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[In which World brings up some points and invites discussion!]

Last updated: November 15th, 2010.

The hell is this? Doesn't World already have a biography up, you ask?

Yes, I do. But these aren't "Biography" questions, these pertain to a few inconsistencies and plot holes having to do with Kiriko's character.

Black Jack fans can argue until they're blue in the face over a shitton of things, such as but not limited to, "who does Black Jack love?" "How old is Black Jack [ I had one person say he was eighteen. Are you kidding me, people?!]?" "When does the story take place?" "Was Black Jack an ill boy before the explosion?" "How did Kiriko and Black Jack meet?!" "How did Kiriko lose his eye?!"

And so on.

So since there is never a single correct explanation for any argument in the Black Jack fandom, here are my explanations on the matters of a few things considering Kiriko and how I play him:

First up:


One may not think it's such a big deal, but there's been a bit of a debate over Kiriko's age.

Hoooo boy. Here we go---

Kiriko's real age is a very confusing topic. Like Black Jack's age, it's hard to guess. (Amazingly, Black Jack's age is eventually stated in canon: In the manga, he's 28 in the very beginning, and 31 by the time it ends. There are flash backs here and there of him in med school, and he's 22 - there's a chapter that says "ten years earlier" and shows him at the age he was courting Megumi. In Black Jack 21, Black Jack is 27. In the OVAs, Black Jack is at least 30 (because this is around Michelle's age, and it's pretty obvious Black Jack is supposed to be the same age or older than Michelle, at least to me)).

So, let's assume the most obvious and say that Kiriko is at least three to five years older than Black Jack.

Kiri Kaoru's manga does this strangely - Kiriko is only 30. I don't agree with this and think it's much too young.

But the Two Doctors of Darkness movie makes it even stranger - he's in his fifties! I definitely don't agree with this!

How do we narrow it down, then?

Well, Kiriko has a younger sister, Yuri, who is younger than Black Jack. Kiriko and Yuri could feasibly have up to an 18 year difference, but let's assume that they're about ten years apart, which makes the most sense to me. (Really, read "There Was a Valve" again: do those two really seem like they're almost twenty years apart? Even ten years is pushing it! They look exactly the same in these chapters...)

Moving on...

Since Yuri can be no older than 28, this would put Kiriko at about thirty eight years old.

I like this age. To be honest, I think it's the most accurate. And let me explain why:

In the very first Kiriko chapter in the TIMELINE (NOT the manga order, but the TIMELINE), Kiriko is still young and handsome looking. He's not the run-down, scraggly Doctor we see him in later chapters as. In fact, in "There was a Valve!" and "99% Water," he still isn't that run-down looking - he could almost pass as a thirty year old after all!

Therefore, we can conclude that Kiriko's ghoulishness didn't occur from age, but from extreme stress. He killed his father, was alienated by his sister, and lives on the run, never settling in one place. If you follow the order Tezuka wrote the chapters in, this fits completely: by the time 99% Water has ended (a very traumatic event in Kiriko's life) and One Hour Til Death begins, Kiriko has wasted away. And as his work as a Death Doctor, something that he isn't always at terms with, this works well.

As another piece of proof to back up my argument: in the final Chapter of Black Jack, Kiriko looks the worst. He's thin, gaunt, and skeletal. Over the three years the story takes place, he's become a complete wreck by then. Compare the image of him in the finale to the first story to see what I mean.

Also, there's his father's age to consider. If Kiriko were really in his fifties, his father suffering from pneumothorax would be the least of his problems. His father would be in his mid eighties to nineties, which doesn't work in the context of the manga at all. But if Kiriko were in his late thirties, problem solved. Everything fits.

(Just a side not that Black Jack 21 cleared this up wonderfully - they made Kiriko's father immortal. Meaning that, since his father was in his late forties when he started the Noir project, almost thirty years before the story began, his age remains the same. And since Kiriko still looks younger than his father, late thirties remains to be the best explanation!)

Finally, in the OVAs, they made Kiriko about 35. Apparently, Dezaki agrees with me that Kiriko can't be that old. They even made him a bachelor and gave him a hot porn star love interest, for christssake!

But to further throw a wrench into our plans?

What about the war he fought in?!

Jesus this is complicated. The Black Jack OVAs take place in 1990, and it's widely assumed Kiriko is a Vietnam Veteran of the 1970's (and before you start getting on my case about his Canadian lineage - there were plenty of Canadian volunteers in the war. Shut up). In Kiri Kaoru's work, it takes place in 1979, and keeps Kiriko as a Vietnam Veteran, but this time of the 1968 timeframe (remember, Kiriko is disgustingly young in this version).

But the manga? It's never said. If you assume Vietnam, it's way to early. It would mean Kiriko would only have been practicing for a few years when the story begins, which doesn't work for his condition or for his success, since the manga timeline begins in the year 1974 and ends in 1978.

World War Two doesn't work either, because it puts Kiriko at too high of an age! It would make him at least in his late fifties, which we've already established is impossible.

But wait, you complain! Aren't the soldiers wearing Japanese uniforms? You see a katana on one, after all!

They could be. They probably are. Tezuka liked to remain terrifically vague on the wars that go on in Black Jack - so if he used Japanese uniform styles, doesn't do any harm. Remember the chapter "The War Never Ends?" The War is referred to as "War X." And there's a "War Y" in MW. Wars don't need to be real for Tezuka to use one - he likes to make them up all the time anyway. (No matter how you slice it, if you still want to argue that it's World War 2 in the flashback, it's already been retconned anyway, since World War II Japanese Doctors on the front didn't work that way!).

Besides, in Black Jack 21.... there is no war he could have fought in, if you want to argue that the war has to have happened in real life for it to be valid. Vietnam doesn't work; 21 takes place in 2006, after all. Either Iraq war doesn't work either.

So, you see? It can get confusing. But thankfully, my explanation that:

-From his father's age and his sister's age, Kiriko is about 38.
-Kiriko, in the manga, fought in a war that did not occur in real life.

Is the most consistent!


(But to be honest, after all that, I'd peg him anywhere between 35 to 45 years old. In the visual novel I wrote, he's 42. So really... think what you will. xD)

Second up...

Kiriko's father.

Oh my god I love this topic. Kiriko and his extreme Daddy issues are probably one of my fa-vou-rite things about his character.

And oh boy, does he have issues...

As I said in his Biography, Dr. Edward Theodore George is a Canadian doctor who became famous worldwide after discovering a strange alien organism near his hometown of Banff thirty years before the story began.


Which, may I remind you, makes Kiriko Canadian motherfuckers!

Through some experimentation and some work with radioactivity, he discovered that injecting this organism into ones bloodstream somehow stopped the host from aging, effectively creating a fountain of youth. He refined the organism into a serum known as the "Blood of Phoenix," and with a Chinese businessman named Zen Mantoku, began the Noir Project - a project that researched the various methods the virus could be used.


Most of the key members of the Noir project injected themselves with this virus - Dr. George being the first, and therefore, he became the first immortal man on earth.


Things were fine, to begin with. Kiriko didn't mind his father's research, and most likely helped him with his as much as he could when he was a teenager. Before the War, Yuri says that Kiriko "admired [his father] very much," and wanted to become a worthy heir to his name.

But then the war happened, and something went very wrong between them.

Kiriko and his father became very cruel towards eachother. Kiriko began to see immortality as a curse, as something disgusting and immoral, while Edward was not happy at all about Kiriko pursuing Toxicology in order to concoct painless methods for his patients to die.

Because of this apparently violent disagreement (and his Mother's suspicious death around this time - who you could blame either Kiriko or Edward for, if you consider Edward's experimentation with the BOP), Kiriko was excommunicated from the George family entirely, and thus, went from "Kiriko George" to only "Dr. Kiriko" in name.

Fast forward twenty years.

Edward's immortality has finally caught up with him - once when working on his pet project, he collapsed due to extreme chest pain. But when the Doctors tried to diagnose him, they couldn't find anything wrong. This pain escalates every day to the point where the Doctor is no longer able to move from bed without suffocating. Eventually, he was forcibly sent back to Canada, where he became entirely dependent on Yuri's help for survival.

Enter Kiriko, coming home for the very first time.

Finding out his father is sick, he immediately tries to do what he can - it's his father, after all! But for five years, no cure can be found. Kiriko diagnoses him with pneumothorax based on his symptoms (a lung condition where there is a puncture somewhere in the lung, causing air to flow outside of the cavity and making the lung slowly collapse, as well as crushing internal organs and the heart from the extreme air pressure build up), but he is unable to locate the hole. After a few attempts, he tries to do the only thing he can for his father - kill him.

Yuri goes mental and apparently chases him off with a shotgun.



Two years later when he returns, he finds Black Jack operating on his Dad... and is NOT pleased. He's so angry, he takes a SHOTGUN to his father's head and tries to KILL HIM ON THE SPOT to stop him from being saved.

But Black Jack pins Kiriko down, causing Kiriko's rage to fly off the deep end, and he start screaming at his father for dying and leaving them behind.

After this, Black Jack wants to operate, but Kiriko really doesn't want him to.


Because of the Blood of Phoenix, for some reason, Edward's body has become immune to anesthesia. You can see this throughout the operation - at the beginning, Black Jack says Edward is in precoma, which is why he falls unconscious. But partway through the operation, he starts reacting to what Black Jack is doing to his lungs...

Watch again - you can see him wince in agony each time Black Jack does something new.

Kiriko wanted to kill his father because he realized this... every time someone tried to operate, his poor father was awake the entire time, in unbelievable pain! And likely, painkillers do nothing for him, so each futile operation leaves the poor man writhing.

Gives Kiriko a lot more credit now, doesn't it? Also, it explains why he would rather take his father's head off with a shotgun than let him be operated on.

One more thing.

This is a very 'blink and you'll miss it' scene, but it's also one of the things that makes the episode so touching. (And makes me love Black Jack all over again - the greatest treasures are found in its subtleties.)

Kiriko didn't mean to kill his father after Black Jack had saved him - it was an accident. If his Dad had been cured, he would have been very thankful... but take a look at this scene.

After Kiriko injects his father with a Cardiotoxin and Black Jack saves him... Kiriko turns away from the table..
And for half a second, you can see a look of complete anguished relief cross his face.

It's only now that Edward lets them know he's been awake the entire time - and calls out to his son.

But then, Phoenix Disease destroys the rest of Edward's organs, and...

Okay, sorry. ...I have to stop here, because I might break my heart watching this if I continue...

....Oh god, this part gets me every time...

...Oh god, too late, the tears won't stop.


I need a moment....

[Check back for more shit later!]


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ジョルジュ キリコ || Dr. Kiriko George

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