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Electric Pinocchio I: Brat Begins

As a child, once I had learned to read I was constantly grabbing books to read from libraries and people around me. But one of the first books I bought for myself was Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi. My mother had read it as one of her first books when she was sick as a child as well but didn’t keep the copy to pass it on to me. In my late teens I was reading less and less books and more and more comics, especially Japanese ones once I had discovered them. I also started to learn Japanese to read them in their original language, as well as play Japanese games.

One of the manga I read back then was Battle Angel Alita by KISHIRO Yukito or Gunnm (A Dream of Guns), as it is called in Japanese. Another one was Dragon Ball, which of course was preceded by the more light hearted Dr. Slump by the same author, TORIYAMA Akira. Dragon Ball, Dr. Slump and Gunnm were among the first manga I tackled in Japanese, although I was reading Alita in translation as well, simply because it was available which then wasn’t true for the TORIYAMA ones.

What did strike me was the similarity of motifs between Pinocchio and those android hero manga like Gunnm and Dr. Slump. Pinocchio being a world classic of children’s literature it’s not far fetched to assume that indeed Pinocchio could and must have influenced the latter two. I didn’t watch it much but in my childhood there was an animated TV series based on Pinocchio running in Germany which was made in Japan so this was already proof that the Japanese must have had some exposure to this classic.

Looking at Wikipedia now Pinocchio was translated into Japanese as early as 1920, by NISHIMURA Isaku, who narrated the story to his 12 year old daughter Aya reading and translating word by word from a Western version of the book. Aya wrote the story down and it was published by Kinnotsunosha the same year.1 http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%94%E3%83%8E%E3%83%83%E3%82%AD%E3%82%AA%E3%81%AE%E5%86%92%E9%99%BA#.E4.B8.BB.E3.81.AA.E6.97.A5.E6.9C.AC.E8.AA.9E.E8.A8.B3, 31.10.2011 A more official one was published much later in 1970 by children’s story author ANDŌ Yukio1 http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%94%E3%83%8E%E3%83%83%E3%82%AD%E3%82%AA%E3%81%AE%E5%86%92%E9%99%BA#.E4.B8.BB.E3.81.AA.E6.97.A5.E6.9C.AC.E8.AA.9E.E8.A8.B3, 31.10.2011, decades after the 1940 Disney movie adaption of Pinocchio was screened in Japan in 19522 http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%94%E3%83%8E%E3%82%AD%E3%82%AA_%281940%E5%B9%B4%E3%81%AE%E6%98%A0%E7%94%BB%29, 31.10.2011. The god of manga TEZUKA Osamu adapted Pinocchio as a comic3 http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%94%E3%83%8E%E3%83%83%E3%82%AD%E3%82%AA%E3%81%AE%E5%86%92%E9%99%BA#.E6.BC.AB.E7.94.BB, 31.10.2011, also in 1952. And in 1972 the first anime adaption by Tatsunoko Pro Studios ran on Japanese TVs4 http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%A8%AB%E3%81%AE%E6%9C%A8%E3%83%A2%E3%83%83%E3%82%AF, 31.10.2011, years before the 1976 version by Nihon Animation that also ran in Germany5 http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%94%E3%82%B3%E3%83%AA%E3%83%BC%E3%83%8E%E3%81%AE%E5%86%92%E9%99%BA, 31.10.2011. So it’s fair to say that this world classic had similar influence on Japanese children as it had in the rest of the world.

Carlo Collodi’s 1883 original story portrays Pinocchio as a wicked boy, who keeps on disappointing his well meaning father Geppetto and to a slightly less degree also the fairy who becomes his mother substitute in the longer second half of the story. This certainly owes to it being written over a century ago but also to certain Christian ideas of man being inherently evil and having to be raised to be good. Dr. Slump’s robot girl Arale on the other hand is a perfect example of the Japanese idea that children are pure and good, as opposed to adults like her creator father Senbee, who are already corrupted by mature traits. Arale also is a bit mischievous at times and gets Senbee into trouble but she’s never portrayed as wicked rather than naïve and excessive in her usage of her super human powers endowed to her by Senbee. She’s certainly not put through harsh hardships like Pinocchio to become a better person either, instead Senbee is ridiculed for being much more wicked than his daughter. In 1980 Japan was also a much wealthier place than Italy in 1883, so the authors Collodi and TORIYAMA simply had different backgrounds to put into story. In Gunnm Gally and her ‚creator‘ Ido are even more idealized morally, both having to kill for a living in a bleak future where almost everyone has cyborg parts but neither being portrayed of bad character really. The setting does provide enough hardship and opportunities for character building to match Pinocchio in this regard though.

Pinocchio is of course also a novel of education, or bildungsroman as it is called in German, a term often used in reference to works of manga and games in Japan. Geppetto is an avatar for his author as much as Pinocchio was one for his readers, cursed to be a puppet which cannot grow up until it meets the high standards of its parents. Looking at and comparing some of the early motifs in these three stories I want to show how the relationship between parent and child is portrayed in these works.


Once upon a time there was a piece of wood. It was not an expensive piece of wood. Far from it. Just a common block of firewood, one of those thick, solid logs that are put on the fire in winter to make cold rooms cozy and warm.

I do not know how this really happened, yet the fact remains that one fine day this piece of wood found itself in the shop of an old carpenter. His real name was Mastro Antonio, but everyone called him Mastro Cherry, for the tip of his nose was so round and red and shiny that it looked like a ripe cherry.

As soon as he saw that piece of wood, Mastro Cherry was filled with joy. Rubbing his hands together happily, he mumbled half to himself:

„This has come in the nick of time. I shall use it to make the leg of a table.“

He grasped the hatchet quickly to peel off the bark and shape the wood. But as he was about to give it the first blow, he stood still with arm uplifted, for he had heard a wee, little voice say in a beseeching tone: „Please be careful! Do not hit me so hard!“ 6 CHAPTER 1, THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO by C. Collodi [Pseudonym of Carlo Lorenzini], Translated from the Italian by Carol Della Chiesa.

Too good to find an early end in a fire stove Pinocchio’s first sensation as told in the story is one of pain. Only at this point his person status is revealed. Still he’s found to be good material for craft but resisting being manufactured. In Gunnm, Ido wanders the scrapyard for parts to use when he finds a female cyborg head:

Ido: (breathes heavily) W-what’s this…?

Ido: Unbelievable…

Ido: (laughs)7 Gunnm Volume 1, page 9.

Gally’s person status is immediately apparent and Ido8 The distinction between Maestro Cherry and Geppetto is skipped and the characters are fused in Ido. His laugh betrays a sense of madness in the same way as Maestro Cherry hearing voices from an inanimate object. will repair her rather than create her from scratch. Trash and firewood, both didn’t have a future before being found. Her being only a head bears witness to earlier experienced violence and pain.


After choosing the name for his Marionette, Geppetto set seriously to work to make the hair, the forehead, the eyes. Fancy his surprise when he noticed that these eyes moved and then stared fixedly at him. Geppetto, seeing this, felt insulted and said in a grieved tone:

„Ugly wooden eyes, why do you stare so?“

There was no answer.

After the eyes, Geppetto made the nose, which began to stretch as soon as finished. It stretched and stretched and stretched till it became so long, it seemed endless.

Poor Geppetto kept cutting it and cutting it, but the more he cut, the longer grew that impertinent nose. In despair he let it alone.

Next he made the mouth.

No sooner was it finished than it began to laugh and poke fun at him.

„Stop laughing!“ said Geppetto angrily; but he might as well have spoken to the wall.

„Stop laughing, I say!“ he roared in a voice of thunder.

The mouth stopped laughing, but it stuck out a long tongue.

Not wishing to start an argument, Geppetto made believe he saw nothing and went on with his work. After the mouth, he made the chin, then the neck, the shoulders, the stomach, the arms, and the hands.

As he was about to put the last touches on the finger tips, Geppetto felt his wig being pulled off. He glanced up and what did he see? His yellow wig was in the Marionette’s hand. „Pinocchio, give me my wig!“

But instead of giving it back, Pinocchio put it on his own head, which was half swallowed up in it.

At that unexpected trick, Geppetto became very sad and downcast, more so than he had ever been before.

„Pinocchio, you wicked boy!“ he cried out. „You are not yet finished, and you start out by being impudent to your poor old father. Very bad, my son, very bad!“

And he wiped away a tear.

The legs and feet still had to be made. As soon as they were done, Geppetto felt a sharp kick on the tip of his nose.

„I deserve it!“ he said to himself. „I should have thought of this before I made him. Now it’s too late!“ 9 CHAPTER 3, THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO.

As soon as Pinocchio gains the capacity for it he starts playing pranks on his creator. Geppetto blames himself for not planning his creation properly. The manufacturing of his puppet which creates its shape can be seen as an allegory for education that shapes character. Dr. Slump begins in a very similar vein:

Arale: Yawn…

Arale: Ahhhh…

Arale: (mumbling)

Arale: I’m so bored!

Senbee: Great idea starting with the head, now she’ll keep nagging me.

Senbee: Looking good, now try moving your right arm a little.

Arale: Okay.

Arale: Hiya.

Senbee: Ahh, ahhh…

Senbee: A LITTLE, I said A LITTLE!

Arale: Wow, your eyes are protruding.

Senbee: I felt like I was going to die…

Arale: Flat as a flounder…

Senbee: Stop complaining! 10 Dr. Slump Volume 1, pages 6-7.

As pointed out earlier, Arale isn’t ill spirited but rather clumsy. The creator blaming himself for not thinking ahead is repeated here though. Like Geppetto he started out at the top, giving her capacity to speak first. The limbs also soon become a source of pain for him once he comes around to making them.

In Gunnm it takes more time to make Gally as she remains unfinished until later:

Gon: Why did you even bring that thing, Ido?

Ido: Don’t you call her a thing.

Ido: She’s a human like us.

Ido: Looking at her parts she must be a model from at least 2 or 3 hundred years ago.

Ido: Somehow she must have gone into hibernation so her brain was conserved.

Gon: You sure like to collect old stuff…

Gon: She woke up!

Ido: Hi! My name is Ido. What is yours?

Girl: My… name…?

Gon: She’s broken. Amnesia, probably.

Ido: She’ll remember it soon enough. Haha.

Gon: You want to raise her?

Ido: Gotta make her a new body. But first things first…

Ido: It’s decided!

Ido: From today your name will be Gally.

Gon: Isn’t that the name of your cat that died last month?

Gon: And wasn’t it male?

Ido: Who cares. Just until she remembers her real name.11 Gunnm Volume 1, pages 10-11.

Rather than turning an inanimate object into a human, Ido repairs Gally instead of creating her. The harmony between father and adopted daughter contrasts the pranks in the other two works, but criticism of being a maniac collector is raised at the ‚father‘ by his friend Gon which echoes criticism many of the otaku readership of manga like Gunnm might encounter.


All three of our artificial humans have a major flaw established right during or after their creation:

After the eyes, Geppetto made the nose, which began to stretch as soon as finished. It stretched and stretched and stretched till it became so long, it seemed endless.

Poor Geppetto kept cutting it and cutting it, but the more he cut, the longer grew that impertinent nose. In despair he let it alone. 9 CHAPTER 3, THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO.

The long nose of course has become a proverbial signifier for lying which is Pinocchio’s biggest flaw, expressed visually. There’s another one:

The little old man wanted to pull Pinocchio’s ears. Think how he felt when, upon searching for them, he discovered that he had forgotten to make them! 9 CHAPTER 3, THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO.

No ears to be pulled, no ears to listen to Geppetto’s guidance. Pinocchio is missing a means to make him obey. Arale on the other hand, for all her superior abilities, has the common geek flaw:

Senbee: Can you read this?

Arale: (reads the wrong character)

Senbee: Huh!?

Senbee: How about this one?

Arale: (wrong again)

Senbee: Not even close…

Senbee: Well, and this one?

Arale: Ba ll

Senbee: You must be kidding me. Is this a practical joke!?

Arale: ?

Arale: Wah, now I can see!

Arale: Oh! King Kong!

Senbee: Shut up!! 12 Dr. Slump Volume 1, page 10.

She’s near-sighted and has to wear glasses. Gally’s imperfection on the other hand isn’t visible:

Ido: I want to know more about you, Gally.

Ido: You must have had a real name, a family, a home…

Gally: My real name…

Gally: I don’t remember…

Ido: Don’t worry. Take your time.

Ido: For now you’re Gally, hahaha.

Gally: Yeah.

Ido: Anyway, I was hoping to find some parts to use for your new body here…

Ido: But no such luck.

Ido: Dammit!!

Ido: Sorry, didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable.

Ido: I’ll make a great body for you, I promise. 13 Gunnm Volume 1, page 13.

She has no identity, no remembrance of her past.

Creator’s Dream

All three fathers have plans for the future of their children:

„This morning a fine idea came to me.“

„Let’s hear it.“

„I thought of making myself a beautiful wooden Marionette. It must be wonderful, one that will be able to dance, fence, and turn somersaults. With it I intend to go around the world, to earn my crust of bread and cup of wine. What do you think of it?“ 14 CHAPTER 2, THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO.

Pinocchio is supposed to make a livelihood for Geppetto, an investment to the future. His role is given to him also in name:

„What shall I call him?“ he said to himself. „I think I’ll call him PINOCCHIO. This name will make his fortune. I knew a whole family of Pinocchi once—Pinocchio the father, Pinocchia the mother, and Pinocchi the children—and they were all lucky. The richest of them begged for his living.“9 CHAPTER 3, THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO.

The name will make his fortune, it will decide his fate. Senbee on the other hand just wants Arale to bear witness to his great genius:

Senbee: I’m such a genius, it’s almost terrifying…

Senbee: Who would have thought it’d be this easy to create the perfect android…

Arale: Doctor Senbee!! 15 Dr. Slump Volume 1, page 8.

Ido wants Gally to be safe from the harsh realities of the world, kept away from its violence:

Ido: For your sake I will gladly behead as many evil-doers as necessary.

Ido: I don’t mind the blood stain.

Ido: But you, I want you to remain as in my dream. 16 Gunnm Volume 1, page 39.

Without noticing, by not expecting anything else from her he completely wants to keep her a dependent child.


Gally won’t have that though. Even though Ido protested to Gon for him calling her a thing she points out that Ido sees her exactly the same way:

Gally: I’m not a doll for you to dress up, Ido! 16 Gunnm Volume 1, page 39.

Gally wants meaning beyond that which her father gives her:

Gally: For me, for myself… 17 Gunnm Volume 1, page 41.

Pinocchio also defies his father but much more aggressively and without being able to articulate or argue a need for it:

When his legs were limbered up, Pinocchio started walking by himself and ran all around the room. He came to the open door, and with one leap he was out into the street. Away he flew!

Poor Geppetto ran after him but was unable to catch him, for Pinocchio ran in leaps and bounds, his two wooden feet, as they beat on the stones of the street, making as much noise as twenty peasants in wooden shoes.

„Catch him! Catch him!“ Geppetto kept shouting. But the people in the street, seeing a wooden Marionette running like the wind, stood still to stare and to laugh until they cried.

At last, by sheer luck, a Carabineer* happened along, who, hearing all that noise, thought that it might be a runaway colt, and stood bravely in the middle of the street, with legs wide apart, firmly resolved to stop it and prevent any trouble.
* A military policeman
Pinocchio saw the Carabineer from afar and tried his best to escape between the legs of the big fellow, but without success.

The Carabineer grabbed him by the nose (it was an extremely long one and seemed made on purpose for that very thing) and returned him to Mastro Geppetto.

The little old man wanted to pull Pinocchio’s ears. Think how he felt when, upon searching for them, he discovered that he had forgotten to make them!

All he could do was to seize Pinocchio by the back of the neck and take him home. As he was doing so, he shook him two or three times and said to him angrily:

„We’re going home now. When we get home, then we’ll settle this matter!“

Pinocchio, on hearing this, threw himself on the ground and refused to take another step. One person after another gathered around the two.

Some said one thing, some another.

„Poor Marionette,“ called out a man. „I am not surprised he doesn’t want to go home. Geppetto, no doubt, will beat him unmercifully, he is so mean and cruel!“

„Geppetto looks like a good man,“ added another, „but with boys he’s a real tyrant. If we leave that poor Marionette in his hands he may tear him to pieces!“

They said so much that, finally, the Carabineer ended matters by setting Pinocchio at liberty and dragging Geppetto to prison. The poor old fellow did not know how to defend himself, but wept and wailed like a child and said between his sobs:

„Ungrateful boy! To think I tried so hard to make you a well-behaved Marionette! I deserve it, however! I should have given the matter more thought.“9 CHAPTER 3, THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO.

Criticism is raised at Geppetto but we as reader know it’s unfounded. Still in the real world the stereotype often proves true and Collodi simply chose to make his character Geppetto better than the prejudice. The novel habitually defends the parent over the wicked child, it’s one sided in this regard.

Even Arale tries to make her own decisions, apparently craving to become more feminine:

Senbee: Hey, Arale…

Arale: Mmm.

Senbee: Huh?

Senbee: What are you up to now?

Arale: I’m making a spare head.

Arale: See?

Arale: Isn’t it pretty?

Senbee: Don’t be silly!!

Senbee: You’re supposed to look like a high school student!!

Arale: No good?

Senbee: Instead of fooling around you should rather get me some cigarettes.

Arale: Crap, and I spent so much time on it too… 18 Dr. Slump Volume 1, page 56.

As Geppetto, Senbee is concerned more with keeping appearance.


When Pinocchio returns to the empty house alone he meets the cricket who would become his sidekick in the Disney movie. But in the original book Pinocchio kills the annoying cricket in an outrage of fury:

„Poor Pinocchio, I am sorry for you.“


„Because you are a Marionette and, what is much worse, you have a wooden head.“

At these last words, Pinocchio jumped up in a fury, took a hammer from the bench, and threw it with all his strength at the Talking Cricket.

Perhaps he did not think he would strike it. But, sad to relate, my dear children, he did hit the Cricket, straight on its head.

With a last weak „cri-cri-cri“ the poor Cricket fell from the wall, dead! 19 CHAPTER 4, THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO.

In the edited German translation I read as a kid a paragraph is added where Pinocchio, realizing what he has done, regrets his reckless physical retaliation to the harsh words but it seems to be missing in the original version.

The squashing of an insect, Gally’s first kill looks a lot like this as well:

Ido: G-Gally…

Gally: Did I…?

Ido: That technique, it surely was a Panzerkunst* of ancient Mars lore…

*Armor art, said to be the strongest martial arts school among the many developed for single cyborg units. 20 Gunnm Volume 1, page 30.

The planet Mars, named after the Roman god of war, a German word21 Fußnotenauszug: Gunnm’s author KISHIRO using German words throughout the story shows that he has at least superficially studied the language. If he also was aware of one of the German subtitles of Pinocchio, Das hölzerne Bengele (The Wooden Brat), Gally being referred to as a metal angel or battle angel in the English translation might also come from his knowledge of German. Take out the first letter in be... referring to war tanks in a Japanese comic, drawing up associations of WWII, an instinct for violence that is remembered despite general amnesia, these are the reasons for why the Japanese reader’s avatar might have lost her recollection of her past. Amnesia is a common motif of Japanese post war literature born from the pacifistic urge to wipe away the war past. Ido’s attempt to never let Gally use violence makes him an avatar for the American occupants trying to calm Japanese warrior tradition by prohibiting certain type of samurai and revenge stories. An American father who has to kill to protect his own and a Japanese daughter who wants to become her father’s equal.

Arale, being a gag manga robot heroine, never kills but yet she naturally assumes to have the capacity for using weaponry right after her birth, to fight evil of course:

Arale: So can I at least shoot missile from my stomache?

Senbee: No!

Arale: Then how am I supposed to fight evil…

Arale: I guess I’ll have to use the weapons of a woman…

Senbee: Who said you should fight evil!! 22 Dr. Slump Volume 1, page 9.

Children’s heroes in post war pacifistic Japan need to be pure to fight villains, even pure of recollection of their history. If this children hero type is interpreted by and for an adult audience we get something like Gunnm.


A major concern of parents will of course always be to keep their children safe from seductive strangers which might cause them harm. After Pinocchio has already left Gepetto he encounters the fox and cat for the first time who are the main villains repeatedly getting Pinocchio in even worse trouble than he does on his own.

„Look at me,“ said the Fox. „For the silly reason of wanting to study, I have lost a paw.“

„Look at me,“ said the Cat. „For the same foolish reason, I have lost the sight of both eyes.“

At that moment, a Blackbird, perched on the fence along the road, called out sharp and clear:

„Pinocchio, do not listen to bad advice. If you do, you’ll be sorry!“

Poor little Blackbird! If he had only kept his words to himself! In the twinkling of an eyelid, the Cat leaped on him, and ate him, feathers and all.

After eating the bird, he cleaned his whiskers, closed his eyes, and became blind once more.

„Poor Blackbird!“ said Pinocchio to the Cat. „Why did you kill him?“

„I killed him to teach him a lesson. He talks too much. Next time he will keep his words to himself.“

By this time the three companions had walked a long distance. Suddenly, the Fox stopped in his tracks and, turning to the Marionette, said to him:

„Do you want to double your gold pieces?“

„What do you mean?“

„Do you want one hundred, a thousand, two thousand gold pieces for your miserable five?“

„Yes, but how?“

„The way is very easy. Instead of returning home, come with us.“23 CHAPTER 12, THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO.

In addition to attempts of persuading Pinocchio, the cat also displays an outbreak of violence against a voice of parental rationale. This particular aspect is echoed in Gally encountering a brain eating endorphin junkie she’s out to collect the bounty of:

Arale on the other hand, after trying to make a sexy face for herself and being sent to buy cigarettes, lets a gangster kidnap her, too naïve to even grasp his intentions:


All three of our artificial heroes lose their freedom of movement after defying their creator:

He returned home as wet as a rag, and tired out from weariness and hunger.

As he no longer had any strength left with which to stand, he sat down on a little stool and put his two feet on the stove to dry them.

There he fell asleep, and while he slept, his wooden feet began to burn. Slowly, very slowly, they blackened and turned to ashes. 24 CHAPTER 6, THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO.

Arale is tied up in what she thinks is a game:

Arale: Huh? What are we playing?

Gangster: Ehm, like I’m a gangster that kidnapped you! It won’t hurt. 25 Dr. Slump Volume 1, page 59.

And Gally’s fragile body is torn to pieces after getting hit by her giant opponent.

But as opposed to Pinocchio our Japanese heroes don’t have to fully rely on their creator to rescue them. Arale is strong enough to tear the rope:

Gangster: Norimaki, Norimaki. Damn, I can’t find his number!26 Dr. Slump volume 1, 60

And Gally can retaliate the attack on her while still in mid-air:


The poor Marionette, who was still half asleep, had not yet found out that his two feet were burned and gone. As soon as he heard his Father’s voice, he jumped up from his seat to open the door, but, as he did so, he staggered and fell headlong to the floor.

In falling, he made as much noise as a sack of wood falling from the fifth story of a house.

„Open the door for me!“ Geppetto shouted from the street.

„Father, dear Father, I can’t,“ answered the Marionette in despair, crying and rolling on the floor.

„Why can’t you?“

„Because someone has eaten my feet.“

„And who has eaten them?“

„The cat,“ answered Pinocchio, seeing that little animal busily playing with some shavings in the corner of the room.

„Open! I say,“ repeated Geppetto, „or I’ll give you a sound whipping when I get in.“

„Father, believe me, I can’t stand up. Oh, dear! Oh, dear! I shall have to walk on my knees all my life.“

Geppetto, thinking that all these tears and cries were only other pranks of the Marionette, climbed up the side of the house and went in through the window.

At first he was very angry, but on seeing Pinocchio stretched out on the floor and really without feet, he felt very sad and sorrowful. Picking him up from the floor, he fondled and caressed him, talking to him while the tears ran down his cheeks:

„My little Pinocchio, my dear little Pinocchio! How did you burn your feet?“ 27 CHAPTER 7, THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO.

Arale, after bringing Senbee his cigarettes goes back to the gangster who isn’t a real danger to her. But when her energy runs out she again is immobilized and assumed to be injured by the panicking gangster. Senbee, who saw this coming, is off to her rescue with a robot dog he built in an instant:

Gangster: Uwahh, this can’t be happening!!

Doctor and nurse (dancing): He-ho, he-ho.

Senbee: Hah, hah, finally found her.

Senbee: Hah

Senbee: Hah

Senbee: Hah

Senbee: Excuse me, did you by any chance see…

Senbee: A-Arale!!

Nurse: This is specially for you…

Gangster: Wahhhh

Doctor: Hmm? 28 Dr. Slump volume 1, page 65

Using his pointy missile hammer, Ido finishes off Gally’s already heavily injured opponent.


In less than an hour the feet were finished, two slender, nimble little feet, strong and quick, modeled as if by an artist’s hands.

„Close your eyes and sleep!“ Geppetto then said to the Marionette.

Pinocchio closed his eyes and pretended to be asleep, while Geppetto stuck on the two feet with a bit of glue melted in an eggshell, doing his work so well that the joint could hardly be seen.

As soon as the Marionette felt his new feet, he gave one leap from the table and started to skip and jump around, as if he had lost his head from very joy.29 CHAPTER 8, THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO.

Very similar scene in Gunnm:

Gally: Hah

Gon: She woke up.

Ido: Gally!

Gon: How are you, Gally?

Ido: Do you feel different?

Gally: Huh?

Gally: Ah!

Gally: My new body! 30 Gunnm volume 1, page 104

In Dr. Slump the scene isn’t as obviously inspired by Pinocchio (if at all) but still the common set of motifs is completed here as well:

Doctor: And you are…?

Senbee (thinking): This ain’t good. If he examines her…

Senbee: Erm, I’m her father, yes, that’s me.

Gangster: Crap!

Senbee: Look!

Doctor: Huh?

Senbee: (feeds her oil)

Senbee: Rain, rain ♪ go away ♪ come again another day ♪

Nurse: ?

Arale: Achoo 31 Dr. Slump volume 1, page 66

Treating humans as objects or giving objects human like traits, there’s a pathology to this tendency evident even in normal human relationships. Literature only serves to magnify this fact in fantastic exaggeration. Parents as creators, this contradicts scientific fact but gives them power on an imaginary level which compliments the child mind and allows taught values to take root at an early stage.

Pinocchio is the story of breaking the child for ‚its own good‘, Dr. Slump a humorous celebration of the child being victorious over their flawed maker and Gunnm an uneasy attempt at coping with continuously being put into the child’s shoes even at an adult age.

  1. http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%94%E3%83%8E%E3%83%83%E3%82%AD%E3%82%AA%E3%81%AE%E5%86%92%E9%99%BA#.E4.B8.BB.E3.81.AA.E6.97.A5.E6.9C.AC.E8.AA.9E.E8.A8.B3, 31.10.2011 [] []
  2. http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%94%E3%83%8E%E3%82%AD%E3%82%AA_%281940%E5%B9%B4%E3%81%AE%E6%98%A0%E7%94%BB%29, 31.10.2011 []
  3. http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%94%E3%83%8E%E3%83%83%E3%82%AD%E3%82%AA%E3%81%AE%E5%86%92%E9%99%BA#.E6.BC.AB.E7.94.BB, 31.10.2011 []
  4. http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E6%A8%AB%E3%81%AE%E6%9C%A8%E3%83%A2%E3%83%83%E3%82%AF, 31.10.2011 []
  5. http://ja.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E3%83%94%E3%82%B3%E3%83%AA%E3%83%BC%E3%83%8E%E3%81%AE%E5%86%92%E9%99%BA, 31.10.2011 []
  6. CHAPTER 1, THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO by C. Collodi [Pseudonym of Carlo Lorenzini], Translated from the Italian by Carol Della Chiesa. []
  7. Gunnm Volume 1, page 9. []
  8. The distinction between Maestro Cherry and Geppetto is skipped and the characters are fused in Ido. His laugh betrays a sense of madness in the same way as Maestro Cherry hearing voices from an inanimate object. []
  10. Dr. Slump Volume 1, pages 6-7. []
  11. Gunnm Volume 1, pages 10-11. []
  12. Dr. Slump Volume 1, page 10. []
  13. Gunnm Volume 1, page 13. []
  15. Dr. Slump Volume 1, page 8. []
  16. Gunnm Volume 1, page 39. [] []
  17. Gunnm Volume 1, page 41. []
  18. Dr. Slump Volume 1, page 56. []
  20. Gunnm Volume 1, page 30. []
  21. Gunnm’s author KISHIRO using German words throughout the story shows that he has at least superficially studied the language. If he also was aware of one of the German subtitles of Pinocchio, Das hölzerne Bengele (The Wooden Brat), Gally being referred to as a metal angel or battle angel in the English translation might also come from his knowledge of German. Take out the first letter in bengel (brat) and it becomes engel (angel). Evil becomes good, Pinocchio becomes Gally. And on its own, b becomes the initial for battle as in Battle Angel. []
  22. Dr. Slump Volume 1, page 9. []
  25. Dr. Slump Volume 1, page 59. []
  26. Dr. Slump volume 1, 60 []
  28. Dr. Slump volume 1, page 65 []
  30. Gunnm volume 1, page 104 []
  31. Dr. Slump volume 1, page 66 []
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