Reflections of Monstrosity: Unearthing Parallels Between ‘Monster’ Anime and Contemporary Indonesian Politics


In the realm of storytelling, the power of narrative often lies in its ability to hold a mirror to society, reflecting both its virtues and its vices. The anime “Monster,” a psychological thriller masterpiece, may seem worlds apart from the intricate tapestry of Indonesian politics, but beneath the surface, striking parallels emerge. As we navigate the convoluted landscape of present-day Indonesian politics, the narrative arcs, character complexities, and moral ambiguities of “Monster” offer a surprisingly resonant lens through which to examine the nation’s challenges and aspirations.

At first glance, the disparities between “Monster” and Indonesian politics might appear insurmountable. One is a work of fiction, born from the creative genius of Naoki Urasawa, while the other is a dynamic, real-world arena shaped by historical, cultural, and socio-economic factors. However, the strength of the analogy lies in the underlying thematic exploration, rather than a direct plot alignment.

A central tenet of “Monster” is the examination of the dual nature of humanity – the potential for both immense good and unfathomable evil to reside within individuals. In the Indonesian political context, this duality manifests in the spectrum of leadership motives and actions. Within the political spectrum, just as in the anime’s world, characters – or in this case, political figures – possess a range of motivations, from genuine dedication to public service to self-serving opportunism.

The character of Dr. Kenzo Tenma in “Monster” is a moral compass, wrestling with his commitment to the Hippocratic Oath and the moral dilemma of saving a life that might bring untold harm to the world. Similarly, Indonesia’s political landscape often witnesses figures faced with complex choices between immediate gains and long-term consequences. Political decisions, from resource management to economic policies, carry the potential to either elevate the nation or perpetuate a cycle of monstrosity that harms the very fabric of society.

Johan Liebert, the enigmatic antagonist of “Monster,” is a master manipulator, adept at exploiting the vulnerabilities of those around him. His ability to sow chaos and exploit the human psyche mirrors the ways in which misinformation, divisive rhetoric, and power plays can corrode the democratic foundation of a nation. In recent Indonesian politics, the rise of populism, the spread of disinformation, and the weaponization of social media all bear semblance to Johan’s insidious tactics, leaving society in a state of constant tension and uncertainty.

Moreover, the anime’s exploration of trauma’s enduring impact finds an unsettling echo in Indonesian politics. The nation’s history is marred by a legacy of colonialism, authoritarianism, and social unrest. The resultant trauma continues to shape the collective consciousness, influencing both political decisions and public responses. Much like the characters in “Monster” who grapple with the scars of their past, Indonesia’s political leaders and citizens alike are engaged in an ongoing struggle to reconcile history with aspirations for a just and equitable future.

The ambiguity of justice is another theme that bridges the anime and Indonesian politics. In “Monster,” the pursuit of justice is a constant thread, with characters questioning the limits of their own moral convictions. In the Indonesian context, the quest for justice is no less convoluted. High-profile corruption cases, human rights violations, and the challenges of ensuring accountability within a complex political landscape mirror the moral quandaries faced by the characters in “Monster.” The pursuit of justice, often hindered by systemic obstacles, becomes an allegory for Indonesia’s own journey toward a more transparent and accountable governance.

It’s important to acknowledge that while the parallels between “Monster” and Indonesian politics offer a fascinating perspective, they are not without their limits. The intricacies of a nation’s political reality are far more complex than any narrative can encapsulate. Yet, it is precisely through these nuanced reflections that a deeper understanding of the challenges and aspirations of Indonesian society can be gleaned.

As we negotiate the shifting terrain of Indonesian politics, the lessons of “Monster” serve as a sobering reminder of the fragile balance between human virtue and monster. The anime’s investigation of moral dilemmas, the impact of trauma, and the complexity of justice might motivate us to scrutinize our political leaders, policies, and institutions critically. We offer a place for reflection and constructive discourse by facing the shades of grey present in both narratives, paving the road for a more equitable and enlightened future.

Finally, the connection between “Monster” and Indonesian politics demonstrates storytelling’s ongoing significance as a tool for reflection, critique, and inspiration. While the anime’s protagonists dwell in a fictitious world, their difficulties and victories echo in the very real issues that Indonesia faces as it strives to become a more just and equal society. Just as “Monster” encourages us to address the depths of the human mind, it may also urge us to examine the complexity of Indonesian politics, eventually leading us to a more educated and compassionate collective awareness.

Raihan Ronodipuro
Raihan Ronodipuro
Raihan Ronodipuro holds a Master of Public Administration degree from the prestigious School of Public Policy & Management at Tsinghua University, China. His academic journey was propelled by the esteemed Chinese MOFCOM Scholarship, leading him to successfully attain a Master of Law in International Relations from the School of International and Public Affairs at Jilin University, China. With a rich background, Raihan has also contributed as an Associate Researcher in the Department of Politics and Security at the Center for Indonesia-China Studies (CICS). Currently, he plays a pivotal role as a member of the International Relations Commission within the Directorate of Research and Studies for the Overseas Indonesian Students' Association Alliance (OISAA) for the term 2022/2023.


Top space telescope from Europe seeks to solve riddles of the universe

EU researchers expect unprecedented insights into galaxies from the...

BRICS Pay: The latest development & integration updates

With all the geopolitical and economic upheavals happening on...

White House warns Congress nearly ‘out of time’ on Ukraine funds

White House seeking $61 billion more for Ukraine aid....

The Climate Crisis is an Education Crisis

Authors: Rt. Hon. Gordon Brown and Yasmine Sherif “The one...