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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Monster Vol. 2 by Urasawa Naoki 
12th-Jan-2007 11:58 pm
Urasawa, Naoki. Monster. Vol. 2. Trans. Satch Watanabe and Agnes Yoshida. San Francisco: VIZ Media, 2006.
          Summary: Johan will be returning for his sister on her 20th birthday, and it's up to Tenma to stop him from getting his hands on her and murdering her adoptive parents. He succeeds in the former (at least for now) but fails in the latter--and Inspector Lunge wants Tenma arrested for murder. Now Tenma's on the run and and learning how to shoot a gun...
          Comments: The series' momentum starts to slow in the second volume as it slows down to examine the life of Johan's sister Anna and of the divorced newspaper man who helps Tenma to locate her adoptive family. However, none of it feels like dilly-dallying, and some of the revelations--specifically that it was Johan's sister who shot him back then, knowing that he had become some sort of monster that would never allow her to be happy--were fascinating.
          This volume also sets the stage for what is obviously to come: Tenma's lost his job and is on the run from the cops and pursuing whatever Johan-related leads he can find. He's not going to have a respectable life again until he can exonerate himself by finding Johan and proving the young man's guilt in the crimes Tenma is suspected for. A doctor going underground. Hmm. Whiffs of Tezuka Osamu's Black Jack, definitely.
          Notes: ~B6 paperback, first American edition, 1st printing; first published in Japan in 1995
          Rating: 7/10 - Monster continues on strongly into volume two as more of the foundation for things to come is laid out in classic mystery/thriller novel style.
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