A Most Bizarre 6-Fingered Story
Human beings have 5 fingers on each hand. Piccolo is from the Planet Namek so he has 4 fingers. Oh, sometimes he's shown with 5 fingers, but then again this is the same Mr. Akira Toriyama who drew Yajirobe twice on the spine of the covers.
Also, Tetsuwan Atom (Astro Boy) initially had 4 fingers. It is well-known that the inspiration for Atom came from early Disney films, and a character called Mickey Mouse.
Mickey Mouse had 4 fingers, so Atom was drawn with 4 fingers as well. Later, when Mr. Tezuka met with a Disney employee who had worked on Mickey, he asked why Mickey only had 4 fingers, to which he got the following response:
"Because if you animate him with 5 fingers, it looks like he has 6 fingers when he's moving."
After that, Atom was drawn with 5 fingers.
In any case, fingers are a pretty famous topic in manga, but 2004 saw some strange occurrences: one after another, titles from famous shonen magazines started showing people with 6 fingers.
The first to do it was Magazine. The following is a scene from Oh Great's "Air Gear," where Kazu is holding a turd.
He's grown an extra finger. What was great about 2004 was that this didn't end quite yet: next, we have Takeshi Kai's "Prince of Tennis."
During this time, we saw Mr. Kai's talent in full force as we also had a referee suddenly teleporting to the opposite side of the court, among other incidents.
What happens twice will happen a third time. Next up was Sunday, with Takashi Shiina's "Zettai Karen Children."
Even Mr. Shiina, a veteran author, fell victim to this phenomena. 6-finger syndrome hit all 3 major shonen magazines...how exciting.
Translated by Neuroretardant
Note: The most recent 6-finger incident happened with Takeshi Obata's Death Note, serialized in Weekly Shonen Jump.