Anime: Parasyte

Ms. Kisner reviews the anime series, Parasyte.

"Imagine the things I can do in the bedroom."
While there is no shortage of horror anime, a lot of it tends to blend together. It usually involves demons, vampires, zombies and the like. Parasyte differentiates itself from the rest by using human beings as the monsters, which makes the premise of the show even more frightening. If David Cronenberg directed an anime, the result would definitely be something close to Parasyte. With its liberal dose of disgusting body-horror and pitch black gallows humor, this show is a must-see series for both anime aficionados and connoisseurs of the macabre. The show is based on a manga that came out in the late eighties and does have a somewhat throwback feel, especially with how the story progresses.

This show doesn’t pull any punches in depicting horrible violence and gore. It’s one of the bloodiest shows I have ever seen and ranks up there with Berserk or Gantz. The animation quality is outstanding and it’s courtesy of veteran animation studio Madhouse. All of the character designs are great too, and it maintains a more subtle look than other shows that are out right now. It doesn’t look overly digital and the use of CGI enhancement is minimal.

"Now imagine the things I can do
in the bedroom."
Parasyte is a longer series, clocking in at twenty-four episodes. It doesn’t have any filler episodes and the story moves along at a nice steady pace. The dubious friendship that Shinichi forges with Migi is intriguing to watch and both characters go through personal changes as the show evolves. I found myself getting attached to Migi even though he is essentially a monster, as they do an excellent job with making him endearing and relatable (even if he is really gross looking). Shinichi also develops a love interest along the way (as is expected) but it never gets too sappy or unbelievable. I find that older anime tends to have a more focused and linear story progression. While the anime adaptation of Parasyte is fairly new, it follows the thirty-year-old manga closely and in doing so encapsulates the “retro” feel.

One of the negatives of the series is the music score—it’s a mix of cliché J-pop and crappy dubstep style electronic music. I got used to it after a few episodes, but it never really gelled with the overall atmosphere of the series. Parasyte also loses its steam a little bit towards the end of the series and it drags on the finale a bit too long. Overall, it’s a tightly paced series with just a few hiccups here and there. It’s definitely a series worth watching and one of the better horror anime series I have seen.

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-Michelle Kisner