Posted on 21 March 2012 with categories: Black Jack Final

Well, Rest in Peace, Osamu Dezaki. This very likely was the last episode you ever worked on, and what a great episode it was. This was the last time where his unique sense of storytelling could be exhibited. The subject for this episode is wars. Black Jack has dabbled in this area before, but with a setting that so closely resembles Northern Korea (remember that this originally was written at a time when Kim Jong Il wasn’t even leader yet) does give it a slightly different load than usual.

Once again though, this episode captures what makes the Black Jack OVAs so incredibly good. It makes optimal use of its 45 minutes of airtime to play out and come with twists and turns, plus as usual it also puts in a lot of time into its characterizations. The lead character in this episode didn’t just have one issue, but instead she had a wide range of issues, who at the same time were all related to each other.

Also, I didn’t expect to see this at this point, but Black Jack actually regretted saving someone’s life. In all of the stories of him I’ve seen so far, he has always been very passionate about saving lives as soon as he set his mind to it, but this really pushed that boundary here.

In terms of the visuals, it’s a shame that the budget of this episode left some things to be desired, because things were a bit sloppy in that era. The cinematography still was wonderful, though. This episode still managed to pull off a ton of visual effects that are so typical of Osamu Dezaki, in which he really tries to get the biggest emotional reaction while using minimal methods. Even in this episode, these scenes still are full of energy.

I personally love it when a director, writer or artists manages to put a lot of his own style and ideas into his (or her) work, and there are very few series directors whose style is as immediately recognizable as Osamu Dezaki. I really hope that a lot more young directors pick this up and start to let their own styles flow into their works more freely. That’s what provides variety and diversity.
OVA Episode Rating: 8,75/10

Posted on 26 February 2012 with categories: Black Jack Final, OVA Impressions

In case you haven’t noticed: the final Black Jack OVAs have finally been subbed. Yes, two episodes of 50 minutes, which were the final things that Osamu Dezaki worked on before his death. I’ve been waiting more than a month for these to come out, because even though I sometimes watch raws, there is no way in which I’m going to try that with a series that’s so chock full of medical terms as this one.

And holy crap, this first episode was worth the wait! I was a bit weary at first when the episode immediately started by promising that it would center around Pinoko, but seriously: her background is amazing. This episode seriously gave me a totally different perspective of her. This is much, much more than just another nostalgia remake.

The whole concept of having her be a Zyst who for more than 20 years lived inside this actress’ body, which was afterwards taken out and reassembled by Black Jack. Holy crap, now that’s something else. At this point I thought that I couldn’t be surprised by Osamu Tezuka anymore, but this episode did it.

And yes, this episode was 50 minutes long, and told in the same style as the other OVAs. Because of this we got a long and detailed look at the actress in question and who she is, and what the impact of her illness was on her life. This lead to an amazing ending and I loved the bond between her and Pinoko.

And yes! This really still has Osamu Dezaki’s influence all over it. The graphics and especially the multiple drawing son one screen are really typical of his, and I’m really glad that we can see them for one last time. He was by far one of the directors with one of the most unique styles out there. It’s something that I’m missing with a lot of debuting directors nowadays: they seem too afraid to put a bit of their own style in. This really shows that you can very faithfully adapt a story, while putting plenty of your own style in it as well.
OVA Episode Rating: 9/10

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