Manga of the Month: September

Team Medical Dragon by Akira Nagai and Taro Nogizaka

I have to give credit where credit is due, it was actually Narutaki who discovered Team Medical Dragon and an excellent discovery it was. Team Medical Dragon is basically what happens when you take Say Hello to Black Jack and make it an insanely over the top critique of the Japanese medical institution. Or if you want a western analogy take Gregory House and make him sexier and crazier. It seems like crazy talk, I know. I will let you try to imagine that and then come back.

Asada Ryuutarou was a genius surgeon until politics and apathy forced him out of his medical profession. Katou Akira gets him to come out of retirement as the first step in having him help perform her radical new heart surgery technique. So Asada returns to medicine in Japan but insists on practicing his way causing him to be too good to get rid of easily but too brazen to get along with anyone conservative. Ijyuuin Noboru is an intern that Asada recruits whose main purpose is to whine about how they have to follow the rules so Asada can kick logic to the curb and do the impossible. Oh, and he is also sort of there to learn to be a great doctor but mostly the first part. Miki Satohara is a hot nurse who is mostly there to be hot and bad arse (which is a good combination).

The first chapter will tell you right off the bat if you want to continue reading this manga or not. If you read it and think that guy is cool I must read more of his insane medical madness then continue on because it only goes up. If you think that the first chapter is too crazy then stop right then and there. Those mere 40 pages or so have sex, action, over the top but well researched medicine, character conflict, political drama and just plain fun. As it goes on the fun just continues, I mean Asada jump starts a patient’s heart in the street with a car battery. He gets audience commentary during surgery like he was playing Mahjong or participating in a fighting tournament. It is just good crazy with a healthy dose of valid Japanese medical criticism.

Kagen no Tsuki by Ai Yazawa

This short 3 book story may be a bit unusual if you know Ai Yazawa’s more popular works. This piece combines the supernatural, friendship, love, mystery, redemption, and tragedy into a striking tale. One day, a girl named Hotaru chases after a cat, which she has mistaken as her own missing one, into a beautiful but abandoned house. After she realizes her mistake, she is drawn by a haunting melody which she follows to its source. There she discovers the house isn’t so abandoned after all and meets Eve a pretty young woman who says she is waiting for her boyfriend to return. Hotaru and Eve become fastly acquainted but when Hotaru brings her friends to meet Eve it becomes apparent that only Hotaru sees the mysterious woman. The rest of the story centers around these 4 friends as they uncover the mysteries of just who Eve is, why Hotaru sees her, and what exactly caused it all to happen in the first place. Hotaru is spunky and determined which plays off her friends who are in turn earnest, intelligent, and carefree. Through the increasingly strange information they unearth their bonds of friendship strengthen and young love blossoms. The story has a very dark undertone that only gets more pronounced as it goes on to the point of being spine-tingling at moments. Ai Yazawa’s signature style is ever present here with some added spice and doesn’t fail to intrigue to the very last page.

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