MonsterMonster (モンスターMonster) is a seinen manga written and illustrated by Naoki Urasawa published by Shogakukan in Big Comic Original between 1994 and 2001, and reprinted in 18 tankōbon volumes. The series won an Excellence Prize at the 1997 Japan Media Arts Festival and the Shogakukan Manga Award in 2001. It was adapted by Madhouse as a 74-episode anime TV series, which aired on NTV from April 7, 2004 to September 28, 2005. The manga is licensed in English by Viz Communications.
New Line Cinema has also recently acquired rights to create an English language film version. Josh Olson, whose best-known work was adapting A History of Violence, has agreed to write a screenplay adaptation, which the studio expects to release in 2009.
OverviewThe series follows Dr. Kenzo Tenma (天馬 賢三, Tenma Kenzo) as he pursues a young psychopath/sociopath named Johan, whose life Tenma once saved. The story rapidly progresses through a number of locations: it starts in Düsseldorf, Germany, passes through Berlin, Frankfurt, Munich, Wiesbaden, cities in the Czech Republic such as Prague, and other cities and villages.
Both anime and manga begin with a passage from The Revelation of St. John the Divine, Chapter 13: Verses 1 & 4
- And I saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads, the names of blasphemy. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, "Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"
The quote is often interpreted as the coming of the Antichrist. This quote is used because of the many parallels and comparisons between one of the main characters of Monster (Johan) and two candidates of the Antichrist as predicted by Nostradamus, the two were commonly Napoleon Bonaparte and Adolf Hitler.