Move Over Hannibal Lecter

Monster, Vol. 1: The Perfect Edition is a re-release of a manga by Naoki Urasawa. The story revolves around Kenzo Tenma, a brilliant young Japanese neurosurgeon living in West Germany. Tenma’s talents gain him high esteem and the respect of his colleagues. As the head of the neurosurgery department, he has a promising career. Tenma learns his skills alone won’t keep him in his current position and he regrets some of the choices he has had to make along the way. The price for moving up the ladder so fast is to blindly follow the director’s politically biased guidelines. However, on one occasion Tenma, dissatisfied with the hospital administration, chooses to defy the director’s order to operate on a state official rather than a young boy who was there first; because of this "irresponsible" act, Tenma is demoted. Depressed, he resorts to continue working day to day, wishing the hospital director were dead.

What happens next? The hospital director and two other doctors mysteriously die. The boy whose life Tenma saves and jeopardizes his future for, disappears during the chaotic confusion of the sudden deaths and investigation. Tenma, of course, had a motive to kill the director, but no evidence is found so the case grows cold. Fast-forward to nine years later, Tenma is now chief of surgery. A hit and run patient, wanted by the police for questioning for his involvement in recent burglaries and brutal killings, is brought to the hospital. The man is terrified out of his wits because the "monster" is after him. The patient flees the hospital, with Tenma in hot pursuit. Once again, Tenma is forced to confront choices he made in the past.

Monster will appeal to avid manga readers and novices alike. The story and art are intriguing and intricate. The plot of is absorbing and full of twists. The character development is remarkable; even the minor characters have depth and are multidimensional. This volume reveals the identity of the monster and his connection to Tenma, but readers will have to wait to find out what made him the monster. Fans of suspense thrillers will be hooked! This fan can’t wait for the release of this edition’s next volume!

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