I was in the mood to check out an old show I missed out on back in the day and saw Black Jack up on Amazon Prime and gave it a watch. It's always interesting to see what kind of things went on in older shows and to find the differences in anime between the decades. One thing I find intriguing, however, is how much more interesting the bad shows were back then.
I never saw the series, but the movie is all over the place. The main character is an unlicensed doctor named Black Jack, and he finds himself forced to work on finding a cure for the Super Humans. Over the past two years, people have been appearing that excel beyond all human limits. Several world records were set during the Olympics, female athletes shattering the records in men's sports, artistic prodigies, the list goes on. However all of them end up burning out, their organs appear to age at an incredible pace, and all of them suffer horribly before death.
It's pretty impossible to talk about the show's problems without spoilers, so for the remainder of the review, I will not be trying to dance around them. If you have not seen this movie before, I will be spoiling parts of the plot without any regard for you, you have been warned.
Right off you realize the person who kidnaps Black Jacks assistant, a little girl named Pinaoko, is the villain of the show and it's obvious she is hiding something about the disease. The problem immediately becomes obvious, she is hiding all the information they would need to know in order to actually cure the disease. She wants it cured so that she can create a future of superhumans to better humanity and just wants the side effects cured.
There is no reason not to tell people that she at least suspects the cause of the rapidly aging organs has something to do with some part of the brain, I forget which. She could easily hide her knowledge and just come up with a 'Theory', not unlike the one Black Jack developed not knowing that the Super Humans were induced by some kind of drug. The woman knows exactly how the drug creates super humans, so there are only two real conclusions.She is just expecting all these researchers to be able to find a cure without knowing anything at all about how these superhumans are being created, or she doesn't realize that the source of the problem is at all related to the part of the brain her drug is designed to mess with. Either way, this plan is really, really stupid. I'd go into more things about her that are stupid, especially considering she is suppose to be a genius, but we'd be here for hours.
And that isn't even getting into how unfocused this movie really is. It starts as a medical thriller, then suddenly there are action scenes as some government group attacks the medical facility to end her operation. The villain is kind of sort of forgiven because it wasn't her fault she was bad, it was her father raising her that caused it all. Then Black Jack is wandering through the desert about to die of the Super Human syndrome because he was given the drug earlier, and he is saved by some wandering desert people who have known about the virus that initially caused the superhuman condition for hundreds of years, and had already developed a cure for it. But the cure doesn't work on all strands of the virus because humans are destroying the earth, so now there is some kind of environmental message to all this.
I don't know what this film wants to get across. There doesn't seem to be an underlying theme, the plot is badly told and feels unfocused, and the dialogue is just awful at times. 'This disease should be named insert villains full name heredisease!' is an actual line of dialogue.
The animation is actually pretty solid though. Visual designs are all on point, and the surgery scenes are pretty bloody and graphic. Just from a visual standpoint, it looks like a lot of work went into this film. For all my ragging on the story, I would love for more shows to go into this kind of artistic detail. It was good enough to, at times, distract you from the actual story going on. I almost want to say it's worth watching just for that.
Overall, I say give this movie a watch if you have the chance. I wouldn't go out of your way to procure it,but you just don't see shows like this that try so hard and fail so spectacularly anymore. For all it's faults, there is a real passion that seemed to be behind this like they really wanted this movie to say something.