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Showing 1-10 of 16 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 35 reviews
on April 18, 2011
How many volumes will there be?

This edition of Black Jack has a total of 17 paperback volumes, containing about 12 stories each. It is based on the Japanese 17 volume Akita bunkouban edition.

Wait, paperback? so what are those expensive hardback versions?

Vertical also published special limited hardback editions of books 1 to 3 in the series. They are limited to 1500 (vol.1) and 1200 (vol.2 & 3) copies and distributed through Diamond to brick and mortar comic-book stores.

The difference is not only in the cover, they include three additional stories (one in each) NOT included in the Japanese edition on which the Vertical paperbacks are based. These three stories will not appear in the softcover books. More on this later.

Is this The Complete Osamu Tezuka's Black Jack, then?

Well, no. Even if you buy all the three hardcovers, the answer is still no. No book edition, including all the Japanese editions so far, includes all Black Jack stories as originally serialized in magazines. Also, not all the book editions omit exactly the same stories. It is a bit messy, actually. More on this later.

Why were some stories excluded from the books?

In many cases, criticism or controversy about the medical conditions depicted. Some of the stories missing from the books deal with lobotomies, for instance. Or are inaccurate. Or relatives of patients with the disease depicted in a story would complain. Tezuka was very sensitive to all this criticism. In other cases he simply thought the stories weren't good enough to be reprinted in book form.

So, how *complete* is this?

Very, actually, one of the more complete there is. There are a total of 243 issues of Black Jack. 5 "sealed" issues where never collected in book editions because they contained controversial or sensitive material. 20 more issues are excluded from some, but not all, of the Japanese book editions. 12 of these are included in the bunkouban edition on which the Vertical edition is based. And three more of these 20 appear in the special hardcover volumes 1-3. So. If you have all the Vertical paperbacks you will have 230 out of 243 stories. If you also buy the hardcovers you will have 233*.

*i researched all this at tezukaineglish.com. of course i might have misread or miscalculated something.

Is Black Jack a series or a serial?

A series. Each chapter is a self-contained story. You can read them in almost any order. In fact, that's what you're already doing. This edition does not present the stories in chronological order of publication, but in the order Osamu Tezuka himself indicated for a deluxe edition planned shortly before his death, in 1989.

For instance. The stories in this first volume are not issues #1 to #12 of the serialized manga but rather issues #1, #167, #12, #52, #29, #50, #86, #185, #57, special issue between #113 and #114, #54, and #49. There is a rationale to all this. Several of the stories give backstory information about Black Jack, where his scars come from, why he decided to become a doctor, etc. So Tezuka decided to put them at the beginning of the series in this new form.

Where can i learn more about Black Jack and and all this mess about the excluded issues?

Go to 'Tezuka in English' website (tezukainenglish.com). That's where i dug all this stuff up, all kudos to them.

Is Black Jack really that good?

As a surgeon? Definitely. As a comic-book classic? The answer is also yes. Black Jack is as classic as Tintin or Terry and the Pirates, but with surgical gore.
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on January 7, 2016
Love this manga it's certainly in my top 3 favs.
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on January 14, 2009
I remember seeing the Black Jack series years ago at a con I was at, and from that moment on I was hooked. I searched for the comic books, which are rare and hard to find, and I ordered the original Mangas when they were first released in the states, but the copying of the art was shoddy, and the translations were terrible. When I heard that they were re-releasing the Mangas I was delighted. As soon as I got my copy I knew I would be pleased. The page spacing is perfect for the artwork, the translations are wonderful, and I am happy to see this beautiful example of Japanese manga released in a format that will apeal to American and European readers. The stories themselves show a deep and probing knowledge of the human heart and psyche, and each story helps you look into the choice between right and wrong. In anycase, after several decades, this is still an amazing series whith a rich and deeply developed plotline, and this edition truly does it justice!
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on October 3, 2008
I would recommend this book both to people who are Tezuka fans and to people who are new to Tezuka's work. This volume contains twelve relatively short self-contained stories, so it might be a good choice for those who don't want to commit to reading one of the longer Tezuka stories like Phoenix or Buddha. I also think that this would be a good choice for people new to Tezuka's work because it's an example of his gritter, harder-edged work that shows that there's much more to Osamu Tezuka than Astro Boy or Kimba the White Lion (I enjoy Tezuka's more child-oriented works too, but they express only a very limited concept of what Tezuka was all about).

I should point out that if you're looking for anything like a realistic medical drama here, you're going to be disappointed (On the other hand, wouldn't the medical dramas on tv be more fun if they had doctors who could throw scalpels like ninja throwing stars?). Black Jack is set in "Tezuka-land," not the "real world," so there's a fair amount of pseudoscience and a few really oddball bits that might make you ask, "Was this really written by a guy who was a doctor?"

Tezuka's storytelling techniques might seem a little strange at first (He has a tendency to throw in jokes and visual gags at seemingly inappropriate moments, which might frustrate some readers, but I'm starting to look at it almost like a Brechtian "distancing" or "alienation" technique), but I think that this volume gives readers a glimpse of what a unique talent Tezuka was (I consider Tezuka to be one of the masters of world comics, not just Japanese comics). More importantly, I think that these are highly entertaining stories that fans of comics (or "sequential art" or whatever highfalutin' term you prefer) are likely to enjoy.
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on September 27, 2011
This is my first Tezuka series and I'm really enjoying reading through these volumes (I'm on vol. 3 as of this review). I enjoy manga series that have lots of short stories involving many different characters with the same main character at the core to tie everything together. And obviously Black Jack does just this since I bothered mentioning this. These stories put its characters into serious situations (usually a matter of life or death) and their response to the situation show the best and worst of humans. I also enjoy that bit by bit we learn more and more about Doctor Black Jack. At first I was a bit put off by the art style, but now I'm really fond of it. I'd recommend Black Jack, I look forward to trying other Tezuka series but I have a feeling Black Jack will remain my favorite. But perhaps Phoenix will give Black Jack a run for its money that I'm not expecting ;) With regard to the book itself, I have no complaints about the cover, binding, or quality of paper so far. Each volume is jam packed and very fullfilling.
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on March 29, 2016
Amazing comic - Tezuka was a master of the manga art. If you like medical dramas, this is for you. Don't let the sometimes goofy art put you off - this manga is deep and full of themes anyone of any age will appreciate.
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on May 10, 2009
I have been a Tezuka fan since long, but this is the first time I buy a manga (comic book), and the first time I get to know the character of Black Jack.

I really recommend this one for mature readers, since the topics are adult oriented and hard to take for children. Tezuka is a master of meaningful storytelling, combining beautiful artwork, innovative camera angles and interesting, compelling stories portraying deep characters.

I will pick up the other volumes on this collection. The price is great for the amount of stories you get.
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on December 23, 2013
I now know why Tezuka is considered the godfather of manga. As I become more acquainted with his work I find myself actually falling in love with manga for the first time. I now know for a fact that, not only do Japanese comics boast a tremendously significant tradition, but that by the time East fully meets West, the world MUST redefine it's understanding of comics forever.
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on January 7, 2014
My boyfriend and I are fans of the Black Jack series and he's been trying to collect the mangas over time so since he doesn't have the first one to the series, I thought this would make the perfect Christmas/ birthday gift for him. He ended up loving it!
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on April 9, 2010
Osamu Tezuka is amazing! You can pretty much read anything of his and expect great things. The Black Jack series is fantastic- I highly recommend it. Both the art and stories are great.
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