How did two parents with those noses produce twins with little itty-bitty cutesy anime noses? (Am guessing it's fairly inevitable someone on here knows about the genetics of nose shape)
Both parents had the dominant "big nose" gene but were heterozygous, Nn and Nn. Johan and Anna both inherited the recessive little nose gene, and are nn.
So Urasawa thinks Germany is full of dominant big-nose genes.
Johan Is Soft # 1
Why can't Johan do physical harm to people, including Dr. Tenma and Nina? The only physical harm he's ever done is shoot them with a gun.
And poison them. Don't forget that. Anyway, I don't think that he can't, he just chooses not to. He seems to have patterned himself after Bonaparta, for whom everything is an experiment. The same with Johan, he wants to see how everyone reacts to various stimulus.
"The only physical harm he's ever done us shoot them with a gun" — and this is not harmful enough for you?
And he killed the boy pretending to be Margot's son. And he nudged the detective off of a rooftop so that he fell to his death.
This troper just thinks he's seriously not that physically strong. If you want him to pwn somebody physically, or beat him to death, that's not his forte at all. He's a slender wandering bishonen in a fandom not known for inexplicable martial arts skillz.
With the exception of Nina, of course.
Doesn't count. Hers are explicable (explained, in fact).
I believe Johan CAN do physical harm, perhaps as much as your average person, but that is not fitting with his methods at all. He doesn't need to do that. He assists in bringing what he feels is the ultimate defeat, by driving people to mentally realize the very worthlessness of their existence, and so they kill themselves. I think the act of physically harming someone with his own two hands, is, in a bizarre way, more intimate than Johan can ever be. Guns, mentally crushing someone and driving them to kill themselves, keeps a distance between himself and the victim, which is how he likes it.
Johan Is Soft # 2
How will Johan cause the end of the world?
He won't, he is well-versed in everything from politics to law, but he doesn't seem to have a grand strategy, he just goes from one victim to another hoping to cause as much suffering as possible. He talks about grand goals, but in the end he is quite petty.
Probably in a similar way to Friend: amass political power and insanely loyal supporters, then use them to breed chaos and destruction. Then, once he's finished with them, pit them against each other until all that's left is Johan.
Johan Is Too Good At Doing Things
How does Johan manage to excel at every single academic subject from a very young age and overcome every single social obstacle he is presented with when neither of his parents were geniuses?
Actually, the mother was a top student at Brno University, where she majored in genetics. She could have very well been a genius. The father probably wasn't a dim-wit either. Remember, each of the subjects for the eugenics program were chosen for their "ideal" traits, including intelligence.
Remember, Johan also was at 511 Kinderheim. They could've schooled the boys not only in psychological torment, but also methods at excelling whatever they apply themselves to. Also, Johan being a psychopath probably means he's able to focus on whatever he sets his mind to, with little distraction by self-doubt, ethics, or other normal (healthy) human "hindrances".
It is, of course, also possible that he is indeed The Antichrist, and has borderline supernatural intelligence. Though really, the fact that Johan is unusually brilliant doesn't require much explanation (and doesn't necessarily have anything to do with how smart his parents were).
Lunge Should Be Dead
Not that I'm complaining, mind you, but why is Lunge still alive? I mean, he'd just finished a bloody fight with Roberto, who had declared his intentions to (and almost managed to) kill the good Inspector. Since Roberto passes out, Lunge leaves. Fine. Where I get confused is why the heck Roberto just sneaked up and knocked Lunge out after that, rather than, yknow. Stepping on his neck or putting a bullet in his head. Seems the logical move (not to mention that Roberto had even more motive to off Lunge after what he pulled to gain the upper hand.
Maybe Roberto was trying to save ammunition, considering how many shots were fired in their little duel, he may have had few left in his gun, he has already beaten Lunge up quite badly, and theres an entire town full of scared and angry people that have ALL recently been given guns of their own, he still wanted to protect Johan (as seen when he shoots Franz) so it may have been a survival priorities thing.
Well, okay, but what about stepping on his neck?
I kind of assumed it was because he knew he was dying, and wanted to hurry to Johann. He pretty much dropped dead a few moments after getting there, so imagine if he'd wasted more time.
The Twins After Escaping Prague
Was it ever explained what Anna/Nina was doing while Johan was in Kinderheim? We know they escaped Prague together, and the German police found them both, but I don't think it ever said that Anna attended.
Anna and Johan were split up. They sent Johan to Kinderheim 511 to receive training and behavior modification to become the next Führer. Anna was sent to a kind and caring orphanage, which is one of the reasons why she's not Axe Crazy like her brother.
Except that the very first thing Johan did when he and Anna escaped was convince a random stranger to become a Serial Killer. Johan was alreadyAx-Crazy by the time he went to Kinderheim 511, which is one of the reasons Kinderheim 511 went to Hell in a handbasket shortly after he stepped through the door. He was the worst thing to enter that orphanage, and the worst thing to leave it.
Johan Is A Cross-Dresser
Where in the world did Johan manage to find a wig that looks exactly like Anna/Nina's hair?
He's Johan. If he can't find a wig to look like exactly like her, he'll make one. For someone as resourceful as he is, it would be rather easy.
Sure, but how did he manage to do it when he was still a kid, even before his messy Backstory started?
His mother was actively trying to disguise them, she may have cut nina's hair to match the wig, or hell, given them both wigs. His hair may not have even BEEN a wig, since they're established semi-identical twins, she may have just groomed and dressed them exactly the same. Which in hindsight, makes it a lot MORE disturbing...
He's shown unclipping a hair-piece after welcoming his sister back to the Three Frogs. His hair underneath is "normal" boy-length.
Nevermind the hair. What about the voice? In the anime, why is Johan able to replicate Nina's voice perfectly? Should that even be possible?
Unusual, to be sure, but possible, and Johan does have a rather effeminate voice.
I always took it that his voice didn't sound so much like Nina's in-universe, and it was kind of a "masking effect", so the viewers wouldn't catch on that it's not her before The Reveal.
When one pays very close attention, there are some differences between crossdressing!Johan and Nina/Anna's voices. Johan's is a bit higher and softer, for example, like he's making sure to err on the side of feminine when it comes to his voice change.
Why the hell did Tenma save Johan and let him get away at the end?
Even though Tenma has no reason to believe Johan will change and stop causing havoc?
If he had killed Johan then he would have proven him right, Tenma believes that all lives are equal, everyone deserves to live, and everyone can be a good person. Even Franz Bonaparta became a good person if he had shot Johan, or simply allowed him to die, then he would be admitting that people's lives are of different value, in this case, a person is a monster and must die. But Tenma knows that the monster inside Johan is not all that Johan is, he is still human, and can become a good person, and to steal that chance from anyone would be evil.
There's a rather major difference between killing someone in the heat of the moment and making a conscious decision to end their life. It's why a well-known case of a shop-owner shooting a would-be robber, chasing off his accomplice, then coming back to unload the rest of the clip in the already-shot one resulted in a homicide conviction. It's all a matter of intent - between "I need to get out of this by any means necessary!" and "I need to make sure he won't ever do this again."
Letting Johan die would not have been self-defence; he was unconscious. In a self-defence situation, you take a life to save a life. In Tenma's situation, letting Johan die wouldn't have saved anyone (at least not directly), it just would've been killing him because on the grounds that he doesn't deserve to live, which Tenma believes is wrong, because life is equal.
On a similar note, remember that Tenma shot Roberto, purely in self-defense, and truly believed he was dead. Tenma felt immense guilt over that while talking to Grimmer (Grimmer, who has killed God knows how many in self-defense in the series or his line of work). Self-defense is one thing. Letting someone die from a bullet to the head, when Tenma is in fact a doctor (neurologist, no less), believes in equal life (which has carried him and helped him not lose all hope up to this point), would have ruined the entire soul of the series, and proved Johan right, in a twisted way. Remember, Tenma put his job on the line to prove that life was equal when he saved Johan the first time, since he saved him because he truly believed all life was equal. Given the same situation again, Tenma stayed true to himself, and his belief in equality, and "defeated" Johan in that way.
This editor assumed that, in addition to the above (since redemption, forgiveness, etc was a major part of the storyline), Tenma performed the surgery so Johan wouldn't die and Win's dad wouldn't get sent away for murder. Besides, Tenma didn't let Johan get away; he left the hospital while Johan was still "comatose"(air-quotes) and it's after that we see the empty bed.
Would Wim's dad really get sent away for murder? Johan was pointing a gun at Wim and there are at least three witnesses to back up the fact.
Yeah, I don't think Wim's dad would have gone to prison for that. He still would have killed a person, even if it was in self defence, and I think Tenma wanted to avoid that.
None of that really changes the fact that Johan is back out and Tenma enabled him to survive again. This really is not a question about the worth of life or whether or not Johan's ideology was defeated, it's a question of whether or not Johan can now ruin more lives. The fact is that if Johan is alive and has escaped, there is no indication that he will change his ways. If he goes back to his old tricks, then Tenma is basically in the same position he was from day one. It means that he accomplished nothing in his endeavor to end Johan's terror, except his sense of moral triumph now convinces him to not feel guilty for whatever blood may be spilled by Johan in the future. Now maybe if Tenma tried to make damn sure that Johan was arrested and kept in custody for his crimes, this would not be that big of an issue.
Johan was placed in a state police hospital. At that point, he's no longer Tenma's responsibility — it's up to the authorities. And given that Johan is not going to be executed (since neither the Czech Republic nor Germany utilize capital punishment for any offenses no matter how severe), they had better figure out how to contain him. The ending, then, is ambiguous. Johan may go on to kill again or he may not. He may commit suicide or disappear entirely. But that's part of the story — we can never be sure of the outcome of our choices or unforeseen consequences. We just have to live with them and try to do what we think is right.
Why the hell is Nina suddenly okay right after she breaks the hypnotic trance where she relived her worst, Mind Rape nightmare/memory? Bear in mind that during the trance she went psycho because of it, and yet, right after the trance she's almost completely recovered, if drained. The ensuing distance and discomfort in her character, though certainly better than nothing, do far too little to address this. While her response is certainly consistent with her character, the trouble is I feel the experience ought to be jarring enough to actually drive her out of character.
It's suggested that the hypnotic trance had her to relive a psychotic episode so when the trance ended she stopped reliving it. But yeah, this is a bit of hollywood hypnotism. The memory alone pushed to the forefront of her mind should drive her somewhat out of character.
Anna/Nina's Recurring Dream
In regards to Nina near the beginning of the series, can recurring dreams ever actually happen? The only websites I've found that talk about recurring dreams reference no sources and sound frustratingly pseudo-scientific. More to the point, how come the dreams are never mentioned again after Nina's foster parents are killed?
This troper personally has had recurring dreams for years, so going off personal experience alone, yes, it's possible. Nina's dreams stopped (the one's about the monster, I think you meant), because she remembered her past, who she was, and most critical of all, she remembered who the monster represented: Johan. Or, to make it a little more broad, her forgotten past represented the monster she saw in her dreams. Once she was confronted with her past, the nightmares may have stopped.
Tenma Is A Criminal
How did Dr. Tenma get away with escaping from police custody in the end? I can understand getting away with shooting Roberto because there's no reason to even mention it, but he should still have been found guilty for a crime that he legitimately committed and that everyone knows about. A minor character even explicitly said that it is "on [his] criminal record now."
Uh uh uh! This troper can answer that question. In Germany escaping from police custody is per se not a crime. But don't get your hopes up, if you kill, steal or maim to get out of prison they will not forgive you.
Wouldn't Tenma technically be guilty of assault, though? He did point a gun at a guard in order to escape, after all. Perhaps they dropped the charge or just gave him a slap on the wrist considering the reason he escaped?
How Much Of A Racist Is The Baby?
If The Baby is such a big (or should I say small) racist, then why did he choose a song by a multiracial group (The Ronettes) as his theme song?
There was a time when people of colour were used for entertainment, but not treated like human beings, The Baby has the same philosophy.
Being a racist doesn't mean he can't like the song, he may see entertainment being one of the few uses for other races, still racist, but can like the sounds.
Heck, everything about The Baby himself bugs me to no end.
It's not like racists can't be massive hypocrites...
I saw a documentary once where a British guy went into racist communities in South Africa to find out how they thought. He noticed in one house that they had a large collection of cds by African American artists. He asked them about it, and they basically said what respondent one said - they liked the music, and saw it as using another race for entertainment.
So, like gypsies were in Spain?
Confused Freudian Excuses
Even though Anna/Nina was the one who actually went through the "seminar", why is Johan the Ax-Crazy one? Is it just because Bonaparta told her to "forget" before she ran home? And if so, then how did she remember long enough to tell Johan, in enough detail that he could actually take the 'memories' for his own? Was it the murder of the Lieberts and the resulting amnesia that actually made Anna forget? And if so, then why was Johan the one acting like a textbook Le Enfant Terrible?
Is it actually made clear that his mother abandoned Johan, or anything much of what happened to her between then and her meeting Tenma right at the end?
Yes, his mother left him behind. The only thing that isn't clear is whether the Sadistic Choice actually happened.
Are you sure she did abandon him? After trying to keep them hidden from Bonaparta for years, it doesn't make much sense for her to leave her kids.She wanted both of her children to avenge the death of their father. Something they wouldn't know to do if she wasn't around to raise them. In the Prague arc, Tenma hears from a neighbor that both the mother and her child were taken away in a black limosine. In the finale, when Tenma visits the twins' mother, she mentions forgetting some things which makes it sound like she'd underwent the brainwashing 'classes' herself, supported by a letter written by Franz Bonaparta. If the brainwashing part is true, then it is possible she may have forgotten that she EVEN had children which is why she didn't look for them afterwards. It's implied that Tenma's visits managed to slowly bring those memories back to the surface.
Yes, she did abandon him. When Nina has a flashback to what Johan told her when she returned to The Three Frogs, Johan recited to her what his mother said to him. In summary, she said that she was sorry, but Johan and Nina would have to look after each other from now on, heavily implying that she would be leaving. Then she, if Nina's reenactment of what Johan told her was any indication, asked in a vague way why Johan was crying, and then began screaming at him not to cry. Also, I believe there was some reference that it happened 'at that time', shortly after Nina was taken away (within minutes, probably). Analyzing the mother's actions, does this sound like a woman who is entirely in her right mind? Screaming at a small child to quit crying, when she says he's on his own (with his sister, if she ever comes back), and that she's leaving? Her mental state sounds rattled, and her speech sounds like that of a shattered mother. She probably felt that she couldn't take care of her son, what with just having lost one child to Bonaparta. Bonaparta seized the last bit of her confidence and will to fight by taking one of her children, not to mention the horrific implications that she actually thought about which child to give away (hinting that she actually CHOSE which child was more worthy of keeping, in her own opinion, and not by force alone). Also, right before Nina recalled Johan's memory of their mother, Nina recalls her own words to Johan upon returning from The Red Rose Mansion, and she says, "Where's mommy?" In the flashbacks, we are shown that her and Johan are still the same age, and completely alone. I think their mother did abandon them, and then blacked out her memory of them just to survive. It sounds implausible, but under those extreme circumstances, it fits. Only upon Tenma's visits did she begin to recall her terrifying ordeal.
Or whether Johan actually believes the Sadistic Choice happened, since that particular exchange is set up to look like it might just be Tenma imagining things?
Even if Tenma was just imagining things, that doesn't mean the Sadistic Choice didn't happen. He could have been told about it by Johan's mother off camera, and then just dreamed about it and Johan's reaction to it.
Johan's Freudian Excuse doesn't need to be valid, or even based in reality. It's left open to interpretation whether evil is just his nature or something that was forced upon him, whether it's a conscious choice or whether he was doomed to be a Complete Monster from birth. It's deliberate that no clear consensus is ever made in canon.
Or the Sadistic Choice happened (after all, their mother might have thought that the one left behind would be better off since they wouldn't be in the program), and the events from then to Nina's return are the result of Johan's damaged psyche trying to make sense of the entire thing.
Johan and Anna/Nina - Johan's Modus Operandi
This isn't any kind of Derailment since the rest of the story was quite good, but why in the world did Johan go out to find Anna/Nina anyway? There didn't seem to be any purpose, he didn't even contact her that time, and the rest of the manga is spent with all the protagonists chasing Johan down. What point did the Johan/Anna subplot have at all? (Yeah, I know they had to be twins for the Tykebomb thing to work, but considering how Nina's first chapter presented it, I felt that somewhere a thread got dropped and never picked up again.)
Johan's modus operandi is The Monster Without A Name. The monster splits in two and head in different directions. Towards the end of book the monsters reunite with each other. Johan leaves his sister in the care of the Fortners and plans on returning to take her with him. When the reunion fails Johan tries repeatedly to make contact with Anna, but the Neo-Nazis keep getting in the way.
Ah, that makes sense. It occurred to me earlier but I kept wondering how it was supposed to end: In the book, the named monster eats the nameless monster, so I initially thought that Johan intended to kill Anna/Nina, but then he kept saying they 'they were each other' so I thought, Murder-Suicide?
Johan thinks that he and Anna are one, so when Anna wants to kill him he takes the role of the demon from The God of Peace. The peaceful god looks into the mirror and sees a demon. The demon says "You are me. I am you." God said "people cannot live in peace with a demon around", so the book ends with the troubled god wondering what he should do. Anna says the troubled god shoots the demon and they both die.
The God of Peace sequence is possibly the most brilliant thing about the whole anime, because not only is it a representation of Johan and Nina's relationship, but of the entire storyline as well. Tenma is the god of peace who helps people, until the demon (Johan) he has resurrected and thus bears the responsibility for points out that he (Johan) is the demon who is alive because of him. You can also see this from the perspective that, if all lives are equal, so are Tenma and Johan, and each has the potential to become the other. The answer to The God of Peace is Tenma's ultimate confirmation of his original belief that all life is equal. The demon has as much right to live as everyone else, and even though the god of peace initially thinks that things can never be peaceful with a demon around, by granting the demon that basic right of life, the latter will, in effect, quit being a monster.
Do they ever clear up who the stripper who killed the Baby was? Or why she did it?
She was hired by Christof. The Baby was an obstacle in Christof's rise to power and he tried to restrict Christof's freedom (he likes to kill people and killing is an expensive hobby to cover up).
Having said that, the only hint we get that it was Christof is an ambiguous conversation between the Baby and Christof.
I thought that the stripper was Johan cross-dressing again.
The stripper appeared nude in one scene... she's definitely not Johan.
I thought it was implied that Johan put a hit out on the Baby either to help Christof or just to screw with the right-wing people because afterwords Capek and the bodyguards are questioning whether Johan is following their plan or if they are just ants in a line for Johan
Getting Talked Out Of Suicide
Okay, what the hell is the deal with the scene where Tenma is trying to talk Nina out of killing herself? It was something you would say to a lover, but the romantic subtext was never really followed up with anything concrete. Any Word of God on this one?
There are hints throughout the story that they have feelings for each other. Nina spends a large amount of time thinking about Tenma and leaning on him whenever they meet. Tenma outright tells Nina that he needs her and can't go on without her.
No, I know there are hints, I'm just baffled that there is no follow-up. Urasawa took such care with making everything else look and feel realistic, that it's surprising these two didn't end up together even for a short while.
Maybe because Tenma is a good twenty years older than her? I don't know, call me crazy but I'd have been a little irritated if they'd gotten together. I got the feeling they were extremely close, but not in that way- maybe more in a kind of father/daughter way?
The age difference is 17, actually, and sure, it would account for Tenma not doing anything, but their interaction is still much more romantic than father/daughter -like. I think that, after living through such extreme circumstances, the age difference would not matter as much.
Could it be because of the extreme circumstances that they went through that they couldn't end up romantically? Sort of a PTSD dynamic?
Gaaah. I think a lot of folks here are getting it wrong. I blame pop culture. No, I think the simple point is that while they do like and really care for each other, it's nothing romantic. It happens! You can be best friends with someone, be willing to die for them, yet have absolutely no inkling of thought or desire to jump their bones!
I think they were the ones whose lives were most affected by Johan's machinations, they developed a very strong bond over that. Whether this is platonic or romantic isn't really as important as the bond itself, so Urasawa decided to leave it open for interpretation.
Due to the realism of the story even if it was meant to be romantic i doubt they would make time to have a soppy romantic scene after nina almost just killed herself and Johan is lurking around. Urasawa always kept the pace of the story at a constant suspenseful pace, and they have time to get together at the conclusion of the story.
As strongly hinted at by Nina's ecstatic reaction upon hearing that Tenma's back from his trip, literally running off to see him. It could easily be that they have romantic feelings for each other, but both the circumstances and the age difference would have precluded them from doing anything about their feelings during the main story.
Or it could have been the excitement of seeing an old friend she had forged a strong bond with that she hadn't seen in a long time. Really, it's up to interpretation.
So, the Lieberts were the family that fled from the east and were killed the same night that Anna/Nina shot Johan and Tenma brought him back to life. I'm just barely halfway through the series, so maybe this isn't a confusing inconsistency despite appearances. We see a tombstone for one Johan Liebert, and supposedly Johan is using the other Johan's records after a fire at the local hospital. I know Johan is basically the German version of "John," and perhaps Liebert is a common enough last name too that we should expect a small number of Johan Lieberts, but from a storytelling perspective, it seems completely pointless and needlessly confusing to have Johan Liebert posing as Johan Liebert. Is it just so he can use the same name as he had back then and make Runge's disbelief in his existence all the more insane? And why on earth wouldn't he have been more cautious anyway, and pick a set of parents with a different name so it would be less likely that his two persona might become linked? It really seems like a rather dangerous coincidence to me; one that Johan would have done well to avoid, especially because I can't think of any reason he would want to be Johan Liebert again instead of... I don't know, Uwe Fischer or something.
Didn't they choose him because of the fact his name was the same as their dead sons? I think it was said somewhere that he refused to go with them unless they adopted Nina too...
The "first" Lieberts, the ones from East Germany, took in both twins, because Johan insisted; the second Lieberts only take in Johan, and much later. The second Lieberts had a dead son Johan: since "our" Johan goes through names even faster than foster parents, though, he could easily have the same name as anyone's dead son. So it does raise the question of why he would use the same name again, and with such a relatively flimsy cover-up especially since his initial plan seems to have been to stay with Schuwald.
Perhaps Johan picked that name since it would make him easier for Tenma to find? He was telling the children he was working with that a Japanese guy would try to kill him, so he certainly wanted Tenma to find him.
Different question about the names: When Nina has a flashback of the two of them crossing the border, in the flashback she calls her brother Johan. Also, in the tape of Johan at Kinderheim 511, he begs the experimenters not to make him "forget Anna". I guess Nina's case could be her mentally retconning her brother's current name into the flashback, but unless the tape is a full-on fake or a misdirect, it seems harder to explain away that one - so am I missing something, or is this some kind of continuity glitch since the assumption otherwise seems to be that Johan and Anna are not their real names? (It also seems unlikely, though not impossible, that their mother wouldn't have told them their real names while they were living with her, so presumably they knew their names at least until the point where their memories got scrambled - which presumably would not have been until after they got to Germany?)
Good call. What bugs me is that they never decided to name themselves anything, instead of for whatever reason accepting that they are nameless. However, the second instance doesn't seem that far-fetched to me - Wolfe might have heard them say their mother's name and applied it to the girl twin.
I suppose the Wolfe explanation's possible, though why they would let him know anyone's name while apparently trying to make him forget it makes my brain hurt (brainwashing by confusion?). Johan tells his sister, according to her flashback, that â€śWe have no namesâ€�, so that might explain why they opt to remain nameless â€“ Johan being the â€śolderâ€� (marginally, one assumes) and more dominant twin, and already possibly somewhat brain-broken by Bonaparta-reading - "Monster with no name", etc. - plus Parental Abandonment. Still, it seems hard to believe that while they were living with her she would have just called them â€śhey you, the one I can't tell apart from the other one now I've dressed you both up as girlsâ€�...
Wolfe wasn't the one doing the brainwashing - he genuinely thought that Kinderheim 511 was a good project.
True, but I'd assumed he had at least some idea of their methods?
In the flashback when we see Nina and Johan just BEFORE Wolf found them at the border, Nina calls her brother "Johan" in the English dub. How can she do this, if Johan isn't given the name "Johan" until AFTER Wolf finds them? Simply put, the dubbers messed up, and pretty badly. In the original Japanese, Nina calls her brother "oniichan" which means "brother." In English, people don't usually call their sibling "brother" and "sister" so the dubbers simply changed it to the name "Johan," failing to realize this was right before he had received that name. It was an otherwise well-written localization, except for this and a few other gaffes based on a failure to pay careful enough attention to the story details. As for the name "Anna," I don't know who gave it to her, but I imagine she got it shortly after Wolf found them. Whether it a coincidence that she has the same name as her mother, or if there is a connection (through Capek, maybe?) I also don't know.
Johan and Anna/Nina's BSOD
When the twins are first brought to Tenma, Nina's in full-on BSOD, until she's taken to see her brother, when she completely freaks out, and he starts crying and reaching out for her. Even apart from what we later find out about that dynamic, how does he manage to bring her along once he revives, let alone stop her screaming her head off at the sight of him? Especially since they both go to stay with the Fortners for a while, until he goes off on his own. Since she later doesn't even seem to remember that she has a brother, does her BSOD go on up until he leaves Heidelberg?
Um, no. His ability to manipulate people has been more than fleshed out. I don't know why you need a diagram of him getting his emotionally unstable sister, who he already talked into doing one extreme thing (shooting him), to do anything at all. Or maybe he forced her. Either way, the author not explaining every single detail =/= plot hole.
The wizard point was mostly meant jokingly (though there is something of a tendency for "He's Johan" to approach that)... Diagram, no; plot hole, no; a bit more fleshing out of the twins as characters, separately and in relation to each other, yes, that would actually have been welcome.
Speaking of which, does anyone know if those tears of Johan's were actually geniune or just a show put on for the media? Cuz that's something that's been bugging me.
I say genuine. Johan doesn't care about the media, he cares about his sister. If Johan's intentions were to cater to the media, he would probably act confused as to why Anna was freaking out in order to keep up a cover.
Another fact to prove that Johan cares for his sister is that he never actually tries to kill her, even though his plan of committing the Perfect Suicide entails eliminating everyone who knows anything about his past. Note: this doesn't stop him from putting her through some nightmarish situations: killing the foster parents who raised her, allowing his henchman Roberto free rein to finish her off, leaving her with a loaded revolver to kill herself with after she BSO Ds.
Anna/Nina Shooting Johan
I get that there's supposed to be some kind of Bonaparta version of logic to him asking his sister to shoot him in the head that first time, but I'm really not getting it. And it doesn't seem that much like it resembles any of the stories, like making a deal with the devil, or eating people to get a name, or freaking out the God of Peace when he looks in the mirror. So any suggestions? I mean, when she worked out it was him killed all those people, he had more the expression of a kid caught in some misbehavior by his mom and expecting to be smacked or something, and then when she aims the gun at him he suddenly brightens up (much as he ever does, anyway) and tells her how to shoot him and get away with it and he'll live on in her, or something like that. So what's the deal? And when it doesn't work, how does he just go back to Plan A like that? I realize we're not dealing with normal earth logic here, but wasn't there supposed to be some logic even so?
The way I interpret it is that Tenma and Nina were right in assuming that there were two Johans, one being swallowed by the "monster" inside him. The human in Johan realized that the only way to stop the monster in him is to kill his physical shell. Alternatively, maybe he thought that by pulling the trigger, Nina would indeed become him, in the He Who Fights Monsters sense. I don't know. Good question, though.
Wasn't that a very similar situation to the God of Peace scenario? He is the demon that she sees in the mirror, and shoots. "I am you and you are me" seemed to be an important theme both to this scene and the God of Peace story, too.
Johan loves Nina, and remembers his mother's words that he must protect her. I believe he took that to heart. Her happiness was his main concern, and as long as she didn't know how exactly he was keeping her safe, she would remain happy as well as safe (since Johan killed people, believe that they all had the potential to be monsters, tell someone about him and his sister, and then have Nina sent back to the Mansion. Then the Lieberts are dead, and Johan can't hide this one. So, he waits for Nina and, after hearing her flip out on him once she realizes that he's been making a habit out of this with their other foster parents, he loses his purpose. He can no longer keep Nina happy, since she sees him for the monster he is. He knows he can't change (or believes he can't), and he is always determined to protect her from monsters. So he decides to rid her of the most dangerous monster of all and making her scared and upset: himself. With his death, she'll be happy again, Johan reasons. It is actually VERY similar to the God of Peace.
Johan and Michio Yuki
There's a lot of references on here to Johan being an expy of Michio Yuki from MW. I haven't actually read MW, cause it's 1) hard to get ahold of 2) kind of a big investment of time, but mainly 3) the references here and elsewhere sound like there's stuff in it that already makes me feel like I need Brain Bleach, and I don't squick easily. I just don't take to child molestation scenes, okay? Even when it's clear the author's not saying they're a good thing. Also, animals? Multiple rape scenes? (And yeah, I know Tezuka's the Grand Old Man, so it's not cause I doubt it's high quality) Now I know Expy doesn't mean exact copy, but the references I've seen to Michio Yuki don't sound much like Johan, except maybe in some Fan Fic version where he's had a personality graft from Frank'n'Furter or something. So would reading MW add anything to understanding Johan as a character? Spoilers okay, as long as they're done so they won't bug anybody else that plans to read MW (Should this be in the Character discussion page? Wasn't sure)
To know if Johan's like Michio, here are their similar characteristics to confirm it:
If you're tailing someone who has information about your past you need to get hold of and rid of, and you've just shot one of the people holding that guy up and torturing him, and now he's suddenly hulking out, and you didn't really think you could make him talk directly anyway, would it not make sense to just lie low until he's done hulking out, then keep tailing him, instead of disappearing for no very clear reason, and then having to spend days if not more dragging around the local pub circuit keeping a straight face (and round eyes) in the face of chat-up lines like "Don't worry, I'm not a weirdo", until you find a someone gullible enough to get you back on track?
Maybe it's something to do with the Magnificent Steiner? That personality was created by 511 Kinderheim, perhaps seeing it in action evoked bad memories for Johan? I know it's hard to imagine Johan getting freaked out that easily, but remember how he reacted to Bonaparta's book at the library.
Alternatively, Johan might have been enacting Cruel Mercy, or genuinely pleased to find another graduate of 511 Kinderheim, deciding to set the tool aside for later use? Besides, Grimmer was wanted for murder at that point, and Johan likely wouldn't want to arouse suspicion from the authorities by also pursuing him.
Johan and Old Ladies
And while we're at it, Prague-wise, since when have elderly ladies suffering from dementia got special powers at noticing cross-dressers, or inspiring them to own up? And has nobody heard of copying tapes?
I believe Suk's mother was supposed to have been a very sharp, skillful woman in her day. After talking to Johan for a while, and recalling old memories and experiences, it appears to have jogged her memory and her senses. She probably noticed something odd about Johan (it seemed to be played somewhat humorously how easily she noticed it when she told Lunge Johan was a woman), but also had the sense to not say anything to Johan about it (probably more of her being sharp, and figuring that cross-dressing wasn't the ONLY thing just a little different about Johan).
Lunge Is A Useless Detective
Seeing as how the hospital thought someone was trying to kill Johan and Anna for apparent political reasons, why didn't Lunge and the police confiscate any and all candy that was brought in for them? On that note, when the poison candy was discovered, why didn't the police link it to this hypothetical killer?
The poison candy had not been traced to the bag found at the hospital. If the police was not aware of Johan and Anna receiving candy in the first place, they wouldn't have connected it to the murders for which Tenma had a pretty good motive.
How would the disappearance of the twins tie in to Tenma murdering his superiors exactly?
The candy was intended for the children. For all Lunge knew, the intended victim was Johan (after all, somebody already tried to kill him). Tenma's superiors simply happened to intercept the candy and ended up dying instead. Granted, this wasn't what happened, but the fact that Lunge didn't even address this possibility just struck me as odd.
While we're on the subject of Lunge, why does he neglect to do any ballistics tests for the murder of Adolph Junkers, any further forensics examinations for the murder of the gardener in Heidelberg, and ANYTHING for the murder of Mr Maurer and Nina's foster parents?
I'm guessing that he did them offscreen. It's not like they would've told him anything that would have actually changed his theory of the case.
Lunge being a worse detective than he thinks is probably intentional. Lunge is so set on the idea that Johan doesn't exist and is just a second personality inside of Kenzo, who is actually committing the murders that even a fair bit of proof that Johan exists as a separate entity can't truly convince him. However, this poses another problem, as if Lunge will ignore evidence that goes against his theory, doesn't this make him too unprofessional to be on this or really any case? There has to be other evidence, since if he'd really had Kenzo's tie dusted for prints, he would have found Nina's fingerprints, as she also touched it.
Gillen even calls Lunge out on the fact that his tapping system keeps Lunge from staying objective. Lunge's opinions taint the information he gathers, making it harder for him to see the facts.
Johan and the Candy Murders
Was it really Johan who committed the first candy murder? If so, how? How could he have prepared them when he had just been shot? And more importantly, it wasn't possible to know that the director and the other two guys of all things would take and share the candies. Same thing for the second murder on those Czech policemen through poisoned whiskey candy. He couldn't have known his targets would share them. The victim even offered one to Suk - who was practically Johan's informant without knowing it and also the only one who could access the tape at this point. If he hadn't declined the offer and died, it would have messed Johan's plans up big time.
He probably figured the director would eat one out of his own greed. Anyone else who ate it would just be a bonus. As for how he did it... I got nothing.
About the 2nd candy murder: Johan could have picked Whiskey Bon Bons for the specific reason that Suk didn't like them.
But didn't they pick those candies seemingly randomly out of a huge pile of other goodies? Not to mention the bag was unopened.... And how did Johan get ahold of that poison anyway?
Maybe he poisoned all of them. We didn't see anyone else taking the candy, after all. He could've used a syringe to put the poison in the candy, which is readily available in any hospital. Now, as to how he did all of this without getting caught and without opening the bag...uh, A Wizard Did It? EDIT: After looking back, I think it could have been possible that Heinemann and the other two doctors came back for seconds and Johan predicted correctly that they would. Still requires some suspension of disbelief, though.
What exactly was Bonaparta's motivation for brainwashing all those kids? Was it out of a patriotic desire to overcome the west, or did he just do it For Science!?
Well, from what I gathered, political reasons as well as the desire to play God. I would say it was especially the latter; since he was just so good at it, it probably seemed a waste in his twisted mind not to try it.
Did Johan really have a masterplan or did he just make stuff up as he went along, messing with people For the Evulza la the Joker from from The Dark Knight?
Kinda just because he could. He was an empty psychopath due to his traumatic experiences, who lived to destroy; a toxin to anything resembling civility, compassion, or humanity. He'd given up on a normal reason to live, having been thoroughly disillusioned about that thanks to a potent combination of Bonaparta's appearance at the Three Frogs, his mother's abandonment, Kinderheim 511, and Nina's memories. All he had to live for was, basically, destruction; like he was lashing out at everyone else, in a very skilled and effective way.
I don't think he was even lashing out at anyone, nor even doing a For the Evulz thing, but was instead totally devoid of purpose or motivation. The “line of ants” simile Nina used sums him up for me, as he's basically ambivalent to all of humanity, including himself, but (possibly for I Can Not Self Terminate reasons) he just sort of coasts along in a rudderless fashion. All of the horrible things he does do seem to be carefully premeditated in a master plan to cause as much suffering as he can get away with before somebody plugs him, but it's just so effortlessly natural for him that it doesn't even register as a fulfilling pursuit, just a way to pass the time. He's about like a brilliant but bored Sims or Dwarf Fortress player.
Moronic Villains # 1
Why does Dieter's adoptive father tell Tenma about Kinderheim 511 when he knows that Tenma is being hunted by the police, and why doesn't he report him even after Tenma takes Dieter away TWICE?
Well, Hartman did make a call to the police right before Tenma decided to take Dieter the first time. As for the second time, well, I think he was kinda crushed when Dieter refused to stay with him, so he didn't make any effort to get Dieter back. As for telling Tenma about 511 Kinderheim, I don't think Hartmann was absolutely sure about who Tenma was until he saw him examining Dieter.
Also, Hartman probably doesn't want the fact that he is a Mad Scientist who physically and psychologically abuses children to get out, so he won't want the police involved.
Moronic Villains # 2
Why doesn't the Baby do anything when Nina tells him to his face that she plans to kill Johan? Also, why does the Baby act very sad and surprised when his plan to burn down the Turkish town is foiled when only a couple of chapters earlier he told Tenma exactly what his plans were?
Because he didn't think Tenma could do anything about it, he wanted to brag about his plans, and probably thought the "lowly" Turkish townspeople were equally ineffective in stopping him (major racist, after all). Also, Nina was bait. He knew better than to kill off the one thing that most definitely would lure Johan in. The Baby is also a total wimp when it comes down to it (he wet himself when Nina pointed that gun at him. Tough guy right there).
Yeah. "Didn't think" + "wanted to brag" + "major racist" + "total wimp" = a very moronic villain indeed. Aside from that, he didn't even need to kill Nina; he could've kept her in captivity until Johan arrived.
You could also that that he realized that Nina was Johan's sister and just didn't know how Johan would react to his killing her. We later find out that Johan probably would've killed him and everybody involved for it, and it was his fear of that possibly happening that also kept him from treating her roughly.
Argue? The Baby flat-out says, "She is most certainly Johan's sister. Those eyes, the way she looked at me…" If he didn't know already, he figured it out after Nina pointed the gun at him.
Escaped from police custody by jumping off a bridge, Tenma and Nina just go right back to being perfectly normal folks rather than the sole witnesses in a brutal quadruple homicide. While for Tenma this state only lasts until Lunge gets Eva to ID his necktie, Nina seems to be 100% off-the-hook in the eyes of the law for the rest of the series.
In Another Monster Lunge said that he thought Nina was killed with the rest of the Fortners. It was only when he heard about Nina being in the hospital after the library incident that he realized that she was alive, so that explains why she was off the hook for so long. In regards to the fact that they return to being "normal citizens" instead of being witnesses, there wasn't much Tenma or Nina could do, as two of the policemen were being blackmailed by Johan, and people would believe their word over Tenma and Nina's. What does bug me, however, is that Nina doesn't even try to cooperate with Tenma. She just runs off before he comes back. Nor does she try to come forward at any time to try to clear Tenma's name. Of course, the police probably would have thought she was crazy anyway, and she seemed more focused on killing Johan than anything else...
This still doesn't explain why the police have Lunge go through the whole business with the tie he used to restrain that one guy, while they DIDN'T question him at all about the killing at the Fortners' house. Also, Lunge believing Nina dead raises the question of why he wouldn't have heard about Tenma and Nina leaping into the river in front of the cops manning the bridge checkpoint.
The murders at the Fortners' house and the murder at Heidelberg Castle took place at roughly the same time, so the police thought they were murdered by different people. (Never mind that Tenma was found at the Fortners' house. I guess Muller and Messner kept that and the bridge incident quiet so they wouldn't risk being incriminated by having Tenma brought in as a witness. After looking back, there's no evidence that they told the police in Heidelberg about it. In fact, they probably came up with a story and if Tenma were to come forward, they would have stuck to that story and said that Tenma was lying to save his own skin. Tenma himself probably figured that and thus did not see going to the police as an option.) Lunge probably concluded that Tenma hired someone to kill the Fortners for him. Thus, the tie was the only way to get him questioned.
As is shown after the Turkish district fire, Nina is by this time using the name of Anna Liebert when faced with the authorities.
Tenma repeatedly obtains the good will of strangers. He isn't a widely popular celebrity on the run, just… A guy, who is reportedly under suspicion as one of the worst serial killers in history. An argument can be made in the case of people he made a lengthy impression on prior to them learning his identity and situation, but for people like the couple in Journey to Freiham I can only imagine that Germany contains an astonishing number of anarchic sociopaths.
Well, the ex-police officer supposedly had a good track record at judging people's character until he found out that his son was a murderer...*shrugs*
So Lunge learns that he finally has Tenma exactly where he wants him (possibly with another dangerous murderer on the premises as well,) he's even right at his desk in the police station when he gets the news, yet he goes ALL ALONE with NO BACKUP to apprehend him.
In Another Monster, Lunge basically admits that he was underestimating Tenma at that point.
For a criminal mastermind going so far as to repeatedly kill off his foster parents and get new ones purely to protect his identity, remaining so deep underground he's practically an un-person in the eyes of the government and impossible for numerous enemies like Tenma to sniff out, Johan sure could be found easily. He's enrolled at college and known to everyone around town under the SAME NAME his EAST German parents had, references to his Mafia bank imply his underlings actually knew what he looked like, all his other foster families' neighbors even remember him clearly and he got in the newspapers as a missing child. I mean, come on.
Johan was under the same name as his East German parents sure, but he was posing as a different Johan Liebert. Who do you think caused the fire that destroyed the records of the real Johan Liebert? It gave him the perfect opportunity to step into the family who lost the real Johan Liebert so that he could bribe them to move to a better area. Since no one in the neighborhood knew the family, no one could say that they were lying about Johan being their son. Still a Contrived Coincidence, however. As for the for the Mafia, do you think they would be dumb enough to tell they didn't trust about Johan? As for the foster families' neighbors, the boy went under different names as a child. Since Tenma probably visited a lot of places asking about Johan, none of neighbors could have possibly known that they were all talking about the same child. As for the part about Johan being in the paper, that was probably so old that no one could really remember it, and since Johan went under different names, no one would have connected dots except Tenma.
Sure, he has a deathwish, and Roberto actually does take a single halfhearted shot at the latter eventually, but why is it that of Richard, Gillen, and Reichwein's little detective club, Richard is the only one that Johan kills? On a related note, why are the three of them (all extremely intelligent and experienced in dealing with dangerous criminals) so careless and open when investigating everything?
Good question about why Johan never killed Gillen and Reichwein. Maybe he didn't consider them a threat, but would killed them when he deemed them a threat? Or maybe he thought killing all of them would make him look suspicious? (He either made Richard's death look like a suicide or actually did talk him into suicide, after all.) *shrugs* In the case of Richard being open about his investigation, he probably underestimated Johan. In the case of Gillen and Reichwein, they probably both underestimated Johan and thought that the police would actually be competent enough to consider their case. Ha.
He probably would've killed them later on, had he not got bored with the whole Schuwald thing.
Aside from his not carrying a gun, Grimmer (a trained spy) fails to notice he's being driven to his rather obvious doom, and then sits dumbly while this is happening. Upon fighting his way out of the car (…after it's parked,) he meekly surrenders to his fate upon treeing himself like a cat.
Well, this was the same guy who got duped by a con man...
So Suk is investigating a case the police force hasn't even issued an official statement on, one which eventually spirals to the point where he's explicitly told it's top secret, and revelations of which eventually makes it clear to him he shouldn't trust pretty much anyone… Yet throughout all of this, he chats in great detail about all of it with some random girl he met in a bar.
Suk is young, naive, and idealistic. It seems quite in-character for him to do that; a hardened veteran would probably think twice.
Roberto is in a prime position, but then exposes himself to Tenma, even truthfully telling him that he'll assassinate Eva, merely noting that the police wouldn't trust Tenma's word on who Roberto is, and that Tenma's lawyer could be part of the conspiracy for all Tenma knows, since Roberto is currently operating as his legal aide. This ignores that Reichwein (who Tenma trusts and knows to trust him, all of which Roberto knows, which they know) has been trying to see Tenma, and Tenma then refuses to see him before confessing.
There are two possibilities here. Either Roberto is acting independently and is genuinely trying to strike a deal with Tenma, or it's part of Johan's Evil Plan to get Tenma to break out of prison, and it doesn't really matter to Johan whether or not Eva dies at this point. He would want her out of the way eventually as she did see him, though. If this theory is true, then Johan was likely focusing on getting Tenma out of jail, but any outcome would have been desirable. If Tenma escaped but Eva lived, the most important part of the plan was accomplished. If Tenma didn't escape, but Eva died, there was one less person that could incriminate him. If Tenma escaped but failed to save Eva, then he just killed two birds with one stone.
As for Tenma refusing to see Reichwein, he was likely just protecting him. (I also want to point out here that the only times Reichwein was shown requesting to see Tenma were when he was initially arrested and after he confessed, not before he confessed. Still, I suppose that wouldn't have kept him from trying to contact him before he made the decision to confess. ...At least I don't think it would. Not entirely sure about this.) As you said, Roberto was aware that Tenma trusts Reichwein, and thus Tenma might have thought that Roberto would anticipate turning to him. Therefore, whatever plan Reichwein would have come up with (most likely, it would involve hiding her, since that's all he really could do) would have likely been thwarted, and there was no guarantee that another attempt wouldn't be made on Reichwein's life if Roberto had to confront him to get to Eva. So he decided to do what he thought Roberto wouldn't expect: escape. Which was what Roberto and Johan wanted him to do if you buy the "it was all a plan to get Tenma to break out of jail" theory.
The Twins Just Disappear
Why has seemingly no one tried to find the missing children from each of the middle-aged-couple murders and why has no one suspected that something might be up when their (adopted) children disappear and then reappear in a different part of the country? Come to think of it, how do the twins even get around so much? And why are they constantly moving in the first place?
The Fortners DID try to find Johan. Tenma found a missing persons article. The foster parents could have very easily put out a missing persons article; it just wasn't mentioned for every case. Also, Johan had a lot of fake names (he was known as Hans and Eric at one point, if memory serves). Johan did not want himself and Nina (Anna, back then) to be found by Bonaparta, so he didn't allow them to linger with one set of parents for long. He was running away from Bonaparta, especially to protect Nina. I would guess they got around the way they always did: running away on their own (probably sneaking away and just heading off somewhere else), and charming whoever they could to help two cute little children out to get somewhere. Remember the taxi driver who was kind of "off". Johan sensed this, acted like he agreed with the taxi driver, and the taxi driver offered him a ride as a way of saying thanks. Anyone who wanted to report the twins...well, Johan did away with them.
If I may go off on a slight tangent, why did Johan decide to spare the Fortners until nine years later? Did Johan want some sort of temporary (well, in this case, nine years is temporary) alternative to killing off the parents after seeing how shook up Anna/Nina was? *scratches head*
He needed someone to take care of Nina.
Yes, I figured that (hence the question about needing an alternative-leaving Nina with someone would be the alternative). There is the question as to why he would trust the Fortners though, but I think I have it figured out: Johan blamed himself for what happened to Nina at the Red Rose Mansion, since he believed that he was really the unwanted one, not Nina. Thus, he took her memories as his own. Johan believed that he was killing the foster parents to protect himself since his memories were all messed up, but he was really doing it to protect Nina. In addition to this, he wanted to stay with Nina. Nina figured everything out, though, and Johan wanted Nina to shoot him so that he wouldn't have to go back to the Red Rose Mansion (on a subconscious level, he was doing it so Nina wouldn't have to go back, since if he were gone, there would be no way he would be confused with her) and so he wouldn't cause her any more pain by killing foster parents. When this doesn't work, he decides to leave the Nina with the Fortners. He could trust them not to hurt Nina since he believed she was the wanted one and had nothing to worry about.
"He could trust them not to hurt Nina since he believed she was the wanted one and had nothing to worry about." And so you have the answer to your question :) I believe this was directly triggered by Bonaparta's late night visit- it changed Johann's thinking from "we're safe as long as we move around and keep killing the people who know us" to "she'll never, ever be safe while I'm around". This explains why, according to Nina, at first he looked worried when she found him with the gun in his hand after murdering the Lieberts, but then brightened up.
Blind Men Know Everything
How the hell does the blind old man in Munich know who Dr Tenma is? I know Johan told him about Dr Tenma when he had recently escaped the hospital, but considering the fact that that happened anywhere up to nine years ago, and taking account that the man is blind and has never met Tenma before, how is he able to put a name to a face he can't see and a voice he couldn't possibly recognise?
The blind man never could quite forget Johan. Johan was a strange boy, with a love for fear that disturbed the blind man greatly; Johan learned languages at an exceptional, noticeable rate, and visited the blind man often (probably because the blind man could tell little about Johan's appearance, and Johan lied about his name to the man). Yes, Johan told the blind man about Tenma, even saying Tenma was like a father to him (Johan). It's fairly logical that, nine years later, when a man shows up asking about Johan, as Johan said Tenma would, the blind man would figure this must be the Dr. Tenma Johan was talking about.
Nina Arrives In The Nick of Time
If it weren't for Nina going to Ruhenheim, would Tenma have shot Johan? He was pulling the trigger back when Nina conveniently showed up on the right street...
I think it's meant to be ambiguous. We never find out whether or not he was going to fire even after she arrived, after all.
(Same troper who posted the JBM here.) True, but Tenma had a different reason to shoot after Nina came: Wim. Before Nina came, The only reason Tenma would have to shoot Johan would be to carry out on his plans to kill him, not protecting an innocent. But perhaps the fact that he let Nina talk to Johan instead of shooting him outright shows just how split he was on the decision. He could have just ignored her. *shrugs* I mean, deep down I don't think Tenma really wanted to kill Johan. He just felt as if he had no choice but to do so in order to stop Johan from murdering people. Personally, I think Nina's willingness to forgive Johan was what convinced Tenma that Johan had a shred of humanity left in him. ...Does that make any sense at all? XD
I just watched the scene again subbed just for the heck of it. (Side note: Japanese Johan sounds creepier than English Johan. And English Johan is pretty damn creepy.) While he does pull the trigger back a little, he still hesitates a bit before Nina finds him. So I guess it wasn't as clear cut as I thought.
Johan Lacks Thoroughness
So, Lunge's theory is that Johan intends to kill everyone who knows about him, including himself. But based on the way that he intended things to turn out, Tenma and Nina would have both have survived. What kind of "disappearance" is that? Did Lunge just not know what he was talking about?
Yeah, that was a bit strange, but I think Johan let Tenma live so he could see "the end" in his place and he let Nina live because she was his sister. Or maybe he was hoping that they would off themselves. *shrugs* Not to mention that Nina told Karl, Lotte, Schuvald, etc. to hide. And yet Johan never made a move against them. Perhaps he was just trying to destroy what was, symbolically, his place of origin? Bonaparta is responsible for Johan's existence, and Ruhenheim was supposed to be where Bonaparta's ancestors came from. (Which is why Bonaparta returned there under his real name, Klaus Poppe.) *shrugs yet again* Johan is confusing.
Johan wanted to leave Tenma ruined, because Tenma was his greatest opponent. And in whatever way Johan could still "love", he loved Nina. This love for Nina also throws another issue into whether or not even Johan was really a Complete Monster. I don't think Johan really thought he could destroy everyone; as long as he did a pretty good job, he was satisfied. He narrowed it down to the more realistic final goal when he decided Tenma betraying his own strongly held ethics was the final, vital step in his plan.
Johan himself said that he wouldn't kill Tenma, because he saved his life. Johan likes him. He won't kill Nina because he loves her. Johan doesn't look at life, death, or morality the way even a diagnosed sociopath would. He may not even have a real plan. His motives are known only to him, and even they can change.
Oh I always liked that part and I think Runge's the one to talk indeed - remember how he thought Johan was imaginary no matter what happened? He knew what he told - from experience. And if Johan would have played his cards right, everybody would think just the same as Runge! The point is - what does the fact matter, if nobody believes it and no proof's available? Anna and Tenma, left behind, would be the only people to know the whole story, the horrible truth, never able to actually tell anyone, encaged in suffering. But also loved by him - as they're only people who'll know he existed at all. Though taking a gunshot is not the most remarkable way to disapper. Maybe his body would not be important - just one more victim of, say, Tenma, if his plan would have worked.
What the hell, Nina?
I know Nina wanted to forgive Johan and all of that, but when Johan pointed the gun at Wim, Nina still yelled at Tenma not to shoot. What? You'd sacrifice an innocent child just so your brother wouldn't have to die? Granted, she probably realized that he was only doing this to get Tenma to shoot him, but she must be incredibly naive to think that Johan wouldn't do it.
Personally, this troper saw this as Nina finally coming to terms with her own past and who she was. Instead of further struggling to cope with her past and all that Johan did to bloody and muddy it up, she was finally moving on with a renewed conscious and choosing what she most valued above what she most feared. In short, this situation displays Anna's new mindset of: care and love held for her friends (in this case, Tenma) to not become something that would ruin them forever (similar to how she was ruined by her shooting Johan) >>>>> hate for Johan and all that he's done to ruin everyone's lives... beginning to see that valuing all the beauty that life is worth over any amount of hurt that could possibly happen is the key recipe to clarity of heart and forgiveness.
In the translation of the manga I read, all Nina says after Johan aims his gun at Wim is "Stop". She meant for everyone to put their guns down and stop the violence, not just Tenma.
Johan Corrupting Tenma
I've seen it written here that the idea behind Johan threatening Wim was that it was Johan's final gambit to corrupt Tenma, forcing him to admit that not all lives are equal. But how would that have been different from Tenma's confrontations with Roberto and Kristof? Tenma shooting Johan to save Wim is no different from Tenma shooting Roberto to save Schuwald and himself or Tenma shooting Kristof to save Eva and himself. By this logic, shooting/killing in self-defense corrupts you. Yet the series doesn't seem to treat Tenma as corrupted after he shot Roberto (even before he was revealed to be alive), and of course, he ended up saving Kristof so that particular situation is rather moot. So what makes Johan's Sadistic Choice situation special? Sure, if the situation had remained a case of murdering or not murdering instead of becoming a matter of self-defense, then I could see it as a case of Johan trying to corrupt Tenma. But it didn't, so how, exactly, would Tenma have been corrupted? Even if you argue that Tenma was corrupted after he shot Roberto, how would Johan's scenario make things worse?
As far as I can tell, Johan wanting to corrupt Tenma is fan interpretation, not necessarily canon. To me it just seemed that Johan wanted to be killed, and pointing the gun at Wim was his way of forcing Tenma to do so.
It certainly seemed that he was, but check out what this guy wrote. I want to think that we're meant to see him as simply corrupt so Tenma's decision to save Johan would be justified, since making his choice seem cut and dry makes for a beautiful setup for the later Deconstruction of it, as it makes the notion that Tenma may have been wrong all the more shocking. But now I'm not so sure. In fact, maybe the revelation that Johan's a serial killer is supposed to make us consider that maybe Heinemann had a point in that some people contribute more to society than others (i.e. the mayor). (However this seems to be undermined by the construction worker/opera singer situation. It's never said that the opera singer made a donation, but if he did, I don't see how the services a construction worker offers on a daily basis is any less useful to society than a one time donation to a hospital.) Then again, maybe Heinemann is a reflection of the cruel and ruthless reality than Johan sees-lives have no inherent value, and the value people put on it varies because people are just selfish bastards like Heinemann. Boy there are a lot different interpretations...
Yes, Heinemann's (and Eva's) view on human life reflects Johann's- it's the big moral dilemma of the series, after all, whether human lives are really equal, and Eisler Memorial's little political games set this up nicely. Although that guy makes a fair point about Heinemann wanting more funding to develop the hospital, nothing excuses his later treatment of Tenma (exploiting and publicly humiliating him). With Tenma being the best doctor on their staff, I can't see how further antagonizing him and forcing him to work too many hours could possibly help save more people's lives. He clearly did that out of malice and for the sake of getting back at Tenma. The last line in that forum post also comes as a bit of a surprise- it's not very abnormal to wish someone who's been such a jerk to you dead, especially since Tenma didn't really mean it, it was something he let slip out while in a state of extreme anger. Johann still rubbes it into his face when he acts out his wish and later tells him about it, though.
OP here: It also occurred to me that Heinemann really is a hypocrite. He goes on about doctors being scholars...and then proceeds to cancel Tenma's research (which is nearly finished) so that Tenma could write a manuscript for a convention he's going to. In the manga, this is elaborated upon: He's planning to propose a medical care network "brought by the new electronics media"...which sounds like Heinemann wants to use computers to ease communication among hospitals in Europe. (I was kinda perplexed by this, but I did a little research and it could be possible that Heinemann was inspired by NSFNET, which was created in 1985-a year prior to when the series starts.) While this would certainly be beneficial in the long run, Tenma's current research could have a more immediate effect if successful. Thus, from a logical standpoint, it would be best for both projects to be completed if the greatest number of lives are to be saved. So if Heinemann really cared about saving lives, he would write the manuscript himself. The only reasons that he would possibly want Tenma to do it are laziness and to make himself look good by putting his name on the work of a better doctor. Plus, in regards to getting funding for the hospital, there has to be other, less ruthless ways of going about it. (Fundraiser, anyone?) Thus, it would seem that Heinemann favors the rich and famous not only for their money, but to gain power and fame as well. In light of that, Tenma probably agrees with the notion of getting more funding for the hospital, but he also thinks that the ends don't justify the means. And yeah, I completely agree with you when it comes to the last line of that forum post.
Why was the entire 511 Kinderheim project scrapped after the massacre?
The Organization is still after gaining a leader who could be the next Hitler, evidenced by their constant attempts to find Johan. Yet they give up on 511 Kinderheim after only one "success"? Hartmann at least kept trying to make another Johan while The Organization is pretty much just the Nazi Mafia.
I don't think the Organization is connected with the same people who created 511 Kinderheim. The latter was created under the regime of communist East Germany, while the former are basically Neo-Nazis. The only link between the two is Wolfe, but even then, Wolfe might have joined the Organization because he wanted a way to lure Johan in so he could hire someone to kill him. (There's also Chapek, but he wasn't involved in Kinderheim. At least I don't think he was...) As for the reason the project was scrapped, well...after the last "success" resulted in everyone killing each other, would you want to try it again?
Also likely is that once the wall fell, the single German government found out about the incident and decided not to do another project like that for all of the moral and practical reasons you're thinking of.
About Dr. Gillen...
Was he the same psychotherapist that Anna talked with about her recurring nightmare early in the series? They look very much alike.
Doubt it. I confused new characters with previous ones constantly when reading the manga. It's just a matter of drawing style.
Why did the Racial Supremacists want Johann to be the new Hitler?
He has blonde hair and blue eyes, but he's Czechoslovakian and historically Nazis look down on Slavs. However they want a slav to be their leader and hate the Turks (who the Nazis were neutral about).
Nazis have never been consistent in terms of their ideology. Hitler, for example, wasn't blond-haired or blue-eyed although he elevated this as the ideal. There's also the possibility that he might have had Jewish heritage himself. Plus, in terms of Johan, it's suggested that his father was of German ancestry which might be enough for the Neo-Nazis.
Johan (and Nina) are of Bohemian ancestry, according to Another Monster and several in-series references. This still notwithstanding the fact that neo-Nazis in today's context don't always adhere to the more well-defined racial ideologies promulgated by the orginal NSDAP.