STORIES THAT ENCHANT THE MIND
This is a Monster anime review with some spoilers, so please be aware prior to reading.
Doctors are often hailed and revered as these ‘angels’ since the advent of time for they're the ones that give people another shot at life. They fight against disease and sickness, and find resolutions. In a sense, they can even make a patient feel like their symptom was nothing more but a bad dream, one that won’t return.
It's only natural to feel indebted towards the person who ‘revived’ you in one way or another. Many doctors choose their careers for benevolent reasons, some even live for humanity, making sure they rescue and cure as many people as they can. A few even do it at the cost of their own lives, especially in countries that may not have the best resources or technology.
No discrimination, no privilege, no prejudice, even a serial killer on death’s bed would receive the same treatment and the same attitude. Doctors hold centuries knowledge and in their hands they have a power that comes with a great responsibility.
Now, here's the question, as a doctor, what if the kid you rescued, the innocence you preserved, the smile you rejuvenated just grew up to be the most dangerous serial killer Europe has ever seen?
Under the constant guilt and remorse of being behind this twisted mind that has people in complete disarray and fear, Kenzo tenma has forsaken everything just to put an end to the tragedy.
He mission, is to face the darkness, the monster he has given birth to in that ER all those years ago and ‘Monster’ tells it in such a elegant manner.
Those serial killings and disturbing themes aren’t enough to push the readers away throughout the entirety of the journey that Monster is, due to the portrayal of their characters.
"Doctor Tenma. For you all lives are created equal, that's why I came back to life. But you've finally come to realize it now, haven't you? Only one thing is equal for all, and that is death."
"I save lives, I cure people. But most of all, people die in front of my eyes and, I ‘kill’ them"
I doubt anime has ever seen such a brilliant mind that defines Kenzo Tenma himself. With total expertise over the art of surgery at such a young age, he's quite the prodigy even among his peers who have been in the business longer than he's been alive on this planet we call Earth.
Perseverance and patience of that level comes only after you've seen it all and done it all by your own hands, but there's another side to the whole ‘savior glory’ since things aren’t always that sweet. There’s always more to everything than what meets the eye.
Hospitals tend to be seen as a ‘sanctuary’, a place where the wounded can be cured, but at the same time, death becomes all the more ‘normal’ for the person behind that cure.
Not to mention the grief and despair from the relatives of the recently deceased can make any medical professional feel like the bad person, especially when blamed for it all.
It can make one question their own skill, knowledge, and competence.
"I suffered. They'll suffer, but they'll suffer even more."
Our childhood experiences shape us into the adult we become. If you've studied even a bit about serial killers, you'll know that quite a few have something in common, that being childhood trauma. There are also those who have a hellish upbringing, one that twisted their reality and pulled the trigger for them to become a monster, and in certain cases, these monsters hide in a sheep’s clothing.
Johan was just a normal innocent kid wanting to play with his sister all day long, eating home cooked meals on the table with his mother and sister, and having all kinds of playful conversations, but children born to parents with cursed fates tend to suffer sooner or later, that’s the reality of the world we live in.
With those painful and agonizing experiences turning the world of Johan upside down and flipping the switch in his head, he experiences insanity and bloodthirst at a young age.
Johan has seen it all and just wants to make the world suffer and see the same sights, hear the same sounds, witness the same abyss he did when it was all something no kid was ever supposed to be a part of.
As an adult, Johan's life is pretty much that of a serial killer, being on a killing spree while recruiting all these allies who are too 'impressed' by the man standing in front of them, even willing to make him grasp their lives in his hand and assume the role of a puppeteer, one who they don’t want to escape, ever.
From people ‘raising’ a leader the world desperately needs to people trying to bring the new Hitler, Johan becomes a formidable villain.
Johan wants to light the candle in the hearts of the twisted and watch it burn humanity. In his eyes, it's what they deserve.
You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.
Taking anyone's life would be unthinkable for someone like Kenzo Tenma. He is someone whose bread and butter is saving people and rescuing lives, all kinds of them, but the guilt and regret of Johan Liebert eats him from inside out. It makes makes him, one of the most tranquil and serene of minds give way to the hatred against one's self.
He begins to carry a sense of duty and takes matters in his own hands even if it comes at the cost of him becoming the very one he's been hunting this entire time.
Now, living the life of a suspect and just on the run for crimes he never committed, Kenzo is on the search for Johan in an attempt to rescue him and help him find salvation, but there's nothing that can stop the murderer.
The stage is set, the performance is coming to an end, but sadly, the curtain call won't have an audience for the first time in history.
It's safe to say that the genre of Monster is suspense and mystery at its finest. Throughout the series, it's just one question after another and another since the show takes the thriller, suspense and mystery blend to the next level, a level that only begins to go on the decline after we're more than just halfway through the show.
It makes any other suspense anime seem just bland and incomplete, making it clear and obvious that the suspense / thriller throne is just there for 'Monster' to sit on.
The way it all comes to an end, the way we're told the story is elegant. All the way from the time Johan and Anna's parents met to the Kinderheim incident to all these witnesses to Johan’s growth and transformation is just beautiful to say the very least.
Monster is regarded as one of the best manga in the mystery genre to ever hit the pages of the prestigious and legendary shounen jump magazine.
The Monster Anime takes you across Europe, and introduces so many nationalities and faces. It also takes us deep into the twisted mind of probably the deadliest serial killer we've ever seen in any anime or manga
This anime is a masterpiece that would be appreciated by the many generations to come. It’s a must watch for any person out there be it you like anime or not. I dare you to say this story isn't great.
Below are few manga that are worth looking into as well.
I’ve always been into writing since day one. Along the way I found anime and manga and it was just delightful transforming my thoughts into words. I feel at ease writing about them and it’s truly something I find solace in.