Parasyte Ep. 15: Epic mount

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Migi’s right. It’s all about the status symbol that comes with the mount.

— It seems that all the disappearing people are finally arousing someone’s suspicions. The investigator in the distance follows the guy in the foreground as the latter lures a young woman into some underground parking garage. Neither the investigator nor the young woman fare too well. The parking garage is obviously one of those designated safe zones for the parasytes to feast.

— After the credits, Kuramori comes to Shinichi for help. It seems that the same parasyte that was talking to Reiko had also tried to get Kuramori to come down into that same parking garage. When Shinichi goes to investigate, he suddenly gets a vision of a bloody hallway full of corpses. I wonder if he’s just smelling blood, and the imagination is filling in the rest of the gap.

— Eventually, a different parasyte brings a girl down here. What’s with these girls? Forget parasytes for a moment. Why would you ever follow any stranger down into any isolated area? C’mon, you don’t even have to be a tiny girl to be wary of such a scenario. I wouldn’t even do it. Who knows who could be waiting to jump me down there?

— Against Migi’s advice, Shinichi tries to save the girl, but it doesn’t quite work out. I wonder why he couldn’t move fast enough at that moment to help her. Insufficient motivation?

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— So a fight breaks out between our hero and the bad guy. Kuramori is recording the entire time, and Migi even says something funny. I’m sure he doesn’t realize it, though. Unfortunately, it’s the fight itself that lets the scene down. It’s what every fight in Parasyte has looked like, i.e. not very impressing. Just tentacles moving really quickly

— Needless to say, Shinichi eventually wins the battle, but of course, he’s just started a war. Migi is correct in concluding that the rest of the parasytes will now go after them. As for Kuramori, he’s completely shaken up about the whole thing. So much for his inspiring speech about saving humanity in last week’s episode. He then hides behind the fact that he’s a normal human being. I’m not saying he isn’t normal, but normal encompasses a lot of things. A lot of normal people can be brave. And a lot of normal people can be cowards.

— In any case, Kuramori gives up the recording of the fight, which Migi happily eats. Everything Migi does strikes me as somewhat funny. It’s hard to take the parasyte too seriously.

— There’s nothing inherently wrong with this. And there’s no need to call Shinichi a monster either. I mean, Kuramori wouldn’t be alive if it weren’t for the protagonist.

— After spending a night thinking about what he had just seen, Shinichi doesn’t want to lay low. He doesn’t want to stand idly by as the parasytes continue to lure more unsuspecting victims into safe zones. What’s disappointing about the story is that it’s inherently limiting itself. For the most part, the parasytes are evil. There just isn’t much to explore when the portrayal is so one-sided. Yeah, the parasytes are bad… we should probably stop them… welp, that settles that.

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— I do wonder, of course, if Shinichi needs to play the hero, because it would make up for the fact that he’s seen as a monster — an anomaly. I mean, Superman’s an alien, but nobody minds. So in that sense, this is Shinichi’s way to redeem himself. The problem, of course, is that Shinichi will presumably try to keep his identity hidden. People like Satomi will never know that she’s in the presence of a hero, so she’ll continue to be all whiny about him not being human and shit.

— Shinichi realizes that the pragmatic Migi would never want to play hero, but he thinks he can force his parasyte buddy help out anyway. That doesn’t sound too cool.

— Is it human ego to want to save everybody? Or is Shinichi saying that because, again, it makes him feel human?

— Speaking of Satomi, our hero runs into her and her friends. They’re even talking about him too, but when the guy merely waves at her, Satomi dramatically runs away. Man, her character is such a joke. I’m sorry, but the display just now is ridiculous. I CAN’T TRUST HIIIIIIIM!!

— Elsewhere, the parasytes want to get rid of Shinichi, but Reiko is hesitant. Like everything else in this world, she sees him as a valuable specimen to study and possibly experiment on. When they accuse her of being soft, however — and also bringing up the fact that she has yet to kill her human baby — so she relents somewhat. They can kill Shinichi if they at least give the body to her for dissection.

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— I think they want to make this Gotou guy seem menacing, since he’s just sitting there in his underwear, playing the piano. The scene kinda does nothing for me, though. What am I supposed to think? That this buff parasyte nevertheless has culture like Hannibal Lecter? It just doesn’t quite hit any particular note, unsettling or otherwise (no pun intended). In any case, everyone agrees to send Miki — whoever that is — after Shinichi.

— That night, Shinichi supposedly has a disturbing dream, but it’s more comical than anything.

— At school the next day, Migi can sense that three parasytes are headed their way. Unfortunately, he’s tired, so Shinichi is left to fend for himself for four whole hours. Our hero thus takes the taxi out of the city, but this guy still trails him.

— Shinichi eventually becomes paranoid, and even suspects a dog of being a parasyte at one point. Is it a bad thing that I find the comedic moments working better than the dramatic moments? I’ll have more to say about my current impression of the series at the end of the post.

— Eventually, it is revealed that the guy that has been following Shinichi is Miki after all, and not only that, “miki” means “three trees.” As such, the three parasytes that Migi had sensed earlier are actually all on the same human body. Alright then. Oh dear, does that mean Gotou is made up of five parasytes because “go” is five?

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— I’m a bit wary of the idea that Shinichi will just go up against stronger and stronger parasytes from here on out. People want this to be a superhero story, but that only works if the villains are also interesting themselves, and as such, they don’t just rely on some increasing scale of power level to one up each other. ‘Cause what happens after Shinichi inevitably prevails over Miki? He’ll just fight someone who’s stronger, faster and smarter, right? No, I don’t want villains that stand out because of something quantifiable. Parasyte has the potential to be more than that. I want villains to stand out because they actually stand for something. Anyway, we’ll see how this all plays out…

— Lately, I just feel like the series has been a touch disappointing. It hasn’t been anything special since Shinichi’s mother died. The anime has just felt kind of generic. Plus, it seems the question of humanity has gone out the window despite the characters trying to imply otherwise. Satomi goes on and on about how Shinichi doesn’t seem human, but it’s not like she’s an exemplar of humanity herself. We’re lacking that crucial contrast if we really want to highlight the tragedy that is Shinichi losing his own humanity.

A lot of you guys defend the fact that he’s unemotional now, and I don’t necessarily disagree. I just think the story hasn’t really highlighted this at all by surrounding the hero with a hysterical love interest, and a bunch of one-sided killers, i.e. the evil parasytes. Where’s the middle ground? Where’s the parasyte that is becoming disturbingly human to counterbalance Shinichi’s development? I thought that Migi would play this role, but while he’s gotten more expressive these days, I wouldn’t say he’s become significantly more human.

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In any case, Parasyte has ironically become less psychological by continuing to hammer away at the idea that Shinichi is less human nowadays. I get it. He’s different. Now what?

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5 thoughts on “Parasyte Ep. 15: Epic mount”

  1. The only thing I really have to add is I think that the hallway full of corpses was a flashback from that time Shimada lost control of himself.

  2. I’m disappointed by this anime too, they’re taking the easy route just having Shinichi fight against the bad guys, because they’re clearly evil.
    It would’ve been a lot more interesting to see some parasytes actually trying to fit in society, learning to enjoy things we take for granted, forging bonds with humans, so on and so forth, but this is just getting like a boring good vs evil story with some identity conflict undertones because of Shinichi’s insecurities.

  3. I never though I’d see the words “epic mount” outside of The Quantum Thief…

    That aside, I agree that the anime could be doing more to expand on Shinichi’s emotionless state. Its been my impression that he continually notes that he’s changed, but doesn’t seem to think about it all that much beyond the initial realization.

  4. I’ve dropped this show after the third or fourth episode but I have kept up with most of the posts.
    As Pia already commented on, I kind of went in thinking that this show would be somewhat of a study of aliens experimenting on what it’s like to be human and be a part of human civilization.
    Really the only conflicts should’ve focused of emotional and psychological clashes and not just “look at how many sharp appendages I’ve got going on here to slice you up”.

    Not that I really care, but it’d be pretty dumb if this just turned into a retarded battle anime.

  5. I think the intention for Migi is to reach the point that he will finally become the human side of the two. Though I wish that was done a bit better since like you said, Shinichi changing has not done anything significant overall.

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