Hori In Monster Explained; Was Hori Sensei Really A Monster?

news: In the realm of cinematic masterpieces, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Monster,” or 怪物 (Kai-butsu), stands out as a profound exploration of human complexity and societal nuances. Unfolding its central plot through the perspectives of three different characters, the film takes inspiration from the triptych arrangement seen in Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk.” Through this narrative structure, “Monster” intricately weaves a story that explores the utter disparity in perspectives, revealing the depth of characters and societal intricacies. This article aims to provide a comprehensive analysis of the film, delving into the characters’ perspectives, societal commentary, and the emotional journey it takes the audience on.


Released under the direction of Hirokazu Kore-eda, “Monster” is a cinematic triumph that captivates audiences with its emotionally resonant narrative. The film employs a deceptively simple yet endearing story to draw viewers into an emotional rollercoaster. As the plot unfolds, it skillfully addresses complex themes such as socio-political bureaucracy in Japan, heteronormative conservatism, neurodiversity, and the innate curiosity and queer identity in children. Through subtle motifs and nuanced storytelling, Kore-eda’s commentary on Japanese society evokes a sense of bitter-sweet nostalgia in the viewer.


Monster” employs a triptych arrangement to unfold its narrative, providing viewers with unique insights into the lives of three central characters. This storytelling technique allows the audience to witness the events from different perspectives, offering a comprehensive understanding of the characters’ motivations and the societal context in which the story unfolds.

Who Is Michitoshi Hori?

The narrative begins with Saori Mugino, a widowed mother working at a laundromat. Saori’s concern about her son, Minato’s, peculiar behavior leads her to perceive Michitoshi Hori, or Hori Sensei, as the potential monster in her son’s life. Saori’s character represents the maternal instinct to protect her child, setting the stage for the unfolding drama.

What Was Hori’s Perspective?

As the film progresses, it shifts to Hori Sensei’s perspective, offering a deeper understanding of his character. Contrary to initial perceptions, Hori Sensei is portrayed as a young teacher in his mid-20s, loyal to his girlfriend and contemplating marriage. The narrative explores the false rumors surrounding Hori Sensei and the impact of societal judgment on his personal and professional life.

Who Does Hori Believe To Be The Monster?

Hori Sensei’s journey takes a significant turn as he comes to believe that Minato is the aggressor in a bullying situation. Unaware of the complexities surrounding the dynamics between Minato and another student, Yori, Hori Sensei becomes entangled in a web of false accusations. This shift in perspective becomes a pivotal moment in the film, leading to a series of unjust events.

Was Hori Sensei Really A Monster?

Despite the initial perception of Hori Sensei as a potential threat, the second act reveals his true nature as an empathetic and dedicated teacher. The film dismantles the notion of Hori Sensei as a monster, emphasizing the consequences of hasty judgments and societal prejudices. Hori Sensei’s journey becomes a poignant exploration of understanding, empathy, and the impact of false accusations on an individual’s life.

Why Do Yori And Minato Not Share Their Problems With Hori?

One of the underlying themes explored in “Monster” is the challenge faced by Yori and Minato in expressing their problems to Hori Sensei. The film touches upon the impact of heteronormative statements and societal expectations on individuals, especially on Yori, who faces chiding for his effeminacy and queerness. This societal pressure contributes to the characters’ hesitation in confiding in Hori Sensei, adding a layer of depth to the narrative.

Societal Commentary and Subtle Motifs

Monster” serves as a spectacle of societal intricacies in Japan, shedding light on socio-political bureaucracy and heteronormative conservatism. The film subtly incorporates motifs that provoke reflection on societal norms. The portrayal of Hori Sensei’s false reputation stemming from a chance encounter with his girlfriend at a hostess bar highlights the impact of rumor and gossip. Kore-eda’s commentary invites viewers to question preconceived notions and biases ingrained in societal structures.

Emotional Rollercoaster and Bittersweet Nostalgia:

The emotional journey in “Monster” is akin to a rollercoaster, with moments of demonization and empathy for the characters occurring simultaneously. The film’s ability to evoke empathy for characters initially perceived as monsters is a testament to Kore-eda’s storytelling prowess. The bittersweet nostalgia elicited by the film adds a layer of poignancy, connecting viewers to universal themes of understanding, forgiveness, and the complexities of human relationships.

In conclusion, “Monster” stands as a cinematic gem that transcends traditional storytelling, offering a profound exploration of human nature and societal complexities. Through its triptych narrative, the film provides a multi-dimensional view of characters, challenging the audience’s perceptions and delving into the intricacies of societal expectations. Hirokazu Kore-eda’s directorial brilliance, coupled with the stellar performances of the cast, elevates “Monster” to a level of storytelling that lingers in the minds of viewers long after the credits roll. As the film navigates themes of empathy, misunderstanding, and the consequences of societal judgment, it leaves an indelible mark on the cinematic landscape, inviting audiences to reflect on the monsters within and around us.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about “Monster” (怪物 – Kai-butsu) by Hirokazu Kore-eda

Q1: What is the central theme of “Monster”?

A1: “Monster” explores complex themes such as socio-political bureaucracy, heteronormative conservatism, neurodiversity, and queer identity in children. The film delves into the perspectives of three characters, unraveling their stories and societal nuances.

Q2: How is the narrative structured in “Monster”?

A2: The film adopts a triptych arrangement, similar to Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk,” to unfold its central plot through the perspectives of three different characters. This narrative structure provides a comprehensive understanding of the characters’ motivations and societal context.

Q3: Who is Michitoshi Hori, and why is he initially perceived as a monster?

A3: Michitoshi Hori, or Hori Sensei, is a young teacher initially perceived as a potential threat by Saori Mugino, a widowed mother. False rumors tarnish Hori Sensei’s reputation, leading to a series of events that challenge the initial perception of him being a monster.

Q4: What is Hori Sensei’s perspective in the film?

A4: The second act of “Monster” delves into Hori Sensei’s perspective, revealing his loyalty to his girlfriend and the impact of false rumors on his personal and professional life. The film explores the complexities of Hori Sensei’s character beyond the initial characterization

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