Version 5.4 ~ Haruhi gave rock and roll to you.

29 August 2008: This Monster review get the idea

Nina Fortner having a good day.

There is another reason to watch Monster that I haven't mentioned: Nina Fortner may be Noto Mamiko's best role. It allows her to play against her typecast with a good character in an excellent series. (Monster isn't Witchblade. Okay?) Nina is pretty easy to like because she's the damsel in distress who can take care of herself but is still limited by what she can accomplish herself. I.e., Nina is vulnerable, but far from helpless.

Nina Fortner having a bad day.

As an aside, I think Noto Mamiko should do more Nina Fortner-type roles. There's no question she is typecast by her outstanding Shimako and Yakumo-type performances as gentle and well-mannered, unapproachably beautiful girls. Her enthusiastic Narue in Narue no Sekai is unusually chipper, but usually any other departure from her usual mold leaves Mamiko either playing left field for a sinking ship (e.g. Witchblade) or as unassertive male characters (e.g. Girls Bravo) that could really would have been just as good if not better had they been female (e.g. Full Metal Panic!).

Nina wrestles a patsy to the ground
When Nina Fortner has a bad day, you have a bad day.

I'm not going to go so far as to say that nobody besides Noto Mamiko could have played Nina Fortner as well, but I do believe the softness of her voice contributes a great deal to the role and helps balance the dichotomy of the character that makes Nina so engaging. It's MAMIKORE.

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