Parasyte/Kiseijuis the live-action adaption of Parasyte-The Maxim, a horror anime that asks the question “If the human population was halved, would the number of forests being burned also be halved?” That question is answered by introducing parasites into the human population, their directive- Take the head. When a parasite attacks a teenage boy (Shin’ichi Izumi, played by Shōta Sometani) and only manages to take his hand, the two must find a way to co-exist.
How the infection manifests itself….
This could have been a schlocky film and I wouldn’t have minded. With the intensity of the subject matter and the fact that there are many brutal and bloody scenes throughout, I was waiting for something a bit…hammy. (Excuse the pun, given that that the ‘Mince Meat Murders’ play a part in the storyline). But that’s not the case. Whether it was a lack of blood spurting or the range of subtle emotional changes displayed by Shota Sometani, nothing felt overplayed or comical.
The movie could have easily been painted in one colour, namely the colour red. Instead, the choice was made to give it subtle shades (of red, but shades nonetheless). The small pockets of comedy were a relief. They provided a chance for you to catch your breath, then be caught off guard again.
The character design of Migi (the hand parasite) is wonderful. In fact, the character design of all of the parasites is beyond what I was expecting. They followed the anime designs closely, which was very impressive.
The voice of Migi has been changed for the movie. Aya Hirano is the voice for Migi in the anime and gives the parasite a more insect/alien feel. Sadao Abe’s voice is used for the live-action and gives Migi more humanity, which can be a good or bad thing however you want to see it. Still, he does the character justice.
Some irritation may occur….
The part I liked most about the anime is how very different the parasites are from the humans. Other than poor eye control and eating humans, the parasites think differently to us. Certain expression and scenes I thought were integral to the message of the anime, simply didn’t appear in the movie.
I feel like there was a rush to humanise the parasites when they could have taken their time. The movie does have a good pace to it though, so it’s easy enough to forgive.
The basic story and questions that Parasyte asks, remain. You can enjoy it as a simple horror movie, or you can choose to think more deeply about it (and then use it in a Year 12 essay for English).
In fact, after watching the movie I recommend a full course of the anime and manga until you’ve taken the full dose. Additional treatment may require watching the Parasyte Part 2 when it comes out. After all, Parasyte has a way of getting under your skin.
Parasyte Part 1 is having an encore screening this weekend. It's rated MA 15+.
Check out the trailer!
Have you seen it already? What did you think?
There are more screenings this weekend May 02/03 thanks to Madman, in Brisbane, Melbourne ans Sydney. Get your Parasyte tickets here.