Parasyte -the maxim- | Reasons to watch

With Parasyte -the maxim- or Kiseijū: Sei no Kakuritsu being the most recent anime added to Netflix’s lineup, we figured it best to give a list of reasons to watch the critically acclaimed 2014 show. This article contains no spoilers so rest assured you have nothing to worry about. 

A Thriller for the Ages

Parasyte -the maxim- is exactly as the title suggests, parasites. It revolves around 16-year-old Shinichi Izumi and his unusual partnership with a certain parasite. It is in no way related to the 2019 Oscar-winning South Korean movie of the same name, Parasite. This sci-fi, psychological title is an anime fan’s dream show, successfully filling out every checklist to what makes a good story. If you watched the show already, head over to our review piece and tell us what you thought about it! For those who are still on the fence about watching it, we’ve provided some reasons to give it a shot.

Anime may be off-putting for some, but Parasyte is a show that holds its own, even among the most popular titles of its genre across all mediums. The storyline is great, the fight scenes are spectacular, and our main man Shinichi is everything we want out of a protagonist.

With that being said, we’ve given you even more overlooked reasons to watch Parasyte. This list works even for potential rewatchers who need to jog their memories a little.

Manga Origins 

The original Parasyte started as a manga way back in 1989 by Iwaaki Hitoshi. The manga would come to an end about six years later in 1995 and earn a positive reception across all boards. It wasn’t until 2014, nearly 15 years later, that the show was picked up by the studio Madhouse and adapted into a full-featured anime.

Despite the lengthy gap, a few revisions were put here and there to better reflect the modern times of a Japanese society. A few tweaks, like Shinichi’s clothing, hairstyle and even his name, were all Parasyte needed to fit in seamlessly with the rest of the 21st century anime. A two-part live-action movie was also adapted back in 2014, during the anime’s airing.

Terrifyingly good 

Fans of Parasyte are usually too preoccupied with its compelling story and action-packed fighting scenes to realize that the show does, in fact, fall under the horror genre. To be clear, this isn’t the traditional horror show with jump scares and screaming. It’s a horror in the sense that people are getting absolutely shredded by organisms that disguise themselves as humans. It’s terrifying just to think that anybody, even those closest to you, could already be a host to these ‘parasites.’

Anime fans will probably let out a sigh of relief knowing that a legit horror show could be watched and not be disappointed. Horror is a genre that not many anime fall under. Perhaps it’s due to the struggle of actually capturing a sense of fear in an animation medium, and conveying that reasonably well to the audience. As cliche as that sounds, Parasyte embodies the fear of grotesque monsters as well as the fear of the unknown. 

Gore, lots of it

Parasyte does not hold back on its gore. In fact, most of the budget probably went to the animators who worked endlessly on illustrating severed heads and chopped limbs. If you are a fan of watching the human body get torn up, or perhaps just interested in the physics of getting rag-dolled by monstrous parasites, this show is definitely up your alley.

This anime exhibits new ways of humans getting chopped up and spit out. It’s for sure disturbing and not easy on the eyes, but at the same time, it’s fascinating and interesting to observe. The gore is top-notch across other anime that glorify bloodbaths. Others in the list include Elfen Lied, Deadman Wonderland, Hellsing Ultimate, and Attack on Titan.

Wub Wub Wub

Surprisingly enough, there’s a good amount of dubstep being played throughout Parasyte. It might come off as unusual now, especially considering the decline of dubstep music, but that certainly wasn’t the case in 2014. Back then, the dubstep genre was the newest trend, with artists like Skrillex, Skream, and Diplo leading the heavy bass revolution.

It’s quite the feat that a dubstep themed soundtrack could compliment a show the deals heavily with violence and murder, but it just does. Apparently this awkward pairing is simply one of those situations where you just have to give it a shot, and it paid off handsomely. If dubstep throws you off, don’t worry. The show has traditional soundtracks as well, mostly to the tune of a simple melody. ‘Next to you,’ and all its variations certainly come to mind.

And if that doesn’t do it for you, hopefully the show’s screamo opening by Fear, and Loathing in Las Vegas or the heartfelt ending by Daichi Miura are more to your liking.

To Ponder 

Not to get too much into detail, but Parasyte has themes beyond that of what it initially suggests. With death being an immediate and recurring pattern in Parasyte, the show tackles human identity and what it means to actually live. Shinichi can be seen constantly questioning his morals and ethics as a human, and why he should even bother to adhere to them. Family and loved ones are extremely valued in Parasyte, and Shinichi makes that very apparent from the get-go. 

Putting the grim aspect of Parasyte aside, the show does a beautiful job in reminding us how precious our lives are and the humans that make it worth living. Shinichi is a relatable protagonist in that he is riddled with weaknesses but overcomes them through the help of others. Beneath all the destruction that ensues in Parasyte lies a beautiful and heartwarming message about the essence of the human heart & soul.

Depending on the viewer, Parasyte will elicit a range of powerful emotions that you might’ve never known you had. Reducing you to nothing more than a blob of tears is probably expected at this point. It’s a masterpiece in its own right that surpassed even the test of time. It was a commercial hit back in 1989 as a manga, turned into an even bigger hit with its adaption in 2014, and will continue being an excellent show decades from now. What exactly do you have to lose? Go watch Parasyte -the maxim- now!

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Wrence

Wrence Trinidad is a current Bachelor of Journalism student at Toronto's Humber College. His favourite genre is slice-of-life and comedy but is willing to watch anything that even remotely resembles Japanese animation. He hopes to provide different perspectives on certain shows and to spark friendly discussions amongst fans of all geek culture. His username on MAL, AniList and Kitsu is surprisingly just his first name, Wrence.

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