Manga Highlight: Monster

Artist: Naoki Urasawa

Chapters: 162

Status: Complete

Genre: Mystery, Thriller


A young Japanese brain surgeon, Dr. Kenzo Tenma, who works at the Eisler Memorial Hospital, Germany saves the lives of a boy over the mayor. The mayor died without him being the surgeon and Dr. Tenma’s life went into disarray as the director shuns him and his fiance dumped him.

The directors of the Hospital later suddenly died and the boy went missing. Nine years later after discovering a mystery involving “Monster” uttered by Adolf Junkers, a criminal saved by Dr. Tenma, he seeks out to solve the mystery.

What you need to know about Monster

  1. The manga is mainly of the mystery and drama genre and pulls the reader in through its crimes and mysterious deaths surrounding the elusive “Monster”. Although the story is fictional, the places and time periods are factual, thus the reader can spot the different places in the manga in real life.
  2. There are a lot of psychological and moral questions intertwined in the plot which will make Dr. Tenma and the readers doubt themselves. The mystery surrounding “Monster” gets deeper and deeper as the story goes on.
  3. It is a quiet a heavy manga to read with most of its plot revolving around the psychology and medical discussions between doctors and hospitals, including the moral dilemma of saving someone, be it a good or bad person. Some viewers may be turned off by this heavy theme.
  4. The drawings are distinctively Naoki Urasawa’s style, and most of his fans will likely be able to identify his manga through his realistic drawings. He puts a lot of emphasis on facial expressions to show emotions and details of the surroundings, and at the same time, show readers certain information regarding the story.
Image Source: Imgur

Trivia about Monster

  1. The manga is written by Naoki Urasawa who also wrote 20th Century Boys and Pluto.
  2. The manga has won many awards including the Grand Prize of the Tezuka Osamu Cultural Prize. Critics have described the manga as a “one of-a-kind thriller”.
  3. The manga was adapted into an anime by Madhouse Studio and was released on 7th April 2004 for 74 total episodes. So if you like, you can watch the anime instead of reading the manga.
  4. Monster has gone through a few production limbos for a live action adaptation and is still stuck in it. Guillermo del Toro even once considered directing a live-action TV series based on Monster but was also stuck in production.
  5. Naoki Urasawa later wrote the light novel, Another Monster as a retelling of the events of the manga, but as a True Crime novel.
  6. The manga references a lot of German culture be it locations or real-life names.
Image Source: iPic Storage

Verdict: Read It!

I have always been a fan of Naoki Urasawa and have read almost, if not all of his manga. This time, he has really outdone himself as the story takes thrilling and unexpected twists and turns with the plot. You are kept guessing and trying to solve the mystery as more puzzles reveal itself to Dr. Tenma and the reader. Read it and be romanced by another one of Naoki Urasawa’s masterpieces.

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