Alphabetical Index of Vertical Manga Reviews

Black Jack Volume 5

Now that I’m no longer astounded by the sheer medical craziness of this classic series about a rogue doctor, I’m reevaluating why I read these stories by Osamu Tezuka. They do, at times, bear signs of age (especially in the treatment of female characters and women’s roles; I found volume 4 particularly bad in this respect). And the stories have started making winking allusions to being comics — early in this book, characters left at the end of a long […]

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Black Jack Volume 2

I’m astounded that this second book contains even more far-out stories than Volume 1. I didn’t think there could be such a thing. The first, “Needle”, shows one of the rare occurrences when the rogue doctor Black Jack is defeated. We get a hint that this might happen on the first page, where a wise older doctor (with a huge fluffy beard) cautions the rogue to humility: Don’t underestimate the human body, or else. … When you’re trying to treat […]

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Black Jack Volume 1

I like this Osamu Tezuka manga for its entertaining medical craziness. Behind stories of insane, unbelievable surgeries lies a strong sense of morality and justice. (Big thanks to David Welsh, whose contest got these books to me for free.) Black Jack is a rogue surgeon, an unlicensed doctor who refuses to kowtow to the medical establishment. He requests immense fees to accomplish the impossible, such as treating sores that form faces and talk or transplanting a brain to a new […]

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Paradise Kiss

Paradise Kiss brings a heavy dose of fashion to a manga coming-of-age romance by Ai Yazawa. Yukari is a student cramming for her upcoming college entrance exams. A group of fashion students pick her up on the street because of her moody look and rename her Caroline. They’ve created a studio in the hopes of merchandising their fashions, and they need a model for their creations. Influenced by the glam movie Velvet Goldmine, each of them has their own look. […]

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