Genres: Thriller, Drama, Science-fiction, Horror
With winter 2014 came the anime adaptation of “Parasyte: The Maxim”, from the manga of the same name. From source and cause unknown, small worm-like parasitic beings invade the human race, burrowing into their brains through their noses or ears. Once inside their brains, they take control and claim the host's body as their own. One such parasite attempts to occupy Shinichi, but owing to his ingenuity and a sliver of luck, the parasite is confined to his hand instead.
After a series of disappointing, derivative shows, “Parasyte” is a much-needed breath of fresh air. It is a show that takes complete advantage of its circumstances. With a rich, mature manga storyline to draw from, the anime only deviates from the source material in terms of the narrative to allow for modernisation since the manga was published in the '80s. It is unapologetic in its display of violence and gore and doesn't let excessive censorship disrupt the experience. The visuals have been overhauled to reflect more contemporary tastes and the animation is fluid; perfect for the scenes they depict.
The soundtrack excels at contributing to the atmosphere and augmenting the mood. It invokes the right emotions during the more stirring scenes and helps build tension when required, complementing the narrative while being discreet.
The show boasts both romantic drama and clever fight sequences, weaving them together seamlessly. But they take a back seat to character development. Throughout the show, Shinichi and his parasite Migi grapple with mortality and its consequences, constantly evolving in their world views. The show frequently compares the genocidal parasites to humans with their inclination towards violence and apathy, calling into question who the real parasite is.
With all the elements done right and coming together harmoniously, “Parasyte” is a solid anime experience, one of the best in fact and well worth your time.