Animation Production – Tezuka Productions
Director – Makoto Tezuka
This review is on the 2004 TV series of Black Jack, there have been OVA’s, movies and other TV series. I have watched the first 45 episodes which are faithful adaptations of the original manga (1973-83) by Osamu Tezuka. Director Makoto Tezuka is the son of Osamu Tezuka and continues on at the company his father created to create works based on his properties. He has almost exclusively worked on the Black Jack series in a creative capacity.
This is a series that despite being made recently stays true to the way Anime/Manga was 20-30 years ago. This may put you off but unlike shows now that are dependent on character development and an overarching story it is all self contained episodes. Just like the previous show I reviewed it is very hard to watch for more than a couple of episodes a week but it is perfect for just watching a episode now an then.
The premise of the show is around an unlicensed brilliant surgeon Dr Black Jack. He is renowned for being able to handle difficult/impossible operation and cure previously incurable diseases. He will accept any patient who is able to meet his price (in the millions) or out of compassion which is often the case. The show can get emotional as Black Jack cures people who otherwise would have died. The depiction’s of surgery is not graphic and bloody but this is not a show for young children (I would say 12+).
I enjoyed the show’s variety in cases, it doesn’t limit itself to reality and some of my favourites involve cases such as shrinking humans and various involving animals.The other characters are typically there for comic relief and side stories which add to the variety of the show. The most prominent character other than Dr Black Jack is Pinoco who has an interesting story around her (revealed in depth in episode 44). While Pinoco may seem an annoying kid character there is some depth in the character who plays a part in most of the episodes.
In the future I look forward to watching to the other Black Jack movies and in particular the Black Jack 21 series (which has more of a story arc).
Rating – A-
Genre – Medical Drama Length – 62 Episode series Year – 2004-2006
Currently not licensed in the US, Adapted from original manga