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    Inspired by this post.
    Volume 08, Chapter 62 / Episode 32

    Tenma 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:

    "A long time ago there was a man upon whose shoulders those birds would land... when he held out his arm, the birds came to sit on it. As a child he always spent his time here in the forest with the birds. Soon, Hitler's time came about... and he was stationed in the kriminal polizei. He believed that the Nazi party was doing everything to bring Germany prosperity... One day, he was given some orders. A violent criminal had escaped into this forest... He was selected to pursue, because of his similarity with the forest. He was ordered to find the criminal and kill him! He chased the criminal through the forest he knew like the back of his hand. Chased and chased... When he finally caugh up, it was not a criminal, just a normal foreigner you'd see anywhere. But... the man didn't have time to think of who this foreigner was. He carried out his orders.
    Ever since then, the birds haven't perched on his shoulder... For 60 years... 60 years he has been apologizing, since then... I'm sorry... I'm sorry... Bur the birds won't come back... Never again... will blood be shed in this forest... Isn't that right...?"

    Because of Tenma's compassionate heart, that conversation meant he could never bring himself to shoot Johan there.


    The moment when the bird lands on Tenma's arm is most certainly an allusion to the story about Francis of Assisi, one of the most beloved saints in the Catholic tradition (c. 1181–1226), who is popularly remembered for his dedication to poverty, his love of animals and nature, and his desire to follow perfectly the teachings and example of Christ.

    Francis preached the teaching of the Catholic Church, that the world was created good and beautiful by God but suffers a need for redemption because of the primordial sin of man. He preached to man and beast the universal ability and duty of all creatures to praise God (a common theme in the Psalms) and the duty of men to protect and enjoy nature as both the stewards of God's creation and as creatures ourselves.

    1. Perhaps the most famous incident that illustrates the Saint's humility towards nature is recounted in the "Fioretti" ("Little Flowers"), a collection of legends and folklore that sprang up after the Saint's death. It is said that, one day, while Francis was travelling with some companions, they happened upon a place in the road where birds filled the trees on either side. Francis told his companions to "wait for me while I go to preach to my sisters the birds." The birds surrounded him, intrigued by the power of his voice, and not one of them flew away. He is often portrayed with a bird, typically in his left hand.

    2. The other similar story tells that: "In the early days of the order, as Saint Francis was still finding his way, he went to Rome to seek the blessings of the Pope, hoping his Holiness would ordain him and give holy orders for the Friar Minors, what eventually became the Order of Saint Francis. There was always a large crowd waiting to see the Pope and one could wait several days without getting an audience. One morning Saint Francis was filled with rapture and began preaching to the people who had gathered near. Others heard the divine wisdom, the joy in his voice; they leaned in to listen.
    Saint Francis spread his arms like wings and a flock of birds landed there, larks, sparrows, doves, and owls. Though the assembling crowd spoke many languages, they all heard and understood, though Saint Francis spoke Italian, each of the listeners heard the sermon in their own language. Some say it was the birds, The Sermon of the Birds, for each bird repeated the words Saint Francis uttered, but each bird spoke in a different language so each listener could gain understanding in their own tongue."

Geidlitz and the Serpent

Originally posted by johant at Geidlitz and the Serpent
(This is a topic I brought up on Adult Swim forums, lost among other very interesting ones. Just thought I'd put it here.)

The serpent tempted Eve with the forbidden fruit, and once she tasted it, she sinned, casted sin upon the future of the human race, and was subsequently banished from Eden. In Geidlitz's chapter, he regularly interrupts his own musings on Johan's perfection in order to offer Nina some fruit. Even while Nina is tucked away in her assigned room, once Geidlitz has finished giving her the rundown of his plan, he still sends one of his men up, to offer her this fruit. Fruit from his table. There really is no necessary, plot-centric significance in this tic of Geidlitz's, which is why its repetition hinges on significant, if we bother to look into it further. Each time the fruit is offered, Nina politely declines, but yet again, the fruit is offered. A homage to classic temptation? The serpent is relentless. Geidlitz's purpose for Nina is to lure Johan to the organization, but before you tempt Adam, you must first tempt Eve, for it is then she who must tempt Adam, as the biblical counterpart suggests. Before Nina is used as bait for Johan, she must first be baited. The serpent is relatively synonymous with the dragon, both are mythological figures directly traced back to the all-encompassing Devil. Geidlitz is quite the unsuccessful dragon, unable to cajole even the human, and utterly failing at enticing the beast, whose power he had a hand in recognizing. But as Gina of Adult Swim forums suggests, the beast arrived fashionably late, but just for the purpose of eating him.

    Monster: Volume 04, Chapter 27-28 / Episode 15-16

would you like some fruit?
you sure you don't want any fruit?
please, have some fruit
professor Geidlitz has sent you some fruit


Prague: Fond Memories

    Volume 14, Chapter 120/ Episode 57

    "In order to get inspiration for his stories, Jaromir Lipsky would often walk through the hallways of the Red Rose Mansion and let the ideas flow into his head. One day while making his usual rounds, he found Dieter in a panic over having seen Nina Fortner collapse before him. Lipsky and Dieter took Nina to a local hospital, and after she was well enough to leave, back to his own apartment. The three spend over three months together, laughing and having fun as much as recalling painful memories."(c)

Pražský orloj / Prague astronomical clock
(the southern wall of Old Town City Hall / Staroměstská radnice in the Old Town Square / Staroměstské náměstí)


    The oldest part of the Orloj, the mechanical clock and astronomical dial, dates back to 1410 when it was made by clockmaker Mikuláš of Kadaň and Jan Šindel, the latter a professor of mathematics and astronomy at Charles University. The clock mechanism itself is composed of three main components: the astronomical dial, representing the position of the Sun and Moon in the sky and displaying various astronomical details; "The Walk of the Apostles", a clockwork hourly show of figures of the Apostles and other moving sculptures—notably a figure of Death (represented by a skeleton) striking the time; and a calendar dial with medallions representing the months. According to local legend, the city will suffer if the clock is neglected and its good operation is placed in jeopardy and a skeleton, mounted on the clock, was supposed nod his head in confirmation.

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Prague: The Safety Deposite Box

    Volume 10-11, Chapter 82-89/ Episode 43-45

    Johan embarked to Prague, where he established his identity as "Anna Liebert" and began emulating Nina by adopting her personality and sense of fashion. First, he murdered Reinhart Biermann, the headmaster of Kinderheim 511 before his enrollment, as he was in possession of a tape from Johan's youth located in an undisclosed safety deposit box. He then tracked Inspector Zeman and two of his subordinates, former members of the Czechoslovakian StB who were trying to obtain the tape for the purpose of selling it, to a factory setting where they were torturing Wolfgang Grimmer for information about the tape's location. Upon interrupting the interrogation, Johan (in his Anna disguise) shot one of the subordinates in the head, before apparently allowing Wolfgang Grimmer to kill the other two by manifesting his "Magnificent Steiner" persona.

    Thereafter, Johan began to frequent a local bar, where he connected with Zeman's one-time protege, Detective Jan Suk, who was smitten with him (while in his Anna disguise).

alleged location of the bar

(U Radnice street)


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München: Part 8. Nina Fortner

    In Munich Nina "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.

a bus stop where Nina parted with Lotte
(the back side of the New Town Hall (ger.: Neues Rathaus), which is adjacent to a small park (Marienhof) / Weinstraße)


    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."

Lotte confronts Nina at the train station about the book that made Johan collapse
(München Hauptbahnhof/ Munich main railway station)

    Kill one to save the rest or the trolley problem is a thought experiment in ethics. It was first introduced by Philippa Foot in 1967, but also extensively analysed by Judith Thomson, Peter Unger, and Frances Kamm as recently as 1996. Outside of the domain of traditional philosophical discussion, the trolley problem has been a significant feature in the fields of cognitive science and, more recently, of neuroethics.

    1. The switch.
    The general form of the problem is this: There is a runaway trolley barreling down the railway tracks. Ahead, on the tracks, there are five people tied up and unable to move. The trolley is headed straight for them. You are standing some distance off in the train yard, next to a lever. If you pull this lever, the trolley will switch to a different set of tracks. However, you notice that there is one person on the side track. You have two options:
(1) Do nothing, and the trolley kills the five people on the main track.
(2) Pull the lever, diverting the trolley onto the side track where it will kill one person. Which is the correct choice?

    A utilitarian view asserts that it is obligatory to steer to the track with one man on it. According to simple utilitarianism, such a decision would be not only permissible, but, morally speaking, the better option (the other option being no action at all).
    An alternate viewpoint is that since moral wrongs are already in place in the situation, moving to another track constitutes a participation in the moral wrong, making one partially responsible for the death when otherwise no one would be responsible. An opponent of action may also point to the incommensurability of human lives. Under some interpretations of moral obligation, simply being present in this situation and being able to influence its outcome constitutes an obligation to participate. If this were the case, then deciding to do nothing would be considered an immoral act if one values five lives more than one.

this isn't Johan's work
the fifth spoonful of sugar
all lives were equal to you

    The initial trolley problem becomes more interesting when it is compared to other moral dilemmas.

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    The story of the Golden Line starts in 1923, when Adolf Hitler and his fellow Nazis launched their first attempt to take over the government, the Bierhallputsch. Hitler and company burst out of a tavern, and marched towards the administrative buildings with violent intent. The police were waiting for them at Odeonsplatz, right between the Residenz and the Feldherrnhalle. The confrontation left four policemen and sixteen Nazis dead and dozens more (including Hitler) arrested.

    A decade later, after becoming chancellor, Hitler decided to honor his fallen comrades with a memorial at the very spot where they were killed. Any person who walked by the memorial was required by law to stop, face the memorial, and give a Nazi salute, lest he or she be arrested by the guard posted there.

Richard Braun's apartment / Munich Residenz


    A good deal of Müncheners knew exactly what Hitler stood for, and wanted no part of honoring it. So, instead of walking by the memorial, they turned left just before it and cut through the Viscardigasse (after Giovanni Antonio Viscardi), a little alley behind the Feldherrnhalle. As the law said only that those who passed the memorial were required to stop and salute, the guards could do nothing. In this way, some Müncheners were able to remind the Nazis that they did not speak for them. After the war, Munich honored their resistance by painting a golden line down the Viscardigasse, and you can still see it (and walk along it) today.

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    Several kids have died, playing the game on the top of buildings. One of Reichwein's patients is a boy Martin who had survived by hitting the first floor awning and landing into the bushes. Reichwein left the room to talk with the desperate boy's mother and tells Dieter to watch over the boy.

© Monster: Episode 33 / Volume 08, Chapter 63

"Münchner Kindl" the coat of arms of Munich
(Neuhauser Straße)

    As the German name for Munich, i.e. München, means "of Monks", the monk in this case is a self-explanatory symbol who represents the city of Munich. The figure is portrayed wearing a golden trimmed black cowl with a black hood and red shoes. The open right hand of the monk is interpreted as an oath-making gesture, or a blessing gesture in Christian tradition. The red book in the left hand refers to the oath book of the city (in accordance with the gesture of the right hand), or the municipal law book which is bounded in red and has been handed down since 1365. Another interpretation is that it is a gospel book.


    The image in its different configurations has appeared on countless different objects, from atop the city hall in Munich to manhole covers and even beer steins. The gender of the figure has also changed over the years: from a clearly male, to a gender-neutral child, to a small girl. Nowadays when the kindl is portrayed by a person -- for instance, as a mascot for Oktoberfest -- it is usually enacted by a young woman. It is possible that the Münchner Kindl was the inspiration for the Munchkins in L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz".

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Corinne, or Italy

    Volume 06, Chapter 47 / Episode 25

    Karl: Ahh, Corinna. Why was your letter so short… Like the Eupolis and his horoscopes, my heart is torn asunder by your words, and the gold of Idas… grew faded, as the artisan Galonius takes a millenia to…
    Herr. Schuwald: That’s enough. There is no need for you to read any further; you can go now. People who can’t pronounce Latin correctly have no right to read to me.


    Corinne, or Italy (1807) is both the story of a love affair and Madame de Stael’s homage to the landscape, literature, and art of Italy. The Scottish peer Lord Nelvil is torn between his passion for the beautiful Italian poetess Corinne and respect for his dead father’s wish that he should marry Lucile, a traditionally dutiful English girl. His choice leads to tragedy for Corinne and a seared conscience for himself. Madame de Stael weaves discreet French Revolutionary allusion and allegory into her novel. It stands at the birth of modern nationalism and is also one of the first works to put a woman’s creativity centre stage.

München: Part 5. Karl and Lotte

"Elisenhof" business/shopping centre (view from the rooftop)
(Elisenstraße 3)

I. Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

    >> In the series, Johan, Karl Neuman, and Lotte Frank attended college here, with Johan taking law, Karl taking business management, and Lotte cultural anthropology.

    Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (also referred to as LMU or the University of Munich, in German: Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München) is a public research university located in Munich, Germany.

    The University of Munich is among Germany's oldest universities. Originally established in Ingolstadt in 1472 by Duke Ludwig IX of Bavaria-Landshut, the university was moved in 1800 to Landshut by King Maximilian I of Bavaria when Ingolstadt was threatened by the French, before being relocated to its present-day location in Munich in 1826 by King Ludwig I of Bavaria. In 1802, the university was officially named Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität by King Maximilian I of Bavaria in his as well as the university's original founder's honour.

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