WTF Did I Just Watch? Parasyte: the Maxim Episode 1 Review

A new season of anime is upon us, and it’s time for a new series to review. Going on the recommendations of my loyal readers (What, all five of them?) I will be reviewing Parasyte: the Maxim. So, seriously, WTF did I just watch? Answers, maybe, after the break.

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Parasyte is an action horror series from Madhouse, and really never has the company name been more appropriate. You think you are clever, don’t you? The series stars Shinichi, a high school student who’s right arm is infected by an alien parasite. The creature reveals later that it was aiming for his brain, but screwed up and was forced to consume his arm instead to survive. One is a high school boy, and the other is an alien life-form living in his arm. Together, they fight crime! Er, rather together they fight back against other parasitic life-forms.

Hey, look, I’m taking over this review for a minute while the Batman wannabe here is thinking of his next awkward “joke”. This is his right hand typing. God, this is so slow by myself. Ugh. Oh shit, he’s back. Say nothing.

Gotta hand it to this show(pun intended), it’s an original premise! I hate you so much. Our story opens in media res Ooo Latin, aren’t you so fucking smart with our protagonist coming downstairs after a very restless night, with his parents being smart asses about the whole thing.

This really isn't appropriate for the breakfast table, Dad.

This really isn’t appropriate for the breakfast table, Dad.

 

We see that Shinichi is having some problems with his right hand when he unintentionally gropes a girl’s breast. Oh, anime, you rascal. We then get shown in a flashback/daydream sequence when the parasite invaded. It’s a good, intense scene, although it’s strange that when Shinichi suddenly starts screaming in the middle of the night about how something has crawled inside his arm all his parents do is ask if he is on drugs and then leave him alone.

Why would they ever ask him that?

Why would they ever ask him that?

 

Shinichi’s mind returns to the present, where we see him getting in trouble again when his right hand is caught playing with his smart phone in class. Shinichi starts to wonder if a hand can operate on it’s own. If he had the chance to look it up, he might have read about Alien Hand Syndrome, which is a rare type of neurological disorder that can cause one of the hands to seem to operate under it’s own volition. Good thing you have Wikipedia to save your ass again. Okay, someone reading this, you have to help me. You don’t understand the things he makes me do. The places I’ve been…it’s horrifying!

Any theories on alien hand syndrome are blown out of the water when Shinichi crushes the front of an oncoming car trying to save a little girl. The car is totaled, and we briefly see an eye appear in the center of the hand. Shinichi rushes home and grabs a knife and proceeds to interrogate his own hand. The hand then distorts into the parasite in an art style that seems reminiscent of something, but it’s hard to say what…

No, not quite.

No, not quite.

 

Getting closer...

Getting closer…

 

It will come to me...

It will come to me…

 

Way to get all those hip, young readers with an early 90’s video game reference, loser.

The parasite holds him off briefly, and leaves Shinichi to search the internet to try to find out how his hand can suddenly talk and move on it’s own. Since he’s the first anime protagonist I’ve seen in a while to use Bing, he of course finds nothing useful.

The next day when Shinichi wakes up, we see that it has been studying, reading. The parasite is apparently capable of growing whatever odd bits it needs: eyes, mouths, smaller arms, wings, and can even split itself into multiple copies, provided they are attached to Shinichi. Shinichi threatens to go the hospital to have the thing removed, but the parasite (named Migi) talks him out of it: he doesn’t want to die, and he bets Shinichi doesn’t want to lose use of his hand. If he were attached to you he’d be begging to get crushed by a brick. Seriously, someone help me! Migi agrees to give back Shinichi use of his hand when he isn’t active.

Shinichi almost decides to try to take the issue up with police, but as he is making his way there, Migi detects another parasite life-form and tries to make contact. The most noticeable thing about this scene for me was the music. Parasyte has a dubstep theme throughout, but it’s really apparent here when the show drops fully into World Wub 3. The two encounter another parasite who is trapped in a dog, but he’s not friendly. Migi forces Shinichi to run because only a hand has any sense to a nearby park where they can fight. The dog turns into a horrible, grotesque flying thing but Migi simply turns into a long clawed tentacle and rips it’s heart out. Shinichi notes that the parasite seems to have no empathy whatsoever. It would be a lot like you in that regard.

I’m interested in this series. It has a horror theme I like, and the concept is interesting. I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the art style just yet though; as of right now it feels a bit cartoony for the show’s theme. I’m going to need to give it a few more watches to grow on me. I will continue to watch this series too, in hopes that maybe it will give me an idea how to get away from this lummox.

Onward to episode two!

One thought on “WTF Did I Just Watch? Parasyte: the Maxim Episode 1 Review

  1. John says:

    You should read the manga of this series, if you haven’t already. It is about 25 years old but good stuff, hoping this anime version does it justice.

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