I feel like passing out, but the show must go on.
— At the start of the episode, a parasyte gets into a car accident, and as a result, it needs to swap bodies with the man next to it. I suspect that the parasytes have no concept of sex or gender at the moment, especially when “she” says, “Male or female, controlling his body shouldn’t be that different.” Oh ho ho, we’ll see about that. But this is something interesting to think about. Are the parasytes unisex? Will they always be unisex? By observing and studying human behavior, can they learn and adapt to our sex- and gender-based customs? Coming from a relatively neutral standpoint, what do they even think of said gender-based customs? Unfortunately, these questions will likely remain unanswered. Instead, enjoy this small bit of body horror.
— After all, isn’t this a latent fear for some guys? The idea that their girlfriends will assume complete control of their minds, bodies, and thus lives? We’re just watching this same nightmare play out in the most literal way possible.
— On the surface level, Shinichi’s brain will continue to undergo changes as long as he and Migi are linked. If this keeps up, Shinichi will — as we’ve predicted — become less human, but we’ve already seen signs of this. Migi understands Shinichi’s thought process a bit more, and vice versa. Remember Shinichi’s “It’s us or him?” line from last week’s episode? At the start of the story, I doubt Shinichi could even hurt a fly.
— On a metaphorical level, however, our brains continue to develop well into our twenties, so this is nothing new. And of course, puberty plays a significant role in how our brains develop. So the fact that Shinichi’s brain is undergoing changes is nothing too astonishing. There’s an emphasis on the idea of purity in the conversation between Migi and Shinichi on the matter. Again, on the surface, they’re referring to the idea that Shinichi’s no longer a pure human. But of course, we can also read the subtext.
— Why would Ryoko take any interest in a sexually maturing young man? C’mon, is this a serious question? Subtext, man, subtext. Look at Shinichi’s flashbacks. The people who have commented on his metamorphosis are all women: Ryoko, his mother, and Satomi. This isn’t a coincidence.
— Shinichi comes across a classmate being beaten up by some bullies. He helps the classmate out because he feels that this is his only way to hold onto his humanity. After all, Migi and the rest of the parasytes can’t currently comprehend the idea of altruism. Shinichi thus reasons that if he can act altruistically, he also acts like a human.
— The subtext here, of course, is that Shinichi doesn’t want to abandon his sensitivity. He doesn’t want to just be a badass alpha who looks out for only himself. Happiness for him is striking a delicate balance between the changes he’s been undergoing and retaining the strengths of his former personality. The old Shinichi would’ve wanted to help this classmate. The old Shinichi just didn’t have to strength to do so. The new Shinichi has the strength, but at the same time, he could also just walk away. The good Shinichi, however, bridges the two positions — thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Migi is asleep, so Shinichi doesn’t fight back against the bullies. But at the same time, he stood for something, and he stood for it with confidence. That’s a sort of strength — a character strength, if you will.
— Kana, the new girl, seems to be able to sense something strange about Shinichi. Perhaps she can detect parasytes for some reason or other. Well, the parasytes can detect each other, so it isn’t farfetched to imagine that someone out there also has the same ability. As for subtext, again, it is a girl who notices that there is something different about Shinichi. To reinforce this idea, she might even start to like him. After all, the guys she typically hangs out with aren’t really mature. They’re just bigger kids.
— These characters like to throw the word ‘poser’ around a lot.
— That’s not to say Shinichi’s synthesis is complete or perfect by any means. Even though the bullies have now targeted both him and Satomi, Shinichi fears that if he relies upon Migi, he will stray too far to one side. Our hero has to admit he can’t just be strong in character all the time. Sometimes, you need physical strength too.
— Then again, Migi’s idea of help is to flat out kill the bullies. Luckily, Shinichi’s saved by a bigger gang.
— So the parasyte from earlier — the one that had stolen its boyfriend’s body — finally comes to the realization that it can’t control a male body very well, It thus appears that a parasyte will somewhat take on the sex of the first person it attaches itself to. As a result, it needs to find a female victim. I say somewhat because I still don’t think of the parasytes as really having a sex or gender.
— Really? You think I’m cool? So my mother was right! I am cool!
— See, if this had been an American teen movie, he’d be throwing the biggest party his school had ever seen. Then the girl would show up late — always fashionably late — then they’d have a heart-to-heart in the backyard or something while “Kiss Me” plays in the background.
— I still think he should’ve walked her home, though.
— Oh Migi…
Migi: “How disappointing… I thought I would get to see human intercourse.”
Just make Shinichi buy you some pornos. Actually, forget that. You don’t need to spend money. When Shinichi’s sleeping at night, just go on the internet and visit some choice sites.
— Kana seems to be stalking our protagonist. When she shakes his hand — his right hand, of course — she quickly notices that there’s something off about it. Yeah, it’s bigger than his left, right?
— But according to Migi, Kana is somehow attuned to the parasytes’ wavelengths, thus allowing her to somewhat detect their presence.
— Damn, Shinichi’s poor mother… they should’ve listened to Shinichi and stayed home after all. Still, I thought there was something odd about her before. I guess she was just a bit quirky.
— Everything changes as we get older. Even our relationships with our parents. That isn’t to say you should literally kill your mom, but you do have to separate yourself from your parents in one way or another. You have to become independent. Everything in this anime plays out in the most literal way possible, but the subtext here is relatively benign. Shinichi’s becoming a young man. He thus has to “kill” the idea in his head that his mom will always be around to baby him forever.
— Right on cue, Shinichi’s “mother” shows up to their home. Again, Shinichi must grow up and symbolically sever himself from his mother. Unfortunately, because this is somewhat of a horror anime, this means he has to literally kill his mother’s body. Naturally, Shinichi places the blame on Migi. If he had been more childish — if he had been clingy with his own mother — he might have convinced them to stay home for his sake. In asserting his independence, he inadvertently sent his mother to her death. We all have fears of growing up. We also fear what growing up entails. Losing our mothers is just one of those fears.
— Shinichi is thus in denial. He thinks he’s the monster, and that’s why his mother is now different to him. Our hero even thinks that if he confesses his sins to her, i.e. everything he’s been hiding from her recently, she’d come back to him. But he’s impure now, so no confession will change that fact.
— If our hero’s not going to do anything, his “mother” will do it for him: she stabs him right through the chest, likely aiming for his heart. Maybe she even hit his heart, but of course, wouldn’t that kill him? Well, we’ll find out next week.