02 Jun / Black Jack (vol. 2) by Osamu Tezuka, translated by Camellia Nieh
The mysterious doctor is back to do more good with another set of miraculous adventures. Jack’s late mentor and savior lends his voice from beyond to remind him once again, “don’t underestimate the human body,” as Jack attempts to chase a needle tip gone missing inside his patient. He learns the heartbreaking secret of a seemingly money-hungry old granny whose son is willing to pay any fee to save her. He tells Pinoko the heart-wrenching story of his larger-than-life sea-friend who bought him precious treasures even as he was dying.
The doc gets trapped in a collapsed tunnel with a full schoolbus, and manages to save some of the very kids who were mocking him from the bus windows just moments before tragedy struck. He searches the world for the selfless, brave young boy who, decades before, voluntarily gave him the skin literally off his backside when everyone else turned away in fear and horror; Takashi’s hapa black and Japanese heritage gave Jack Black his distinct patchwork face.
He takes Pinoko to a foreign country where she becomes kidnapped fodder in a violent political plot. He saves the life of a belligerent doctor’s injured daughter in spite of the other doctor’s misplaced animosity. He gives new life to a man who knows too much, and is hunted by evil corporate goons trying to keep him quiet.
Out in a frozen wasteland, he survives an airplane crash, but without his medical kit, he cannot save the frostbitten fingers of a world-famous violinist who risks his whole life to chase his beloved instrument. He tries to enroll an unwilling Pinoko in kindergarten with frustrating results all around. He successfully operates in complete darkness when the power is shut off by an angry would-be gunman. And he’s saved from his own troublesome weak intestines by a blind acupuncturist.
Little by little, Jack Black is confronted with reminders that human beings are not meant to be alone. And in spite of his renegade solo attitude, Jack is in for some growing-together pains with the not-quite-human Pinoko who tenaciously showers him with unconditional love. In spite of his own sutured-together, brought-back-from-the-dead background, the good doc proves again he’s the most humane character of all.
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Readers: Young Adult, Adult
Published: 2008 (United States)