Monster: A Re-Watch
AND I SAW A BEAST RISING OUT OF THE SEA HAVING TEN HORNS AND SEVEN HEADS
AND ON ITS HORNS WERE TEN DIADEMS AND ON ITS HEADS WERE BLASPHEMOUS NAMES
AND THE DRAGON GAVE IT HIS POWER AND HIS THRONE AND GREAT AUTHORITY
THEY WORSHIPPED THE DRAGON FOR HE HAD GIVEN AUTHORITY TO THE BEAST
AND THEY WORSHIPPED THE BEAST SAYING
“WHO IS LIKE THE BEAST
AND WHO CAN FIGHT AGAINST IT?”
- REVELATIONS 13: 1-4 NRSV
So begins Monster, a thriller anime based on the manga of the same name by Naoki Urasawa. It began in 2004 and finished its run with a total of 74 episodes. This re-watch series will contain spoilers so definitely watch the show or read the manga first.
Before I get to recapping / thoughts I just want to say that this is one of my favourite anime / manga and probably the best of Urasawa's works. I think this is the first series of his where he builds a reveal up so much during the story that nothing could ever live up to it. Monster comes pretty close to pulling it off though and I will probably discuss that more further into the show.
Since first watching Monster over a decade ago I have not revisited the show itself. I have read the manga once or twice though! After reading the series I realized that I enjoyed the anime adaptation more although that might be because it was experienced first. Anyway time for some thoughts!
Episodes 1 - 3 Thoughts
After being complemented by his coworkers on his completion of a successful surgery, Kenzo Tenma gives a sigh. He briefly notices a family crying down the hallway before moving on. Monster's opening animation then plays depicting a desolate landscape and a ragged looking Tenma. The year is 1986 and the setting Dusseldorf, Germany. Kenzo Tenma is a surgeon at Eisler Memorial Hospital and is the about to marry the daughter of the hospital director. What more could he want? Well one thing would be to not have to hunt down and kill a man who's life he had saved when the man was a child.
The choices given to Dr. Tenma in these three episodes are stark. Save the Turkish man or follow orders and operate on the opera singer? Save the young boy who arrived first or operate on the mayor and continue towards cushy life? How was he supposed to know the boy was worse than Hitler? Well anyway.
I think the first three episodes give off more of a horror tone than what the actual series ends up being. Especially when you first hear the ending theme and see the creepy children's book without context. Love me some David Sylvian though! I can tell I'm going to enjoy this re-watch. Being reacquainted with characters such as Inspector Lunge has already been a delight!
This is my day 15 post for #100daystooffload
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