Anime: Parasyte (Collection 1 Blu-ray)
Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: April 5th, 2016
Retail Price: $69.98
If you enjoy a series that teeters sci-fi, horror and action/adventure, you may have heard of the popular anime Parasyte. In the anime, the world changes after a calm evening is interrupted by a nearly silent alien invasion. This spooky invasion is sparked by creatures known as Parasytes, deadly parasite like organisms that possess and consume every fiber of a human, using them as a shell for their own motives. Soon after, an average teenager named Shinichi Izumi becomes aware of the parasyte as it makes an attempt to take control over every fiber of his being - and make him a deadly predator on his home planet. The attack fails to achieve the results the Parasyte required, and is forced to reside within the arm of Shinichi and nothing more.
The creature that takes control of Shinichi’s arm is named Migi, and quickly takes various shapes to communicate with the host of the Parasyte. The two are forced to coexist with one another in a complex inter-species development that could result in more danger than either anticipate. Being viewed as neither human nor parasyte indicates that in order to survive a newly dangerous world, Shinichi and Migi need to work together if they intend on surviving the threats that continue to appear on a regular basis. The series introduces an unusual partnership that questions various life forms survival needs, and what they are willing to do to maintain their own future. The world of Parasyte successfully sculpts an anime that encaptures the necessary threat of death to signify the importance of enduring - and the hard requirements of maintaining life.
There aren’t too many prosperous anime series that accurately create a horror genre vibe, but Parasyte does its best to appease the genre fans. The creatures are lurking in every corner, and you never quite know what will make a move next. I wouldn’t say that Parasyte is a complete horror series, but the horror anecdotes are sprinkled in ambiance to keep viewers on their toes. The biggest theme that carries over throughout the anime is the notion of survival and the toll it can take on humanity as opposed to these parasitic creatures. The counterbalance between emotion (or lack of) is a great lesson in the coping mechanisms of grief. One moment in particular (it would be too spoilery) brings this to the forefront and plays with death in the most effectively and emotionally upsetting way possible. The series additionally creates a suspenseful tension that rears its head when it’s opportune, making Parasyte a great thriller in numerous ways.
Shinichi is the protagonist of Parasyte, and Migi is introduced to add a separate perspective - while connecting them to know more than another individual character would. Despire being an assumed villain, Migi is actually a great being to play off of Shinichi, making their dynamic entirely fascinating in the first 12 episodes. Migi is very set with a particular method of thinking, while humans are driven by other outside influences, so he can’t comprehend some of Shinichi’s reactions (excellent concept decision.) Shinichi starts as a goofy and semi-perky young man, but after realizing the darkness that the world holds it begins to chip away at his personality. This becomes the most clear after a loss that hits home, leaving the protagonist slightly numb to his feelings - and more like Migi (which he also acknowledges a difference.)
The animation in Parasyte has no choice but to impress viewers with unique and captivating art. The creatures vary in size and appearance which means there must be a choice to keep things consistently fresh for complete enjoyment. The eerie parasytes are the substantial insertions to reaffirm the series horror inspirations, with razor sharp teeth or shapeshifting capabilities to shock characters and alarm characters and viewers. Emotion plays a large part in the artistic choices in Parasyte, making it all important to understand what the protagonist is experiencing through his demeanor. It’s certainly a bloody anime, so you know that this isn’t an average run-of-the-mill, all ages friendly series. The Sentai Filmworks collection includes both the Japanese and English version of Parasyte, giving fans the choice to enjoy the traditional horror or the reworked dub for a different take as well. Parasyte collection 1 is only the first half of the series, so when things amp up for the concluding arc of the sci-fi/horror you can guarantee I’ll be excited to see how the plot pans out! Parasyte is available now on DVD and Blu-ray!
Overall Score: 8.3/10
Aedan’s Final Thoughts:
-Shinichi is a sweetheart, but seeing him become emotionally tarnished towards the ending was hard to watch.
-Migi and Shinichi had a very dynamic relationship that only a few anime series have approached.
-The true horror in Parasyte is the gore and science fiction creatures that have importance in the 12 episode first season.