28 June 2009 | maque-3
For the pickiest watcher, Monster is sure to please.
I've always been very picky about my anime. I don't mind watching most series, but I always hold myself back from really truly liking most of them -- I watch, say, Fullmetal Alchemist, and I get some visceral joy from it, I cry a little bit, but I wouldn't call it a favorite; I find Cowboy Bebop enjoyable, but I wouldn't ever watch it ten times.
Monster blows everything I've ever seen out of the water.
I stumbled upon the anime by accident. I had just finished watching Moribito -- which was one I truly liked because the characters didn't follow normal anime standards -- and was searching for something to follow up after that. I expected to be disappointed. Someone on a forum suggested Monster, so I looked it up and watched it.
I kept expecting something to be horrible. But the show started, and the art was realistic for an anime--something I hadn't quite experienced before. The opening theme song wasn't some annoying pop song that grated on my ears and made me snicker. The characters were real. The background music always fit the scenes and was never overbearing. The language spoken was honest and like something I could hear on the street. Germany looked like Germany and not some twisted version of Japan. The story was compelling.
I watched all 74 episodes expecting something, -anything- to go horribly wrong, waiting for it to fall into the tripe I had watched hundreds of other anime go into. But there was never fan service, no overly gory violence. Nothing like that.
Monster is a masterpiece. You can truly connect with every character. You'll see a person on screen for, at most, five minutes, but they'll have more depth to them than the main protagonists of other anime. You'll feel overwhelming sorrow whenever someone is killed after only one episode. You'll decide that a certain person fits the title--"Monster"--only to decide a few moments later that no, someone else is a monster. And you'll even feel empathy for people you long to hate.
This is one of the only anime to ever please this picky fan. It might not be for people wanting more action, but as someone sick of anime where all that happens are flashy fights, this was a more than welcome release. Give Monster a try--you'll probably find it worthwhile.