Comic Books Magazine

Under Those Piles of Reports: Give My Regards to Black Jack

Posted on the 26 July 2013 by Kaminomi @OrganizationASG
Give My Regards to Black Jack

With a line like that, you should go read this manga. Probably

Continuing on my MangaReborn run, I run into Shuho Sato’s Give My Regards to Black Jack.

Yes, you know, that manga that completely defies the usual publishing methods, or maybe is rebelling against it. But I won’t get into that here.

Give My Regards To Black Jack

Give My Regards to Black Jack cover

What I will get into is my varied history of reading medical manga, which is a history represented by anesthesiologists and a doctor who chases after a mad killer. In short, my knowledge is not that great, but, in general, I understand just how taxing working in this field can be. I’ve known a number of people who majored in Nursing at my school, and let’s just say they have little time to socialize outside of a very few moments. And they fail exams. Saving lives is serious business. And they need to know a number of information that I would not be hard pressed to know, and that goes for the average human being. So what I know revolves around sleepless nights and maybe a case of hospitals are understaffed. Oh, and the work again is rough.

Give My Regards to Black Jack doesn’t dispel this notion, but instead adds the element of corruption and lies within the medical field. Protagonist Eijiro Saito, an aspiring doctor, while training at the elite Eiroku University and working part time at another hospital (and getting paid peanuts and crackerjacks, or not much), doesn’t run into doctors who necessary want to save lives, but instead those who try and get the most money out of their patients either for themselves or their hospital. One situation in the manga points to one case where a family ended up paying $10,000 up front…which is a rate that’s too high and a case where they knew they couldn’t save the patient. And unfortunately for Saito, he’s not sure what to do to stop this problem within the medical ranks.

Give My Regards to Black Jack 3

Your face tells me nothing! Nothing of the sort!

As always, the medical terminology is something that obstructs every little thing in this manga, to the point where I dread actually reading it. To be fair, it’s not as heavy as Anesthesiologist Hana was (and I’ll get to explaining why in a bit). The art is not too shabby, with some nicely detailed designs and some fun facial expressions in key moments — and some pages are in color, which adds to the effect. If there was a problem I had with Black Jack, is I’m not sure it explains certain medical misgivings well enough (or maybe I just didn’t pay attention), or at the least, maybe it’s explaining too much in a short period of time.

However, it manages to overcome that for me because it’s more than just about the person operating, it’s the person that’s being operated on — unlike Hana, it manages to also put the focus on the patients, their role in the story, and what happens to them. This gives a bit of added depth and more of a focus of the consequences of awful medical service. This I believe also allows us to see how Saito develops and what he wants to do and how far is he willing to go to ignore the problems.

Give My Regards to Black Jack 5

That’s right, singing is involved. Don’t worry it’ll all make sense someday

One of the big arcs that took place that ultimately got to me was the arc with patient Kazuo Miyamura. Kazuo was put in a situation where numerous doctors told him he was ok despite an re-occurring medical issue. He was not, and that got him placed in Eiroku. It was then revealed that his condition worsened to the point where surgery was no longer an option. Revealing any more than that would ruin the experience, so I can only say this arc tested Saito’s morals and philosophy on what a doctor should do. It also really showed what most patients ask for when it comes to putting their life in a doctor’s hands, even if they know that there’s nothing the doctor can do to save them. I basically wanted to finish this arc, and that meant I ended up reading 16 chapters. And I have to say, it was 16 chapters that were pretty good stuff.

Give My Regards to Black Jack

Now, be warned: there is some material and drawings that get pretty out there in content (damaged bodies , nudity, etc). But this is a medical manga. It’s not hiding its intentions and insecurities. It should be nothing to worry about. All you have to do is take everything in and try and get something out of Give My Regards to Black Jack.

If you have any suggestions on what media to cover for this column, email [email protected]

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