with Black Jack. Through her story, one can feel the power of human love and bonds. Even if you have never read Osamu Tezuka’s “Black Jack,” I encourage you to experience Pinoko’s charm at least once. You are sure to fall more in love with her. Pinoko’s existence is indispensable in “Black Jack,” and her character enriches the story even further.

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