Friday, May 15, 2015

'Parasyte' Could Be the Best Anime Series of 2015

If the year ended today, Parasyte –the maxim– (yep, that’s how the complete title goes) would be my choice for “Best Anime Series of the Year” (its original run was from October 2014 to March 2015) in the 4th Bernels.  Of course, there’s still half of the year to go, and it is still possible for another 2015 anime series to impress me more, but Parasyte is so good that it would take something really mindblowing to knock it off its pedestal.

The premise is about strange worm-like parasites (its origin, whether alien or a form of bio-weapon, was not particularly determined) that mysteriously pop out around the world one night and begin to take over human hosts by getting into their brains.  The plot focuses on a geeky, awkward high school student named Shinichi Izumi.  A parasite fails in its attempt to get into Shinichi’s brain, and instead has to settle on burrowing inside his right arm.  The parasite takes over Shinichi’s right arm, adopts the name of “Migi” (Japanese for “right”), and develops a default symbiotic relationship with Shinichi.  Moreover, not only does a conscious Migi gains absolute control of the right arm, but it can also morph into any form – functioning body parts, blades, etc. – it wants.  To survive, Shinichi has no choice but to put up with Migi.  Over the story’s course, the two learn to rely on each other and gradually develop a strong bond.  Meanwhile, those parasites that succeed in taking over the brains of their targets lurk around to devour humans for food.  The media dub these occurrences as “Mincemeat Murders” while the authorities do their best to hide the real story behind these murders to prevent mass panic.  Shinichi feels obligated to do something about it, and by enlisting Migi’s cooperation, he takes it upon himself to fight off the parasite-infected humans while keeping his own condition a secret from the people around him.

Nowadays, I have a hard time connecting to most modern anime series, but Parasyte has the tone and quality of those old anime series I used to watch in the past that it effortlessly appealed to my liking.  The Parasyte manga actually ran from 1988 to 1995, but this is just the first time that it has been adapted into an anime series, so maybe that’s the reason why it seemingly has that “90’s-style anime” charm.  I found this anime series to be very entertaining and engrossing that I was able to marathon all of its 24 episodes in one day.

Parasyte isn’t perfect.  It does have worn-out anime tropes, some noticeably dumb and annoying character moments, and an unimpressive soundtrack.  But, aside from those few faults, this anime is terrific and well-crafted.  The storytelling is splendidly compelling; its thoughtful themes about humanity, natural order, inherent instincts, and the essence of monsters are well-articulated; the characters are well-written and well-developed; and the animation is beautiful, thorough, and flawlessly gives justice to the thrill, violence, emotion, and stakes of its narrative and action sequences.  It has the makings of a classic, and a worthy watch for every anime fan with good taste.

No comments: