%% Please place all character tropes in the character sheet.
[[quoteright:248:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/1548.jpg]]
->''"Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?"''

->''"Once upon a time, in a land far away, there lived a nameless monster. The monster was dying to have a name."''

In 1986, life was good for Japanese neurosurgeon Kenzo Tenma. He was an accomplished doctor living in Germany, had the favors of the hospital director, a hot fiancee (daughter of the same director), and a promising future. But one day, the guilt of primarily attending to the wealthy patients and leaving poorer people in need of his skills drives him to first operate on a child who was hurt in the murder of his adoptive parents rather than the mayor of Dusseldorf. As a result, the child lives, the mayor dies in the hands of less talented surgeons, and Tenma is demoted by his superiors and dumped by his fiancee. Even though his life is now in ruins, Tenma still believes that he did the right thing.

Suddenly, the hospital directors that demoted Tenma die in very mysterious circumstances, leaving a vacant position that only he can fill. At the same time, the boy that Tenma operated on escapes from the hospital with his catatonic twin sister. Although none of the deaths can be directly attributed to the good doctor, a certain [[InspectorJavert Inspector Lunge]] is not very convinced of his innocence.

Nine years later, Tenma is still working in the same hospital when a criminal patient escapes in terror because he doesn't want to be killed by a person he calls the "Monster." Tenma follows him to a parking garage, only to see him mercilessly shot. His horror increases when he sees who the killer is: the same boy he operated on nine years ago, now a young adult. Johan Liebert, the boy in question, confesses that he was the one who killed the directors years ago as a way to give him thanks, and abandons the scene leaving the doctor alive.

Tenma, horrified to find that he is responsible for the existence of such a monster, abandons his work and his life, and devotes himself to finding Johan again and killing him once and for all. Following Johan's blood trail, however, becomes tricky and absorbing, and as Tenma's hunt becomes riddled with clues from the boy's childhood, finding the truth about Johan's past becomes as imperative as finding Johan himself. The quest is further complicated when Johan's crimes are ascribed to Tenma, and Lunge, convinced beyond a doubt that Tenma is the perpetrator, begins a chase of his own.

The series, written and drawn by Creator/NaokiUrasawa, one of the most popular mangakas in the business, has received several major awards and substantial critical acclaim; it is painstakingly drawn and [[ShownTheirWork thoroughly researched]], with an [[LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters extensive]] [[CastOfSnowflakes cast]] and a complex, [[JigsawPuzzlePlot multi-layered]] story. The [[{{Anime}} adaptation]] is almost identical to the [[{{Manga}} original]], differing only in several scenes that were cut and several that were added.

Not to be confused with the [[{{Film/Monster}} Oscar-winning film]] starring Creator/CharlizeTheron, even for a minute (although that one is also about a serial killer).

The anime was a fan-favorite on SyFy's Ani-Mondays block. Unfortunately, it is no longer available on {{Hulu}}, Netflix (subbed), or the new Manga Entertainment app for Xbox360 (dubbed) as Viz Media dropped the license. Fortunately the Australian company Siren Visual [[https://www.animenewsnetwork.com.au/news/2013-05-17/siren-visual-acquires-monster has licensed the anime]] for full release, dubbed and all in its respective country.

''Monster'' has also been green-lit for a live action adaption, courtesy of [[http://www.japanator.com/guillermo-del-toro-hbo-team-up-for-live-action-monster-28544.phtml HBO and director Guillermo Del Toro]].
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!!''Monster'' provides examples of:
* TheAbridgedSeries: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FuTasheOstE&list=PLBlvuuhVf1hCaq1maI7850soATZ8F9-FM Here.]]
* AbsenceOfEvidence: Johan's crime scenes are devoid of feeling. In one arc, this enables Lunge to determine that a certain murder was committed by a [[CopycatCrime copycat]] and not Johan.
* AirVentPassageway: Used by a woman in labor.
* AloneWithThePsycho: Happens quite often in this series.
* TheAntichrist: A major motif in the series.[[note]]As mentioned by Tenma, Anna/Nina, and General Wolf, Johan is actually no typical neo-Nazi bigot (in spite of right-wing extremists wanting him to be the next Hitler); believe it or not, he's not interested in being a part of such groups -- afterall, he works alone and he'll only use minions until he decides to dispose of them when he no longer finds any use for them (I mean, hell, he wants to be the last person standing on Earth). However, the fact that he isn't an overt bigot just adds to his scare factor.[[/note]]
* AmnesiacDissonance: Used with two of the main characters and some interesting children's books.
* AnAesop: Even the most evil people deserve life and forgiveness.
* AnimeThemeSong: Being anime, [[CaptainObvious it has one]], but it's quite unconventional. It was kept for all 74 episodes. It's an InstrumentalThemeTune apart from some [[OminousLatinChanting ominous chanting]].
* AnyoneCanDie: Do you have a favorite character you really like? [[spoiler:Have they, at any point, so much as made eye contact with Johan]]? Beeeeg mistake.
* ArcNumber: 402.
* ArcWords:
** "Look at how big the Monster inside of me has become!"
** "Humans... Can become anything."
** [[spoiler:"Welcome home."]]
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking: Dr. Heinemann involves himself in dirty dealings, has complete disregard for human life, and steals candy from children. He pays dearly for that last one.
* ArtShift: Bonaparta's story books.
* AssholeVictim:
** Thanks for killing [[spoiler:Heinemann]], Johan; [[spoiler: Oppenheim and Boyer]] were pretty despicable too. This is probably the only good thing you've ever done, Johan. But remember: the enemy of my enemy is not necessarily my friend.
** And [[spoiler:Blue Sophie.]] Oh, and [[spoiler:the corrupt cops in Prague.]]
*** Well, ''one'' of them, anyway - the [[spoiler: other cop had made a [[HeelFaceTurn heel face turn]] and living happily with his wife and step-son, and genuinely remorseful for what he'd done]]. This, coupled with RedemptionEqualsDeath, took him out of being an asshole.
* TheAtoner: [[spoiler:Franz Bonaparta]] as the most obvious example, but also Wolf, Schubert, Rosso, Bernhardt, and many others. Also given inversions and subversions, temporary and otherwise. Atonement and redemption are arguably two of the series' key themes.
** Tenma himself could fit the mold fairly well - as kind-hearted as he is, he sees his absolute biggest mistake as being something he alone can fix. And despite numerous opportunities he gets where he could abandon his self-set mission, he refuses every time.
*** Ironically, this trope is the reason Tenma saved Johan in the first place.
* AWolfInSheepsClothing: Quite a few characters.
* BadassGrandpa: Dr. Reichwein, who's able to take down two hoodlums ''after'' getting the tar kicked out of him.
** Lunge counts as well [[spoiler: for the epic fight with Roberto near the end]].
* BastardUnderstudy: Christof to Johan.
* BeautyEqualsGoodness: Averted. People of all appearances occupy all positions on the morality spectrum.
* BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor
* BilingualBonus: The German and Czech on signs, in documents, and everywhere else is pretty fun for students of the language.
* BittersweetEnding: Everybody who survives the story gets new chances to rebuild their lives again, [[spoiler:but where did Johan go after the finale?]]
** [[spoiler: According to Another Monster, [[OhCrap Johan survived the story and rebuilt his life]]...]]
* BlondeGuysAreEvil: Oh gee. [[SarcasmMode Wonder who that could be.]]
* BodyguardCrush: Martin develops one for Eva.
* BookEnds: [[spoiler:Johan gets shot in the head and Tenma saves him.]]
* BoomHeadshot:
** The series' favorite method of ending people. Probably [[JustifiedTrope justified]] in that most of the murders are committed by experienced killers who don't like to risk leaving anyone alive. Johan [[spoiler:manages to get shot twice in the head by two separate people, neither of whom had much firearms experience. One was a little girl, and the other was a hallucinating alcoholic. It's like his brain is a bullet magnet.]]
*** A bit of [[ShownTheirWork shown their work]] on that one. Johan is supposedly TheAntiChrist, and according to some legends about TheAntichrist, [[spoiler:he is supposed to suffer two head injuries before going on his ultimate rampage.]]
** Martin mocks a guy for ''not'' shooting someone in the head. [[spoiler:That someone was him.]]
* BreakTheCutie: Poor Nina, and poor, poor Tenma.
* BrokenAce: Our resident twins. Johan is psycho and Nina is damaged and repressed.
* BringMyBrownPants: The Baby, as Nina points a gun at him. The Baby is terrified and notes that she is most ''definitely'' Johan's sister.
* ButNotTooForeign: Despite being set in Germany, the main character is Japanese.
* ButtMonkey: Tenma at the beginning, detective Jan Suk, Otto Heckel, Eva and ALL of the children that show up in the story.
* CareBearStare: Tenma. Also done by Grimmer, including on [[spoiler:[[TheSpock Lunge]]]], of all people. Nina, when not in a bad mood. Dieter's is a major one, and undoes Johan-induced damage.
* CassandraTruth: Tenma has a lot of trouble getting people to believe his story.
* CastOfSnowflakes
* ChekhovsArmoury
* ChekhovsArmy: Many of the major supporting characters take a few episodes after their introduction before they take an active role in the story.
* ChekhovsGun: [[spoiler:Lunge packs a rifle and a pistol before his fight with Roberto. During the fight, he loses the first, but reveals the tiny gun.]]
* ChekhovsGunman: [[spoiler:Wim's father, who is introduced as nothing more than Ruhenheim's town drunk, is the one who ends up shooting Johan, thereby saving Tenma from the SadisticChoice of either abandoning his ideals or watching Wim die.]]
* CommieLand: Much of the story can be traced to communist East Germany and Czechoslovakia.
* ConverseWithTheUnconscious:
** Used earlier as an incredibly black [[BrickJoke brick joke]] after Tenma complains of the politics of his hospital to a supposedly unconscious ten-year-old Johan.
** Before [[spoiler:Johan suddenly wakes up and just stares at Tenma.]]
* CoolGuns: Nina's use of the four-barreled COP derringer.
* ADayInTheLimeLight: Very frequent. Chances are, if you're a side character in this series, you'll get your "very own episode" or your "very own series arc". Also an InvertedTrope, in that the title character (if that's how you see Johan, anyway) gets comparatively little air time.
* DebateAndSwitch: Is all life equal? The only thing equal is death? Is it alright to save one, then? Do some people deserve to live more than others?
* DeconstructedTrope: Many, but mostly [[IdealismVsCynicism idealism vs. cynicism]] and what it means to be a [[CompleteMonster complete monster]].
* DefusingTheTykebomb: Mostly played with, though ''not'' for laughs: Tenma gets his intervention in early with Dieter, Nina attempts this retroactively with her brother, and Grimmer tries with Pedrov's boys, [[spoiler:misguidedly as it turns out.]]
* DepravedDwarf: The Baby.
* DiesWideOpen: The security guard in Episode 4.
* DirtyCommunists: Played straight. The crimes of neither the East German nor Czechoslovak communist regimes are ever justified and the flashbacks depict them as dark and unfriendly, which pretty much corresponds with the common view of the communist period in Eastern Europe. In a way may have even been taken [[UpToEleven Up To Eleven]] as the East German regim as portrayed in the story bears a hell lot of similarities to the Nazi one.
** Although may be considered [[TruthInTelevision Truth In Television]], at least to some degree. The East German communist regime was notorious for its ideological devotion to the socialist cause (for instance most of the communist terrorist organizations in the world during the Cold War were funded by East Germany) and it did engage in various experiments tampering with human mind and body. In fact, evidence indicate that right before the fall of communism in Eastern Europe Premier Erich Honecker considered [[MoralEventHorizon slaughtering the East German protesters]], following the example set by the Chinese in Tiananmen Square.
* DirtyCop: The two detectives hired by Johan to kill Nina's adopted parents, Commissioner Hamrlik, Chief Detective Batella, and Detective Janacek.
* DoggedNiceGuy: Lotte is a gender-flipped example. Unfortunately for her, Karl is pretty damn [[ObliviousToLove oblivious]] and she suffers quite a bit over her relationship woes (or the lack of). Jan Suk plays the trope straight, though it's brutually subverted in the fact that the sweet girl that he's been crushing on [[spoiler:turns out to be Johan in disguise.]] There's also Lipsky, who seems to have a thing for Nina, [[spoiler:but he ends up in a happy relationship with someone else in ''Another Monster''.]]
* DramaticWind: Happens very often, especially in the anime. [[EmpathicEnvironment Empathetic environment]] generally tends to apply.
* TheDreaded: Everyone who knows and works with Johan , with the possible exception of Roberto, fears him to an extreme degree.
** There are even occasions where people figure out that Johan is nearby because of the overwhelming fear that suddenly overtakes them.
* DrivingQuestion: What is Johan planning? [[spoiler:And does he even know himself?]]
* DrowningMySorrows: Tenma's alibi against charges of KlingonPromotion, complete with public staggering and ranting. Generally a source of trouble elsewhere ([[spoiler:Eva, Richard, Martin, and Wim]]), though not anviliciously so - [[BestBeerEver best beer ever]] is all part of Grimmer's and Reichwein's positive outlooks. Just be careful with who you drink with.
* DysfunctionJunction: The entire plot is driven by this trope.
* EarnYourHappyEnding: Despite almost setting itself up for a [[DownerEnding downer ending]], most of the surviving characters definitely end up with this. [[spoiler:Lunge gets back in touch with his daughter, Dieter seems to be living happily with Dr. Reichwein, Nina is well on her way to becoming a successful lawyer, and Tenma has joined Doctors Without Borders. Eva kicks her problems and seems to get her life back in order. Even Johan, depending on what you consider a "happy ending", gets one.]]
* EvasiveFightThreadEpisode: [[spoiler:Lunge]] vs. [[spoiler:Roberto.]]
* EvilIsNotAToy: So many people try to take advantage and use Johan's evilness for their own means. They all find out, far too late, just how evil Johan is.
* EvolvingCredits: The end credits gradually progress through the story, "The Nameless Monster", until the final episode where there's simply a static shot of [[spoiler:the empty bed where the supposedly comatose Johan was previously.]]
* {{Expy}}: A few characters are based on members of {{Osamu Tezuka}}'s "Star System". The most obvious is Dr. Reichwein, who is a clear homage to beloved Tezuka character Shansaku Ban, right down to his trademark moustache. Johan also has too many similarities to Yuki Michio from Tezuka's suspense-thriller ''{{MW}}'' to be coincidence. Dr. Tenma shares his name with ''Manga/AstroBoy'''s creator, although he's actually closer to Manga/BlackJack. Urasawa would later go on to create ''{{Pluto}}'', a [[TheRemake remake]] of a story arc from the ''Astro Boy'' series.
** It would seem that this series has characters resembling to their counterparts from ''Franchise/{{Halloween}}''. Tenma is Loomis, Johan is Michael, and Nina is Laurie.
* FairyTaleMotifs: See list on the [[{{Trivia/Monster}} trivia]] page.
* FamilyUnfriendlyAesop: In-universe, courtesy of Franz Bonaparta.
* FanDisservice: There are several instances, like when a kid searching for his mom ends up in a red light district, sees a prostitute bent over a trash can ''servicing'' a patron, and is paid to watch. Also, Roberto. Another being Nina in first half of the Prague arc being revealed to actually be [[spoiler:Johan in drag.]]
* TheFarmerAndTheViper: Johan is probably the quintessential viper, with anyone who does a kindness to him suffering horribly for it. Tenma, the one who saved his life in the first place, gets the very worst of it through the horrible things that Johan does to others in order to repay him.
* FictionalDocument: The various nihilistic children's books.
* FilmNoir: It borrows a few elements every once in awhile.
* {{Fingore}}: Grimmer is tortured by [[CorruptCop Corrupt Cops]] in this manner.
* FlatCharacter: Both Tenma and Nina are basically flawless; throughout the entire series there isn't a single moment that they wouldn't give the priority to the well-being of the whole universe above their own.
* FourIsDeath: The Nameless Monster goes through four hosts.
* FreudianExcuse: [[spoiler:Both twins [[DeusAngstMachina suffered through many traumatic experiences]], though in [[SubvertedTrope Johan's case]] it's [[MindScrew somewhat convoluted]].]] Played straight with many of the other Kinderheim 511 alumni - and in a frighteningly effective way, to boot.
* GoneHorriblyRight: Kinderheim 511 was trying to create emotionless, vicious, SuperSoldiers who would kill with no qualms. Johan took to it so well that [[spoiler:he got everyone else in the orphanage to kill each other.]]
* GoneHorriblyWrong: Petr Capek's attempts to cultivate Johan into the next Hitler end up [[spoiler:destroying himself and his organization.]]
* GoodIsNotDumb: Dr. Tenma, Nina, and Dr. Reichwein.
* GoodTimesMontage: Nina, Dieter, and Lipsky "making happy memories" in Prague.
* GratuitousEnglish: The Japanese books have the subtitle of "HORRIBLE STORY". You can probably guess why Viz didn't carry that part over.
* GratuitousGerman: Well, it's set in Germany, but this trope still applies because they switch off between using Japanese and German honorifics all the time.
* GuiltComplex: Tenma, Tenma, Tenma...''nothing'' involving Johan is your fault. And the death of that construction worker was just a terrible mistake.
* HalfIdenticalTwins : Johan and Nina. [[spoiler:Their mother even used to dress Johan up to resemble Anna while the children and she were in Prague. As young adults, Johan masquerades as Nina while he's in Prague, and when Nina gets there, she's confused by his female identity and how everyone seems to know "her."]]
** A major plot point is whether [[spoiler: Anna (the twins' mother) dressed up Johan for his sake or for his sister's sake; Tenma ponders on the conclusion that she wanted to get rid of one of them, but who?]]
* HarmfulToMinors: And ''how!''
* TheHeart: ''{{Anime/Monster}}'' arguably has [[{{Metaphorgotten}} several]], even if Tenma is the obvious one.
** It's almost impossible not to love Nina, even when she's frightening enough to make [[spoiler: a Neo-Nazi piss himself]].
* HeartwarmingOrphan: Nina, Dieter, Karl, and Grimmer. Subverted with various other Kinderheim 511 alumni, and for Johan. This being ''{{Anime/Monster}}'', though, everyone, gets an [[OrphansOrdeal ordeal]].
* HeKnowsTooMuch: With rare exceptions, knowing anything about Johan's existence is enough for him to kill you.
* HeroicSacrifice: A ''lot''.
* HeWhoFightsMonsters: What Johan hopes Tenma will turn into. [[spoiler:He comes close, but it doesn't work out.]]
* HeroicBSOD: Several, particularly after [[spoiler:Nina regains her memories. Tenma even has to talk her out of suicide.]]
* HollywoodPsych: Mostly averted, but some questionable approaches to both theory and security are left in place even when officially rejected, e.g. on the issues of dissociative identity disorder, recovered memories, hypnosis, EpiphanyTherapy and inferring psychology from physiognomy. Also, "''Transcendental'' Criminal Psychology", Dr. Gillen?
* HumansAreFlawed: Tenma and Johan draw polar opposite conclusions from this, testing each other's convictions to the limit.
* IHaveYouNowMyPretty: This works remarkably poorly on both female leads.
* InactionSequence: The series is 90% inaction, with or without characters on-screen. Even the 'action' sequences drag on with still poses, locked gazes, and held grimaces. Because there's never a pay-off in climax, the other 9% crawls along with exhausted melancholy. That last 1% is the final climactic events of the story.
* IncestSubtext: Johan has quite the [[EvenEvilHasLovedOnes obsession]] over Nina. It doesn't help his case that she's probably the only person in the world that he cares about to the extent that people wanting Johan to join their cause have attempted to capture Nina merely because they know how important she is to him. [[spoiler:And ''he's'' the one who sent the anonymous "romantic" emails to an initially amnesiac Nina, who [[SurpriseIncest thinks]] she's been receiving emails from her "PrinceCharming."]]
* INeverSaidItWasPoison: Tenma catches on that a couple of police officers work for Johan when one of them calls him "Dr. Tenma", despite the fact that he only introduced himself by name and didn't mention his profession.
* InspectorJavert: Lunge, to the point where he takes a vacation to search for Tenma, [[spoiler:at least while he thinks that Tenma is guilty, only to finally come to the realization that Johan was the mastermind behind all the murders]]
* {{Irony}}: Just read the summary. For starters.
* IOweYouMyLife: The main reason why Johan has spared Tenma's life. [[spoiler:Subverted in that Johan is keeping Tenma alive to kill everyone from his memories so Tenma can suffer alone.]]
* ItsForABook: He just wants to ''[[MindRape interview]]'' you, [[spoiler:Detective Braun]]! [[spoiler: Richard]] [[IdiotBall really should have known better than to fall for that line]] too, considering that he already suspected Johan of being a murderer and Johan introduced himself by name. Someone with that kind of critical information shouldn't allow the person they suspect of being a killer anywhere near them, no matter what story the person uses.
* ItsPersonal
* IWishedYouWereDead: Tenma wishes the hospital director and his underlings would die, while venting to a supposedly unconscious patient. Aforementioned patient gladly obliges.
* JigsawPuzzlePlot: Mostly in terms of Johan's backstory.
* [[spoiler:JokerImmunity: In ''Another Monster'', Johan is revealed to be alive three years after the events of ''Monster''.]]
* KeepCirculatingtheTapes:
** Thanks to an edited version of the first ED song beyond Viz Media's control, and with [[UnpleasableFanbase such a grateful fanbase as this series has]], there's a good chance that there will never be an R1 ''Monster'' DVD Volume 2. It also doesn't help matters that Naoki Urasawa's works have never been successful in the United States.
*** Averted now that entire freaking series is [[http://www.hulu.com/naoki-urasawas-monster available dubbed streaming]] on Hulu.
*** And [[http://www.youtube.com/show/monster Youtube]] for for no-American viewers.
* TheKillerInMe: Lunge thinks Tenma has a SplitPersonality and is committing murders without realizing it since Johan does such a good job of staying invisible that the only clues he is able to find point to Tenma.
* KillHimAlready: When it's the villain who says it, you're in for a [[MindRape treat]].
* LampshadeHanging: The basic premise of the story is a stretch to believe (though Urasawa pulls it off), and every so often, someone in-story will helpfully point this out, usually at the expense of Tenma (or anyone who has come around to his view). See also ScullySyndrome.
* LetThemDieHappy: Subverted. [[spoiler:At the brink of death, Roberto asks Johan to "show him the landscape of the doomsday." Johan stares gloomily at his shoes and replies, "You can't see it."]]
* LoadsAndLoadsOfCharacters: The last half of the manga collections include flowcharts with running updates to help you keep track of who's who and how they're related.
* LocardsTheory: [[PlayingWithATrope Played with]]. Inspector Lunge believes it. Unfortunately, it's not true.
* LossOfIdentity: Analyzed and played with.
* TheManBehindTheMan: [[spoiler:Franz Bonaparta, the one in charge of the experiments at Kinderheim 511 and the readings at the Red Rose Mansion.]] [[PlayingWithATrope Except]] he isn't the main villain.
* MaybeEverAfter: Do Lotte and Karl get together after all? How about Tenma and Nina? Sure seems like there's interest on both parts near the end, but there's no clear answer aside from the subtext.
* MeaningfulName: Johan, Ruhenheim, and what's up with Franz Bonaparta?
* {{Meganekko}}: Lotte Frank.
* MexicanStandoff: Gratuitous with a capital G. The whole series is made of this trope.
* MightyWhitey: Inverted. Japanese Dr. Tenma is the youngest and most skilled surgeon in a German hospital.
* MindRape: Happens quite often, usually thanks to Johan. Bonaparta has a whole pedagogy founded on this.
* MissingMom: Helenka and [[spoiler:the twins' mother, Anna.]]
* MoreThanMindControl: Johan's modus operandi. Roberto even seemed ''in love'' with him. (''"You have such nice eyes. Just like Johan."'') He also [[spoiler:reminded Roberto of his only memory: how much he loved the hot cocoa served weekly.]]
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone:
** Bonaparta, after [[spoiler:Grimmer]]'s death.
** Tenma, after [[spoiler: he realized what he brought back into the world when he saved Johan]] and [[spoiler: when he thinks he killed Roberto]].
** Milch, when [[spoiler: the guards carrying him and Tenma to prison run over his brother, who was supposed to pretend collapsing on the road in front of the car like Milch had taught him in order to aid their escape]].
* MythArc
* NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast: Inspector Lunge's name translates to Mr. Stake. Also, Roberto's real name is [[spoiler:Adolf.]]
* NearVillainVictory: Johan almost completes his plan in [[spoiler:getting Dr. Tenma to shoot and kill him and thus corrupting him.]]
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed:
** The Baby resembles Peter Lorre. Makes sense, 'cause it's in Germany.
** Except Lorre was [[http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000048/bio taller and less German]]--and WordOfGod says the Baby's inspiration came from TwinPeaks.
*** Baby's first appearance is immediately recognizable as inspired in the Twin Peak's "dwarf" character because even the music is similar to the one used in Twin Peaks. The piece that inspires the scene is in the end of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guwl1w0yFGk this sequence]].
** Dr. Julius Reichwein looks like Wilford Brimley.
** There's also the uncanny resemblance between Lunge and [[SherlockHolmes that other super sleuth]].
* NoGoodDeedGoesUnpunished: Tenma just wanted to save a life. Just see how it ended.
* NoMrBondIExpectYouToDine: Pulled twice with Nina, and then with a [[LampshadeHanging lampshaded]] [[AvertedTrope aversion]] for Grimmer and Tenma in Prague.
* NoNameGiven: So many characters that a major theme in the series is how it is not to have a name. Others live with multiple aliases. A character who goes by a nickname for the entire series dies before his real name is revealed. Johan and Nina's true names were never given; [[spoiler:Tenma learns their real names in the end, [[TheUnreveal but the audience doesn't]].]]
* NotSoDifferent
* NotSoStoic: Out of all people, thanks in part to his CharacterDevelopment, [[spoiler:Lunge gets angry when Roberto starts talking about his failed marriage and how his grandchild doesn't even know his biological grandfather.]] He gets another one soon after when he starts up a ShutUpHannibal moment.
** Also, [[spoiler: Lunge gets very giddy when he learns that Tenma saved his life]].
** A third one by Lunge [[spoiler: bringing a beer to Grimmer's grave as they promised each other in a heartfelt moment, and informing his fellow mourners that he was able to gain contact with his estranged daughter and grandson by email, even recognizing that they barely knew each other at all to begin with]].
** Grimmer has great difficulty [[StepfordSmiler properly expressing emotion]], always asking himself what is the appropriate response for this situation. But after watching [[spoiler:one of his boys turning towards the dark side]], he breaks down and cries, in genuine sorrow and worry.
* OffTheWagon: Subverted with Richard Braun. Averted with Eva.
* OhCrap: Everyone ''every time something happens''.
* {{Oktoberfest}}: Notable for being completely avoided. Monster is one of the most realistic portrayals of post-reunification Germany found in non-German fiction.
* OlderHeroVsYoungerVillain: Tenma vs. Johan.
* OminousLatinChanting: The series' opening theme, "Grain."
* OneSteveLimit: Averted. The series gives us three Martins and two Ottos. [[spoiler:And two Adolfs.]]
* OnlyAFleshWound: Mostly averted. A few people escape shots to the shoulder, but gut and thigh wounds kill several people. Averted when a character's shoulder's shot which cripples his arm for the rest of the series.
** Johan gets [[spoiler: shot in the head TWICE and gets away with little neurological damage the first time; not known the second time, though]].
* OnlyKnownByTheirNickname: Mafia boss "The Baby."
** Roberto is only known as such for the majority of the series; the audience eventually learns his name when it is revealed to some characters, but no one bothers to tell him.
** The twins' real names are [[spoiler: revealed to Tenma, but never to the audience; it's not known whether they learn their own names themselves, given that at that point it doesn't matter anymore]].
* OrphanageOfFear: Kinderheim 511.
* OrphanageOfLove: Anna/Nina's orphanage.
* PapaWolf: [[spoiler:Near the end of the series, Win's drunk, alcoholic father, shoots Johan in the head when Johan threatens Tenma with Win's life.]] See SpannerInTheWorks below.
* ParentalAbandonment: There is a mystery behind what happened to the Liebert twins' biological parents. [[spoiler:It's implied that their father was killed, but it's later revealed that the mother turns out to still be alive.]]
* ParentalMarriageVeto: According to ''Another Monster'', this was a major reason why Eva broke off her engagement with Tenma.
* ThePatientHasLeftTheBuilding: Johan is supposed to be in bed after brain surgery for a while, but Johan sneaks out and takes his sister with him. This however gets on a later stage with the locksmith, which becomes the first victim we see Johan execute in the series (the doctors he murdered are on another issue, that is indirect and as a "favor" to Tenma).
* PetTheDog: Eva has a straight moment, while Johan loves to [[SubvertedTrope subvert]] this for all it's worth. Roberto has a retroactive one.
* PhotoOpWithTheDog: Played straight as far as Heinemann's motivations are concerned. Otherwise, not so much.
* PointThatSomewhereElse
* PolarOppositeTwins: Johan and Nina.
* ThePowerOfFriendship: Both played straight ''and'' mindbendingly subverted, depending on who's in the scene.
* TheProfessor: All the psychologists we find.
* TheProfiler: Dr. Rudy and Lunge. Several other characters show elements of this as well.
* PublicSecretMessage: A former college classmate needs to get in touch with Tenma, so he puts an ad in the paper that simply says "Let's discuss our memories of cheating" (on tests).
** [[spoiler: Lunge figures it out pretty easily]].
* RareGuns: Tenma uses one of the rarest guns in existence--a one-off prototype sniper rifle which was turned down by the German army for being too expensive. Because the gun never got past the prototype stage, it was never given a true name.
** He never fires it at anyone and is presumably destroyed in the library fire.
* RescueRomance: This trope gets a pretty rough time of it, subversion-wise.
** Not counting that [[spoiler: Tenma rescues a mountain of people, who end up loving Tenma in one way or the other and their main drive is to prevent him from killing Johan or anyone for that matter]].
* RedemptionEqualsDeath: Muller, [[spoiler: one of the cops who killed Nina's foster parents]].
* RedemptionInTheRain: Deconstructed into tiny little pieces [[spoiler:and scattered all over Ruhenheim.]]
** A tamer subversion is when Eva begins crumbling apart at the moment she gazes at Tenma's apartment while standing in the rain.
* {{Retirony}}
* TheReveal: A ''lot''. One has trouble just counting how many people died.
* {{Revenge}}:
** Nina wants to kill [[spoiler:Johan]] primarily for killing her foster parents, though he's also killed almost every adult who has been kind to them since they were children. [[spoiler: she later wants to kill Johan so she can prevent Tenma from doing so; this is mutual]].
** Eva wants Tenma to rot in prison for life out of spitefulness due to the latter dumping her and later attempts to get revenge after [[spoiler:Martin]]'s death. [[spoiler: She gets over both]].
** [[spoiler:The twins' mother Anna]] warns Franz Bonaparta that she will get her revenge on him through her children. [[spoiler: Cue almost twenty years and hundreds of corpses; gallons upon gallons of blood on the hands of a man that almost stopped everything because he fell in love with her]]. Way to stick it up to him, girl!
* ReverseWhodunnit
* RhetoricalRequestBlunder: Dr. Tenma says in front of the [[ConverseWithTheUnconscious apparently unconscious]] Johan that his corrupt superiors at the hospital "would be better off dead!" So Johan kills them.
* RoomFullOfCrazy: Johan likes to leave messages on walls. And bits of derelict industrial sites. [[spoiler:He also goes to some trouble to set up a RoomFullOfCrazy based on ''someone else's'' childhood trauma, all for MoreThanMindControl.]]
* RousseauWasRight: Tenma's conclusion, and arguably that of the series itself.
* SadisticChoice
* ScullySyndrome: Virtually epidemic, if understandable. Lunge is the most standout case, but nearly everyone tends to come down with a dose of this when they first hear the main story. [[spoiler:Check out the late-arriving cops in Ruhenheim's reaction to Gillen's explanations.]]
* SerialEscalation: Just how bad does a person have to be before you, the viewer, stop sympathizing with them?
* SerialKiller: You have three seconds to make a guess who. Though he's far from the only one.
* [[spoiler:ShaggyDogStory]]: Arguably, but a rare non-negative example. [[spoiler:Tenma's outlook on humanity by the end is more important than whether or not he kills Johan. When he went all that way to let him live again, one can say it made the buildup pointless, but it showed that Tenma felt that he wasn't necessarily wrong in the first place.]]
* ShipTease: The subtext between Tenma and Nina.
* ShoutOut: The central chase of Tenma owes quite a bit to ''Series/TheFugitive'' TV series (as did the TV "Hulk" for that matter). Also, Mr. Rosso mentions that one of his favorite films is ''Summertime'' from 1955. The professor in Nina's introductory scene is a shout out to John Houseman's character in ''Movie/The Great Paper Chase.'' The backstory of the [[spoiler:escape artist who helps Tenma]] features a shoutout to ''TheShawshankRedemption''. Johan's character also had similarity with [[RedSkull another Johann who involved with Nazi.]]
* ShownTheirWork: The operation scenes are largely accurate, and the renderings of Germany and the Czech Republic are extremely faithful.
* ShutUpHannibal: Lunge's response to [[spoiler:Roberto]]'s speech about Johan's plan.
* SlasherSmile: While he rarely ever shows emotion, right before he [[spoiler:asks Richard if he would like a drink]], Johan makes one of the most sadistic slasher smiles imaginable once he realizes that he's broken [[spoiler:Richard.]]
** Roberto, in turn, rarely stops smiling.
** Subverted: Grimmer's default is to smile; he's not a slasher or a bad guy but when he goes over the limit, well...
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: The very plot essentially revolves around the question of whether Tenma's idealism and determination to cause good by doing good can survive against Johan's horrifyingly convincing attempts to demonstrate that they're NotSoDifferent and that it's all a SickSadWorld in which an act of human kindness is objectively futile.
* SlidingScaleOfSillinessVersusSeriousness: Very much on the serious side. Some welcome touches of silliness, albeit often as a foil to the horror aspects.
* SmugSnake: Many, many people.
* SocialServicesDoesNotExist: Justified (sort of) in the [[CommieLand Eastern Bloc]] sections since Bonaparta has connections in high places, but apart from the Lieberts, ''none'' of the twins' (or Johan's) foster parents appear to have gone through any formal process, or been caught, even when registering kids in school or reporting them missing to the police.
** Dieter chooses to stay with Tenma while on the run; Nina even suggests that he shouldn't be involved, but the damn runt is tremendously stubborn. For a while, Dieter hangs with Tenma to [[spoiler: keep him from carrying out his assassination plot against Johan, though later, no adult that he comes across with even considers trying to do something about him]].
*** [[spoiler: as someone familiar with the whole history, Dieter is a potential target of Johan as well]].
* SoundtrackDissonance: The second ending, when used after a particularly TearJerker-y or dramatic scene.
* SpannerInTheWorks: The only thing Johan couldn't plan for? [[spoiler:The fact that Wim's father would be there to shoot him in the head instead of Tenma.]]
* SpellMyNameWithAnS:
** Johan/Johann, Kenzo/Kenzou, and Runge/Lunge, among others.
** In case you were wondering, it's Johan, Runge, Braun, and Schubert (as opposed to Shuwald). It's all in the series, they show it on business cards, posters, and such. Tenma's first name, seeing as everything takes place in Germany, is more accurately transliterated without the 'u'. Despite ''Johan'' being perhaps less accurate than ''Johann'', it is still the official name used by Urasawa.
* SplitPersonality: Tenma and Nina draw to the conclusion that Johan has two personalities: his normal self and the "monster" inside him. Later, it is revealed that Johan was merely toying with them. Lunge incorrectly deduces that Tenma has a split personality named "Johan" who is committing all the murders.
** SplitPersonalityTakeover: A frequent outcome of applied Bonaparta-style pedagogical experiments, though some of the claims to it are put in question.
** Also [[spoiler: The Magnificent Steiner]], until the 3rd-to-last episode.
* SternChase
* StrikeMeDownWithAllOfYourHatred
* SuicideByCop: [[spoiler:What Johan hopes to accomplish.]]
* SurprisinglyGoodEnglish: The German and Czech words and names are mostly accurate.
* SycophanticServant: [[ManipulativeBastard Johan's]] [[MoreThanMindControl human tools]] run the gamut of competence, according to his needs, but some, like [[spoiler:Hartmann and various incarcerated killers]] are this, and at most serve to help him spread havoc and misery.
* TakingOverTheTown: A variation occurs in the finale; Johan plans to give himself the "perfect suicide" where he and some of his accomplices move to a rural town right before it gets isolated by seasonal bad weather, cut off communications with the outside world, provide guns to some of the civilians and then just watch them go crazy with paranoia and kill each other. [[spoiler: He is stopped before casualties get too high, but there were still plenty of deaths from it.]] While this is a case of KillEmAll rather than trying to take control, the tactics he uses are quite normal for this trope, and in a way, he is taking over the town by infecting them with his own nihilism and hopelessness.
* TalkingTheMonsterToDeath: [[HannibalLecture Inverted]].
* TalkingToTheDead: Quite a few times, [[spoiler:though sometimes, the person addressed is [[HesJustHiding just hiding]].]] Sometimes accompanied by LibationForTheDead, or (guess who?) setting something on fire.
* TastesLikeFriendship: Repeatedly, almost to the point of FoodPorn, fortunately at a reasonable distance from the horror, and with an eclectic range of cuisines. Also used as a connection with others, rejection of nihilism, or undergoing a HeelFaceTurn. Bad guys are rarely shown enjoying food, and if they do, they tend to be [[EvilTastesGood weird]] about it.
** Tenma's favorite meal is a sandwich, and is so because of Nina; even Dieter learns to prepare them and tells Nina that the sandwiches are Tenma's favorite.
* TemptingApple: Johan gives Schubert an apple to convince him that the woodland of his younger days is still there. In the short run, this ingratiates himself with him; in the long run, if he ever finds out otherwise it's likely to contribute into Johan's favourite trick of driving people to suicide.
* TemptingFate: [[spoiler:"I'm surprised I lived through that." Cue the fatal bullet wound.]]
** Blue Sophie to Johan: "How big is the body count again?" [[spoiler: It's about to get one bigger.]]
* ThemeTuneCameo: Occasionally you'll hear the opening theme in the background of a bar or restaurant.
* ThisIsSomethingHesGotToDoHimself
* ThisIsUnforgivable: [[spoiler:Anna to Franz Bonaparta.]]
* TitleDrop
* ThouShaltNotKill: Tenma plans on keeping his hands clean until he gets his chance with Johan. [[spoiler:And once he does, he changes his mind.]]
* TokenEvilTeammate: Otto Heckel can be viewed as this.
* TomatoInTheMirror: [[spoiler:Some of Johan's traumatic memories that were supposed to be his FreudianExcuse were actually based off what Anna told him after ''she'' returned from the Red Rose Mansion. ''Not him''.]]
* TooDumbToLive: The patient in episodes 3 and 4. The former has him run straight into traffic without hesitation, while the latter has him run into an unlit area at night. After seeing a security guard fall down dead. While there's someone really nasty trying to kill him. [[DullSurprise Surprise surprise]], this patient is promptly found and horribly killed.
** [[spoiler: Richard Braun]] decides it's a good idea to go out drinking with his lead suspect (who introduced himself by name) without telling anyone. He follows this up by following said suspect up to an abandoned rooftop in the middle of the night, while shouting, "[[TemptingFate I know what you're up to, kid!]]" Needless to say, it ends badly.
* TrainingMontage Episode 9 of the anime.
* TranslationConvention: Japanese stands in for mostly German; on other occasions it stands in for English, Czech, maybe French, and Latin.
** This is particularly weird in a scene where Dieter, who only speaks German, needs Tenma to translate what a British couple is saying, even though we hear them all speaking the same language.
** You'd also notice that there's an awful lot of locals in Prague, Czech Republic, who apparently speak fluent German (if not all of them).
* TruthInTelevision: A Japanese neurosurgeon living in Germany is actually not as strange as you might think. Japan has roughly the same number of neurosurgeons as the United States, a country with more than twice its population. For that reason, many of them end up going abroad in search of work. The two most common places they go are Germany and the US.
* TurnTheOtherCheek: Tenma for the most part and Anna/Nina eventually. Completely averted with the twins' mother.
* TwinDesynch: Played straight, subverted, ''and'' twisted.
* {{Tykebomb}}: Aiming to build SuperSoldiers can backfire on everyone involved [[spoiler:not just the subjects, though they tend to get off least lightly]].
* {{Ubermensch}}: Johan, Tenma, and arguably Nina/Anna as well.
* UnderdressedForTheOccasion: Eva won't let Martin accompany her into the hotel because he doesn't meet the dress code.
* UnmovingPlaid: In the manga.
* TheUnreveal: [[spoiler:Johan's and Anna/Nina's real names.]]
* ViewersAreGoldfish: The first episode of the anime.
* VillainEpisode: The Baby gets one of these [[spoiler:just before he gets killed.]]
* TheVillainMakesThePlot: Notable aversion. Johan is not the only clever aspect of this series. Not by far.
** Also, he rarely appears on-screen.
* VillainousBreakdown: [[spoiler:Despite assuring himself that everything is going according to plan, [[SmugSnake Petr Capek]] starts to grow increasingly paranoid after The Baby is killed, eventually killing his own bodyguard in a fit of paranoia. An action which is later avenged by the bodyguard's comrades, who shoot down Capek.]]
* WeCanRuleTogether: You'll never guess who uses this for UnwittingPawn bait on lesser bads.
* WellIntentionedExtremist: Lawyer and his friend.
* WhatBeautifulEyes: Roberto telling Nina, "You have beautiful eyes. Just like Johan's..."
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse:
** To Karl Schuwald's foster parents, the Neumanns. Though it can be assumed that after Hans Georg Schubert officially accepted Karl as his biological son, Karl's foster parents probably accepted it.
** [[spoiler:The couple Johan stayed with in Munich.]] Reichwein warns them that they'll likely end up being killed like all of the others. Whether it happened or not is never mentioned, [[spoiler:but it can be assumed that it did.]]
** There's also Gustof, who is never mentioned again after he's taken to the hospital, as is Christof.
** The woman pretending to be Roberto's wife is never scene again after she helped to torch the library.
** Muller's new family after his death: [[spoiler: he kills Roberto's henchmen while rescuing Nina, but there's no knowledge of whether there were any repercussions against them for his actions, as Roberto DID threaten Muller by using his family against him just hours before; Nina might have told them to flee, but it's not known]].
* WhoWouldWantToWatchUs: "Go write a book about it. Won't sell, though."
* WhyDontYouJustShootHim: Roberto favors this approach when it comes to Nina, Tenma, or anyone in Johan's way, but apparently gets overruled.
* WickedCultured: Johan, Kristof, and various doctors dabbling in eugenics and brain-washing.
* WillTheyOrWontThey: Between Nina leaning on Tenma every two panels and Tenma [[spoiler:telling Nina that he has nothing to live for without her]], it's definitely there. Even if you're [[BrainBleach disturbed]] by the [[MayDecemberRomance age difference]]. To a lesser extent, Karl and Lotte.
** Regarding Tenma and Nina, after what they've been through together, one is left not really caring about the age difference anyway. In the end [[spoiler: Nina is ecstatic when she hears that Tenma is coming back to Germany]].
* WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds: Johan for Karl, Lotte, and Nina. In Another Monster, Karl reveals that [[spoiler:despite everything Johan put him through, Karl could never bring himself to hate Johan as he believed Johan's tears for him were real]]. Lotte, similarly, says that she doesn't hate him and that she believes [[spoiler:Johan couldn't bring himself to kill Karl because Karl wanted things -- family and a home -- that Johan could never have nor understand]]. Nina, for her part, believes that [[spoiler: had she not shot Johan, had she been able to forgive him, he would not have continued killing]].
* WorldHalfFull: The world of ''Monster'' is filled with some very nasty things, but there's a lot of hope if you know where to look.
* WouldntHurtAChild: [[AvertedTrope Yeah, right]].
* WrongGenreSavvy:
** Nina thinks the romantic emails she's been receiving are from her "PrinceCharming." They're actually from [[spoiler:[[{{Squick}} Johan]].]]
** Suk ends up in the same situation, believing that his story is a romance where he wins over the beautiful girl in the bar. [[spoiler:[[UnsettlingGenderReveal Turns out this was Johan too]].]]
* TheWrongRightThing: How Tenma got into this.
* YankTheDogsChain: It's almost a guarantee that once someone's luck turns around, they are going to be killed. Almost.
* YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness: Johan likes to clean up loose ends. And by "clean up," we mean "murder."
* YouMeddlingKids: [[spoiler:Pedrov/Biermann tells [[DramaticIrony Grimmer]] the 511 Kinderheim project would have worked out just great, if his successors hadn't let the [[DramaticIrony anomalous]] EnfantTerrible get out of hand.]] Also played straighter with Dieter's and the orphanage boys' interventions.
* YouMonster: Quite a few characters to Johan. It's right there in the title.
* YoungConqueror: Johan has all the qualifications, but rather than changing the world, he wants to destroy it, [[ForTheEvulz just because he can]].
* YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame: "But you're special, Doctor Tenma. You saved my life. You're like a father to me... I'm really glad I was able to pay you back... All I did was grant your wish." Cue Tenma's HeroicBSOD.
* ZenSurvivor: There's a nod to this trope in Rosso, Wolf, and other minor characters, though it's never fully played straight.
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