Gem Review : Monster (2004)

Dr. Kenzo Tenma is a Japanese neurosurgeon who works in Germany. At the boot of the director of the hospital, he complies with all the requirements in return for an insured career. He will then be confronted with a case of conscience that will upset his life forever. By prioritizing patients’ order of arrival rather than status, Tenma will disobey the director and save the life of a 10-year-old boy rather than the mayor’s. The retaliation is not slow and Tenma loses all support in the hospital. That’s when the director is found dead, Tenma is the ideal suspect for the police; the boy also disappears with his twin sister (Anna), admitted at the same time as him.

Ten years later, ghosts of the past come back to haunt Tenma, then director of the surgery department. The boy, Johann, resurfaces and murders a patient of the doctor before his eyes. Tenma has resurrected an angel-faced monster and he intends to repair his mistake by any means …

This eighteen-volume manga (or 74 episodes) follows Dr. Tenma’s journey through his quest to find Johann and his research on the twin’s past. He will then discover atrocities perpetrated by power-hungry men, be they communist (history takes place in the 90s) or in search of a new leader who would have Hitler’s stuff. These men have made horrific experiences on carefully selected children. Under this background of eugenics and extremism, Monster delivers us a panting and carefully developed story, down to the smallest minor character.

The truly stressful atmosphere, sordid at times, is worthy of a real thriller. The story may seem long, it lingers on secondary characters, but these passages are not useless. They remain parts of the main frame and offer us a change of point of view appreciable. Do not expect silly fights or thrilling gunfights, Monster is a work in the concrete scenario, who knows how to take his time to develop a plot simmered with onions, rich in suspense (be careful there are not three twists in the minute either) and as secondary characters with a rich and profound past.

The 18 volumes are taking, it is hard to resist the urge to read everything in a row. Regarding the animated, the French version is neat, almost perfect (it should be noted), the music sticks perfectly and transcribe the oppressive atmosphere and desperate. In short, I can not advise you to discover Monster for those who are not yet.



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