First Impressions: Parasyte -the maxim- (Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu)
Now I’ve always wondered how will be like to live with a parasite. When I was much younger, ‘Monsters Inside Me’ was one of the documentary series I’ve watched on Animal Planet. I’ve learnt of creatures that eat your eyes, eat your brains, and eat your flesh… It was cringe-inducing.
But controlling the host? That is some scary shit there. Ever heard of the fungus that manipulates an ant’s movement when it gets to their tiny brains? Or maybe you have seen the game ‘The Last of Us’.
In Parasyte, the Parasytes (obviously) are the culprits. Possibly the worst of the lot. They consume the brain of the host. As if that isn’t enough to satisfy their needs, they use their powers to morph the bodies they reside in into nightmarish monstrosities before proceeding to kill some more.
As soon as the anime starts, it immediately tosses you into the main plot. No nonsense, no grandmother’s roundabout way of introducing the story. Just BAM! Immediately, you are thrown in the plight of Izumi Shinichi. He woke up one morning to a voice but shrugged it off as his imagination. Things started going out of hand when his hand seemed to take on a life of its own (resulting in him unintentionally molesting one of his friends hahaha). The last straw came was when he used his hand to block an incoming car from hitting a child. He realises whatever happened was no dream.
His life had been invaded by a Parasyte.
Now, meet Migi. He/She/It/Whatever failed to reach Shinichi’s brain and instead ‘ate’ his right arm and took its place, trapped as a separate entity. Migi is smart, only concerned about his survival, and is protecting Shinichi only because he/she/it needs to rely on his body to stay alive (for now?).
With every minute, Shinichi’s life faces more and more threats. Particularly other aggressive Parasytes suspicious about why he is still human. He vows to fight against them to protect more people from being killed, with a reluctant Migi by his side.
I am LOVING this anime so far. It is barely a few episodes in and they have done an excellent job in setting up the plot. Pacing issues are minimal, if not zero. Despite that, it has managed to squeeze in horror, gore, action, comedy, ultimate freakiness and hints of romance.
The selling point of the anime is definitely how unsettling and downright creepy it is. Just look at this:
Not here for the creeps? You can stay for the interesting things Migi says and does. When not talking about humanity being demons, Migi tries to embarrass Shinichi in the worst possible way in front of the same friend he molested. Erhm, I’ll leave that part for you to find out.
One incident that bothered me a bit was how Shinichi was able to overcome his apparent fear of insects/spiders as soon as Migi became a part of him. Well, Migi didn’t devour his brain… Even though it was technically Migi that picked up the spider, shouldn’t his phobia still kick in nonetheless? Unless Migi is sending some sort of nerve impulses to his mind or something to block it out. I am not too sure. It’s not a big deal, just pointing it out there.
A problem I feel that any show or anime or movie could potentially face is scripting out the right amount of explanation for things that may confuse the viewers. For example, introducing a sci-fi concept that most would not be able to understand at first glance. Here, there’s a risk of overdoing explanations. I personally love Log Horizon but it bugs me so much when the characters go on a rambling of words about MMO-related subjects. It feels incredibly forced and at times, can be disruptive to the flow of the anime.
With Parasyte, so far, even though the explanations were direct, it wasn’t carried across in an in-your-face manner. Thanks to Migi. From the start, the anime has established the fact that Migi is an intelligent creature devoid of human emotions. Migi adopts a cold attitude on everything. Like a robot or android. It just sets up the perfect cover. Nice job there.
Also, three cheers for almost no censorship! Even in situations where it was used, it was tastefully done. No awkward black circles and terrible cropping like /cough/ Terraformers /cough/.
Most of this review contains information from the first episode. In a little while, I’ll be checking out the third episode. I am excitedly anticipating how the plot plays out. I cross my fingers and pray that Parasyte keeps up the good work till the end. Please. It has been too long (well, not that long but still-) since any anime has gripped my attention like that.
Man, this blog’s background is too bright and cheery for creepy things like this.