Review: Young Black Jack, Episode 3: Deserters

Review:

On an unspecified evening, Hazama is preparing his dinner while Okamoto pokes around his apartment, seeking to discover the secret to Hazama’s surgical prowess. While she only discovers some fish that he has practiced on and some pigs’ feet, both of them stumble into an unexpected situation when they hear a loud noise from another apartment. Upon investigating, they find to defectors from the U.S. Army being harbored in another apartment. One of the men is suffering from severe head pain, which is the source of the yelling. The man and woman harboring the soldiers try to pressure Hazama into investigating the source of the man’s headache, but he adamantly refuses and storms out, only to be confronted by his own morals, which ultimately lead him to look into the source of the soldier’s headache. There is pressure on the man’s brain that requires a piece of his skull to be removed, and though Hazama (again) protests against doing the procedure, he ultimately gives in and does the surgery. Afterward, it is discovered that the man was actually working undercover for the American government, and that Hazama’s involvement is known. After being briefly detained, Hazama is released and his medical bag returned.

Determining the continuity of Young Black Jack is difficult. We know that this is definitely after the events of the previous episodes, as references are made to both surgeries, but how much time has passed and what the nature of Hazama and Okamoto’s relationship is are a couple topics that are not expounded upon. There does seem to be some type of plot continuity as well, since the couple harboring the fugitives knew of Hazama’s fame, and on top of that the next episode appears to have Hazama in Vietnam, which could likely be the result of him being identified as the one who performed the surgery in this episode. All of this is to say that, while the episodes themselves are entertaining and well-written, it would be nice to have a slightly better idea of how they all tie together into the general plot.

The episode also manages to raise some questions about Hazama’s character: namely, why did he suddenly have such an aversion to doing this surgery? The immediate thought would be that it’s because the surgery is being forced upon him; however, the previous episode’s surgery was technically forced upon him by the cult, as well, although in that situation Hazama technically had something to gain (the preservation of his life, as well as his desire to perform a heart surgery). Whatever the case may be, we see something deeper ultimately come into play this time around: namely, Hazama’s conscience. This provides a look into why Hazama is the way he is, and may have an impact on his ultimate transformation into Black Jack.

Ultimately, the episode follows the same general guidelines as the previous two: Hazama is presented with a medical emergency, Hazama performs the surgery, and we see what happens post-surgery. Much like the first episode, Hazama ends up getting the short end of the stick when everything is said and done, but where this leads him (apparently Vietnam, if the events of this episode have any connection to that) could prove interesting for his character development. Also interesting will be seeing where the relationship between Hazama and Okamoto goes, if anywhere.

A Christian Perspective:

*Review Romans 14*

If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, you’ve probably come across the Romans 14 principle of acting within the confines of your conscience. The chapter speaks about there being things that aren’t inherently sinful by themselves, but if a person feels they are sinful then to that person those things are sin and the individual should avoid them. While this episode of Young Black Jack does not speak about sin, it does show Hazama being faced with a situation that he does not want to be involved with, yet his conscience eventually kicks in, reminding him of his conviction to save lives. Although he doesn’t like the idea of being coerced into performing a surgery (whether as a result of pride or something else), he recognizes that to not help the patient would be a violation of his own personal moral code, and ultimately performs the surgery.

In the same sense, we as Christians should be prepared to do (or not do) things in accordance with our own consciences, even if they are things we do/don’t want to do. For example, a friend may be perfectly fine with watching an anime that depicts blood and violence, while you may feel uncomfortable and convicted by the same anime. The fact that your friend is okay with the anime should not cause you to justify violating your conscience by watching it.

Content Guide:

Language: 2 “j**z”, 1”hell”, 1 “*ss”, 1 “sh*t”

Alcohol/Drug Use: None

Nudity/Sex/Fanservice: None

Violence: Hazama punches a woman and grabs her face; scenes of war in the episode preview

Blood/Gore: The inside of a man’s skin is shown as it is peeled back from his skull; a chunk of a man’s skull is shown being removed; blood is shown several times in the episode preview

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