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Monster weaves the riveting story of brilliant Dr. Kenzo Tenma, a famous surgeon with a promising career at a leading hospital. Tenma risks his reputation and promising career to save the life of a critically wounded young boy. Unbeknownst to him, this child is destined for a terrible fate.

A string of strange and mysterious murders begin to occur soon afterward, ones that professionally benefit Dr. Tenma, and he emerges as the primary suspect. Conspiracies, serial murders, and a scathing depiction of the underbelly of hospital politics are all masterfully woven together in this compelling manga thriller.

Note: Won the 46th Shogakukan Manga Award in the general category.


Related Series

Associated Names

Groups Scanlating

Latest Release(s)

Status in Country of Origin
18 Volumes (Tankoubon - Complete)
9 Volumes (Kanzenban - Complete)

Completely Scanlated?

Anime Start/End Chapter
Starts at Vol 1, Chap 1
Ends at Vol 18, Chap 162

User Reviews
Monster by canucks
Monster by claudiofd

5 topics, 21 posts
Click here to view the forum

User Rating
Average: 9 / 10.0 (1529 votes)
Bayesian Average: 8.95 / 10.0
 48% (730 votes)
 29% (440 votes)
 14% (217 votes)
 4% (54 votes)
 2% (26 votes)
 1% (14 votes)
 1% (9 votes)
 0% (7 votes)
 0% (7 votes)
 2% (25 votes)

Last Updated
September 4th 2017, 4:52am PST



Category Recommendations





Original Publisher

Serialized In (magazine)
Big Comic Original (Shogakukan)

Licensed (in English)

English Publisher
Viz (18 Volumes - Complete; Perfect Edition 8 Volumes - Ongoing)

Activity Stats (vs. other series)
Weekly Pos #288 increased(+103)
Monthly Pos #420 increased(+23)
3 Month Pos #446 decreased(-32)
6 Month Pos #401 increased(+3)
Year Pos #411 decreased(-75)

List Stats
On 945 reading lists
On 1492 wish lists
On 3093 completed lists
On 90 unfinished lists
On 535 custom lists

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Forum Posts
Monster Live-action over 2 years ago
Anime or manga over 4 years ago
ending (spoilers) over 7 years ago
Monster...anime or manga? over 7 years ago
Monster over 10 years ago

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User Comments [ Order by time added ]

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You're in for an exciting ride!   
Rating: 9.1 / 10.0
by Zoro
November 4th, 2011, 12:35am
Urasawa. If your jaw doesn't drop after hearing that name, you've obviously been reading the wrong manga my friend.

I'll admit, the hype for this series was too intimidating for me to go near it. In fact, I'm glad I avoided it for so long until I was psychologically prepared for it.
If I'd have to start with this manga, I'd have to applaud the author on his brilliantly coordinated narrative. An aptitude for developing his own sense of thriller, this gets thrown on top of horror lists next to Ripley Scott's feature film "Alien" and John Carpenter's "The Thing". It takes a while to pick up what devices the author uses, but you soon realize every character Dr. Tenma encounters develop 3-Dimensional character traits. With that as his basis, the author freely switches perspectives revealing trails that lead to either Dr. Tenma or Johan, and thus the plot thickens.

The bad guy, Johan, is the most evil character in all the manga series that I know, and I know them all. The author toys with rationality as he creates a smart, handsome and smiling young man with all the desire to destroy everything he comes in contact with. The discretion in Johan's actions build his character in our minds as the most evil person you will ever see. The tips and hints the author has so cleverly thrown in to the dialogue all revert back to a single name, and even though they don't know who they're looking for, we always know it's Johan.

Dr. Tenma is one of the most modest people we know in this series, as most Japanese residing in Germany at that time were. He never blames anyone but himself in this series, and that's because most of the time he believes it's his fault that this "Monster" was unleashed upon the world. It is then that this magnificent story unfolds, starting with a race of people chasing other people, knowing everyone's motivations and their exaggerated, but metaphorical methods. Dr. Tenma always remembers that it's in his blood to save lives and not destroy them at any cost, even if it means taking another man's life. But that ultimately causes his hesitation and stops him when he always has the chance.

Throughout the series it's been a roller coaster as we dig deeper and deeper into the mind of a monster, trailing behind him and learning of his goals. We piece together his ambitions in each subplot, expanding his ever-growing picture of a Utopia. We learn how it must feel tracing back the devil's handy-work. The author teaches us that there's only one thing that must be done if you saw a killing machine on the loose, and that's to stop it.

Overall, the best read I could've possibly picked up. One of the things I loved whenever I read the series was the many times Johan's name is mentioned, you suddenly want to pay attention and understand that sometimes the ends can justify the means. A masterpiece. One could say the best work from Urasawa thus far.

... Last updated on December 4th, 2011, 10:02pm
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Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by deelink
February 19th, 2009, 4:46pm
Firstly, this manga is not about "killing", it's about ETHICS. It is a well paced manga that is crafted to confuse, terrify and confront. Some would argue that there is some side stories that feel irrelevant as the series goes on, but Urasawa brings those side stories and stiches them together to create his Monster. The last volume will leave you, stomach punched. Urasawa does not place "filler" characters or plot, it is all part of the act.
This story confronts you, not only with evil as a character, but evil manifested as an IDEAL, as an answer. Could anyone in this day and age, not see that for some people anarchy and destruction is the only option? What happens to the people whose whole existence is to create? Where is their role to play in a society where the Monster reigns? Is it right to turn yourself into a monster in order to beat it? Who is it? What is it?
This is a manga for the mature individual who wants something engrossing and different. A real page turner. After completing this series, I was left with no questions, just a certainty that this was one of the best series I have ever read.


... Last updated on February 19th, 2009, 4:47pm
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Another absolutely amazing manga by Urasawa   
Rating: N/A
by jikit
December 20th, 2005, 1:54pm
This manga really deserves my full points because the story is so great(even the ending is really nice) and the art is clear and the landscapes contain lots of details.

The characters are very deep and really interesting, especially Johan ^^. Detective Lunge really irritated me first but when he took that vacation to prague and found that book i actually started to like him. Theres just two characters and almost every characters that there was, I loved them, even Roberto.

Now when i think back at the manga i feel so nostalgic and i really would just want to forget everything about monster so that i could read it again.

Only 20th century boys can fight with this manga for the title of being my favorite.
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One of a kind   
Rating: 10.0 / 10.0
by Serendipity_
October 6th, 2013, 12:17pm
I've had this manga on my "To-read" list for quite awhile. I regret that I didn't pick up this amazing manga earlier, because, as stated above, it's really one of a kind. What put me off though was probably the descreption, I thought that this was some kind of a darker version of Greys's anathomy, which doesn't....earn that many points in my taste-list.
I loved many things about this manga, the story, the art, the incredible characters and the way the author choose to portray them. The story really made you think, was it really Johan who was the monster? Or was it the world he lived in that was truly evil? Depending on the reader, I think we can come up with alot of diffrent answers to these questions.

aaaand to the spoilers:
Spoiler (mouse over to view)
Johan killed, manipulated, and destroyed alot of people. That's a fact we couldn't ignore. But even if Johan did all those things, I couldn't bring myself to hate him. Why? The answer is easy, Johan wasn't the real monster in the Manga. It was the people around him, the circumstances which made him into the boy/man he finally became, and the world he was born in. Later in the manga you also get to know that he did all these things as a result for protecting his sister. His sister choose/was forced to forget about all the hideous things, but he choose instead to directly face that darkness and make it his own.

I'm not saying it's right to do what Johan did. I only think that people aren't born evil, it's just the circumstances or the world they where born into that forms them to who they will become. Like in Johans Case.

I definitly recommend this, you never get bored because the story keeps you hooked and you just keep wanting more. A masterpiece of it's own.

... Last updated on October 6th, 2013, 12:18pm
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Intriguing, but...   
Rating: 9.4 / 10.0
by calstine
September 21st, 2015, 5:48am
In terms of plot, this manga is my least favourite out of the Naoki Urasawa power trio of Monster, 20 Seiki Shounen and Pluto. I know that view is in direct antithesis to majority opinion, as this is unarguably the most popular out of the three in both Japan and on this site, but Monster is basically about a bunch of people who don't have the guts to empty a clip or two into the brain of a guy who goes around killing people (most of whom are good people) just 'cos he feels like it. And their indecision and misplaced sympathies destroy about 50 more lives into the bargain, despite there being no earthly reason for any of them to hesitate in killing him: he ruined all of their lives and killed most of their loved ones. By all rights, none of them should have a problem finishing him off, especially as he stands unarmed in front of them while they have loaded weapons. In Pluto, no one knew who the villain was; in 20 Seiki Shounen, they knew, but could never get close enough to him to do what had to be done. In Monster? Even at the very end, there was nothing but hesitation in the main characters' actions when facing down Johan.

Johan is the next big issue. He doesn't want anything: not power, not money/possessions, not popularity/recognition, not influence. He's not a sadist who is aroused or excited by killing. He's not an adrenaline junkie. He's not delusional. He didn't suffer any particular trauma in his childhood: it was a difficult childhood, yes, but not a hugely traumatic one. Why on earth does he murder so many people? It's not desire/lust, not megalomania, not greed, not insanity, not survival instinct, not vengefulness, not...anything. He is nothing. I know this was intentional, was meant to drive home the point that he was The Monster, but, to me, he just ended up being an annoyance. I seriously doubt there's a single person in this world, serial murderer or no, who kills for absolutely no reason. (Maybe it's just weird to me because I'm not Christian/Catholic and therefore don't believe in absolute evil. Many people are born evil, yes, but even evil people have various reasons for killing. If nothing else, they don't do it willy-nilly because murder's too much of a hassle to go through unless you get something big out of it, while Johan has trivial characters who barely even knew his name/looks killed off because of heaven-only-knows what)

That being said, the mangaka is Naoki Urasawa, so... The plot twists are brilliant. The story-telling is stellar. The flashbacks are perfectly timed and skilfully portrayed. The emotions are incredibly moving, which is a real compliment coming from me because I find most emotional scenes in fiction to be ludicrous. The art is fitting, and everyone looks so unique that despite the huge cast, it's nigh impossible to confuse one character with another. The people (save for Johan) are actual people with a diverse variety of pasts, backgrounds, dreams and hopes -- not cardboard cut-outs who only mirror the author's directions. Tl;dr -- Monster incorporates elements many thrillers fail at and does them justice -- hence my high rating.

If only Johan had been more well-rounded as a villain (apart from "evil genius," he was a total blank) and the circumstances of his continued existence less absurd (it's basically: "The MC's got cold feet so the Big Bad escaped...again") Monster would have got 10/10 from me.

... Last updated on September 21st, 2015, 7:15am
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Amazing manga   
Rating: 9.9 / 10.0
by chaechaeboi
March 28th, 2014, 8:26pm
The way this series work is it shows you an incomplete picture or puzzle then it gives you those missing pieces so you think you have the whole image but then it zooms out and the picture is more intricate and larger than you previously imagined. It does this repeatedly and keeps the viewer involved with the story. My only hang-up was that I did not like the ending. I'd recommend this if you love psychological and mystery manga. The majority of question that I raised going through this series were answered.
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Mysterious Ending for Mysterious People   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by alicewhite3151998
May 17th, 2014, 9:33am
Let me start by first saying....One of the best endings so far I have read in manga!
This manga is a really good read, not gonna lie. It's really fascinating and consistently it made me want to read more. Sometimes I thought it could of been more fast pace, but it those instances you had to really read to get why Naoki added in what he did. All the people and the plot connected with each other really well and I am happy to say that I read this.
I would of liked it more if the author told us more about Jonah's past and what he dealt with. I liked those parts especially; adding into the story of the monsters was genius.
About the ending... I thought it was really interesting. It gives you enough room to draw your own conclusion and still be guessing.
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Shockingly good....   
Rating: 8.0 / 10.0
by iamssjvash
August 19th, 2008, 4:03am
This type of series does not attract my attention at all.... That being said, I kept reading anyways, and by the end of the second volume I was hooked~! If only other psychological drama series were this good~! I'd definitely give more titles like this a go after reading this.... My only disappointments were the ending and the fact that I'm probably just too used to reading romantic comedies and this definitely was not one....
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A True Masterpiece   
Rating: 8.3 / 10.0
by Twilight_Moon
August 16th, 2008, 1:29pm
I loved this manga. The last chapters left me breathless for more..Adrenaline pumping.. This is a work of art..Beautifully psychological - everything has a motive..And the great thing is, we never know the whole picture,until the very end... When the mangaka taunts us with little pieces of the character's past..Enticing us to read further and never be able to drop this story. The mangaka is truly the master of suspense.
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Rating: N/A
by bobble
February 26th, 2006, 6:40pm
Excellent manga...just excellent. I've now read the manga and watched the entire series. And as somenoe else said, I wish I could forget it all so I could experience it all over again. The pure fear captured in this series, and the dark look into fascism and nazis...just unbelieveable. Also the contrast is used perfectly, placing horrific situations into small, quiet, happy and otherwise innocent settings. This manga is a 10 in every way, and the anime is a MUST WATCH for those who even read the manga. It changes mediums but it's done so well as far as sound and visuals go...its one of the best EVER...You just hate to see something this good come to an end...which is why I'm looking for the followup manga "Another Monster".
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