Saitou Eijirou is a newly established intern doctor, who is forced to take on a second night job at another, much smaller hospital because of the extremely low pay he receives. As he bounces between the two different hospitals, he is forced to dig deeper and deeper into Japan's largely corrupted medical society and starts to question even his own initial beliefs, as he asks himself just what being a doctor means.
Say hello to Black Jack is one of the most overlooked manga on MAL due to its lack of English scans and publications (I read it in French). However, it is one of the few manga that left a strong impression on me.
The story focuses on a young intern in Eiroku (University famous for medicine) and the chronicles of his experience as an intern in different departments of the hospital. Each story arc is a 3-4 months internship in one of the major departments of medicine and Saito (protagonist) is always left in charge of one particular case/patient. However, his naive ideals and stubbornness
makes him rebellious and doubtful about the ethics of medicine in Japan. From, neonatal care to cancer/chemotherapy to psychiatry, each department provides an unique view on the difficulties and challenges of society. Wonderful storyline, dealing with an extremely mature critical and hard subject with a very strong emotional and psychological impact on the readers.
Some characters' face are exaggerated in a serious and realistic fashion. The artwork can be categorized as realistic seinen, sometimes bordering on the same category as Vagabond in terms of details.
The characters are truly multi-dimensional. Many of the "antagonists", i.e. the senior doctors in each department first appears to be insensible and corrupted. However, as the story progresses, we discover that there is no right or wrong between Saito's ideology and that of his seniors. At the end of each arc, not only Saito grows by understanding that his initial thoughts about patient-doctor relationship is too naive, some of the senior doctors also get influenced by Saito. Some regain things from their youth that they have lost after spending too many years in the corrupted system.
Enjoyement and Overall: 10/10
This manga is a SHOCK manga, revealing some of the most obscure aspects of the medical system in Japan. While being pessimistic and dark, it still portrays with confidence the presence of hope both for the patient and the doctor...even when there are none....Some of the story arcs, especially the last two ones, very really emotional. I personally shed tears on the cancer story arc and found it to be one of the most deep and well developed emotional and psychological episode of all the manga I have read. I truly recommend this to anyone who is willing to read a realistic manga that criticizes the social system (of Japan) but also add a "human" side to all things. One of the masterpieces.
This manga is not for typical otaku, who are looking for a manga that lets them escape the harsh reality.
This manga is all about reality.
It's hard to read this manga, but it's hard to stop.
This is one of few mangas that will make you feel like you don't want to live in this world anymore, and the main reason is the reality of this manga. 100% realistic situations, backed-up with real-life problems and issues that you can find info about in any media.
It's no wonder some people rate it so low. Many people read manga to escape into the world of magic, superpowers and main
characters who always achieve their goals and where the dreams come true.
Black Jack ni Yoroshiku is the very opposite. No magic, no superpowers, no miracles. The main character is as real-life human as possible, and dreams are what they are in reality - just dreams, while goals are distant and unclear.
Like most people, Saito Eijirou doesn't know what his goals are or why he's doing what he's doing.
Like most people, Saito Eijirou has dreams that are ruined by reality.
Like most people, Saito Eijirou hopes for miracles that never happen.
And like in real life, things never go as planned.
All 13 volumes present to you the reality of human life and illustrate how weak and hopeless all the people are in this world.
If you've already accepted the reality; if you already realized how powerless you are, then you will find a masterpiece in this manga.
But if you're still fooling yourself with "dreams come true" and "believe in yourself" crap, then go and read something more optimistic and fictitious, and come back here years later, after the life will teach you the definition of "reality".
Just to clarify, Say Hello to Black Jack is NOT some kind of pre/sequel of Black Jack, it’s another type of creature altogether…
Saito, Eijirou is a fresh medical graduate that’s just starting his internship in his university’s hospital and simultaneously, working a part-time job (now we know why doctors don’t sleep). He finds trouble living on his monthly wage of… A jar of pickles (no actually, it’s something ridiculous like $380) and while politics run wild in the hospital’s background, we (as readers) get to see what’s really happening behind the scenes: let the crazy kowtowing and enraged fits begin!
The Manga’s plot explores the
ethics and methods within the medical field, including the shady deals that happen, which many people aren’t aware of. It’s less of a ha-ha-girls-just-want-to-have-fun kind of Manga, and more of an eye-opening shocker of a story. The main character (aka the good guy) gets made fun of, becomes isolated, has his family threatened to repay a huge scholarship and loses his friends and part-time job. Why? Because the man wants to know how it feels like to be a real doctor whose main concern is the patient. I like the fact that the author keeps reiterating this idea, that if it was to save a human life then the benefits must and will outweigh the costs.
The art was at times super-detailed and at others, just okay; the illustrator uses this technique to emphasise emotions and the scenes in general (which can get a little overwhelming). However, it was above average overall due to the healthy dose of realistic proportioning in the illustrations and the fact that not every character was ‘pretty’ or ‘handsome’ or ‘beautiful’; the characters’ faces were rather normal. It seems to me that a lot of illustrators find non-sparkly faces hard to draw *cough*illustrators*cough*. I’d have liked it better if the author didn’t make the panels so dark (put some light element in there, why don’tcha?) but we’ll forgive you for that, won’t we readers?
The author created very realistic characters, some of which were heart wrenching and some of which were assholes. Their personalities were rather symbolic and solid, pretty much representing a major part of society. They move the plot on nicely while each having a definitive effect on where the story is going. Nice job, author.
In conclusion, in today’s world, it seems difficult to hold on to what is right and what is wrong. However, this Manga highlights the fact that this behaviour has trickled down to places where it shouldn’t have: medicine, where not only money (because the money argument is always there) but also HUMAN LIVES are in the balance. This Manga is for readers who’re ready to get down and dirty with the facts and prod sensitive topics, it’s for the people that enjoy DEPTH (an extremely rare attribute) in their plotlines. It’s very much the cup of tea of a person who’s brain had started to shrink due to too much shallow, glittery, predictable stories and who wants a change of pace.
I stumbled upon this manga by pure chance while searching for Black Jack(by Tezuka). The two manga are not related but both are among my favourites.
This manga is based on a common intern who is struggling to find out what is a doctor. Who is he? What is his role? The protagonist does not like the bureaucracy in the medical world. He wants to be himself and not a robot driven by rules of the medical association.
What is important to note here is that this manga is not targeted to a wide audience seeking laughs and action. This is a seinen manga meant for thinking
readers. I can assure you that if you like meaningful stories with a solid plot and a relatable protagonist then you'll love this.
The stories of various patients are very moving and thrilling too. The stories are inspiring and sometimes make us think that nothing is impossible but then there is not always a good ending. Sometimes the grim reality really shocks you. You can see that the author is not going for any big stunts but instead maintaining an enjoyable balance between reality and enjoyment.
So I would say that this should be given a chance. Try it for a couple of chapters and I don't think you'll regret it.