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Monster
by canucks on March 2nd, 2008, 10:57pm

Rating - 9.2 / 10.0

User rating of this review - N/A out of 5
Story/Plot - 5 out of 5
Characters - 4 out of 5
Drawing Style - 5 out of 5
Enjoyment - 4 out of 5
Overall - 5 out of 5

Click here for series information

Plot/Story
An extremely gifted neurosurgeon lives a perfect life. He has a bright career laid out in front of him, a beautiful fiancee, and garners respect and love from all of his patients.

He is the epitome of success. That is until the fateful day he is suddenly forced to contemplate and act on a moral dilemma. "Are all human lives equal?" For a man of his profession the common doctrine seemed to be of the Orwellian nature, "All life is equal, but some more equal than others."

He chooses to follow his code of morality and as a result saves a young boy but the mayor who arrived later died due to complications. His action defied his social circle, and as a result was shunned by his colleagues. The young boy he saved soon escapes the hospital with his traumatized twin sister, and a series of unexplicably horrendous events begin to unfold, further throwing the doctor's world into chaos and mystery.

Characters

The characters are in typical Naoki Urasawa fashion. Although this is by no means a bad thing, as I have quickly learned to love every one of Urasawa's creations. A selfless and courageous hero and heroine, a main villain with a unbearably painful past, and a very fleshed-out support cast make this
thriller difficult to put down.

Drawing Style

Urasawa chooses to draw faces with relatively similar features yet easy to distinguish, much parallel to the real world. The suspenseful segments of his manga uses many tones and detailed lines to create impact, while softened tones during the narratives creates a very peaceful reading experience. His greatest strength in my opinion is his mastery over dictating the M,T,A, in any given page or panel.

Enjoyment

Monster is best enjoyed slowly, and perhaps very difficult to do, but probably best if absorbed chapter by chapter and not chunked in a few days. This is not action oriented, and can get immersed in text, so be sure to pace yourself in case you miss out on important facts or clues. I absolutely recommend this for older teens and up, as many psychological and ideological aspects in here may seem out of reach for most younger audiences.

Overall

The 'plot-holes' and unanswered questions are not nearly enough to blemish this magnificent title. In fact, I cannot even conclusively claim there are any, as I regrettably could not get my hands on Urasawa's supplementary material for Monster.

This has been overall a very fulfilling reading experience and I hope more people can enjoy this as much as I had.

Here's to Naoki Urasawa, may that his best is yet to come.
 
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