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YMMV / Monster

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The Manga and Anime:

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Johan. Is he truly heartless? Or is he just broken? Or is he heartless because he was broken?
    • His relationship with Tenma has a number of possibilities. Was he serious about seeing Tenma as a Father figure and genuinely want to make his life better? Or was he just screwing with him? Or was he screwing with him because he thought it would make his life better?
  • Awesome Music:
    • Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" being played in Episode 23 when Roberto and Eva are at the bar.
    • "Medium Shot" with its jittery violin and clattering percussion (including the triangle!) is the one of the most delightfully creepy songs in the OST.
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  • Base-Breaking Character: Dieter. Is he a nice tag along kid or a Bratty Half-Pint who is Anvilicious about being nice?
  • Broken Base: The ending is considered to be divisive - or, at least, the final shot of the ending.
  • Complete Monster: This work, dedicated to exploring whether there is such a thing as pure evil, concludes that while anybody, no matter now heinous, can be redeemed, it is Johan Liebert's refusal to seek redemption that makes him the titular monster. A sadistic chessmaster since he learned to walk and talk, Johan murdered his own foster parents and manipulated over 50 adults and children into massacring each other even as a preteen, and, as an adult, Johan is on a personal journey to become, in his own words, as dark as possible. He is also trying to find out if there is anyone as evil as he is out there, or, failing that, forcing the heroic Dr. Tenma, and/or his own pacifistic sister, Nina Fortner, to kill him in cold blood. In this way, he hopes to establish that even the best people can become just like him. Along the way he convinces children to jump from rooftops; gets a recovering alcoholic drunk before throwing him off a building; sets a highly-occupied library aflame; and convinces various serial killers to murder every foster family he has ever lived with, as part of his quest to become an unperson. In the end, Johan tries to manipulate the population of an entire town into slaughtering each other, and, failing at this, prepares to shoot a child in the head just to torture Tenma. Numerous excuses are proposed for Johan's behavior, yet each one is ultimately undermined, revealing that in the end, Johan simply is pure, unadulterated evil.
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  • Draco in Leather Pants: Johan Liebert. Given that he is a fairly attractive young man, this treatment was practically unavoidable. If anything, some fans have a habit of always excusing Johan's actions in a sympathetic light, no matter how flawed the argument is.

The Film:

  • Heartwarming Moments: For all the trouble in their relationship, Aileen and Selby do have some pretty cute moments together.
  • Hollywood Homely : Zig-Zagged. While the makeup, prosthetic teeth, weight gain, and dumpy wardrobe make Charlize Theron look much more "average" than she usually does, it's still hard to disguise the fact that it's Charlize Theron. In an interview on the DVD extras, Theron herself even points out that the real life Aileen wasn't even really ugly, but definitely lived a really rough and harsh life that wouldn't have allowed her to keep a polished appearance and probably even prematurely aged her a bit (the fact that she started smoking cigarettes when she was just 11 years old certainly didn't help).
  • Hollywood Pudgy: While Theron gained 35 pounds to play the role, she's not that much bigger than average. Wuornos herself wasn't that big either, just out of shape (and her impoverished circumstances definitely couldn't have given her access to things like good nutrition or a personal trainer).
  • Jerkass Woobie: Aileen. She's an unrepentant criminal and Serial Killer, sure, but growing up in horrible poverty, being abused (physically, verbally and sexually) by several members of her family, being forced to turn to prostitution to survive, getting repeatedly raped and assaulted, and having an undiagnosed/untreated mental illness... is it any wonder that she turned out the way she did?
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • Aileen's rape from her first victim.
    • Aileen smoking a cigarette and looking over her second victim's body. The smoke almost looks like a ominous fog around her.
    • Aileen's blood-stained body in the mirror.
    • The howls of rage and sorrow Aileen makes while killing her third victim are quite bloodcurdling.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: If anyone, for any reason, wrote a crime novel based on the Real Life Aileen Wuornos (daughter of a teenage mother and a violent child molester lunatic who killed himself in prison, raised in a violent abusive household, raped and gave birth just after she hit puberty, ran away and lived in the woods - in Michigan winters,her mental illness progressively got worse after enduring a lot of maltreatment on the streets and so on...) nobody would have believed it. People dismiss such stories as pornographic fantasy. Yet most of it happened and only got into the public eye because of her trial.
  • Tear Jerker: Several moments, but the last ten or fifteen minutes of the film especially qualify.

The Book:

  • Funny Moments:
    • The easiest way to distinguish Yetis and Wendigos is their preferred flavour of ice-cream: Yetis like Rocky Road, Wendigos go for strawberry.
    • The ongoing prank war between Monster and Hardy, in which Monster plants one of Liz's dolls under Hardy's car, prompting all four tires to explode and the engine to spontaneously break down... and this in response to another prank in which Hardy sprayed Monster's underwear with Chupacabra pheromones!
    • The long list of pros and cons of having a succubus for a girlfriend, both of which conclude with "all the sex."
    • Liz and Monster reflecting on the good times they've had together, including a moment in which she slipped addictive drugs into a batch of cookies at a bake sale - resulting in a feeding frenzy of kids, one of whom actually broke another child's arm with a scream of "that's mine, fatass!"
    • Judy's growing hatred of Chipper, the impossibly-exuberant waitress at the diner.
    • When an Inuit walrus dog attacks the diner, Monster is enjoying his meal too much to save the day, and spends the next few seconds loudly talking about how good the sausages and eggs are until Judy shames him into investigating... and then it turns out that the beastie is about to kill Chipper, whereupon Judy assures Monster that he can take his time.
    • After Greta has her house burned down by an exploding hydra, she needs to call her family to let them know, only to realize she doesn't have her cell phone with her. Monster reluctantly hands over one of Liz's dolls as a replacement, and Greta actually thanks him before realizing what she's just been handed.
      Greta: I have no idea how to use this.


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