EL本棚紹介(68) Black Jack Volume 1, by Tezuka Osamu

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You must know the name Tezuka Osamu, and you probably have heard of Black Jack. It is less famous abroad than Astro Boy (Tetsuwan Atomu), but it is still an important and really interesting Tezuka manga. Although the title of the manga is Black Jack, the doctor Black Jack is not always the main character of each story. Each story in this volume focuses on the different characters with different problems, so you can easily just pick out any chapter to read by itself.

The translation is excellent. It includes a little bit of English wordplay (dajare) and a little bit of accented or colloquial speech. This is a good way prepare yourself for encountering world Englishes spoken by real people instead of “textbook English.” Because this is a “medical manga,” there are some difficult vocabulary words related to medicine and surgery. However, they are only a very small part of each chapter, and you do not need to understand any of it to enjoy the stories themselves.

My two cents: I was again surprised, like when I read Astro Boy, at just how good Tezuka Osamu is at writing stories. Some of it reminded me of SF author Hoshi Shin’ichi’s short stories, too.