Hello everyone and a happy Halloween to you. For today's article here on a Reeler Movie Reviewer we'll be taking a look at one of the best damn anime I have ever seen: Monster by Naoki Urasawa an adaptation of the manga of the same name that was published back in 1994 to 2001. It tells the story of Dr. Kenzo Tenma a brilliant neurosurgeon who seems to have it all; he is one of the top doctors in the hospital and the favorite of the director whose daughter he is engaged to. Yes it seems everything but then one dark rainy night a boy with a bullet wound is brought in along with his catatonic sister. When he saves this boy's life Tenma begins a dark and terrifying journey into the mouth of madness itself.
I'm going to avoid spoiling anything because what good is a mystery if you start giving out clues so early? This is an awesome piece of work that definitely sets itself apart from your typical anime and I really wished there were more like it.
The story is complex with many twist and turns that will constantly leave you guessing and its definitely a series you need to watch from the beginning to understand what is going on. I found myself knocked on my ass during each reveal and shocking outcome. Its one of the few anime that is set in a realistic setting with no magic, big ass swords, power-ups, demons, or oversized hair styles.
The characters are well rounded and believable avoiding the cliche archetypes that you would regularly see and each one goes on a journey of their own that slowly changes them for better or worse yet they are all intertwined heading towards the same thing. I enjoyed each moment spent with these characters never one feeling tired of seeing them and actually caring for them always expecting their next episode to be their last.
Its a surprisingly long anime running for a total of 74 episodes which is great for since I didn't need to worry about the series trying to compact everything into 12 or 13 episodes because fuck that bull shit! Now your probably going to ask which language you should watch it in right? Well I would say either one and that's not me trying to stay neutral both the original Japanese and the English dub are both great which is more than I can say for other anime.
If you intend on going to buy it from a video store or something then well your out of luck there. Back in 2009 a DVD box set containing the first 15 episodes was released but since it did poorly in sales Viz who were holding the rights at the time decided not to release the rest of the series and eventually dropped the license. There is "good news" though as Siren Visual has licensed the series to be released in Australia(and yes only Australia) in 5 box sets this November so maybe you could find it off Amazon or perhaps buy it from Siren Visuals main site.
There are rumors of a live action adaption based on the series. The most recent news says that Guillermo del Toro and HBO are teaming up to create TV series with Toro as its director and the producers being Don Murphy and Susan Montford. How this will turn is anyone's guess but I'll keep my fingers crossed.
Overall this is a series that I highly suggest that you seek out. You can probably find it online and it is sometimes available in Japanese Sub on Netflix this is a series that you need to see at least once! :)
Well that's the end of this article have a safe and fun Halloween and I'll see you folks later so stay tuned for future reviews and Dark Discussions episodes here on A Reeler Movie Reviewer.