Aug 29, 2020
In our most recent episode, we talked about how SWOT failed at its attempt to be an action manga set in high school. The manga “Parasyte”, and especially its 2014 anime adaptation “Parasyte: the Maxim” shows how the idea can be done fantastically, while also adding some unique horror elements.
Based on an extremely popular and influential manga from 1988, Parasyte is the story of Shinichi Izumi, a high school student who wakes up one day to find that his right hand has been replaced with a shape-shifting talking parasitic entity known as Migi. The story slowly spins out of control as it’s discovered that everyday people have been totally taken over by the parasites. Together Shinichi and Migi must fight to stop a secret invasion by other parasites while Shinichi struggles to retain his humanity as they become more and more conjoined. The paranoia and tension skyrockets as the show turns into a combination of John Carpenter’s “The Thing” and John Carpenter’s “They Live.”
As a horror anime, the show does have blood and gore as well as plenty of body horror, but in terms of the genre, it’s pretty tame. It uses just enough to get its point across and isn’t overly excessive, but if that stuff really bothers you then maybe skip this. Also if you’ve played Resident Evil 4 you might just notice a few similarities between the parasites in that game and the ones in Parasyte (and by “a few similarities” I mean RE4 basically just copied them for Las Plagas.)
Parasyte: The Maxim was created by Madhouse and is available on Netflix and Hulu. The original 1988 Manga was written by Hitoshi Iwaati and currently is published in North America by Kodansha Comics.