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Overview

Everyone in this world carries around their own sins, and they never go away. But that doesn’t change the fact that we do what we must.

—Grimmer, "Grimmer"

Wolfgang Grimmer (ヴォルフガング・グリマーVorufugangu Gurimā?) is a major supporting character in the Monster series, and a survivor of 511 Kinderheim. A former spy, he now travels around Germany working as a freelance journalist with the aim to uncover more information about 511 Kinderheim and his past.

Appearance

Grimmer is a lanky man with slightly tanned skin, grayish-blue eyes, and short medium-blond hair that hangs over his forehead. He is usually seen smiling.

Personality

Grimmer is a kind, generous person who believes in the inherent goodness in people. He is very concerned for the well-being of others, especially children, and wants to ensure the best possible futures for them. At first glance, he seems to be a modest person who finds joy even in the simplest things life can offer. However, due to the treatment he experienced in 511 Kinderheim, he is unable to feel emotions such as happiness, love, or sorrow, and it is also because of this that of all the things he learned to do during his spy training, smiling was the most difficult.

"The Magnificent Steiner"

When Grimmer is enraged or in peril, his alternate personality "The Magnificent Steiner" is unleashed, and he becomes capable of extreme violence.

Grimmer is by no means a unique case, as Franz Bonaparta mentions witnessing this phenomenon amongst the children in his past experiments.[2] However, he also notes that most of the afflicted children ended up committing suicide, so it's impressive that Grimmer has managed to survive as long as he has.

Biography

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SPOILER WARNING
The following text contains spoilers. Proceed with caution.

Background

Grimmer was born in 1954 in former East Germany. For unknown reasons, around the age of 7 or 8 he ended up in 511 Kinderheim, where he became friends with a boy named Adolf Reinhart.[3] Eventually, Grimmer was taken out at age 14 and enrolled in a school to undergo spy training. He was provided parents and a home located in an artificial neighborhood, and given his current name of Wolfgang Grimmer.[4]

At some point in his adult life, he began working for a newspaper in Leipzig, Germany.[5] While there, a female coworker confessed her love to him. To avoid any potential suspicion as a spy, he married her, and they later had a son. One day, while his wife was out shopping, he walked into his son's room and found him collapsed on the floor, not breathing. Though he tried to resuscitate him, his son died. Due to his inability to feel and express emotions, he was unable to mourn the loss of his son - something that his wife struggled to comprehend. She would later lash out at him while at their son's funeral, accusing him of being heartless and incapable of love, before leaving him.[6]

Meeting Kenzō Tenma

Grimmer and the principle

In Dresden, Grimmer stumbles upon a free storeroom of a former journalism company. He is allowed by the principle to copy the old archives regarding data about the welfare system of former East Germany.  Grimmer promises that he will write an article that will bring the truth to light. Grimmer also says that the next location where he heads is Prague, in Czech Republic.

Tenma and grimmer

Grimmer and Tenma as they meet on the train to the Czech Republic

Grimmer first encounters Kenzo Tenma at the train station, when Tenma helps him to pull the bag through the entrance. Tenma attempts to illegally cross the border from Germany to the Czech Republic. The two converse a bit, and then a police officer enters their division to check the men's passports. Grimmer picks up on Tenma's uneasiness and identifies that he is using a fake passport, so he helps him to escape before he can be apprehended by the guards. To ensure Tenma's security, he jumps off the train as well to give him tips on crossing the border safely. They have a picnic, then as dusk falls they part ways, promising to have another picnic the next time they meet.

Investigating Mikhail Petrov

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Grimmer arrives in Prague and begins investigating a man by the name of Mikhail Petrov who was once the headmaster of 511 Kinderheim, the institution he is trying to gather information on. At first, Petrov is resistant to speak with Grimmer, and even arranges for some men to finish him off in his hotel room (naturally, Grimmer evades the encounter). He continues to narrow in on Petrov, and, upon following him to his apartment, realizes the man is currently running an illegal orphanage in his home, consisting of about a dozen young schoolboys. At first he is worried that Petrov is trying to recreate the Kinderheim experiments, but then realizes that the boys here have been raised with love, not hate. As Grimmer takes the boys out to play soccer, Johan Liebert comes in dressed as his sister and shoots Petrov. By the time he arrives back, Petrov is on his deathbed. Before passing away, the man gives Grimmer the key to a safety deposit box where he can find an interview with Kinderheim's "monster". As the boys are sent off to different orphanages, Grimmer hands one of them the key and asks that he hold onto it until they meet again.

Being the first witness on the scene, he is questioned by the police. His interrogator, Inspector Zeman, is actually a member of the former Czech Secret Police and wants to be in possession of the tape. He catches up with Grimmer at a later time and brutalizes him to a half-dead state. "Anna Liebert" mysteriously shows up around that time and kills one of the three torturers, triggering Grimmer's "Magnificent Steiner" personality; he beats the remaining two to death. 

Involvement with Jan Suk

Jan Suk, a rookie detective who is investigating the murder of these three men as well as Petrov, places Grimmer as a suspect of interest in both cases. He visits some of the orphaned boys and one of them announces that they are actually planning to meet with Grimmer and play soccer one last time (the boy will also give him back the key). Suk tags along and meets with Grimmer, obtaining his hotel information so they can keep in contact. As they continue to meet, it becomes apparent to Suk that Grimmer isn't the killer; he also learns a lot of secrets about the Czech Secret Police and some of his colleagues, putting him in a dangerous position. Some of the double agents working at the station frame Suk for murder, forcing him to go on the run. Grimmer and Suk work together to preserve the tape's safety as well as their own lives.

Reunion with Tenma

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Tenma, who arrived in Prague at the same time as Grimmer, reads about Suk's case in the newspaper and can't help but realize the three superiors poisoned with whiskey bon-bons situation sounds all too familiar. He meets with Suk's mother who, in a confused state, believes him to be her son as a child, and taunts him about knowing where his secret hiding place is. Tenma travels to that building and finds Grimmer and Suk in a bloody mess. It appears as though Grimmer's "Magnificent Steiner" ability awoke once more to kill the hit men. After performing first-aid, Tenma and Grimmer check into a hotel room. There, Grimmer reveals to Tenma that he was once enrolled in 511 Kinderheim.

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Tenma and Grimmer are contacted by Karel Ranke, the former head of the secret police, who offers the safe return of Suk in exchange for the tape. They agree with the condition that the three of them listen to it first. During their meeting, Ranke talks about Franz Bonaparta and the Red Rose Mansion. He also speaks about his nephew, Adolf Reinhart, whom he sent to 511 Kinderheim many years ago; this triggers Grimmer's memory as Adolf had been his best friend.

The men get the tape from Jan's mother and start listening to it. Halfway through the interview though, they discover that someone has tampered with it, recording their own message over its contents. Tenma identifies the voice to be present-day Johan.

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Meanwhile, the children of Petrov's former orphanage are working to prove Grimmer's innocence by finding "The Blonde Lady", whom they believe is responsible for killing him. Milosh finds "her", and they converse about why he is an orphan and whether or not his mother loved him. Ultimately, "she" sends him off to a red light district in search of his mom, and when he realizes there is no hope he tries to kill himself by jumping off a bridge. Grimmer and Tenma catch up with him just in time though, and are able to prevent his suicide.

Suk is still recovering in the hospital, and Grimmer wants to ensure that when he comes out he doesn't spend the rest of his life -- or any time at all -- in prison. Therefore, he writes a letter to the police confessing to all the murders, much to Tenma's dissatisfaction. The men visit one of Bonaparta's former editors, Tomas Zobak, and then part ways: Grimmer leaves Prague and Tenma is arrested.

Ruhenheim

He is later seen in Ruhenheim, as it seems he has come to the same conclusion Heinrich Lunge did that Franz Bonaparta is living there. The two of them try to stop the massacre from occurring, but their attempts result in failure. After confronting Franz Bonaparta, he claims he will protect him with his life until the day that he goes public with everything

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he did to those poor children at 511 Kinderheim and the Red Rose Mansion. Unfortunately, he encounters a near death situation and "The Magnificent Steiner" doesn't show up, so he finds that he as Wolfgang Grimmer is also capable of killing someone. In the process he receives some fatal injuries, and his life begins to fade away as Tenma shows up with Bonaparta and Wim following closely behind. Grimmer introduces them and comments that he hopes one day he, Tenma, and Wim can go on a picnic together. In the last few minutes of his life, he begins to cry for the death of his son he remained impassive to so many years ago. He proclaims that people can't ever lose their emotions; they might disappear for a while like a letter lost in the mail, but they will always prevail in the end. He also says that in the last episode of "The Magnificent Steiner" he was never able to see, that fearsome beast probably became human again.

The End

Lunge Suk and Verdemman Grimmer's thomb

Later, Fritz Verdemann is seen with Lunge and Suk gathered around his grave. They all pay their respects and Lunge places a beer next to his gravestone, saying that he probably had many things he wanted to talk about over a good drink.

Another Monster

Main article: Another Monster

Grimmer left behind a notebook containing details of everything he uncovered about Bonaparta and 511 Kinderheim. He also comments on Das Ruhenheim and The Sleeping Monster, the latter he mistakes for Bonaparta's work.

Quotes

  • "Don't just follow orders, you're men, not machines! In your hearts you know what's right, the answer is sitting there waiting for you. Are you brave enough to look inside yourselves?"
  • "The only person you can truly believe in is yourself. You can try to trust other folks, but sometimes they let you down."
  • "You can't just erase people's feelings. It's as if my emotions were lost somewhere hundreds of miles away. It's as if they were sent long ago, in a letter that was always intended for me."
  • "I'm also an imaginary person. I'm not the man called Mr. Neumeyer, who signed the hotel registry, nor am I the man known as Wolfgang Grimmer. I'm not anyone. So I'll disappear as well."

Triva

  • Grimmer's blood type is AB+.[7]

References

  1. Urasawa, Naoki (author). "A Quiet Gunshot". Monster. Volume 17. Chapter 145. Viz Media.
  2. Urasawa, Naoki (author). "Grimmer's Cry". Monster. Volume 18. Chapter 154. Viz Media.
  3. Urasawa, Naoki (author). "Memories of Hot Cocoa". Monster. Volume 11. Chapter 93. Viz Media.
  4. Urasawa, Naoki (author). "Memories of the Magnificent Steiner". Monster. Volume 11. Chapter 92. Viz Media.
  5. Urasawa, Naoki (author). "Grimmer". Monster. Volume 10. Chapter 78. Viz Media.
  6. Urasawa, Naoki (author). "The Cruelest Thing". Monster. Volume 12. Chapter 98. Viz Media.
  7. Urasawa, Naoki (author). "Detective Suk". Monster. Volume 10. Chapter 84. Viz Media.
Characters
A to D Adolf JunkersThe BabyDr. BeckerBlue SophieChristof SievernichDieter
E to H Egon WeißbachErna TietzeEva HeinemannFranz BonapartaFritz VerdemannGunther MilchHans Georg SchuwaldHartmannHeinrich LungeHelenka NovákováHelmut WolfHerbert KnaupHugo Bernhardt
I to L Jan SukJaromír LipskyJohan LiebertJulius ReichweinKarel RankeKarl NeumanKenzō TenmaProfessor KroneckerLotte Frank
M to P Martin ReestDetective MessenerMichael MüllerMikhail PetrovMilan KolášMilošNina FortnerOtto HeckelPetr ČapekPeter Jürgens
Q to T Richard BraunRobertoRossoRudy Gillen
U to Z Udo HeinemannVěra ČernáWolfgang GrimmerWim Knaup
Other Characters Unnamed CharactersOther Minor charactersJohan and Anna's Foster Parents
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