Black Jack is yet another famous manga turned anime from the one and only Osamu Tezuka. This dude is seriously some kind of genius! I don’t think he’s ever let me down before. So does Black Jack continue the awesomeness streak or is it totally lame?
Black Jack is a legendary unlicensed doctor. He’s apparently one of the greatest of all time, but he still hasn’t put in the time for his PhD. Slacker. He’s sort of a mercenary, treating people for crazy high amounts of money. Like 3 million yen! I don’t think 3 million yen is really that much now for a complicated surgery (like $25,000) but it probably was back when the manga was written.
Most of the stories are about complicated diseases or strange medical conditions. They play out more like a mystery than an episode of ER. It’s more like House M.D.(a show that I really like!), where the procedures done might be experimental, and Black Jack is winging it a lot of the time.
There’s two 50 minute long episodes on this DVD. One episode is about a man with a really weird medical condition, and the other actually focuses a lot on the characters and less on the procedures. I’d say it was a good mix.
What’s cool is that Osamu Tezuka was trained as a physician. So I bet a lot of the plotlines in the anime actually have a basis in reality. I can’t say for sure though, since I’m not a med school student or anything.
Art and Character Designs:
For an older OVA, I thought the art quality was good. One thing that I immediately noticed was that it used a lot of cheesy effects. Like it went from the normal anime look to the sketched out drawing look way too often for my tastes. It would happen like every 5 minutes!
The character designs are cool. Black Jack kind of looks like Frankenstein’s monster with stitches all over his face. Yet no one really thinks twice about it. Black Jack also has this weird sidekick named Piyoko who helps him out with surgeries. She looks around 4 years old but she says she’s 18… Okay…
DVD and Extras:
The DVD itself is pretty minimal. It has the requisite English and Japanese audio. I think at one point the English subtitles referred to a mountain as “Mr. Sennin.” This is a pretty elementary mistake. Mountains are referred to as “mountain-san” so the translator thought it was “Mr. Mountain.” It was correct in the other subtitles, though.
As far as extras, there were trailers for some other anime, a trailer for Black Jack, and an art gallery of stills that you’ve already seen if you watched the anime… It would’ve been nice to have a featurette about the creator or something to that effect.
It’s really nice to watch an anime with actual substance. The medical mystery aspect of Black Jack is really interesting, and I’m sort of sad that I never watched this until now. This DVD is totally worth getting if you’re a fan of Osamu Tezuka, or classic anime in general. I actually want to read some of the manga now after watching this.