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Naoki Urasawa's Monster (1 Viewer)

I'm not sure what the general feeling towards manga is on this board, but nevertheless I am willing to risk my reputation and diginity by recommending this manga series.

Naoki Urasawa's psychological thriller, Monster, has recently been translated by Viz, and I have to say I am very happy with the results. Surprisingly, it is a very accurate translation and the beautiful art is left unultered.

Monster is not a "typical" manga in that it doesn't have magic or schoolgirls. (Urasawa has a distinctly Western feel to his work, oddly enough.) The story begins with Doctor Kenzo Tenma, who works in Dusseldorf, Germany during the mid 1980s, when he saves the life of a young boy who 9 years later turns out to be a serial killer.

This is one of those series I am reluctant to give much more information about. Discovering the mystery as the series unfolds is just part of the fun. It is very addictive, particularly halfway through. It is a hard to stop reading. The characters are interesting and well developed, and this is one of the few manga I've seen that uses believable psychology.

One thing I found interesting is how this series deconstructs the common themes of thrillers, like the infalible detective, multiple personalities and the sharp division of good and evil. While, at first, it looks like Urasawa is simply submitting to these cliches, you later realize he is subtly deconstructing them.

I absolutely adore this comic. I know many people are particular about what they read, but if you like thrillers and can get over the fact that it is a comic, I strongly recommend Monster.

Kira the wanderer

Senior Member
I recognized the name and as soon I read manga I felt dumb and realized I have indeed heard of this one before! Haha... silly me... but yes, manga typically do have interesting and deep plot lines. This one is still pretty new I am sure, unfortunately I have not gotten my hands on it.
Hey, now I know there is at least one other manga fan here. I know a lot of people who don't even give manga a chance because of the Sailor Moon/ Pokemon stereotype, so I was somewhat worried about recommending this. But I think Urasawa holds his own as literature; he is certainly well respected in Japan.

Although it's just been translated into English, the comic was written in the mid 90's. What was his latest work, Pluto? I hope they translate more of his comics soon, they can be so hard to get a hold of (in America at least).