Black Jack is a manga written and illustrated by Osamu Tezuka in the 1970s, dealing with the medical adventures of the title character, doctor Black Jack.
Black Jack consists of hundreds of short, self-contained stories that are typically about 20 pages long. Black Jack has also been animated into an OVA, two television series (directed by Tezuka’s son Makoto Tezuka) and two films. Black Jack is Tezuka’s third most famous manga, after Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion. In 1977, it won the 1st Kodansha Manga Award for shōnen. About.com’s Deb Aoki lists Black Jack as the best “re-issue of previously released material” of 2008. Osamu Dezaki’s anime film adaptation, Black Jack The Movie, won Best Animation Film at the 1996 Mainichi Film Awards.
The manga series was first serialized from 1973 to 1983. Each volume was divided into 12 to 15 chapters; each chapter is about 20-some pages long. The first episode was called “I Need a Doctor!”, and the last episode was called “A Question of Priority”. Most of the manga series had never been directly adapted into anime form until a Black Jack Special was aired in 2003, thus initiating the Black Jack anime series in 2004, and the Black Jack 21 series in 2006.
Vertical Inc. has released translated volumes of the series in the United States, starting with Vol. 1 in September 2008 and finishing with Vol. 17 in November 2011. These collected volumes include a dozen or so stories each in the original unflipped format, and the stories will be published in the same order as the Japanese Black Jack collections. Vertical has also released limited editions of the first three volumes that include bonus stories not printed in any other edition.
Two translated volumes had been previously published by Viz Communications, but those editions are now out of print.
There is also a series called Black Jack ALIVE which was published in 2005, this series was created from numerous artists adding stories onto the original series. A chapter from this series was published in the last volume of “Magetsukan Kitan”. In 2013, he is celebrating his 40 anniversary since his first appearance, along with Princess Knight’s 60th, and Astro boy’s 50th.
A manga called Say Hello to Black Jack has no connection with the Black Jack series, along with its sequel Shin Black Jack ni Yoroshiku.
A 2005 remake of the series was titled Black Jack – Kuroi Ishi.
Another manga called Black Jack NEO was published by a different author. It may be another remake. Not much information is known.
Young Black Jack is another manga, written by Yoshiaki Tabata and illustrated by Yūgo Ōkumaby, featuring Tezuka characters, that started in 2011. The story follows Black Jack as a medical student in the 1960s.
Most of the stories involve Black Jack doing some good deed, for which he rarely gets recognition—often curing the poor and destitute for free, or teaching the arrogant a lesson in humility. They sometimes end with a good, humane person enduring hardship, often unavoidable death, to save others.