Young Black Jack Final Episode (12): His name is…

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I’m actually a bit unsure how I want to rate this final episode. The episode managed to trick me a bit with how slowly it started. It make the episode feel like the series was just going to end on another mellow episodic with Hazama saving some other random guy, but it ended up livening things up as the episode went along. But at the end of the day, the episode as a whole just lacked impact in my mind…perhaps the Hyakki arc was just too much to follow or something.

In all, I thought this series was interesting…it tried to touch on a lot of cool moral questions. I’d be really curious about how a more modern take on this series would look, though. I’m much more familiar with the present state of the medical field, so I feel like I’d have more to contribute. Anyone else actually watching this series?

Young Black Jack Episode 11: Best police protection ever

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This week’s episode finishes up Hyakki’s arc…pretty interesting one too. I actually hadn’t been expecting that the accident that took Hyakki’s limbs was actually an accident…I’d figured it was malicious all along. Also, it looks like I was wrong about Takara…at least he has the decency to at least be grateful to Hazama. That being said, I’ll reiterate what I said last week about disagreeing that the actions of the patients are the responsibility of the doctor.

Next week’s episode is the final episode…I honestly expected Hyakki’s arc to carry us to the end, but it looks to be a completely different story for the last episode. I’m actually not sure what I’m supposed to take away from the preview. Usually there’s some sort of hint at what kind of themes will be displayed in the episode, but I’m honestly getting nothing. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. I feel a bit awkward about it, though, since this week’s episode already felt like a climax with Hazama deciding that he wants no part in the corruption of the medical field.

Young Black Jack Episode 10: Vengeance

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So this week’s episode shows Hyakki’s descent as he exacts his revenge on the doctors who wronged him. It sounds like they were also somehow responsible for the accident that originally took away his arms and legs. I liked how the episode went even though it’s a story I’ve seen played out before in other series…the whole idea of Hyakki’s first kill being an accident that starts a domino chain is much better than having him blindly seek revenge after learning about the betrayal of the other doctors.

Based on what’s said in the preview, I guess Hazama’s operation on Hyakki is the reason for his not getting a medical license. Do they really blame him for creating a murderer? Is there ever a reason to pin that responsibility on a doctor? I understand punishing him for performing a risky operation while still a medical student, but the actions of the patient shouldn’t reflect on the doctor. Also, is it Takara who uses this logic? It would be pretty ironic…I guess he has no way of knowing that it was Hazama that saved him and not Maiko.

Young Black Jack Episode 9: Prosthetics

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Oh…so I guess this Hyakki guy is actually the one in the opening facing off against Hazama. I suppose he certainly has the personality for it. I’m curious why he faces off against Hazama, though. Perhaps Hazama feels responsible for unleashing him on the world by performing that surgery. And perhaps Hyakki resents Hazama because the surgery has made his life even worse that it was when he was before it.

I guess next week’s episode will bring him further down into darkness. It looks like the preview shows him using the sword we see him holding in the opening to kill his former friend, presumably blaming him for his rejection from the medical field. Since we’re getting pretty close to the end of the series, is this surgery the reason that Hazama will become an unlicensed doctor? Perhaps Hyakki exposes him or something? It seems like the reason should be a bit more, though, doesn’t it?

Young Black Jack Episode 8: Pain is back

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Johnny’s story ended in a rather strange way. I get that Risenburg was trying to save both Johnny and Hazama by forcing Hazama out and curing Johnny himself, but everything seemed so abrupt. I get that Risenburg saw himself in Hazama, but did he solve the puzzle? His solution seemed to be a brute-force rewrite of Johnny’s nerves. So what exactly caused the condition? Was it a side effect of the nerve gas? Am I supposed to just infer that? By the way, wasn’t this arc supposed to have something to do with racism? It seemed like the only tie was Johnny’s activist activities, which he stops at the end of the arc. I suppose you could argue that the military choosing him to test nerve gas is bit related, but we don’t really get a great look at the other soldiers…

Next week’s episode looks to introduce a new doctor to Hazama…it looks to be one who specializes in prosthetics. I’m curious what the dark piece of the puzzle will be for this story. Will it have something to do with the trials of a disabled person trying to become a doctor? That seems relatively tame in comparison to the rest of the series, though.

Young Black Jack Episode 7: Pain is a funny thing

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This week’s episode is interesting (I’m going to sound really racist for this) not really for the civil rights aspect, but more for the lines that Hazama uses at the end of the episode. It’s reminding us that while Hazama is a talented doctor, his skill as a doctor comes not from his ability to mend, but for his ability to figure out a solution for the patient. That being said, it’s very possible that this idea will be undermined by the fact that another doctor has arrived in Chicago who potentially has the answer already…guess we’ll see.

From the preview, it looks like that doctor is not really a factor in Johnny’s case quite yet. It seems to suggest that Johnny is mentally blocking out pain as a defense mechanism…a side effect of PTSD. But that can’t be the whole story, right? This week’s episode clearly states the significance of this other doctor…does Hazama get it wrong? I think the episode would be more interesting if he did, but the likeliest course is that his answer will be incomplete.

Young Black Jack Episode 6: Madness

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This week’s episode is interesting in the way it portrays Bob’s descent into madness after losing his comrade Steve. While it’s easy to label him as crazy, I’d say it’s not that hard to see why he changes the way he does. His brain has to reconcile watching his comrade throw away the life that was so painstakingly given to him, so it probably chooses to blame the closest person that it can, the wounded soldier from the Vietnam side. If his brain were in a state to think logically, I’m sure he would be willing to save the man that saved him from imprisonment.

There’s another scene in this episode that I think is important too, the scene in the operating room where Kiriko declares that the three are doctors. To us, that line may sound really cheesy, but it reminds us that there was a time when doctors were very well-respected. These days, trust in doctors isn’t exactly the highest with the advent of the information society. Anyway, it looks like next week’s episode will be delving into discrimination…as a minority living in America myself, I’d say I’m pretty numb to this debate, but we’ll see what happens.

Young Black Jack Episode 5: A new challenger?

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This week’s episode introduces another doctor who seems to be as skilled as Hazama. Is this guy meant to be some sort of mentor for Hazama or is he just a rival? He seems like an interesting character that will be sticking around for a while. As another note, though, I’m still curious about the guy in the Inuyasha garb from the opening song…he was part of the capture, but didn’t seem to show up in this week’s episode.

Next week, more fun times in Vietnam. I’m not sure what the scenes in the preview regarding Steve are meant to indicate…his tears could be gratitude for being alive or perhaps they’re a result of the trauma he just experienced. It really looked to me, though, like he might be considering wasting the life he just got back, but maybe I’m reading too much into it. There was a comment made this week about the American military attacking innocent villagers…based on the soldier’s face on the phone in the preview, my guess would be that he’s finding out about that. I guess we’ll see.

Young Black Jack Episode 4: Capture

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This week’s episode looks to be the first appearance of the Inuyasha-dressed man from the opening theme. I’ve been wondering about him for a while. A lot of this episode seemed to be getting the feel of life on the battlefield, but I guess the point of the episode was to talk about the courage that could only be found on the battlefield. Given the prevalence of all of these characters in the ending theme, I suppose this Vietnam arc is the main arc for the series.

It looks like next week’s episode is mostly captured life…it doesn’t look like there will be any sort of climax in the episode, so it further suggests that we’ll be in Vietnam for a few episodes more. Are we going to fall into the same pattern as the first few episodes? Will the Vietnamese try to take advantage of Hazama after seeing what he did in the battlefield in this episode? Surely, this pattern will get old after a while…

Young Black Jack Episode 3: That might have been a bit too convenient

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While I’m glad that things worked out for Hazama this week, I really don’t think he should have gone back to save that guy. I really liked how Hazama notices the manipulative way that the deserter organization was trying to convince him to help. That being said, I don’t know how I feel about how convenient the episode felt. Honestly, I think calling the ambulance was the correct move even if it meant the guy might die or suffer brain damage. The fact that the guy ended up being an undercover agent felt like letting Hazama have his cake and eat it…he gets the save the guy and the organization is exposed anyway.

Next week’s episode looks to be more on the action side, putting Hazama in the middle of the Vietnam War. Given that it looks to be a multi-part arc, I’m guessing there’s not even an operation in the next episode. That probably means more explosions, right? The line in the preview asking what’s the use of saving a single life when millions are being sacrificed is interesting to me, though. It sounds like a general question about war’s purposes…let’s see how it turns out next week.