Anime Watch: Parasyte –the maxim– Episode 1, “Metamorphosis”

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After nearly 20 years since the manga ended its run, Parasyte has finally gotten an anime adaptation (in addition to two live-action films), and it was one of the most fun anime premiere episodes I’ve watched in a long time.

Officially titled Parasyte -the maxim- (but we’ll affectionately call it Parasyte for the rest of the time here) and directed by Kenichi Shimizu (Fushigi Yugi, Hunter x Hunter: Phantom Rogue), Parasyte, seemed incredibly lighthearted and almost cheerful despite its visceral content. Odd, I know, but Parasyte is so colorful and upbeat, along with the main character Shinichi, it’s easy to forget that this series involves creatures from space who squirm in through your ear and take over your body, making you consume nearly every person around you.

Yeah, brutal right? Nathan Explosion from Metalocalypse is creaming his jeans somewhere right now thinking about the premise. Very little is known about the creatures (Why are they here? What do they want aside from humans?), but our “titular” creature is quickly evolving and able to adapt really well. This leads me to think they’re very advanced organisms, and Earth is not the first planet they’ve occupied. It seems particularly interested in learning, as it awakens Shinichi one morning with dozens and dozens of book strewn about his room, reading and absorbing knowledge. Oh, did I mention it’s living inside Shinichi’s hand? Funny story, as it mentions in a blasé manner that had Shinichi not been wearing headphones at the time they met, Shinichi would likely be a host.

Parasyte’s storytelling was pleasurable too, as it was told in present setting with brief flashbacks throughout. It never hops around too much, and it’s done so well and sparingly that it’s quite refreshing. It’s a terrific premise that shows us the main characters, his hand creature, and that there are more than just his running about. Most of the others are more about a mission that Shinichi’s has failed and are killing indiscriminately. I imagine it’s only a matter of time before we see more carriers like Shinichi that have gotten command of their new “friend” and are using it to their advantage.

There’s terrific world building and even better music usage through various scenes, as Ken Arai makes his debut as a composer and drops (of all things) some dubstep into the fight scene. As odd as that sounds, it’s rather subdued but fitting, and sounds radical. I only hope the rest of the series contains more like it.

I’m trying to be a bit reserved about Parasyte, as I’ve been burned in the past on a premiere episode’s quality, but with only 24 episodes in its run, I’ll be patient. Crunchyroll has the streaming rights to Parasyte –the maxim-, and it airs every Wednesday. Get those subscriptions, people! And stick to Laser Time for more anime reviews, as the season is officially in full swing.

3 thoughts on “Anime Watch: Parasyte –the maxim– Episode 1, “Metamorphosis”

  1. Ah yes, the inspiration for Resident Evil 4 (or so I thought as soon as I witnessed my first las plagas transformation). Great series, hope the anime does it justice.

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