Anime Review

Monster Spoiler-Free Review

Japanese Title: Monster
Author: Naoki Urasawa
Year: 2004
Episodes: 74
Studios: Madhouse
Adaptation: Monster
Genre: Drama, Horror, Mystery, Police, Psychological, Seinen, Thriller

Monster Anime Review

Monster is one of the many critically acclaimed manga/anime series by Naoki Urasawa. The anime follows the story of an intelligent Japanese neurosurgeon Dr. Tenma whose life takes a grim turn after deciding to operate on a child over the mayor, going against his director’s orders. The boy Tenma saves turns out to be a psychopathic criminal who kills without any remorse or motivations. Now, Tenma must attempt to stop the monster he revived which takes him on a journey where he uncovers the secrets of the boy and how this monster came to exist.

It’s rather rare to find an anime that dives into the depths of the human mind in such a masterful and realistic way like Monster. Capabilities of the human mind are infinite and while one is capable of love, another is capable of committing awful atrocities. Monster flawlessly manages to highlight and represent these extremities by drawing a parallel of “good” and “evil” through Dr. Tenma and Johan Liebert.

But who decides if one is “good” or “evil”? Are we born equal? Do monsters exist or are they just flawed human beings like you and I? These are just a few of the many moral dilemmas Monster presents for its viewers to contemplate. As the story progresses, you start to realise that nothing is as black and white as it first seems. That everyone is a product of their environment and actions one may consider to be ordinary can have a lasting and detrimental impact to another. It also presents the inevitability and chaos of the universe, that no one has control of the future and no one has the ability to deduce the perfect course of action at any given moment.

Supporting casts are carefully crafted and and serve their purpose beautifully on the protagonist’s journey without superseding their boundaries. They are slowly but meticulously fleshed out to present different perspective and answers on the many philosophical questions the story poses on the protagonist. Naoki Urasawa’s art style is realistic and detailed with a strong emphasis on capturing the characters’ facial expressions and emotions. Each individual feels authentic with their own unique personalities and mannerisms; from how they dress to how they speak.

Recommendations: Monster anime is truly a masterpiece, much like many other series created by Naoki Urasawa such as 20th Century Boys and Master Keaton. If you have not watched it, I heavily urge you to try it.

I rate this anime 10/10.

Where can I watch monster?

You can watch monster on YouTube for free or buy the dvd from amazon here:

Anime Review

Baccano! Review

Baccano! is an anime adaptation of a novel written by Ryohgo Narita who’s more notoriously known for creating the critically-acclaimed anime and manga, Durarara!! It is a 13 episode epic story about alchemists, immortals, gangsters and outlaws who happen to interweave aboard the Flying Pussyfoot, leaving trails of unfortunate events along the way.

When does a story start? Does it need a beginning? Does it even need a protagonist? Too often writers are caught up conforming to some standard, some convention, because after all, why break something that works? It’s rather rare to see an author challenge the very essence of storytelling.

Enter the incredible disjointed and scattered world of Baccano! This anime has some of the most diversified range of characters, not simply ranging in personalities but also from differing eras. Characters from all backgrounds intermingle and coincide together resulting in some fascinating and intriguing interactions.

Suspense is the anime’s speciality. Each episode feels purposeful and important, unraveling its many secrets, leaving the viewer paranoid and uncertain of what’s to come. The clever use of setting gives a sense of claustrophobia as the plot gradually moves forward, independent of any individual’s choice as they’re part of a much larger story.

Costume designs are top-notch, primarily reflective of the 1930s where the majority of the story transpires, while the jazzy musical choice reinforces the period’s classy atmosphere. Animation is excellent and remains throughout, unafraid to display graphic imagery of which the story relishes in.

Baccano! is an example of a story that isn’t afraid to take risks in order to reap the highest reward, and does so successfully. I recommend this to anyone that is a fan of unconventional storytelling, loves good ol’ gore and enjoys suspenseful thrillers.