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Anime Review – Young Black Jack

Surgery is required on this weeks anime, where we look at Young Black Jack, an anime about a student surgeon. As is natural with these shows, it’s about an incredibly gifted individual taking on all the odds and learning a thing or two along the way. Is this show any good, or have all of the fluids been drained? Timlah cuts open with our first anime review of 2016.


Forget E.R, Young Black Jack is an anime about a student who is trying to get his license as a surgeon. However, he’s met with people who have nothing but greedy motives and are willing to haggle over people lives. Considered a little bit different by most of the other medical students, people even go so far as to nickname him ‘Stitches’ due to his appearance. The titular characters real name is

Kuroo Hazama, or Black Jack as we know him, is just a med student. However because of this, people generally underestimate him, even though he is exceptionally talented as a surgeon. He only wants to care for patients, but because of his commitment to ensuring the survival of his patients and the success of an operation, he charges a lot of money for each of his operations. He feels the price is justified, as he’ll do operations when everyone else would turn a patient away. We see a lot of moral conflict with Hazama throughout, as he believes the price he puts on his operations to be worthwhile and in fact, economically sensible.

Kazoo Hazama himself

Kuroo Hazama

Through the first episode, we’re given context of the character, explaining that all of the scars that riddles his body and face are his own doing. He says he shouldn’t be a surgeon if he didn’t have a little bit of creativity, which leads us to believe he’s operated on himself to stitch himself and be deemed a patchwork. A little weird, but hey, he’s certainly a creative individual. With striking black and white hair and long bangs, he’s got quite the unique look going on!

In the first episode, a little boy is knocked by a train, due to being stuck on the tracks. Whilst the hospital is dealing with all of the other patients, the little boy is deemed to be nothing more than an amputee. Hearing that the doctors are unwilling to take the boys re-constructive surgery on, Hazama steps forward and tells the parents he will be able to do the surgery and save both the damaged arm and leg, but for a hefty price. The parents were of course shocked at the price, but wanting their son to be able to live a perfectly normal and healthy life, they decide to accept Hazamas offer… An offer in which Hazama will soon learn the lengths people will go to hold onto their cold, hard cash – Even at the cost of lives.

This series gets interesting in so far in that it seems as if it’s going to have a good blend of strong story telling, with an intriguing forerunner. The characters in this series are quite bleak for the most part, which helps add an element of intrigue to it. As always, check out our gallery to see if you enjoy the art style yourself. It feels well animated, but there doesn’t seem to be too much in the way of fancy animation in this. I did like the effect of him twirling his blade around in the middle of a surgery though.

I really like some of the wacky character designs in this series; it reminds me of 90s anime, which didn’t mind having characters with oddly shaped heads, or crazy eyebrows. Over the past number of years, there became a very standardised way to portray characters. From what I can see of this, it seems as if young Black Jack himself suffers with being more standardised to modern anime art. I don’t think it’s a problem with his particular character, as he’s strikingly different enough as it is. I especially like the narrative behind some of the characters, where we find those who are willing to help others out and then there are those just looking to line their pockets.

I think it’s a great fun watch, so if you’ve got yourself some time, please do go and check it out. You can see this series over on Crunchyroll if you’re signed up there. I’d recommend it, especially since it’s a little different. I might have to check out the original Black Jack series, as this is basically a prequel to that. Have you seen Young Black Jack or the original series? Let us know what you think in the comments below, or over on Facebook and Twitter.


4 responses

  1. The original Black Jack manga is one of ‘god of manga’ Osamu Tezuka’s more famous works, so yeah, there’s a lot of his weird and wonderful character designs scattered about. Pretty much every character with a speaking part in Young Black Jack has had their design taken from one or another of his works, as the ending theme shows with its’ comparisons to the originals. I agree with what you said about Hazama himself though, he’s definitely been made more pretty to appeal to the modern audience. :P

    Aside from that though, the series felt a lot like something the master himself could have written, very similar in feel and themes. I was quite impressed with it as an origin story for the character!

    Liked by 1 person

    January 3, 2016 at 10:59 pm

    • I’m noticing a lot of deep character development really early on. I am really into the conflict he has, especially since he’s such a gifted character. It’s brilliant!

      It feels well written, beautifully designed and you know, the whole pretty-boy feel I get from Hazama is fine: as I’ve been reading that he does sort of believe himself to be a bit of a looker anyway!

      Liked by 1 person

      January 3, 2016 at 11:07 pm

  2. You are the first person I know that has said anything good about this series. I watched an old Blackjack movie on Syfy and thought it was cool, but most people don’t seem to like this prequel show.


    January 4, 2016 at 9:45 am

    • I cant fault it. The only issue I can see is potentially making Hazama pretty… But even that doesnt feel like an issue.

      I havent seen Black Jack though: Could that be why, maybe? Hmm~!

      Liked by 1 person

      January 4, 2016 at 10:09 am

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