Black Jack: Clinical Chart

Title:Black Jack: Clinical Chart
Black Jack OVA
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: MIZUTANI Yuko
Original Concept - TEZUKA Osamu
R1 License - Central Park Media(Defunct)
Black Jack is the mysterious doctor whose past is unknown, but skills are legendary. The rich and powerful seek him to help when conventional doctors fail, but rumour says he isn't even licensed.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

10 episode OVA series released from December 21, 1993 to July 25, 2000.
Animated by Tezuka Productions
Formerly licensed in America by Central Park Media

[edit] The ↗Black Jack franchise:
  • (2004) _ Black Jack (TV, 61 episodes, parent story)
  • (2000) _ Black Jack: Sora kara Kita Kodomo (OVA, 1 episode)
  • (2003) _ Black Jack Special: The 4 Miracles of Life (TV, 4 episodes)
  • (2001) _ Black Jack: Internet-han (Web, 12 episodes)
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 8 7 8 7 8 9 Ggultra2764 [series:2738#1552]
Getting a decent amount of enjoyment out of the Black Jack movie years ago, I chose to buy Central Park Media's set of Black Jack OVA episodes to see more of Osamu Tezuka's unlicensed surgeon. The series follows a set of individual stories featuring Black Jack and his assistant Pinoko tending to different medical dilemmas that their patients pay them to resolve where the former learns more about the disease affecting his patient and figures out how to resolve it. Each of the episodes run at about 50 minutes a piece, which provides a good amount of time for the series to explore the characters within an episode so one can care for them and provide enough build up and suspense over whether or not Black Jack can resolve his patient's situation. The latter's especially a major element to this series as the OVAs never feel repetitive or predictable in how Black Jack deals with his patients. Some episodes, he is successful in saving his patient. Others, he fails to help them out due to events occurring that are beyond his control. The series maintains a consistently dark and gritty mood throughout much of its run thanks to the suspense that comes from Black Jack trying to help his patients, with Pinoko around to lighten the mood at points to keep things from getting too dark.

Due to the title's large focus on the cases involving Black Jack's patients, there isn't much in the way of linearity between episodes other than a few recurring characters and you don't get to learn much about Black Jack and Pinoko. I find this to be a minor nitpick, but there may be folks turned off by the title's choice of storytelling. The series can also get a bit unbelievable at points with how some of the surgeries and diseases that come up. But again, I found this to be a minor issue and only those with enough knowledge and expertise in the medical field may find things to pick apart in Black Jack's believability of medical problems. Also for those easily offended by objectionable content, Black Jack does contain a good amount of violence, nudity and graphic content compliments of surgery scenes with Black Jack. So be warned if you are squeamish at the sight of internal organs.

On the visual end, Black Jack mixes around modern and classic animation styles in depicting its character designs and settings. It retains elements of Osamu Tezuka's drawing style in the designs of Black Jack and other characters, yet updates the designs so they are more appealing to modern audiences. There is a good amount of visual detail applied to scenery and character designs, with subdued color tones to compliment the title's dark and gritty mood. Still shots are often employed at a number of points in the series, but it doesn't detract much from the otherwise solid visual presentation of this series.

Overall, the Black Jack OVAs made for engaging entertainment that offered solid character depth and suspense from the various medical cases that Tezuka's memorable surgeon faces and tries to resolve. Fans of 90s anime may want to give this gem a look.

Last updated Thursday, June 13 2013. Created Thursday, June 13 2013.

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