Monster, a word used as a noun and sometimes informally as a verb, I dunno who’d do that but hey, Britain, i remember as a kid my mom always told me don’t watch this or don’t watch that but as a kid you know you’re naturally wired to do the opposite, it’s the exploratory side of you that simply compels you to do otherwise and it was that faithful evening on some random rainy night, I think, in 2013 when I decided to torrent Monster, yeah, and it messed-me-up.
Monster has to be one of if not the greatest and most thought-provoking anime out there both in the past and present generation you could pretty much call it timeless, but it’s really hard to say that huh? Reason being because not a lot of people talk about it, we know and anime is built on sales and popularity but we know Monster isn’t the highest grossing anime show out there and that it doesn’t have a toxic fanbase so without these key components why does it seem as though i’m hyping nothing? Well truth is the reason it's not that loud irrespective of age and quality is down to multiple factors, for instance if we took into account the plot of Monster it was straightforward, find the monster, but the dynamics and ingenuity and yes thought process required was simply out of this world, Urasawa created a show that had you on your toe in a methodical and slow fashion were you danced to the rhythm of the show and couldn’t just casually watch the show, think Steins Gate, every reference is important every detail cannot be wasted, to create that structure just in a anime show alone is simply fantastic.
Yet should Monster be something considered mainstream? when Monster first started it was home to a mature audience, so in an era dominated by DBZ and Shonen big 3 there was no space for Monster, streaming had yet to be invented so if you lived out of Japan or lived outside of the US in the 2004-2006 period, ithen you had no chance of watching this and even so, being new to anime would you have watch it then? To answer all this it simply comes down to the viewer as you see when you take everything that makes anime, well anime, and compare it to Monster you’ll immediately see that monster is literally the opposite of everything called anime today, in terms of views, ideals and values, for instance one thing that stands out is simple storytelling only few shows actually capture this but the majority of anime shows is to show this fantastical, unrealistic, out of this world side to it and there’s nothing wrong with it as opposed to Monster where the story stored in it is on a whole new level, Monster has no special powers, no giant robots, no superheroes, no unrealistic simp energy love stories, no its just raw storytelling and it’s done so, so well and yes as it is anime, it does have some side to it that may seem or feel unrealistic it is ground in facts and reality or to a extreme the facet of a character’s subconscious, that’s just a tip of the iceberg.
One thing Monster underlines at the start of the show is the reality of choices, we see that our protagonist is faced with a decision no doctor would want to make, save one life over another, a tough and in a sense simple decision from our perspective but that one action ended up setting the pace for the entire show run as it affected the entire cast of that show in dynamic fashion, our protagonist is then forced to deal with his actions as the consequences play out in front of him, all the while dealing with provocative questions such as what is justice? Morality, law, ethics, standards? Why do they exist? Who implemented them? Why go by it? Is everything on it true? Let’s not forget Johan the OG Kira Hoshikage! It took the very foundation of society and tore it wide open for it to be re-evaluated through the eyes of the villain as well as the audience, something like this or equivalent has yet to be done or reproduced in the world of anime, which is another reason for why Monster is so damn good.
So if you need an anime recommendation or about to move unto your next anime on that list of things t watch take a break and just pick up this brilliant piece of anime, and be enthralled in a world that is simply begging you to think outside the box a world that can challenge you to a degree no anime ever has and ever wll, step into the world of a Monster and see what makes them tick oh and check out our manga stuff, yeah you know I was gonna slide my sales pitch somewhere here anyways.
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