A character sheet for Naoki Urasawa's manga/anime Monster.
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Dr. Kenzo Tenma
Dr. Kenzo Tenma
- An Aesop: In-universe, he gives some of these.
- Action Survivor: Dr. Tenma is initially an average person, insofar as a well-known brain surgeon can be average. The series' circumstances force him to become a hardened survivor.
- Adaptational Attractiveness: In the manga, he starts off plain and downright funny-looking. The anime takes its cue from the later chapters' Hot!Tenma◊.
- Adorkable: Before his badass upgrade made him stop being a doormat.
- Adrenaline Makeover: Ahem.◊
- All-Loving Hero: This is both a large advantage and similarly a large disadvantage to him because of the complex location on the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism that Monster inhabits.
- The Atoner: 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.
- Badass Pacifist: He can take a beating, jump off a bridge to avoid confrontation, and save people's lives while avoiding the police and criminals alike.
- Beware the Nice Ones: Tenma is kind and righteous, but false accusations force him on a path to become much more assertive.
- Barbarian Longhair: Subverted, he's not, by any definition, a barbarian. But by most persons in the series, his long hair is perceived as ugly.
- Beware the Honest Ones: Tenma's idealism turned out pretty bad for his money-grubbing boss.
- Big Good: This is particularly evident in arcs where he is offstage or not the main character. In keeping with his nearly messianic role, by the end, nearly all the characters would do anything to protect him.
- Break the Cutie: By all accounts, he's sweet and adorable, but his entire life is ruined by the actions of a former patient.
- Brown Eyes: Tenma's eyes are brown, and he's shown to be idealistic.
- Care Bear Stare: He frequently does this, illustrating his initial idealism.
- Celibate Hero: Post-Eva, although there is some subtext involving Nina that may avert this. In Another Monster, it is explained that he was still quite the celibate during his high school years and even purposely didn't get together with a girl who liked him (and the feeling was somewhat mutual) merely because he was friends with her (cheating) boyfriend.
- Character Development: He begins as a well-respected, compassionate Over the series, he becomes more driven and ruthless.
- Cheaters Never Prosper: Averted, though not soon enough for poor Gillen's complex. He cheated on a test in medical school, which made him excel, which made one of his classmates jealous. This acquaintance later becomes an important character.
- Chronic Hero Syndrome: Despite his goal of hunting down Johan, he'll never turn down helping a stranger, even if the person's a criminal.
- Clear My Name: Averted. His reason for hunting down Johan isn't to clear his name but to rather correct the error he made in keeping Johan alive.
- Combat Medic: "This is the carotid artery. Even a ballpoint pen could kill him, if you pierce it in the right spot."
- The Drifter: Justified since he was a murder suspect and has to be on the run from the police.
- Expository Hairstyle Change: Starts off clean-cut, but gets progressively more disheveled.
- The Fettered: His beliefs frequently make him question his mission.
- Forgets to Eat: Quite frequently. At other instances, he'll bemoan the lack of soy sauce in Western cuisine.
- Friend to All Children: The good doctor loves children, and he is perfectly willing to help them. He even formed an Intergenerational Friendship with Dieter, a kid.
- Friend to All Living Things: He saved a hurt bird in the time he was training as a gunmen. Later, when he was talking with a former friend to all living things, a finch landed in Tenma's arm.
- Gentleman and a Scholar: He is a highly-accomplished brain surgeon and an incredibly caring and selfless man.
- Good Is Not Dumb: Well, he's good, and intelligent. Heck, he's a brain surgeon. Beyond fitting the literal trope title, however, Roberto underestimates him at one point because of his goodness and pays for it by losing the use of his right arm.
- Good Is Not Soft: While a genius neurosurgeon, he is nice, humble and compassionate. When Johan becomes a threat, he takes a level in badass and takes a journey to stop him. Also, he doesn't hesitate to threaten people with his pistol if their actions endanger one or more lifes.
- The Heart: Tenma is the moral center of a morally complex series.
- The Hero: Deconstructed. He is inaguably the protagonist, and he's very heroic, motivations and rumination aside.
- Heroic Resolve: Kenzo is resilient to no end, no matter the circumstances.
- Hero with Bad Publicity: Wanted for the very murders that he keeps trying to stop.
- Honor Before Reason: Though he cares about the "right thing" rather than any type of personal honor.
- Humble Hero: He never takes credit for his good deeds and maintains that all people are equal despite conspicuously being better than everybody else in every imaginable way.
- Hurting Hero: He's haunted by the actions of a former patient, who destroyed his life.
- Intelligence Equals Isolation: His medical capabilities make him isolated among peers.
- I'm Not Hungry: When he was captured by the police, he refused to eat for so long they had to put him on an IV. Which doubles as Fridge Brilliance, as he was trying to end up in the infirmary in order to get in touch with Gunther Milch.
- Inconvenient Hippocratic Oath. All the more so (or not) for being an integral part of what he comes to be about after the first episode.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: One of the rare examples of this trope being pulled off successfully. No matter how complicated things get, he retains his idealistic views on humanity.
- Japanese Pronouns: Starts out using the somewhat immature boku and progresses on to the more mature and formal watashi after the first Time Skip.
- Just in Time: He saves Reichwein, who came VERY close to being killed by Roberto, just in time in episode 30.
- The Last DJ: Both played straight and averted, in short succession. His integrity makes him lose his job.
- Last Name Basis: People tend to call him by his last name rather than his first name, even when they've got to know him well—including Nina and Eva (though the latter is the one that does it least).
- Magnetic Hero: He's kind, charming, and persuasive.
- Manly Tears: He does cry, but it doesn't make him appear weak; it showcases just how horrible his life gets, in spite of how much he tries.
- Married to the Job: Noted constantly, one of his fellow physicians tried to hook him up with other loves, but he was more focused on his job.
- Messianic Archetype: To counter Johan's Antichrist
- Mr. Fanservice: Probably unintentional on the creator's part. But as an older colleague enviously puts it, "Who would have thought you were talented in that department, too?"
- Nice Guy: He's very nice. This is both a blessing and a curse, considering how dark the series is. It gets him a lot of friends, but it also gets him into difficult situations.
- No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: He helped Johan, and then he's framed for murder.
- Parental Favoritism: It's mentioned in Another Monster that his father favored him, his youngest son, over his other brothers. However, his mother favored his two older half-brothers (who are unrelated to her) more than him.
- Save the Villain: At first unknowingly, in the case of saving the young Johan from his asked-for bullet wound to the head. By the end, he does it again, this time intentionally, to defy Johan's point.
- Skilled, but Naïve: Tenma's a surgical prodigy, but it's not his relative inexperience with a scalpel that gets him into trouble in the beginning. It's his inexperience with another aspect of being a doctor: hospital politics.
- The So-Called Coward:
- "Tenma the Weenie! Tenma the Weenie! He peed his pants, too!"
- Even more so considering the full story given in Another Monster. After the first time the other boys scared him during hide-and-seek, Tenma decided to go through it again in order to conquer his fear. What ended up happening was that they couldn't find him and thought that he just went home, so when one of the mothers told them it was time to go home, they left Tenma by himself. When they found him still hiding in the abandoned yard at night, they probably stopped picking on him simply because he had the guts to do all that.
- Technical Pacifist: Although he has no problem pushing, kicking, shoving, and threatening with violence, he has a hard time causing harm to others even if it is to defend his own life.
- Think Nothing of It: Does not like to take credit for his achievements, e.g. denying that he'd saved the Turkish district.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: A personal philosophy that looks especially interesting when pitted against his initial tantrums of, "These people need to die."
- Took a Level in Badass: Early in the series, after receiving weapons training from an ex-mercenary.
- Trademark Favorite Food: Heckel notes that Tenma thinks that any recipe can be improved with soy sauce. And if the fandom on Tumblr has anything to say about it, sandwiches.
- Turn the Other Cheek: Constantly, over and over again. He does this to his fellow doctors, as well as his enemies.
- Übermensch: By the end of the series, although he starts out as a very clear-cut Last Man. His personal beliefs evolve over the course of the series. He becomes less conflicted, and more willing to do what's necessary.
- Unkempt Beauty: Disheveled and still he looks very well.
- Unwitting Pawn: Used, reused, and subverted. A lot of his actions, even his goal are propelled and encouraged by Johan.
- White and Gray Morality: How he sees the world.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: Determinedly and stubbornly so. Tenma is convinced that all life is equal, and that everyone can be saved. His beliefs put him at odds with nearly everyone, as he's one of the few idealists in the series.
- Wrongly Accused: The whole plot is to save Johan who framed him in the first place, though he's more concerned about saving him and less concerned about being proven innocent.
- Agent Peacock: He's extremely effeminate in appearance, cross dresses, and is very poetic. He's also a monstrous sociopath.
- The Antichrist: Not literally (though he might be), but certain Revelation passages parallel his life and are used as an epigraph for the series. He also likes to tempt people in high places and at one point hands someone an apple.
- Attractive Bent-Gender: Dresses in drag and seduces Jan Suk. For a very old-fashioned girl sense of "seduce," anyway. Or maybe he has stubble issues.
- Asexual: Displays no interest in anyone except his sister and Tenma, and that's purely platonic for the former and he just wants to mess with the latter's life.
- Ax-Crazy: A very subdued and disturbing one. He never goes visibly nuts, is very soft-spoken, polite, and overall calm at almost all times. However, if you associate with him, you will die. If you meet him, you will die. If you make eye contact, you will die. If you so much as think about him, you will die. And if you won't think of him, he just has to think about you, and you'll be just as dead.
- Badass Bookworm: He's as intellectual as he is vicious.
- Badass in a Nice Suit: Johan is a very well-dressed serial killer.
- Bait-and-Switch Boss: The Thursday Boy, with all the apocalyptic and previous information about him changing names, you'd never suspect this was an impostor. The actual Johan tutored with the professor in Munich under a different day and under his own name, you got to hand to him pulling that off.
- Big Bad: He's the titular Monster.
- Bishōnen: He's very effeminate. Either way, bishonen plus homicidal, anti-christ-like psychopath makes for a very dangerous (if not deadly) combination...
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: He's a great guy to hang out with, and a good listener, too! He'll even shed Tender Tears when you tell your troubles. He'll also cheer up your ailing elderly parents better than you ever could, and get along better with your kids, too. Then he'll do utter atrocities to you when you're of no use to him.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: Interestingly enough, his hair is conspicuously lighter than Nina's.
- Broken Ace: Of the evil variety. He's perfect at everything, including killing and manipulation.
- Cain and Abel: The Cain to Anna's Abel. He's a serial killer, and she's his sister.
- Card-Carrying Villain: He's fully aware of what he is and doesn't even try to justify his actions.
- Cast as a Mask: The anime does this. To make the reveal that the pretty new girl in town is actually Johan more shocking, the studio used Nina's voice actress to play Johan whenever he dons this look. This is done both in the Japanese version and in the English dub.
- The Chessmaster: An extremely effective one, able to control entire operations from great distances.
- Commie Nazis: Having grown up in an East German orphanage, he'd have been raised communist. This doesn't stop Neo-Nazis exalting him as the next Hitler. Bonus points for the Anti Christ motifs. Truth in Television - the vast majority of Neo-Nazis in modern Germany are from the East German areas, which are harsher and poorer than the West. A lot of Neo-Nazis were disillusioned teenagers raised in a communist society.
- Corruption by a Minor: Quite a few times, and we're not talking getting other kids to scrump apples here. Or just kids, for that matter. Inspires a taxi driver to emulate the film Taxi Driver without (thankfully) even going Lolicon about it, at the age of ten. Even before that, he engineered the Kinderheim 511 massacre.
- The Corrupter: What tries to do those with corrupt hearts, making them indulge in their desires and for those like Tenma, he wants him to become He Who Fights Monsters.
- Creepy Blue Eyes: His light blue eyes are used to highlight how terrifying he is.
- Creepy Child: He caused a mass homicide among a cult at the age of ten.
- Creepy Crossdresser: And he's really pretty, too!
- Creepy Monotone: Very apparent in the English version, where in the Japanese, he comes across as soft spoken.
- Crocodile Tears: Johan, when "lending a shoulder", actually sheds a tear during a conversation with Karl, when the latter recounts his own childhood, the tragic life of his mother, and being moved from one foster home to another. And when he cries, it looks very convincing — but don't be fooled, especially when you, the audience, are already aware of what an amazing actor Johan is. So of course, his tears were fake.
- In Another Monster, both Lotte and Karl himself contend that Johan's tears about Karl's past were genuine, but an Alternative Character Interpretation of this in-universe Alternative Character Interpretation may be that Johan's manipulative abilities were so powerful that people still wanted to view him sympathetically even after they learned he was evil.
- Possibly subverted when Nina reveals that Johan had been crying while perusing through Bonaparta's sketches of the twins in the "Vampire's House".
- Cultured Badass: He's knowledgeable in several subjects, and he can even read Latin. He's also a murderer.
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Notably averted. He does use his borderline super-human skills and abilities to make a living, but it's never more than a means.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Not really. He just did what he always does.
- Death Seeker: This is his ultimate goal, insofar as he has one. He just wants to bring everyone else with him.
- Dissonant Serenity: His default facial expression changes about twice in the series' entire run. Both times it makes him even more creepy.
- The Dreaded: Every character who has knowledge of Johan is deathly afraid of him. One commits suicide when he's brought up too much in conversation and others start shaking uncontrollably just thinking about him.
- Driven to Villainy: Horrifyingly. Sure, he was already an Enfant Terrible by as a child, but he was severely warped by the empathic bond that formed between his sister and him when they were still very young. While she repressed the psychological torture she'd gone through, he began to think it had happened to him instead... and thus from that seed a monster grew.
- Enfant Terrible: He commits several murders as a child.
- Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Though it is debatable on whether he's even capable of love, his obsession with Anna/Nina doesn't make it any less disturbing. However, it is notable that his greatest fear is forgetting about "Anna."
- Even the Guys Want Him: He was cross-dressing at the time. On the other hand, Roberto worships him.
- Evil Twin: He's Anna's twin, and he's a serial killer.
- Evil Virtues: Works hard, is resourceful, ambitious, patient, and determined.
- Face of an Angel, Mind of a Demon: For someone who's commonly compared to the antichrist, he looks very kind.
- Faux Affably Evil: He charms, he smiles, he seems to care and he's such a beautiful and brilliant young man... as he uses you and kills you and if he takes enough of an interest in you, he will probably take the time to kill all your hopes and dreams, first.
- For the Evulz: He sometimes does things simply because he can.
- Gentleman and a Scholar: He feigns to be this.
- Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: How did he get his eyes to be so wide?
- Hot Guys Are Bastards: He is beautiful. He is also a really dangerous person.
- Irony: One of the reasons he became the guy he is, is due to the empathy he felt for his sister's traumatic experiences. That's right, compassion made him a monster.
- I've Come Too Far: Near the end, Johan reveals that he believes that he crossed the Moral Event Horizon long ago, and that it is too late for him to redeem himself. So there's no reason for him to stop committing his horrible actions anyway.
- I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: He does this for Anna/Nina twice. He willingly allows Anna to shoot him after finding out that he killed the Lieberts, and the reason behind his "perfect suicide" plan of a massacre in Ruhenheim along with eradicating his existence (mirroring Franz Bonaparta's Red Rose Mansion massacre, which is in itself an "expression of love" to the twins' mother) was partly due to how irredeemable he has become and to make Nina happy.
- I Will Find You: One of Johan's goals is to reunite with Nina. He tries to make contact with her a few times, but either Tenma or Neo-Nazis who want Johan for their own benefit have a tendency to get in the way.
- Karma Houdini: The ending does not make his fate clear, but he might have escaped the hospital. In Another Monster, it is revealed that he is in fact alive three years after the events of Monster.
- Klingon Promotion: Last-minute aversion when in his own words, "Something else came to mind." And by "something else," he does not mean resigning unobtrusively.
- Knight of Cerebus: Any plots where he has a hand in the operation instantly becomes darker.
- Light Is Not Good: He's a beautiful, almost angelic-looking man who gives off an aura of trust and kindness to all who meet him. Needless to say, he's almost unspeakably, irrevocably evil.
- Madness Mantra: "But that's not my real name." Reinforced by his supremely creepy fairy tale.
- Manipulative Bastard: His forte is to manipulate people to fullfill his plans.
- Meaningful Name: Apart from the context the name Johan has within the series, it is noteworthy that this is a version of John, whose Revelations provide the source for the series' epigraph. Although the St. John of Revelations is usually referred to as Johannes, a different (and more formal) German version of John. John is also one of the most stereotypically generic names, which may be a reference to his own lack of identity.
- Mommy Issues: Check out his little chat with her portrait, for starters.
- Mr. Fanservice: Creepy and evil, but quite handsome.
- Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: Everything he does is terrifying, and even the scenes of him as a child are disturbing in nature.
- Non-Action Big Bad: One of the things that makes him so scary is the fact that he barely needs to lift a finger to commit evil depraved deeds. He can just talk, point, pull a trigger...
- No Name Given: We never learn his real name.
- Not So Stoic: He breaks his stoicism in regards to his twin sister.
- OOC Is Serious Business: Is Johan showing a facial expression other than Dissonant Serenity? well, it's been nice knowing you...
- Parental Abandonment: There is a mystery behind what happened to the Liebert twins' biological parents. It's implied that their father was killed, but it's later revealed that the mother turns out to still be alive.
- Pretty Little Headshots: Averted, when shot as a child and as an adult, there is no exit wound.
- Pyro Maniac: Books, buildings, books and buildings...
- Self-Made Orphan: He repeatedly killed his foster families.
- Serial Killer: He dedicates to this
- Slasher Smile: Blink and you'll miss it, but when he sees that he's broken Richard, he makes an absolutely sadistic slasher smile.
- Smart People Know Latin: Becomes a plot point as he reads books in Latin for Hans Georg Schuwald, a wealthy man who he is trying to get close to.
- Softspoken Sadist: This. Oh. So. Much. And if you watched the anime and reached episodes 25 to 27 — where we meet Karl Neumann and co. — even if Johan hasn't physically shown up in a long time since episode 4 (not counting flashbacks), seeing him speaking very kindly and acting very nice is... erm, very creepy, for lack of better words; and kinda heartbreaking too because of how beautiful he is and how sincere he sounds. Especially when considering the fact that, by this time, we already know what he's capable of and how he's a master manipulator.
- Spell My Name with an "S":
- Johann is the German spelling; Johan the Czech. You choose.
- Also Liebheart is to Liebert.
- Stalker Without A Crush: To his sister. He sends her anonymous e-mails and even visits her university to watch her. Later, it is shown that he has studied her so well that he can impersonate her almost perfectly.
- The Stoic: Remains emotionless, cool, calm, and collected while he murders people and burns down a library. However...
- Straw Nihilist: Subverted, While he does think life itself is utterly meaningless, he also believes in something bigger. Unfortunately, what Johan believes in is evil.
- Strike Me Down with All of Your Hatred: He points at his forehead to order people to shoot him.
- The Svengali: He volunteers at an orphanage in order to drill his nihilistic philosophy into the children.
- Tragic Villain: He had a very tragic past. However, he also feels unable to stop his evilness.
- Trickster: He frequently uses people's hypocrisies and the lies they tell themselves against them. And he likes to spread havoc too.
- Uncanny Valley Girl: A male version, lampshaded in the Munich arc. He's actually at least initially less overtly uncanny when cross-dressing... but then again he is (mostly) impersonating his sister.
- Used to Be a Sweet Kid: Averted. Even then, he was pretty horrible.
- Villainous Breakdown/Villainous BSOD: After re-reading "The Monster With No Name" and again (offscreen) after Nina points out that some of "his" memories are actually hers. And once more when Nina forgives him in Ruhenheim and it becomes apparent that Tenma won't shoot him unless he actually threatens an innocent.
- White Hair, Black Heart: His hair isn't exactly white, but it's either a platinum blond or it's bordering on platinum blond. And it's natural too — no dyes. He's an evil character.
- Wicked Cultured: This is part of what makes him so terrifying and effective. He is practically a genius knowing many languages with a keen understanding of law which he uses to Mind Rape a certain character and was even able to run a massive money laundering scheme at fifteen-years-old.
- Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Ultimately a subversion. He suffered extreme trauma as a child and it's clear that it continues to haunt him. However, others suffered similarly without becoming monsters, and Hartmann admits that he couldn't have crafted a monster like Johan.
- Xanatos Speed Chess: He has a tendency to change his plans repeatedly, though typically with the same ultimate conclusion that Tenma will shoot him and thus denounce his ideals and become just as much of a monster as he is.
- Yandere: A creepy and platonic male example towards Anna/Nina.
- You Monster!: He isn't called one for nothing, you know. He serves as a very deliberate exploration and deconstruction of exactly what constitutes a "monster".
Anna Liebert / Nina Fortner
- Action Girl: Played straight and later deconstructed. She is phisically strong, but that does not equal having the mental fortitude to match.
- Bad Dreams: Before she recovers her memories of Johan, she has recurring dreams of a monster attacking her.
- Broken Ace: She would be perfect in every way, except that her mind is made of easily shattered glass.
- Celibate Heroine: There are a few guys in the series who seem to like her, but she either rejects them (Peter) or is outright oblivious (Lipsky). However, she does have some subtext with Tenma that may avert this.
- Driven to Suicide: When Johan showed her that she was the one in the Red Rose Mansion, she almost kills herself, but Tenma saved her on time.
- Dirty Harriet: She impersonated a prostitute to find his wicked brother.
- Distressed Damsel: Subverted early in the series. Played straight several times later on in the series including one case where she is saved from certain death by the same man who murdered her step-parents., as a part of the deconstruction theme that is a huge part of Monster. Though double subverted as people constantly try to capture her as a hostage and bait for Johan, but she willingly allows it if it means reuniting with Johan and killing him.
- Expy: She has qualities matching Laurie Strode from Halloween.
- Forgiveness: "I... I forgive you. Even if we were the last two people in the world, I would still forgive you."
- Good Is Not Dumb: She's a sweet girl and one of the best students in her class. However, she won't hesitate to use her Aikido or scare a Neo-Nazi shitless.
- Morality Pet: Subverted. She may be the one person in the whole world who Johan appears to care a great deal about and his greatest fear is forgetting about her, but he's not above mindraping her and nearly indirectly causing her to commit suicide. And her forgiving Johan doesn't stop the latter in wanting to get himself killed.
- Murder-Suicide: Once she regains her memories, her plan is to kill herself after killing Johan.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: We never learn her real name.
- Stepford Smiler: What her shrink suspects. With her issues, he's not too far off.
- Tomato in the Mirror: Double-subverted (if not more) by the way Johan and she both get their memories and identities confused with the other's.
- Took a Level in Badass: From ever-so-wholesome law student to hooker-impersonating, gangster-frightening gunslinger in about one volume, and mostly through her own efforts (Rosso only ever got to teach her pasta sauces). That said, she occasionally finds herself in way over her head later into the series.
Inspector Heinrich Lunge
- Voiced by: Tsutomu Isobe (JP), Richard Epcar (EN)
- Agent Scully: So, Dr. Tenma, you're saying a ten-year-old fresh out of major brain surgery killed these people?
- Ambiguous Disorder: He has a ridiculously impressive memory, but very strange mannerisms (such as his "imaginary typewriter") and is implied to obsess over closing his cases.
- Anti-Hero: Type III or IV. His heart seems to be in the right place, problem is he can come off as cold and uncaring, a good example being oblivious and uncaring to his daughter being pregnant or his wife having an affair.
- Badass Grandpa: As Roberto found out the hard way.
- Busman's Holiday: Subverted in that when he finally takes a vacation, he turns down a request for assistance from the local authorities. Otherwise, not so much played straight as sneakily turned Up to Eleven.
- Character Tics: His most distinguishing feature is his habit of moving his fingers as though he were typing, which helps him memorize information verbatim.
- Defective Detective: Very defective. It's only towards the end that he starts to become less dysfunctional.
- Determinator: He obsessively tracks Tenma across Germany, not caring how it affects his personal life. Not even risking death from blood loss prevents him from trying to prove Tenma guilty.
- Germanic Depressives: Lunge is obsessed with work, but we very, very rarely see him be happy about anything.
- Germanic Efficiency: Tells his subordinates to stop wasting their time with trivial, mind-numbing games and as they point out, all Lunge does is work.
- Inspector Javert: He wrongly believes Tenma is the murderer.
- Married to the Job: Viciously deconstructed. His obsession to his job damaged greatly his bond with family and almost got him fired.
- Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Inspector Lunge's name translates to Mr. Stake.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: There's an uncanny resemblance between Lunge and that other super sleuth.
- Not So Stoic: Thanks in part to his Character Development, 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 Shut Up, Hannibal! moment.
- Pet the Dog: In Ruhenheim, he helps save a lot of people, befriends Grimmer, and actually apologizes to Tenma!
- Photographic Memory: Deconstructed, his memory is oftentimes tainted by his bias and it oftentimes limits his objectivity.
- Spell My Name with an "S": The translated manga, some fansubbers, the English dub, and the official site of the anime all say "Lunge" as the correct spelling, while the anime shows "Runge" on his ID. While both are German surnames, "Runge" is far more common.
- Stern Teacher: To a hospitalized Suk. He becomes an actual teacher at the end.
- The Profiler: Played with. He's usually correct on guessing who the culprits are, with Tenma being the exception. He just can't predict how they'll react, one being Driven to Suicide and one almost killing him for revealing his motives.
- The Spock: He's able to guess motives, but he's not able to read the emotional reactions of cornered culprits, which nearly kills him at one point.
- The Stoic: He is always serious about his work and shows little emotion, which causes others to think he doesn't care about them.
- To Know Him, I Must Become Him: "I am Tenma. Domo."
- Wrong Genre Savvy: Played with. His assumptions on culprits of crimes is correct, he's not able to predict the reactions once they're cornered, especially one that manages to nearly kill him at one point. Then there's thinking Tenma has a Split Personality to justify the crimes rather than a ten year old boy doing so.
- All Take and No Give: How most of her relationships play out, Tenma declined her attempt to get back together for this very reason, still bitter on the whole thing, that and finding Johan was much more important.
- Break the Haughty: Her father's death is this for her, proving she can't just casually throw away people.
- Despair Event Horizon: Her father's death left her a drunken mess.
- Fallen Princess/Princess in Rags: Revolves a few times between these in the course of the series.
- From Bad to Worse: When waking up in a police cell with personal belongings missing, smoking someone else's cigarette butts off the ground outside the station just for the hit, and stealing booze from a panhandler is not the low point of her day, you know it's a steep downhill slope.
- Heel Realization: When Tenma told her that Martin died, she became remorseful of her treatment towards Martin and her wish to imprison Tenma even being aware of Johan evilness.
- Her Heart Will Go On: Eventually towards Tenma and Martin.
- Hypocrite: She acted for a while that Tenma abandoned her, when it was her that threw him away in the first place.
- If I Can't Have You: Though she is kind enough to not actually try to kill him, she does attempt to put him in prison for life.
- I Will Wait for You: Waits for Martin at the Frankfurt Central Station to run away with him. He doesn't make it.
- Lady Drunk: Through most of the series. She eventually stops drinking as a token to Martin, who didn't like alcohol, and continues to order coffee instead of alcohol three years later in Another Monster.
- Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places: Most of the time, post-Tenma.
- Noblewoman's Laugh: To the point where strong men of all character alignments flinch at the sound.
- Pretty in Mink: Has a gray fur jacket.
- Really Gets Around: She had lots of relationships with many men and slept with them. All those relationship were unsuccessful.
- Rich Bitch: Oh, yes. She starts telling Tenma that not all lives are equal. That's not counting his attitudes towards Tenma and other men.
- Stalker with a Crush: She wanted
- Where I Was Born and Razed: Holiday season turning out a disappointment? Why not torch the mansion and surrounding gardens in an epic fit of pique?
- Villainous Breakdown: When her daddy gets killed, in the first volume. From here it's a long, painful crawl back to the light.
- Woman Scorned: More or less. She tried to get Tenma in the jail because her life was ruined when their romance was cut off, although she was the one who cut the relation, not Tenma.
- Cut Himself Shaving: When Tenma saw him on the floor screaming of pain, his legal tutor claims he fell while standing on a chair. This is disproven when Tenma lifts Dieter's shirt. The boy had a lot of scars and bruises.
- Incorruptible Pure Pureness: The kid rivals Tenma in this since the Kinderheim 511 method didn't work on him at all.
- Innocent Prodigy: Sometimes he's at least as wise to the world and people as any of the adult characters, sometimes he's all of his actual age, for better and worse.
- Morality Pet: Schumann deliberately lets him follow Tenma to prevent him from killing.
- Antagonistic Offspring: He brainwashes and ultimately kills his father for stealing the affections of a girl he fell in love with.
- The Atoner: after witnessing firsthand the suffering Johan brought to Ruhenheim, he fully commits to stopping Johan.
- 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.
- I Have Many Names: Emil Sebe, Helmuth Voss and Jakob Vyrobek are all pseudonyms he has used in the past.
- Love Makes You Crazy / Love Makes You Evil: 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 exampless ever.
- 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.
- Renaissance Man: Has degrees in psychology, psychiatry and neuroscience. He's also a children's book author and fairly talented artist.
- Taking You with Me: Attempts to do this to Johan, but he is killed by Roberto before he can do it.
- A Day in the Limelight: He, not Tenma, is the main character for the vast majority of Volumes 10 and 11.
- Beware the Nice Ones: He is a Nice Guy, but if he is made angry, he could convert into his Magnificent Steiner persona.
- Big Brother Mentor: To Jan Suk.
- Care Bear Stare: An odd version, but it works.
- Dying Moment of Awesome: Takes out almost all of Roberto's men in a final outpouring of anger. Only it wasn't the "Magnificent Steiner", it was his other personality the whole time.
- Fingore: Is tortured by Corrupt Cops in this manner.
- Friend to All Children: Though his past at Kinderheim likely contributed to his protectiveness of children.
- Gentle Giant: He's easily one of the tallest characters in the series and is only dangerous when provoked.
- Intrepid Reporter: How he makes his living.
- No Name Given: His real name is never revealed.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Sometimes comes across as a bit of a bumbling fool with a congenial and friendly personality; however, he's actually quite intelligent and even somewhat shrewd due to his sociopathic tendencies.
- Sociopathic Hero: He is a rare symathetic version. In spite of his lack of emotion, he's a pretty nice guy who actually performs heroic deeds because he wants to. His Magnificent Steiner persona is the more traditional version of this, as it causes him to kill his enemies in a more brutal fashion.
- Stalker Without A Crush: His journalistic techniques sometimes amount to this.
- Stepford Smiler: Unable to feel genuine emotion, he has to resort to this to try and appear normal.
- Taking the Heat: For crimes committed by Johan, but for the sake of Jan Suk, who had been framed for them.
- Voiced by: Nobuyuki Katsube (JP), JB 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.
- Alas, Poor Villain: It's hard not to feel a little sorry for him after Johan callously tells him all his work has been for nothing right before his death.
- Bigger Is Better in Bed: He has a large penis, if one is to believe the obese prostitute having sex with him.
- The Dragon: He is Johan's enforcer. He falls him loyally.
- Evil Is Petty: Rude, foul-mouthed, and generally nasty. With a TearJerker retrospective subversion.
- Fan Disservice: Of all the characters in the series, he's the one shown having sex the most. Unfortunately, he's not exactly handsome and a psychotic killer to boot.
- Forgotten Childhood Friend: Used to be Wolfgang's friend at 511. Both men remember each other fondly, but neither have any idea who the other is as adults.
- Gonk: In contrast to Johan's more effeminate looks.
- Handicapped Badass: He lost the use of his right hand after Tenma shot him, but he is still a big menace. [[The handicap is exploited by Lunge, though.]]
- Implacable Man: Survives being shot by Tenma.
- Kavorka Man: He is ugly, but has had relationships with too many woman.
- Laughing Mad: His reaction to the fire in the University of Munich library shows how deranged he truly is.
- Undying Loyalty: To Johan.
Dr. Julius Reichwein
Dr. Julius Reichwein
- Badass Bookworm: Beats up two guys and brilliantly outsmarts Roberto when he tries to kill him.
- Badass Grandpa: Takes down two hoodlums after getting the crap kicked out of him.
- Badass Moustache
- Bald of Awesome: 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: He is old, but is a very capable man.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: He looks a lot like Wilford Brimley.
- 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.
- 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
Dr. Rudy Gillen
- The Cobbler's Children Have No Shoes: His brilliant psychological insights have a tendency not to carry over into his personal life.
- Kirk Summation: Being a psychologist, this is a talent of his. He lays down a great one on Lunge, paving the way for the latter's Heel Realization.
- Married to the Job: To the point of being abandoned by his wife because of this.
- Not So Different: He explicitly invokes this towards the incarcerated serial killers that he interviews, though one may feel that he exaggerates. Also backfires, possibly due to his tendency to get "research subject" mixed up with "research assistant," leaving him repeatedly wide open to Hannibal Lectures from the "subjects."
- Catch Phrase: "I hate this job."
- Death by Irony: He manages to take out a group of The Baby's men. The one that finally manages to fatally shoot him appears to be a scared, way-out-of-his-league newbie who simply got lucky.
- Does Not Like Women: Initially at least, he was very insistent about this.
- Failure Knight: His reason for being insistent on the above, as the last two women closest to him have died with himself feeling guilty as the indirect cause.
- Green-Eyed Monster: His reason for beating up Tenma in the diner is mainly due to this.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Though given he's up against Eva, his initial jerkiness doesn't register that easily.
- Love Martyr: He was this to the three women in his life: his alcoholic mother who died freezing in the cold because he left her there when he was a child, his drug-addict late girlfriend who committed suicide after he caught her cheating on him and refused to kill her, and Eva who he died protecting.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: Possibly unintentional, but he bears a resemblance to Brad Pitt.
- Replacement Goldfish: Eva admits that she made him wear the suits and neckties that she used to make Tenma wear in the past.
- Voiced by: Yoshita Yasuhara (JP), Doug Erholtz (EN)
- Back for the Finale: In the ending, he reappears and complains with Dieter abouut the costs he had to find johan and Nina's mother.
- Black Market: He is one of Tenma's links to it, both willingly and unwillingly.
- Corruption of a Minor: Attempted with Dieter.
- Dark and Troubled Past: The only recurring character who seems to avert this.
- Hidden Depths: Gets quite serious about his gourmet cooking. Not to mention touchy about Tenma's apparently inevitable suggestion that whatever the dish, it could be improved by the addition of soy sauce. Seriously, this includes Chicken Marengo.
- Plucky Comic Relief: His "get rich quick" schemes all tend this way.
- Grumpy Bear: Initially comes across this way, but soon shows a warmer side by feeding a collapsing Tenma.
- The Pig Pen: First introduced by way of a voice-over of a colleague complaining about his failure to shower.
The director of Eisler Memorial Hospital. He cares only about the lives of rich and influential patients, and sees Tenma as someone whose skills can be exploited for publicity.
- Asshole Victim: It's hard to be sorry about his death because of his disregard for saving lives, his plagiarisms from his subordinates and his attitude against Tenma.
- Bad Boss: He uses Tenma as a pawn in his political games, then screws his career over when he stops being his doormat. He also takes all the credit for the research made by his teaching assistants.
- Bait the Dog: He allows Tenma to think he's forgiven him for going against his orders, just to twist the knife in deeper when Tenma learns he's been demoted mere seconds later.
- Broken Pedestal: Tenma seems to see him as a father figure at first. Two episodes later, he knows better.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: An hospital version. He only cares about money and media attention.
- Faux Affably Evil: He can turn on the charm when there's someone to exploit.
- Hypocrite: He first gives preference to the mayor's life, ordering Tenma to walk out on Johan. Then when the mayor dies, he tries to exploit Johan to bolster the hospital's image.
- Karmic Death: Killed by the patient he encouraged Tenma to walk out on, and who he's trying to exploit for media publicity.
- Morally Ambiguous Doctorate: He is a doctor. He doesn't care about the patients of the hospital, but about money.
- Obviously Evil: One look at his character design should tip you off.
- Only in It for the Money: He only cares about saving the mayor because he's promised the hospital an increase in subsidies. He even says, "We can't have him die just yet."
- Photo Op with the Dog: He wants to give the media a photo of Johan and Nina's "heartwarming reunion" to garner attention for the hospital.
- Smug Smiler: Often sports a big smirk.
- Voiced by: Yasuyoshi Hara (JP), Christopher Corey Smith (EN)
- Casanova Wannabe: Though apparently not entirely unsuccessful.
- Cynical 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.
- Voiced by: Hisayoshi Suganuma (JP), Michael Sinterniklaas (EN)
- Broken Pedestal: Your heroes can really let you down...
- Ensign Newbie: Very much so, constantly inspiring others to attempt mentoring him, generally to his annoyance. By the time Verdemann tries it, pointing out his professional and personal greenness verges on a Berserk Button.
- Fair Cop: He is a young, good-looking cop.
- Heroic Wannabe: Inspired to join the police by obsessing about cop shows as a child.
- Wide-Eyed Idealist: He gets better, eventually, and not too soured, but it's a rough process.
- Wrong Genre Savvy: He's really not on the kind of cop show he thinks his work resembles. And not in the kind of Boy Meets Girl plot he thinks, either.
- Voiced by: Hiroshi Arikawa (JP), Cam Clarke (EN)
- The Alcoholic: Formerly, but recovering.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: In-universe, by Johan. Welcome to (more) Mind Rape and Mind Screw.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 (or did he?) not long afterward. The kicker? The boy — a very dangerous serial killer who probably had no chance of rehabilitation — he shot came from 511 Kinderheim, so it was completely warranted and justifiable for Braun (drunk or sober, doesn't matter) to shoot him, but Johan's guilt-tripping words were much too powerful.
- Actually, Richard may not have committed suicide, it just looked like he did; it's highly likely he got murdered. Besides, he knew too much while looking into the case. Of course, the same thing could be said about Tenma, but see, Tenma saved Johan's life — Richard never did anything to benefit Johan, so he was probably just a useless thorn on the side.
- Yank the Dog's Chain: If you didn't already hate Johan by this point, you will now.
Hans Georg Schubert
Hans Georg Schubert
- Voiced by: Michio Hazama (JP), Dan Woren (EN)
- Dark and Troubled Past: Yes, he's got one of these too.
- 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 Façade: "The Vampire of Bayern."
- Luke, You Are My Father: It's complicated. Johan complicates it some more.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Either "Schubert" or "Schuwald", as the Japanese pronunciation "shuubaruto" can be transliterated both ways.
- Voiced by: Ryusuke Oobayashi (JP), Kyle Hebert (EN)
- Denying the Dead Parent's Sins: Deconstructed. Upon finding out his father really was a spy, it became really hard for him to trust people.
- Good Lawyers, Good Clients: He only takes a case if he believes the client is innocent.
- Happily Married: One of the very, very few characters who has a stable, generally happy marriage.
- Knight in Sour Armor: He seems like a Wide-Eyed Idealist at first, but once his past is fully revealed, it turns out that deep down, he's this.
- Loser Son of Loser Dad: "Son of a spy!"
- Miscarriage of Justice: Subverted with his father, though it's implied that he made a Heel-Face Turn.
- The Power of Trust: He struggles with whether he really believes in this or not due to finding out that his father really was a spy.
- Spell My Name with an "S": Verdeman/Vardemann.
- Unwitting Pawn: Roberto impersonates a lawyer in order to get close enough to kill Eva and to get his hands on his father's notebook.
- Voiced by: Masashi Hironaka (JP), Travis Willingham (EN)
- Berserk Button: Goes ballistic after getting shot.
- Blond Guys Are Evil: He is blonde and evil, but not as Johan.
- Disappeared Dad: Implied. He has a five year old child with Frieder Schelling, a teenage girl he met while he was a university student. His family paid a large sum to the Schellings so they can raise the child and leave Christof alone.
- Leave No Witnesses: He asks Johan to have three people connected to him murdered: Erich Klemperer (the man who smuggled him from East Berlin and sold him to Ernest Sievernich), Frieder Schelling (the mother of his child) and Fritz Overt (an employee at Bilker Investment Bank who was about to reveal a corporate finance scandal which would have affected Christof's company).
- Pet the Dog: When he was hurt and Tenma faded, he sent Tenma's apology to Eva.