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In the first volume, North #2's master details an operation he received as a boy. In particular, he explains that the surgery was performed by "a renegade underground surgeon from Japan" who charged a hefty fee for the impossible procedure. Although no further details are given (face, name, etc.) this is most probably a nod to one of Tezuka's famous characters: Black Jack.
In one scene, Atom's sister, Uran, rescues a pride of lions, cheetahs, and tigers from the police. When she tells Atom of the account she mentions that one of the lions had "white fur and blue eyes." This could be a reference to Tezuka's Kimba the White Lion.
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