He’s so young! But he’s so fast! He’s so mysterious! It’s his first surgery ever! The whole thing kicks off like some generic shounen. As Hazama prepares for the time-critical operation, he sheds his civilian clothes to reveal ripped-as-hell body.
Like “I spend hours at the gym” ripped. Sure, I guess it’s possible. Of course doctors can be in great shape… this isn’t just great shape, though. This is young Brad Pitt “I’m going to make the audience swoon” shape, so you can’t deny that it’s a little groanworthy to see. Then on top of that, Hazama’s body is full of scars. Like “I’ve seen some shit” scars. Cut yourself on this edge scars. And he’s got that grey streak in his hair just to drive it all home. It’s all just very ridiculous. No, really, it is:
See? The main character’s in bondage while a cartoonishly evil-looking character clutches fat stacks of cash. It’s, like, a metaphor of how the pure and noble profession of medicine can still be constrained by greed. But rawaawwwwwrrrrrh…!
Our maverick doctor unfetters himself…
…and engages another dude in mortal combat with nothing more than a scalpel?
Ah, the one GIF I just love to use over and over whenever I blog about anime. What can I say? It just so perfectly captures how I feel every single time I sit down to watch 90% of these shows.
But honestly, the main character’s over-the-top portrayal isn’t even the biggest problem that I have with the first episode. I’m poking fun at it, sure, but if anything, anime has innoculated me to this sort of thing. Anime is stylish and often overly stylish. It’s also for a younger audience, so yeah, I bet a scar-ridden, edgy-as-fuck young doctor is just the ticket. Sure, whatever. The biggest problem for me is that, well, I just don’t think that broadcast anime is the right format for this kind of story.
Anime is the wrong format because I can’t see anything. I literally can’t see anything.
Like what’s going on? Can you… can you just move the camera over a little bit? No? Darn. Yeah, I get it. We can’t show anything too graphic, but that’s my point: if we can’t even show the surgical procedure itself, what am I watching this for?
For example, Maiko marvels at Hazama’s speed, especially since he’s just a student, but all I’ve got to rely on are her words. I can’t see his speed for myself except for that one cringeworthy moment where he twirls a scalpel (like really?). I can only hear Maiko assert that the main character is skillful. This results in a rather dull operating scene, and I honestly couldn’t help but glance away from the screen from time to time because… what am I going to miss? Hazama’s furrowed brows? C’mon.
We get some x-ray shots.
And… this… whatever the fuck this is. But the palpable, visceral nature of the operating room — the fact that a life is hanging in the balance and all it takes is a millimeter misstep one way or the other — is sorely lacking. I may as well have just read the manga instead. I don’t feel like I’m getting anything out of an anime adaptation other than the pleasure to hear the characters speak.
In the end, even though Hazama saved the kid’s life, his father refuses to pay up the 5 million yen mark that they had originally agreed to. I just think the whole thing felt a little forced. The story is trying to hammer home its theme a little too hard, so it doesn’t feel natural. The father isn’t even close to being grateful. He just becomes cartoonishly greedy overnight. Not a hint of relief, not a hint of shame, not a hint of regret — nothing. He just grins as he knows he has the upper hand on the guy who just prevented his kid from being a quadriplegic for the rest of his life. It’s a tough pill to swallow, basically. Human nature is a little more subtle than that.
The only part I kinda like is when we see Hazama’s hands shaking shortly after the operation. At least he doesn’t have nerves of steel. At least he’s got weaknesses (for now). But all in all…
…I just am not too impressed with the show’s initial direction. It’s all a little too goofy.
Even the characters are goofy-looking. And the current message of the story?
Blunt trauma at work.