Monster 13

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.

4 Responses to “Monster 13”

  1. […] Should Be Good!) Connie on vol. 3 of Ikigami: The Ultimate Limit (Slightly Biased Manga) Connie on vol. 13 of Monster (Slightly Biased Manga) Emily on Ougon Kamen (Emily’s Random Shoujo Manga Page) Erica […]

  2. Anonymous Says:

    “But it was important that Tenma was completely innocent”

    I think it’s a bit late for that. He’s also resisted arrest, aided criminals, and is further guilty of breaking and entering not to mention arguably kidnapping (Dieter).

    You already had to suspend the conflation of the law with morality to consider Tenma blameless at this point, what’s hard about this case?

  3. Sara K. Says:

    Oh, I must have read further than I thought, because I remember that Tenma stopped being innocent. I think this about where I stopped, mainly because I didn’t have further volumes at my disposal and by the time more were available I fell out of the flow.

  4. Connie Says:

    True, but everything that Tenma had been guilty of up to now had been pretty small potatoes. Holding a police officer at gunpoint and escaping custody is a more major problem. The only charges against him as discussed in the story are the murder charges, and with all the fuss made about everyone coming together and trying to find lawyers and proving Tenma innocent, I was hoping they’d go about freeing him from prison legally. Even if he was proven innocent of the murder charges, he’d still have to face up to what he did in this volume. I’m just a little sad it had to come to that, and that the catalyst was the threat on Eva. It shows what kind of person Tenma is that he would still break out of prison to protect Eva, even though she hates his guts and has been working… well, not with him all this time.

    For a more petty reason for hating the prison break, Eva isn’t a likable character at all, and seems like a bad reason to move to the wrong side of the law. You’re right that it doesn’t matter too much, though. I liked that Tenma pointed out himself that his innocence isn’t what interests him anymore, just the fact that he has so far been unable to prove that Johan exists.

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