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Parasyte - The Maxim Review

What would you do if you knew about alien invasion that was happening right now? In October 2014, Shinichi was never a fighter, but if he wanted to survive... that would have to change.

Directing this 23 minute (24 episode) horror/animation is Kenichi Shimizu.

Some of the voice cast is: Nobunaga Shimazaki as Shinichi Izumi, Aya Hirano as Migi, Kana Hanazawa as Satomi Murano, Miyuki Sawashiro as Kana Kimishima, Masaki Aizawa as Kazuyuki Izumi, Chieko Sasai as  Nobuko Izumi, Atsuko Tanaka as Reiko Tamura and Kazuhiko Inoue as Gotou.

One night, seventeen-year old Shinichi thought he was having a bad dream about a snake trying to burrow into his arm. What he didn't know was, that night was the beginning of something that would change his life forever. Worm like alien creatures, called Parasytes, were invading Earth and taking over people's brains. At least, that was their goal. However, in Shinichi's case, the Parasyte couldn't make it to his brain, so it took over his right arm in an attempt to survive. Little by little, Shinichi is filled in on the invasion by Migi (his talking right arm). After finding out that humans are the Parasytes food of choice, Shinichi wants to do something to stop them. Problem is, the newly formed duo is considered weaker by the other Parasytes, due to the failed conversion on Migi's part. So, they will have to be smart if they are going to trying and stop the invading creatures. Also, if this fight gets out of hand Shinichi and Migi could be exposed to the humans.

This anime started out as manga called Parayte that had a 10 volume run from 1988 - 1995, which was written by Hitoshi Iwaaki. Then came the anime and two live action films called Parasyte: Part 1 (October 2014) and Parasyte: Part 2 (April 2015). Side note, something that I thought was kind of cool. Come to find out, almost all the episodes are named after famous literary works. For instance, episode 1 gets it's name from a German novella called Die Vervandlung (The Metamorphosis) written by Franz Kafka (1915). Episode 15 gets it's name from Something Wicked This Way Comes, written by Ray Bradbury (1962).

The story, which was written by Shoji Yonemura, is really well written. I think what I liked about this one, besides the fight scenes, was the constant moral dilemma that the main character, Shinichi, found himself in. Do you stand and fight or hide? Now, what made that conflict interesting was that part of him (his right hand) had an intelligence of it's own, along with a more primal desire to survive. You have two different life forms, stuck together, trying to find some sort of common ground with what's going on around them. Shinichi, thinks the invaders should be stopped to save the human race, while Migi (the right hand) just sees it as a natural order of the food chain. Humans kill cows for food, so what's the difference with what Migi's race is doing? Which eventually brings up the question of which species has the right to survive?

The play-through was good. Sometimes the pace dropped a little slow but for the most part it moved along well and held my attention the entire time, even during the slow spots. There's great character development as the story unfolds. Also, there's constantly something going on since the story covers Shinichi and a few others through out the story, which is cool because that gives you multiple views of what's going on during this hostile take over. 

The animation looked good, and the fights scenes were pretty cool to watch. Tadashi Hiramatsu, who did the character design, came up with some pretty interesting stuff to entertain us with.

As far as the cast, no one really stood out or made a note worthy impact on me.

Overall, this is one of those shows I wish would have gotten more than one season, but what we got is definitely worth catching. I gotta say, I'm kind of curious about the two live action films now.

It's rated R for violence and language.

4 stars

Michael Carter  - Back Seat Viewer 

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