AI Version of Osamu Tezuka’s ‘Black Jack’ Manga Series Planned

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Makoto Tezuka speaks about the AI project at Keio University on Monday. “If Osamu Tezuka were alive, he would definitely have used AI,” he said.

“Black Jack,” one of the most famous manga series by Osamu Tezuka (1928-89), will return in a “new work” to be produced by artificial intelligence.

The plan was announced Monday by the creative team for the project, TEZUKA2023, members of which include Satoshi Kurihara, a Keio University professor, and Makoto Tezuka, the son of Osamu Tezuka and an executive of Tezuka Productions Co.

In 2020, the team published a “new Tezuka work” titled “Phaedo” using AI technology. At that time, the role of AI was limited to making prototypes of the characters as well as the story outline, and the manga itself was mostly created by people. For the new project, the AI has studied and analyzed the pattern of all the 200 plus installments of “Black Jack.” Featuring the rapid progress of text and image generative AI, the project intends to explore the possibility of a joint creation by AI and people on a higher level.

The new work is scheduled to be carried in the Shukan Shonen Champion weekly manga magazine for boys published by Akita Publishing Co in autumn.