Parasyte – The Maxim Episode 2

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Recap

Resigned to his strange partnership with the parasite, Shinichi and the newly named Migi run into difficulty understanding each others’ vastly differing viewpoints and mentalities. Unable to accept that innocent humans are being slaughtered wholesale, Shinichi resolves to take a stand against the other parasites. Additionally, Shinichi himself begins to change…

Gee’s Thoughts

With its second episode, Parasyte proves that the first episode wasn’t just a fluke. The visuals manage to stay impressive, with Migi’s motions and ungulations as unnerving as always. Speaking of unnerving, Parasyte also keeps up the unyielding sense of tension and fear that pervades the story. These Parasites are not your average anime alien bad guys. Considered the precursor to other popular villainous monsters, the Parasites prove that they can be just as frightening and horrible as their more modern successors, like the Titans, Cockroaches, Ghouls, etc. There is a terrible inhumanity to them, conveniently packaged into something that looks human. While the anime’s aesthetic cleans some of it up compared to the manga’s stark artstyle, it more than makes up for it in its portrayal of their motions. The Parasites don’t move like humans and that thousand yard stare they all have is still creepy as hell.

As a side note, I absolutely must give a shoutout to Madhouse’s ballsiness to include a certain scene from the manga in the anime. The circumstances are slightly different, but Madhouse shows they know how to properly portray explicit content through motion, sound, and implication instead of resorting to excessive censorship.

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We also see something interesting from both Shinichi and Migi. As much as he doesn’t want to recognize it, Migi is changing Shinichi, and vice versa. Starting out, Shinichi is your standard hapless protagonist. But as this episode shows, his behavior is changing as a result of Migi’s symbiosis. Not only is he becoming faster and stronger, but even the way he thinks is starting to change. While Satomi’s constant pondering of whether Shinichi is really Shinichi is a bit repetitive, it does serve as an effective (if somewhat heavy handed) reinforcement of Parasyte’s themes. How human can Shinichi remain as long as Migi is a part of him? And what happens when the two share the same body? We can already see Migi’s mindset influencing Shinichi, is Shinichi’s humanity going to influence Migi?

Meanwhile, Migi itself does a great job of giving us some insight into the mindset of the Parasites. If there’s one thing to take away from this episode, it’s that Parasites are curious. While played for humor, Migi’s interest in human reproduction is not unique to it. The final scene of this episode will perhaps have greater implications than anything else this week. So far, the anime has been pretty true to the source material, but between the introduction of some new characters and the reordering of certain scenes, I’m curious to see how the anime is going to play out future events.

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Marlin’s Thoughts

I now must wonder if Resident Evil 4 just got all of its Las Plagas ideas from this show. I love that kind of deformation body horror, and Parasyte nails the look and motion of them perfectly. The first scene also had that great slasher-fic feel to it, where you knew nothing good was going to happen, but you are at the edge of your seat to see how bad things get. I’m particularly a fan of flesh-whip scythes, a common trait among both series. The creeping sense of uneasiness this show builds does wonders for its atmosphere. With Parasytes getting smarter about maintaining human appearance, you can never really know when Shinichi will run into one next. I love that Migi ended the fight simply because he didn’t believe the other Parasyte. It’s such a coldly logical decision that keeps with the character Migi’s shown so far.  The death was also completely without any fanfare, Migi decides to attack and the fight is over. I imagine things may become more complicated as the series goes on, but to see such quick brutality also goes hand in hand with this show’s tone.

As much as I would love for the romance in this show to be a genuine development, something tells me it’s not going to last. I will give this show a lot of credit for having people go on a date and actually have them act like they’re on a date. Something tells me Satomi’s prominence in the op speaks of some greater significance for her character. With Shinichi going on the offensive against Parasytes, he’s obviously not going to be able to have much of a normal life for long. Still, I will give this show a lot of credit for having people go on a date and actually have them act like they’re on a date. Kudos also for having a really adorable hand-holding scene that manages to stay natural in a show where we saw horrible dismemberment only a few minutes prior. Parasyte has my attention now, and I can’t wait to see where the plot goes after that final scene.

6 thoughts on “Parasyte – The Maxim Episode 2

    • Definitely a high recommendation for this season. The direction has been fantastic, and the material is a classic for a reason.

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