Monster User Reviews

Monster is an anime series in the Monster franchise
Write a Review 3 user reviews Average score of 8.7 / 10 for Monster
Quite the Thriller-Drama ride for 70+ Episodes & Worth its Hype! Reviewed by Dream on June 7, 2009. Dream has written 142 reviews. His/her last review was for Patema Inverted. 302 out of 316 users recommend his reviews. 3 out of 3 users found this review helpful.
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.
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