Colin's Reviews > Black Jack, Vol. 1

Black Jack, Vol. 1 by Osamu Tezuka
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's review
Feb 03, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: four-star
Recommended for: Fans of Tezuka; people looking for slightly off-kilter manga.
Read from January 29 to February 03, 2012 — I own a copy

Given his background in medicine, one would imagine that Tezuka's manga take on the medical drama as a genre would be one rooted deeply in reality and science. Yet, the Tezuka who drew and wrote Black Jack is the same Tezuka we all know and love: Black Jack is off-the-walls crazy throughout most of its duration, and only 'stoops' to medical soundness as a very slim basis for its self-contained stories--though after a medical condition has been established, anything can (and usually does) happen. The end result is something of a mess--full of psuedo-science, sci-fi, cartoony happenings, zany (and often dark) humor, characters with convoluted (almost superhero-esque) back stories, and plot twists that hinge almost entirely upon unlikely 'coincidences' and other heavy-handed manipulations. It works only because Tezuka's skill with a pen is so finely honed and his imagination is so infectiously fun and demented. The Rule of Cool reigns supreme here, and with Tezuka careening wildly between heartwarming moments and scenes of sheer gruesome horror, well, it's hard not to get swept up in it all, no matter how ridiculous it is.

Note that this series has not been flipped to make it more natural for Western audiences to read. Recommended nonetheless, if it sounds at all like your sorta thing.

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