Ray the Animation is a science fiction anime television series based on a manga by Yoshitomi Akihito. It ran from April 6, 2006 through June 29, 2006.
The story takes place in the near future, and describes a young girl living in an institution that raised children in order to sell their organs on the black organ transplant market. Because the identifying numbers on her back equal zero when subtracted (075 - 1 - 74), the girl had christened herself "Ray" since Rei is the Japanese word for zero. After losing her original eyes she was rescued and outfitted with a pair of new X-Ray eyes by the underground doctor Black Jack and was adopted by a surgeon named Dr. Kasugano. Upon receiving her sight back Ray was told that her life was now hers to live as she wished.
Ten years later Ray has taken up her mother's profession and become a well known and respected surgeon because of her unique abilities and sharp skill. After beginning work at a less-than-typical hospital, Ray is faced with bizarre cases that require her specials skills; ranging from a dangerous pathogen that requires her to perform surgery underwater to a girl seemingly possessed by a malignant entity. In the second half of the series she begins to uncover details about the organization that removed her eyes and the whereabouts of the other children she was raised with, and the storyline takes up bioethical issues such as organ donation, human cloning and even reincarnation.
Like its counterpart Black Jack, the show favors science-fiction elements in place of realism, with cases often resembling actual medical conditions but with fantastical elements added to heighten drama.
- Because of copyright reasons, Black Jack was only alluded to as BJ and never seen fully in the original manga, but because the anime was produced by Osamu Tezuka's own studio he is able to appear fully in the anime (though still somewhat obscured) and be referred to by his original name. Interestingly, in Black Jack 21, the sequel to the Black Jack anime, Black Jack was referred to as "BJ" by the assassins hell bent on killing him.
- At the end of episode 12 and throughout episode 13 the bandage over Ray's damaged eye may be a visual reference to another famous anime character with the same name; being Rei Ayanami of Neon Genesis Evangelion, who appears several times with a bandage over her right eye. The two characters also share the same red-colored eyes and distant personalities, as well as some elements of their unique origins.
Cast and crew
Director - Naohito Takahashi (高橋 ナオヒト)
Series Composition - Atsuhiro Tomioka (富岡 淳広)
Script - Shuichi Kamiyama, Atsuhiro Tomioka, Yuuji Hosono
Music - GodSpeed, Masami Okui (奥井 雅美)
Character Design - Hisashi Kagawa (香川 久)
Art Director - Osamu Imai (今井 修)
Art Supervision - Shichiro Kobayashi (小林 七郎)
Sound Director - Keiichiro Miyoshi (三好 慶一郎)
Ray - Sakura Nogawa (野川 さくら)
Shinoyama - Hiroki Takahashi (高橋 広樹)
Red Ribbon - Ui Miyazaki (宮崎 羽衣)
Director Sawa - Yuusaku Yara (屋良 有作)
Misato - Youko Honna (本名 陽子)
Mami - Satomi Arai (新井 里美)
Rie - Hitomi Nabatame (生天目 仁美)
Rumi - Shiho Kawaragi (河原木 志穂)
H Ring Man - Jin Yamanoi (山野井 仁)
One - Tomoe Ōmi - (近江 知永)
Koichi - Daisuke Namikawa (浪川 大輔)
Sumire - Yui Horie (堀江 由衣)
Black Jack - Akio Ōtsuka (大塚 明夫)
Opening and Ending Themes
Opening: zero-G- by Masami Okui
Ending: Yuunagi by Tomoe Ōmi
^ - As indicated in episode 4, "Red Ribbon" tl:Ray (manga) zh:怪醫美女RAY