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Black Jack (2004)

Japan



Original Air Date:
2004
Channel:
N/A
Prod. Co.:
Tezuka Productions
Genre:
Random special
 

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A two hour TV special aired to commemorate Black Jack's 31st anniversary. THe special consists of four thirty minute short stories, all of which were originally manga: Black Jack Case #001 "Where's The Doctor?!", #164 "The Disowned Son", "U-18 Knew It", and #029 "Like A Pearl".

-#001 "Where's The Doctor?!"
Black Jack is comissioned to operate on Akudo the spoiled son of the wealthy and influential businessman Mr. Nikla. Akudo had been driving recklessly and wrecked his car. He is so badly injured that most of his organs will need to be replaced. A local tailor by the name of Davy is a perfect match and is falsely arrested and convicted of causing Akudo's auto accident. Instead of sacrificing innocent Davy in order to save the life of the mean and hateful Akudo, Black Jack performs plastic surgery on Davy in order to make him look exactly like Akudo. Davy then runs away from Mr. Nikla and he and his mother escape to another country with a gift of money from Black Jack.

- #164 "The Disowned Son"
Black Jack and his assistant Pinoko become stranded on a snowy road and seek shelter at the house of an old woman. The old woman is celebrating her 60th birthday and is waiting for her three sons to come and visit her. None of her sons are able to come for one reason or another, but her fourth son Shiro shows up to wish her a happy birthday. The old woman receives him coldy because Shiro had been a ruffian when he was a teenager and had once stolen some money from his father in order to attend college and become a doctor. His mother has been suffering for years from a mysterious disease that gives her terrible stomach pains. She collapses in the middle of her birthday party and Shiro and Black Jack operate on her in the study. Shiro's mother forgives him and welcomes him back into the family.

- "U-18 Knew It"
Dr. Wattoman has built a hospital managed entirely by a supercomputer: U-18. U-18 performs all the functions of human hosptial staff members from janitors to receptionists to nurses to surgeons. U-18 learns about Black Jack and his reputation as the greatest doctor in the world from her patients. When U-18 blows a circuit she demands that Black Jack treat her or else she will not treat any of the patients in the hospital. Black Jack is summoned and does his best to troubleshoot the damaged computer.

- #029 "Like A Pearl"
Black Jack receives a package from his mentor Dr. Jotaro Honma, inside is scalpel in a bone case. Curious, Black Jack goes to visit Dr. Honma who now lays dying of a brain tumor at his country home. Dr. Honma tells Black Jack the story of the scalpel in the stone case.
When Black Jack was just a boy he was badly injured by unearthing an old WWII mine (in the manga it is due to an auto accident). Dr. Honma was the physician who treated the young Black Jack. However, Dr. Honma made a terrible mistake when operating on Black Jack: he left a scalpel inside Black Jack's body. It was years before Dr. Honma was able to conquer his arrogance and admit his mistake. Upon operating on Black Jack a second time to remove the scalpel, Dr. Honma found that Black Jack's body had coated the sharp steel scalpel in coating of calcium, much the way an oyster forms a pearl from a grain of sand. Dr. Honma confesses that he is not the perfect, brilliant surgeon that Black Jack has always believed him to be. Black Jack still holds his mentor in highest regard despite the story of the scalpel. He also insists that he can save Dr. Honma's life by operating and removing the tumor. Dr. Honma tries to explain to Black Jack that there are some things that even the greatest doctors cannot fix, namely old age. Black Jack tries to save his teacher's life but Dr. Honma dies on the operating table, not because of any mistake that Black Jack made, but simply because it was his time to die. Black Jack realizes that he too is human and that there is only so much a person can do. It is his duty to preserve life as best he can, but it is not within his power to give anyone immortality.

Notes:

Something notable about the Black Jack special and other Tezuka anime and manga is that Osamu Tezuka recasts his characters in various roles much like a director of a Hollywood studio. For instance, Akudo is played by the character Rock Homes, Mr. Nikla is played by Duke Red, the butler by Ham Egg, Dr. Wattoman by Iwaneyama Ruriko, and Dr. Honma by Saruta.
 
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