Monday, October 27, 2008

Manga Monday: Black Jack

Black Jack (Volume 1) TP
Osamu Tezuka
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Osamu Tezuka's Black Jack follows the adventures of an extremely skilled (though unlicensed) surgeon, who will take pretty much any case on for the right price. Each chapter of the book is basically a short story unto itself, either following Black Jack himself, sometimes uncovering little pieces of his past, or following a patient, with Black Jack swooping in like a force of nature. As is the usual with Tezuka, this is beautifully illustrated and extremely dramatic. I really enjoy reading the stories with the especially outrageous procedures that Black Jack undertakes, like a brain transplant or putting together the body parts of an unformed baby to create a live one. It can get pretty weird, to put it mildly. But that's really the fun with this book. Things are intense and really captivating to the end, with Black Jack performing miracles left and right with hardly a hitch. I'm not sure how Tezuka sustained this format for seventeen volumes in Japan, but I was thoroughly entertained by this first book. From my experience, it seems Tezuka really can't do wrong. And please note that this is a review of the paperback version of this manga. If you'd like some extra material, check out the deluxe hardcover edition.

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