Monster Strike

Web (51 eps x 8 min)
2015 - 2016
Fall 2015
2.483 out of 5 from 583 votes
Rank #7,786
Monster Strike

The protagonist, Ren Homura, returns to the town of Kaminohara, where he once lived. But did he really live in this place before? A nagging feeling tugs at his memories. Meanwhile, a strange game is forcefully installed onto his smartphone - a game called Monster Strike. A gauntlet of battles await him. Through the fierce fighting, he pieces together his scattered memories while uncovering the truth of the game. He's supported by his companions: Aoi Mizusawa, Akira Kagetsuki, and Minami Wakaba. Together they take a step into the unknown, unsuspecting of the secrets hidden below the surface...

Source: Crunchyroll

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The First Strike! image

Episode 1

The First Strike!

Slingshot Away! Call Me Oragon! image

Episode 2

Slingshot Away! Call Me Oragon!

Aoi Mizusawa's Secret image

Episode 3

Aoi Mizusawa's Secret

A Night At The Colloseum image

Episode 4

A Night At The Colloseum

Mall Brawl image

Episode 5

Mall Brawl

The Glinting Blade image

Episode 6

The Glinting Blade

Operation Recruit Akira image

Episode 7

Operation Recruit Akira

Evil Eye Minami - A mild and ditzy girl? - image

Episode 8

Evil Eye Minami - A mild and ditzy girl? -

SOS! A Shocking Video?! - If you want to erase it... - image

Episode 9

SOS! A Shocking Video?! - If you want to erase it... -

Shopfront Shocker - Leave this to me! - image

Episode 10

Shopfront Shocker - Leave this to me! -

Welcome, Minami! - Enter a new comrade—but she's an airhead? - image

Episode 11

Welcome, Minami! - Enter a new comrade—but she's an airhead? -

Ora-gone?! - No more secrets. Ora ora ora! - image

Episode 12

Ora-gone?! - No more secrets. Ora ora ora! -

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So we take pinball throw in a little pokemon and the tiny toy figure creature craze of the 80s and we have Monster Strike.  The show is quite fun to watch but falters along traditional storytelling composition writing rules that you would expect from any quality show worth a look.  It comes close in several respects to appearing to follow many of those rules but never quite lines up.  When you have key characters that literally appear to come out of nowhere, it throws the story out of tempo and appears like bad movie making guffaws like when House on Haunted Hill remake killed off Owen Wilson out of nowhere for no reason.  It made no sense because the ghosts in that movie never showed any inclination to go that far or grossly nor did they ever do it again so the death scene never felt like it even belonged in the movie.  That it what happens in stories like this that introduce important, key, or main characters seemingly out of no where with little to no set up  such as the angel girl or the former champion.  Only Haruma of the significant characters other than the main characters team, appears after plenty of forshadowing and character premptive set up.   The monsters are little more than the steel metal balls in a pinball game which nullifies any reason to actually have pinballs who are monsters.  Yet some monsters for no rational reason ever revealed so far in the show do not use pinball attacks at all or do not use them exclusively.  This muddled plot hole is one onf the problems it has and is one of the short falls where it fails to follow story telling etiquette but it is not the only one.  Another is how important figures are introduced.  If they are an important figure you do not randomly throw them out into the middle of the story for no explicable reason.  But that happens in this series.  Each episode seems to build up a mystery more and more and adds more questions with few or no answers.  As this goes on, all these unexplained questions float in the air and magnify with each episode since few if any are ever resolved.  This backup of questions and potential plot holes creates a problem in the nature of a dam about to overflow.  It is not good to do this sort of murky unanswered and unrewarded method for so long and so many episodes in where essentially nothing is yet revealed.  You will lose your viewers if you put them off for too long.  You need to reward them even if just a little here and there.  I do not get a sense that enough of that is happening.  It is fun to watch despite that but only for a patient or dilberate and studious viewer because most may not hang on for that long.  It makes little sense in general.  About Episode 41 is the single worst episode where Minami's 'monster' (I use the term very loosely since most are not even actually monsters or look anything like monsters), is training.  It looks so out of place with no foundation after 40 episodes no hint of them doing anything like that or needing to ever appeared so to see this was a bit ludicrious.  **Spoiler Alert ** Oragon is pretty useless after the first episode and little more than a wisecracking sidekick.  It takes so long for him to grow any or really be used again that he ends up equivalent to a non existent pointless character since he is supposed to be a pinball monster but is never actually used save once well until nearly the end of the series.  That is a bit too long of a wait for a major character to make a difference or significant contribution to the story.  As of episode 49, we still as viewers or main characters learn little if anything about the so called 'missing memories' that it becomes a veritable plot hole since the story takes so long to unveil such an important plot element.  Why are these apps on phones?  Why do they generate real monsters?  The 4d thing hardly explains anything and would not explain why and how it works outside of arenas.  How old is this game?  It is implied that it is several years old but that would make little sense because if it was that old would it not be before they had smart phones or tech to do vr let alone 4d?  Why does Ren change looks and personality and is the only one who appears to do that?  Some battles and losses do not even merit rewards at all let alone capturing someone else's monster which conflicts with what was revealed in the show earlier so viewers will get lost when they see that. Some of the characters seem pretty solid and well thought out.  Though Ren confuses me because at times he seems to be a narcisistic prick and others a humble nice guy.  Akira is a template glasses honor student template and nothing new is brought into his character.  I have seen an 'Akira' in countless anime before with little to no changes or unique characteristics whatsoever from one to the next.  Even the lame, glasses push is featured prominently in his actions as they are in all nerdy aloof cool honor student type of characters.  So in effect, he is the most boring and cliched of all the characters in this series.  The two girls are fairly unique and a bit harder to pintpoint as standard template designs though some features do look atypical.   One of the pluses is we actually do get to see Ren not only has a sister but a full family including a mutant dog crossbred with a lion somehow (dogs do not have manes) and a mother at least.  The story is honestly a bit weak because of: the blaring plot holes; back log of unanswered mysteries; fuzzy logic even with respect to the logic revealed in the show; obvious similarities to other strikingly similar mini monster fighting shows like pokemon; lack of reasoning for monsters as mere pinballs or why some arent just balls; many of the so called monsters are not even monsters yet they are still called monsters.  Confused?  Me too; so far all the fights have been 2-4 on one even though it is supposed to be team battles; and various other plot holes and misses in standard story logic and structural composition rules. This series had alot more promise and potential than it delivered.  The story is rushed and it is not just because each episode is 6-9 minutes long since they stretched the story over several episodes quite efficiently and had enough episodes to have more than enough time to develop a solid story though that never happened.  It looks good, exciting, and fun but do not expect a complex deep drama like a classic movie or a good story like Shakespeare, because it won't happen.  I hate having to be so critical and honest about how bad the plot holes and missing elements of the story are because it could have been much better, but I can not be dishonest about what I saw.  It drags the story far more than Seraph of the End did and though Seraph drags it a bit too much at least they try to offer some small rewards about revealing major plot devices and elements that this story simply never delivers on and yet even if it does in future episodes it will have taken far too long for that to happen for any good story.

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