Monster Vol. #10 (Mania.com)
Review Date: Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Release Date: Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Translated by:Sumiko Katsura
Adapted by:Agnes Yoshida
What They Say
The Nameless Monster, the mysterious picture book which holds the key to unlocking Johan's past, was created by an official from the Czechoslovakian secret police. This startling discovery leads to the mysterious Red Rose Mansion - an estate with a dark and tragic history covered up and sealed away for decades. Meanwhile, the serial murderer in Prague has been identified as a beautiful blond woman. Who could she be and what is her connection to Johan?
The backdrop changes from Germany to Czechoslovakia as Tenma heads to Prague, the city of a hundred spires, in search of Johan's roots. Tenma is nearly caught by the border police but manages to elude capture with the help of Grimmer, a reporter. By a strange twist of fate, this Grimmer is investigating the nefarious activities that took place at 511 Kinderheim -- and for very personal reasons. In his search for records from that infamous orphanage, Grimmer locates Pedrov, the former director of 511 Kinderheim. However, the former Czechoslovakian secret police is also after that information. Pedrov is killed, and Grimmer is forced to run for his life, pursued by the corrupt Prague police and the Czechoslovakian underground, all for the sake of a tape recording that reveals the origins of the monster Johan!
New places, new faces... and a new arc begins as Tenma goes to Czechoslovakia in search of answers. However, as he is wont to do, Urasawa detours the story away from Tenma and Nina in order to introduce yet two more characters. Tenma only sticks around for about a chapter and a half, and then the story completely shifts over to Grimmer and later Detective Suk for the remainder of the volume. Grimmer and Suk are both compelling and for very different reasons. The middle-aged Grimmer is extremely complex and intimately connected with 511 Kinderheim while Suk is a bright young idealist who is forced to confront corruption in the people he admired most. Initially, meeting the newcomers is a little frustrating -- after all, the cast of Monster is already huge. However, you quickly get caught up with their lives and activities, especially as it becomes clearer that Johan is lurking near both of them.
Regarding the dialogue, now that the characters are in Czechoslovakia, characters speak in both German and Czechoslovakian. German dialogue is always depicted in dialogue bubbles as English. However, Czechoslovakian dialogue is sometimes shown with Czechoslovakian words (which is pretty neat to see) and other times in English so occasionally it is unclear as to what language characters are conversing in. However, this may be inherent in the original script and not a slight on the part of Viz.
By the way, this is one of those volumes which warrants the "older teen" rating. In addition to shootings, there's also an awful torture scene. You might not ever look at a fingernail clipper the same again (shiver).
Mania Grade: A+
Art Rating: A-
Packaging Rating: B
Text/Translatin Rating: B-
Age Rating: 12 & Up
Released By: Viz Media
Orientation: Right to Left