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Monster goes against the traditional expectations of anime. It is indeed a masterpiece that is frighteningly very similar to real life and very heavy on psychological and philosophical themes. The series is set in Europe, a very believable stage, and not some Japanese version of it, unlike a lot of other anime.
The story revolves around Dr. Tenma, a promising neurosurgeon, who had moved to Germany from his native country, Japan. In his new workplace, he was very dissatisfied with the biased environment. One day when an opportunity to stand against this unjust and biased environment appeared, he decided to seize it. Instead of treating the City’s mayor, he chose to operate on the two injured kids, Johan and Anna Libert, who arrived at the hospital first.
Little did he know that his rebellious actions would set ahead a series of mysterious tragedies and unfortunate incidents that would turn his life upside down.
WHAT MAKES MONSTER SO DIFFERENT?
Monster is in fact the work of a great manga artist, Naoki Urasawa, who is considered very influential by many fans and critics. As this series is the work of a great artist, you can expect it to be awe-inspiring.
Monster is not your usual fast-paced shounen anime, packed with action and gore, so it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Its sophisticated storytelling and complicated plot-weaving are on a whole other level. The show also never goes overboard by putting unnecessary fanservice or irrelevant filler episodes that you would find in many other popular anime.
This series inevitably uses its length of 74 episodes leisurely, so you can expect it to be extremely slow-paced. Contrary to its pace, Monster is incredibly rich. You can’t help but notice the depth put into its script and characters. The plot takes its sweet time as it progresses into greatness and something that is beyond our expectations.
In this series, every character plays an important role. The detail put into the stories of each character might seem pointless or unrelated at first, but as the show slowly advances, you notice how everything is linked to one big mystery that unveils with time. The script and the dialogue are so well-written that you’re bound to form connections with most of its characters. Monster will show how much sadness and sorrow, even a side role dying, can bring.
WHY SHOULD YOU WATCH MONSTER?
Since it’s not your typical anime, you won’t be just “watching” it, but “experiencing” it!
The atmosphere monster is set in is chilling and terrifying. The main villain, Johan Libert, is by far one of the most dangerous, intelligent, and sadistic villains of all time. In my opinion, Johan greatly resembles Joker, the psychopath. A villain who wants nothing but to go against the norms and riot against the world. If you decide to watch this show, you might as well prepare yourself to witness what a real “monster” is. A monster that the real-world should fear.
DOWNSIDES OF THE SHOW
The plot is very multi-layered and leaves several loose ends untied. It was also a bit lengthy for my taste; however, that didn’t bother me much.
For all my true crime and horror fans out there, I would say that Monster is a must-watch anime. It’s a classic horror show that many people still to this day talk about. The plot, the atmosphere, and the characters are all amazing. Every aspect of this show screams greatness. It might take you time to wrap your head around everything that’s going on at first, but give it some time because the end will surely be rewarding. Unlike in other popular crime series like Death Note or Code Geass, where the characters explain their moves, writers of Monster left it to the audience to figure out things on their own. This means you’re going to have to fully invest all your attention in this show to enjoy it truly.
In the end, I would like to add that if you’re an avid anime fan, you should definitely add Monster to your list. It’s a show that deserves to be watched and needs more attention!