What happens when the world’s kindest doctor unintentionally saves the life of the world’s most villainous man? We get an amazing mystery thriller anime of course!
Let’s see in this Monster anime review, why Monster anime deserves his place on our list of Top 10 Best Mystery Thriller Anime Series of All the Time.
Monster Anime Details
- Type: TV
- Episodes: 74
- Status: Finished Airing
- Aired: Apr 7, 2004 to Sep 28, 2005
- Premiered: Spring 2004
- Producers: VAP, Shogakukan-Shueisha Productions, Nippon Television Network
- Licensors: VIZ Media
- Studios: Madhouse
- Source: Manga
- Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery, Police, Psychological, Thriller
- Demographic: Seinen
- Duration: 24 min. per ep.
- Rating: R+ – Mild Nudity
Monster Anime Review: Story
The story started in 1980s with a brilliant young Japanese neurosurgeon called Doctor Kenzou Tenma who is working in a very high reputed hospital in West Germany.
One day, when Doctor Tenma was about to operate on a Turkish construction worker, but he was pulled out of surgery at the last minute to operate on an opera singer instead.
The opera singer survived, but the Turkish construction worker died. The Turkish wife berated Doctor Tenma for not saving her husband’s life.
A few days later a similar situation happened with a young boy coming into the operation room with a bullet wound to the head at the same time that an important mayor needs to be operated.
This time, Doctor Tenma followed his own morals and decided to operate on the boy who came in first. As a consequence, the mayor died and Doctor Tenma’s career at the hospital was ruined thanks to his scum sucking boss.
Then, Doctor Tenma’s career was revived when all his enemies inexplicably died in the same night and the boy that he saved, was reported as missing.
A few years later, Doctor Tenma finds out that he saved an absolute Monster, and decides to hunt down this Monster and correct his mistake.
Saying more about the story of Monster anime would ruin it, because it is an anime series that has to be seen.
With 74 episodes, some viewers may find Monster anime a bit long or even boring, but overall, this show is meant to reflect a very realistic style of storytelling, but when action happens, it gives you a sense of rush, and when the slow moments come in again after that rush, it feels like it fits as you will need at times to take a break from all of the intense moments that happen in the story.
Monster anime Characters
When it comes to Monster anime characters, you will come across one of the most interesting cast of characters in anime world.
What is really exciting is that every Monster anime character is explored in just the right amount, not too little and not too much and there are moments in the narrative where even our main characters will disappear from the story, but this also gives us a chance to explore other significant characters and see the role that they are performing in the mystery thriller context.
What really makes Monster anime characters so amazing is all their different personalities and interactions with everyone, and how everything ties back into the main theme of the story of who is the monster.
The most amazing thing for me is that every character in the story is influenced by the two main characters (Doctor Kenzo Tenma and Johan Liebert), and how everything and everybody always comes back to these two protagonists, and how they make everyone connected.
Even though some Monster anime characters appear kind of late in the story, they still help to drive the story to its final epic climax.
All the Monster anime characters really get their chances to shine, and even the minor characters allow themselves to be memorable thanks to their well-written personalities.
I am going to speak in details about the six main Monster anime characters:
Monster anime Dieter
Dieter started off as a young boy who is being treated in a similar way to many of the children of the past and when Doctor Tenma saw this, he tried to help him run away from this hell.
Thereafter, he became a fellow and a buddy to Doctor Tenma, even though the latter didn’t want him to follow his steps.
In fact, Tenma’s companionship is what made Dieter able to help other children who were like him, to see Tenma’s vision, and without Dieter, Tenma would be a completely different person.
Monster anime Eva Heinemann
Eva started off as Tenma’s fiancée, but when her father is murdered and she blamed Doctor Tenma for that, she dropped of the wagon, and became a heinous woman who can’t see anything good in the world and just drunk herself to death.
Once she realized Doctor Tenma’s innocence, she began to pull her act together and seeing how some people will help her in spite of everything she thought of them really helped her to turn her life around and became a much better person.
Monster anime Inspector Lunge
Heinrich Lunge is an inspector for the BKA and the character who became Doctor Tenma’s rival. He Thinks that Doctor Tenma is the one responsible for the murders that happened and the creation of the Monster.
Inspector Lunge is a cold and calculating man who can accurately pin point information and details into his brain. He lives for his work so much that he didn’t even care when his family left him.
He believes that his words are final and no matter what, even if the truth is starring him in the face, he will never accept that his words are wrong.
However, when it became clear who is really behind the disorder in Germany, he was forced to accept for the first time in his career that he was wrong, and decided to put an end to the chaos in his own way.
Monster anime Nina Fortner (Anna Liebert)
Nina Fortner is Johan Libert’s twin sister, and she is one of the main protagonists of Naoki Urasawa’s Monster anime series.
She started off as a normal girl living with her parents, however when memories of her past began to catch up with her, she, along with Doctor Tenma, went to try to solve the mystery of her past.
Through her interaction with Doctor Tenma, Nina Fortner became a stronger person and through her interaction with Dieter, she became able to stay grounded in who she truly is.
With Doctor Tenma’s help, Anna Liebert was able to confront her brother about their common past. Seeing the horrors of what her brother did was what truly inspired her to dig into her past and found her brother, so that she could put an end to his terrorism.
Monster anime Kenzou Tenma
Doctor Kenzou Tenma is the main protagonist of Naoki Urasawa’s Monster anime series, and in my point of view, he is one of the greatest anime characters of all the time.
Doctor Tenma was confronted with ideals and beliefs that are out of his element, however he still always tries to do the right thing.
Throughout the Monster anime series, Doctor Tenma always has the belief that all life is equal, and no one no matter how bad he has become deserves to die as he always believes that it’s never too late to start over and make a fresh start.
This belief is what truly made me excited about following him and seeing him grow throughout his journey, because he does see the corruption around him, and he is forced to do things that in the past he wouldn’t do, but that’s what makes him truly a hero.
Doctor Tenma still holds on to his beliefs that no one deserves to die, but he does have to do things that go against that sometimes, and he isn’t a perfect person, but he is still a good person who will try to pull through impossible odds.
When Doctor Tenma is being told that he is going to be arrested or that nobody wants his help, he still offers his help, and tries his best to save people by showing them a different way of life.
Throughout the Monster anime series, I always thought that Doctor Tenma made the right choices, and even after seeing Johan do horrible things, he still treats him like a person, and chooses to save him again, because he can’t bring himself to end another person’s life.
Doctor Tenma’s greatest strength comes in his desire to never give up on anyone.
Monster anime Johan Liebert
Now, let’s talk about the main antagonist of Naoki Urasawa’s Monster anime series: Johan Liebert.
Johan Liebert is really a true psychopath in every sense of the word and this comes from the fact that he is so innocuous on the surface, but that is all a disguise for a heart that is darker than black, and a scary manipulator mind.
Johan Liebert acts by making people trust him, and then kills them in particular ways depending on how he is feeling.
Johan’s main purpose is to kill as many people as possible to become the last person at the end of the world, and see the world unfold into a rave of disorder and destruction.
He tried several times to make Doctor Tenma and others kill him, so that the Monster in him turns to them, and they become monsters too.
Johan Liebert kills for himself and nothing more and sees it as just a part of his life. He is one truly scary character, and even at the end, we still don’t know much about him, which makes him even more terrifying.
Besides, since he rarely appears in the story, which makes it even more shocking when he does pop up, and the way people talk about him, and how every murder is orchestrated by him, and the longer he is around, the more people die, all these facts make him a psychopath on a huge scale.
Doctor Tenma sees life as equal; Johan sees life as nothing. The two draw the perfect definition of two sides of the same coin.
With a rich cast of characters that will have at least one character anybody will fall in love with, Monster anime series makes great use of an ensemble a rich complex cast that is of epic nature.
Monster anime Art
Monster anime art is quite good, but not the best I have ever seen. It follows a highly realistic style. There is no Moe (Terms that every Otaku should know) vibes, big sweat drops, or jets of blood coming out of people’s noses.
Asian characters do look Asian, and can be distinguished from the European characters. Even it is a long-running anime, Monster anime art doesn’t degrade in quality as the series progresses.
Monster anime Music & OST
Monster anime music fits really well with the intense scenes and the calm moments.
The OST used throughout the Monster anime series serves to add an additional layer of realism. As a testament to Monster’s focus on being meticulous even in instant details, each gunshot accurately reflects the weapon which was used to shot it.
The Opening theme gives us a hint of what to expect from the Monster anime series, and the Ending theme is one of the creepiest ending themes in anime world.
Monster anime review: Conclusion
Those who have seen Naoki Urasawa‘s Monster anime series can attest collectively, no matter they liked it or not, to how extremely heavy and original this show is.
The topic of evil is aggressively explored throughout the Monster anime series by revealing the extent of human vision about “Death” in conjunction with exploring themes like child abuse, mass murder, collective brainwashing, human experimentation, the value of life, and so much more.
If you are looking for a great mystery thriller anime series, go and watch Monster! You won’t regret it.