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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  • Aries
    (Tuesday, Mar 31. 2015 12:44 AM)
    Yeah definitely. I think it’s really fucked up at how many series totally shit on their queer couples like?? Why not represent them to show that they can work and are normal.
  • Emma
    (Monday, Mar 30. 2015 11:50 PM)
    Although I think I would be amused/entertained by the ridiculousness of a lesbian mindfuck time travel plot for the sheer chaos/nonsense of it. But seriously speaking Aries, while I haven’t kept up, these endings which avoid the “Punishment ending” trope are progress and there needs to be more of them.
  • Aries
    (Monday, Mar 30. 2015 09:49 PM)
    But I mean it was very silly show to begin with but it was fun and is definitely anime of the season
  • Aries
    (Monday, Mar 30. 2015 09:46 PM)
    I feel like this is one of the few yuri series where the lead couple dont get fucked over with and can live happily ever after.
  • Aries
    (Monday, Mar 30. 2015 09:44 PM)
    Like the storyline makes perfect sense and it got more straight forward as the series went on.
  • Aries
    (Monday, Mar 30. 2015 09:43 PM)
    Aidan, No actually! It was the first happy ending I think Ikuhara has done and it resolved everything and made me quite emotional!
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Mar 30. 2015 08:40 PM)
    @Aries, Let me guess. Lesbian mindf*ck time travel?
  • Aries
    (Monday, Mar 30. 2015 08:37 PM)
    yuri kuma had a fantastic ending tbh!
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 05:18 AM)
    Oh, awesome, dark horse is releasing volume 10 of black lagoon in April, its been nearly five years since the last complete volume…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:56 AM)
    @Aidan: I think theres something seriously wrong when theres the actually possibility of there being a good PA works anime but we all have our opinions =P

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