pinokosthewife: a happy, smiling Pinoko (Default)
[personal profile] pinokosthewife
Name: Pinoko [sometimes romanized as Pinoco, to resemble "Pinocchio" more]
Series: Osamu Tezuka's Black Jack
Age: technically twenty years old, but appears to be no older than seven.
Occupation: Black Jack's unlicensed assistant nurse and home maker.
Timeline: Anywhere mid-canon. The series is mostly episodic, so it doesn't matter too much.

History: Pinoko has quite the unusual history.

Pinoko was originally a very strange fetu-in-fetu (that is to say, she was initially to be half a set of twins, until she was absorbed by her would-be sister in the womb). She continued to grow, but in a very stifled manner, within her sister's belly as a tumor, until the girl reached eighteen years of age.

Embarassed by her state, her sister (who apparantly came from a very rich as she was able to afford Black Jack's insanely high fees— possibly a famous family as well, as she never revealed her face) went to many doctors, but all went insane, blaming the tumor's "curse."

Scoffing at the legends, Black Jack decided to operate on her.

But, when he approached to make an incision, he found himself incapable, as a telepathic voice (that of a woman, although lacking the lisp Pinoko eventually ends up with) tells him not to cut her.

However shocked by the improbability of this, he tries to reason with the voice. He informs her he will not hurt her.

Trusting him (unlike all the doctors before him, who she drove insane before they could make even a single incision because they never bothered to speak with her), she allowed him to cut her free from her sister. All she was was a mess of under-developed organs and a few complete systems (nervous and possibly circulatory as well, if memory serves).

She did not speak telepathically again.

He decided to keep her in an incubator, but Pinoko's sister wanted her to be thrown away. Black Jack did not do as told.

But what was truly miraculous was that, despite being under-developed in regards to her actual age, the systems she had were complete and her organs were functioning. All she lacked was a proper body.

He did not have the means to create her an adult body, but he did fashion her a small, child-like body resembling a girl he once saw on the cover one of his medical journals named Romi (who we are later introduced to in the chapter "The Two Pinoko").

The first thing she saw when she opened her eyes was Black Jack.

It was very unusual for the solitary surgeon Black Jack, who often painted himself as quite the villain to clients, to take in this abandoned life, but he felt an odd sort of kinship towards her that he never quite felt for anybody else.

In the manga, she already knows how to speak after birth, but her psychic skills are forever absent after her proper birth. In the anime, she needs to learn how to speak from the ground-up.

Black Jack names her Pinoko after Pinocchio, due to her doll-like body and unusual origins.

What the anime and manga have in common is that Pinoko went through a very difficult time learning to walk and move, much like the rehabilitation process the doctor himself went through after the explosion that lead to his mother's death and his permanent disfigurement.

She went through excruciating pain, as he did, but he never helped her get up when she fell, because he wanted her to learn independence. So she learned to stand up on her own and walk her way over to him instead.

He later tells a patient of his who has lost the will to live, while recounting Pinoko's story, that "people and flowers are both beautiful because they're trying to live."

Pinoko develops an odd, childish lisp that Black Jack only reprimands her for at first (telling her she will never be taken seriously as an adult with such a childish way of speaking), until he realizes it's a permanent speech impediment.

Her light lisp also leads to her rendering "Sensei" (a title for those knowledgeable in any subject, including medicine) as "Chenchei." In the English translations, this is often changed to "Doc" instead of "Doctor" to retain the cutesy child-like charm the original had.

A peculiar habit of Pinoko's is that she has a tendancy to cry "acchonburike!" (sometimes adapted in translations as "ohmigewdness!") whenever she's surprised or as an all-purpose phrase. It's a nonsense phrase which she claims to have coined herself.

In the anime, Pinoko showed an odd bit of vanity even before she started walking, as when Black Jack first allowed her to see herself in the mirror, she looked very upset. After he brushed her hair for her, she looked pleased with her reflection. She has worn her hair in the same way Black Jack originally styled it for her ever since.

In the manga, this vanity is shown also when even while horribly drunk after suffering the shock of her life, Pinoko still stops before running away from Black Jack's home to brush her hair and check her appearance in the mirror.

After Pinoko is able to walk and talk, during her sister's final check-up, Black Jack tells the woman he has someone she would like her to meet... her sister of eighteen years, Pinoko.

Her sister reacted harshly, screaming at Black Jack "why are you keeping that thing alive?!", reminding him that Pinoko was meant to be thrown away.

Pinoko was crushed and horrified. Tearing up, she then ran over and started pummeling and kicking her older sister with useless attacks until Black Jack took her away.

Ever since then, Pinoko has been by Black Jack's side, living with him in his desolate and simple little home on an island off the coast of Japan. Despite all of Black Jack's highly expensive fees for operations when his patients are rich and arrogant, he soon loses practically all of the money buying lands to protect the natural wildlife and habitats from being destroyed by other humans or in helping, without charge, those who are too poor to pay for his duties.

Shortly after, she meets a male ship doctor named Kisaragi Kei (unbeknownst to her, originally Kisaragi Megumi, a female medical student, before Black Jack had to operate on her due to ovarian cancer and who decided to live as a man after it rendered her infertile) who tells her the story of Black Jack's lost love from medical school, while keeping his own identity secret. Pinoko was curious and snuck away from Black Jack to speak with Doctor Kei and was surprised to hear that the Doctor once had a sweetie! Even then, Pinoko claimed to be the doctor's wife and cooked for him in the morning before they set out.

Pinoko's earliest attempts at being more domestic included: waking the doctor up (with a baseball bat), burning the food to inedible charcoal ("Bread! Pinoko baked it for shiksh hours!"), sweeping during mealtime, and latching onto the doctor to smother him with nonconcensual kisses, and professing her love and desire to marry him, to his shock and bewilderment.

After he yells at her, she cries, saying it was because she was never taught how to perform these duties, so he tells her that he will teach her, but refuses to teach her now because she is only a baby! She reacts huffily, "what a rude thing to shay! Pinoko is eighteen years old! A virgin maiden!"

He coldly tells her he is incapable of love, so she asks why he saved her, but he claims he gave her a human body only to frighten the patient (her sister) into giving him more money. She cries that it can't possibly be true!

Becoming increasingly annoyed, he coldly informs her that if she doesn't stop her antics, he will take her apart and put her back into the culture.

What he said in a fit of anger, Pinoko takes to heart, as later, when a young boy is injured and Black Jack finds he cannot save him without an immediate kidney transplant, Pinoko steps in and offers her own out of devotion.

To his shock, she quietly and resolutely tells him that he may use her body, with his previous statement about taking her apart as justification. Saying she doesn't mind, Pinoko makes her offer again, strips down and lies on the operating table.

Overcome by the prospect of saving the boy's life, he agrees that that would be all it would take to save him, so he turns on her to operate. Wthout a trace of fear, Pinoko tells him to go ahead and take her apart.

Black Jack only stares for a long moment, before he turns away, starting to laugh at his own foolishness, before asking the boy's parents for a donor, showing that he never meant to take Pinoko apart to begin with.

But due to the father's greed, the boy dies on the operating table before anything could be done.

Pinoko cannot believe it, crying that the doctor could never fail.

The greedy man yells at Black Jack, blaming him for his son's death and ironically accusing him of greed, leaving Pinoko utterly confused as to why Black Jack did not do as she asked of him, but is yelled at to get dressed and go back inside.

She sits crying on her bed for a while, before sneaking away to take a peek through the doorway to find the doctor slumped over his desk in anger and grief. She watches him for a long moment, seeing the real, human Black Jack that few others will ever know. Quietly returning to her room, she whispers with a smile, "you know what, chenchei? Pinoko loves you."

Since that time, she has gotten much better at housework and grown a lot more capable in general, regularly helping him in his operations and following him on his trips whenever she can, although he usually does manage to slip away without her on his more dangerous ones.

She can now cook very well and has even proven herself to be a fine doctor, according to Black Jack.

She has dealt with gangsters who have held her hostage and wanted to kill the doctor; in one incident, she used her childlike appearance to her advantage, innocuously asking if they would let her "go potty," as to allow her to sneak away and call the police. When Black Jack himself is threatened, she shows no concern for her own safety, and quite angrily asks Black Jack (while held firmly in the grasp of one of the gunmen!), if she can "bite this bashtard."

She was also shot that day, fortunately surviving.

An earlier incident where she was kidnapped by men who lured her out by impersonating Black Jack (she was staying in a hotel room on a very high floor, so from the window, she couldn't recognize the man as a fake), she showed a great deal of courage. Even though she cried and called the men "cockroaches" for daring to kill a girl, she also managed to start a fire while her arms were bound with rope by kicking at a table to bring down a lamp.

Pinoko's not entirely above falling for, or at least, lightly flirting with other men, however. At one point, a young prince who sought to train under Dr. Black Jack came to visit and Pinoko tried to convince Black Jack that she could see potential in him. Black Jack realized she had developed a bit of a crush on the man, which Pinoko couldn't deny, but assured him she only liked him "shecond best." But when Black Jack denied her request to take him on as an apprentice, she threw a fit, crying that he was handsome, so he HAD to make a good Doctor.

So Pinoko took him on as her own assistant and even had him help her prepare dinner. When the prince complimented Pinoko's cooking, she informed him that "flattery will get you nowhere."

Still, when he went to return to his home country, she told him he could return and be her assistant again anytime.

Personality: Pinoko behaves as her vision of the ideal 1950's wife, with two major setbacks:

The first is that she is trapped in a child's body and the object of her affections does not even seem to return her feelings, but never bothers to reject her, most likely because he does not want to hurt her feelings. Really, she was rejected by her own blood sister, how is he supposed to reject her now?

The second is that she is the most easily jealous "wife" in existence. She cannot handle the idea of the Doctor being around any pretty female, even other doctors, and can be quite quick to jump to conclusions, although every once in a while, she can be right. She is very astute when it comes to matters of the heart and recognizes that a young medical school student was in love with Black Jack from the look in her eyes ("Pinoko can shee it in her eyes, that deep-in-love gaze."), which was why Pinoko decided not to leave Black Jack's side during his stay in the hospital.

She can cook the loveliest of lavish meals, do all the washing and cleaning (although she makes mistakes here and there; she's only human... not to mention she's so tiny and occasionally clumsy and forgetful— one does not dance to UFO while doing the dishes, unless they want said dishes to crash to the floor while you try to imitate Pink Lady dance moves), and is loving and affectionate towards Black Jack, whom she often surprises people by claiming she is his "wife," usually in a double-whammy with "Pinoko is 18 years old!"

She is also quite profficient as a nurse, however unlicensed (like Black Jack himself) and not officially trained; only under Black Jack's guidance can she do her best, because she relies on his abilities.

When she is forced to rely on her own skills, she is uncertain and prone to making mistakes, such as when she had to take the college entrance exam when she was close to turning nineteen.

Although she is mentally eighteen years old, her neurological system was not allowed to develop properly and so, it cannot handle the stress of long-term studying the way other normal eighteen year old minds can.

The stress takes its toll on her nervous system and in turn creates a biliary dyskinesia with no cause aside from being a psychosomatic disease.

So she decides to go to kindergarten instead... but that ends badly when she throws violent tantrums and is thus kicked out of school once again. Black Jack is later shown to be bribing the school to keep Pinoko enrolled.

Aside from throwing tantrums and passing out from too much stress, nearly every amusing trait of hers is made a little less so when tied to her origin story, such as her ridiculous bouts of jealousy and near fanatical love of Doctor Black Jack which are most likely born out of an intense fear of abandonment, due to rejection by her family.

However, it is not only out of need for a family, as overtime, she has truly grown to love Black Jack.

Even Black Jack attempting to give her up to adoption (when he is attacked in the Black Jack 21 anime, as well as when he is sick and possibly dying in the manga) is met with depression and loneliness.

She is unable to cope with living as the daughter of a rich doctor and his wife, who treat her like a child. She also stops the maids from doing their own work, crying that she can do it herself. Despite seeming to emotionlessly resign herself to her fate when she accepts the new clothes bought for her by her adoptive parents, she still dashes out, lively and excited, when she saw a man in a coat because she mistook him for Black Jack.

When finally reunited with Black Jack, she professes, while crying, that she won't go back to Saeki Hospital, even if he begged her. He was the one who gave her life and now she only wants to use this life to help him.

Although she does have a very childlike lisp and loves sweets, she is bored to death by most children's games, like riding a seesaw and is equally disinterested in children's programming. She would much rather watch a suspense/mystery drama ("Skeleton Archipelago" is her favourite) and complains to Black Jack about always getting stuck playing with five year olds because of her size.

It seems her favourite foods are parfaits and ice cream sundaes.

In addition, Pinoko likes to read women's fashion magazines in her free time. Pinoko also loves watching romances and sometimes chides the doctor for not being romantic enough, although he treats her more like a daughter most of the time.

She also has knowledge of things most children aren't privy to, identifying as a "virgin," warning Black Jack not to meet up with "shome floozy," and worrying about him having an affair, to name a few examples.

Pinoko also does curse in the manga. Very rarely, however, as she's usually polite, even when throwing a tantrum. It's something she usually only does if Black Jack is hurt by someone, in the same way that Black Jack is ordinarily non-violent unless Pinoko is attacked or so much as threatened with violence.

She often wishes she could have a "nice body" like the ones the beautiful women's kimono on display are meant for. When she asks to buy one of those kimono in the anime, Black Jack suggests she turn her gaze instead to the children's kimono which are closer to her size, much to her chagrin. For this reason, she later acquires an image-distorting mirror (in the manga only) so that she can gaze at an elongated reflection of herself and perhaps get a glimpse of what she might have looked like if it weren't for her unusual origins.

Black Jack does not try to make her behave like a child, but instead tries to let her live her life as normally as possible and insists that everyone treat her like an adult, although he himself initially treated her as a child (and even thought of her as his "daughter," until he realized her feelins for him were serious).

Due to only having been alive in her own body for about year or so, Pinoko's still rather optimistic and naively trusting, always trying to see the bright side of things and searching for the good in people. In this way, she makes a very good foil for the cynically jaded, world-weary Black Jack.

She's very out-spoken and does not hesitate to argue with people, even Black Jack at times, if she thinks that something is wrong.

Pinoko can also be very manipulative, such as when she tried to convince Black Jack that she couldn't see where he was cutting, "if only you had Pinoko a little bit taller..." and when she threw a tantrum in the streets to force Black Jack into rescuing an injured, thieving stray dog. She screamed "MURDERER!!" and kicked and flailed until people crowded around to stare at Black Jack, who miserably picked up the dog, calling Pinoko a drama queen.

Still, despite her childish behaviour, she shows her odd moments of an innocent sort of wisdom, such as when she's introduced to the concept of first-magnitude (the closest stars to Earth which appear largest, actually small) sixth-magnitude stars (the farthest from Earth which appear smallest, actually quite large) and Black Jack identifies some constellations for her, until she finds one lonely, very bright first-magnitude star that he cannot name.

Later, they have a conversation where Pinoko claims that that star they saw the other day, shining so brightly, but so lonely... was the solitary Doctor Black Jack. And that the little star right next to it was Pinoko. Because a sixth-magnitude star "looks small, but it's really big, right?"

Another example was when a depressed, paralyzed actress was brought to Black Jack for treatment and remained motionless even after the successful operation. Pinoko suggested licking her to heal her, because that was what she saw a mother cat do for its injured and bleeding kitten (who Black Jack predicted grimly would die soon), but Black Jack yelled at her that they weren't cats.

The woman turned out to no longer be physically incapable of moving, but was so emotionally crippled she no longer desired to live. When she later commits suicide, Pinoko reveals that the kitten had lived and that its mother saved it by licking it! Black Jack was forced to remember that while he as a surgeon could treat the bodies of people, he could not heal their hearts or minds.

Although Pinoko often fantasizes about living a normal life and wants sorely to do all of the things every other eighteen year old does, she never lets this depress her for very long. She loves her life, no matter how difficult it might be, and is grateful to be with her beloved Black Jack.

She is the only long-term companionship he has in his lonely little home, ostracized from the rest of society and dested by the medical field.

She is everything that Black Jack loves about humanity (and he hates so much of it), so she often acts as his conscience and keeps him from losing his own humanity.

In a way, they both need eachother.

Skills/Special Powers: She's a very good nurse already and quite clever! When Black Jack had difficulty operating on a five year old boy with mirrored anatomy, she brought Black Jack a mirror to look at while he operated.

When she's under the guidance of someone she trusts (Black Jack especially), she doesn't go under enough stress that she passes out and can actually hold out for long hours of operation, although, as soon as the operation is over over, both doctor and nurse will probably flop down outside the operation room and sleep.

She's a little picky though and is unlikely to work with anyone besides Black Jack, unless it's absolutely necessary.

She wants to be a doctor just like Black Jack in the future.

Don't ever let her mix medicine on her own, however. Pinoko's idea of medication is an all purpose concoction that causes EXPLOSIVE DIARRHEA which convinced Black Jack he was dying of cholera after ingesting it.

Needless to say, Black Jack has ordered her to never— under any circumstance— to mix that thing again.

Special powers? Does telepathic powers in that tumor count? xD; Really, Osamu Tezuka's Black Jack is a medical drama that is, for the most part, realistic (Black Jack's otherworldly level of skill aside) and extremely medically accurate due to the mangaka having had medical training.

Except, of course, when good drama calls for something off-the-wall like a transplanted eye that remembers the rapist and murderer of the woman from whom the eye was taken and oddities such as telepathic teratoma Pinoko.
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pinokosthewife: a happy, smiling Pinoko (Default)

January 2013

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