Anime Review – Parasyte -the maxim-

parasyte-the-maxim-(S)When one thinks of a parasite their mind will most likely wonder towards tiny organisms which latch onto their prey and make their life a living hell. Yeah. They get a bad rap. All things considering though this is easily justified.

So what makes Parasyte different? What propels it past the realms of ‘Ew Gross’ and into the ‘Ooh Interesting’ zone? Well, for one, Parasyte isn’t just about parasites in the traditional sense.

In this anime parasites serve to fully incapacitate their prey, leading to full control of a human body by a governing parasite. The shows main protagonists, Migi and Shinichi, serve as an exception to this, breaking down norms and throwing a spanner in the works of a human-parasite struggle.

It’s the emergence of this unusual symbiotic relationship between Migi and Shinichi that sparks so much debate and fuels key concepts. It’s kind of like seeing a cat and a dog become best pals. It’s oddly adorable and a little bit ‘what even?’ But at the same time it makes you, the inquisitive hottie you are, want to know more. It’s deep within this exploration of the human psyche that the anime takes you by the hand and pulls you along, episode after episode, challenging your thoughts and opening up new possibilities.

Drop Bear? No no, that's just Migi. Source: Madhouse
Drop Bear? No no, that’s just Migi.   Source: Madhouse

You don’t have to accept the ideas Parasyte throws at you. I mean, you can catch them if you like. But you can also let them drop beside you or throw them back with an accompanying expletive. It’s your call. And if you’re sitting there thinking ‘I hate psychological anime,’ then never fear! This isn’t all the anime has to offer. If the taste of adventure, the clang of blades or a sneaky kiss that increases your heart rate then Parasyte may still please you.

See I wasn't lying. There are some pretty clutch action scenes. Source: Madhouse
See I wasn’t lying. There are some pretty clutch action scenes.   Source: Madhouse

Admittedly, in my haste to catch your attention my shout of ‘never fear!’ should probably be reeled back to ‘fear…but not too much.’ I must admit that while the psychological standpoint of this story stands strong it’s sub genres tend to lack in comparison. While fluid and entertaining the fight scenes are also rather repetitive due to very little variation in the opponents abilities. Similarly the romance is a little ‘hey, how you going?’ And while Murano asking if Shinichi was really Shinichi the first time was intriguing by the time we reached count 50 the question just made me want to headbang on a rock.

I know, it’s all very painful.

While Murano fails my unscientific and highly subjective character likability test, other characters, namely Migi, Kana and Tamiya Ryouko piqued my interest and kept me hooked, each being highly unique and adding new psychological angles while keeping the plot feeling fresh.

I might be the only one. But I find Migi too cute! look at those little legs. Source: Madhouse
I might be the only one. But I find Migi too cute! look at those little legs.   Source: Madhouse

Despite the plot ultimately being rather good there were many moments where I felt it was a little unrealistic – predominantly fuelled by Shinichi’s ability to continuously get involved in instances where he should die and miraculously time after time live. By the end I was beginning to think having too-cool-for-school Shinichi die and be reincarnated would be more realistic than having him escape near death again.

But enough about Shinichi. The sound in Parasyte sound complimented the anime’s psychological aspects well while still managing to shift and adapt to the adrenaline rush of an action scene or the soft heartbeat of romantic endeavours. The animation was smooth and hosted a colour scheme that reinforced the overall premise and feel of the anime.

Some people say Parasyte is overrated, and honestly I agree. But that doesn’t make it bad. Far from it. This anime is definitely worth giving a watch. It might not float your boat, and that’s ok. But there will likely be something in this anime that keeps you clicking on that next episode. For a psychological anime it has a wide appeal and easily has enough strengths to counter the few shortfalls that come with it.

Thank you for reading my review!

Rating 7.5/10

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