Monster (manga)/Characters

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A character sheet for Naoki Urasawa's manga/anime Monster.

Main Characters[edit | hide | hide all]

Kenzo Tenma[edit | hide]

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Voiced by: Hidenobu Kiuchi (JP), Liam O'Brien (EN)

The protagonist of the series, he is a Japanese neurosurgeon working in Düsseldorf, Germany. In spite of his Director's explicit orders, he decides to operate on a critically wounded boy instead of the city's mayor, which results in his demotion and the break-up of his engagement. He is, however, shortly promoted after the mysterious murders of three of his superiors, and continues working at the hospital until it is revealed to him that the boy he risked his career to save is, in fact, a mass murderer.

Johan Liebert[edit | hide]

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Voiced by: Nozomu Sasaki (JP), Keith Silverstein (EN)

The antagonist of the story, he is introduced (outside Tenma's TV, that is) as a ten-year-old with a bullet in his brain. Shortly after being saved by Tenma, he escapes from the hospital with his twin sister Anna. He resurfaces nine years later as a killer, admits to having poisoned Tenma's superiors, and proceeds to wreak havoc across Germany. His identity is unknown to the general public, and his murders are subsequently blamed on Tenma.

He is alternately perceived [1] as a vampire, an alien, the Devil, and the next Hitler. Both the manga and the anime open with a passage from Revelation that refers to the Antichrist and mirrors several events from Johan's life.

Anna Liebert/Nina Fortner[edit | hide]

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Voiced by: Mamiko Noto (JP), Karen Strassman (EN)

Johan's twin sister. After the incident in 1986, she is adopted by a couple from Heidelberg where she leads a normal life. When Johan decides to contact her again, Tenma foils his plan by helping Nina escape. Her foster parents are, however, killed by Johan's henchmen, and their murder sends her on a quest for vengeance, across Germany and the Czech Republic where she picks up the forgotten pieces of her past.

Inspector Heinrich Runge[edit | hide]

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Voiced by: Tsutomu Isobe (JP), Richard Epcar (EN)

An agent of BKA (the German federal police), he is assigned to the case of the murders of the three Eisler Memorial officials. Believing Tenma to be the only logical suspect, but deterred by the lack of evidence, he resumes the investigation ten years later after an officer guarding one of Tenma's patients is killed using the same M.O. used on the three doctors. Personal pride, rather than an interest in justice, prompts him to chase Tenma across Germany and Czechoslovakia, concluding that 'Johan' is Tenma's alter-ego.

Eva Heinemann[edit | hide]

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Voiced by: Mami Koyama (JP), Tara Platt (EN)

The daughter of the Eisler Memorial Hospital director, she is engaged to Tenma at the beginning of the series. When he falls out of favor with her father, she breaks off the engagement, but has a change of heart soon after Heinemann's death. Tenma's subsequent rejection leaves her embittered and with an advanced alcohol problem, and she spends the remainder of the story vacillating between love and hate for him.

Dieter[edit | hide]

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Voiced by: Junko Takeuchi (JP), Laura Bailey (EN)

A young boy whom Tenma saves from physical and mental abuse at the hands of a former official of Kinderheim 511, he stubbornly tags along with the doctor (and, later, Nina), providing a Foil to Johan.

Other Characters[edit | hide]

Franz Bonaparta

Voiced by: Nachi Nozawa (JP), Michael McConnohie (EN)

Also known as Klaus Poppe, Emil Sebe, and by many other pseudonyms, Bonaparta is responsible for the eugenics program that resulted in the twins' birth. When he wasn't busy kidnapping his test subjects' mothers and killing their fathers, he engaged in educating the superior children with the aid of morally questionable fairy tales he had penned himself.

  • The Atoner
  • For Science!: Played partly straight, partly as a twisted excuse ("This is an experiment").
  • Heel Face Turn: Rather a slow, maddening process in which he gives up his experiments and becomes a dull, old man, living incognito in a small town where he unsuccessfully tries to continue his creative pursuits.
  • Love Redeems:
    • By killing over forty people in front of your love interest's already traumatized child to give her a chance at a better tomorrow. But don't worry about how your Sadistic Choice affected her, or her other child; your books and the pedagogy you developed will help fix all that. Just leave your evil conspiracy in place, it'll be all right.
    • However, in Another Monster, it is implied that he had a hand in erasing the twins' mother's past, and Lipsky hints that perhaps his reasons behind it was to isolate the twins' mother so only he would know of her existence.
  • Matchmaker Crush: One of the most warped versions ever.
  • Murder the Hypotenuse
  • The Man Behind the Curtain: At least after his Heel Face Turn.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Undergoes this when he sees all the death and suffering Johan has brought, since he made Johan the man who he is.
  • Parental Abandonment Disowns his own son. Also causes this in other families.
  • Pet the Dog: Consistently, in his treatment of Wim. Also has an earlier, spectacularly badly thought out attempt.
  • Redemption Equals Death: Although, whether he was truly redeemed or not is debatable.
  • Retired Monster
  • Stalker with a Crush
  • Taking You with Me: Attempts to do this to Johan, but he is killed by Roberto before he can do it.
  • "Well Done, Son" Guy: He takes this much, much too far.

Wolfgang Grimmer

Voiced by: Hideyuki Tanaka (JP), Patrick Seitz (EN)

A perpetually smiling man searching for Franz Bonaparta, the man whose pedagogic theories formed the basis of the brainwashing program Grimmer had been subjected to as a child. Unable to feel emotion in his regular state (according to himself, although that doesn't stop him from trying to "fake it"), he transforms into a brutal and unstoppable alter-ego when under extreme duress.

Roberto/Adolf Reinhardt

Voiced by: Nobuyuki Katsube (JP), J.B. Blanc (EN)

A survivor of Kinderheim 511, he takes on different identities during the series in order to eliminate witnesses and obtain information as one of Johan's most devoted henchmen.

Dr. Julius Reichwein

Voiced by: Ichiro Nagai (JP), Paul St Peter (EN)

An elderly psychiatrist who becomes involved with Johan after the latter murders one of his patients. After being saved by Tenma from getting killed by Roberto, he becomes one of his main allies.

  • Badass Mustache: A double subversion. He seems like a simple crumudgeon at first. Then he beats up two men younger than him after taking several kicks.
  • Bald of Awesome: Also doubles as a Cool Old Guy. Not to mention that his bald cap plays a role in breaking a guy's nose.
  • Captain Ersatz: He is Urasawa's incarnation of the Osamu Tezuka character Shunsaku Ban, in everything but name.
  • Cool Old Guy
  • Gentleman and a Scholar
  • Good Is Not Dumb: Beats up two guys and brilliantly outsmarts Roberto when he tries to kill him.
  • Retired Badass: Used to work with the border police. This, being the West German border police during the Cold War, which was basically a paramilitary organization as they were expected to hold back a possible Communist invasion from the east, makes it even more Badass.
  • The Shrink
  • Trademark Favorite Food: He'll take attempts on his life pretty much on the chin, but the prospect of running out of Weisswurst, not so much.

Dr. Rudy Gillen

Voiced by: Takayuki Sugo (JP), Derek Stephen Prince (EN)

A former classmate of Tenma's, he is a leading criminal psychologist who attributes his proficiency to possessing the brain of a serial killer. After initially planning to turn Tenma over to the police, he realizes the latter's innocence and becomes, along his former professor Reichwein, an active helper in Johan's case.


Voiced by: Shuichi Ikeda (JP), Roger Craig Smith (EN)

A criminal with a troubled past who is charged with looking after Eva when the mob discovers that she can be of use to them.

Otto Heckel

Voiced by: Yoshita Yasuhara (JP), Doug Erholtz (EN)

A small-time criminal who has a symbiotic, highly illegal, and fairly comical relationship with Tenma.

Mr. Maurer

Voiced by: Yosuke Akimoto (JP), Kyle Hebert (EN)

A senior reporter for the Heidelberg Post, he (initially reluctantly and skeptically) gets involved in Tenma's attempts to track down the twins.

Dr. Becker

Voiced by: Yasuyoshi Hara (JP), Christopher Smith (EN)

A colleague of Tenma's at Eisler Memorial Hospital, he is notable for being one of the few non-villains to hold hard onto his Jade-Colored Glasses even after long-term exposure to Tenma.

  • Casanova Wannabe: Though apparently not entirely unsuccessful.
  • Cynical Mentor/Sink or Swim Mentor: To Tenma, who is friendly in return but proves resistant once he's got his own way worked out.
  • Dr. Jerk: While not incapable of empathy (see his scene with Eva), he generally displays a burned-out lack of human response, including endangering patients by turning up late for surgery, possibly due to dalliances with nursing staff.
  • The Matchmaker: To Tenma, repeatedly and unsuccessfully after his break-up with Eva.
  • Only Sane Man: How he sees himself within the hospital, in relation to Tenma's idealism and more overtly amoral careerism of some other colleagues.
  • Sliding Scale of Cynicism Versus Idealism: Tends to stubbornly stick to the cynical side, even when a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming is going on all around him, such as the way he tries to pour cold water on Tenma's former patients when they band together to bankroll a defense lawyer for Tenma.

Jan Suk

Voiced by: Hisayoshi Suganuma (JP), Michael Sinterniklaas (EN)

A young, idealistic Prague police officer who is unwittingly caught up in the chase for Johan.

Richard Braun

Voiced by: Hiroshi Arikawa (JP), Cam Clarke (EN)

A private eye in Munich attempting to deal with his alcoholism and his past. His life went downhill after he shot an alumnus of Kinderheim 511.

  • The Alcoholic: Recovering.
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: In-universe, by Johan. Welcome to (more) Mind Rape and Mind Screw.
  • The Atoner
  • Atonement Detective
  • Character Title: Volume 7 of the manga.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Just like pretty much every other character in this series.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Volumes 6-7 is one long day-in-the-limelight arc where the action shifts from Tenma to some new characters, which happens fairly often throughout the series. Initially, he seems to be the main character of this arc (Volume 7 is even named after him), but a tragic run-in with Johan causes the focus to shift to his therapist, Reichwein for the rest of the arc until Tenma returns.
  • Gory Discretion Shot: The fact that it's not revealed just how he dies makes the whole thing all the more maddening.
  • He Knows Too Much
  • Heroic BSOD: In his final scene before he's killed off screen, he starts having one of these. Johan identifies it as a Heel Realization.
  • Off the Wagon: Somewhat complicated and it becomes a plot point.
  • Private Detective: Since being kicked off the force for shooting an underage suspect while drunk.
  • Sacrificial Lion
  • Spell My Name with an "S": Braun would be the German version, but the Viz translation gives his name as Brown throughout.
  • Trauma Conga Line: He wasn't drunk when he shot Yost. He was completely sober and, upon seeing how the boy had become utterly depraved, shot him dead without remorse. To provide an alibi he drunk his ass off not long afterward, and forgot everything because of the combination of the trauma and the alcohol. Either way, his career was over and he started a new life. Things were looking up...until Johan forced him to remember and he commits suicide not long afterward. The kicker? The boy he shot came from 511 Kinderheim, so it was completely warranted for Braun to shoot him, but Johan's words were much too powerful.
  • Yank the Dog's Chain: If you didn't already hate Johan by this point, you REALLY will now.

Hans Georg Schubert

Voiced by: Michio Hazama (JP), Dan Woren (EN)

A mysterious business juggernaut with a sentimental past, he is the center of one of Johan's extremely elaborate plots to wreak large-scale havoc across Germany.

  • Dark and Troubled Past: Yes, he's got one of these too.
  • Dub Name Change: In the Viz translation of the anime, he becomes Hans Georg Schuwald and his nickname becomes the more sensible "Vampire of Bavaria".
  • Fiction 500: According to Lotte, his wealth keeps accumulating without check. He is rumored to singlehandedly control the German stock market.
  • Genre Savvy: The only person in-series to pick up on Johan's inhuman "perfection" this way.
  • Jerkass Facade: "The Vampire of Bayern."
  • Luke, You Are My Father: It's complicated. Johan complicates it some more.
  • Spell My Name with an "S": The American broadcast went so far as to edit a poster in order to corroborate their mis-dubbing of his name as Schuwald. Schuwald is also the spelling used in the German edition of the manga.

Fritz Verdeman

Voiced by: Ryusuke Oobayashi (JP), Kyle Hebert (EN)

An extremely talented lawyer known for always getting innocent verdicts. In fact, he only takes on clients if he believes they are innocent. Naturally, he ends up being Tenma's lawyer after he's arrested in Prague. His desire to free innocent people is rooted in his childhood, when his father was accused of being a spy.

Christof Sievernich[edit | hide]

Voiced by: Masashi Hironaka (JP), Travis Willingham (EN)

Johan's disciple and another Kinderheim 511 survivor. Johan and several associates try to turn him into a second monster.

  1. albeit mainly by delusional killers and neo-Nazis