Parasyte (Kiseijuu Seu No Kakuritsu) (2014): Someone’s Head Got Eaten In the First Episode and I Thought It Was Awesome

Note: Parasyte has some pretty intense scenes, so if you’re not comfortable seeing gruesome images, then you probably shouldn’t read on.)

Not gonna lie, I wasn’t all that keen on watching it, but my brother finally convinced me to watch the first episode.

I was so excited. I thought this was going to be so cool.My mouth literally dropped open.

In Parasyte (directed by Kenichi Shimizu), Shinichi Izumi (voiced by Nobunaga Shimazaki) is a quiet high-schooler that seems pretty normal. He has parents, he goes to school, life is normal.

It looks cool, doesn’t it?

One night, Shinichi sees this worm-like creature crawl into his hand, and up his arm. Obviously the right thing to do was to stop the flow of blood in his arm with a pair of headphones, so that is exactly what our quiet protagonist did.

As it turns out, the thing that crawled into Shinichi’s arm was a new type of “parasite” that takes over a human’s brain, then goes around eating people. The one in Shinichi’s body failed to take over the brain, only controlling his right hand, earning the name “Migi” (voiced by Aya Hirano), which I believe is the Japanese for “right.” (I have basically zero knowledge of Japanese, so correct me if I am wrong).

Look at how weird and cool this is.

The premise of Parasyte is extremely interesting–parasites that take over humans and then eat humans. I was highly intrigued by the plot in the first twelve episodes, however, after that, it stopped being so amazingly cool. I’m not even sure exactly what happened, but it just lost the original charm it had.

Not that it wasn’t good. It just wasn’t as good.

The characters themselves were also not as interesting. Yes, there was development, but it didn’t feel very deep. It was hard to get attached to them. It almost felt like the characters weren’t really important. For many of them, if I switched them around, it would’ve have made much of a difference. They just felt kind of…bland.

What I enjoyed the most however was the motif of humanity. Because Shinichi has been “infected” or “possessed” or however you want to phrase it by this other, inhuman creature, he is no longer one hundred percent human. Shinichi often deals with morality issues, while Migi makes decisions based on the likelihood of survival.

What makes humans human? This is one of the important questions that Parasyte tackles. While it doesn’t really give a definitive answer to the audience, the theme of it that lies in almost every episode is what interested me.

Obviously, this is not human.

What really pulled me in was the animation. This is obviously very uncensored, with episodes and episodes of bloody, gory images of people getting eaten and ripped apart and and their faces splitting open to unsheathe knives attached to limbs. All in high quality.

The first episode where someone’s head got eaten really did catch my attention. Other than the interesting, original way of killing someone, it even involved an uncomfortable topic like cannibalism (kind of). I was curious to see where it would lead.

I have not read the manga, but you get my point about the gruesome images.

But towards the end, it backfired. The last few episodes were really just a bloodbath, and the plot just felt slow and sluggish; honestly, it was like the animators just wanted an excuse to draw lots of decapitated and otherwise dead people.

Conclusion: Thoroughly enjoyable with interesting plot, animation, and even a hint of deep, meaningful life philosophies, Parasyte is an anime worth watching, even though there are some lacking aspects and the conclusion felt a little weak. Bonus points for cool and gruesome parts. And for the first episode where someone’s head got eaten. 7/10.

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