BookDragon Books for the Diverse Reader

Monster (vols. 2-5) by Naoki Urasawa, English adaptation by Agnes Yoshida, translated by Satch Watanabe (vol. 2), Masaru Noma (vol. 3), Hiroki Shirota (vol. 4), and Hirotaka Kakiya (vol. 5)

Monster 2-5

I should have ordered all 18 volumes in one batch, because I really can’t stand the thought of waiting to see what happens! I gladly admit I couldn’t put down the four volumes that arrived last night (I originally got the first Monster from the library, but that’s the only volume they had! Librarians – please take notice and order the whole series immediately for everyone to enjoy!). Now I have to wait for the next batches, coming in fives, alas … at least I should be part of that $5.55 manga club finally! The things I do for great entertainment!

Volume 2 puts the spotlight on Nina Fortner, the traumatized twin sister who was then Anna Liebert, kidnapped out of Dr. Tenma’s hospital by her evil twin brother Johan. She’s completely forgotten her past and is living happily with her loving adoptive parents, is a top university student, an enviably talented aikido student, and delivers pizza on the side. She’s about to turn 20 and hopes to meet her Prince Charming, who she thinks is the one sending her secret anonymous emails. But instead, her life is shattered on that fateful birthday night. At least she’s briefly reunited with Dr. Tenma, who is now on the lam from the police who think he’s the mass murderer.

In volume 3, Tenma begins to unravel the mystery of the twins’ origins, taking him to 511 Kindersheim (literally ‘children’s home’), a defunct East German orphanage with a horrific past where the children of political prisoners and dissidents were tortuously trained to become perfect soldiers. He saves young Dietrich, a horribly abused orphan living with one of the last surviving Kindersheim administrators. Spooky inspector Lunge gets back on Tenma’s trail and drunk, jilted ex-fiancée Eva wants nothing more than to see Tenma locked up.

Nina and Tenma are back together once more in volume 4, and together help save Frankfurt’s Turkish neighborhood from being razed by neo-Nazis who may or may not be connected to Johan. In volume 5, Tenma tracks down an old medical school classmate, now a renowned criminal psychologist who has some surprising insights about Johan. Tenma is reunited once more with Lunge who has nothing left except his determination to catch the good doctor, having lost his family and his powerful position.

And that’s the bare minimum of what I’m going to tell you for now – the books have so many surprising, shocking, spine-tingling, addictive twists and turns you’ll have to experience for yourself! – until the next batch arrives on my doorstep … oh patience is SO not a virtue I have, that’s for sure!

Click here to check out other Monster volumes

Readers: Young Adult, Adult

Published: 2006 (United States)
MONSTER © Naoki Urasawa
Original Japanese edition published by Shogakukan Inc.

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