Monster: The Perfect Edition, Vol 6
Author: Naoki Urasawa
Publisher: Viz Media
American release date: October 20, 2015
Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Horror/406 pages
Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★
Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes
Tenma arrives in Prague and locates what was once an old pub whose sign contains three frogs and tries to learn about a woman who once lived there, years before. Did she have twins, by any chance? Nina talks to Detective Suk who was investigating Grimmer and reveals that Grimmer gave him the key to a safe deposit box.The key was given to him by the doctor who once ran 511 Kinderheim. She warns him to tell no one about the key. But is she who she appears to be?
Suk goes to meet Grimmer, unaware that his own department is trailing him, hoping to get a lead on their suspect. Together they go to the bank and open the safe deposit box to find a report and a cassette tape. On the tape is the voice of a young boy who is being asked questions, such as his name. He says his name is Johan, and he speaks about Anna and a monster with no name. Afterward, Suk is approached by members of the Secret Police, who accuse him of having something to do with the poisoning of the three policemen. Although he protests his innocence, things don’t look good when they find a package of the same whiskey bonbons the men were poisoned with! When Grimmer arrives, he finds Suk standing in a room with two dead detectives! What is going on here? And where are the tape and the report?
Tenma learns about what has happened, and goes to visit Suk’s mother in the hospital to see if she has heard from him. Unfortunately, she has memory lapses and thinks he is Suk, so that doesn’t help. But she does remember a secret hideout Jan played in as a boy, and reminds her “son” of where it is. Can Suk and Grimmer be there? When Tenma finds Grimmer, he learns about his background as a spy, and how he was once at 511 Kinderheim himself!
Now Suk is missing and not in the hospital he should be in. Tenma and Grimmer find themselves invited to dinner by the man who knows where he is, Colonel Lanke. He only wants the tape and the report in exchange for Suk’s whereabouts. It turns out he has a personal reason to destroy those behind the notorious orphanage.
Nina and Dieter are also in Prague and when they find the pub with the three toads, the place is strangely familiar to Nina. What she doesn’t understand is why people there seem to recognize her, and why do they call her Anna?
A lot of backstory here, history coming to light, as the threads in this incredible tapestry of a story become more and more tightly woven, a picture emerging. So Grimmer was at Kinderheim too? Interesting. His history explained much about him. It’s amazing he turned out as well as he did. Except for the part about the Amazing Steiner. But maybe that isn’t what it seems either. Johan must be getting nervous if he’s dressing up like his sister to fool people. Detective Lunge is still on the case, but he is so obsessed with being right about Tenma that he dismisses any other evidence as wrong, especially if it points to Johan being a real person who isn’t in Tenma’s mind. Then the unthinkable happens, and Tenma is captured. How will he get out of this? And yuck, his alcoholic ex is back in the picture. Hopefully not for long.
Another great volume, looking forward to the next one!