Netflix Dark Crime Anime Series Is The Best Mystery Thriller Of The Entire Genre

By Christopher Isaac | Published

Monster Anime

When people talk about some of the best mystery stories, some of the names that come up include the likes of Memento, Se7en, Gone Girl, or one of the many Sherlock Holmes stories. Most people probably would not think to look to the genre of anime for such a compelling story, but that means they would be missing out. As anyone who has seen Monster knows, it is not only one of the best anime ever made but one of the best mystery stories ever told.

Dr. Tenma’s Dilemma

Monster Anime

Monster is an anime that follows the story of Dr. Kenzo Tenma, a talented brain surgeon. One day he is faced with an emergency as a young boy is brought in who has been shot in the head but is clinging to life. Shortly after, the mayor is also brought in needing the services of Dr. Tenma.

Tenma must choose who to treat and is pressured by his hospital to prioritize the mayor as the more important patient. But he refuses and gives his attention to the boy who arrived first in Monster, causing a considerable amount of drama in this anime.

Tenma’s choice leads to the mayor dying from not being treated in time and he is ostracized for his decision. It seems Tenma will have no way to restore his reputation now as the other doctors all despise him. However, Tenma’s opposition soon all mysteriously wind up dead. Tenma becomes the prime suspect as he had the most to gain from the doctors being killed.

Monster’s Mystery

Monster Anime

Thus begins the core mystery of Monster, with the anime dropping breadcrumbs for the watcher to discover who is responsible for the murders.

Monster is truly an outstanding mystery story that you can enjoy even if you are not a typical anime fan. One of the big hurdles in getting people into anime is they often conflate anime with the children’s cartoons of America and believe the genre is not capable of complex storytelling. But reviews of Monster unanimously praise it as a classic, with some even comparing it to a Hitchcock film.

An Unforgettable Twist

Monster Anime

Every mystery also has to have a great twist, and Monster is an anime that absolutely delivers on that. Just like The Usual Suspects has the iconic reveal of who Kaiser Soze is, or The Sixth Sense has the famous moment of Bruce Willis’ character finding out the truth, Monster has an unforgettable twist in this murder mystery.

Guillermo Del Toro Wanted To Adapt Monster

Guillermo Del Toro Pinocchio

To give you an idea of how influential Monster is even outside of the anime community, Guillermo del Toro once pitched a live-action TV series of Monster to HBO. While it did not ultimately pan out, it certainly says something when a director who has created Best Picture winning films like The Shape of Water considers a story worthy enough of his attention to want to do an adaptation.

A Slow Burn Mystery Like True Detective

If you feel like you have seen everything the mystery and thriller genres have to offer, you owe it to yourself to check out Monster on Netflix regardless of whether you are usually an anime fan or not. TV show mysteries often wind up being some of the best stories due to their ability to do a slow burn narrative, like season one of True Detective, or David Lynch’s Twin Peaks. Renowned for its rich characterization and complex ethical dilemmas, Monster deserves to be known as a classic of the mystery genre, no matter whether it is anime or live action.