Young Black Jack Review - He'll stitch you up in no time!


Young Black Jack  wallpaper

He'll stitch you up in no time!

  • Episodes : 12
  • Genre : Drama, Historical, Seinen
  • Airing Date : October 1, 2015 – December 17, 2015
  • Producers : N/A

Young Black Jack Plot (No Spoilers)

Hazama is a young medical student who only has other’s best intentions in mind. At his small, modest apartment he can often be found performing surgery on one of his many fish and practicing stitching on frozen chickens, but one day he is forced into a situation of ethics. While he possesses the skills to save lives, under the law he is unable to practice his craft due to his student status. As he continues on his journey, he is constantly challenged by others to risk his chance to become a fully licensed doctor in order to save the lives of those he sees before him. How does one refuse someone else in need?

Young Black Jack is episodic in that it contains several mini arcs formed by two or three episodes with no real overarching plot. While this is highly unusual for current anime standards, the formula actually keeps in line with its source material, Black Jack by Osamu Tezuka. The original manga was written in the sixties by the father of manga himself and to this day remains one of his most popular works. While Young Black Jack is based on a manga of the same name, it was not written by Tezuka. Instead, Yoshiaka Tabata did an amazing job breathing new life into an older series while trying to keep true to the original creator’s material.

Because the original characters were created so long ago, the art style is quite different from anything in the past few decades. As a result, while Hazama may look relatively normal, other characters that make appearances look quite outlandish with over exaggerated features such as large noses or hair that defies gravity. While I admit it may sometimes distract from some of the more serious moments of the story, it is also refreshing to see that the animators made sure not to completely lose the original characters’ charms. I can think of other, more modern series that may cross the line with hair but is still quite successful *cough*Yugioh*cough* so it’s really a matter of getting used to the style and perhaps personal taste. For those who have read Tezuka’s other works, this really isn’t anything new.

Young Black Jack  wallpaper 1

Who does Young Black Jack cater to?

This definitely caters to Osamu Tezuka fans and other people who enjoy classic (50s-70s) manga and anime. This anime definitely is a breath of fresh air from some of the more fast-paced and popular shows currently running. In addition, anyone who loves Japanese history will love this series as well considering most of the plot revolves around real issues taking place during the time period the anime is set in. History buffs will love this.

This is mainly a seinen anime which is made for young adult and older males, but really anyone could watch this. Other seinen manga include Berserk, Tokyo Ghoul, and Black Lagoon, but a good comparison for this anime might be Lupin III.

What is so appealing?

Honestly, Hazama is the most appealing thing of the anime. He’s such a great guy and everyone finds themselves rooting for him. He’s good looking, an amazing doctor, and has a good head on his shoulders. Actually the more I think about it, women would really like this series just for the eye candy.

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Young Black Jack Main Characters List

Kuroo Hazama

Young Black Jack 2

Voice Actor :Yuuichirou Umehara

A young medical student in Japan whose wish is to save lives after his life was given to him by a surgeon said to have the hands of gods. Hazama works hard at his craft, but often finds himself in moral dilemmas. In order to reconcile with himself, he will do whatever his conscience perceives as justice while often risking all that he has worked for.

As a child, Hazama was in an accident and nearly died before an expert surgeon operated on him. It was thought that he may never move again, but Hazama beat all the odds and became the man he is today. After seeing what his doctor could do to save lives, he was inspired to become a surgeon himself.

While Hazama has amazing skills, he is still often brought back down due to a large debt that he must pay off to some loan sharks. There are several times where Hazama is put in dangerous and sticky situations from his lack of payments.

Yabu

Yabu Young Black Jack

Voice Actor :Kouji Yusa

Despite being a professor at Hazama’s school he seems to have a drug addiction that he can’t shake, but what makes it even worse is the fact that he can’t even stand the sight of blood and he’s a doctor! Instead he allows Hazama to use his rooms to illegally operate when necessary.

After becoming fed up with himself, Yabu volunteers to be sent to Vietnam in hopes that he may be able to make a difference and overcome his fear of blood.
Yabu is a kind and caring man who only has everyone’s best intentions at heart.

Maiko Okamoto

Maiko Okamoto Young Black Jack

Voice Actor :Shizuka Itou

Maiko is a young intern in Hazama’s school and often helps him during times he is forced to operate. Even though she is legally allowed to practice medicine and is ahead of Hazama, he still outshines her in the medical field. As a result, she often serves as his assistant during grueling surgeries while keeping his secret safe.


Contains Spoilers

Young Black Jack Review

Young Black Jack is short and sweet. While there are only twelve episodes, each mini arch is packed with action, drama, and history. In fact at the beginning of each episode there is a small blurb about what is happening in history at the time of the episode and this information will usually be relevant as to what is happening during the episode.

Probably one of the most prominent historical events in the series has to be the Vietnam War. Hazama frequently saves those fleeing the war and at one point even goes to Vietnam in search of his friend Yabu who has gone missing. Seeing the war through Hazama’s accounts gives a unique perspective of the war through Japanese eyes.

Hazama also travels abroad to America just after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and witnesses the intense protesting occurring throughout the country. The only problem of this episode is that the plot doesn’t actually have anything to do with the highly intense situation in the states and instead seems to focus on one protester in particular who is immune to pain. The plot devolves even further when it is discovered that the protester was sent to Okinawa for a military experiment.

Many of the mini arcs in Young Black Jack are self-contained and have little to do with each other which is very similar to older series and even Lupin III takes a page out of this book. What’s great about the anime’s structure is that it allows viewers to pick up and leave off feeling satisfied without the need to binge watch all of the episodes at once. I suppose the term “a la carte” would be a good phrase to describe the way the anime is set up.

While Young Black Jack can certainly stand on its own, it is highly recommended that one reads Black Jack and Dorororo by Osamu Tezuka before watching this series as it will add immensely to the viewing experience. Both are classics and should be essential reading material for any otaku anyway.

1. Vietnam

Young BlackJack vietnam

The historical setting of the series takes place during the infamous Vietnam War, when many men who were drafted into the US Army attempted to flee their summons by smuggling themselves abroad. As a result, Japan has taken in many deserters and so Hazama cannot escape the war despite his lack of involvement at first. It isn’t until his dear friend volunteers himself that Hazama feels the call of the jungle.

2. Hospital

Young BlackJack hospital

As a medical student, Hazama frequents his university’s hospital and can often be found in the courtyard reading and practicing his stitches. When he’s in class, he is a top notch student who puts all of his heart and soul into his studies. He learns from the best professors, including a former intern under the man who saved his life. Although he frequently risks his legal right to practice medicine, Hazama is still serious about learning all that he can and becoming a legitimate doctor someday.

3. Underground Activity

Young BlackJack underground activity

Despite knowing the consequences if caught, Hazama performs illegal surgery often for cash. While the surgeon gains credit from Hazama’s work, Hazama gains cash and experience. With the cash he can pay off his extraordinary debt and with the experience he can excel as a doctor and hone his skills. A win/win situation despite the legality of the situation.


While Young Black Jack is not a stand out series in a season overtaken by One Punch Man, it does have its own niche and following thanks to the original works by Tezuka. At thirteen episodes, the series is light and a quick watch that will leave Black Jack fans satisfied and others seeking out the original material for more.

Nikki Flores

Writer

Author: Nikki Flores

You may know me by my witty and excellent prose, but I assure you there is a real person underneath this brilliant exterior. As a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in English Literature and a minor in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, I traveled to Okinawa, Japan in search of the One Piece. Together my crew consisting of a white dog named Yuki, an evil cat named Kyubei, the wise feline Pickles, and my ever supportive husband Aaron, we travel the globe seeking life’s greatest treasures. Oh, and I’m sure one day I’ll eventually meet Trafalgar Law in the New World. I hope. Please? *pout*

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