Tezuka Productions and artificial intelligence (AI) are joining forces to create a fresh manga series based on the iconic Black Jack by Osamu Tezuka. As part of the “TEZUKA2023” initiative and in celebration of Black Jack’s 50th anniversary, this exciting AI manga collaboration will debut in the upcoming fall issue of Akita Shoten’s Weekly Shōnen Champion magazine.
The AI is powered by ChatGPT-4, a chatbot utilizing cutting-edge technology developed in collaboration with Japan’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), a renowned research and development agency. Esteemed participants in this project include Professor Satoshi Kurihara from Keio University’s Faculty of Science and Technology, along with Makoto Tezuka (also known as Macoto Tezka) from Tezuka Production.
The TEZUKA2020 project, initiated in February 2020, unveiled an AI-driven manga called “Paidon,” which aimed to assimilate and replicate the unique artistic style of Tezuka.
Tezuka’s seminal work, “Black Jack,” revolves around an exceptional renegade physician who operates outside the bounds of conventional licensure. From 1973 to 1984, Tezuka published this manga in Weekly Shōnen Champion, a publication by Akita Shoten. The official website dedicated to Osamu Tezuka vividly depicts the manga’s essence.
This gripping medical drama follows the extraordinary journey of Black Jack, an exceptionally skilled yet unlicensed surgeon. Armed with unparalleled surgical expertise, Black Jack repeatedly performs miraculous rescues on gravely ill patients teetering on the brink of death. However, his exorbitant fees for his life-saving procedures have led to his ostracization from the medical community.
Black Jack leads a quiet existence in a secluded clinic nestled amidst an isolated wilderness, accompanied by Pinoko, his devoted assistant whose life he once saved. Desperate and abandoned patients, abandoned by other physicians, flock to him daily, viewing him as their ultimate beacon of hope.
The manga has sparked numerous anime adaptations and spinoffs by other creators. Additionally, it has served as a muse for various Japanese live-action renditions, such as a 1977 film, a 1981 series, a 1996 video, a 2000 special, and a 2011 special.