Hazuma finds himself observing a surgery in Chicago and gets himself involved with a young civil rights protestor named Johnny who has no sensation of pain. After getting his arm mangled in a fight, the severity of Johnny’s case becomes apparent. Just as Hazuma and Eri think Johnny will have to live with the condition he was born with, a childhood friend reveals that Johnny used to cry from pain. This means something else is causing his body not to feel pain instead of a genetic condition.
Any long time fan knows Anime’s take on world events and history is not always handled with seriousness. Often fans have witnessed giant robots being placed into history or figures from history becoming sword wielding warriors. Few shows actually take the time to look at events from history in a serious dramatic fashion. This is another reason why Young Black Jack is such a great show. The show started by showcasing Japan’s unrest in the 1960s, dropped Hazuma right smack dab into the Vietnam war, and now has placed him in American to dealing with the serious racial tension the country experienced after the death of Martin Luther King Jr. This is the kind of show which makes a fan feel good about the content they are watching because it offers a lesson in history and really gives them something to think about.
Sadly, this show will no doubt win the award for “Best Anime no one watched all year.” There has been little to no discussion about the series despite the great art, story, and music the series provides. One can only hope the series will have a resurgence once the show makes its way to America with a physical release.
Young Black Jack is streaming at Crunchyroll.