|“||Right now the world is full of pain, but everything will be alright...I know it. The bad things can keep happening forever; we have to do our part to stop them.||”|
Nina Fortner, originally known as Anna Liebert, is the twin sister of Johan Liebert and one of the main protagonists in the series following Doctor Tenma. She is identical to Johan, only slightly smaller than him in stature and has slightly darker hair. Nina is athletic, intelligent and cheerful.
BiographyEditNina and her brother were born as a result of the Eugenics Experiment organized by Franz Bonaparta in the early 1970s. After their birth, she and Johan lived with their mother, Anna, whose real name is Viera Cerna, in the Three Frogs Building during their early childhood years. Viera wanted to make it look as though she only had one child, so Nina was not the only one in girls' clothing; Johan wore hair extensions and a pink dress identical to hers, making it impossible to tell the two apart. The individuals behind the experiment were far from done with Nina and Johan, since the twins were perfect "results" the project was trying to produce. In the early 80s, when Nina was six or seven, Franz Bonaparta, along with Peter Čapek, paid a little visit to the seemingly happy family's home and informed Viera that one of her children was to be sent away to be experimented on (the other would remain at the Three Frogs away from harm's grasp). Her mother tightly held both of the children's hands, unsure of which one to choose. It's notable that, at this time, Nina and Johan were still both dressed as little girls, so it's never revealed to the audience whether or not Viera knew who was who. First deciding to send Johan, she changed her mind in an instant and the screaming Nina was dragged down the inn's stairwell.
The Perfect ChildEditNina was put into a car and taken away, where Capek warned her not to keep secrets from Bonaparta. The next thing she knew, she found herself locked in a room that was dark and devoid of life. There was no sense of space in the area, and the only noises she heard were the occasional screams from somewhere in the Red Rose Mansion, the building she was being kept in. The meals Nina ate would just appear out of nowhere; at first she tried to keep track, just to keep her sense of time from slipping away, but eventually she lost count. When she was beginning to think she could no longer go on, a door opened and light filled the room. Standing before her was Franz Bonaparta. He extended out his hand and said that people can become whatever they want to be. After, Nina got away and wandered through the mansion's halls, constantly running into adults who were admiring her beauty, overjoyed at the successful results their experiment provided them with. She entered Maria Theresa's Hall, where all the adults had gathered for a toast. She stood around, half listening to their words, before Bonaparta entered with the wine. As they drank it, the forty two people in that room collapsed to the ground; they had been poisoned. Terrified, Nina started shaking, especially when Bonaparta, the only one left alive and the obvious executioner, walked over to her. He gently touched her face, told her to forget everything she saw, then added that neither her nor her brother should ever become monsters. Still quivering, Nina ran away from the mansion as fast as she could, not even noticing when her right arm was scratched by the rose bushes she passed on the way out. By the time she arrived at the Three Frogs, her arm was covered in blood. She was greeted by "herself," or in reality, Johan dressed in girl's clothing, exchanging words of "I'm back," and "Welcome home." Nina collapsed to her knees and Johan, holding a copy of The Nameless Monster, knelt down next to her, saying to tell him everything. Nina revealed to him all the details of her journey, accidentally leaving out Bonaparta's comment on how the two of them must never become monsters. When Nina's memory became jumbled at the age of ten, she became confused and, just as Johan himself thought, believed her brother was taken to the mansion instead.
Start of the journeyEditThe two stayed at the Three Frogs until their mother came back. Upon her arrival, she informed the twins that they would have to live on their own from that point on, which caused Johan to start crying. Nina persistently preached to him, "Don't cry, don't cry!" Then the two left the Three Frogs, unsure of where their path would take them. Weak from hunger, they met a couple in the middle of the countryside. The pair fed Nina and Johan, then watched them play in the grass as they contemplated adopting the twins. When Nina wasn't watching, Johan slit the couple's throats, then the two of them continued on their way. Near the Czech-German border, they on the verge of death. Nina fell to the ground, begging Johan to say her name just one last time. Johan told her they didn't have names before falling as well, leaving the two of them unconscious and destined to die in their barren wasteland, "The Scenery for a Doomsday." Luck was on their side though, and the two were rescued by General Helmut Wolf, an officer passing by who saw them. He saved their lives, then gave them the names of "Johan" and "Anna." The two stayed with Wolf long enough for Johan to give him a scare, then the twins were sent to separate orphanages -- Johan to the infamous Kinderheim 511, and Anna to a home run by Erna Tietze. In Another Monster, Tietze described Anna as a sweet, kind girl who she hoped would have a bright future. She said that even though Johan was a "monster," it's because of him Anna was able to be adopted. In the orphanage, Anna was an ideal inmate, the only oddity about her being that she somehow had a strange, psychological connection with Johan, having the ability to accurately describe how his day was, and even predicting the fall of Kinderheim.
The LiebertsEditAfter Kinderheim burned to the ground, the twins were adopted by former adviser of commerce, Michael Liebert, as well as his wife. The couple originally wanted only to adopt Johan, but after he refused to go anywhere without his sister, Anna was granted a place in the family, too. Franz Bonaparta saw them on TV, since Mr. Liebert had fled to the West right after picking up the twins, and decided to pay them a visit. He went into their room merely to observe their sleeping faces, but little did he know, Johan was awake as could be. Thinking the monster had come to take them away, Johan murdered the Lieberts. The gunshots woke Anna up, who found her brother standing with a gun in his hand. He told her to shoot him so the monster couldn't get her too, and she followed his order obediently. Some of their neighbors heard the ruckus and called the police; the two were rushed to the hospital. Johan received treatment from Doctor Tenma, and Anna was left in a state of shock, unable to remember anything except that the sight of her brother was horrifying. After Johan murdered three of Tenma's superiors, the two fled from the hospital, staying with cab driver Rheinhard Dinger for a few days.
Johan and Anna traveled to the city of Heidelberg, where they stayed with Christianne and Erich Fortner. After a few months, Johan left the memory-less Anna with her new parents, telling them that he would come back to get his sister in May 1995 for their 20th birthday. It is at this point where Anna adopts the new name of "Nina Fortner."Nina started fresh with a new life. The Fortners treated her as though she was their very own daughter, never revealing the fact that she was actually adopted. The couple even went so far as to come up with fake pictures of Nina as a child so she wouldn't think something was wrong when she realized she couldn't remember anything before the age of ten. Nina graduated high school at the top of her class, then enrolled in a local university. She had a part time pizza delivery job on the side, which more than often resulted in her untimely attendance to class. Carefree and happy, she began receiving anonymous emails from a man telling her he was "born to smother her with roses." At the same time, Nina started getting strange feelings like there was a past haunting her. Under the illusion this was prince charming on a white horse, she agreed to meet him at Heidelberg Castle.
Murder at 16 Necker St.Edit
Meanwhile, Doctor Tenma, who had recently encountered Johan, was led to Heidelberg after getting a lead from the blind old man. With the help of Jacob Mauler, he discovered Nina's whereabouts. The two went to the Fortners' residence, who told them that Nina was out meeting a friend and would be home soon. Tenma was completely aware of who her "friend" was, so he ran off in a hurry, requesting of Mr. Mauler to call the police as soon as possible.Tenma reached Nina at the castle, and had his life saved by her when a nearby gardener on watch under Johan's order attempted to kill him. The two tied the man up and returned to Nina's house. On the way, Tenma revealed to her who he was and addressed her as Anna, sending Nina into confusion but slowly causing her to remember fragments of her past. They reached the Fortner residence a little too late, and found the couple's, along with Mr. Mauler's, bodies lifeless on the floor. Minutes later, two police officers showed up at the door and said they were going to take the two to the station for questioning since they were the first witnesses at the scene. In the car, Tenma realized through multiple hints that these men were the actual killers of Nina's parents. He asked them if he and Nina could step out of the car to get some air when they reached a security checkpoint, but instead grabbed Nina tightly and jumped off of a bridge to escape. The two stayed in a little shack not far from town for several days, but when Tenma went in to make a stop at the police station, Nina disappeared, leaving behind a letter and some sandwiches.
Mission for revengeEditNina's motivation at that point in her life had become revenge; she didn't want her parents' killers to go unpunished. She recalled something one of her law professors once said: he had been investigating a man known as Rosso and all the cases he had been involved in. Rosso had been called in to court to testify on three different accounts, but each time, all charges were dropped due to a lack of evidence. Her professor theorized that the killings were carried out by a world class hit man, and Rosso was that man. Hoping he would teach her how to kill, Nina tracked the man down, and discovered that he was living in a small German town where he owned an Italian restaurant. She applied for a job there using the name Anna Liebert, and he employed her without hesitation. Nina was a huge hit with the customers, and Rosso's small business suddenly became much more popular. She realized that he had become a changed man though, and decided that she didn't want to get him involved with her desire to use a gun, since she knew that part of his life was over. Every day, she would take a couple hours off from work and go to practice at a shooting range. In time, she became quite skilled with firearms and decided it was time for her to leave in order to learn more about her past and Johan's current whereabouts. Her investigations led her to Frankfurt, where she learned of "The Baby," a midget who was part of a Neo-Nazi group attempting to recruit Johan as their leader. Acting as a prostitute, she managed to catch the organization's attention, and was held captive at the mansion of Professor Goedelitz. In the estate, Nina learned of the group's plans to burn down the Turkish district, then, while trying to break out, discovered that an unknown assailant had murdered Goedelitz and his accompanying subordinates. After giving The Baby quite a scare and obtaining misinformation regarding where the next fires would be, she met Dieter, Otto Heckel, and later, Tenma. Working together, they foiled organization's plans and saved the Turkish district. Tenma and the others fled right after, but Nina stayed and acted as a witness. After her interrogation was over, she was met by Rosso, who told her he was apparently her guardian as of then. The two went to a restaurant, where they confronted each other about their pasts. Rosso told her that he knew she came to him because she wanted to either use his skills or have him teach her them, then asked why she never said anything to him about the matter. He then added that he knew that the name she gave him, Anna Liebert, was an alias and that her real name was Nina Fortner. She told him why it was better not getting him involved, then Rosso saw her off at Frankfurt Central Station. Nina tracked down Michael Muller, one of the men involved in murdering her parents, who had moved to Nice, France. After watching him for weeks, she learned that she was not the only one after his life; Roberto, one of Johan's henchmen, was also targeting him, or rather, a bag he had with too much information regarding Johan. Muller found a detective he hired in his house dead, then saw Nina who revealed to him that Roberto (who was acting as his bodyguard) was the one responsible. Unsure of what to believe at first, he eventually fled to his car to get away, where Nina was waiting with a gun. They drove down the road for a little while, then Nina forced him to get out of the car. With a gun pointed at Muller, where his only option was to either be shot or fall off a cliff, he started crying, begging her not to take away the life he made with his wife and stepson. Miraculously, Nina managed to forgive him, but was captured by Roberto soon after, who was acting on his own and decided it would be best to kill Nina, probably against Johan's desires. Muller wanted to return the favor of her allowing him to survive, and came to Nina's rescue in the knick of time. He killed several men, but was shot in the stomach himself. The two were last seen driving back to his home, with Muller weak and bleeding from his injury.
In MunichEditThe men who almost ended Nina's life informed her that Johan was living in Munich. She went to the city and began looking for leads by using the computer resources in the University of Munich library. One day, she was approached by Lotte Frank, a student who also spent a lot of time researching in the library and had grown curious about Nina. Upon discovering they were researching the same topic (Margot Langer), the two decided to compare notes, which later led to a mutual friendship. Lotte confided in her regarding her boy troubles, and they even went to a dance once (this, however, made Nina very uncomfortable). Lotte observed that Nina bore an uncanny resemblance to her friend, Johan, and confronted her about this, asking if they were twins, then showed Nina a copy of The Nameless Monster; the book Johan was reading prior to his fainting spell. Nina read the book, then demanded to know where Johan was. After learning he was at Schuwald's book donation ceremony, she rushed to the library, only to find it engulfed in flames. Nina broke in, then saw Tenma. The two refused to let each other shoot Johan, and he slipped away after a burning curtain fell on Nina. Tenma saved her, and then she was admitted to a hospital. Not long after, Nina left the hospital and underwent psychological therapy with Dr. Julius Reichwein and Dr. Rudy Gillen, then decided to leave for Prague, with Dieter accompanying her, to see what other memories she could recollect.
In PragueEditAt the same time Nina goes to Prague, a mysterious woman by the name of Anna Liebert is seen murdering members of the Czech Secret Police and individuals involved with Kinderheim 511. The same woman also spent time in a bar, making the acquaintance of Jan Suk. The audience is led to believe this woman is Nina, until episode 44 when it is revealed that one causing trouble was actually Johan, who was cross-dressing as his sister. The real Nina arrived in Prague several days after the previous events took place. She found herself extremely confused when people she didn't even know where addressing her as Anna, wishing her a good evening or asking how she was doing. She and Dieter found the Three Frogs, and paid frequent visits to the abandoned building, recalling all sorts of different memories regarding her past. Later, the pair came across the Red Rose Mansion. After entering Maria Theresa's Hall, the painful memory of seeing the poisoned corpses caused Nina to faint.
Jaromir LipskyEditDieter panicked and started screaming her name, and then he was approached by Jaromír Lipsky -- a puppeteer who was coincidentally paying a visit to the mansion. They took Nina to the hospital, then after she was well enough to leave, Lipsky took the two into his apartment, and told them they were welcome to stay as long as they wanted. Nina learned that Lipsky was in possession of a large collection of children's picture books by Jakub Farobek, Emil Scherbe, and Klaus Poppe, and was even a pupil in early reading seminars held at the mansion (he was kicked out because he was not "superior"). The three spend months together, laughing and having fun as much as recalling painful memories, then one day Nina reported that it was time for her and Dieter to leave. Lipsky gave his goodbyes through a puppet show based on Nina. His story was about a girl who had lost her memory -- she was chasing a demon, and being chased by a demon. The girl, despite her hardships, was a funny and beautiful. She also loved to sing and dance. The girl was on a search..a search for a happy ending. He wasn't sure what kind of ending she would get, but he knew it would be a good one.
On recovering her memoriesEdit
Nina returned to the apartment that she lived in with her mother and Johan and recalled another memory. She then returned to Munich where Dr. Reichwein, Dr. Gillen, Karl, and Lotte were waiting, where she requested hypnosis to piece together all her collected memories. After she attacked Dr. Gillen in a hypnotic rage, she left Dr. Reichwein's house two days later to try to stop Tenma from killing her brother. She went to Frankfurt again and learned of Peter Čapek, the man present when her mother was forced to make a Sophie's Choice-like decision, and investigated his movements. Capek's organization approached her Nina first though, and held her captive, using her life as insurance in case any conflicts arose between them and Johan. After a direct confrontation with Capek, she almost took his life, but decided not to. Capek revealed to her that she and Johan were the products of a eugenics experiment designed to create a "perfect" race, then took her to an abandoned building where she could find her brother.
"Welcome Home"EditNina finally confronted Johan directly for the first time since their days as children. They talked, then Johan told her of his memory where he went to the Red Rose Mansion, and was held captive in a room before witnessing the massacre by poisoned wine. Nina told him he was wrong, and that this memory was hers. She failed to shoot Johan before he left, and instead almost took her own life, but was stopped by Tenma. She told Tenma that she and Johan would both destroy themselves one day, but in response he said he would never allow something like that to happen. The two walked out of the building, crestfallen with their worlds of experience, and briefly encountered Peter Capek, who gave Tenma the lead that Johan's next move would be to execute Franz Bonaparta. Nina was taken to a hospital to recover from her psychological trauma, where she had several visits from Tenma. During these periods, Tenma revealed to her that he had met with a man named Jaromir Lipsky (the puppeteer Nina stayed with), who was Franz Bonaparta's son, and through him learned of Johan's whereabouts. In return, Nina told him that the event Johan was orchestrating would surely lead to his suicide.
RuhenheimEditAfter Tenma departed, Nina received another email from her brother saying ,"I'll be waiting for you in Ruhenheim," and persistently requested of Dr. Gillen and Dr. Reichwein to let her go. They finally agreed, under the conditions that she had Gillen accompany her and that she couldn't bring a gun. They arrived in Ruhenheim during the massacre, and after Wim Knaup mentioned to Nina that she looked like the girl in the sketches stored in "The Vampire's House" on the outskirts of town, she and Gillen ventured there. It was then that Nina finally recalled all of her memories, and everything made sense to her. One of the most important reminiscences she forgot was that Franz Bonaparta told her all those years ago that she and Johan must not become monsters. Nina forgot to pass that detail on to her twin at the Three Frogs that day, and then blamed herself for everything that happened. She rushed into town and prevented Tenma from shooting Johan; had she come a second later it might have been too late. Nina told Johan she forgave him for everything, and that no matter what happened, she would always forgive him. Johan refused her words though, abjectly stating there were things that couldn't be undone no matter what. Shortly after, he was shot in the head by Herbert Knaup. When Heinrich Lunge proposed that Tenma operate on Johan's head injury, Nina encouraged him to, saying he wasn't wrong for saving Johan a decade ago, and he wouldn't be wrong for saving him again.
Nina is seen at the end getting ready to graduate from university and attend law school so she can become a lawyer. She appears to have gotten over all of her trauma and wants to focus on creating a bright future for herself. In her last scene, she receives a call from Dieter, informing her Tenma will be paying them a visit. Hearing the news, she runs home with an excited smile on her face.
PersonalityEditNina is a happy and cheerful person who, like Doctor Tenma, always looks to bring out the best in others. She is skilled in academics and extremely book-smart, but a little naive when it comes to social contacts. One of Nina's best traits is her immeasurable ability to forgive, as seen when she decided not to shoot Muller; her parents killer, Peter Capek; one of the men who ruined her family's life, and even Johan, whom she managed to forgive for everything horrible he'd ever done.
In addition to her normally happy self, Nina also possesses an inner "dark side," a monster, if you will. This part of her is rarely seen, showing up only a couple times when she's in hypnotic states and in the Vampire's House during the Ruhenheim Massacre. In this condition, she remembers fully who she is and all the details of her life (but refuses to tell anyone), and can be violent.
Before and after suffering from a fugueEdit
Nina was seen to have lost her memory after the murder of the Liebert couple. Before her memory were repressed, she was known to be close to Johan.
Nina formed many relationships as a result of her cheerfulness and kindness.
Johan Liebert Edit
Johan is Nina's twin brother who encompasses her darker side. Nina is terrified of her brother for various reasons. At one point in their youth, she had shot him, but he was saved by the doctor that the twins would associated with. Nina was the only person who knew about Johan's murders and lived to tell the tale. Since they were all they had, Johan has allowed his sister to live. Johan also expresses great attachment to his sister and often describes her as his other self or that they are the same person. "Please, don't make me forget Anna. It's only Anna and me in this world." -Johan Liebert, as a child
The Fortners Edit
The Fortners were Nina’s foster parents who raised her as if she was their biological child. Even after finding out that she was not their real daughter, Nina continued to love them greatly. Their death was the event that led her in the quest to seek revenge against her biological brother Johan. Their death affected Nina to the point that she grew cold and ruthless at the moment of seeking revenge against their murderers..
Kenzo Tenma Edit
Nina met Dr. Tenma on her twentieth birthday, the day that her parents were killed. At first she blamed him for saving her brother but then she forgave him and understood that as a doctor that was his duty. Latter when she found out that Tenma was trying to kill Johan himself she tried to prevent this by being the one to kill Johan. Nina saw Tenma as a good man and thus she tried to stop him from killing Johan and latter urged him to save his life. She grew very fond of Tenma, and it was him who saved her from killing herself after she remembered her experiences at the Red Rose Mansion.
- Main article: Another Monster
Chapter 26 of Another Monster has been dedicated to Nina's history. Weber's request for an interview has been constantly rejected by Nina through her letters, so he tries to recreate Nina's side of the story through his interviews with other people who knew her and with the clues provided by Dr. Gillen. This chapter basically summarizes Nina's role in the series, and does not supply any new information.
BirthdayEditThere is some question as to when the birthday of the twins is. Near the beginning of episode twenty one in the anime, there is a brief moment showing a file for Nina Fortner, which states her birthday as April 7th. However, the manga does not provide the same information (though instead of giving a different date, the birthday is just excluded entirely).
In the first chapter of Another Monster, one of the paragraphs reads as following: "In May of 1995, a shocking incident occurred in Heidelberg. Christianne and Erich Fortner, along with a visiting newswriter from the Heidelberg Post, Jacob Mauler, were shot to death in their home."
Since Johan killed her parents and Mr. Mauler on their twentieth birthday, this implies the two were born in May. Furthermore, if they were born after the twenty first, their astrological symbol would be Gemini, or the sign of the twins.
Because Another Monster was written by Urasawa himself and the artistic details added in the anime have no affiliation to the original manga, please leave their birthday as May 1975.
"I'm sure of one thing. I know that one day Johan will destroy himself, just like me."
"Johan, I-I forgive you for what you did. Even if we were the only two people left in the whole world, I'd forgive you. This is what I can do, from me to you."
"Right now the world is full of pain, but everything will be alright...I know it. The bad things can keep happening forever; we have to do our part to stop them."