Keywords: , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Madhouse
NOTO Mamiko
Original Concept - URASAWA Naoki
R1 License - Viz Media (Shopro)
SEKI Tomokazu
The Japanese Neurosurgeon Dr Kenzo Tenma had everything going for him in his position as lead surgeon of neurosurgery at a hospital in Düsseldorf, Germany. His genius as a surgeon had attracted not only the attention of the director of surgery at the hospital, but also an engagement to the beautiful Eva, the director's daughter. On one fateful dark evening, he defies the instructions of the director to abandon his current patient, a 12-year-old gunshot victim, to an almost certain death and refuses to performs surgery to save the life of the town mayor. He does what does what he thinks a true doctor should do and his young patient survives, the mayor dies, and in his decision, he has ignored the politics at the hospital, sacrificing all of his successes.

As punishment, the director has taken away his lead-position at the hospital, Eva rejects him very harshly, returning his engagement ring to him, and all options of further promotion are denied to him. But Dr Tenma is solid in his belief that he did the right thing in saving the life of the young boy. Several nights later, in a triple homicide, the director and two of his political cronies are murdered. In having an alibi, Dr Tenma finds these events appear to have rescued his career at the hospital, but the mystery as to the deaths and the sudden disappearance of his young patient, and his twin sister, cause him much concern.

It is only later, after a number of unexplained murders, does Dr Tenma come to learn that his success as a surgeon in saving a life may have resulted in his saving someone so horrendous and amoral that they can only be called a monster'.

Anime series based on the famous "Monster" manga by Naoki Urasawa.

74 TV Episodes
Animation by Madhouse and others
Licensed by Viz Media

2004 AnimeReactor award winner for best story and best villian.!

Both the manga and anime series have been R1 Licensed by VIZ Media.

1:19min ↗David Sylvian's twisted closing - YouTube Video
Episode Details 
00, 74
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 9 10 8 9 10 Silence [series:830#2939]
Ok... there are going to be spoilers. Dun say i didn't warn you.

My god... What a ride these 74 episodes took me on. Definitely one of the best i've been on.

The word monster nowadays is used too frequently to describe ferocious alien creatures that look more weird than scary (and the models don't differ too much). Screw them, I say. "Monster" shows us how a "mere" human can be scarier and more destructive than any of these monsters. We are our own worst enemy, after all. This series develops this to the max.

The complexity of the plot is comparable to that of death note (and mood just as dark), while being more mature and intense. The story as a whole is about Dr Tenma's quest to track down and kill Johan, whom he had saved as a boy. As he tracks down the places that Johan had been to, he (and others who joined him along the way) slowly reveals the making of the monster. The pace is slow, and things are revealed to us very slowly. But i like it this way. Through these 74 episodes, we get a really good look into not only Johan but also Tenma and human nature as a whole. We see how Tenma continues to value human life throughout disillusionment and reaffirmation of the goodness of people. I really liked the fact that despite setting to kill Johan, he did not kill a single person in the end. Even though the shot by someone unexpected is becoming quite predictable by the end, the last shot surprised me.

Each episode leaves me wanting for more. It reveals only a little bit about Johan, but it can still capture my attention till the end. Even filler episodes (like young uncertified female asian doctor episode) are quite entertaining and serves as a reminder of the goodness of people. Sort of a beacon of light in the abyss of darkness if you will.

Each character present is very intriguing, and we get a good sense of who they are. Apart from Tenma and Johan, the other supporting roles stood out too. (There are 74 episodes after all) I liked Lunge quite a lot. Right from the first moment he steps into the screen, he seemed like an interesting character, albeit mechanical. His break came during the episode where he was undergoing rehabilitation eagerly, saying that it is fun, FUN!!!, to chase after Tenma. Slowly, he starts to see clues that agree with Tenma's account, and he independently reached the finale to be an invaluable aid and witness. Eva is another one. I did not expect her to come back after the first few episodes, but you just can't keep her down. She keeps returning and contributes immensely, and grew a lot by the end. The other supporting characters are wonderful too, just think Dr Reichwein, Wolfgang Grimmer, Roberto, Nina...

I loved the opening theme, very appropriate and captures the mood of the entire series. The 2 ending pieces are ok. The bgm did not attract my attention (if it does it's gotta be incredibly good or incredibly bad)

The art is good, with many brilliant sceneries of european towns, cities and rural areas. The animation is fluid and without much fault.

Overall an excellent series, with a very good story. Though it is long, the depth that became possible with it is worth it. It is a very rewarding watch.

Last updated Friday, June 26 2009. Created Thursday, June 25 2009.
Buy 9 9 9 9 10 10 Ggultra2764 [series:830#1552]
Now here's a long series well worth its hype and reputation. Well known for its build up of suspense, exposure into the limits of human morality, and surprising developments with plot and characters, Monster's 70+ episode length is quite a commitment considering the two months it took me to complete the series. But if you're willing to endure the show's length and shocking elements, then Monster will keep you hooked to the very end as I could seriously consider to be one of the best titles I've seen this decade.

Monster is an anime that goes into plenty of detail on its plot and character developments. The show takes its time developing its plot exposing more hints to the true nature of the "monster" that Tenma is hunting down in the form of Johan. And as more is revealed about the origins of Johan, you come to realize that Tenma and others who are helping him in his search are entering into some pretty dangerous territory with hints of deadly like things government brainwashing and extremism looming about. The characters know they are further putting themselves at risk digging into the past of Johan, but do so to unmask the truths of a past regime that tried burying those truths once they lost their power.

Character development is quite complex in the world of Monster. You get plenty of depth into the past of many of the characters, their thoughts, morality, and their psychological state. Many find themselves facing hard decisions that they can't easily find the answers for and even find their own beliefs put to the test. Tenma regularly finds his belief of "all life being equal" put to the test where he questions whether or not killing Johan would create a hypocrisy in his moral beliefs, especially with those who admire the man's humanitarian acts wondering why he wants to walk such a dark path. In Johan's case, you may even find yourself wondering what he is thinking as he drives people into facing the very limits of their psychological condition that they aren't prepared to endure. Beyond Johan and Tenma, other characters that are introduced are just as well-rounded in their developments and personality.

As explained above, Monster also delves into the limits of morality which many of the characters find themselves enduring from Johan and the government experiments that caused some of the characters to suffer. The show makes a point of mentioning that in the worst possible situations the human psyche endures will lead one to have a "monster" burst out of them that can be just as cruel and deadly as Johan. If we find ourselves unable to accept the darkest parts of our psyche, then we are prone to madness if someone were to exploit these deep flaws. And Johan regularly exploits the deepest problems facing those he encounters to either make use of them as pawns for his plans or kill them if they are an obstacle. The show doesn't preach over whether or not any of the characters are right or wrong in their mentalities as what they had to endure could happen to others in real life as well. And for that much depth, I have to give Monster kudos.

In terms of visuals, Monster features a diverse number of realistic European settings creating nice diversity in the scenery. Large cities, forests, and small towns are just some of the settings you can find yourself seeing. While much of the show takes place in Germany, you can also expect Monster to show off some locations in France, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Character designs were quite diverse as their various looks and clothing attires did well to complement the personalities of the characters. Johan's appearance as a young, handsome man goes especially well with his cruel and deceptive nature. The soundtrack also does well to complement the mood of the series with suspenseful and chilling music used during the show's intense moments such as confrontations or tense scenes and serene, mellow music during the more calmer moments of the series.

Monster's complex character and plot developments, as well as it's clever elements of suspense and morality depth, made this quite a thrilling ride for me over the past two months. If you have the urge to see a good, long suspense title, then Monster will fit the bill for you perfectly.

Last updated Sunday, June 07 2009. Created Sunday, June 07 2009.
Watch 10 10 10 10 10 10 Violet D [series:830#1393]
I started watching this last week. first on Anime Boy and the 2 episode on Veoh. I felt it is an interesting start and though it has some dark parts in it. It holds my interest and keeps me wanting more. It is like a good suspence novel you are reading and you can hardly wait to get the next volume of it. I have only watched episode 1 and 2. But I intend on watching more of it. I like the chacterization of the surgeon and and he acts so human It is like I'm not watching anime but a real story. It is so close to real life. Episode 4 the good Dr. meets the young man he saved and unfortunatly is witness to his cold blooded shooting. As I have said this film is a remarkable work of art in animation. I think to myself as I watch it how would someone feel to know the person they saved has turned into a killer. This is what Dr. Tenma faces when he finally runs into the young man who has turned into a Monster.

Last updated Thursday, June 04 2009. Created Sunday, May 03 2009.
Unevaluated lucy-san [series:830#2510]
1 Episode watched...

It was boring, i had to force myself through the whole episode. Because i like mystery, supernatural and action genres, i think it's going to be a while until i start episode 2. Yess i will give it another chance!

Last updated Wednesday, December 26 2007. Created Wednesday, December 26 2007.
Buy Jan-Chan [series:830#967]
I can only share with you a very amazing.... WOW!!!

This series is a very dark ↗Hitchcock-like suspense and psychological thriller anime-drama, in which the best intentions can unexpectedly generate the worst results.

One should be warned that typical of the standard Hitchcock tale, this story can move slowly (in fact very slowly at times), but it does move along - building momentum with each episode - as Dr Tenma chases after Johan, and learns of his past and the circumstances as to his upbringing.

It does seem like this story hits ALL of ↗the classic elements of suspense that are the hallmarks of Hitchcock films. But that issue aside, if one is into dark and bloody psychological thrillers, then this a title to catch.

Last updated Wednesday, November 18 2009. Created Thursday, August 19 2004.

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