Monster 5 by Naoki Urasawa: A

From the back cover:
Suspecting that Johan suffers from a multiple personality disorder, Dr. Tenma calls upon expert criminal psychologist Rudy Gillen to help him in his campaign to stop Johan. But will Dr. Gillen come to the same conclusion as the authorities—that Tenma is the killer with the split personality?

Wow, this volume is really good! I’m sure I could spend several hundred words just detailing everything that happened, but I’m going to try to avoid doing that.

The highlights for me are the first few and last few chapters. In the former, Tenma consults with a former classmate who is an expert in criminal psychology. Once he hears Tenma’s story, the classmate is dubious about Johan’s existence. It’s really neat seeing this dude interviewing an inmate, and then how that fellow’s story actually proves Johan is real. Also cool is that Tenma says he’s not out to prove his innocence, yet he manages to convince a traveling British couple of that fact when he refuses to abandon them when they have car trouble.

The middle is devoted to Anna and one of the detectives responsible for killing her parents. It’s useful, both to tie up loose ends and show what she’s up to, but it doesn’t really hold a candle to the smattering of scenes Tenma and Inpsector Lunge share. The last couple of chapters are absolutely phenomenal, as Inspector Lunge uses a copycat killing similar to Johan’s M.O. to lure Tenma out. This is such a clever plot twist; I am really impressed.

I certainly hope this cat and mouse game between Tenma and Lunge continues to the end of the series; it’s my favorite aspect of a great manga. I am literally going to be starting volume six in about five minutes.

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