Yori Hoshikawa In ‘Monster,’ Explained: Why Did Yori’s Father Call Him “Pig-Brained”?

The film Monster shows the tender connection between Yori Hoshikawa and Minato and becomes a poignant reflection of the harsh realities of society. In this coming-of-age narrative, the story is told through multiple perspectives, laying bare the cruelty of a world that is reluctant to accept love in its diverse forms. The film dives into the harsh reality that love isn’t always accepted as it should be. It’s like they’re forcing these messed-up ideas on us, making us feel like we’re “diseased” for just being ourselves, and this weight of judgment tears at the very core of our well-being. Yori’s character and his developing feelings towards Minato are a tale of forbidden love in a world that won’t accept them. It feels very gut-wrenching and becomes the embodiment of Yori’s struggle. At home and outside, he catches all kinds of hell. It’s like he’s turned into this stone, carrying the weight of the world, with no one understanding his inner turmoil. The one solace he finds is in Minato, his “friend,” who offers him compassion amid the cruelty. The isolation and abuse he endures will make your heartache.  It is devastating to see his silent pleas to have his emotions understood in a society that refuses to listen. As a viewer, the overwhelming desire to give those boys a hug, especially Yori, is palpable. The film makes you empathize with the countless individuals facing similar battles. It’s heartbreaking, leaving you with profound sorrow for those enduring the pain of societal rejection and aching to remind them that their love is valid and deserves acceptance. It’s this deep empathy that can be felt through Yori’s character that makes us wish we could change the world and make it a bit kinder.


Spoilers Ahead

Why Did Yori’s Father Call Him “Pig-Brained”?

Yori’s father labeled him “pig-brained” as a painful rejection of his son’s true self and as a cruel manifestation of his deep-rooted shame and refusal to accept Yori’s feelings for boys. The movie powerfully captures the torment Yori faces for daring to feel differently, especially in matters of love. His father, trapped in society’s narrow expectations, sees Yori’s feelings for boys as monstrous and dehumanizes him for his deviation from the supposed societal norm. In a heart-wrenching scene, Mr. Hori witnesses the cruelty firsthand when he visits Yori’s home. Yori’s father, blinded by societal standards, inflicts mental and physical abuse upon his son. He believes this brutality will beat the “wrong” feelings out of Yori, transforming him from what he deems a “pig-brained monster” into a so-called “normal human.” This heartbreaking portrayal highlights how the real monsters resort to derogatory terms to separate themselves from the unfamiliar. Yori’s father thus believes his abusive actions are a necessary cure for his son’s perceived deviation. The term “pig-brained” becomes a painful reminder of the rejection, abuse, and isolation Yori endures merely for being true to himself, making it a powerful commentary on the societal struggles faced by individuals who defy traditional norms of love.


Why Did Yori Feel That He Had A Disease?

The saying goes that our parents shape us, and in the film, it’s painfully clear how Yori’s father molded his world. Constantly being ridiculed Yori started believing that he had a disease that set him apart from other boys. The mistreatment he faced seemed justified to him, as he was convinced of the idea that he wasn’t normal and definitely not human. This belief takes a heartbreaking turn when Yori, before sharing food with Minato, washes it, fearing the spread of his supposed “disease.” The film also touches on a hurtful theory: the fear of contracting AIDS from the mere touch of homosexual people, echoing societal homophobia. Even Minato, unsure of Yori’s disease, cuts his hair in fear after a vulnerable moment when Yori touches him, thinking that he might catch his disease as well. Living in a world shaped by cruel and prejudiced adults, the violence endured by children is starkly evident. When Yori accepts his change of schools, Minato sees it as an act of abandonment by Yori’s father, as he does not accept him for who he is. Yori says that he has accepted his fate and tries to hug Minato. But Minato’s discomfort about the feelings he’s developed for Yori makes him push his friend away. Yori tries to comfort him, saying his disease makes him do it, highlighting the agony of his forbidden feelings. Before leaving for his grandmother’s, Yori’s father declares him cured, emphasizing his newfound crush on a girl. It’s heartbreaking to see how a father would only deem his son “cured” if he conformed to the heteronormative expectations of society. These revelations starkly depict how Yori internalized the idea of having a disease, revealing the heart-wrenching consequences of societal rejection.

Why Did The Children Bully Yori In School?

The bullying Yori faced in school stemmed from the narrow-mindedness of his classmates, who targeted him for not conforming to traditional gender norms. Yori’s soft features and his comfort around girls made him a target for relentless bullying. The boys, threatened by his nonconforming gender expressions, subjected him to both verbal and physical torment. Yori’s refusal to stand up against the bullies wasn’t a sign of weakness but a reflection of his deep-rooted belief that he deserved the mistreatment. The bullies capitalized on his vulnerability, exploiting his perceived differences. The derogatory label “alien” became a weapon, displaying blatant ignorance and prejudice, even going so far as to put dustbin dirt on Yori’s desk, cruelly teasing him for his “girly” attitude. The torment took an agonizing shape when Yori found himself locked in the bathroom, isolated, and humiliated. The bullies, driven by conformity and a lack of understanding, fueled the toxic environment that left Yori feeling like an outcast. From a viewer’s perspective, it’s disheartening to witness the cruelty inflicted on Yori simply because he dared to be different in a society that often struggles to embrace diversity. The emotional toll of the bullying reflects not only the struggles of Yori but also the need for greater compassion and acceptance in our communities.


Why Did Minato Not Save Yori At First?

Minato’s initial reluctance to intervene when Yori faced abuse at the hands of bullies reflects the poignant struggle that many individuals undergo in the face of societal expectations and flagbearers of toxic masculinity. As Yori silently endured verbal and physical abuse, Minato, torn between disgust for the tormentors and fear of becoming their next target, chose silence over action. The movie powerfully portrays how the grip of societal norms, particularly around gender roles and expressions, can paralyze even the most well-intentioned individuals. The societal pressure and fear of being teased make Minato hesitant to acknowledge their friendship openly. Despite feeling disgusted by their classmates’ actions, he remains silent, unable to break free from the toxic norms that surround him. When Yori expresses his gratitude towards Minato for being his friend, Minato’s painful decision to distance himself from Yori in the public eye underscores the societal pressures that stifle genuine connections. The internal turmoil intensifies when Yori is locked in the bathroom. Although Minato wants to help, the weight of potential repercussions restrains him. The emotional conflict becomes evident as he throws the bullies’ bags around in a fit of rage. The internal struggle reached a breaking point during the drawing class, where societal expectations clashed with Minato’s frustration. Faced with public humiliation and the label of being called “lovey-dovey,” Minato succumbed to the pressure, unleashing his pent-up frustration on Yori by pushing and punching him. The colors smeared on Yori become symbolic of his internal conflict, representing the struggle between standing up for a friend and conforming to societal expectations.

Why Did Yori Set Fire To The Hostess Bar?

Yori’s act of setting fire to the hostess bar is a poignant rebellion against the relentless emotional abuse inflicted upon him by everyone around him, particularly by his own father. The film intricately unveils the layers of Yori’s internal turmoil, tracing the roots of his rebellion back to the hurtful words that labeled him a “pig-brained” monster. At home and in school Yori faced a barrage of derogatory comments and physical torment from his father and his classmates, leaving him emotionally scarred and filled with suppressed anger. The film carefully depicts how the constant humiliation at the hands of his father becomes the catalyst for Yori’s desperate act of setting fire to the hostess bar. In the movie, Yori’s father is often seen going to the bar, and it is clear he has a problem with drinking. As a viewer, it seemed like Yori set fire to the bar because he hoped it would make his dad stop drinking as Yori connected his dad’s drinking with the abuse he faced. It felt like Yori’s way of trying to put an end to the pain caused by his father’s drinking and mistreatment. The fire that consumes the hostess bar is not merely an act of destruction but a raw, emotional outcry against the dehumanization inflicted upon him. The derogatory remarks such as “pig-brained,” Monster, “diseased,” and “alien” served as a weapon, stripping away his self-esteem and identity. The flames, engulfing the hostess bar, symbolize Yori’s rebellion against the oppressive narrative imposed upon him and a cathartic release of his suppressed anger. The viewers, witnessing Yori’s desperate act, understand it as a powerful and heartbreaking response to the emotional wounds inflicted upon him by those who should have provided love and support.


How Did Minato Save Yori?

In the intricate tapestry of Monster, Minato emerges as the silver lining in Yori’s tumultuous life. Initially skeptical due to societal pressures, Minato gradually becomes the beacon of acceptance and understanding in Yori’s journey of self-discovery. Through their evolving friendship, Minato learns to see beyond the labels society imposes, realizing that Yori is just as normal and human as anyone else. As Yori introduces Minato to the concept of rebirth, a profound shift occurs in Minato’s perception. The philosophy triggers reflections on his deceased father’s potential rebirth and, more importantly, stirs questions about his own feelings for Yori. The internal struggle begins, questioning societal norms and pondering whether embracing his feelings towards Yori would also make him a “pig-brained monster.” Yet, unknowingly, Minato is already undergoing something that resembles a rebirth—a transformation fueled by the acceptance and love he discovers in his connection with Yori. Yori, too, experiences a kind of rebirth, finding the courage to stand against his abusive father when he exposes him in front of Minato by calling him a liar when his father says that Yori has developed feelings for a girl. Exposing the truth in front of Minato becomes a powerful moment of self-realization, a declaration that he is normal, loving, and deserving of compassion. The friendship with Minato becomes the catalyst for Yori’s journey toward self-acceptance. Their acceptance of each other, free from the pressure of pretending to be what they’re not, becomes a saving grace. The symbolic ending, amidst the chaos of a typhoon, shows Minato rescuing Yori from his house of abuse and taking him to their cherished spot, the abandoned train car outside the tunnel. It signifies the emotional sanctuary they provide for each other. At the end of the movie, the sun breaking through after the typhoon becomes a metaphor for the light of understanding and acceptance. Emerging from the tunnel, they continue playing in the greens, illustrating how their friendship brings solace, compassion, and love. Minato’s act of saving Yori, not only from the storm but from the clutches of societal cruelty, paints a powerful picture of genuine, unconditional companionship in the face of adversity. In the eyes of the viewer, Minato’s saving grace extends beyond the physical realm, symbolizing the transformative power of acceptance.

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Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka Banerjee
Sutanuka, a devoted movie enthusiast, embarked on her cinematic journey since childhood, captivated by the enchanting world of the Harry Potter series. This early passion ignited her love for movies, providing an escape into the magical realms of cinema. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in media science, combining her academic pursuits with her unwavering passion for the silver screen.

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