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Manga / Super Doctor K

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Super Doctor K is a 1988 manga written and drawn by Kazuo Mafune and published under the Shuukan Shounen Magazine. It tells the tales of Doctor Kazuya, a mysterious surgeon who comes from a lineage of physicians and wanders the world helping anyone who needs his skills.

It has a 1996 sequel called Doctor K which was followed in 2004 by K2.


This manga features the following tropes:

  • Arranged Marriage: Between Kazuya's parents, Kazuoki and Kyoko.
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  • As You Know: Returning supporting characters often comment on what happened the last time they met K. When Kazuya's uncle Raisuke is seen for the second time, the narrator even asks the reader if they still remember him.
  • Author Tract:
    • Naturally, several chapters deal with the importance of all physicians and others are about corruption on the medical establishment.
    • Chapter 63 ends with the narrator remarking that Japan is seriously outmoded by other countries when it comes to organ transplants due to lack of donors, difficulty to have consent from a dead person's family and the unpreparedness of their medical system.
    • Chapter 69 involves a girl who has to pretend being a boy to play professional Baseball. Both Takashina and Kazuya speak strongly against the concept of transgenders when the subject comes up.
  • Badass Family:
    • Each head of Kazuya's family is trained to become a master surgeon who can treat anything.
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    • The Saijo clan to which Kazuya's mother belonged worked for Japan's goverment since the Edo Period.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When Kazuya is gravely ill from a unknown cause, every doctor he's helped through the series comes to his aid and together they manage to find a solution.
  • Bold Inflation: For some reason Kazuya's name is always emphasized this way.
  • Career-Ending Injury:
    • A volleyball player called Sadahisa Otani who's friends with Kazuya gets his right arm ripped off by a train while saving a boy from the tracks. Kazuya puts him back together and gives him a training regimen to be performed until he gains his grip back. At the end of the story, the player does manage to earn the gold medal for his team at the Olympics.
    • A young F-1 racer named Oda gets his eyes damaged by radiator steam while working on his car. Later his teammate, an expy of Alain Prost, burns to death in a crash but manages to protect his eyes so that their cornea can be donated to Oda.
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    • Sadahisa's brother Tatsumi, a Track and Field runner, is hit by a car in a later story and three ligaments on his right leg are severed. Kazuya provides him with an ingenious surgery and the motivation needed to get back to form. Tatsumi's rival Shuichi had been taking doping drugs from Dr. Tetsu and collapses from the side-effects after a very close victory. The media considers him virtually retired, but Kazuya and Sadahisa start helping him recover and redeem himself from his mistake as well.
  • Character Title: "Doctor K" refers to both Kazuya and his ancestors, who apparently all had names that started with K.
  • Cool Shades: Dr. Kaiser wears Rodenstock shades to a conference because he's a true patriot... and to hide his jaundiced eyes — a sign that he's suffering from liver failure.
  • Dragon Their Feet: Hashizume repeatedly targets Kazuya for the death of his boss Hidemasa even after the former president's grandson gives up on it. However, when Hashizume finally corners Kazuya and is in the middle of stabbing him to death, it just so happens K is operating on his own son. The hitman is forced to help out and ironically has to prevent all the other people from Jonan University from finishing K off.
  • Drowning My Sorrows: Kazuya finds his former teacher Dr. Ogaki down in the dumps from being set up to take the fall from the death of a terminal patient. When a critical patient comes to his clinic, Ogaki tries to drive him away due to a lack of tools, but Kazuya argues that would mean falling to the level of the scum who framed him. Together they improvise a solution until an ambulance comes, which restores Ogaki's confidence.
  • Evil Counterpart: Dr. "T" Tetsu, who is willing to perform nefarious surgeries and treatments to enhance people's abilities.
  • Evil Old Folks: An old university president who's suffering from a heart disease stages a traffic accident to make K transplant a young man's heart into him. Instead, K secretly heals both the president and the victim. The old man dies anyway out of shock when he realizes what happened.
  • Expy:
    • Dr. Kazuya is pretty much Kenshiro with a slighty different haircut. His personality and some of his superhuman traits all match Ken's. Hell, he even wears a typical post-apocalyptic cloak everywhere in a plain contemporary setting.
    • German doctor Wilhelm Kaiser looks just like Stroheim from Jojos Bizarre Adventure and comes complete with the "German X is the greatest in the world" catchphrase. This manga was running concurrently with Battle Tendency at the time.
    • In chapter 92, Kakyoin from that same series appears as the evil Dr. Sanada Takeshi. His design is pretty much shamelessly the same, and even his plan to set a parasite upon K is analogous to Kakyoin possessing a teacher with Hierophant Green when he's first introduced as a villain.
  • Feel No Pain:
    • In one story Kazuya is kidnapped to work for the royal army of Qasar. The King wants him to "remodel" his soldiers into unrelenting killing machines, but K refuses to have any involvement in that. Then another doctor, Tetsu, shows up and inflicts this trope on the soldiers via a treatment that's supposed to be used to relieve the pain of patients with terminal cancer. The soldiers steadily lose their humanity as they fight and become willing to storm a hospital full of hostages. However, their leader Satoki comes to his senses when he accidentally shoots his own fiancée.
    • After figuring out Satoki can still be cured and doing so, Kazuya sneaks into the King's bedroom and does neurosurgery to deprive him of pain for a set amount of time. On the next day the King suffers from various injuries without realizing it and becomes greatly worried. Upon hearing Satoki's confession of what they had done and why, the King acknowledges how he caused such suffering to his loyal subjects and begins to strive for a peaceful resolution to the civil war in his country.
  • A Friend in Need: Dr. Asakura misses a chance at a promotion to support Kazuya in an extremely difficult double surgery to save their friend Takashina. He gets fired afterwards by the board of directors, but the good-natured president of the hospital remarks Asakura is better off that way.
  • Friendly Enemy: Kazuya once gets stuck on an american battleship where the crew was supposedly suffering from food poisoning but was actually under the effects of damaged bioweapons they were secretly transporting. Kazuya was given no information or equipment to handle this, but then a soviet submarine comes and hits the ship with a torpedo filled with medicine because their goverment couldn't let Kazuya meet his doom there. The captains from both vessels bid farewell hoping to never have to face each other in combat.
  • Generation Xerox: Kazuya looks and dresses like his late father Kazuoki. He's led a reclusive life much similar to that of his father as well.
  • Genius Bruiser: Kazuya is both very knowledgeable and built like a tank.
  • Hero Stole My Bike: Dr. Ogaki stops a man on the street and takes his bike so he can use its tire as an improvised balloon to stop the internal bleeding on a patient's esophagus.
  • Heroes Love Dogs: A stray dog once helps Kazuya save food-poisoned people and later helps him identify which person in a group is suffering from diabetes. Kazuya names him "Sirius", after the main star of Canis Major, and gives him to Nanase.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • During an accident in a nuclear plant, Kazuoki got locked inside a highly radioactive room to keep Kazuya and other people safe in the next room and died from radiation poisoning. His body was found still standing after he finished giving Kazuya surgery instructions to save an old friend.
    • Dr. Nanase gets locked inside a sealed-off room without air circulation and with a severely injured Kazuya. She manages to fix his bleeding arm and give him the single oxygen tank available before passing out. Thankfully, Kazuya wakes up right after and uses a chemical reaction with his own blood and Oxydolum to produce more oxygen until the bad guys open the place again.
    • When a young Kazuya and his mother Kyoko get caught in a landslide, the boy suffers from severe blood loss and his type is Le(a-b-) of all things. By the end of the story Kyoko locks herself with him and transfuses her blood until she dies in his place.
    • When Dr. Sorimachi makes a desperate deal with the black market to obtain a kidney for a patient, he finds it came from Cunanan, a victim of organ traffickers who then happens to get sent for treatment on the hospital he works in. Sorimachi suffers mortal injuries when he stays behind to retrieve Cunanan's other kidney from the traffickers' headquarters.
    • Hashizume is beaten and stabbed to death while guarding the operation room a heavily injured Kazuya was being treated in, in gratitude for his hated enemy having saved his son's life.
  • Karma Houdini: Dr. Tetsu convinces Shuichi to take doping drugs and runs the guy's rival, Tatsumi, over with a car. Tatsumi never presses charges against Tetsu and keeps what Shuichi is doing a secret from the media. After recovering from his injuries, Tatsumi narrowly loses against Shuichi, which makes Tetsu feel validated despite Shuichi nearly dying from the side-effects of his treatment.
  • Kick the Dog: The japanese media takes Rosha Ram from India with the pretense of letting him heal people with his mysterious powers. Instead, they drop him in a reality show and poison a dog to near-death so he can heal it. Rosha sees through them instantly and is further horrified to see his powers are doing nothing to help the poor pup. Luckily, Kazuya arrives in time to help them.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: The staff of Jonan University target Kazuya a couple of times after he indirectly caused the death of their scumbag president Hidemasa early in the series. However, when their attempt to frame K for botching the stomach surgery on a patient is foiled and becomes a media scandal, Hidemasa's grandson calls it quits... until some time later, and that causes his downfall.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Upon examining Rosha Ram, a indian wanderer who supposedly has healing powers, Kazuya realizes the lightning bolt that struck him as a child messed up with his nerves such that they concentrate the electric currents within his body up to 300 volts, which isn't that god-like but has a variety of applications for medicine.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Kazuya's father Kazuoki left a patient he loved because he, like every other man in his family, is hunted by evil and corrupt people for his skills.
  • Manly Tears: A young Kazuya sheds tears when Kazuoki becomes doomed to die locked inside a radioactive room. He then wipes them and bravely goes to work on the wounded Dr. Yanagawa as Kazuoki gives directions.
  • Men Don't Cry: Kyoko told her son Kazuya this as part of her Dying Speech, and so he rarely cries.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You: Kazuya is forced to jump off the fourth floor of a building to save a patient from Jonan University's goons. He falls through a tree to try to cushion himself, but is still severely injured.
  • Oddly Named Sequel: The first installment is "Super", the second is just Doctor K and the third is K2.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: One villain somehow can't recognize the tough guy with bracelets and a characteristic cloak before him just because he has a magazine over his face.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Kazuya is paranoid that every authority figure wants to take his skills for their selfish purposes, but the story also shows several who can be reasoned with or that are even looking out for him from afar.
  • Recycled In Space: This series can be described as "Black Jack with Kenshiro in Jack's place".
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!:
    • In one story, K is forced to use the corpse of a pilot who suddenly died and crashed the helicopter he was in for a skin graft surgery on another passenger, a attorney with fatal burn injuries, despite the man declaring it would be against the law to do so, and being willing to die if it meant K could be hired into his medical institute without any more complications. Dr. Asakura attempts to help as well, but gets knocked out by K.
    • A rescue worker named Mochiji makes a call to a hospital regarding the victim of a traffic accident his group doesn't have enough time to bring to safety. On the other side of the line, K warns Mochiji that he'll have to perform a surgery by following his instructions, but will also be branded a criminal for doing so without medical qualifications. Mochiji still agrees, feeling sympathy for the patient since he also used to be a bike racer in his youth.
  • Super Senses: Kazuya was once just making his way downtown when he heard a man groaning in pain on the inside of a house on the opposite side of the street.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: This phrase came up a few times early on whenever Kazuya caught sight of corruption in the medical establishment, but ended up becoming an Abandoned Catch Phrase.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Kazuya might be designed after Kenshiro but as a doctor he upholds the Hippocratic Oath and generally doesn't condone violence... Generally...
  • Tragic Keepsake: Kazuoki passed down his cloak to Kazuya shortly before his death.
  • Tranquil Fury: Kyoko's brother Raisuke berates Kazuoki for calmly saying "her time had come" after failing to save her, but realizes the man can barely contain himself as well. In contrast to both of them, kid Kazuya accepts her sacrifice and death surprisingly well.

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