I remember when I first got into anime years ago and one of the shows I considered watching because of the praise it recieved was Parasyte: The Maxim.
I intended to watch it but I got so caught up watching other anime that I eventually forgot all about it, until it was chosen at the anime club I go to.
It was not long ago that we finished the final episode and I have a lot of thoughts about the whole series.
Parasyte: The Maxim is directed by Kenichi Shimizu, and is a modern adaptation of the manga Parasyte by Hitoshi Iwakka, which ran from 1988 to 1995.
The story follows high school student Izumi Shinichi (Nobunaga Shimazaki), who wakes up one night to discover a strange alien-like worm burrowing its way into his arm and moving towards his head.
In a panic, he cuts off the circulation in his arm, causing the worm to settle there and eat it, taking its place as the Parasite Shinichi names Migi (Arya Hirano).
However, Shinichi has very little time to deal with the new guest in his body before Migi makes him aware of other Parasites, ones who successfully took over their hosts’ brains and are now regularly feasting on humans.
Viewing the two as a threat, the Parasites go on the attack, forcing Shinichi and Migi to work togethor in a tense partnership that draws many of the people Shinichi cares about into the bloody crossfire.
This reluctant alliance between the human and Parasite grows magnificently across the story, with both Shinichi and Migi getting some excellent development, as Migi becomes more human and Shinichi less so, much of which ties into the themes of the story about what being human is and the effect we have as a species on the planet.
It is not just Shinichi and Migi who are interesting though, because there are also a plethora of interesting supporting characters, like the Parasite Reiko Tamura (Atsuko Tanaka) who’s growing humanity was engaging to see progress.
Of course, with quite a few characters in such a bloody series, it is inevitable that many of them do end up meeting tragic ends, creating numerous emotional and gut wrenching scenes… unless the character is being stupid.
I say this because Parasite is a show where a few of its supporting cast make excellent candidates for receiving the Darwin Award.
Seriously, the decisions some of these characters make are the most idiotic I have seen in a show.
Thankfully, these instances of stupidity, although extreme when they do happen, are few and far between and it do not come from Shinichi or Migi.
No, these two remain consistent in their intelligence and development, as they take on their opposing Parasites in many well done fight scenes, accompanied by a good score and animation.
This quality extends to the OP as well, Let Me Hear by Fear, And Loathing in Las Vegas, which was such a great choice because the lyrics coincide perfectly with the events and themes of the show all the way to the end.
Speaking of that ending, there is one aspect of it I am still a bit unsure of and this is the resolution to Shinichi and Migi’s relationship.
It just felt a little abrupt to me and I think it could have used a bit more time.
Otherwise, I actually loved this ending.
The final conflict Shinichi has was one I did not expect but I think it made perfect sense with the story’s themes about human nature.
Overall, all of this adds up to anime which does live up to the hype behind it.
There are some issues, like characters occasionally making absurdly stupid decisions and part of the ending feeling a bit rushed.
However, the rest of it more than makes up for these minor problems, presenting an anime that has intriguing themes and a compelling dynamic between its two main characters.