Monster – episode 70

February 1, 2006 on 12:45 pm | In Monster | Comments Off on Monster – episode 70

“The town of slaughter”

Disturbances all around! Setting up the inevitable ending, even as it raises the roof to new levels of terror. I could see some of these developments coming, but part of Monster‘s beauty is the recognition of some events before they’re explicitly stated.

Spoilers ahead for the foreseeable future!

Lunge finally outs the hotel manager as Klaus Poppe (ultimately Franz Bonaparta’s real name). Outside the Hotel Versteck, people are dying all over Ruhenheim. Tenma finally breaks into Ruhenheim and tries to save the innocents.
Anna and Dr. Gillen make their way to Ruhenheim, on the promise that everyone who has known Johan goes into hiding: his old plan to erase everyone’s memories of himself has come back, and in a big way.

So much happens behind the scenes in this episode that it works much better than if it had all been explicit. It is far more effective for people to go into, say, a bar and see everyone dead than it would have been to show the alleged team of armored commandoes breaking in and shooting up the place.

Lunge’s behaviour is still somewhat of a concern to me, because I’m not entirely certain as to whether he believes Johan exists at all. What will he do when he meets Tenma? I would like to believe that his talk about a “fictional character” means that he understands Johan’s goal and is not transferring onto Tenma.

Lunge’s point about “ignoring data and following a man’s imagination” ties in better than I had originally thought; to the audience, the hand of Johan seems obvious. However, those who have had not had direct contact with him are very hard pressed to believe in him. If Johan wants to exist as a fictional character, he needs only get rid of those believers; a second-hand memory that you have no conviction in is not a memory at all. Why exactly he has to destroy Ruhenheim is still anybody’s guess at the moment.

The Grimmer parts of this episode were also pure excellence, with his range running from “nurturing” to “incandescent rage”. The deep sorrow he feels at not having felt anything over his son’s death remains palpable, and his desire to punish Poppe is … not exactly admirable, but understandable nonetheless. Grimmer’s normal smile has almost entirely been replaced by grimness and anger. Needless to say, I’m loving it.

The non-surprise of the episode was that Roberto is the one who has seduced the sausage girl. As soon as I saw him standing over Laufer, I knew. That is one of the secret pleasures of watching Monster. Watching Tenma’s desperate struggle, seeing that not all of the people of Ruhenheim were gun crazy (particularly in the case of the lottery winners, who can see that this is madness), and hearing that Nina values her memory … these are all things that made this episode great. One should note that Nina was forced to remember, but does not want to give up those memories for anything.

Monster can still shock me. I’m taking the last four slow so I don’t explode with greatness. I very rarely have physical reactions to anime … but I can’t stop shaking.

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