Page count: 88
Last checked: July 15, 2017
Monster (モンスター, Monsutā) is a seinen manga written and illustrated by Naoki Urasawa, published by Shogakukan in Big Comic Original between 1994 and 2001, and reprinted in 18 tankōbon volumes. It was adapted by Madhouse as a 74-episode anime TV series, which aired on NTV from April 7, 2004 to September 28, 2005. It was directed by Masayuki Kojima, written by Tatsuhiko Urahata and featured character designs by Kitarō Kōsaka. The manga and anime have both been licensed by Viz Media for an English release. Urasawa later wrote and illustrated the novel Another Monster, a supplement story detailing the events of the manga from an investigative reporter's point of view, published by Shogakukan in 2002.
Dr. Kenzō Tenma is a young Japanese doctor working at the Eisler Memorial Hospital in Düsseldorf during the 1980s. A highly accomplished brain surgeon, he appears to have everything on his plate: a promotion in the offering; the favor of the hospital's director Heinemann; and Heinemann's daughter Eva as his fiancee. However, Tenma grows increasingly dissatisfied with the political bias of the hospital for treating patients, and seizes his chance to change things after a strange massacre brings the twins Johan and Anna Liebert into his hospital. Johan has a gunshot wound to the head and Anna keeps muttering about killing, and Tenma decides to operate on Johan instead of the mayor of Düsseldorf who arrived afterwards. Johan is saved, but Mayor Roedecker dies. Tenma loses all his social standing and Eva as a consequence. However, Director Heinemann and the other doctors in Tenma's way are mysteriously murdered, and both children disappear from the hospital soon after. The police suspect Tenma, as he benefits greatly from this turn of events, but they have no evidence, and so can do no more than question him.
Nine years later. Tenma is now the Chief of Surgery at Eisler Memorial Hospital. After saving a known criminal named Adolf Junkers after being hit by a car, he hears him muttering about a "monster". Tenma extends kindness to Junkers, and he thus reciprocates by beginning to open up to the doctor. Then one evening, when Dr. Tenma comes back with a clock as a gift for Junkers, he finds the guard in front of Junkers's room dead, and Junkers himself gone. Following the trail to the construction site of a half-finished building near the hospital, Tenma finds Junkers being held at gunpoint. The man, who has developed a sort of doctor-patient relationship with Dr. Tenma, warns him against coming closer, and pleads with him to run away. Tenma refuses, however, and the man holding the gun is revealed to be the boy whose life Tenma had saved nine years ago, Johan Liebert. Despite Dr. Tenma's attempt to reason with him, Johan shoots the criminal, tells Tenma that he could never kill the man who had saved his life, and then walks off into the night while Tenma is still too shocked to stop him.
After this incident, Tenma is again suspected by the police, particularly Inspector Runge, and he tries to find more information about this "Johan". He soon discovers that the boy's sister, now named Nina, is happily living the life of an adopted daughter to two caring parents, the only traces of her terrible past being a few dreams she has had. Tenma discovers her on her birthday and manages to prevent her from meeting her brother, but comes too late to stop Johan from murdering her foster parents. As the story progresses, Tenma learns of the origins of this monster, from the former East Germany's attempt to use a secret orphanage called 511 Kinderheim (where Johan came from) in order to create the "perfect soldiers" through "psychological reprogramming", to the author of a children's book which was used in a eugenics experiment in Czech Republic. He also learns about the scope of the atrocities this "monster" has committed, and vows to fix the mistake he made when he saved Johan's life.
- MonsterManga founded September 25, 2010, has 37 pages