Have you ever watched something that terrifies you, and excites you at the same time?
This is a horrible show with horrible people, but I am enjoying every single moment of it. I know that may be pretty trashy to say – rather openly admit – but I’ve got to be honest with myself.
Monster Episode 1 – 4 Review
As I’ve decided to put my thoughts on the first four episodes of an 18-year-old anime online, I’m going to go ahead and assume that you’ve already seen this series. Or rather, at least heard of it – so I’m going to skip the brief introductory recap I usually do concerning shows I write about.
I think being a doctor would be terrifying – much less a neurosurgeon at a prestigious hospital (here’s looking at you, Chocolate).
Nonetheless, Dr. Kenzou Tenma has been dealing with the pressure of that profession this entire time, along with the ‘politics of the hospital’ to boot. There are of course, many professions where catty people reside (I’ve worked in more than a few) but it generally does seem that the more illustrious the position, the worse-off the people that surround you.
I know the anime is making Dr. Tenma out to be a “good guy” – and quite honestly, he is – but he got to this ‘bad place’ in life through complacency, as Tenma openly admits.
Does this make Dr. Tenma a ‘monster’?
Should we fault Dr. Tenma for using his natural-born talents to survive in waters too deep for those with lesser skills? No, absolutely not.
To be fair – I thought it was genius that Tenma got that far in his career by playing a very convoluted game of cat and mouse with his associates.
Udo and Eva Heinemann Manipulate Tenma
Due to playing a dangerous game, Tenma received dangerous consolation prizes – mainly the former Director Heinemann’s evil daughter Eva, and the sacrifice of his research for the academic “greater good” of the director himself.
Working as a united front, the father-daughter Heinemann duo worked to enslave Tenma’s mind and body, bending it to their will. (I.e. Eva controlling Tenma sexually, and the director controlling his social and academic studies.)
It’s a pretty good scheme they had going, and something that has been done repeatedly, according to Eva’s reaction at the party when she gave Tenma back the engagement ring. Eva then proceeded to immediately cozy up to the newest contender for her father to manipulate.
It wasn’t funny, but I did laugh when Eva switched up from the “it’s just business attitude” at the party, to “can’t we just talk?” after her father’s funeral.
I’m sure that girl will land on her feet, though.
After all, once you are accustomed to living a certain way (money, power, status amongst the ‘popular and pretty’ people of society, etc.) it would get mighty hard to go back to a ‘normal’ life.
If Eva had ever lived like a normal person, at all.
Is Dr. Kenzo Tenma Evil?
Maybe… Dr.Tenma was always meant to inherit the role of Head Surgeon.
Hear me out – I believe that the creator, whether you consider that to be god, jesus christ, buddha, jehova, whoever – has a cruel sense of humor. This series began with a reading from the book of revelations, replacing the word ‘beast’ for ‘monster’ – as a nod to serial killer Johan Liebert.
Tenma, despite using his special gifts and playing the game – was cast aside by the medical society (I.e., Director Heinemann and his peers at Eisler Memorial Hospital) for insubordination, and a bruised ego.
Tenma resigns to his fate, but one moment of speaking his true wishes aloud captures the interest of a little devil named Johann at his bedside.
Because Tenma helped the devil, the devil helps Tenma achieve his dream.
Nine years later, the devil returns and is “cleaning up society” or whatever Johann’s goals are to be.
There are good and bad people we encounter every day – but one person’s good is not the same as another person’s bad, if you catch my meaning.
Johann murdered innocent people, but at the same time you could consider the director, head surgeon, and the other guy (forgot his name haha) criminals, as well.
Just because they haven’t killed anybody directly, despite ordering hits on people’s livelihoods and careers…does that make them completely innocent?
Just because Mr. Junkers wanted nice things and developed a habit of breaking into buildings because of his gift for picking locks…does that make him completely guilty?
While Dr. Tenma is not completely evil, his good intentions paved the way for a hellish chain reaction ultimately beyond his control.
Why Does Dr Tenma take Personal Responsibility for Johan Liebert’s Actions?
Although we would like to think so in society, all lives are not treated equally. Or worthy of even being taken into consideration in times of crisis. Just as lives were judged based on status at Eisler Memorial Hospital, they are also judged accordingly in other circles.
I know it is not the point of Monster to push a jagged corporate-capitalist agenda (or, maybe it is-) but if Dr. Tenma had just kept his mouth shut and ignored the dying boy Johan, he could have saved many lives.
As they say, “a bullet can change the course of history”.
But, Dr. Tenma didn’t.
Tenma disobeyed his superiors in favor of his conscience, deciding to take responsibility for his previously complacent lifestyle, and lost everything.
At the end of the day, what was it really all for?
Was Johann worth saving at the cost of unleashing years of internal turmoil within himself simply because he felt guilty for living good by doing what others wanted?
Lots of philosophical questions were posed in these past four episodes, and I guess the answers all depend on your own morality.
Either way, I’m excited to see where this all goes.
But, tell me your thoughts.
Who do you think was in the wrong here – Johann or Tenma?
Were Johan and his sister even the biological children of the Liebert family?
And…why does Detective Lunge have such a hard-on for proving Tenma guilty?
Leave your thoughts in the comment section below, we’d love to hear from you! ☺ Also be sure to follow us for more Monster Season One Reviews and Discussions!
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