Naoki Urasawa’s original anime Monster is one of the classic anime that fans and critics alike love, even 18 years later. It was named the best anime of 2004.
The Monster anime explores themes of obsession and paranoia amid a gripping story of crime and suspense. April 2022 will mark 18 years since the first episode premiered, but the series is still worth re-watching.
We look back at this best old anime, what makes it so special and why is it worth re-watching today?
What sets the classic Monster anime apart?
Monster is one of the most acclaimed anime in the world. Many people consider it a classic, but they are not sure if it is still worth watching today.
While it was definitely made at a different time in anime history, it presents stories and themes that are still eternally relevant. It’s easy to see why people say Monster has brought new depth and realism to storytelling in anime, and it’s also easy to argue that Monster still holds up today.
It has a gripping story and great characters, a beautiful yet realistic drawing style, and it leaves you wanting more.
Here is a list of 8 reasons why you should think about watching the classic old anime Monster:
1. The animation is excellent and still holds up 18 years after the first release
Monster’s animation style has been described as both realistic and terrifying. The art style is different from most popular anime today as it was created at a time when most anime was 2D.
The art style too emphasized facial expressions more than some anime that came later. Cyberpunk movies and anime often explore similar themes, but Urasawa’s use of color and shade sets his work apart.
Urasawa’s art style is an excellent fit for the medium of anime and manga.
2. It keeps you on the edge of your seat
Monster offers a fresh take, unlike those typical Shōnen anime stories, where the protagonist starts off weak and gets stronger as the series progresses. Instead, it follows Dr. Kenzo Tenma, from the outset as an already morally strong character who must resolve a moral dilemma and protect those he cares about, while also trying to better understand himself. He chooses to save the life of a little orphaned boy rather than a city official, which becomes the catalyst for a series of falling dominoes throughout the series.
The plot unfolds layer upon layer of plot twists and mysteries. The main plot twist is that Dr. Kenzo to save the child ultimately backfired in a major way. Nine years later, he finds out that Johan Liebert (the orphan) is a serial killer with a nihilistic outlook on life. He tortures his victims not only to the edge of human suffering and pain, but to the point where they commit suicide to end the torment.
Monster is an anime that is both grounded and unshakable in the face of the moral grayness and ambiguity that Dr. Surround Kenzo. While the show may be so acclaimed for its character building, the Eisner Award-winning author makes you ponder the philosophical nature of good and evil.
3. It has a great storyline
Monster is a mysterious story that was made into an anime before being adapted into the critically acclaimed Monster manga. There are plenty of mysterious and suspenseful tales of talented manga artists around the world, but few can grasp the quiet and thoughtful creepiness of Monster, whose appeal has endured for over a decade.
It examines the nature of ‘good versus evil’ and the inherent flaws that exist in all people. It really tells a good story without letting the story beats depend on comedic bits or overdone action sequences to keep viewers engaged. The story covers a lot of ground, but at its core it is an emotional story about trust.
Set in Germany, around the story of Doctor Tenma, a renowned young neurosurgeon begins to question both his humanity and his professional judgment when faced with a difficult choice in which the surgeon’s oath of “do no harm” becomes impossible. can keep.
This is just one of the many intriguing facets of this series, which explores topics such as social psychology, government corruption, and what it means to be a doctor or have a profession where life and death are at your fingertips. The colorful characters are diverse and different, yet somehow united under common ideals, both scientific and moral.
4. It has strong characters
The characters created in Monster are well written and resemble ordinary people who populate everyday life both for good and for bad.
The author uses archetypes to represent different people around the world. The story itself shows how these archetypes (or stereotypes) can influence us in our daily lives. Urasawa, when asked in a interview – why he always creates such mature characters, said:
“Even when I was a kid, I didn’t like manga for kids. So when adults around me tried to show me something aimed at children, I always thought, “They’re not taking me seriously!” That’s why I really want kids who are like me, if they exist in today’s world, to read my stories.”
The villain is just as complex as the main character, which makes the plot more interesting. Johan Liebert is a skilled manipulator who can use his extraordinary intelligence and other people’s weakness to his advantage. The story isn’t just about a screwed up accident where the life of a future villain is saved, it has a lot to do with human psychology, especially when you go deep into dark levels.
5. This anime touches on a lot of real world problems that people face every day
It is an anime that explores many real-world problems, ranging from the moral dilemma of whether it is right to kill someone to save many, to the social problem of a society that leaves criminals free to protect their families. These are things we deal with every day, and they add to the depth and realism of Monster.
6. It is respectful of the viewer’s time; it is not too long and has a fast tempo
Despite being such a long show, there is no padding or wasted time in Monster. If you’re a true lover of the crime/mystery genre with a psychological twist, you’d be hard pressed to find a dull moment. It’s filled with a slow-simmering build that will leave you guessing until the end.
What makes Monster so special is that the show doesn’t go on for too long. The anime adapts the manga, meaning about 80 chapters are covered in about 75 episodes. Even though it is a long series, it is able to keep the whole tension high.
7. The soundtrack of Monster OST music is excellent
The first thing you noticed about Monster is the opening theme, “Grain†† The song was composed by Kuniaki Haishima, who did a great job as it complements the visuals perfectly.
This anime drama doesn’t feel like an early 2000s Japanese product simply because the music production is top notch to say the least. The excellent use of sound creates so much atmosphere and tension.
8. It’s just fun
Monster is a suspense/thriller anime depicting the life of Dr. Kenzo Tenma who, after rescuing a child, makes it his mission to find the evil mastermind behind the murders that have sent the whole country into a state of panic.
The series is fleshed out through its well-thought-out characters with depth, gruesome blood that really gets under your skin in an imaginative way, and a visual style you’ll love or terrify.
You should watch Monster anime because…
Monster is more than a classic anime. It’s a must-see if you like mysteries with complex characters, all set in a realistic world that feels like your own, but has a supernatural twist.
There are very few animes that have stuck around and are still loved by both new and old fans, even after all this time. The anime did a great job of encapsulating everything that made the series so special and memorable; I have no doubt that the experience will be both exciting and rewarding.
Beautiful writing, a solid plot that doesn’t rely on cheap twists, quality animations, and impressive voice acting make this series worth re-watching years after it was first released as one of the best old anime.