SyFy’s AniMonday block premiered the suspense-thriller anime Monster last night with the first two episodes. Monster (click here for a trailer) is based off of the manga of the same name by Naoki Urasawa. It’s about Dr. Kenzo Tenma tracking down a psychopathic murderer who was once a patient that lead to Tenma’s fall from the hospital’s good graces.
Monster is a good departure from the typical anime we see air on American television. As serious as some people take shows like Gundam 00 and Gurren Lagann (guilty), Monster is a mature mystery without the stigma that giant robots or fantasy settings may bring to some people. Just a simple (or not-so-simple) murder mystery and good old scruple-less hospital bureaucracy in Germany around the collapse of the Berlin Wall. It’s an intriguing plot that starts laying out clues from the start and keeps going from there. Definitely worth a look even if it wasn’t in a short list of anime on American television.
To start the run, SyFy aired the first two episodes (before moving on to crappy motion comics). These episodes are a prologue, introducing the audience to Dr. Tenma and the corrupt hospital staff while showing how Tenma’s conscience leads to the hospital heads disowning him. The basics of this will be touched upon later, so anyone who missed the show tonight won’t be too lost.
This does however highlight a problem I have with the AniMonday block. As far as I can tell, it never repeats on SyFy. Anyone who missed the episode and lacks a DVR (like yours truly) has to resort to renting or buying the episodes. The episodes do re-air a week later on SyFy’s sister channel Chiller, which has much fewer subscribers. Perhaps there is a contractual reason keeping from repeating the block, or maybe SyFy just doesn’t care that much. Still, it’s just two hours a week, and given how much of SyFy’s programming is repeating previously-aired episodes, surely they could stick an AniMonday repeat block in a morning slot somewhere.
If you have your Monday nights free, check out Monster. If you missed it, there’s always iTunes.