The manga and anime Beastars by Itagaki Paru features an eclectic menagerie of personalities, but one that caught my attention is the panda character Gohin. The reason: the character is likely an elaborate reference to the classic Tezuka Osamu manga character Black Jack.
Gohin, like Black Jack, works as an unlicensed doctor, being called upon by those who cannot (for whatever reason) request more legitimate professional help. Both have a moral code, but it lies outside the normal boundaries of society. Even Gohin being a panda has hints of the Tezuka character: Black Jack’s skin on his face has two shades—the darker skin comes from a skin graft he received from his half-African best friend.
What seals the deal on Gohin being the Beastars Black Jack is that he’s voiced by Ohtsuka Akio, who has been the voice of Black Jack in numerous anime adaptations since the 1990s.
Basically, I can’t wait to see Gohin operate on himself while fighting off some dingos—albeit ones who walk on two legs and talk.