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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 from the manga as from an investigative reporter's point of view, published by Shogakukan in 2002.
The series follows Dr. Kenzō Tenma (天馬 賢三 Tenma Kenzō?) as he pursues a young psychopath/sociopath named Johan, whose life Tenma once saved. The story rapidly progresses through a number of locations: it starts in Düsseldorf, Germany, passes through Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Wiesbaden, cities in the Czech Republic such as Prague, and other cities and villages.
Both the anime and the manga begin with a passage from The Revelation of St. John the Divine, Chapter 13: Verses 1 & 4
- And I saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads, the names of blasphemy. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, "Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"
The quote is often interpreted as the coming of the Antichrist. This quote is used because of the many parallels and comparisons between one of the main characters of Monster (Johan) and two candidates of the Antichrist as predicted by Nostradamus.
Dr. Kenzō Tenma is a young Japanese doctor working at the Eisler Memorial Hospital in Düsseldorf during the 80s. A highly accomplished brain surgeon, he appears to have everything on his plate: a promotion in the offering; the favor of the director of the hospital Heinemann; and Heinemann's daughter Eva as his fiancée. 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.
At this point, the story advances to nine years later. Tenma is now the Chief of Surgery at Eisler Memorial Hospital. However, he is about to come face to face with a sociopath - a sociopath that he helped save.
A known criminal named Adolf Junkers is found on the street, hit by a car. He comes under the care of Dr. Tenma, who observes him muttering about a "monster". Tenma extends kindness to Junkers, and thus Junkers begins to open up for Tenma. 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 friendship with Dr. Tenma, warns him against coming closer, and pleads with him to run away. Tenma refuses, however, and the man holding the gun pointed at Junkers 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, happily living the life of an adopted daughter to two caring parents, and the only trace of her terrible past are 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 prevent 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 he vows to fix the mistake he made when he saved Johan's life.
While Tenma is the main character of Monster, the story also focuses heavily on those surrounding his search for Johan, such as Inspector Runge (who is investigating Johan's various murders but pins them all on Tenma), Eva Heinemann (Tenma's former fiancé), Nina Fortner (aka Anna Liebert, Johan's twin sister), Dieter (A Orphan Tenma saved), and a host of other characters, minor and major, whose lives have been shaped by the deeds of the monster named 'Johan'.
- Doctor Kenzou Tenma
- Voiced by: Hidenobu Kiuchi (Japanese), Liam O'Brien (English)
- The main protagonist of the series. Doctor Kenzou Tenma is a Japanese neurosurgeon working at the Eisler Memorial Hospital in Düsseldorf. At the beginning of Monster he is favored by the department director for his prodigious surgical skill. After a crisis of conscience, he chooses to save the life of a young boy instead of Mayor Roedecker, and is unjustly demoted as a result; he then becomes a suspect for murder when the Director Heinemann, Chief of Surgery Dr. Oppenheim, and Dr. Boyer are killed weeks later. It is only after nine years that Dr. Tenma learns the perpetrator of the hospital murders is none other than the boy he saved years before, Johan Liebert. Plagued by guilt, he resolves to find Johan and end the life of this "monster" he feels responsible for creating. Despite his mission, Dr. Tenma is a humanitarian who genuinely cares about the lives of others. These acts of kindness make him very influential with the people he meets. Not much is known about Tenma's childhood; however, when he was growing up in Japan, he was constantly getting picked on and had a habit of wetting his pants. This earned him the nickname of "Sissy Pants Tenma". As well, Kenzo's father and brother were also doctors, though Tenma was not close to his family and his family ties have grown weaker as he had not been back in Japan since he left to Germany. It is unknown how much time passed between Tenma becoming a certified doctor to when he started as an attending surgeon at Eisler Memorial Hospital. However, it soon became evident to his superiors Kenzo was perhaps the best neurosurgeon on staff, and he would quickly be promoted to Chief of Neurosurgery and at the same time he meets Eva. Tenma also has some acquaintances from Japan who occasionally visit him while on business, but it is not known how close his friendship with these people is. In his journey to kill Johan, he comes incredibly close on a number of occasions only to have Johan slip away. This ends up leading him to the final confrontation with Johan in Ruhenheim. When Johan wants Tenma to kill him, he tries to threaten a child when the child's drunk father ends up mistaking Johan for a monster and shoots him. After Johan had been picked up by the ambulance, Dr. Tenma ended up treating the wound. Thus, Dr. Tenma was cleared of all charges. He later joins Doctors Without Borders and learns from Otto Heckel where the mother of Johan and Anna is located. Tenma later visits a comatose Johan in a police hospital.
- Johan Liebert
- Young Johan Liebert Voiced by: Yuuto Uemura (Japanese), Julie Ann Taylor (English)
- Adult Johan Liebert Voiced by: Nozomu Sasaki (Japanese), Keith Silverstein (English)
- Johan Liebert is the titular "monster" of the story who serves as the principal antagonist and the mystery of his past is the focus of the plot. He has been called a monster, the next Hitler and even the devil himself. Johan Liebert was shot in the head at a young age but saved from death by Dr. Tenma. Because of this, he regards Dr. Tenma almost as though he was his father. While he claims to have a deep love for his twin sister and is shown to have a loyalty to her, he seems undisturbed by the factor that his own henchman Roberto was ready to have her killed to keep her from him. He has spent portions of his life in different places under different aliases and possesses an extraordinary level of charisma and intelligence. Along with that incredible intelligence, comes with his cunning, manipulative and above all excellent with deceitfulness. As he is he was once seen able to convince Detective Richard Braun that he was lying about being an alcoholic. While he is shown to be kind, compassionate, and loving to children; it should be noted that he can be cold and very cruel. He even seems to have a good idea of how minds will work, an example would be when he sent a child witness that had seen him (dressed as Nina) into a red light district. Its most likely he knew that the boy would be devastated by the perversions and cruelty in the area. He uses his gifts to cruelly manipulate and corrupt others, often with no apparent end other than to cause suffering and destruction. His goal, as he stated when he was young, is to be the last one standing at the end of the world. One of the themes of Monster is how individuals are capable of transforming into monsters; Johan often acts as both a direct and indirect catalyst for this transformation. He also seems to identify with other killers and finds out about things that they, themselves never told anyone. Like Tenma, Johan also has many similarities to a character from a classic manga by Osamu Tezuka, in his case Michio Yuki, the main villain from MW. These include his childhood involvement in a secret military experiment, ability to skillfully manipulate powerful people, ambitions to cause the end of the world, occasional suicidal tendencies and his infrequent bouts of cross-dressing. In keeping with the theme of the "Apocalypse", Johan shares many similar traits with the Antichrist (being "resurrected" after being pierced through the head, being mistaken for a monster with "seven heads and many horns"). Although it is seen in Nina's memories that Johan and Anna had no real names, he seems to mostly go by the name Johan. After doing acts that ended up causing the demise of Petr Capek, he orchestrates the Ruhenheim Massacre and has his final encounter with Dr. Tenma. When Johan threatens a boy in order to get Tenma to shoot him, Johan ends up shot by the boy's drunken father and his body was found by the ambulance with the bullet wound treated by Dr. Tenma. His comatose body was later placed in a police hospital when Tenma visits him. The final scene shows his bedroom empty with the window opened indicating that Johan recovered and escaped.
- Nina Fortner / Anna Liebert
- Voiced by: Mamiko Noto (Japanese), Karen Strassman (English)
- Nina is a sweet, kind-hearted, loving, hard-working and very intelligent. She did seem to have a perfectly happy life, but she finds out there are more parts about her past that even she didn't remember. Johan's younger twin sister and the only unharmed survivor of the night when both her parents and her brother were shot in what appeared to be a botched burglary. At first she showed signs of amnesia due to the psychological trauma of the incident. After she and her brother disappeared, she was adopted by the Fortner family from Heidelberg, who were unaware of her previous identity as Anna Liebert. As Nina Fortner, she was a hardworking law student at the University of Heidelberg, as well as an adept practitioner of Aikido. She lived her life in peace until Johan made contact with her on her twentieth birthday. She comes to pursue Johan, albeit by different methods and for a different reason than Tenma. While Nina does not share her brother's psychotic side, it does appear that they have a small similarity with fears where its concerned to their past. As it is shown she becomes almost frozen with shock after reading a child's book, that Johan had read which caused him to faint. While Nina is shown to be mostly a pacifist, she's not afraid to threaten or even kill someone if she feels she must or to protect others. An example would be when "The Baby" attempted to burn the Turkish district, she angrily put the gun to his head and made him tell her where he planned to start the fire. During a hypnotic secession with Dr. Gillen, her personality suddenly changes and reveals that Nina isn't her name, but when he asks her real name is, she refuses to say and violently attacks him. This could hint that either she once had been under the influence of her brother or people like Petr Čapek. Its more than obvious that she resents her brother for not only killing the Fortners, but several others such as their Aunt Clara and Uncle Yosef. She's also revealed to Dr. Gillen that their father was a government soldier of Czechoslovakia, that had been murdered before they were born and that their mother was a political activist. By the end of the series, Nina graduates from law school.
- Inspector Heinrich Runge
- Voiced by: Tsutomu Isobe (Japanese), Richard Epcar (English)
- Inspector Runge (referred to as Lunge in English) is a BKA detective assigned to the murder case of the hospital, and holds Doctor Kenzo Tenma as a main suspect. He first believes that Dr. Tenma invented Johan; later, he becomes convinced that Johan is, in fact, an alternate personality of Tenma. Perhaps inspired by the character of Javert in Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, Inspector Runge is utterly obsessed with Tenma. His devotion to his work comes at the expense of neglecting his personal life, and during the course of the series, his wife and pregnant daughter leave him. While the truth is, what he loves his doing his job, to the point that he would ignore his own family, an example is when he passed a chance to meet his grandson for the first time to see Tenma's companions from Japan. He also possesses an excellent memory and has a habit of "entering data" into his memory by making typing gestures with his hands. On the surface, he passes off as a man devoid of emotion and it is this state of mind that allows him to commit himself to every case he works in. His tough style eventually drives one of his murder suspects to suicide, prompting his superiors to remove Runge from every case he is working on. Also, somewhat like Grimmer (see below), he has an expression that barely changes. After the inferno at the University of Munich, Runge learns for the first time that the existence of Johan is indeed true. He then decides to take a "holiday" to Prague to track down Franz Bonaparta, the author of a book he happened to come across that may be the source of Johan's origin. Ultimately, he ends up in Ruhenheim and meets up with Grimmer and Tenma, apologizing to the latter for his mistakes, before heading off to a showdown against Roberto. Both of them ended up wounded in a shoot out where Runge survived while Roberto succumbed to his wounds. In the final episode, he visits Grimmer's grave alongside Jan Suk and Fritz Vardemann. First seen in Chapter 5.
- Voiced by: Junko Takeuchi (Japanese), Laura Bailey (English)
- Dieter is a young boy that Tenma encounters in his search for Johan. When Tenma first meets him, he is under the care of a man named Hartmann. Tenma later discovers that Dieter is physically abused by Hartmann. Hartmann plans to transform Dieter into another Johan by applying the same forms of conditioning as was used in the Kinderheim 511 orphanage. Dieter later becomes more optimistic after being saved by Doctor Tenma from Hartmann's physical and mental abuse. He follows Dr. Tenma in his search for Johan, partially to prevent Tenma from becoming a murderer, but also because he is fond of Tenma. He later teams up with Nina, to give her moral support whenever her traumatic memories resurface as he was also subjected to similar abuse. Dieter seems to have taken in some of Tenma's beliefs and optimism about life. In episode 33, "A Child's View" when he meets a young boy who is being influenced by Johan to be more like him. The young boy recites what he heard Johan say about life and death, fear. And tries to tempt Dieter into trying a daredevil stunt of walking on the edge of the building and jump. However Dieter refuses, exclaiming he wanted to live, to live and experience new things, see the faces of the people he cared about. After which, reciting what he heard Tenma say "Tomorrow will be better". He later accompanies Nina into helping her find out more about her past. By the end of the series, he reunites with Otto Heckel, who tells Dieter where the mother of the Liebert Twins is. Dieter is first seen in Chapter 19.
- Eva Heinemann
- Voiced by: Mami Koyama (Japanese), Tara Platt (English)
- Eva Heinemann is Doctor Tenma's fiancée and the daughter of the Director Heinemann. She's independent, shallow, very bossy, often demanding, and extremely manipulative and also known to be very loud. In addition in the beginning it's shown she can be cruel, taunting, demeaning, and hates not having her way. She's not often seen without either wanting to be spoiled or having a drink. Kenzou's relationship with Eva initially appears to have some issues, as Tenma would insist on partaking in activities that Eva (as the daughter of a high class hospital director) would not even want to do (e.g. picnic). Also, Tenma would have the tendency to ignore Eva while he is conducting research. In addition, although at times she claimed to love him and friendly around him, she had a cruel streak even to him. One example was when she intentionally ruined the picnic by complaining harshly and moving the rock from the blanket, letting it get blown and the food ruin, without even trying to participate. And on the day she broke their engagement she tauntingly dropped his ring to the ground and loudly showed her new replacement for him. However, it is assumed that they do at one point fall in love to the point that Tenma asks for Eva's hand in marriage, much to the approval to her father. Eva appears to be enthusiastic about this, she is looking forward to Dr. Tenma climbing the ladder of the hospital and soon becoming the hospital director, a prospect that Eva anticipates with glee so she could be "the director's wife". She leaves Doctor Tenma after he is demoted by her father for disobeying his orders. After Director Heinemann and two other doctors are murdered by Johan, she takes this tragedy hard. Later, she tries to reconcile with Tenma (then recently promoted Chief of Surgery due to holes created in the staff by the murder) but he quietly rejects her. Of course it is presumed that she married the doctor she replaced Tenma for and most likely divorced him. Years later after her three divorces, she has a brief meeting with Inspector Runge, after which she begins to reminisce on her time with Tenma. Feeling nostalgic, she visits Tenma at his hospital and attempts to start over with him. Being rejected again by Tenma, this releases her bitterness and anger out on him. After being rejected by Tenma, she later becomes an extremely embittered alcoholic, a three time divorcee who uses the money from divorce settlements to finance her lavish lifestyle. After burning her house down in a drunken rage, she wanders throughout Germany and is also caught up in the investigation of the Monster. Although she does not personally suspect Dr. Tenma as having caused her father's death, one of the things she lives for is to see him suffer in prison in retribution for his rejection of her, as she had previously turned over evidence incriminating Dr. Tenma to Inspector Runge. Her relationship with Tenma can be characterized as obsessive. During the series, she becomes a main target of Roberto during her near encounter with Johan Liebert the night when Adolf Junkers was murdered by him. Through the show, it becomes clear that Eva is also empty and a self-miserable person due to her own anger and lashing out at others to appease herself. At the same time her experiences allow certain personality changes to occur, and she soon becomes a different person. Petr Capek and The Baby later hired Martin to bring her to Frankfurt where she tries to model him into a replica of Dr. Tenma. When Martin was shot and later died following a shootout, Eva was devastated when told of this by Tenma. Though Eva was told by Tenma to take the train to Munich to meet up with Dr. Reichwein and inform the police on what she knows about Johan, she eventually abandons the train and plans revenge on those responsible for Martin's death. She does encounter Christof Sievernich who is partially responsible for Martin's death and tries to kill him only for Christof to get the drop on her. Luckily, she was saved by Dr. Tenma who ends up wounding Christof Sievernich. By the end of the series, Eva Heinemann now working as an interior decorator and has released her anger of Tenma and her grief of Martin.
- Director Heinemann
- Voiced by: Masaru Ikeda (Japanese), Steve Kramer (English)
- The director of Eisler Memorial Hospital. He was the strict boss of Kenzo Tenma and the other doctors and surgeons that worked there. With Tenma's talents impressing him, he offered to have his daughter Eva be wed to him. Tenma was starting to get dissatisfied at the hospital politics when Director Heinemann ordered him to save the life of a famous opera singer instead of a construction worker who came in first. When the Liebert Twins were brought in with Johan having a bullet wound in his head, Tenma ended up working on him when Chief of Surgery Dr. Oppenheim and a call on Dr. Oppenheim's cell phone from Director Heinemann told Tenma to handle a cerebral clot on Mayor Roedecker (who came in after them). Tenma's actions caused the other doctors to scramble to cover for him at the last minute resulting in Mayor Roedecker's death. Director Heinemann later received a report from Dr. Oppenheim about what happened to Mayor Roedecker. The next day, Director Heinemann later gave a press conference stating that Mayor Roedecker died from a cerebral infarction and that they tried their best to save him. When Tenma begged for forgiveness from Director Heinemann at a hospital banquet after what happened to Mayor Roedecker, Director Heinemann tells him not to worry about that and that he just followed his heart. However, he does inform Tenma about Dr. Boyer is getting Tenma's Head of Neurosurgery position and also states that he will not be getting any review papers from him by the next Health Summit and won't recommend him in the event that Tenma plans a transfer. Angered at what Director Heinemann said, Tenma is shown sitting beside an unconscious Johan Liebert ranting about Director Heinemann's beliefs and that he'd be better off dead. When it came to the twins, Director Heinemann ordered Dr. Oppenheim to have Dr. Boyer watch over them after hearing that Tenma was currently watching over them. Director Heinemann is later found dead when he, Dr. Oppenheim, and Dr. Boyer were mysteriously poisoned by candy left by a young Johan Liebert. Director Heinemann's death caused the Board of Directors to give Tenma the position of Chief of Surgery.
- Dr. Oppenheim
- Voiced by: Nobuaki Fukuda (Japanese), Kirk Thornton (English)
- Dr. Oppenheim is the Chief of Surgery at Eisler Memorial Hospital. He is the one who gets his orders from Director Heinemann. When it came to F. Rosenbach, he had Tenma operate on him while Dr. Becker handled the Turkish construction worker that came in first. When the Liebert Twins were brought in with Johan having a bullet wound to the head, he handed Dr. Tenma his phone where Director Heinemann tells him that Mayor Roedecker has suffered a cerebral clot and wants him to operate on him as Tenma objects stating that he's the only one who can save Johan's life. When Mayor Roedecker dies during surgery as a result of Tenma operating on Johan, he berets Tenma for letting Mayor Roedecker die. Dr. Oppenheim tells Tenma that he already informed Director Heinemann about this and tells Tenma that he has himself to blame for Mayor Roedecker's death. When it came to the Liebert Twins, Director Heineman ordered Dr. Oppenheim to put Dr. Boyer in charge of watching over the twins upon hearing that Tenma was currently watching over them. Alongside Director Heinemann and Dr. Boyer, Dr. Oppenheim was later found dead when the three of them were mysteriously poisoned by candy left by Johan Liebert.
- Dr. Boyer
- Voiced by: Masahiko Tanaka (Japanese), Michael McConnohie (English)
- Dr. Boyer is a surgeon at Eisler Memorial Hospital. Following Tenma operating on a young Johan Liebert, Dr. Boyer was the one who told Tenma that the doctors had to scramble to cover for him on operating on Mayor Roedecker at the last minute. Because of this, Director Heinemann ended up giving Dr. Boyer the position of Head of Neurosurgery. When it came to the Liebert Twins where Tenma catches Anna collapsing near Johan, Dr. Boyer was instructed to photograph the memory jog on her much to the objection of Tenma. Dr. Boyer told Tenma that Director Heinemann put him in charge of the Liebert Twins now and tells Tenma to return to his post. Besides Director Heinemann and Dr. Oppenheim, Dr. Boyer was later found dead when the three of them were mysteriously poisoned by candy left by Johan Liebert.
- Dr. Becker
- Voiced by: Yasuyoshi Hara (Japanese), Chris Kent (English)
- Dr. Becker is a surgeon at Eisler Memorial Hospital. While Tenma was working on famous opera singer F. Rosenbach on Dr. Oppenheim's orders, Dr. Becker was working on the Turkish construction worker and took too long treating him resulting in the construction worker's death. When the Liebert Twins were brought in, he helped Dr. Tenma on Johan's operation. After what happened with Mayor Roedecker, Dr. Becker visited Tenma asking if he had heard from Director Heinemann yet. At the time when Director Heinemann, Dr. Oppenheim, and Dr. Boyer were found dead, he, Tenma, and a nurse discovered that the Liebert Twins are gone. Following Director Heinemann's funeral, he and Tenma were approached by Inspector Egon Weisbach and Inspector Runge about any clues to who could've done this to Director Heinemann. At the time when Tenma was arrested in Prague, Dr. Becker was with some of Eisler Memorial Hospital's patience mentioning about any doubts that a good lawyer would represent him.
- Egon Weisbach
- Voiced by: Ryuji Nakagi (Japanese), David Lodge (English)
- Egon Weisbach is a police inspector who was the first people to investigate the murder of the Lieberts. When at Eisler Memorial Hospital, he helps in trying to get Anna Liebert to remember her name and her brother. Following Director Heinemann's funeral, he and Inspector Runge approached Dr. Tenma on any clues on who murdered Director Heinemann. Nine years later, Egon is closed to retirement when he was bringing apprehended murderer Rheinhardt Dinger to the police station he worked at. He later met Rudy who was interrogating murderers who have killed people that do not match their modus operandi. When they asked Rheinhardt again, they are led by a clue that leads to Johan Liebert.
- Otto Heckel
- Voiced by: Yoshito Yasuhara (Japanese), Doug Erholtz (English)
- A common thief who runs into Tenma in Chapter 17 when he breaks into a murder victim's house where Tenma is investigating. Heckel is not interested in solving the mystery surrounding the monster, he is more preoccupied in making quick cash by any means necessary. Nonetheless, both Tenma and Heckel must rely on each other in order to survive. Otto even becomes friends with Dieter around the time when Dr. Tenma has his encounter with "The Baby." By the end of the series, he resurfaces and tells Dieter that he managed to locate where the mother of the Liebert Twins is.
- Voiced by: Nobuyuki Katsube (Japanese), JB Blanc (English)
- A big, burly man and one of the many people from the orphanage Kinderheim 511 that Johan controls. He admires Johan very much, and often acts as Johan's bodyguard and henchman. He is also a professional hitman with substantial proficiency. While Roberto knows nothing about his own past, it is hinted that he is the nephew of a former high-level STB officer named Karl Ranke as he bears a strong resemblance to the latter. Ranke relates the story of his sister, who along with her husband was shot trying to cross the Berlin Wall into West Germany. Only their son, Adolf Reinhart, survived the attack. As Adolf's legal guardian, Ranke signed papers turning his nephew into the custody of Kinderheim 511. Wolfgang Grimmer may be the only person who remembers him and also considered him as a friend during their time at the orphanage (Grimmer remembers that one of Adolf's favorite drinks was hot cocoa). He was shot by Tenma in chapter 73 and seemed to fall over a balcony into a sea of flames, but he comes back in chapter 108 as an attorney for Tenma under the name of 'Alfred Baul', still faithful to Johan, although much thinner and his right arm largely useless. He appears the most out of any of Johan's henchmen in the series and is a recurring enemy. He later becomes one of the major players during the Ruhenheim Massacre where he is mortally wounded by Runge, but kills Bonaparta before succumbing to his wounds. First seen in Chapter 37.
- "The Baby"
- Voiced by: Kazuo Kumakura (Japanese), Kirk Thornton (English)
- First mentioned in Chapter 26, the "Baby" is a short, elderly man, and an infamous Neo-Nazi leader. He worships Johan as an ideal Aryan leader who would be able to become the next Hitler to lead Germany into prominence. He also works for the four individuals who would gladly welcome Johan as a political leader. To this end, he hoped to use Nina as bait to coerce Johan, but also as a precautionary measure to protect him (and the other group members) from Johan. This fails as Johan kills one of the first of four members in the organization. The characteristics of the "Baby" are heavily influenced by a character from Twin Peaks, named "The Midget." His first appearance, in Chapter 26, is also nearly identical, appearing to Nina Fortner from behind a red curtain (akin to the Black Lodge's waiting room) while dancing to the tune "Be My Baby". He is ultimately killed by stripper/exotic dancer (as shown at beginning of Chapter 136) who was presumably employed by Johan in a scheme to destroy Capek's organization as well as Capek himself.
- General Helmut Wolfe
- Voiced by: Kōichi Kitamura (Japanese), Anthony Lander (English)
- A very old soldier who was the first one to find the twins, he is the second of the four individuals (alongside Goedelitz and Petr Capek) behind the organization. He gave Johan his name, the name from the boy in the picture book called "The Monster without a Name". General Wolf is actually the only one of four individuals that did not want to make Johan a new Führer. Wolf's family and acquaintances have all been killed by Johan, thus teaching him true loneliness as seen through Johan's eyes. Later on in the series, Tenma encounters Wolfe on his deathbed following the destruction of the Mansion of Red Roses. Before he dies, he begs Dr. Tenma to yell out his name as proof that he existed. First mentioned in Chapter 27, first seen in Chapter 29. Possibly inspired by Karl Wolff, who was a high-ranking member of the Nazi SS.
- Julius Reichwein
- Voiced by: Ichirō Nagai (Japanese), Paul St. Peter (English)
- A psychologist who deals in counseling as well as assisting recovering alcoholics. He is caught up in the mystery surrounding the Monster after one of his patients, Richard Braun, supposedly dies in a drunken accident while investigating Johan Liebert. Later on, he becomes guardian to Dieter and aids Tenma in any way he can while defending Tenma's character. He also provides psychological care to Nina, Eva, and others. The character of Dr. Reichwein bears a physical resemblance to the American Actor Wilford Brimley and Shunsaku Ban from Astroboy. Naoki Urasawa has also used the physical appearance of Brimley in the Pluto manga as well. First seen in Chapter 49.
- Rudy Gillen
- Voiced by: Takayuki Sugo (Japanese), Derek Stephen Prince (English)
- A criminologist, and one of Tenma's former classmates. He helps Tenma by saving him from arrest, after selling him out, and also by acquiring information about Johan from all the criminals that Johan had met. He also helps Nina to recall her past, to the point of endangering his life. Rudy is able to get some insight about Johan and how he works, but despite all that he knows, he is still baffled by Johan's actions. Dr. Gillen is also a former student of Dr. Reichwein. Rudy later helps Nina in a hypnotic therapy which revealed most of Nina's past where she almost attacks her. Rudy and Inspector Egon Weisbach later interrogate murderers who have killed people that do not fit their modus operandi. First seen in Chapter 33.
- Hans Georg Schuwald
- Voiced by: Michio Hazama (Japanese), Dan Woren (English)
- Known as the "Bayern Vampire", Schuwald is a reclusive but successful businessman, and his success allows him to donate his book collection to the University of Munich. He also has several students from the university in his employ, reading him Latin. However, he does have a past, namely, he fathered a son with a prostitute named Margot Langer, whom he stated to love then and still now. Its believed he was there when Karl was born, but for some reason unknown, he abandoned both Karl and Margot. Incidentally, Margot Langer had a friend in Prague who mothered twins. While his book dedication ceremony was targeted by Johan in a scheme to unleash terror and pandemonium, authorities including Inspector Runge believed that Schuwald is the real target and that Dr. Tenma is indeed responsible. While the chaos had ensued, he looked into Johan's eyes, saying he saw Hell in his eyes. Before Dr. Tenma leaves for Prague, he has Karl deliver a message to him about the mother of the Liebert Twins living in Prague. Schuwald later goes through therapy with Dr. Reichwein. In addition, he also hired Fritz Vardemann to defend Tenma when he was captured by police. Schuwald is first seen in Chapter 47.
- Margot Langer/Halenka Novakova
- Margot Langer Voiced by: Atsuko Tanaka (Japanese), Brigitte Burdine (English)
- Fake Margot Langer Voiced by: Kazuko Yanaga (Japanese), Wendee Lee (English)
- A prostitute who helped Hans Georg Schuwald father Karl Neumann. Before meeting Hans Georg Schuwald, she and a friend of hers planned to leave Prague. Margot was successful, but her friend was caught. She then worked as a high price call girl who eventually became Hans Schuwald's lover, its hinted she returned his feelings of love for her. Years after giving birth to Karl, she sent him away to avoid as she said "being the son of a whore". It is clear that she loved Karl deeply and sent him away for him to a better life. Its hinted that somewhere after her retirement she came to live with Johan as a friend and told him of her past and his mother. And its hinted that Johan most likely killed Margot after she was out of use for him. The woman Blue Sophie (who later posed as Margot) was later killed by Johan Liebert and Roberto. In a flashback relived by Hans Georg Schuwald, it was revealed that Margot's real name is Halenka Novakova who went missing after leaving for Prague. It is later revealed that her old friend had mothered the Liebert Twins.
- Karl Neumann
- Voiced by: Tomokazu Seki (Japanese), Yuri Lowenthal (English)
- A male college student at the University of Munich, who is the son of Schuwald and Langer. She sent him away to give him a better life. Karl spent a good time of his childhood in foster care, until the Neumanns took him in as their son. He's shown to love and care for them both as his own. He is trying to get close to his father without actually letting him know that he is his son. At the same time, he is also caught up in the mystery of a dead student, and the disappearance of Johan Liebert after his father's book collection is burned in a massive inferno during a ceremony at the University Library. After he reconciles with his father, he stays on as Schuwald's personal assistant. He later confronts Inspector Runge and shows him a picture of Johan. Under the orders of his father, he encounters Dr. Tenma at the train station and reveal that the mother of the twins is living in Prague. When Tenma was arrested, Schuwald had Karl hire Fritz Vardemann represent Tenma. He was present when Nina returned to do thearpy with Dr. Gillen. First seen in Chapter 47.
- Lotte Frank
- Voiced by: Kyoko Hikami (Japanese), Julie Ann Taylor (English)
- A female college student also at the University of Munich who is trying to go after Karl Neumann's heart and thus aids his investigation into his father and late mother. When Karl rejects and unintentionally humilates her by getting a proxy to go on a date with her, she is immensely crushed and is comforted by Nina. Given that moment, Nina and Lotte become fast friends. She too wants to know about the mysteries behind Johan Liebert as well as the death of the student who worked with them for Schuwald. Lotte and Karl are seen together when Anna briefly returns to visit the others and drop off Dieter with Dr. Reichwein. Its not known if she and Karl are a couple or not, but its believed they've reconciled their friendship at least. First seen in Chapter 47.
- Richard Braun
- Voiced by: Hiroshi Arikawa (Japanese), Cam Clarke (English)
- A private investigator hired by Hans Georg Schubert to investigate the supposed suicide of Edmund Farren. His alcoholism after shooting a criminal resulted in his wife and daughter leaving him. Since then, he was trying everything to piece his life back together and reconcile with his family. When it came to encountering Johan Liebert after finding his tombstone, Johan lured him to the roof of a building about his role of killing a criminal in his last case. Johan manipulates Richard into a state of deep regret after which he offers Richard a bottle of whiskey. It's unknown if he took the bottle or not. Richard is later found dead after falling from the building, presumably an accident. However it is hinted that Johan may have murdered him and made it appear as if he had fallen. One clue to support that Johan murdered him is that he offered and left a broken bottle of whiskey when Dr. Reichwein knew very well that Richard only drank scotch. Both his wife and daughter are seen at his funeral mourning him.
- Wolfgang Grimmer
- Voiced by: Hideyuki Tanaka (Japanese), Patrick Seitz (English)
- A freelance journalist who is researching Kinderheim 511, he is also soon drawn into the search for Johan, as he decides to help Tenma. He nearly always has a big smile on his face. He is a seemingly friendly, well polite man and does very well with children. However he seems to have a darkness that he has hidden himself. As a former subject in Kinderheim 511, he had seemingly developed another personality: an aggressive fighter that comes out and protects him whenever he is under dire stress, similar to an Incredible Hulk-type TV character whom he refers to as the Magnificent Steiner. He also received training as a spy after his time in Kinderheim 511. Due to this conditioning, he admits he is not good at expressing emotions, an example could be when he mentions to Tenma that he had been married and had a son. One day his son suddenly stopped breathing, although he tried revive him, there was nothing he could do (it is possible his son died of Sudden infant death syndrome). When he attends his son's funeral, his wife is shocked and mostly angered that he shows no emotion or grief over losing their son. However he is finally able to do so when one of his child friends nearly goes off onto the same road as Johan. Wolfgang ends up in Ruhenheim under the alias of Mr. Neumeyer and has his encounter with Inspector Lunge. When Wolfgang is mortally wounded during the Ruhenheim Massacre which set off his Magnificent Steiner side that pummels the crooks. At the moment of his death, he confides to Tenma that he simply gave in to his anger allowing for the disturbing possibility that his "alternate ego" was simply the psychological filter he used to justify his violent acts. First seen in Chapter 78.
- Jan Suk
- Voiced by: Hisayoshi Suganuma (Japanese), Michael Sinterniklaas (English)
- A detective with the Prague police, he tries to find the mystery involving the death of his superior Inspector Filip Zeman. Zeman was investigating the death of a former headmaster of Kinderheim 511 with Grimmer as a possible suspect at the time when Suk discovered that Zeman was working with the former Czechoslovakian Secret Police. When Commissioner Hamrlik, Chief Detective Batella, and Detective Janacek (whom also had connections with the Czechoslovakian Secret Police) are mysteriously poisoned by rum balls given to one of the detectives by Johan Liebert (who was masquerading as Anna Liebert), he too is cast under suspicion. When police attempt to monitor Suk's movements, Detective Novak and Detective Zanda are killed by Johan. Suk manages to obtain a tape made by the former headmaster of Kinderheim 511, but is badly wounded by those seeking the tape. While all this is happening, he confides to someone who he believes is Anna Liebert (who unknown to him is really Johan masquerading as his sister), a beautiful blond woman he meets at a bar. There are comparisons made between Dr. Tenma and Detective Suk as both are considered as young men with promise in their professions only to be caught in the web of events with each one as a prime suspect. When Tenma is arrested by the Prague Police, Jan Suk tries to leave the hospital he is in to try to help Tenma, but is stopped by Detective Bradec and Detective Stransky who inform him that Grimmer has sent a note to them exonerating Jan Suk from any involvement in the deaths of the police officers. He and Vardemann later team up to find the truth regarding Franz Bonaparta. By the end of the series, Jan Suk was with Inspector Runge and Fritz Vardemann when visiting Wolfgang Grimmer's grave. First mentioned in a phone conversation in Chapter 83, first seen in Chapter 84.
- Commissioner Nepela
- Voiced by: Katsunosuke Hori (Japanese), Bill Kessler (English)
- A member of the Prague police who previously met Inspector Runge at a police convention. He became Commissioner after the death of Commissioner Hamrlik alongside Chief Detective Batella and Detective Janacek. Upon the suspicion of Wolfgang Grimmer and Jan Suk being involved in the death of some of the cops, he had his men keep an eye on both of them. Inspector Runge later approached him to help translate a book called "The Monster With No Name."
- Karel Ranke
- Voiced by: Yoshisada Sakaguchi (Japanese), Peter Lurie (English)
- Karel Ranke was a former member of the Czechoslovakian Secret Police under the rank of Captain. He requested the presence of Tenma and Grimmer who requests an agreement to obtain the tape and research materials for an unknown party in Germany in return for Suk's safety. While they do not reach an agreement on this, Ranke does mention the name of Franz Bonaparta who was heavily involved in the care of the Liebert Twins, was also a children's picture book author, and was living in a mansion covered in red roses. Once they confirm Suk's safety, Grimmer and Tenma reach an agreement with Ranke to obtain the tape and research materials and retrieve them from Suk's mother. However, they discover the research materials gone, and the tape has been recorded over by Johan Liebert leaving a message for Tenma. Inspector Runge later visits Karel Ranke about any info he knows of Franz Bonaparta.
- Fritz Vardemann
- Voiced by: Ryusuke Oobayashi (Japanese), Kyle Hebert (English)
- A lawyer hired by residents in Düsseldorf after Tenma was arrested in Prague at one point. Vardemann has made a name for himself proving the innocence of his clients, including his father who died in prison before being exonerated. He is married and during the series his wife gives birth to a daughter. He enjoys listening to the song "Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz. He was visited by Inspector Runge who was looking for a lead on Franz Bonaparta. Then he was confronted by Dr. Tenma where Fritz Vardemann stated that he had no idea that Alfred Baul was Roberto in disguise and was targeting Eva Heinemann. However, it is revealed later on that Vardemann found notes written by his father which may indicate that he was guilty in the first place. He then teams up with Suk in order to find out the truth regarding an author named Franz Bonaparta in the hopes of discovering the truth about his father's past as well. By the end of the series, he alongside Jan Suk and Inspector Runge visit Wolfgang Grimmer's grave.
- Gunther Milch
- Voiced by: Shigeru Chiba (Japanese), Kirk Thornton (English)
- Gunther Milch is a convict who had been raised in a cabinet while his parents were at work. When having a life of crime, it was mentioned that he was caught many times and escaped many times. When it came to his recent one, he had his encounter with Tenma who had been arrested by the Prague Police and deported back to Düsseldorf. When Gunther mentioned of his next planned escape, Tenma decided to accompany him when Roberto in the guise of Alfred Baul told Tenma that he is going after Eva. When it came to the transportation to the prison that Tenma and Gunther were going to, he had secretly had his brother Gustav act as a decoy. However the plan is botched when Gustav is distracted by promising to go clean for his girlfriend Helene and announces his love forgetting his job. He stands in the middle of the road and is hit by the police paddy wagon. Upon grabbing Gustav's gun, Tenma threatened the guards to release him and Gunther. After Gustav was dropped off at Eisler Memorial Hospital, Gunther and Tenma part ways with Gunther planning to head to Tunisia.
- Jaromír Lipsky
- Voiced by: Hiroaki Hirata (Japanese), Troy Baker (English)
- Introduced as a down-and-out puppet master in Prague, Lipsky became acquainted with Nina as she passes through the city in pursuit of Johan. Inspired by her, Lipsky begins work on a new show, and prepares a new puppet, made in Nina's image. However, Runge soon exposes him (to the reader/viewer) as the son of Klaus Poppe. Lipsky plainly reveals that his father had barred him from the book reading sessions at the Mansion of Red Roses due to his "lack of talent". As time passes, and Poppe began to have second thoughts about his work, he warmed slightly towards his son. A postcard that Poppe had sent to him helps Runge to locate Ruhenheim. It is possible that he may have developed feelings or a closeness to Nina as he made a puppet in her image. And when Detective Runge knocks on his door, he rushed to it believing it was Nina coming back to him. Tenma later visits him and gets a lead on Franz Bonaparta that leads Tenma to Ruhenheim.
- Voiced by: Shuuichi Ikeda (Japanese), Roger Craig Smith (English)
- Martin was a man who was in prison for shooting his girlfriend Edda and the man she was having an affair with until his gun ran out of bullets. He ended up in jail for eight years and then ended under the service of The Baby. Martin also hates to drink mainly due to his childhood with his alcoholic mother. While she never beat him, she gave the child Martin a lot of exhaustation constantly trying to pull her away from the bar. One night when she refused to come home with him, Martin (tired of her constant drunkness) left her on the streets alone. It was later revealed she died of hypothermia due to her drunkness that she slept outside in the snow. Petr Čapek recruited him to bring Eva Heinemann to Frankfurt and act as her bodyguard. Eva went along with him to evade being killed by Roberto. While in the bar, both of them exchanged stories of their previous love lifes. After seeing Petr, Eva ends up molding him into an exact image of Kenzou Tenma. At some point, he had an encounter with Kenzou Tenma at a diner and ended up beating him telling him to forget about Eva. Kenzou later confronted Martin at the same diner later that night and ended up describing Petr Capek on who hired him to bring Eva to him and a brief encounter with Johan at one of Petr's parties. Martin is later told by Petr to kill Eva. When Eva becomes aware of this while in an alcoholic stupor, Martin ends up not killing her. Martin later has his encounter with Christof Sievernich who found out that Edda had begged him to kill her and how he had to carry his mother when she suddenly died from freezing to death one winter night. Its also revealed that his girlfriend Edda was a drug addict and that Martin worked desperately to get her clean. But just as it seemed he did, he later returned home to find her with her ex-boyfriend. The boyfriend was known to get her hooked back on drugs, and that as Martin looked at her, he knew she was back on drugs. Although she begged Martin to shoot her, he just turned and left. But as he did he heard a gunshot and came back to find that she killed herself. Angered over her death, he killed the boyfriend. Martin never told the police that she really shot herself. After leaving, he ends up passing Johan without making eye contact with him. Martin later warned Eva about an attempt on her life and has her dress as a maid to evade detection. Martin ends up shot in the stomach during a gunfight at the Reagan Hotel when protecting Eva from a team sent by Petr Capek to kill her though he managed to shoot five of them. Robbie drives Martin to see Tenma. Martin ended up briefing Tenma about what happened with his encounter with Petr Capek, his continuing experiments, and his encounters with his encounter with Christof before succumbing to his wounds. Eva was devastated when she heard from Tenma about what happened to Martin.
- Voiced by: Yuzuru Fujimoto (Japanese), Peter Lurie (English)
- Robbie is the owner of the diner that Martin goes to. He told Martin not to cause damages when beating up Kenzou Tenma. When Martin was wounded, Robbie ended up driving him to Kenzou Tenma.
- Petr Čapek
- Voiced by: Nobuo Tanaka (Japanese), Dave Mallow (English)
- The last individual of the organization (alongside General Helmut Wolfe and Goedelitz) is the white-haired mysterious man with glasses who is responsible for a large amount of incidents during Monster. He is the highest in the organization, and tried to control the devil by letting him meet with Christof Sievernich. In his youth Peter was actually Franz Bonaparta's apprentice who took part in the experiment on the Liebert twins. Peter thinks that everything is going the right way according to his plan, but Johan tells him clearly later that everything is going the right way according to his own plan. He was revealed to be an old friend of a dentist named Milan Kolasch who now blames Petr for causing the riots that cost the lives of the loved ones living with him. Milan tried to assassinate Petr at a convention only for Milan to be shot by the police. Petr was shocked that Milan would do something like that. After the death of "The Baby," he tries to maintain that everything is under control and going to plan when he clearly knows things are going seriously wrong. In his paranoia when being driven to his villa, he kills his bodyguard when he reaches for his lighter thinking the guard was trying to kill him. Petr later had Nina brought to where Johan was waiting for them. After Tenma prevented Nina's suicide, Petr Capek then makes himself known to Tenma telling him that he is going after Franz Bonaparta. When the other members of Petr Čapek's bodyguards found out his paranoia caused him to shoot the bodyguard Pendington, Petr Čapek is later executed by two of them when wondering what he and Franz were planning. He first appeared in chapter 121, but his face is not shown until the end of chapter 123.
- Christof Sievernich
- Voiced by: Masashi Hironaka (Japanese), Travis Willingham (English)
- Johan's disciple and another survivor of Kinderheim 511. He would later be adopted by Sievernich family by children smugglers who bought him. He's been the son of a politican and obviously greatly spoiled. He and Johan decided to meet each other again in 10 years after they escaped the orphanage, and in the end they meet at a party with the guidance of Eva Heinemann (who was hired to point Johan out). His deceased stepfather was one of the four individuals of Neo-Nazi, and he was likely to succeed the post. He possesses qualities similar to Johan's and intimidated Martin, Eva Heinemann's bodyguard, by reminding him of what happened to his mother and wife. Like Johan, Christof seems to have a calm and almost happy demeanor in front of everyone. But he's known for his creepy smile especially when he talks of things related to death and the truth. He also seems to have a talent for finding out things that others never told him. And that he can read a person very well. Nothing else is known about Christof, other than that either Johan or the organization of the four individuals tried to change him into a second monster. While like Johan, he appears charismatic and friendly, his attitude can quickly change when someone threatens his plans. One example could be when Eva encounters him, she gives him a warning shot in the ear, he later quickly becomes homocidely and mostly angered that she ruined his face. He begins ranting that he'll rule the world because of Johan and that he won't put up with Eva trying to ruin his plans. He ends up shot in the leg by Kenzou Tenma. He is then dropped off at the nearest hospital after Tenma got the info on Johan's whereabouts in exchanged for Tenma going alone to that location. He first appears in chapter 124.
- Franz Bonaparta/Klaus Poppe
- Voiced by: Nachi Nozawa (Japanese), Michael McConnohie (English)
- Franz Bonaparta is considered to be the one responsible for the eugenics experiment that led to the birth of the Liebert twins and is also attributed as the author of the storybooks used to indoctrinate the children of Rose Mansion. Most notable of them was The Nameless Monster, from which Johan took both his name and his mode of operation. Other famous books of his included The Big Eyed Man and the Big Mouthed Man, The God of Peace, and The Quiet Village. His storybooks deal very heavily in metaphor and symbolism, often with monsters as important characters in them. Most also deal with the idea that human nature contains the ability to become good or evil, though his works tend to denounce humanity rather than uplift it. He repents for all his actions after witnessing the death of Grimmer. He is revealed to be the father of Jaromir Lipsky whom received a postcard from his directing Inspector Runge to Ruhenheim where he worked as a bartender in one of the hotels. During the Ruhenheim Massacre, he confronts Johan with the intention of killing him but he is in turn killed by Roberto (who succumbs to his wounds afterwards) before he can go through with it. While his real name is Klaus Poppe, other names that he has used include Emil Scherbe, Helmuth Voss and Jakob Vyrobek.
|No.||Title||Japanese release||English release|
|5||After the Carnival||—||—|
|6||The Secret Woods||—||—|
|8||My Nameless Hero||—||—|
|9||A Nameless Monster||—||—|
|11||The Dead Angle||—||—|
|12||The Rose Mansion||—||—|
|15||The Door to Memories||—||—|
|18||Scenery of the Doomsday||—||—|
|No.||Title||Japanese release||English release|
|2||Another Monster:Part two||—||—|
The series was adapted into an anime by Madhouse, which aired between April 2004 and September 2005 on Nippon TV. Directed by Masayuki Kojima, written by Tatsuhiko Urahata, it features original character designs by long-time Studio Ghibli animator Kitarō Kōsaka, which were subsequently adapted into the anime by Shigeru Fujita.
The anime includes an instrumental theme by the Chilean folk music group Quilapayún called "Transiente", originally featured in their 1984 album Tralalí Tralalá. David Sylvian was commissioned to write the ending theme, 'For the Love of Life', a track he collaborated on with Haishima Kuniaki. In the cover notes to the official soundtrack, he said: "I was attracted to the Monster material by the moral dilemma faced by its central character. The calm surface of the music giving way to darker undercurrents, signifying the conscience of the lead protagonist and the themes of morality, fate, resignation, and free will."
An English dub of Monster is being produced by Salami Studios for Viz Media who has the North American license to this anime. The first and only boxset of the series was available December 8, 2009. Viz has also recently come to an agreement with Funimation to run Monster (as well as other Viz titles) on FUNimation's Funimation Channel Monster began airing on the FUNimation Channel April 3, 2010 on weekends at 12:30 am. Monster was the last of the Viz titles to air on the FUNimation Channel. The show airs on Syfy's Ani-Mondays with two episodes back-to-back each Monday night at 11:00 p.m. EST, which began October 12, 2009.
The series features several real-life locations and references to actual events. In the series, The Quiet Village is the only book written by the character Klaus Poppe which does not consist of content that is of an overtly disturbing nature. However, The Quiet Village actually represents a real life location on Germany's map, Ruhenheim, whose name according to the manga means "Quiet Village". Ruhenheim was however a more ancient name, as the town is now known as Laubenheim, meaning something like "Summer Village/House".
In the twentieth episode of the anime series, the wine ordered by the English couple and Dr. Tenma was named Forster Ungeheuer. It was the favorite wine of Otto von Bismarck and its name actually translates into English as the Forest Monster. In episode 11, Dr. Tenma sees a ruin in the eastern part of Berlin with a graffiti of the German band Einstürzende Neubauten on it. In episode 68, the newspaper read by the woman who won the lottery and by the concierge, is actually a newspaper published in Upper Austria called "Oberösterreichische Nachrichten" (abridged OÖN).
Dr. Reichwein's files on patients (seen when he looks for Richard Braun's file) include files on "supposed" patients named Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Nastassja Kinski, Wolfgang Becker and Bruno Ganz. On the map Tenma looks at, Ruhenheim lies in the vicinity of Oberstdorf and Tiefenbach; however, in reality, this place on the map is occupied by Obermaiselstein.
Live action film
Major Hollywood film studio New Line Cinema acquired rights to create an English language live action film adaptation of the series. Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Josh Olson, who is noted for his work on the 2005 American/German crime-thriller film A History of Violence was given the task of writing the screenplay for the project, which the studio expected to be released in 2009, but as of December 2009, it's unknown when (and if) this movie will be released.
The series won an Excellence Prize at the 1997 Japan Media Arts Festival and the Shogakukan Manga Award in 2001. It placed on YALSA's "2007 Great Graphic Novels for Teens" list. THEM Anime Reviews called the anime adaptation "complex" and "beautiful", going on to state that it features "sophisticated storytelling and complex plot weaving, memorable characters, godly production values and excellent pacing." A review at Anime-Planet described the series as a "breathtaking tour de force of amazing suspense and surprising intelligence." Another review from the same site called the series "a true gem and a rare anime masterpiece", despite a "daunting length". Pulitzer Prize winning author Junot Diaz called the series "his favorite guilty pleasure" in a profile for Time Magazine. Animation critic Charles Solomon was among the minority of critics to dislike the anime, claiming that it "plays like a prolonged soap opera" and finding that "its suggestions of child abuse and neo-Nazi imagery reflect a regrettable lack of taste". He also specifically criticized the work of anime director Masayuki Kojima, alleging that "[his] leaden pacing robs the story of the suspense it should generate" and that "more skillful filmmakers could present the same material in half as many episodes and make it compelling".
- "Carl Kimlinger's review of Monster - Box Set 1". Anime News Network. 2010-01-04. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
- "Right Turn Only - Monster Piece Theatre Feb 7th". Anime News Network. 2006-02-07. Retrieved 2010-01-15.
- While the anime actually has the name "Runge" seen in episodes 31 and 74, "Lunge" is the spelling used in the English version of the manga released by Viz Media and on the official anime website.
- VIZ on FUN Channel – Yes, you heard right.
- "Josh Olson to Adapt Manga Comic Book Monster". MovieWeb..
- "Monster (2009)". IMDB. Retrieved 2008-12-01.[dead link]
- "小学館漫画賞: 歴代受賞者" (in Japanese). Shogakukan. Retrieved 2007-08-19.
- "ALA 2007 Great Graphic Novels for Teens". American Library Association.
- "Monster Review". THEM Anime Reviews 4.0. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
- "Monster Review by vivafruit". anime-planet. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
- "Monster Review by Arcanum". anime-planet. Retrieved 2009-01-09.
- "The Psychotic Japanese Mastermind". Time (magazine). 2008-07-03. Retrieved 2009-08-28.
- Official anime site (Japanese)
- Monster Graph - A Graph that shows relationships between characters
- Monster (anime) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia
- Monster at the Internet Movie Database