28 Sep / Monster (vol. 1) by Naoki Urasawa, English adaptation by Agnes Yoshida, translated by Satch Watanabe
So I’m jumping on the Monster bandwagon a little late (which debuted in 1995 in Japan to multiple awards but took another 11 years to arrive Stateside in translation) … but am definitely jumping up and down with glee for having found them, creepy and hair-raising as the debut volume is! I’m even more delighted to know that I have another 17 more volumes to keep me occupied – for which I’ve joined some manga site and ordered the next five volumes (and will order the rest in batches of five, so I can qualify for some club that lets me get any ‘eligible’ manga for just $5.55 each after three qualifying orders).
As the third son of a family that runs a small hospital in Japan, young Dr. Kenzo Tenma moves to Germany to further his career opportunities. As a talented neurosurgeon, he’s established himself as a rising star at Eisler Memorial Hospital in Düsseldorf. He’s engaged to the director’s daughter, successfully performing some of the most complicated and dangerous operations, and is about to be named Head of Neurosurgery. One fateful night, he goes against the director’s politically-motivated orders and saves the life of a young boy whose parents have been murdered rather than operating on the collapsed mayor. When the mayor dies in inept hands, Tenma is stripped of all his glory, even losing his shallow fiancée (good riddance indeed). Through painful soul-searching, Tenma realizes that saving lives is truly his only motivation and accepts his less stellar fate.
Meanwhile, the greedy director and his medical henchmen are mysteriously murdered and the young boy whose life Tenma saved disappears. Enter Inspector Lunge of the German Federal Criminal Police Office – whose fingers are always air-typing every detail into his seemingly fail-proof memory. While Lunge investigates, the good doctor gets his rightful Chief of Surgery post and continues to save lives. Nine years later, Lunge and Tenma cross paths again … when the young boy that Tenma saved reveals himself to be a murderous Monster. Stay tuned … I can hardly wait for the postperson to arrive with my next installments. Patience? What’s that??!!!
Readers: Young Adult, Adult
Published: 2006 (United States)
MONSTER © Naoki Urasawa
Original Japanese edition published by Shogakukan Inc.