October 16, 2009
Naoki Urasawa – Viz – 2008 – 18 volumes
I was pretty sure I’d feel better about Monster when I got back into the flow of the story, which seems to be the case. I was a little sad that this volume was all about introducing a new character, Tenma’s lawyer, a man who’s dedicated his life to defending people falsely accused of crimes because of his father’s imprisonment and death in a famous espionage case, and then undermining his role and completely blowing apart his beliefs on the last page. I just don’t know how to take that.
I was also a little disappointed that Tenma committed a crime in this volume. It’s true that nobody believes a single word he says about the truth because Johan just doesn’t exist, and when, for no reason, one of his enemies shows up as the partner for his lawyer and threatens the life of Eva… well, of course he’s going to have to take matters into his own hands. But it was important that Tenma was completely innocent, and now I have to wonder how things will go for him. Well, it’s not like things could get much worse, really, since he was already a fugitive, but morality was on his side. The moral ambiguity in the crime he committed is interesting, because he’s not a true criminal, but still.
Also, I can’t say I didn’t see that coming. I figured that would happen as soon as it became clear that he was really being taken into custody.
But yes, on to the next volume. I think I’ll have more thoughts once I’m a volume or two further back into the story.