**UPDATE 6/27/2017** It would appear that this manga is no longer available in Amazon’s Kindle Store. Not sure when it will be back up, if it will be at all 🙁
So I was searching the internet today for royalty free manga when I can across a very interesting article about the manga artist Shuho Sato. Sato-san said that he feels royalty and licensing laws are outdated and holding back creativity for manga artists. He said that he wants to try something new: giving away his manga royalty free.
- Anyone can use it.
- Change it.
- Sell it.
- Whatever you want.
Yes ladies and gentlemen, this man is giving the world free Japanese manga to do with as they please. To be specific, it is only his series Give My Regards to Black Jack (also known as “Say Hello to Black Jack“). You
can download all the Japanese volumes from Amazon for free by clicking on the picture above ^^^^^^^^^^
(Sorry, not sure what the deal is. Can’t get it anymore there)
I just started reading the first volume myself. So far it’s pretty good (granted it’s about a doctor, so it gets kind of graphic at times). The story is of an intern who struggles between wanting to help people since he is a doctor, and dealing with the realities of medicine as a business. For example, certain hospitals only helping a specific group of people because they get the most money from them.
It’s a refreshing take for a manga since this is something that I imagine happens in real life. It kind of expands your mind a bit by giving you thoughts about a subject that you probably don’t have.
Of course this is great practice for reading Japanese! Try reading this one:
ni jikan shika netenai!
I only got two hours of sleep!
In this panel he’s bragging that he “wins” because he only got two hours of sleep, while his college got three.
I’ve actually heard of this happening before. Where a doctor, or more specifically a surgeon parties until the wee hours of the morning and then goes to work on barely any sleep at all and operates on patients.
And like I said, the things that this manga explore, I can actually see happening in real life. Both in Japan and in America.
So remember to
pick up at least the first volume here for free and check it out. I went ahead and got the first 13 volumes.
And as a final bit of information, I thought I would explain the particle しか (shika) or, “only” in English as it is a bit weird for native English speakers.
You see, if you only translated the above picture word for word it would come out as: two – hours – only – do not sleep.
That doesn’t make a lot of sense… This is one of those situations where you have to know how しか (shika) works to make sense of the whole sentence.
Basically, しか (shika) carries the connotation of “nothing else, except for this one thing.” Kind of a round about way to say “only”, but it makes more sense from the Japanese language view point.