Review by Fatimah Mohamied October 2009

Saijou no Meii (‘The best skilled surgeon’ in English) is an ongoing manga series, drawn by the successful mangaka Takashi Hashiguchi, that has been running in monthly installments since December 2007.
It chronicles the challenges faced by a paediatric surgeon who wants to change the reputation and structure of a Hospital in Japan. Hashiguchi describes the Japanese professional view of paediatric surgeons, who are numbered very few in Japan and are subsequently in great demand. The begins with the main character as a child with ambitions to become ‘the best surgeon in Japan’. He has skills and talents that makes him suitably equipped to follow his his aspirations: a facility for spatial visualisation and the ability to act under pressure.
Despite the medical setting and plot, the manga is very similar to mainstream styles, exemplified by high ambitions, the somewhat clichéd romance, and the recurring situations of danger. The artwork is typical of early manga styles. The manga is aimed at a teenage audience, and could almost be seen as a recruitment campaign for the Japanese doctors of the future.
This series is not one of the best manga, tending towards a very mainstream style, and the dialogue and plot can be a little difficult, especially for the reader who is out of touch with teenage media. The manga is, however, a brave attempt to outline the salient issues of Japanese healthcare and such could be of interest to healthcare professionals.


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