|“||When you’re in the darkness, you only sink deeper into it. Keep the light shining.||”|
Dr. Kenzo Tenma is the primary protagonist of the series. He was a genius neurosurgeon at Eisler Memorial Hospital, considered to be the best in the field, until he disobeyed the Hospital Director's orders to perform brain surgery on Mayor Roedecker, choosing instead to operate on a newly-orphaned boy, Johan Liebert. Since the boy arrived first, he decided to risk his promising future to do what was morally correct and save Johan. Unfortunately the mayor passed away, and the boy, along with his twin sister, went missing...
Years later, Johan reappeared and was revealed to be a cold-blooded murderer. Tenma, who regretted having saved Johan, went after him to rectify his mistake with his own hands before he killed any more people.
Note: The content in this section is only following the events that took place in Tenma's life starting in April 1986, or the official starting point of the series. To read about Tenma's affairs before he was hired as a neurosurgeon, please refer to the "Background" segment below.
At the beginning of the seriesEdit
Doctor Kenzo Tenma was a promising young neurosurgeon who worked at Eisler Memorial Hospital in Dusseldorf, Germany. He moved to the city from Japan after reading a paper apparently written by the hospital's director, Udo Heinemann. Heinemann was quick to recognize Tenma's skills as a surgeon and took him under his wing. The young doctor was also engaged to the director's daughter, Eva Heinemann, and had a very promising future ahead of him.One day Tenma was ordered to operate on an opera singer, and performed the surgery just as he was told. However, later that day he was confronted by a Turkish woman and her son in the hospital's lobby, and was hit by her as she insisted her husband (now deceased) had been brought into the hospital before the other patient. She blamed Tenma for her husband's death, and said that if he had been there to operate on him, he surely would have lived. Dazed, Tenma looked into the matter and came to realize that the opera singer had in fact been brought in after the Turkish man and therefore shouldn't have received treatment first.
Turning pointEditA few days later, in April of 1986, he received a call in the middle of the night instructing him to perform surgery on a young boy with a gunshot wound to the head. Tenma arrived at the hospital in a moment's notice, ready to operate. At the last second though, his surgical team was interrupted because he had received yet another call; this one was ordering him to let Doctor Becker operate on the boy and have him work on the town's Mayor Roedecker instead. Under ordinary circumstances Tenma, the director's little tool, would have switched patients without hesitation, but after his confrontation with the Turkish woman a few days before, he wasn't sure how he was supposed to tackle this moral dilemma. In the end, he refused his superior's orders and carried out the initial surgery on the boy. The child's life was saved, but the town mayor wasn't so lucky. Tenma was deemed responsible for the man's death, and from there his entire perfect illusion of life began to shatter. It all began at business banquet -- the head of neurosurgery was called up to speak a few words, and while Tenma was preparing to approach the stage, another doctor walked up instead. Because he had been dubbed "irresponsible" for going against the director's orders, Tenma was demoted from his position. Eva also broke off their engagement after telling him he was "such a fool." Crestfallen, Tenma drove to the hospital and paid a visit to the young boy he saved while shouting angrily at the comatose body before him that the bastards who ruined his promising career would be better off dead. Of course, Tenma didn't really wish for their deaths, but he figured it would be alright since in that moment of intense anger his proclamation would be heard by nobody...or so he thought. Unbeknownst to him, the young boy, allegedly in a comatose state, was actually awake and seeping up Tenma's speech like a sponge.
Death of the three doctorsEditA few days later Tenma went out drinking to drown in his sorrows, and after returning home was woken up at an early hour by the police. The officers informed him that three of his superiors -- Director Heinemann, Doctor Boyer, and Doctor Oppenheim -- had all met untimely deaths the previous evening after consuming poisoned candy. In the midst of all the bustle, the young boy and his twin sister had also mysteriously disappeared from the hospital's grounds. At the director's funeral, Tenma was met by an officer of the BKA, Heinrich Lunge, whom he had been informed was investigating the case. Lunge made the observation that the doctors' deaths and the events which consequently occurred all seemed to be working in the favor of one man: Doctor Tenma.
Due to a lack of evidence, the case received little attention. That is, until a major clue popped up in 1995.
Adolf JunkersEditTenma's life only improved from there; he was able to continue saving lives, but didn't have the burden of being Director Heinemann's whipping boy. As for Lunge, he pushed the case from his immediate consciousness and instead was focusing the murders of middle-aged couples throughout Germany. His investigations lead him to a man -- Adolf Junkers -- whom he believed was affiliated with the killings (though as a lock pick instead of directly ending the couples' lives). Junkers, however, had received a head injury after being hit by a car and needed treatment from a top-notch neurosurgeon immediately. Of course, there was no man better suited for the task than Tenma, who followed through with the operation quickly and efficiently. In the process of recovery, Junkers was reluctant to speak of his involvement with the serial killings, but finally decided he was ready to confess one evening after receiving some encouraging words from Tenma. At that time, Tenma was going out on a date prearranged for him by Doctor Becker, one of his colleagues, but saw a certain clock in a shop window which reminded him of something he was told by Junkers, and he decided to purchase the item as a gift for his patient. Instead of waiting until morning arose, Tenma stood up his date and took the clock over the hospital immediately. Upon arrival, he was met with a rather unpleasant surprise.
Night of ExecutionEditThe police officer assigned to keep watch over Junkers until he came forth with his confession was seen on the floor, dead with a candy wrapper next to him. Appalled, Tenma burst into Junkers' room and saw from a window that his patient was running down the street. He chased after him into an old, abandoned building where he came into contact with a beautiful blonde man. The young man shot the doctor's patient dead, then confessed that he too had once received treatment from him. Johan Liebert, the young boy whose life Tenma saved over that of the mayor's, the child who disappeared the night of the director's death, was standing before him. "I'm glad I was able to help," he told Tenma as he admitted to killing his three superiors nine years ago. Tenma stood there in shock as Johan walked past him and out of the building, where he was observed by Eva.
Start of runaway lifeEditTenma gave his testimony of the previous night's events to Lunge, who was certain the doctor's deposition was nothing more than a fairytale fabricated in his mind. Tenma then started performing his own investigations on Johan Liebert, but to no avail, as all leads dropped off when the boy just "mysteriously disappeared" from whatever town he was staying in. With the help of a blind old man however, he was able to gather some information on the boy's twin sister, and learned she was residing in Heidelberg. Tenma realized that if Johan had once lived with the couple and his sister, there certainly would have been a newspaper article reporting his disappearance. Therefore, he paid a visit to the Heidelberg Post and was, with the help of Jacob Mauler, able to pinpoint the current location of the boy's twin Anna, who now went by the name of Nina Fortner, at the home of Christianne and Erich Fortner. After concluding that it would have been exactly ten years since Johan left his sister in the Fortners' care, the two men hurried to her home as fast as they could. When they arrived, the parents remarked that Nina was out meeting a "friend" at Heidelberg Castle, so Tenma took off to try and reach the girl before it was too late while Mauler stayed behind with the couple, intending to call the police.
Heidelberg CastleEditAt Heidelberg Castle, Tenma met Nina and told her they had to leave as soon as possible. The two ran into complications with a gardener hired to keep watch, but using Tenma's necktie and Nina's aikido abilities, they were able to escape. By the time they arrived back at the her home though, it was too late; the dead bodies of Mr. Mauler and the Fortners were already waiting for them. Two police officers who were secretly working undercover for Johan appeared and told Tenma and Nina and they would be taken to the station. While driving, Tenma realized these men claiming to be on the side of justice were actually the ones who bloodied their hands that evening, so he acted quickly and ultimately ended up jumping off a bridge with Nina in his arms. The two spent the next few days living in a shack, but when Tenma went into town and returned back Nina had left without him. Before leaving, she had written a nice letter and prepared a couple of sandwiches for him to eat. Tenma returned to Dusseldorf, where he ran into a couple undesirable situations. A gardener had been murdered at Heidelberg Castle only a few nights before (not by our protagonists -- they had only tied him up), and a necktie was found at the scene of the crime. Eva knew whose necktie it was; it was the very one she purchased for a certain Kenzo Tenma, but was offering to keep her mouth shut about who the tie belonged to if Tenma was willing to take her back. When he refused, Eva started screaming and calling him a murderer. After she revealed the identity of the tie's holder to Lunge, Tenma officially became a murder suspect. Luckily for him, by the time Lunge received the news he was already on the run.
Marksmanship trainingEditThe bright young doctor who had dedicated his life to saving lives for over ten years now had a new goal in mind: there was a certain life he had to end. Before beginning his grand cat-and-mouse chase though, he first had to learn how to use a gun, so he spent some time living and training with Hugo Bernhardt. During this period, Tenma also brought forth a joyous union between Hugo and a young girl whose mother he killed years ago -- they had lived together for quite a while, but she never once smiled or spoke to him. By the time Tenma left, the two walked hand in hand like father and daughter. After he became proficient in his use of firearms, Tenma ventured to Frankfurt, where he was investigating the recent murder of the Springer couple. While walking through their estate, he came into contact Otto Heckel, a thief and con-man who was looking to see if there were any good pickings. Unfortunately, the police arrived at that time and the two had to make a quick escape. They paid a visit to a man carrying a message from Johan, who said to Tenma his fate had already been decided. The individual killed himself right after. Heckel soon came to realize just who the man he'd spent the day with was -- Kenzo Tenma, a former surgeon now wanted for murder -- and thought the two could earn a couple bucks if they went according to his magnificent plan of making Tenma an underworld doctor. Although Tenma had no intention of permanently staying in such a position, he did treat and save the life of a terrorist. This interaction important to the storyline because it's when Tenma first starts to show significant moral development; the old Doctor Tenma would have saved the terrorist in a moment's notice, but the new one forced the man to think about the innocent civilians that died by his hand and made him repent before saving his life.
DieterEditNext, Tenma learned Johan was once enrolled in an institution called Kinderheim 511, a government-run East German orphanage that tried to shape the students enrolled into perfect soldiers. He also learned that in 1985, something awful, horrible, and "unspeakable" happened there. While trying to uncover just what the horrendous secret was, he came across a man by the name of Hartmann who was once the director there. He talked about how brilliant and perfect Johan was even before enrolling, but before he got to the grand revelation of '85, the two were interrupted by Hartmann's adopted child Dieter. Tenma was surprised to see the boy, as he had run into him earlier that day and treated some of his wounds. They arranged for him to come back at another time and hear the whole story. A few visits later, Tenma realized that Hartmann's kind exterior was just a cover-up for the fact that he had been been abusing Dieter. Next, Tenma decided to add kidnapping to his string of crimes and took the boy to a local hospital. He told the nurses he'd be back in a few hours and not to let anyone -- under any circumstances -- take Dieter unless it was him. Tenma paid a visit to another orphanage that had been running for quite a while. He first tried to make arrangements for Dieter to move into it, but was unsuccessful. Afterwards, he and the caretaker, Erna Tietze, began talking about Kinderheim 511. It turned out that the orphanage he was currently visiting was the one Nina, or Anna at the time, stayed at while her brother was in Kinderheim. As for Kinderheim's secret, it was revealed that Johan manipulated all the staff and students to massacre each other, leaving alive only him and Christoph Sievernich. From there, he and his sister were adopted by the Lieberts and stayed with the family until that fateful day in April 1986. After that, he decided to go pick up Dieter, but was surprised to hear Hartmann had already come and gone. He found the two in Kinderheim's ruins; Dieter in a tall, royal-like chair and Hartmann standing right behind him in a rather psychotic state. In the end, Tenma managed to convince Dieter to leave Hartmann for good and join him on his journey. Next, the two traveled to a small village where they met Petra and Schumann; Tenma tried to leave Dieter in safety of the villagers but the boy refused and they started heading towards Frankfurt again.
On the way, they learned of the Neo-Nazi group's plan to burn down the Turkish district of Frankfurt. Tenma ended up being captured by the group and Dieter ran to the city to warn the people of what was to come. After some cruel treatment, the former doctor met Helmut Wolf, a man who one might say is "close" to Johan -- he found the twins starving and half dead on the Czech-German border when they were about seven or eight and saved their lives; in return, Johan had been kind enough to ruin Wolf's, killing any person who ever knew him by name. You could say he and Tenma were almost in the same position, except that because Wolf had transformed into a withered husk as a result of his age, he was rendered useless when it came to killing Johan and instead asked of Tenma to do so.
Multiple PersonalitiesEditWith the help of Dieter, Nina, and Heckel, Tenma was able to put a stop to the fires and the Neo-Nazi's plan to burn down Frankfurt's Turkish district. After, he was met with a nice message left by Johan on the top of a water tower about how the "monster inside of him is about to explode." Tenma received several other notes from Johan and consequently decided to get the input of Rudy Gillen, a former classmate of his and now a forensic psychologist, on what the messages might mean. Gillen first suspected that Tenma was in fact a serial killer himself and was suffering from dissociative identity disorder, but after a couple discussions with prison inmate Peter Jürgens it became apparent to him that Johan actually existed. Following that, he helped Tenma to escape from the police, who Gillen had called before realizing his friend's innocence. Within Tenma's game of cat-and-mouse with Johan, he was also playing a match against Lunge, who had been hot on his trail and lived only for the persecution of his beloved Tenma. After learning of a killing that occurred Freiham, they both flocked to the site (Tenma arrived after he and Dieter hitched a ride with a British couple). Both men came to the same conclusion -- well, sort of -- Tenma knew that Johan was not responsible and Lunge also realized "Johan" aka Tenma was not the killer because there was feeling at the crime scene. Unlucky timing caused the two of them to meet face-to-face, and Tenma would have been caught had the real killer not shown up and wounded Lunge. In the end, Lunge's persistence caused him to almost bleed to death but Tenma saved him after he passed out.
Of Men and DiningEditTenma and Dieter met up with Heckel again and he attended to more wounded people of the underworld. One of them was a mob boss who had been shot and currently was hiding out in his country home. After he received treatment, the group sat around and ate some of Heckel's cooking. At the same time, Eva's life began to intertwine with Tenma's once again: she had recently hooked up with Roberto, Johan's most loyal follower, and had been bribed by him to shoot Tenma. Of course, since Eva still had feelings for her former fiance -- perhaps not romantic, but feelings all the same -- she had no intention of truly shooting him and instead told Dieter, who was in the forest at the time, to run and warn the others. Roberto had followed Eva and, after she betrayed him, decided to shoot her before making an escape himself. Tenma tended to her wounds then left her with the former mob boss as he set off for Munich, since the man had hinted that a "charismatic young man" had had affiliations there not too long ago. In Munich, he ended up coming into contact with Julius Reichwein, a former professor of his who had been dragged into the whole Johan mess after one of his therapy clients was forced to commit suicide because of the young man. After Reichwein was saved by Tenma (Roberto was trying to kill him for knowing too much), he offered to put him and Dieter in a safe house for the time being. Tenma agreed, but then ended up leaving Dieter with the psychiatrist and escaped on his own. He planned to shoot Johan on one of his weekly bird walks with Schuwald, a businessman he had recently become the secretary of, but came into contact with a former soldier who told him a regrettable story of his past then assured the birds around him that blood would never be shed again in the forest. Because of Tenma's compassionate heart, that conversation meant he could never bring himself to shoot Johan there.
Book Donation CeremonyEditAfter Tenma read in the newspaper about the killing of "Margot Langer" also known as Blue Sophie, his intuition told him Johan was involved, so he decided to talk to the first witness on the scene. The girl was an underworld doctor, and only seventeen years old. He helped her out with some of the patients then they had a conversation afterwards which confirmed his suspicions about whether or not Johan was involved. Following that he snuck into the University of Munich library with hopes of killing Johan at Schuwald's book donation ceremony the following day. Overnight, he had recollections of his own childhood. Unfortunately for Tenma, his scheme to execute Johan did not follow through exactly as planned. Throughout the speeches, he assumed his position on top of the bookcase, waiting for the perfect opportunity to fire his gun. Instead firing a gun like he intended however, a real fire broke out and the civilians were all trapped within the library's locked doors. If it's any consolation, Tenma ended up shooting someone for the first time; he was faced with a "kill or be killed" situation between himself and Roberto, and shot the unlucky hit man off the library's balcony onto the floor, seemingly killing him. After, he shot off the doors' hinges, freeing all of the flames' captives. Instead of filing out with the others though, Tenma re-entered the burning landscape in yet another attempt to end the young man's life. As always, he met some sort of road block -- this time it was Nina, who insisted that he mustn't shoot. He too made the same proclamation when she tried to kill her brother. In the end, Nina became trapped under a burning curtain and Johan escaped while Tenma saved his sister. A few days later, Schuwald, through his son Karl, sent Tenma a message that the mother of the twins might very well be alive in Prague.
GrimmerEditTenma set out on a journey to Prague, while coincidentally Johan, Lunge, Nina, and Dieter were also heading in that direction (none of the parties came into contact though). While he was on a train, he met a "freelance journalist" known as Wolfgang Grimmer. The two talked a bit, and Grimmer realized Tenma's discomfort when the police were checking his passport -- which was actually fake -- so he created a diversion which made it easy for the former doctor to secretly jump off the train. Grimmer joined him not long after and gave him tips on how to secretly cross the Czech-German border without being seen by the patrol officers. The two then parted ways, not knowing how closely related their separate reasons for coming to Prague really were. Tenma successfully crossed the border and began digging up as much information about the twins' mother and her history as he could. At the same time, Grimmer and Jan Suk were struggling with the secret police and Suk ended up in a position which mirrored the situation Tenma dealt with in '86: three superiors poisoned and only one man to blame. Internally, the reason for so much conflict was merely that there were many groups of people who wanted a tape containing a drugged interrogation with a certain little boy who sent Kinderheim 511 into ruin. Tenma knew that the whole situation was somehow related to Johan, and decided it would be best to find Suk as soon as possible. He paid a visit to the detective's mother, a woman suffering from Alzheimer's disease, in the hospital. She mistook the middle-aged Japanese man for her son as a child, and started teasing him about how she knew where his secret hideout was. When he learned of Suk's little hiding spot, he figured that was at least a starting point to search for the detective. Upon arrival, he was faced with many injured and deceased members of the secret police, a screaming Suk, and a smiling Grimmer with blood dripping from his hands. Grimmer explained to Tenma the situation and everything that had been happening to him and Suk the last couple of weeks. At a hotel, he revealed to the doctor that he was once an inmate of Kinderheim 511 and had consequently developed an alternative personality, "The Magnificent Steiner," who shows up in stressful situations and fights with a superhuman, beast-like power. Later, the two men met with Karel Ranke, the former head of the Czech Secret Police who offered to them the safe return of Suk (currently in one of his organization's hospitals) in exchange for the tape. They agreed with the condition that the three of them listen to it first. The group collected the tape from its secure location in the hands of Suk's mother, but when they got to a certain point a voice had taped over the material, leaving a message for Tenma instead. Johan had gotten there first.
After the young detective's release, Tenma and Grimmer split ways. From there, Tenma stopped by the home of Tomas Zobak who was the former editor of picture book author Franz Bonaparta, a man Tenma's investigations revealed to be a very important figure in the twins' lives. Right after Tenma left, Zobak called the police and he was arrested within minutes.
Arrest and Escape from prisonEditTenma's arrest generated a lot of havoc amongst the characters in the Monster universe. Everyone, from Schuwald to his former patients at Eisler Memorial Hospital, was trying to make sure he could get the best representation possible in court. The time of Tenma's arrest also occurred right when Lunge learned that Franz Bonaparta existed, and therefore Johan did too. When he crossed paths with Tenma in the police station, he whispered that the hardest people to interrogate are the ones who say nothing at all. Tenma took his advice and it proved to be successful. Ultimately, Fritz Verdemann and Alfred Baul were hired to represent him in court. Verdemann was a top-notch lawyer known throughout Germany, and Baul was supposedly another legal expert. However, upon meeting with Tenma during a prison consultation, Baul turned out to be Roberto, who had actually survived the events at the library. "Baul" told Tenma that he was planning to kill Eva Heinemann, so he knew then and there that it was time to start formulating a prison escape plan.
In the cells, Tenma met Gunther Milch, another inmate who could practically be dubbed an escape artist considering how many times he had broken out of prison. The two planned to confess guilty, which would mean they'd be transferred to another building by vehicle. At that time, Guther's younger brother, Gustav, would jump in front of the car pretending to have been hit, and when the officers got out to see what happened, they would make their escape. Everything would have been fine had it not been for one small problem: Gustav actually did get hit by the car. When that happened, Tenma used the fact that he was once a doctor to their advantage and the two men were able to escape regardless of the slight setback.
Red Rose MansionEditShortly after, Tenma paid a visit to Verdemann and learned that the lawyer's father had affiliations with Franz Bonparta when he was alive, which was why Baul targeted him in the first place. Verdemann gave him his father's valuable notebook, which contained information on how to get to the Red Rose Mansion among other material. The mansion had already been burned when Tenma got there, and he ended up being confronted by some of Wolf's men. He was then taken to meet Wolf on his deathbed, and the man told him his story of how he met and saved the twins before passing on. Following that slight interruption, Tenma went back to his main priority: to find Eva and make sure she was safe, which lead him to Martin Reest. Martin had connections with The Baby and Petr Čapek (two of the Neo-Nazis from the group he ran into in Frankfurt earlier), and was acting as Eva's bodyguard for an unprecedented amount of time, having apparently retrieved her from her hotel room before Roberto as "Baul" could get to her. After he tried to run away with her, he was mortally shot and in his dying moments told Tenma about Capek's plan in addition to the fact that Eva could be found at Frankfurt Central Station. Tenma visited the woman, told her Martin was dead, then waited alongside her until the train came. When Tenma and Eva went their separate ways, he started trying to learn more about Petr Capek whilst avoiding the German police. When attempting to escape from some officers, he got hit by a car and fortunately was rescued by a local -- Milan Kolasch -- instead of the police. Tenma spent a few days living with the man's unofficial family, and during this time learned that Milan was Capek's former best friend and was now was out to kill him because of the pain he'd made him and his "family" go through. Tenma tried to convince Milan otherwise, but he resisted and in his endeavored assassination got killed himself. Tenma's investigations led him to Christoph Sievernich, a Neo-Nazi who had associations with Capek, was a politician, and was the only other person who survived the Kinderheim Massacre besides Johan. Eva too had hunted down Christoph and was blaming him for the death of her beloved Martin. Tenma's arrival couldn't have been better -- Chistoph was about to shoot the poor woman after her attempt at killing him had failed. Tenma ended up shooting off the politician's ear and then the three of them got into a car and drove away. When Tenma had Eva go call for an ambulance at a public payphone, Christoph told Tenma where he could find "Him" because He had been waiting.
"Welcome Home"EditTenma arrived at the abandoned building where Johan and Nina had just exchanged conversation for the first time in ten years, and saw the young woman sitting alone with a gun to her head. After Tenma convinced her not to kill herself, they were met by Capek in the doorway, who told them that Johan was probably going to try to find and execute Bonaparta next, and that although he didn't know where that man was, his son was somewhere in Prague.
RuhenheimEditHe managed to track down Jaromír Lipsky, Bonaparta's son, and after many attempts was finally able to talk to him. With the help of the man's clues, Tenma discovered that Bonaparta's current location was a small town in southern Germany called Ruhenheim. He arrived in the midst of the massacre, and first tried to help out by evacuating as many schoolchildren and their teachers as he could. Right after, he ran into Lunge, who apologized for everything that happened between them those past twelve years. Lunge had other business to settle, so Tenma next found Grimmer, bleeding to death but finding happiness in the fact that he'd been able to regain his humanity. Grimmer introduced Tenma to Bonaparta before passing on. The two had a short discussion which didn't last very long because they soon were met face-to-face with Johan. Roberto showed up at the scene and shot Bonaparta dead just before he had the chance to make an attempt on Johan's life, then Roberto also collapsed for a final time as a result of the injuries Lunge gave him. Out there in the pouring rain, there stood only Johan, Tenma, and a terrified little boy named Wim Knaup. Johan told Tenma he could now see the "Scenery for a Doomsday," a barren wasteland where nothing is and nothing isn't. To further illustrate the scene, the backdrop changed to the landscape at the Czech-German border where Wolf rescued the twins all those years ago. Right after, Nina and Gillen showed up and told Tenma not to shoot Johan, even though he was now taunting the doctor by threatening to shoot the by-standing boy if Tenma wouldn't kill him. It was the moment of truth for Tenma, but in the end he never did get to choose whether or not to shoot Johan -- the boy's father, Herbert Knaup, stepped in and took fire at the young man instead. With slight urging from Nina and Lunge, Tenma operated on Johan and saved his life once again.
The EndEditWith the help of Lunge, Verdemann, and others, Tenma's innocence was finally proven. He then decided to join the organization Doctors Without Borders, set on helping as many people as he could. In the series' finale, he meets with Viera Cerna in France, who tells him what the twins' real names are. Right after, he visits Johan in a police hospital. Although Johan is supposed to be a in a comatose state, he sits right up and starts telling Tenma about the choice his mother made between he and his sister back in 1981. Whether or not Johan was actually talking or if the whole visit was just a hallucination is probably something not even Tenma can answer. After, he leaves and plans to pay a visit to Dieter, Nina, and Reichwein before heading off somewhere overseas.
Tenma is a workaholic who prioritizes his patients and their well-being more than anything. Although he's a highly skilled neurosurgeon, he confesses to Inspector Lunge that during a surgery he's jumping out of his skin due to the fright of committing a mistake.
Tenma is often obsessed with saving as many lives as he can. Johan enjoys toying with this mindset, sprouting several massacres possibly to challenge Tenma to prevent them.
His kindness is prevalent trough the series - in contrast to Johan's unscrupulous nature - and he sometimes ponders about the moral of his actions. When he is worried (often with Johan) he neglects his own self care and goes as far as collapsing for lack of food or sleep. Other than that, he's overall an optimistic individual, or tries his best to seem so to others, giving words of encouragement to the people around him.
When Lunge enters Tenma's psyche he discovers that Tenma doesn't fit in either Japanese or German society. Nevertheless, Tenma isn't too unsociable, and ironically in several flashbacks (Eva's and Rudi's) he is seen happily hanging around in a group. He does prefer to work alone rather than in a team if he can help it though.
"All lives are equal"Edit
Tenma's motto and the reason he disobeyed Director Heinemann's orders to save the person who arrived first regardless of social status. This ideal is not just a matter of work ethic, much of Tenma's psychology stems from this principle, and it is one of the reasons he struggles so much with his own decision of killing Johan. For instance, Tenma becomes wracked with guilt at shooting Roberto in spite of the apparent necessity of his actions, believing that he had killed the man, and expresses such great remorse over his seeming death that he feels himself unworthy of being called a doctor. There is even a personality shift when Tenma starts to doubt his own belief.
Many close friends of Tenma interviewed in Another Monster, including Eva, mention the reason they love to be around Tenma is that he never looks down on them, and regardless of his exceptional skills, he treats others as equals or puts more value in their abilities over his own.
Being the protagonist of the series, Tenma formed a lot relationship through out his journey to find and slay the monster Johan.
Eva, Tenma's fiancee, cancels her marriage with Tenma after discovering he disobeyed the hospital director's orders. In Another Monster, she explains that she did so because her father needed a right-hand man in whom he could put his full trust, but still emphasizes that breaking the engagement was her own conscious decision.
Tenma tries to reach Eva several times after they are separated, but she harshly ignores him. Yet, when Tenma gets to be the head of the surgery department again, their roles are reversed, and Tenma ignores Eva's pleas to get back together. Later, Eva goes as far as falsely accusing Tenma of murder and chases him to make him regret not wanting her back.
Tenma still cares for Eva deeply, despite the cruel way she broke off the engagement with him, saving her life once and going to the point of escaping prison to save her from getting killed by Roberto. Their relationship finally gets closure after Martin's death, when the two meet again and remain on good terms with each other.
The relationship between the two is a complex one. Although they met for brief periods and usually during tense situations they both developed a deep understanding of each other.
Hans Georg SchuwaldEdit
BackgroundEditBorn on January 2 1958 in Yokohama, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. Tenma is the third son of a director of a prestigious Hospital and a former editor of a medical publisher. Both his parents had previous divorces, and his father had two sons from his previous marriage, who are seven and two years older than Tenma.
Tenma stood out for being a bright boy who's always the top of his class; this allowed him to attend the best schools in the city which made his father proud.
Throughout his life in Japan he made very few friends and didn't forge strong bonds even with his own family, which is one of the reasons given by Dr. Takahashi to explain why Tenma came to Germany and never went back.
In his early childhood, Tenma tried to make friends by clinging to his kid neighbors so they could play with him. The two bullied Tenma in return, and gave him the nickname “Sissy Pants Tenma” as a cruel mockery. Despite that, Tenma earned their respect after a game of hide-and-seek; the bullies ran home during the game on purpose so that Tenma would be left hiding alone. After hours passed by, his mom called asking for the whereabouts of her son. The two got extremely worried and went looking for him, and they found out he was still waiting in the same place that whole time. Amazed by his endurance, the two genuinely became his friends.
In middle school, a teacher went too far with his punishment and humiliated one of his classmates in front of the class for playing with a coal heater. Tenma stood up for that classmate to protect him from being further mistreated.
During his teenage years, Tenma loved music. He learned how to play guitar but didn't join a band, maybe because he didn't want to be in a group. His all time favorite song is Let's Stay Together by Al Green. His talent for music eventually became dormant as he got very busy with his studies. He also participated in the school's track and field club.
He entered one of the best schools in Kanagawa prefecture. His path was pretty much set in stone by his father at this time: he would inherit the Hospital and become its new director. Despite being his younger son, his father found his brilliant scores far superior to his older brothers'. This upset Tenma in some way, thus, he refused to accept his father's request.
His eight year older brother opted for a career in Economy, so appointing him as a hospital director was out of question. His two older year brother, however, was following in his father's footsteps, but it took him two years to enter a medical school and his university was much less prestigious than Tenma's. Still, Tenma wanted his middle brother to be the new director. Tenma's mother agreed with his choice because it benefited her less talented stepson (the novel mentions she favored her stepchildren over her own biological son with no given reason), but Tenma's father didn't change his mind. Tenma was going to be forced to inherit the Hospital whether he wanted it or not.
What saved Tenma from this headache was an outstanding thesis by a German medical professor at Dusseldorf University named Udo Heinemann. The thesis, printed in a medical journal, was a paper on the care of Alzheimer's disease victims. Tenma made up his mind on a whim that he would leave Japan and study under Heinemann, forcing his father to give the Hospital to his brother.
Using his scholarship fund, he went to Düsseldorf University in Germany and spent a year in a language school to clear the requirements to enter into med school. Then, he graduated and specialized himself in neurosurgery, and finally, he found a job in Eisler Memorial Hospital whose director was Dr. Heinemann.
But this decision that seemed good at first backfired. Tenma's middle brother decided to provide health care to small towns instead. To this day, he sends letters pleading Tenma to come back to Japan and take over the hospital.
And Dr. Heinemann, the brilliant professor, didn't write the article Tenma loved, a ghostwriter did, and Tenma was fated to become one of them too.
- Main article: Another Monster
Werner Weber tried to interview him to have his account on the events surrounding Johan. The second chapter of Another Monster materialized through Werner's efforts on interviewing people who have known Dr. Tenma.
This second chapter went straight ahead with facts on him: He was born 2nd of January 1958, in Yokohama in Kanagawa Prefecture. His father was a director and manager of a city-owned hospital and his mother a former editor for a medical publisher. Both were divorced and they had Dr. Tenma after the first year of their marriage. It is also revealed here that Dr. Tenma had two older half-brothers.
Weber hired an interpreter to help him get around and he also tried to secure an interview with the hospital his father managed with no avail. He learned that Dr. Tenma kept in touch with very few of his friends, and those willing to assisst weber in his investgation declined upon knowing that he was a foreigner. Weber also confirmed Inspector Lunge's assessment of Dr. Tenma that he does not fit in the Japanese society nor is he culturally German--he is stranger to both cultures.
Weber had, eventually, been able to interview one of Dr. Tenma's friends back in elementary and high school. That friend of Dr. Tenma was still living in near the Tenma household. When interviewed by Weber, he was very much surprised that his friend was linked to a series of murders, because beack when they were young, he was that kind of student who was very diligent and hard working. He also described Tenma to be very accommodating, despite his 'rich boy' status. He told Weber that Dr. Tenma liked sports, but team sports did not interest him. He was very good at solo sports though.
Weber asked him what he remembers about Dr. Tenma in their childhood. He said he used to bully Dr. Tenma together with older brother that one time, they had come up with an idea to scare the young Tenma off. They asked him if he should like to play hide-and-seek with them. The young Tenma consented, and he was made the 'it'. Now, they really did not ide, but left young Tenma there in the woods for half an hour until they decided to get him back because it was creepy back there. The young Tenma actually peed in his pants because of panicking that he was left alone. His friends started calling him names, but he did not cry with that. The next time they asked Tenma to play hide-and-seek again, he thought Tenma would not fall for the same trick again, but Tenma again consented and played. This time however, they left him there for forty minutes. When they tried to look for him after that, they couldn't find him, so they concluded that Tenma had already gone home. Later Dr. Tenma's mother called them, asking whether they are still with Kenzo, so they went back on their play place and saw Tenma there, saying "No fair, I've been hiding the whole time!". After that incident they stopped picking him and they started being friends. That friend of Dr. Tenma concluded after this incident that Dr. Tenma was always hardest on himself.
In seventh grade, Tenma tried to play with the coal heater, heating it up until the metal pokers bend and twist. Their teacher, who was so used at employing corporal punishment to discipline her children, asked who did it. Tenma spoke up and he was scolded and hit. But he said nothing for that matter. However, when another classmate of his played witht he heater, his teacher scolded him and even pointed the hot metal poker on that student's neck. This made Tenma stand and he said tot he teacher, "You can't do that, it's too cruel. If you think this is education, I'll tell the principal and the Board of Education." Those words scared the teacher away.
Weber was able to interview another friend of Tenma who was a commercial film director. He described Tenma as a 'straight-A' student in his eighth and ninth grade. Although being on the top of the class, he was not singled out and got along with everyone for the most part. When Weber asked him if he believes Dr. Tenma is a mas serial killer, he said it was because of this question that he is reluctant to agree in this interview. He firmly believed Dr. Tenma cannot be a murderer. But then again. people don't always stay the same, and because the German government treats it like it is a big deal, there's a possiblity that it is true. He also said he was not able to call Dr. Tenma and check on him because he himself is struggling whether or not to believe in Dr. Tenma's innocence. When asked about Tenma's preoccupations in middle school, he said Tenma was a good guitar player and even said that Tenma was multi-talented. Tenma, he says, was very quick on appreciating other people's abilitites and belittles his own talents even though he has his own innate talents. He also said that Dr. Tenma did not like being in a group altogether, thereby getting at a concensus with the previous interviewee's statement. When asked about the music Dr. Tenma liked, the film director said the he [Tenma], liked this one laid-back song he saw from the from Tokyo Music Festival on TV, but he forgot the title of the song.
The third person Weber had interviewed was one of Dr. Tenma's high school friends who was now a section chief of a large trading company. He said he was friends with Dr. Tenma through high school, but after entering college, they kind of lost touch with each other because of Dr. Tenma's medical classes and him being at Law School enjoying his college life. He firmly stated that he was one of the people in constant contact with Dr. Tenma before he moved to Germany. When asked if he believed Dr. Tenma was guilty of the crimes pinned on him, he said he used to make a lot of jokes about it in front of their friends but deep inside he was worrying about him. He said Tenma was introverted, with not much time on girls and lovelife. After setting parties for him to know more women, no one interested him. There was even a time when Tenma was asked by one of her friends about love problems. That girl actually fell for Tenma, but Tenma did not reciprocate the girl's feelings and tried to uplift his male friend's image to that girl.
When this friend of Dr. Tenma was asked if he anything why Dr. Tenma flew to Germany, his friend recounted these events: While Dr. Tenma had two older half brothers, his eldest brother, eight years older than him, had an inclination to the liberal arts and pursued an economic degree. This made their father hesitant to leave the family business to his eldest son as customary. HIs father's second son was into medicine, but failed to pass the entrance exam in Kenzo's college. He was able to enter another school however, but its caliber and prestige is way below Kenzo's so their father was firm on his statement that Dr. Tenma should inherit their family business. Dr. Tenma did not want the handle it, and he was afraid it will be forced on him. Surprisingly his won mother supported the idea that the second son should manage the business. It can also be noted that Dr. Tenma's mother was very hard on him compared to the sons of his husband.
When Dr. Tenma found Dr. Udo Heinemann's research on Alzheimer's disease, the young college man decided to fly to Germany, to study under the tutelage of the said researcher and also, to escape his father's strong grasp on him. Of course this made his father angry, said Dr. Tenma's friend, but Dr. Tenma did not request for any money and spent his scholarship fund during the length of his studies in Düsseldorf University. Dr. Tenma went to a language school for about a year and then went off to enrolling for medical school. He had exemplary marks on his studies and found employment in Eisler Memorial Hospital. He later learned that Dr. Heinemann's researches were not actually written by him, but by his teaching assistants. Dr. Tenma feared that he might become one of them.
Dr. Tenma, is one of the few people who possessed the traits of a good surgeon: careful judgment and instant decision-making.
Tenma is the character whose design changes the most during the course of the story. In his first appearance, he is seven heads tall making him look younger and cartoonish. From volume 2 onward, Urasawa changes his proportions for the academically ideal number of heads in art for a standard human figure: eight heads.
(Of course, Tenma isn't the only one to change, since Urasawa's art evolves big time during the course of Monster.)
Parallels with Nina FortnerEdit
- He shares the same birthday with Naoki Urasawa, January 2.
- In an issue of Casa Brutus featuring Urasawa's work, he ranked 3 in Genius/Talent and 1 in Self-Indulgent.
- The kanji of his name (賢三天馬) mean Wise, Three, Heaven and Horse respectively.
- Although in the first volume Tenma says his father is a small-time medical practitioner, Another Monster disproves this by explaining that his father was in fact the director and manager of a city owned Hospital.