Friday, 8 July 2016
ANIME REVIEW: PARASYTE: THE MAXIM
Parasyte: The Maxim Collection 1
Released By: Animatsu
Running Time: 300 Mins
Audio: English & Japanese DD 2.0
Release Date: Out Now!
Reviewed By: Sandra Scholes
What looks to everyone else like a kid attending school and going about his teenage life in a normal way changes when Shinichi Izumi dreams of an alien parasite burrowing its way into his arm one night, only to find out it wasn't a dream!
Shinichi has school friends in Satomi Murano and Yuko Tachikawa. They both think they know him very well, but once the parasite has taken over the use of his right hand, he realises he can't tell anyone, not even his best friends what has happened to him as he will be used as a test experiment, or worse. It also seems that Shinichi is the first to encounter the parasytes as days later there are incidents where partially eaten dead bodies have been found across the world with no explanation. Through all this horror, Shinichi has to hide his secret from the ones he loves and his parents know something is wrong with him. However, his parasyte isn't the only thing he should worry about as there are other parasytes around who are dissatisfied with their host body. One, who has inhabited a dog wants to kill them and from that time Shinichi and his parasite have to fight them off.
As there is also a movie of Parasyte out there, I was interested in watching the anime that set it all off. This is a series that has more than a touch of Berserk in it with the parasyte designs and overall look even though it is set in the present day. The parasyte's first intent was to take over Shinichi's body and eat his brain, but can't and has to co-exist with his host, though some have been successful in finding a host they can take over completely.
As Shinichi knows he is stuck with the parasyte, he has to give it a name. In reply, after arguing with him, the parasyte offers "Migi," the Japanese word for right, as in right hand. Migi can, as Shinichi notices, do a lot of things: fight, defend, and even separate from Shinichi at times to study his books as he is interested in humans and learning about them, but when Migi is tired, he goes back into Shinichi's body to recharge its energy. His parents notice he now has a contradictory nature, and at times eats a lot more than normal and isn't afraid of bugs anymore. This could be Migi's doing.
In a similar vein to both Berserk and Shiki, this is a horror anime with a humane touch to it. Shinichi goes through his daily life with the risk of either being found out by his classmates or killed by rogue parasytes. It gets even worse when there are new teachers starting at the school, one Ryoko Tamiya who recognises Shinichi as having a parasyte inside him. Wherever he goes, Shinichi tries not to attract unwanted attention from his parents, friends and other parasytes, but this becomes harder as the parasytes infiltrate further around him. Parasyte: The Maxim is a dark and intriguing watch from start to finish with every one of the 12 episodes making sense of what happens around Shinichi and his friends.
Bonus Material: Clean Opening Animation, Clean Closing Animation, and features Also Available on Sentai Filmworks.
Summary: Science fiction meets the strange in this engaging anime that works well for all the right reasons.