Monster, also called Naoki Urasawa’s monster, is a manga series which ran from 1994 to 2001, for total 18 volumes. The anime series was directed by Masayuki Kojima, produced by Hiroshi Yamashita for the first ten episodes, and by Toshio Nakatani, Manabu Tamura, Takuya Yui, Masao Maruyama, for the remaining episodes.
Monster is noted for its psychology as well as storytelling. the plot is very unique compare to usual anime, with very little heroism, and full of difficult choices for the characters, along with an unhealthy dose of mental trauma.
The anime ran from April 7 2004 to 28 September 2005, for total 74 episodes.
The story revolves around Kenzo Tenma, a Japanese surgeon living in Düsseldorf, Germany whose life enters turmoil after getting himself involved with Johan Liebert, one of his former patients, who is revealed to be a dangerous serial killer.
My watching experiences:
The story begins normally enough, disregarding the scarry opening, which actually manages to be scarry and intriguing without using any lyrics at all. However, when a murder takes place in the hospital where Tenma works, things start to go downhill from there.
While Tenma is certainly the main protagonist, there are other characters who play just as important role. For example, Anna Liebert, the sister of Johan, searches for the clues to her past, and stop her brother. She often ends up teaming up with Tenma.
Inspector Lunge, of BKA, who’s introduction I can’t seem to get out of my head. He is a great detective, a workaholic, but he suspects Tenma for most of the show for the murders of Johan. He takes his job very seriously, and can’t fathom the fact that he could be wrong.
Dieter, a kid who was rescued by Tenma from the guy who used to work at the orphanage where Anna and Johan spent their childhood, and wanted to turn him into next Johan. Though Tenma tries to leave him in a stable place, he ends up following him around anyway. which can be considered a good thing, since he often acts as a morality chain for Tenma.
Wolfgang Grimmer, one of the orphans from the kinderheim 511, who was subjected to the same horrifying experiments as Johan and other children from that orphanage. He wishes to find the man in charge of that orphanage, and later helps Tenma. Along with Anna, Tenma, and Lunge, he can be considered one of the protagonists of this show, even though he gets introduced much later than them.
Now, this might be considered a spoiler, but I must talk about one scene. When the plot moves to Czech, Johan sends a kid to a brothel. A professor notices him, and gives him money, (Which he didn’t asked for in the first place,) and creepily repeated to himself how good he is with the children.
To me, that scene was the most terrifying in the show, even if it didn’t have much impact on the over all plot, and that professor is never scene again. I will never forget the fear which I felt as he just kept repeating to himself.
As Tenma goes across the Germany in search of Johan, and to avoid the police, he often meets people whose story mirrors his own. These stories are deep enough that they can have a story of their own.
Let’s get this out of the way first. If you want your typical shonen anime, forget it. you won’t be seeing anything like that from this show.
On the other hand, if you like psychological thrillers, which ask difficult questions like, “Do I listen to the director? Shouldn’t I save patients regardless of their status in the society?” then this show is for you.
While 74 episodes might seem much to some, I honestly didn’t have any problems with the length. This anime has little to no filler, and episodes are so good and deep that I could review them individually. The only reason why I’m not doing that is because of laziness.
all the deep stories are complimented by a great soundtrack, which has a theme for every occasion.
In my opinion, if you are planning to watch an anime which is different from the usual, you can’t go wrong with monster.