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- © Hitoshi Iwaaki / Kodansha Ltd.
- Manga Score: 8.38
- Author: Hitoshi Iwaaki
- Publisher: Kodansha
- Volumes: 8
- DB title: Kiseijuu
- Rating: 16 and up
- Genres: ActionAward WinningHorrorSci-FiGorePsychologicalSeinen
SILENT INVASION They arrive in silence and darkness. They descend from the skies. They have a hunger for human flesh. They are everywhere. They are parasites, alien creatures who must invade–and take control of–a human host to survive. And once they have infected their victims, they can assume any deadly form they choose: monsters with giant teeth, winged demons, creatures with blades for hands. But most have chosen to conceal their lethal purpose behind ordinary human faces. So no one knows their secret–except an ordinary high school student. Shin is battling for control of his own body against an alien parasite, but can he find a way to warn humanity of the horrors to come?
Jul 3, 2008
64 of 64 chapters read
162 people found this review helpful
STORY: Alright the story as described in the paragraphs above may sound cheesy and unoriginal to some, I know. However, as the story progresses the plot thickens and is beautiful. It shows how various people with the parasites, the bad not the good, try to cope in society and that's actually amazing to see unfold. One gets pregnant, one tries not to kill, etc.
Also, Parasyte shows quite vividly how someone would live with another symbiote in their body. Needless to say, this is very cool and interesting if you're in to that sort of thing. Even if your not, this doesn't slow down the story all that much which is fast-paced and easy to read.
(A tiny note here: One of my friends was reading it and it was about two in the morning so he told himself that after one chapter he'd stop reading. He stayed up until 4 to finish the whole thing.)
ART: The art is well done, although some may think it's a bit too sketchy and simple for their tastes. However, one of the neat things that the author/illustrator does, Hitoshi Iwaaki, is that he makes the eyes in such a way that after a while you can tell who's contolled by a parasite and who's not just by looking at their eyes.
Another great thing about the art is the transformations. When a parasite takes over a body they can change the shape and strength of the body to suit their needs. That means that their heads unravel to reveal blades, or they turn into a massive mouth, or many other neat, and creepy, ideas. The transformations are great to look at.
Also the author/illustrator can build teh tension very well by using great panel techniques. One such example is in the second new graphic novel, fourth old one (There have been two different publications), when Shin jumps over a ten foot wall. The panels keep widening until there's a full page spread of Shin leaping over the wall, then the next page the panels shortens to half the page to show the landing. Trust me, it gets your adrenaline pumped.
CHARACTER: At first Shin is just the average teenage hero archetype that has been seen in almost every shounen manga. But when you get to the second new graphic novel, fourth old one, things start to change. The parasite in his hand has to split and about 20% of it is strewn throughout Shin's body. Then Shin begins to start losing his very humanity and has to fight to get it back.
There is also a nifty little love triangle type deal that develops at the end of the second new graphic novel. Because every shounen manga needs to have a love triangle. (Sarcasm, if you hadn't noticed.) But I have to say this one's pretty well done.
ENJOYMENT: Wow. I just can't get enough of this series. Everything about it is pretty much perfect. Sure, you get a translation error every once in a while that makes you wince a little bit but besides that the thing is great. I read all the old graphic novels when I was about twelve and they blew my mind and now that it's being rerealsed by Del Rey there is no more perfect time to buy it. (They have combined two of the old graphic novels for a nice little price of $13-14)
If you like shounen, hell if you like action in your manga, check this out. You may not love it, but you won't be disappointed.
OVERALL: I want to give this series a ten but I just can't, otherwise I wouldn't be honest. If I could it would get a 9.5.
The only problems I can see is that every once in a while there is that translation error that doesn't make sense, and some people may find the art a little two simple.
However, the pluses definitely way out the minuses. There's a little something for everyone here: the one's who like a lot of action and not too much plot, the guys who like a deep story, the people who like watching others get chopped to bits, it's all here. (It even has a bit of sexual humor if you're into that.)
Even if you don't like manga too much, don't worry. I've had people read it who didn't even know what a comic book was, let alone manga, and they all really loved. One of them even went out and bought it himself. The others are all waiting on me to give them the next one when it's rereleased.
Try it, you'll like it.
(If you don't please tell me why. I'd like to know.) read more
May 3, 2013
64 of 64 chapters read
107 people found this review helpful
What drew me to Parasyte originally was seeing the body horror pictures of how peoples’ bodies mutated and warped and started growing tentacles and teeth and occasionally dick hands. I’m usually a pretty queasy person so I’m not sure quite why this drew me in, but there’s a definite fascination with how alien the mutations the bodies undertake. Once you get over the original shock, it’s not even that scary anymore. The mutations are so alien and cartoonish they go into this area of scholarly fascination. The only times I would actually get a bit perturbed were the more ghoulish deaths of actual humans rather than the parasytes. This cartoonish nature of the body distortions could have undermined something that was only trying to shock you, but thankfully Parasyte is cleverer than that. It’s got a real dark sense of humour, one that’s willing to laugh at itself, what with the aforementioned dick hands and so forth. Plus the comedy segments don’t detract from the moments the deformations are supposed to shock you. It’s a delicate balancing act, but one that Parasyte pulls off remarkably well.
Parasyte does have more to it than just some alien horror story. Its larger theme is about humanity and what makes someone human. Migi, the parasyte that co-inhabits the main character’s body, is very Kyubey-esque in how he thinks. He has no empathy but endless curiosity driven mostly by a self-preservation instinct. Through his conversations with Izumi, they explore both sides of each character and broader concepts of what it means to be human and why it is that one might perform a selfless act. It’s got that perfect duo combination where the two sides’ conversations force both characters to develop. Migi’s development is more subtle than Izumi’s, but that’s because Migi slow development is reflected in the attitude of all the parasytes as they evolve and and start to change their approach to fitting into society. Their change becomes a way to explore what makes humans tick.
Izumi starts off as a bit of a Yuji Everylead, but he changes pretty quickly into a more fascinating character who struggles to find what it is that makes him human. Fairly early on in the manga he absorbs part of Migi into his bloodstream and it starts to change him in little ways. He doesn’t get emotional, can’t cry at friends and family’s deaths, and some of his actions start to reflect Migi’s apathetic nature. You get the feeling that the times he does show kindness and emotion is him trying to force himself to act human so he can reclaim his identity as a human. It mirrors how some of the more advanced parasytes try mimicking human actions in order to understand them and fit into society better, such as trying to smile, having children and laughing. This in turn causes them to start experiencing much more human emotions. It might sound like this is all heavy stuff, talking about the nature of humanity and all that, but it isn’t really. The last volume definitely gets a bit preachy, but otherwise the dialogue all feels very natural and goes about things with a sense of humour. Plus at the moment it really counted, when they really needed to bring everything to the table around both the parasyte’s increasing selflessness and Izumi’s own struggle with his humanity, they nailed the scene so well that it made me cry.
Let me repeat that for effect: I cried at Parasyte. Fucking Parasyte. The manga with dick hands made me cry. Do you know how often I cry at entertainment? Never! And yet somehow Parasyte made me cry? With proper tears streaming from eyes, so overcome with emotion that I had to stop reading and walk for a bit? The only other time in my entire life I cried at media was at Grave of the Fireflies, which is kind of to be expected since that is basically the only point of Grave of the Fireflies. Plus I’ve kind of gone off Grave of the Fireflies over time, as its method of drawing emotion is to have everything be shit and then everyone dies, which is kind of a cheap almost Jun Maeda-esque way of drawing emotion. Meanwhile Parasyte managed it by being positive. It’s key scene was the fulfilment of 8 previous volumes of thematic buildup and re-affirmation of the main character’s humanity that was so tragically beautiful it caused me to break down.
Sorry, is this all a bit serious?
I picked up Parasyte because I figured if I was going to jump into manga, I’d want to read something that would at least draw a reaction from me, but I ended up absolutely loving it. It keeps the story tight and focused on a small cast of characters. It’s paced excellently, comes to a conclusive ending and doesn’t drag on longer than it needs to. It has depth while keeping a sense of humour, and the body horror is shocking without being an obstacle to enjoyment. It’s a bloody great manga and highly recommended. read more