14 March 2012

Manga Doctor

Comic digest, 288 pages
Published 2008 (content: 1973-83)
Acquired January 2012

Read March 2012
Black Jack, Volume 1
by Osamu Tezuka

This is without a doubt one of the strangest books that I have ever read.  Black Jack is a physician without a license, who can cure the strangest diseases you've ever had... for a price.  A very large price.  This volume of manga contains a number of standalone stories, each showing a different one of his many strange cases.

There is one where Black Jack makes telepathic contact with a tumor on a famous women, the tumor being the organs of a twin that never fully formed.  There is another where he talks to a boil on a man's face that takes over his personality periodically. There is another where he watches as a young boy with polio walks across Japan to raise awareness for the disease.  There is another where he transplants the brain of a painter with radiation poisoning from a nuclear bomb test into a new body.  This is another where he intervenes in office politics at a local hospital.  There is another where he is called in to operate on a robotic doctor that has decided it is a human being and not a robot.

Some are gross stories, some are melodramas, some are horror, some are humorous (ostensibly anyway).  I can't say I've ever read anything like it, and I have absolutely no idea what I think of it, other than that it was worth my time to experience something so strange and unusual.  And that my favorite joke was the fact that a distinguished doctor (not Black Jack) at one point informs the other characters that he is the best-selling author of the book How to Poop.

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