Review – Parasyte: The Maxim (Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu)

[A quick note: There will be some minor spoilers here, but the source material for this show is 25+ years old so go figure. The narrative is by no means original or groundbreaking but I will avoid mentioning anything overly significant.]

So, Parasyte has finally come to a close and the adaption turned out to be simultaneously good and bad at the same time. You know, like most anime. If you haven’t heard about this show yet, it’s the one everyone is talking about with the main character who has a weird alien growing out of his hand and struggles with the implications of how this will affect his chronic masturbation habit, amongst other things. Or was that Midori Hibi

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On the plus side, the pacing was done pretty well (until the final arc, where Shinici lives in a small village community for a number of days as represented by mere minutes of screen-time). Parasyte did manage to sell suspense to the audience well enough as the story unfolded. However there were a few patchy parts and some of the climatic parts were often hurt by censorship.

Nonetheless, we got to see Shinichi change massively as a character – from bumbling self-conscious nerd to an existentially challenged hybrid parasyte murderer over the course of 24 episodes. And for the most part he was likable. It was interesting to watch him attempt to understand his relationship with Migi (the creature that has morphed into his hand) and the implications of playing host to such an intelligent yet wildly unpredictable and bizarrely foreign entity.

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Conversely, Murano managed to single-handedly cripple the show in ways that are impossible to overlook. She is a very old-school love interest: she’s totally gorgeous, possesses the brain of a goldfish and the personality of a particularly unremarkable rock. Not even the voice talent of the omnipresent Kana Hanazawa could save such a poorly written character.

Murano is constantly at Shinichi’s side throughout the show like a sad puppy, hoping to understand his erratic behaviour despite the fact he keeps everything secret from her. I can’t count the number of times she said “Are you really Shinichi-kun?”. It was fucking mind-numbing. If she had a personality or some ambition then maybe I could connect with her but she has nothing. She simply just is. For the sake of it. parasyte2

Fortunately there are a bunch of more interesting side-characters, and the relationship between Migi and Shinichi was cool.

Unfortunately, the OST was unremarkable and the action scenes were hit and miss. World-building was handled well enough but the narrative was plagued by a couple of significant hiccups, relying on Muranos selective memory (did I mention she was stupid and forgetful?) and possibly even stupider police decision-making to advance the plot. These flaws were particularly difficult for me to overlook.

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An additional sin made by Parasyte came in the form of an epilogue. Shinichi treats us to a pseudo-intillectual and complentative monologue that touches on how humans are actually kind of greedy creatures themselves and, get ready for this bombshell: parasitic in nature, and that we should be nicer to each other and our environment.

In essence, Parasyte was not a bad show. Although it likes to think it’s a lot smarter than it actually is.

4/10

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2 Responses to Review – Parasyte: The Maxim (Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu)

  1. Kind of harsh. I thought the show was really good, although I agree the girlfriend was annoying at times.

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