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"In the city of my birth, I had a dream..."
Monster Vol. 14 by Urasawa Naoki 
23rd-Apr-2008 11:59 pm
Urasawa, Naoki. Monster. Vol. 14. Trans. Nobu Yamada, Masaru Noma, and Agnes Yoshida. San Francisco: VIZ Media, 2008.
          Summary: In this volume, we learn that Fritz Verdeman's father was actually a spy, that the puppeteer who has taken Nina and Dieter in is actually the son of Franz Bonaparta, and that Eva has agreed to help Roberto look for Johan with the help of a reluctant bodyguard who, in his dying moments, may reveal a clue to Tenma. All roads lead to the "Red Rose Mansion," where Johan apparently massacred a large number of people.
          Comments: Waitaminute, how many volumes of this manga are left? Four? Man. Why do I have the sinking suspicion that no resolution is going to live up to such a long, slow buildup? In fact, why do I have the sinking suspicion that Urasawa knew this when writing this manga and in fact decided to conclude the series with no real resolution at all? For the record, I have not read Monster before; I guess I'll find out soon enough whether or not I'm right. In any case, nothing of the plot structure has really changed since the third volume, and what I said in my review back then still holds; the vignettes are atmospheric and affecting, but they advance the plot soooo sloooowly. It's relatively easy on the brain, though, as long as you remember what happened in previous volumes. And with art that's well-controlled and easy on the eyes, this is probably one of the most widely accessible manga series available in English today.
          Notes: paperback, 1st American edition; first published in Japan by Shougakukan in 2000
          Rating: 5.5/10 - On hindsight, I guess I could have lived without reading this one from start to finish. But it's good fun, so I'm not complaining.
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