Friday, December 4, 2009


Overall Rating: A+
Summary: A psychological/horror/detective seinen series created by Naoki Urasawa, which follows Dr. Kenzo Tenma. An incredibly skilled brain surgeon from Japan, Tenma seems to have it all. He is working at the Eisler Memorial Hospital in Düsseldorf, is up for a promotion, and is engaged to the director of the hospital's daughter, Eva. Unfortunately, the Director, Heinemann, consistently gives priority to high-profile patients at the cost of the lives of less important people. Tenma becomes increasingly unhappy with this arrangement, believing that his role should be to help those in the most need.

He gets his chance to stand up to his future father-in-law when twins Johan and Anna come to the hospital. Johan is suffering from a gunshot wound to the head, and Anna is clearly in shock only talking about "killing". Their parents are dead, and Tenma decides to operate on Johan even after the mayor of Düsseldorf is brougt in and he is ordered to work on him instead. Tenma saves the child, but the politician dies despite the efforts of other doctors. As a result, Tenma loses everything. He is no longer favored by Heinemann and Eva leaves him.

He confesses his frustration to the young boy, Johan, and soon thereafter, everyone in his way dies of poisoning. Johan and his sister have vanished, and Tenma is the primary suspect. Thus the 18 volume story of how a humanitarian act can cause a rash of serial murders, and Doctor Tenma's journey to find the killer begins.

I became a fan of Naoki Urasawa when I started reading "20th Century Boys", and have enjoyed his take on Osamu Tezuka's "Astro Boy", "Pluto". Now, I'm addicted to "Monster". I'm only three volumes in, but I can't wait to read more. I highly recommend this one.

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