Monster review

Apr 16, 2021
This is a really difficult manga for me to discuss because I feel I'm not eloquent enough to properly discuss something like this the way it deserved to be. Still, the best way I can describe it is as incredibly intelligent and well written. By incredibly intelligent, I mean that the plot has a lot of depth to it. There aren't really many deep points about society or such being pushed, but it still engrosses you in the story that makes you truly think about what's occurring. The story is both grounded, in that it doesn't involve any supernatural elements or such, but at the same time it's also incredibly extreme, and in a way, that draws the reader further in.

The plot has numerous layers, but even with that it's very character oriented. At the top it's about a complete psychopath, a true monster, that uses various others along the way to achieve his objectives. However, the various other he uses are in general trash. Many could definitely think of them as evil, but shown in contrast to Johan, they seem nothing more than pathetic. And it also shows that someone truly evil, like Johan, is quite a bit harder to hate than those that are simply pathetic. Hence, despite Johan being a complete monster, it is quite difficult to truly hate him. That can in part be attributed to the other great aspect of the series, how well written it is, especially in regards to its characters.

Another aspect of this is Tenma, who despite being completely submerged in darkness due to the plot of the manga, wherever he goes still manages to shine. This is an aspect that I feel could easily end up feeling incredibly awkward if handled even somewhat wrong, but the author does a tremendously good job of it, and it ends up working amazingly well. Tenma difficulties with his original choice but staying true to who he was despite everything made him an incredibly amazing character. He was completely pure, which in the end made him similar but opposite to Johan, which made him a good foil for him.

But while I could consider those two the main characters in the manga, they are certainly not the only two that matter, with various other characters also getting fleshed out and many of them getting a lot of character development and ultimately playing very important parts in the plot as it unfolds. I would like to highlight that I thought the character arc of Eva was especially amazing, in that she has a complete fall from grace, she pursues Tenma obsessively, but in the end, gains the strength to stand back up on her own. I really wanted her to have a happy ending, but doubted she would be able to with her broken character and personality, but the author ended up writing something that authentically grew her character in such a way that she got a happy ending that despite everything it felt like she deserved, which I think is a major feat.

Overall the plot was incredibly well paced, slowly revealing more and more about the characters and conspiracies involved, keeping a good balance of suspenseful and light, important and side information, action and drama, ultimately bringing everything to an ending that wraps up all the various plot threads tremendously well in a way that felt completely consistent with everything that occurred and ultimately leaves the reader with a feeling of having read something incredibly satisfying. The art was decent enough and fit the atmosphere.

A suspenseful and deeply engrossing manga centered around hunting for a monster at the center of a conspiracy.



Autor Urasawa, Naoki