Monster 16 by Naoki Urasawa: A

From the back cover:
Tenma is lying low, but his brief respite is doomed to be short-lived. Milan, one of Tenma’s new friends, is planning to assassinate a man with deep ties to “Red Rose Mansion.” Can Tenma dissuade him from this drastic line of action? Also, a seemingly unrelated string of murders by various serial killers hints at a sinister connection with Johan. How many more people need to die before the monster’s work is complete?

A tremendous lot of stuff happens in this volume, but I shall resist the temptation to summarize. Instead, I have a new list.

Answered Questions:
1. What is the story of the twins’ parents and birth?
2. Who are the last two people running the organization in Frankfurt?
3. What’s the story on the “devil’s apprentice”?

Kind Of Anwered Questions:
1. What’s Johan’s agenda?

Unanswered questions:
1. How are the recitals at the Red Rose Mansion inducing the kids into violence? What, really, is the experiment?
2. Who was the guy who came to the Lieberts’ house the night they were killed?
3. Whatever happened to the other Lieberts pretending to be Johan’s parents?
4. What about the MPD theory?
5. What’s the deal with Nina’s memory of welcoming herself home? “The man in glasses” made a possibly telling remark, then Johan seemed to swing it one way, then the final panel threw all into a muddle again.

I also want to take this time to praise Urasawa’s chapter beginnings. They’re always interesting, unique, and immediately engaging. Too, I applaud the two strong female characters that kick some butt in this volume, and once again, am kind of surprised I am cheering for Eva. Taking a bitchy person, making her even more unlikable, and then suddenly turning her into someone sympathetic is quite an achievement!

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