The ending of the underrated masterpiece, Monster, would have left so many fans (including myself) in a confused and shocking state. Although the series was quite the ride and took so many twists and turns, there were still questions that begged to be answered in the series. The major one would be about the sudden disappearance of one of the most celebrated antagonists of anime history, Johan Liebert.
In the final scene of Monster, we see Dr. Tenma visiting Johan in the Bayern State-Run Police hospital. There Tenma tells him what the actual names of Johan and Anna (Nina Fortner) that were given by Viera Černá, their Mother, were (Tenma visited Viera in the hospital she was at before visiting Johan). To Tenma’s shock, Johan seemingly awakens from his slumber at this moment, asking Tenma with dead straight zombie eyes regarding the incident in three frogs lodging.
Monster ended with the picture of Johan’s hospital bed being empty and the window being open (while the end credits are going on). It’s possible that Johan was awake most of the time and just pretending to sleep and waited for Tenma to visit him.
After that, he’d just disappear again, just like how he disappeared previously from the hospital Tenma was working at.
The question remains on the minds of people who finished the series. What happened to Johan after Monster ended? People theorize that he escaped from the hospital, lost all his memories of the past, and started living a normal life as any human being would. Others theorize that after Johan escaped from the hospital, he was caught by the police and was given the death sentence immediately. There were also theories that the final scene of Monster was just Tenma’s hallucination and the bed was empty all along and that Johan was killed beforehand.
Unsatisfied by the ambiguous conclusion of one of the best manga ever written, I was searching hard for the answers all over the internet. It was then that I came to know that Naoki Urazawa, the creator of the Monster Series, had written a Light Novel (LN) called “Another Monster – The Investigative Report” for the purpose of providing more information which were missing or stuff which were left unexplained in the original series.
The following contains major spoilers from the above mentioned Light Novel.
What Happened To Johan? Did Johan Die?
Short answer, Johan Liebert is not dead. He is still out there as a monster. Well this is the conclusion I reached after going through the light novel Another Monster. Read on to find out why.
The events of Another Monster take place in 2001, about 3 years after the Ruhenheim massacre. It contains a series of interviews conducted by a freelance reporter called Werner Weber, who was interested in the Johan case. Weber interviews several key characters, like Eva Heinemann, Inspector Lunge, Karl Schuwald (Son of Hans Schuwald), etc.
In the Novel, Werner is trying to connect the Johan case with another case which happened in the year 2000. In this case, an “Axe using serial killer” called Gustav Kottmann had slaughtered a nurse and two doctors in St. Ursula’s Clinic, Austria. After carrying out the murders he took his own life. The peculiar thing about this case was that unlike his previous crimes, this was not a sexual crime.
“One, two, three… My mission is complete,” Kottmann’s last words on this earth. What was this mission, and who did he receive it from? And why didn’t he commit any murders for the year up to this point? Where was he hiding while the police labeled him a “wanted” suspect? I delved into Gustav Kottmann’s life, seeking the answers to these three questions. “Werner Weber, Another Monster
Well, this looks kind of familiar! Before this incident, two key things happened:
- A mysterious man with a bleeding arm shows up for treatment at St. Ursula Emergency Clinic, but disappears right after without leaving a trace.
- Eugen Molke (revealed by police investigations to be Jaroslav Čarek, formerly a high ranking adviser in Omnipol) is found dead in his home.
According to Czech police files, before Čarek was hired to be a top advisor at Omnipol, he was a captain in the secret police, and was responsible for many of the secret terrorist training camps set up in Czechoslovakia. Recall back what was mentioned in the main series that the Czechoslovakian secret police had a shady past and Johan (disguised as Nina) killed a few former members of the secret police.
What follows is a series of interviews and self-contemplation by Weber, getting him closer and closer to the truth about all these cases. Little did he know he was also getting closer and closer to his own final chapter….
The Novel ended with Werner Weber’s disappearance after he received a mysterious call from Hermann Fuhr, the person who was the mastermind behind the murders in St. Ursula’s Clinic and the murder of Čarek.
Who is Hermann Fuhr?
Hermann Führ, was an outstanding student and a product of Petr Capek’s and Bonaparta’s reading sessions at the Red Rose Mansion. By copying Bonaparta’s style of writing, he authored “Dorn of the Darkness” and another book.
Interestingly, Dorn of the Darkness happens to be both Johan’s and Kottman’s favorite book. Kottman was writing Führ letters of appreciation of his book and was deeply inspired by the book. Führ used that opportunity and used him to kill the doctors and nurse in the hospital. While in the process of killing Čarek, he suffered an arm injury and went to the St. Ursula’s Clinic for treatment. He ordered Kottman to kill the doctors there. His goal was to remove the people who knew him, quite similar to Johan’s….
“Four years ago, I went to Prague. Who knows why, but I wanted to set foot again in the scariest place, the Red Rose Mansion. But it was engulfed in flames. And then he emerged from within. I was set free. I stopped running. I could paint my picture books, and live like him. The end…in the Landscape of the End, there will be only he and I.”Hermann Führ, Another Monster
Führ, after explaining everything to Weber, told him that he was in the room adjacent to him, in the hotel where Weber was staying. The next morning, both the rooms were found empty.
Two fascinating things were found in Weber’s room, a manuscript of Führ’s latest work called “The Awakening Monster” and a memo, in which the following sketch was found:
Well, this pretty much settles the whole Johan being alive or not debate. He is alive. Even though it is not confirmed by the author himself in the book that this is a sketch of Johan, but the resemblance is uncanny. Especially the hairdo and the eyes.
In the finale of the novel (the commentary by the co-author Takashi Nagasaki), it is mentioned that he (as himself) met the winning bidder of the sketches of Helmuth Voss (Bonaparta) that were sold in an auction. That person used the name “Werner Weber” to buy the sketches for his client and incinerate them. He mentioned that this client wants to redo the Eugenics Experiments, originally done by Bonaparta, and he intends to meet Hermann Führ and invite him back into his country. Once that is accomplished, the client would gather the children to restart the experiment, with the help of Führ, the next generation Voss/Bonaparta.
Now the question is, who is this client and what is his relation to Hermann Führ? The answer is not conclusively mentioned in the novel and is kept as an open question.
Could this client be Johan Liebert?
My suspicions are the following: Johan Liebert’s favorite book is Dorn of the Darkness and is authored by Führ, whom Johan would have probably found out, was a participant in the famous reading sessions at the Red Rose Mansion. He also met Führ while the mansion was in flames and they would have talked. Johan would have instructed Führ to kill Čarek. Then, while knowing Weber was upto, Johan would have taken the next room. By using the name Führ, he called Weber, explained everything to him, went into his room, took him away and made Weber to kill himself through manipulation.
The client who bought the sketches in the auction is Johan and he wants to re-create the experiments with the help of Führ and also using a famous political leader for himself (as a puppet) to eventually make himself the only sane standing man on Earth. Klaus Poppe (Bonaparta) tried this experiment first on his father, Terner Poppe and as a result, he lost his mind and died. Klaus wanted to use these experiments on a large scale, not to make a leader for Germany as it seemed, but to make everyone else but him, disappear. Johan, even though instructed by his mom to kill Klaus Poppe, wanted to have the same goal as him and be the last man on Earth standing alive.
What do you guys think of this theory? Let us know your opinions on the comments section!