Posted by psgels on 4 January 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


One thing that I’ve been noticing with Osamu Tezuka’s works is that whenever it’s adapted by someone else, the result turns out great, but when he directs a movie of his own work himself, the result turns out much less spectacular. Metropolis was awesome and Hi no Tori turned out brilliant, while Unico had a lot of potential, but its major villain made no sense at all. The Marine Express also had some great storytelling, but the plot-twist in the middle was just entirely ridiculous. The second Black Jack movie shows the same. While it’s level of quality is nowhere near that of Metropolis or Hi no Tori, it remains a very enjoyable movie.

Anyway, The Two Doctors of Darkness is basically the first thing I’ve seen from the Black Jack-franchise, which consists out of two movies, two tv-series (totalling a staggering amount of 78 episodes), an OVA and a tv-special. After watching it, I can understand why the premise caught on so much: it’s been a while since I saw an anime that toys so much with morals as this one. It’s really one of Osamu Tezuka’s many trademarks.

This movie looks at death at a totally different perspective compared to the usual. Black Jack is basically an incredibly talented surgeon, who can cure almost anything that’s curable with ease. And yet he doesn’t spend his days into a hospital like most other doctors and charges ridiculous fees for his clients. I like how, even though this isn’t the first Black Jack-movie, it does a fine job of introducing the viewer to the concept and main-characters, although I guess I need to watch the television-series for the development of the side-characters, which were just too bland and pointless, making me wonder why they were included in the movie in the first place.

It seems that the one who was given the task to direct this movie was Osamu Tezuka’s son, Makoto Tezuka. For the job, he did a very fine job, like expected of his father. The movie feels complete, it doesn’t drag on and it makes fair use of its ninety minutes. If there weren’t numerous surgical-scenes, I’d recommend this for the younger audiences to watch as well. The fact remains that Makoto does have a lot to learn. The major problem for this movie that it gets a bit too far-fetched at times, and there are a few convenient coincidences at times that spoil the mood that the movie has been building up for. Yet, while knowing nothing about the source-material, I can imagine how the guy could have done far worse than he’s shown now.

One Response

  1. Jaime says:

    Hey, I just wanted to a)wonder if you’ve by any chance seen Honey & Clover (I’m thinking probably)and if so, what you thought of it and b) say awesome job blogging a variety of anime with thoughtful and unbiased entries. Keep up the incredible work.

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  • Bam
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 08:33 PM)
    Deen is not a bad studio, it’s just that like most other anime companies which have had their ups-and-downs. These studios are a conglomerate, so it all depends on the staff behind each particular title. The budget of a project can also make a difference and I would think that LH2 would probably have a reasonable one. With the old staff on-board I don’t see at real problem here.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 06:41 PM)
    Rurouni Kenshin trust and betrayel is a prequel so even if you can’t remember the manga it doesn’t really matter. And seriously the difference between that and the series is astronomical. It’s like the difference between Deens fate/stay night and ufotables fate/zero.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 06:31 PM)
    Well that and I haven’t read Kenshin since I was what…13?
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 06:30 PM)
    @Aidan: Sounds like I’m giving it a go. I had always avoided Kenshin after the bits with Shisio as I’d fallen out with reading the manga.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 06:20 PM)
    @Emma, If you have not seen that Kenshin OVA I highly recomend it. It is very serious compared it the anime series. Many regard it highly.
    Plus it’s depressing as hell so right up your alley.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 05:35 PM)
    Shisio Makoto now while I my not have been big on Kenshin I liked him a fair bit.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 05:34 PM)
    I had shion no ou spoiled for me at one point and well that was fairly frustrating =<
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 05:33 PM)
    @Aidan: Oh well fair enough then my mistake.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 05:33 PM)
    @Aidan: As much as I hate on ryukishi07 and higurashi I don’t consider myself a blind hater/troll when it comes to the show, I found Takano, Rika pretty compelling and I liked Satoko’s story at least and the violence of course. It did slightly visually improve in the second season.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Sep 22. 2014 05:21 PM)
    @Emma, Deen didn’t do the Kenshin series. Well except for the last season which was pretty terrible.
    Deen did the OVA Rurouni Kenshin trust and betrayel and that is a very different beast from it’s shounen series counterpart.

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