With a title like "5 Reasons to Watch Parasyte," there is little to need to delay my opinion of Parasyte. In short, Parasyte is the best television series this year, and you should absolutely be watching it right now. While this might sound like hyperbole, trust me, if you are currently watching Parasyte, then you know exactly why I am hyping it up so much. With only fourteen 20 minute episodes that have aired, you could catch up to the series in only a few hours, and it is definitely worth it.
As for the plot, Parasyte, also known as Kiseijuu or Parasyte: the maxim, is a sci-fi suspense drama with elements of horror that follows the 17 year-old Shinichi Izumi. "One night, worm-like creatures called Parasites appear on Earth, taking over the brains of human hosts by entering through their ears or noses. One Parasite attempts to crawl into Shinichi's ear while he sleeps, but fails as Shinichi is wearing headphones, and enters his body by burrowing into his arm instead. In the Japanese version, it takes over his right hand and is named Migi, after the Japanese word for 'right.'
Because Shinichi was able to prevent Migi from travelling further up into his brain, both beings retain their separate intellect and personality. As the duo encounter other Parasites, they capitalize on their strange situation and gradually form a strong bond, working together to survive. This gives them an edge in battling other Parasites who frequently attack the pair upon realization that Shinichi's human brain is still intact. Shinichi feels compelled to fight other Parasites, who devour humans as food, while enlisting Migi's help." (plot summary from Wikipedia.com)
Now that you know the plot and set up, let me convince you why you should be watching Parasyte.
Mature and Avoids Clichés
Chances are if you have yet to actually watch anime, you have a negative stigma associated with it. However, Parasyte is an anime that transcends what the general public associates with the medium. Parasyte's story and setting is grounded, and the art style is more realistic than the norm. Aside from the bizarreness of the talking hand, you are not likely to find anything overly off putting about the series. The only possible turn off is that the series has not yet received an English dub, and therefore you have to watch it in Japanese with subtitles. Thankfully, with more foreign films populating the market, subtitled media are more generally accepted, and hopefully that will not be a barrier for you.
Familiar Enough for Most Viewers
Even though there is almost nothing else like Parasyte, the series still contains elements that are familiar enough for almost anyone to attach to. In some respects, Parasyte is reminiscent of Spider-Man with a teen receiving special power, and yet instead of fighting crime, the main character, Shinichi, tries to just stay alive and keep the ones closest to him safe. Certain stories elements, like the ones I mentioned, make the story easily accessible for almost anyone.
After the first three episodes set up the world, Parasyte is packed with more thrills and suspense than just about anything else. Every episode will have you on the edge-of-your-seat wondering what is going to happen and who is going to die next.
Themes of Humanity and a Compelling Protagonist
Parasyte is not just a thrilling series, but a thought-provoking one as well with themes of what it means to be human. These themes are conveyed through the struggle of the main character, Shinichi, who is an expertly developed character thus far. In only 14 episodes, Shinichi has developed more as a character than most do in an entire series.
Fourteen episodes into its 24 episode run, Parasyte is easily the most gripping and best first fourteen episodes of a series that I have ever seen. Nothing in live-action or animation has started this well, and unless the series takes a serious turn for the worst, I doubt that there will be anything like it in a very long time. While watching the series, I have tried to find flaws, and yet there are none. If I was forced to find a flaw, it would have to be that the first three episodes are a tad slow, but after those episodes, you are not likely to find anything to dislike.
After reading those five reasons, have I convinced you that you need to be watching Parasyte? Hopefully I have, and if so, you can click here to watch the series free, on Crunchyroll by clicking here. If you live outside of North America and do not have access to Crunchyroll, you can watch on this website as well by clicking here. Also, a live-action film based on the manga (comic book) has been released in late November in Japanese, and while I have yet to see it, I have read that it is not bad, albeit inferior to the series or manga.
Warning: Despite my high praise and recommendation, Parasyte is not recommended for the squeamish due to the high level of violence, and be aware that there is one off-color joke in the second episode. Other than that, Parasyte is highly recommended for mature audiences
Note: If you are already someone who watches anime, please know that, as you can probably tell, many parts of this post are intended to convince non-anime watchers to give Parasyte a try.
Please check back tomorrow for more fall anime reviews.
More Fall Anime Reviews:
Fall Anime Review: Part 1
Fall Anime Review: Part 2
The Fruit of Grisaia
In Search of the Lost Future
Rage of Bahamut: Genesis
Wolf Girl and Black Prince
Yuki Yuna is a Hero
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