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Old 2007-11-22, 05:45   Link #1
Strangette
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Monster... Final Thoughts and Personal Opinion

After rewatching Monster again, I have a ton more questions. It's amazing how I thought rewatching would actually make the issues clearer, but instead ended up even more confused. Love this series!

Oh and I do not know how to add the spoiler button here so please be careful to people who hasn't seen the entire series!!!



Anyways, there probably is no direct answer that can be inferred from the series to my first question but here goes...

Question 1: Why didn't Johan bother looking for his mom once he fainted and started to trace his roots to Prague. I understand that Nina and Tenma's main objective was to find Johan, but I would've thought Johan might've wanted to "go back" to his mother and maybe kill/"erase" her?

Question 2: In the scene were Dr. Gilen (sorry for mispelling) analyzes Nina under hypnosis and ends up getting almost strangled by her, what is Nina recalling? It just sounded so scary when she said "Tadaima"... her voice changed etc... Who was she that she didn't want to say? She said "I'm not Nina". Dr. Gilen: "Who are you?" and she keeps saying itakunai, etc... who did she find out she was?

Question 3 : What is the one memory that only Johan has? I think it was Capek who said there is one memory missing in Nina or something.

Question 4: Do you guys think Bonaparta was evil or a monster? In the last scenes, he seemed like his vision was not as terrifying as he was made out to be. He shows compassion to the town. In the flashbacks, he is portrayed with a more sinister touch. Is the change just part of his character development or was he misrepresented? He fell in love with Anna (the mother), and actually wanted to conduct another type of experiment oppose the "Monster" one using Nina?
I simply don't understand!!!
If he were really "evil", how could he change his mind so quickly on Nina and telling her to not become a monster, after he poisoned (he did this right?) all the people in his mansion.


Question 5: How supernatural do you guys think the Johan Monster is? There's the reference of the Bible in the beginning introduction. Then there's the drunk guy who sees Johan as a physical devil. Schuwald said he saw hell in a living person's eyes. Was he imagining what hell was for Johan, or did he actually see it in Johan's eyes?
Everybody kept saying Johan is the kaputsu/monster, and that he was the devil (think: Martin)... so how many of you guys think Johan was human but just turned evil, or that Johan is indeed a devil incarnated but in human's body?

I know this is an old series now, but hope some minds still wander here so I can bounce ideas off. I can't seem to find any comprehensive websites on Monster! Like with people's own analysis, or plot summaries, etc...
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Old 2007-11-24, 00:19   Link #2
Gioconda
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Talking

Spoiler for answer:

Last edited by Gioconda; 2007-11-24 at 00:24. Reason: spoiler tag
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Old 2007-11-27, 21:14   Link #3
Matrim
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Quote:
Question 2: In the scene were Dr. Gilen (sorry for mispelling) analyzes Nina under hypnosis and ends up getting almost strangled by her, what is Nina recalling? It just sounded so scary when she said "Tadaima"... her voice changed etc... Who was she that she didn't want to say? She said "I'm not Nina". Dr. Gilen: "Who are you?" and she keeps saying itakunai, etc... who did she find out she was?
Johan. The memories of the twins about which one of them got taken to the Rose Mansion and who stayed in the Three Frogs got confused, IIRC.

Quote:
so how many of you guys think Johan was human but just turned evil
Turning evil by having a nighmarish childhood (or not turning like Nina did) was more or less the crucial issue of the series, so I really don't think Johan was meant to be taken as being evil from the very start. But he did turn into personification of evil.
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Old 2007-11-29, 20:03   Link #4
Strangette
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Originally Posted by Gioconda View Post
Spoiler for answer:
What I wrote is inside the spoiler tag.

Last edited by Strangette; 2007-12-02 at 20:55.
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Old 2008-01-05, 21:44   Link #5
Iren
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For Strangette's(sorry if I misspelling) third question,
I think it might be the memories that Johan told Tenma in the end when Tenma visited him at the hospital,that showed us the mother did choose one of the twins.
As we can see in the manga,Nina didn't seem to remember about that.
Looks like Johan was the only one who remember.
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Old 2008-01-21, 03:11   Link #6
Deathwing
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This is the best manga i have ever read it puts everything else i have come across to shame
it is perfect in every way
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Old 2008-01-31, 10:46   Link #7
mrsticky005
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Question 2: In the scene were Dr. Gilen (sorry for mispelling) analyzes Nina under hypnosis and ends up getting almost strangled by her, what is Nina recalling? It just sounded so scary when she said "Tadaima"... her voice changed etc... Who was she that she didn't want to say? She said "I'm not Nina". Dr. Gilen: "Who are you?" and she keeps saying itakunai, etc... who did she find out she was?

Ok when Nina was saying "tadaima" I think that's Japanese for "I'm home"
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Old 2008-02-19, 23:08   Link #8
OliverTwist
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I stumbled across this anime without knowing what it was about and got hooked almost instantly. The story and music were amazing to me and the creepy atmosphere fit it perfect, although I'm glad the series was over before I started watching. I could see how it might be slow waiting a week in between episodes.

Anyways I'd recommend this to anyone looking for something a little different.
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Old 2008-02-21, 00:40   Link #9
corporeality
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strangette View Post
Question 1: Why didn't Johan bother looking for his mom once he fainted and started to trace his roots to Prague. I understand that Nina and Tenma's main objective was to find Johan, but I would've thought Johan might've wanted to "go back" to his mother and maybe kill/"erase" her?
I am most probably remembering wrong (I haven't had the time to read the manga/re-watch the anime) but:

Spoiler for x:

Maybe.
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Old 2008-02-22, 22:21   Link #10
Fayte
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This series is a masterpiece. It gets down to the depths of humanity while portraying white, black, and gray within humanity's painting. I've also noticed countless biblical symbols within the series. For example, lets take satan, and see what the Bible has to characterize with.

Satan:

(Other names include)

-Lucifer
-The Devil
-The Father of lies
-The Prince of darkness

The Bible also says these other details about satan.

"He was the most beautiful angel"
"He will come to you as an angel of light"
"He will make sin look appealing"
"He will appear as a friend, only to stab you in the back"
"He comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy"

At the end of Monster, Wim's father said that he saw a monster with 7 heads.
http://img30.onemanga.com/mangas/000...0000160/06.jpg

In chapter 12 of Revelation, it states (Which was also the opening of episode 1):

"And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. "

This metaphor is also of satan.

It is my reason to believe, Johan was a character created to be an exact personification of true evil. In doing so, he is the personification of satan himself.

EDIT:

Also, we learn that it was not Johan who experienced all the tests at Red Rose Mansion, but Nina. So who can explain how exactly Johan was turned into the Monster he had become?

Last edited by Fayte; 2008-02-29 at 13:51.
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Old 2008-05-24, 13:55   Link #11
xris
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As announced in this forum, the Monster forum has been retired. This is just a natural part of a forum's lifespan. It has been a while since the new episodes of the show were aired. Over the time since then, the show has seen a great reduction of posting and attention. As a result, it is no longer meaningful to have a gadzillion threads to discuss the show.

This thread is one of the few remaining where discussion can still be posted. By concentrating discussion into a few threads it may be possible to actually have a semblance of interaction once more. Please continue to show Monster your enjoyment interest in these threads.
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Old 2008-09-15, 10:35   Link #12
hAppy32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fayte View Post
This series is a masterpiece. It gets down to the depths of humanity while portraying white, black, and gray within humanity's painting. I've also noticed countless biblical symbols within the series. For example, lets take satan, and see what the Bible has to characterize with.

Satan:

(Other names include)

-Lucifer
-The Devil
-The Father of lies
-The Prince of darkness

The Bible also says these other details about satan.

"He was the most beautiful angel"
"He will come to you as an angel of light"
"He will make sin look appealing"
"He will appear as a friend, only to stab you in the back"
"He comes only to steal, to kill, and to destroy"

At the end of Monster, Wim's father said that he saw a monster with 7 heads.
http://img30.onemanga.com/mangas/000...0000160/06.jpg

In chapter 12 of Revelation, it states (Which was also the opening of episode 1):

"And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. "

This metaphor is also of satan.

It is my reason to believe, Johan was a character created to be an exact personification of true evil. In doing so, he is the personification of satan himself.

EDIT:

Also, we learn that it was not Johan who experienced all the tests at Red Rose Mansion, but Nina. So who can explain how exactly Johan was turned into the Monster he had become?
i can see how biblical references might be seen here, but i don't think that was the artist's real intent

you could probably find biblical references in any art form if you looked hard enough, same applies for any other major system of beliefs
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Old 2009-09-13, 04:00   Link #13
TinyRedLeaf
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A young boy took his mother's words to heart and vowed to do whatever he could to protect his twin sister. In so doing, he lost his sense of self and morality, becoming a beast in search of redemption that he no longer believed in. What separated him from his sister? The mere human capacity to give and receive love, the ability to forget sorrow and savour what little happiness life had to offer.



In retrospect, Monster has always been more of a tragedy to me than a psychological thriller. Despite the insistent protests of various characters throughout the show, I never could grasp what made Johann particularly evil or terrifying, compared to the demented serial killers of movies like Se7en or The Silence of the Lambs.

I have no doubt that killing is generally wrong but, to me, Monster consistently failed to make me feel why it should be so. Throughout the series, I felt nothing but cold detachment to the serial murders masterminded by Johann. Few of the killings he caused, whether directly or indirectly, had any emotional impact on me. I cared very little for most of the people he killed. As a result, more often than not, I was annoyed by Dr Tenma's constant hectoring on what is "right", with little justification apart from his blind conviction that it must be so.

In this sense, Monster lacks the sinister, seductive power of Se7en, or the sheer disgust inspired by The Silence of the Lambs.

It also doesn't help that, for the most part, the plot plods along at a dense, deliberate and despairing pace. This is a show that demands a great deal of patience and perseverance to sit through. In fact, it took me close to three weeks to rewatch all 74 episodes, from Aug 24 to Sept 12. And, during this time, plot holes and leaps of logic that were not apparent before now became embarrasingly obvious, threatening further to diminish my regard for the show and its characters.

And, yes, that's the surprise. Despite my gripes, in the end, I still hold Monster in very high regard. I may not think that it's the best-ever exploration of what goes on in the minds of serial killers, especially not when compared to similar stories in novels and live-action movies, but I do certainly believe that it's a milestone achievement in anime.

Monster stands as monumental proof of what can be achieved in manga and anime through methodical research and careful planning. As SeijiSensei had pointed out in another thread, this series is highly successful in large part because of its geographical and historical setting. It's a story that could work only in Germany, and only in the context of Cold War paranoia. It takes an amazing level of artistic insight to turn grey history into compelling fiction, and the result is a story that's so believable that it could almost be real. Few, if any, anime series has since been able to match Monster in terms of sheer imagination and gritty realism.

And that is deserving of nothing but the highest respect and accolade.

So, at the end of it all, who is the real monster? Here's the remarkable thing: While Johann may be the titular beast, for me, he turns out to be most sympathetic character of the show. There is no doubt that he is an anomaly, a human being cruelly stripped of his own identity and thus turned into an amoral monster. But before all that, he was also a child. A bright, intelligent boy. And, most of all, a twin who loved his sister more than anything else in the world.

The tragedy was that it took Nina so long to realise what her brother had suffered, a tragedy that was beyond her control and of which she too was a victim. If only she had figured out earlier that Johann had sought only forgiveness all this time, could things have turned out differently? In a master stroke on Urasawa's part, that's a question that will never be answered satisfactorily.

Because that's the way life is: varying shades of grey that manage only to be blurred further with age.

Humans can become anything they want to be. All it takes is a little push for them to fall either way.


"And what of the children?
Surely they couldn't be blamed,
for our mistakes.

For the love of life, we'll defeat this.
They may tear us down, but we'll go down fighting,
Won't we?
"
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Old 2009-10-15, 22:40   Link #14
Bob Lennon
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
I have no doubt that killing is generally wrong but, to me, Monster consistently failed to make me feel why it should be so. Throughout the series, I felt nothing but cold detachment to the serial murders masterminded by Johann. Few of the killings he caused, whether directly or indirectly, had any emotional impact on me. I cared very little for most of the people he killed. As a result, more often than not, I was annoyed by Dr Tenma's constant hectoring on what is "right", with little justification apart from his blind conviction that it must be so.

In this sense, Monster lacks the sinister, seductive power of Se7en, or the sheer disgust inspired by The Silence of the Lambs.
I don't think that's a fair argument to make. I am, of course, not going to tell you that your subjective viewing experience is wrong in any way, but I got a completely opposite feeling from Johann's actions. There were many, many things that he did that completely repulsed and horrified me - the killings of Junkers, the Fortners, Richard Braun (as emotionally manipulative as that one was), what he did to Milos, and the agony that he put Tenma and Nina through were each terrible and carried incredible psychological and emotive gravity. At the same time, his hatred and pitiless intelligence were magnetic, and his pain very, very tempting to make one, if not forgive him, then certainly regard him with compassion.

To me, Johann's evil is really about the capacity of humans to forgive. How far can you go before you are irredeemable? In this sense, Monster is different from Se7en and The Silence of the Lambs because it is less focused on the thrill of evil intelligence, human hypocrisy, lack of innocence and widespread culpability, and more concentrated on a sort of spiritual side of morality, if you will - not how guilty everyone is, but whether anyone can be guilty enough to never be forgiven. Not how far your justification can ethically take you, but to understand that the cycle needs to be broken. Not about how people should be punished, but how they can be changed and improved. There's a heavy message of perfectibility prevalent that indeed differentiates is from other thrillers, but I wouldn't say that this is done at the expense of suspense, catharsis, or quality. Simply, there are different - and I think, more important - ideas at work, which is what makes it such an amazing series.
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Old 2009-10-16, 18:17   Link #15
Harrycombs
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Originally Posted by Bob Lennon View Post
There were many, many things that he did that completely repulsed and horrified me - the killings of Junkers, the Fortners, Richard Braun (as emotionally manipulative as that one was), what he did to Milos, and the agony that he put Tenma and Nina through were each terrible and carried incredible psychological and emotive gravity.
Don't forget what he did to that one kid who was looking for his mom, sending him to the red light district, and then getting the other kids who trusted him to play the game where they fell of buildings. Those scenes were quite disturbing, and made me hate Johan. But I agree that Johan is still very sympathetic despite all of this, which is quite an accomplishment.
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Old 2009-10-16, 23:19   Link #16
Bob Lennon
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Don't forget what he did to that one kid who was looking for his mom, sending him to the red light district
Yeah, I know, that's who Milos is =P
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Old 2010-01-02, 11:49   Link #17
ChainLegacy
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Originally Posted by TinyRedLeaf View Post
And, during this time, plot holes and leaps of logic that were not apparent before now became embarrasingly obvious, threatening further to diminish my regard for the show and its characters.
I'd like some examples. Having just rewatched Monster myself, at about the same pace you rewatched, I really didn't notice any plot holes. Sometimes characters might have been a little too insightful and deductive to be realistic, but nothing 'embarrassingly obvious' and illogical like you claim.
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Old 2010-06-10, 10:40   Link #18
thedeadpoet
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WARNING:SPOILERS


hello, I have a question about what happened to Johan "in the end."
The final scene, after Tenma visited Johan, shows an empty hospital bed. I noticed that the window next to his bed was open and a gust of wind was flowing in. Did Johan jump out the window, committing suicide, perhaps? Or did he simply escape?
Or...perhaps he repented for his sins and went to see his sister and/or his mother....I thought that the final scene with Tenma and Johan's mother might've been hinting at that, but I am still unsure.

So tell me, what REALLY happened to Johan after the final scene?
Does anyone have proof of what may've happened?
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Old 2010-06-10, 11:00   Link #19
SeijiSensei
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First, please wrap your comment in spoiler tags. Click Edit, then put [spoiler] at the beginning and [/spoiler] at the end.

Spoiler for reply:
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Old 2012-07-11, 14:11   Link #20
Corrugo
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I just finished Monster (manga) for the.. I don't even know how many times but I.. I still don't really understand the ending. (Though a part of me hopes it will be answered in Billy Bat but I doubt that)

Spoiler for Monster Ending:


Aahh.. I just had to get that out and this seemed like a good place ^^ (Sorry for the bump btw)

Edit - I noticed there was a lot of confusion in this subforum about Johan's 'Perfect Suicide'. Namely because it was to erase everyone who knew him but he never had any intention of killing Tenma or Nina. There are a lot of other characters who know of and have met Johan but he never kills them as well. Shuvald, Karl, Grimmer, Lunge and a lot of others. We know that the manga-ka isn't afraid to kill anyone so then it wasn't really Johan's intention to kill them. I think.. his perfect suicide was to kill everyone who knew him BEFORE. I'm not sure what the cut-off for that is, but that's the only thing I can come up with. You know, other than Johan forgetting about them (Johan the genius.. forgetting? No way)

Last edited by Corrugo; 2012-12-14 at 08:40. Reason: Adding more
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