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Reviews & Ratings for
Black Jack: The Movie More at IMDbPro »Burakku jakku (original title)

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Even renegades have ethics

Author: K-Slicer from In A Confined Space
18 December 2002

Juxtaposition is a big word that means side by side usually for contrast. A young surgeon named Black Jack is a juxtaposition in my mind. What other word could you use to define this complex character? He is an unlicensed miracle worker who believes a doctor must save all patients before him even if it means going toward unorthodox lengths to do it. "Black Jack" is a quiet an intriguing film. Like other Manga-based films, it is loaded with graphic content and enough philosophy to make a person think. The subject tackled in "Black Jack" is ethics and medicine. "Black Jack" takes a rather mind-numbing approach (graphic scenes of surgery, stunning and warped animation, philosophical banter, clever writing and direction, and a twisting plot) to drive home a powerful point. Sometimes, the renegades are more ethical than those who make the rules. "Black Jack" is a quality medical thriller that would even make Robin Cook want to watch. I give this film a 10 out of 10!

PS: Sometimes animation drives home a point so well that one won't easily forget it and that is one reason I like it. Here ends my rant!

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Another piece from the Godfather of Animé

6/10
Author: Katherine Thompson (erebus53@hotmail.com) from Christchurch, New Zealand
6 June 2002

Black Jack is a medical-drama science-fiction piece. Our protagonist, known as "Black Jack", is a mercenary surgeon who lives a reclusive lifestyle with a little girl named Pinoko. He commands huge prices for his work and is exceedingly skilled at what he does.

The primary plot covers our protagonist's experiences as he is commissioned to discover the cause of a new phenomenon that causes people to exhibit super-human talents. This delves into some medical whys and wherefores that someone with no knowledge of biology will just let wash over them. To some people this may sound like the scientific jargon that is thrown around in Star Trek, but most of it seems like moderately sane science. There are a couple of things that seem a little far fetched but it's not that difficult to suspend disbelief if you have been watching animé with giant robots saving the world or magical sailor scouts.

I personally liked the film as medical things interest me. There are depictions of surgery that are for the most part not particularly gory; there is however graphic violence and blood in the film. If the idea of people dying of disease and bullet holes turns your stomach then don't watch this. Having said that, I don't believe that any of the violent content is gratuitous.

Created by Osamu Tezuka, arguably the Godfather of Animé, it is not surprising that the animation and art style in the movie are really well done. Computer effects are integrated well, the only really obvious computer work in it, being some of the water textures and pixilated images that are being looked at through a view screen. Those people paying attention will recognise a reference to premiere animé, "Astro Boy" which is created by the same artist. A sly parody is also made of Star Wars.

Copyright 1996, this seems to be set in an alternate reality. It covers events that happen from 1996 to 1998. To viewers now it may seem like a piece designed to be futuristic. It comes across as being a little dated, but this far less ridiculous than Space1999.

Some critics will find the plot of this movie under explained. Why has the protagonist got scars all over his face? How did he get his extraordinary skill? Why does he have a little girl living with him? The reason for this is because these are characters from a series of comics. A movie cannot capture all of this back-story and present it in a way that wouldn't come across as cheesy. In my analysis the film works well as a stand-alone piece, and those elements of back-story are unnecessary to the plot.

Cheese value, I believe, is something that this story is lacking. The characters are believable and sincere and for the most part, the plot follows logical progressions. The themes get a little strained as we get a barrage of rants, toward the end of the movie, about environmental responsibility, but I didn't allow that to destroy my viewing experience.

Black Jack is a thinker's animé that will probably be favoured by those of us who prefer our cartoons on the darker side. It's not as flashy as Ghost in the Shell is, or as psychological as Perfect Blue, but all in all it's worth watching.

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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

At last! Something original!

8/10
Author: RallyVincentFan from Northern Ireland, UK
15 June 2002

I don't know about most anime fans but I'm sick and tired of 98% of the genre being set in space or in a post-apocalyptic future. It gets boring after the 20th one. So I was extremely pleased to turn over to the Sci-Fi channel for my weekly dose of anime and find Black Jack waiting! The story starts at the Olympics with every single record being broke then mysteriously each athlete starts to develop different, but deadly, symptoms which get worse. These include severe anorexia and constant blood transfusions. Renegade surgeon Black Jack, a mysterious scarred loner who will perform any surgery for money is hired by a cold-hearted woman to solve the mystery but it soon develops into a severe situation when the patients start running out and secrets are let out... This is a great anime, it is so refreshing to see something different on the shelves. A medical thriller with an intriguing plot, maybe the Japanese have still got some fresh ideas after all?

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Tezuka's greatest work

10/10
Author: Timothy McKann (Wingzero4u@aol.com) from United States
1 November 2005

When I first watched the preview of this anime on my Macross 2 movie, I gotta say if it was good enough for me to get,and yes it was. But after buying it on DVD. I really say it's the best anime to see, and it was created by Osamu Tezuka, the godfather of anime.I know that this was one of his greatest masterpiece since Astro Boy and Kimba:the White Lion. I do like the animation in this film, and Kirk Thornton playing the voice of BlackJack. I really also think that some of the medical scenes may be too Bloody and scary for Younger viewers. What I also want to say about this movie, that in real life, we should never take any drugs that aren't safe and can kill. It's also important to check with our Doctor before taking a drug I would also want to dedicate this anime in memory of Osamu Tezuka. So in closing,if you ever buy or watch it. Be careful, it can mess with your head.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Typically good

Author: kingtanichi from Toronto
6 February 2004

If you love anime (like me), chances are you will like this film. If you hate anime (like lots of North Americans), chances are you will dislike this film. Come to think of it, that may be all the review that's required, but I'll keep going anyway.

This film is an exemplary example of one of the things I love about anime: the fact that the scripts are not obsessed with backstory. This film is replete with fascinating points about the characters that are never explained; the hero has a pretty horrible scar/skin graft on his face; he lives with a little girl who may or may not be his daughter, adopted or otherwise; the MSJ (Medical Soldiers for Justice) is a neat concept which is simply taken as part of the story, without any exposition. The list goes on and on.

It's an irritating thing that lots of Western viewers seem so unwilling to use their imaginations or think for themselves, but instead insist on being led by the hand through stories. Lots of anime films are based on huge mangas, however, so Japanese filmmakers have refined techniques of paring the story down only to what's absolutely essential to move the films forward. The resultant films almost always work excellently.

Black Jack is typical anime -- short and concise, unrelentingly urban, occasionally gory and often cynical. It seems to have more heart than some of its brethren at times, what with the daughter subplot and the (rather heavy-handed) environmental moral.

Oh, and for a priceless moment, watch for when Pinoko does the jigsaw puzzle. It's a big picture of Astro-Boy, Osamu Tezuka's most famous creation!

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Mysterious medico...

8/10
Author: poe426 from USA
29 January 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Osamu Tezuka's BLACK JACK remains one of the more interesting manga to have emerged from the field over the years. By incorporating his own medical training in the telling of a series of tales of a mysterious medico (who, dressed in black with a black cloak draped over his shoulders and sporting facial scars that would seem to imply some kind of self-administered skin grafts, looks more like a traditional vampire than any kind of healer), Tezuka again made new inroads in storytelling. This series, based on his manga, rates more than a casual look: it deserves serious critical attention- though that's not likely to happen (not in this country, anyway). While filmmakers like David Cronenberg and Michael Crichton might rate "serious" critical discussion (including learned tomes), Osamu Tezuka's acheivements will have to wait for the West to catch up with him- which has already taken a lifetime...

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

I've never seen the German version...

6/10
Author: Katherine Thompson (erebus53@hotmail.com) from Christchurch, New Zealand
6 June 2002

I didn't expect to see this as a German title, as I just saw the English version on DVD here in New Zealand. It hadn't occurred to me that the Germans would have it dubbed before the Americans but I guess you learn something new every day.

I think it's a great OAV. It however has an unexplained background that betrays its origins in the manga series. Well worth having a look so long as you are not put off by blood or surgery.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Another great anime by Osamu Tezuka

Author: Leigh Aucoin from Louisiana, America
16 May 2000

A brilliant man was Osamu Tezuka to come up with most likely the only "medical thriller" Japanese anime. Tezuka, considered to be the father of anime, put his medical degree into work with this series.

Dr. Black Jack is a surgeon. Not only a surgeon, but the best in the world. Many people come to him seeking medical attention, from a person's disfigured face to an unborn twin inside of a person. These people know that they are getting the best, yet they realize that they could be putting themselves at risk, because this man is not licensed to operate on them. Still, the many come, seeking his help, and paying him off in the millions.

What drew me towards this series was the same reason many people are drawn to the show "ER." Many different problems arise, in people's lives, and a very experienced surgeon is needed to cure them. When the patient is healed, the viewer gets a nice, happy, feeling inside of him.

If you are willing to try out a new anime, I urge you to pick up Black Jack. You may be disappointed, but at least you will be one of the few to see this great series.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

An animae film based on a real event

8/10
Author: richard-wheeler from Gauteng, South Africa
15 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This was a cosmopolitan animae film which was based on those who are so gifted at something, they can self destruct, THAT IS HECTIC, IT CAN HAPPEN!!! I am gifted at drawing, I hope I won't self destruct! Actually , what made this happen was a female doctor decided to insert a kind of virus into every one of her patients and it was soon discovered on the brains of people under a pericardium- like layer in a surgery by Dr. Black Jack.The virus wiped the patients out one by one and soon, the insane doctor had a taste of her own medicine when Dr. Black Jack decided to spike the doctor's drink with the virus.

The graphics of this film were stunning because I have never seen an Indian nor a Black person in an aminae film. The Japanese sure do pay a lot of attention to the features of people.

This is an interesting film , but don't get freaked out by what you see.

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2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A very well made medical thriller spoiled by some cheesy moments.

Author: Juhana Uuttu from Helsinki, Finland
11 June 2000

Created by Osamu Tezuka, the legendary cartoonist (or should I say artist) who made Japans comics/animations as it is today, the story revolves around an unlicensed master of surgery who gets unwillingly involved in a superhuman project, who's testsubjects die an agonising death one by one. Alot of philosophical talk about medical ethics and intense medical operations. Oh yeah, and some nicely made animation.

The plot is well made, but at one point the whole plot for a moment turns from believable to just plain silly. I mean, I didn't know there was a whole organisation of guerilla surgeons with guns who are fighting for some cheesy reason! I'll say it again: CHEESE! However, it doesn't essentially ruin the movie, but it does linger around there for the rest of the movie, which is bad. It doesn't make this film unwatchable tho'. (Well, unless you don't like gore - on the table and out of it.)

All-in-all: Good movie, pity about the cheesy surprise.

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