Tag Archives: Grimmer

Book Review: Monster: The Perfect Edition, Vol 9 by Naoki Urasawa

Monster: The Perfect Edition, Vol 9

Author: Naoki Urasawa

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: July 19, 2016

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Horror/482 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer: Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Nina comes face to face with Johan, and yet she can’t bring herself to kill her twin. When Tenma finds her, she is about to shoot herself, blaming herself for what happened. The memories that Johan spoke of are hers, not his. Everything is her fault. Tenma stops her from pulling the trigger. Suddenly she realizes what Johan intends to do – he plans to kill himself but also to eliminate everyone who has any memory of him!

Detective Lunge arrives in the quiet town of Ruhenheim and begins to investigate, ending up in a small book store. Herr Grimmer also arrives in Ruhenheim. He hears what he thinks is a gunshot. Is that possible? Grimmer and Lunge run into each other, and Grimmer tells the detective that a terrible massacre is about to take place here.

After speaking with Nina, whom he has taken to the hospital, Tenma seeks out the son of Franz Bonaparta. He’s figured out what Bonaparta’s real name is and, with the son’s help, he learns how to find him.

And now it’s begun. All roads seem to lead to Ruhenheim, and everyone is gathering there, while the town finds itself in the throes of some terrible madness. People are scared, because people are dying but they don’t know why. Will Johan achieve his insane desire to kill himself and take everyone who ever knew him with him?

It’s been one wild ride but this story has finally reached an end. So many twists and turns. Such an incredible mind this Urasawa possesses! He’s kept us guessing about what’s going on all this time, and now it’s done. The final volume of Monster does not disappoint. And though most everything is explained, I still have questions. Even so, I do like the ending.  I am sorry to say good-bye to Tenma and Nina and Dieter. Even Detective Junge. Thank you for taking me along on such a wonderful journey. I must find the anime and watch that now.

Book Review: Monster, Perfect Edition Vol 6 by Naoki Urasawa

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!

Book Review: Monster, Perfect Edition Vol 5 by Naoki Urasawa

Monster: The Perfect Edition, Vol 5   

Author: Naoki Urasawa

Publisher: Viz Media

American release date: July 21, 2015

Format/Genre/Length: Paperback/Manga/Horror/410 pages

Overall Personal Rating: ★★★★★

Reviewer:  Julie Lynn Hayes

 

Tenma is hiding on top of a bookcase, rifle in hand, waiting for the moment when he can kill Johan, and end the life he never should have saved all those years ago. Dr. Reichwein has gone to see Herr Schuman, to warn him about Johan, fearful of what Tenma might do. But Schuman insists on going to the ceremony at the library anyway. Once they arrive, he tells Karl he has forgotten something and sends him home to retrieve it. Dr. Reichwein suddenly realizes where Tenma is and rushes out, but he can’t shake Dieter. And the persistent Detective Lunge, who still believes Tenma and Johan are the same person, heads to the library as well to talk to Herr Schuman.

Nina is shocked to learn that Lotte knows Johan and realizes she is a dead ringer for him. And what is this book that scared Johan so?  A Czech picture book about a monster with no name? Meanwhile Tenma has Johan in his sights. All he has to do is squeeze. So why can’t he? And who is this strange woman who has just set the library on fire?

Tenma receives a message, brought to him in the park on behalf of Herr Schuman by his son Karl. He says the mother of the twins is alive and living in Prague. A journalist named Grimmer is seeking information on the East German Kinderheim. He runs into Tenma on a train, and they become traveling companions. But when the authorities stop the train, he reveals his knowledge of Tenma’s identity and tells him to run. Afterward, Grimmer finds the former director of Kinderheim and learns, to his horror, that he has a number of young boys in his home. What is he doing, recreating experiments of the past? Can Grimmer stop him?

The more we know, the more I want to know, as these plots become more and more entwined.  I didn’t think Tenma would be able to shoot Johan, and yet I feel he has to die somehow. I think Nina can do it. Unless of course, there is more to her than meets the eye. I’m not even sure of that anymore.

Did Kinderheim create a monster, or was Johan always that? If he was, what about Nina? Grimmer’s alto ego is pretty amazing, I have to say. And Lunge is so delusional, I can’t wait to see his face when he learns the truth about Johan – that he is a real and horrible person who is not Tenma.

Another great volume of Monster, can’t wait for the next one!