Dr. Tenma is a gifted neurosurgeon working at a hospital in Germany. He immigrated because he was impressed by the hospital’s research, and planned to spend much time researching for himself. Tenma’s Chief of Surgery believes that hospitals should be all about research, making money, and preserving their own reputation, so much so that Tenma inadvertently has a patient die because he was attending to a more prestigious patient. When the next major call pits a little boy up against the Mayor, Tenma disobeys the direct order to save the Mayor first, and saves the little boy. Years later, this decision has drastic consequences for Tenma’s life, including him being a suspected serial killer!
Like with Urasawa’s other series, the summaries barely scratch the surface of what all is included in the story. Tenma is a wonderful main character, often stuck between many difficult decisions, and he compels readers to keep devouring this series. Urakawa also likes to introduce bits of storylines that come together much later and make way more sense, and there are several such payoffs within this first volume. This would be great for murder-mystery fans who like suspenseful plots and villains who are likely to induce a case of the "heeby-geebies".
Urasawa's illustrations in this story are a textbook example of his style. There are lots of thick, dark lines, extremely expressive facial expressions, and some very lush backgrounds. There are many scenes of operations in this story, including fully exposed brains, so don't hand this to a reader who might be squeamish about human organs.
Since its original printing in the 90s, VIZ has collected Monster into 2-in-1 volumes that began its run in 2014. The series is published under the moniker, "The Perfect Edition."
Sara's Rating: 10/10
Suitability Level: Grades 10-12
Publisher: VIZ Media
Publication Date: July 15, 2014
ISBN: 9781421569062 (Paperback)
Tags: Rating: 10/10, Suitability: High School, Manga, Mystery, Suspense
I've been reading manga and comicbooks for years. Now, I write reviews and other helpful things for School Librarians, teachers, parents, and students.
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