Black Jack Review

Forget about House; here comes a new doctor, who is just as intelligent and witty, all in an animated series.

Black Jack sets its story in the perspective of Black Jack, the mysterious doctor that no one knows about. Said to be highly knowledgeable in the medical field, even going as far as to be considered “the miracle doctor,” Black Jack lacks the amount of people spreading this title that he does not claim out in the open. It is probably because the side effect of getting treated by him is having to pay a hefty sum for the medical fee, a majority of which, as seen in the anime, have been at minimum a million yen. It is not so much that he is greedy, as most people claim that he is. There is only so much he can do with that money, living in a cape house and all. Black Jack’s philosophy stems from his own standpoint about life. He believes that the current medical system is flawed because they put a value on every medical condition known. Black Jack believes that such a mindset is meaningless because life itself holds no such value, and to live, one must be willing to sacrifice everything they have to have it. After all, how much money is worth an extra year or two, even fifty, of living one’s life to the fullest?

For such a great doctor, living in a house on a cliff away from civilization seems like an odd place to house their clinic, especially when the request for help is from someone who is very ill. Probably the most surprising thing is, despite his knowledge, he does not have a medical licence. While this relates to his philosophy, the lack of a medical license came from a dispute between him and his higher-ups during an operation. While the doctors believe the operation will be hopeless, Black Jack believes in the low probability of saving the patient’s life and proceeds to do so, successfully performing the operation. However, because he went against the higher-ups judgement, his license was removed. Yet, even though he does not have one, his skills are still unparalleled, and people of diverse social class and status seek for his help, regardless of whether or not he has proof for his expertise.

Black Jack is more of an episodic, stand alone show that it is one long story told in several segments. Each episode can be treated as a moral episode, i.e., each episode has a moral in its story. The individual stories themselves are based on Black Jack’s trial of how far he/she/they are willing to go to save his/her/their/someone else’s life. A majority of the time, the people in question go through a series of unfortunate events or are at a critical point of their disease, which is when they fully accept the conditions of Black Jack’s offer. While the set up of each episode is roughly the same, the message behind the operations remain the same. The overall message Black Jack wants to tell everyone is to value their live and the lives of others, especially those who they care deeply about. This is coming from a man who almost lost everything, even his own life, in a certain past event. Caught in the pinnacle of an explosion in an accident, Black Jack was in a severe condition, to the point that no doctor believed it was worth it to save him. However, one doctor believed that he can be saved and essentially gave him a second life. However, the same cannot be said for his mother, whom he cared deeply for. It does not help that his father left him and his mother because of this incident, creating some distance and a semblance is disgust between him and his father. His past aside, Black Jack still tries to teach people the meaning of life and how not to waste it.

Of course, what is a doctor without is most loyal assistant, Pinako? Although acting as a comic relief throughout most of the series, Pinako is a sweet girl who will always be by Black Jack’s side through thick and thin. Pinako’s trust in the doctor and what he does stems from the fact that it was he who essentially gave her life. Living inside her twin sister as a fetiform teratoma, Pinako’s main fear was to be discarded as soon as she was removed from the body, revealing a sense of sentience. It was then that Black Jack decided to answer her wish and granted her a body to move around in when she was removed. Of course, since her own sister was afraid of her for what she did while inside of her and abandoned her, Pinako decided to stay with the doctor, and since then created a unique relationship between him and her. No matter how troublesome Pinako is, Black Jack puts up with it, as she is usually seen with him as an assistant when performing an operation on his patients.

The story of Black Jack is in intriguing one and provides various amounts of medical terminology and information despite its fictional setting. At the end of the day, people look up to him as someone whom they can rely on and trust. I would certainly recommend this show for anyone, even if they have little to no knowledge of the medical field..


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