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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Naoki Urasawa's Monster DVD Set 1 Impression

Monster DVD Set 1
Could you save a monster, a beast that will torture and kill others without a second glance? The answer seems straightforward but what if you had no idea the person you were saving would become such a monster. This is something that Dr. Kenzo Tenma must deal with in Naoki Urasawa’s Monster on DVD from Viz. Based on the thrilling manga the anime loses none of its suspense or intrigue.

Dr. Kenzo Tenma is a brilliant surgeon, a man capable of saving almost any life but being a doctor is not always about saving lives. Tenma quickly learns that politics carry a heavy weight. As he saves the life of a famous singer another man dies, one who arrived earlier. Haunted by this fact, reminded by those who lost their husband, their father, Tenma makes a choice later to save a young boy as another prominent figure passes away. This choice ends his immediate medical career and years later begins a horrific journey where he is hunted and on the hunt. The young boy he saves, Johan, grows to be just that, a monster and as he murders it’s Tenma who becomes the target of a fanatical ex-fiancé and a determined detective. There is more to Johan than just a deranged boy. As Tenma seeks to end the life he saved he learns there is much more to Johan and his twin sister than anyone could imagine.


For those fans of the manga you know exactly what type of story and suspense you are getting. This tale is part CSI, Incredible Hulk and The Fugitive. CSI for its crime solving pieces, Hulk (TV series) for its wandering hero helping others and The Fugitive for just that, he’s a fugitive. This last example really shows what fans can expect but the addition of government conspiracies and cover-ups against a German backdrop and hints of a new Reich really make Monster unique. The story is suspenseful and haunting a pure pleasure to watch.

The animation is ordinary, not great, not bad, but this is everyday life in Europe so no super bouncy women, tight wearing men or super powers needed.
Monster is an excellent entryway into the world of anime for fans of mystery, suspense and crime stories. If the DVD set is too much to take on right now then take a look at the manga at a lower price then decide if the money is worth bringing the story to animated life.

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