January 15, 2016

Anime Introspective: Young Black Jack and the Origin Story


[This grad school student has some severe red-eye]

Hey guys, chansu here with more anime introspective! This time we're talking about Young Black Jack, the much anticipated prequel of the hit anime/manga by Osamu Tezuka himself! ... Wait, what's that you say? You've never heard of Black Jack or this "Osamu Tezuka" person? Well, if you're young and/or not a huge anime otaku then I don't blame you! Let's add some background to this, shall we?



Black Jack is a medical drama story about the titular character (real name being Hazama Kurou) of the same name who is three things:
1. An unlicensed doctor
2. A genius who can pretty much heal anyone in any situation
3. A recluse who charges ridiculous amounts of money for his services

Of course with this combination of characteristics and a cast of charcters with different motivators, Black Jack is an amazing story even if it wasn't backed by the genius mind of the Father of Anime, Osamu Tezuka. You can imagine a "father" to be quite old and you'd be right - Tezuka has long since passed away, leaving his legacy behind for us to enjoy. "So, what now?" you ask. "Why Young Black Jack, and how is it an origin story?"

Young Black Jack (the anime version at least) is in many ways just an "omake" or "extra edition" that adds to the original story.It does not try to push the envelope with animation, story telling or innovation. It simply exists to fill a hole in the Black Jack story: "How did Black Jack become the man he is today?" Young Black Jack hopes to provide some guidance towards an answer for that .

Another take on the reason behind creating Young Black Jack involves greed. Yes, greed, just like some of the themes within the story itself. Tezuka is long gone, anime studios need the next money grab and creating original stories is not easy. So why not reboot something from the past? We see this all the time with book and comic adaptations in movie theatres. So it's no surprise it would happen in the anime industry either.

Some complaints about Young Black Jack - it did not attempt to answer any real questions posed in the modern Black Jack anime. Without spoiling too much, Hazama is forced many times to make a choice whether he should practice medicine without a license or let those before him perish to the capricious and self-serving world. But in the end Hazama just pulls out his god hand and fixes everything with deus ex machina.

[Hey look it's intern-thats-worse-than-med-student and man-child-doctor-loser]


We are introduced to a cast of characters that pale in comparison to Black Jack, and where is Pinoko!? Answer me this! I was expecting the intern to become the new Pinoko or at least her carrier (don't ask)



-chansu

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This blog, "The Otaku Reviewers", was started in February of 2010 on this very same platform, Blogger. At first, it was a venture into the informational and informal world of comics, anime, video games, and Japanese culture. In other words, just a random blog.

Over time, the founder of the blog credited with the pseudonym "RPGhero" was joined by two fellow bloggers and friends with the names "Chansu" and "Deretsun". Together the three bloggers looked up interesting Japanese culture facts, recommended new anime, talked about their own "otaku" interests, and traveled across the United States to various anime conventions.

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