Archive for the Monster Category

Monster – 15-16

Posted in Monster with tags on 12/07/2009 by Shinmaru

What is in a name?

Dr. Tenma meets Gen. Wolfe — the man in the photograph with a circa Kinderheim 511 Johan — and remarks that the Wolfe in front of him looks nothing like the Wolfe in the photo. Wolfe takes this a step further: He says people refer to him as “Wolfe”, and that he introduces himself as “Wolfe” to people who do not know him, but there is nothing real that proves he is Wolfe. For all anyone knows, Wolfe could be anyone else and it would not matter, because he is labeled to the world as “Wolfe”.

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Monster – 13-14

Posted in Monster with tags on 11/29/2009 by Shinmaru

I’m getting to this post way later than intended. Apologies — I’ve been sick all week, and these posts normally take a bit out of me even when I’m healthy, so there was no way I could do this kind of heavy thinking while under the influence of cold medicine. Still not completely over my illness, but I am well enough to give this post a good shot. Better late than never, right?

Ep14 is a favorite Monster episode of mine because it shows both Inspector Lunge and Eva really getting a kickstart to their dual obsessions with Dr. Tenma and the extent of the damage caused to them by their obsessions (though Lunge’s damage comes more from a general obsession with tracking down killers). Lunge’s half of the story is particularly interesting because while up to this point he is portrayed as an extremely intelligent, effective officer of the law, there is not too much indication that his dedication to his work may have a negative effect on his life (although he has an admittedly single-minded, intense personality), whereas the sparks of Eva’s obsession are shown in prior episodes (although, again, they are not fanned nearly as hard as they are in this episode).

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Monster – 11-12

Posted in Monster with tags on 11/17/2009 by Shinmaru

The games are over now in Monster.

In these two episodes, Dr. Tenma gets his first whiff of the infamous Kinderheim 511 (referred to as “511 Kinderheim” in the dub and probably in the original Japanese, as well; I just prefer the sound of the former). Everything Tenma has seen and known up to this point is child’s play — even Hartmann himself, horrible child abuser that he is, could be considered small beans next to the cruelty and depravity that threatens to swallow the world. Tenma has walked through the door, and he is past the point of no return. He can move only deeper into the abyss from here.

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Monster – 9-10

Posted in Monster with tags on 11/11/2009 by Shinmaru

LittleGirlSmiling

I previously defended episodes of Monster by making the case that certain episodes have a job to do and know their place in the hierarchy. After all, 74 episodes is a good-sized show, and Monster certainly is a long journey. Some episodes just have to build a bit of character or establish a theme so that the later episodes will be that much better.

With that said, however, this pair of episodes is not exactly high on my favorites list. I enjoy watching them, but they’re maybe a bit too simple compared to later stories, and watching Dr. Tenma start on his journey is not quite as interesting as when he gets a full head of steam and is neck deep in the conspiracy surrounding Johan. But I will say that despite this, there are some interesting things pushed forward in these episodes.

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Monster – 7-8

Posted in Monster with tags on 11/04/2009 by Shinmaru

EvaAlcoholic

(A day late because I am an easily distracted doof. Also, minor spoilers regarding the direction of Eva’s character in the series.)

When I first watched Monster, my reaction upon seeing Eva drinking herself into oblivion and pummeling herself with memories of how she screwed up with Dr. Tenma was probably similar to many people’s — “She is getting what she deserves!” Now, though, I cannot help but be horribly sad watching Eva waste away while Inspector Lunge tries to pry information from her.

It would be easy to say that Eva is bitter, and really, that is the image she wants to project to the world at this point in time. She is the tough, bitter woman who unashamedly runs men through the wringer to support her own lifestyle. Eva wants to be hated, despised, by other people because being the object of another person’s hatred may be able to make her briefly forget being the object of what she assumes is Tenma’s scorn. The alcohol helps with that, too — nothing hammers away the memories like a slowly disappearing bottle of whiskey, after all.

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Monster – 5-6

Posted in Monster with tags on 10/27/2009 by Shinmaru

NinaInBed

It is kind of amazing how Monster is able to do so much with so little at times.

On the one hand, these episodes may highlight Monster‘s biggest flaw to those who would see it as a flaw — the series is perhaps too faithful to the manga, which can sometimes result in a tortuously slow pace. (This is probably my inexperience speaking, but is there a more faithful manga-to-anime adaptation than Monster? There are a few things changed, of course, but for the most part, it is as if the manga panels themselves have been animated. It really speaks to the strength of Urasawa’s storytelling that Madhouse basically decides, “You know what? Let’s not mess with a good thing here.”) How much happens in ep5, for instance? We see Nina engaging in her daily activities, speaking with a therapist (and setting off a red flag in all first-time viewers), Dr. Tenma retracing Johan’s steps and Nina fainting after catching a glimpse of Johan while meeting a boy she thinks sent her a romantic (and creepy, really) e-mail. No more, no less.

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Monster – 3-4

Posted in Monster with tags on 10/20/2009 by Shinmaru

JohanShadows

It’s the second week of Monster! For people who are new to the series, I will hold back from throwing out major spoilers, but be aware that I will toss out a minor spoiler every once in a while to illustrate a point.

Johan Liebert becomes the monster in ep4; or, rather, he shows himself as the monster for the first time, which is sort of ironic considering he is in the shadows for most of the scene. As cool as this looks, it is also a visual device that cleverly reveals Johan’s MO: Although Johan is the darkest, most evil person in a series filled to the brim with rotten people, he rarely kills someone by his own hand. Johan’s evil is instead done by corruption — by taking average people, or maybe even people who are already predisposed to doing “bad” things (such as he does in this episode) and subtly pushing them into committing acts they would never dream of doing if Johan had never entered the picture. This monster works from behind the scenes with a cold, cruel whisper. That is the only weapon he really needs.

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Monster – 1-2

Posted in Monster with tags on 10/13/2009 by Shinmaru

TenmaJohanHospital

This week I am starting something that should be fun for me, and hopefully fun for all of you: One of my favorite anime, Monster, was recently dubbed in English and began airing on SyFy’s Ani-Monday block. To celebrate, because I honestly never expected Monster to air on TV, I’ll post about the series once a week for its 37-week duration (or however long it ends up being). Let’s get cracking!

The series opens with a quote from The Book of Revelation: “And I saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads, the names of blasphemy. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like unto the beast? Who is able to make war with him?’”

It does not take a Bible scholar (which I am not, haha) to know the viewers are in for something sinister after that beauty is dropped upon them. This is not coming into play quite yet, however. The beast — young Johan Liebert — has not yet received his power, though interestingly enough, even as a powerless child he is worshiped in a way. In ep2, while Johan recovers from neurosurgery, gifts and well wishes pile up in his room, all from people who are charmed by the story of twins suddenly orphaned by the violent murder of their parents (Johan’s sister, Nina, is in a near catatonic state through the first two episodes). But it does not stop there.

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