Black Jack 15

February 11, 2012

Osamu Tezuka – Vertical – 2011 – 17 volumes

The last volume of Black Jack has come out since the last time I talked about it here. I need to catch up. Writing these up is difficult, and for very good reason.

There is a story in here about a little boy that sprouts green buds all over his body. His brother calls Black Jack, and shortly, the little boy turns into a full-on cactus man. Black Jack removes a parasitic Brazilian cactus. The little boy is okay.

The story after this is about a girl suffering from anemia. Her teacher is concerned, so she goes for a home visit to see her parents. At the mansion they live in, the teacher runs into Black Jack, who insists the family is after her blood. There is an elaborate medical reason for this. The head of the family is staked at the end of the story.

The next story is about medical cadavers. Where they come from, who they are, how they wind up at medical school. There’s a story about a medical student struggling over why he should be a doctor, and another one about a thankful prisoner on death row.

What am I supposed to say about that?! I mean, the stories are all good. Every single one of them is a great read. The bizarre cactus boy. The vampire story. The sensitive story about medical cadavers. All of them are amazing reads. Every single one of them is bizarre in its way, whether because the story is outlandish in any context, outlandish in the context of Black Jack, or outlandish because it’s a sensitive story that followed two completely insane ones. Reading every book in this series is an amazing roller coaster ride, and you literally have no idea where any of these stories are going or what the turn of a page will bring. It’s truly an experience.

And that’s about all the elaboration this volume needs, I think. Black Jack is pretty much a must read for anyone, whether you read manga or not. It’s just great.

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