Review: Young Black Jack, Episode 2: Abduction

Review:

Hazama, Yabu, and several other men find themselves kidnapped as potential heart “donors” for a cult leader with a failing heart. All of the men owe some amount of debt to their kidnapper, and are offered freedom from their debt if they are compatible donors (of course, this means death for the chosen donor). Hazama and another man, Raymond, both turn out to be acceptable candidates, and when the aging cult leader for whom they have been kidnapped surveys both men, he chooses Hazama; however, the leader’s health is quickly failing, and the black market doctor that was hired to do the surgery goes underground to avoid pursuit. This buys Hazama a potential reprieve, as he is now expected to do the surgery; of course, failure very well could lead to his death, as well. For Raymond, the now-donor, this is actually welcome news, because it means money will be given to his daughter for needed medical treatment. As Hazama prepares for surgery, Yabu argues against his decision, stating that doing this surgery will brand Hazama a murderer and keep him from every legitimately practice medicine. Hazama wrestles with his conscience, as well as the failing health of both of his patients, and must make some very quick decisions.

Young Black Jack is enjoyable in its simplicity—from the beginning, we can pretty much determine that Hazama will be performing the heart surgery, so the only question that remains is how he will reach that point. The writers also manage to work in a potential explanation for the high rate that Hazama charged the family in the first episode. If you remember, the review for that episode questioned the morality behind Hazama’s rate; however, in this episode we find out that he is deep in debt as a result of trying to help yet another person, which means that his outrageously high rate could have been dueo to him trying to pay off that debt. It’s a minor plot point, but it is one of those things that are neat to pick up on.

Also commendable is how the writers manage to make us care about Hazama, despite the show still being in its infancy. Ultimately, the crux of the episode is the moral dilemma that Hazama faces. He wants to do the heart surgery for whatever reasons he may have—whether for the challenge or because he simply loves practicing surgery—but he also knows that what he is doing is wrong. Yabu’s added presence as a voice of reason helps to amplify this dilemma, even as Hazama prepares to cut into Raymond’s chest. The climax of the episode isn’t whether Hazama lives or dies—we knew the outcome of that before the episode even started—but how Hazama will handle the situation placed before him, which appears to be a lose-lose scenario. His solution to the problem is as novel as it is surprising, although it does leave at least one question in the viewer’s mind. Unfortunately, we can’t discuss that here, lest we spoil the ending for those who haven’t seen the episode. Instead, please feel free to sound off in the comments if you think you know what said question is.

While Young Black Jack may not be an intense medical drama like House or E.R., but it does well as a character drama focused on Hazama’s younger days and, presumably, his transformation into his alias of “Black Jack”. One cannot help but wonder if the black market doctor “Joker”, who is mentioned in this episode, has any ties to Hazama’s ultimate alias, seeing as how both names relate to cards. Perhaps we’ll find out as the drama of Hazama’s life unfolds, but only time will tell.

A Christian Perspective:

John 15:13 – Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Okay, so this is probably a pretty obvious example, but Raymond’s willingness to give his life away for the sake of his daughter’s health is a perfect example of the above verse. Raymond has nothing personal to gain from the arrangement he has made—he is clearly slated to die—yet he loves his daughter more than his own life and is willing to die if that means she can live. Perhaps the verse above can have a much deeper meaning than simply dying for others, though: one could arguably lay their life down by serving others regularly and putting the needs of others above their own. Regardless of whether this is true or not, Raymond’s sacrifice is quite obviously an example of the former interpretation.

What I find more interesting is to examine the moral implications of Hazama’s actions in regards to the Christian worldview. The dilemma that Hazama faces in this episode—to do the surgery or to not do it—seems pretty obvious, but then again the whole show is technically immoral given the fact that Hazama’s surgeries are technically illegal. True, he does what no one else is willing to do, and prodcues results, but it doesn’t change the fact that he is breaking the law in the process. So I guess if we really want to just be done with the subject, we can say that Hazama is an immoral character (or morally ambiguous, at the very best), wipe our hands, and walk away; however, that is boring, so looking past the seeming immorality of him even doing the surgery, let’s look at the result of this episode’s surgery.

As Hazama prepares to operate, Yabu interjects with words of wisdom about why Hazama shouldn’t go through with the surgery. It is interesting to see the drug addicted veteran being the voice of reason, as even Yabu sees himself as pretty much good-for-nothing, and it sparks a thought about how God can speak to us in a variety of ways. Let’s not forget that He one used a donkey to convey a message (Numbers 22:28). You pretty much know you’re doing wrong when the character who has no positive image of himself is telling you that what you’re doing is wrong. As Hazama is having this conflict both internally and externally, Raymond’s heart begins to fail, and the cult leader isn’t fairing much better. Yabu suggests just letting it be and throwing in the towel.

Some time later, we see Hazama sitting outside, and the cult leader getting out of his car. The two meet with each other, and Hazama addresses the man as “Raymond”. We find out that, rather than do a heart transplant, Hazama performed plastic surgery on Raymond to make him look like the cult leader who was supposed to receive Raymond’s heart, effectively making it look like the surgery was a success. The question of what happened to the real cult leader’s body is never addressed, but we can assume that this means Raymond’s daughter got the money she needed, and we know that Hazama did not commit murder while also appeasing the cult. Still, the question remains as to whether this was a moral action at all, because it all hinges on deception. Hazama deceived the cult by making them believe their leader was still alive, and Raymond now lives a life of deception. Of course, cults aren’t typically respectable or moral in the first place, so one could also ask if being immoral to the immoral really matters, but as Christians we are supposed to exhibit godly character all the time, which would make me think that a Christian should still do the right thing in this situation. Of course, a Christian wouldn’t likely be practicing illegal medicine or taking loans from shady loan sharks, so it’s probably a moot point to talk about what a Christian would do in this circumstance. Still, I’d like to hear your thoughts, so please sound off in the comments below!

Content Guide:

Language: 2 “b*stard”, 3 “d*mn”, 1 “h*ll”, 4 “sh*t”, 1 “a**hole”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: Hazama is shown shirtless; Yabu and some other men are also shown shirtless

Violence: Hazama is hit in the face with money; Yabu is forced to the ground

Blood/Gore: Men are shown with bloody bandages

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10 thoughts on “Review: Young Black Jack, Episode 2: Abduction

  1. oldfoxbob

    wow a Christian point of view ? Really? Are you trying to brainwash every one? The only so called Christian point of view here on this web site is YOURS. And that has NOTHING to do with religion at all. You people never follow the bible but try to brainwash kids into doing just what YOU want them to do. Not what your stupid bible says to do. You never follow it in the first pl.ace. You only pick this verse of that chapter of a book that was written by some stupid sheep herder 1500 years ago. Your myth of a god is just that …. A MYTH….Quit trying to FORCE your damn religion on to people. If they want to believe your crap that is fine, they can go to your church and yell and scream as much as they want to. But its sort of like a Penis…Nice to have one ,,,,but when you whip it out and wave it around in public then that is wrong. So quit waving your cock around in public and let people make their own mind up as to what is proper or not. NOT YOU!

    Reply
    1. Cody Armour

      0.o Did he email this article to you and force you to open it? I means it’s his website. Do you walk into churches and yell this out? If posting something on the Internet is now forcing it upon people, you’re going to have a bad time.

      Reply
      1. oldfoxbob

        When you do a search for Anime this site comes up. Hence it is in a sense forcing his religious views upon others. If it were a private site , meaning if you look specifically for it , that would be different. Yet the real purpose of this site is to spread Christianity, by hook or crook. Just like you Christians do, I object to this site. ONly I do not spam it over and over and over like you people do. So when it comes to the same medicine you people spread, you cant take it.

    2. Andrew

      And you went into a site with the name “ChristianAnimeReview” and expected anything other than that? I mean, not sure how many more warning flags you would want but… seems pretty obvious to me what the author is writing about….

      Reply
      1. oldfoxbob

        No I went to Anime. and this site showed up. The author is writing about his point of view, not the christian one. That is my whole point here. Why does he have the right to tell others what they can and can not watch?

  2. rmiller1656

    OldFoxBob:

    You seem to be under the misunderstanding that I am trying to tell others what they can and can’t watch. That isn’t the case at all. I started this blog as a way to let Christians know about content within anime that they may find offensive. Rarely do you find me giving a negative review to a show based on content alone. In fact, I have praised several shows for their story or characters despite the fact that they have contained content that would cause most Christians to avoid the show altogether. Eventually, I started writing a “Christian Perspective” at the end of my reviews to reflect on some theme or element of the episode that I felt Christians could relate to or reflect on.

    Reply
    1. oldfoxbob

      Let Christians know about content with in anime that they may find offensive….so your telling them what to not watch….how can that be more plain? What if the anime had nudity? You tell them its not recomended…same thing…DONT WATCH IT> Again your telling publically and not privately. Typical Christian…just like you quote bible verses….never get the whole story just one line here and there. Sheesh…stupid Christians. Blind leading the blind and brainwashed.

      Reply
      1. rmiller1656 Post author

        I’m not sure at this point if you are truly misunderstanding the purpose or deliberately missing the point. Letting people know about the content is not telling them what to watch. If I were telling them what to watch, my reviews would say, “Watch this” or “Don’t watch this”. I wonder if you’ve even bothered to read the very review you’re commenting on, or if you saw “Christian Anime Review” and immediately jumped onto the first article you could find just to post an angry comment. What I do is no different than someone who watched a movie where a child dies in a terrible accident and, knowing that a friend of theirs experienced something similar in their life, warns their friend about the scene because they think it might be upsetting to that friend. They’re not saying, “Don’t watch this” but rather, “Hey, if you go see this, you should know that it contains this content which may be upsetting to you.” It’s allowing people to make informed decisions. The truth of the matter is that this isn’t something unique to Christians. People of all religious beliefs (or lack thereof) care about what their children watch at the very least, hence why we have things like the ESRB for video games. Again I ask, “Have you even bothered to read any of my reviews?” The truth is, I try to keep my thoughts on the content separate from the review itself and simply review the show on its own artistic merits. The only truly “Christian” part of my reviews are the “Christian Perspectives”, which are no different than what you and I did in English class where we took a book or a poem and interpreted the themes, tones, images, etc, except I’m doing it from the perspective of my faith. No one is obligated to read those. A non-Christian could easily read my review, skip the “Perspective”, and check the Content Guide without hardly (if ever) encountering anything that “forces” my beliefs on them.

        I was inspired to do this after watching an episode of Gargantia on the Verduous Planet (great show overall, by the way. I need to finish watching the blu-ray release), which I initially watched through on Crunchyroll. One of the episodes has three girls ages 14, 15, and 16 dancing in skimpy outfits, with the camera zooming up onto their butts and crotches several times. It was a very awkward and uncomfortable scene, and I found myself wishing I had known about ti beforehand. The whole point of this blog is so that people would know about those moments and be prepared for them while watching a show. And before I’m accused of being “just another Christian prude”, offense at stuff like this is not uniquely Christian. When I was watching Sword Art Online on Crunchryoll, I saw comments that were disgusted by the episode that shows Suguha in the bath with very little left to the imagination. Crunchyroll is not a Christian site at all, and I suspect Christian members are in the minority, yet there were several comments about how awkward it felt to be a grown man seeing a 14 year old girl (animated or not) naked and bathing.

        What I find both ironic and sad is that you are essentially telling me that I shouldn’t have the same rights that the homosexual community (yes, I’ve checked your Bio) has fought for: freedom to express yourself in the public square and to have the same rights that everyone else in America has. You’re essentially saying that you should have the right to say whatever you want, but I should sit down and shut up, or at least keep my thoughts in a closed up room somewhere in the corner of the world where only those I invite in personally can see them. I’m sorry, but that’s not how the Internet or America work. You’re entitled to your opinion and I’m entitled to mine. The other irony is that you are accusing me of encroaching on you, yet you’re the one who has come to my blog and blasted it with your angry, misinformed comments when I have never done a single thing to you. If I stumbled upon your blog and started posting angry comments, I’m sure you’d quickly tell me how I’m in the wrong and how if I didn’t like it, I could simply click the “X” and close the window, yet you somehow feel perfectly justified attacking me.

      2. oldfoxbob

        So your against the beauty of the human body in its best? How Ironic your statement is, on one hand you say your only making suggestions, on the other you say its obscene to see partial nudity. What double standards you have. I am so glad I am NOT a christian and do not follow myth of some sky daddy and listen to others who tell me what I should or should not watch. This is my last responce to you, and your page, I simply stated my opinion on your censoring anime for others. Your no better than Pat Robertson who thinks gay people have special rings that if you touch it, you will become Gay….yes he said that.

  3. rmiller1656

    Bob,

    Yet again you prove that you are either incapable of grasping the concept or that you are deliberatley missing the point to further justify your hate-filled, anti-christian agenda. If you honestly cannot tell the difference between a review and censorship, then perhaps you need to spend some time researching the definitions of both words.

    I will not miss your comments, as you have proven time and again that you are not interested in meaningful dialogue but only in regurgitating your anti-christian position and in (futilely) trying to prove that I’m doing something bad here. I guarantee you that you are the only person who feels that I am trying to stop people from watching certain things. This conversation has contributed absolutely nothing to the site. I have explained its purpose more than once, explained its inspiration, and explained that content concerns are something that all people have, not just Christians, yet you continuously try to assert that I am somehow forcing my views on others. This goes back to what I said at the beginning: you are clearly not interested in meaningful dialogue and discussion, nor do you have any interest in understanding what the site is actually about.

    Good day to you, sir.

    Reply

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