Parasyte Ep. 17: Motherhood

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— The three parasites confronting Reiko are also working by themselves. The guy who seems like the leader of the trio confesses that he’s basing his decision off of his intuition. On the one hand, Reiko compares him to A (if you still remember him), but on the other hand, she goes and says she’s happy to see that they have developed individual differences. Hm.

— The idea here is that Reiko will win through her smarts. It’s not always about pure strength and speed. Because she’s been willing to experiment and question everything, she’s also come to understand a parasite’s capabilities at a deeper level. Unfortunately, the execution is subpar. For instance, why form a trio just to fight Reiko one by one? Hell, the woman in the group doesn’t even bother fighting Reiko. After Reiko splits off a piece of herself and penetrates the old man, the woman stays behind to watch over the old man as he struggles for control of his own body against the Reiko, uh, parasite. When the old man starts stumbling towards the woman, however, she doesn’t do anything! She just gawks at him until he falls on top of her. At that point, it’s too late! The Reiko parasite then penetrates the woman like something out of Alien and just like that, she’s out for the count too. I have no doubts that Reiko is smart. It’s just that that the execution leaves much to be desired.

— There are cool moments where Reiko starts having fun by scaring the shit out of a poor couple unlucky enough to cross her path.

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I just think it’s too little, too late. In a previous episode, we saw Reiko laughing awkwardly as she feels mirthfulness for the first time. And that’s… pretty much it. Here, we see her go full blown insanity as her semi-headless self cackles with glee. What I’m saying, however, is that we could’ve developed this gradually. Why is this the first time it seems like any parasite has decided to “troll” humans like this? You’d think that there would’ve been minor instances of trickery just for the sake of it. The way the anime executes it, however, it’s like a light switch has been flipped. One minute, Reiko is wondering when it’s appropriate to laugh. Another moment, she’s playfully splitting her human head in two just to screw with people.

— Obviously, we can’t have it all, so in general, I would have preferred more development for the parasites as a whole instead of the awkward shounen action scenes. This is especially true considering how poorly animated they can be if last week’s episode is anything to go buy. I mean, they usually just consist of some flesh-like tentacles moving so fast that the whole fight becomes a blur. And I can’t say I’ve found any of the battles to be particularly tense.

— Reiko returns home, however, to find that her child is missing. Kuramori has left her a note, telling the parasite mother to meet him at some park.

— She decides to break into Shinichi’s house, look through some of his baby pictures, and when he calls home worrying about his dad, she gets him involved too. She obviously doesn’t need Shinichi’s help to overcome Kuramori. The bereaved widow and former father is obviously no match for her at any level. Nevertheless, she wants the hero to also be at the park. Perhaps she feels that even if she can get her baby back, her days with the child is numbered. And honestly, she has no human but Shinichi to turn to.

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— Satomi is now really desperate to get in contact with Shinichi, hoping that he’ll come back and everything. It’s funny how she was content to push him away when he was still attending school and whatnot, but now that he’s missing, she’s ditching her friends to chase after a bus that’s carrying him. I guess that’s just how it is. We don’t realize what we’re missing until it’s gone.

— Still, I don’t find myself sympathizing with the girl all that much. I don’t her character development all that organic. Her emotions seem to sway one way or another so long as it’s convenient for the narrative.

— At the park, Kuramori claims that parasites can’t grieve for the death of an offspring or whatever. That doesn’t really make any sense. We see animals fall into depression all the time when one of their loved ones are dead or missing. Why should the parasites be any different? Oh right, they’re considered just monsters in the eyes of the humans in this universe. And likewise, the parasites constantly underestimate humans. Biology isn’t what makes someone a mother anyway.

— It’s funny how Kuramori can have a gaping wound in his chest and also fall over the side of a ledge and still be lucid enough to say some last words to the detective. I guess that’s why the detective wants to call him a hero.

— The detective swears that he’ll avenge Kuramori. Meanwhile, Shinichi finally meets up with Reiko and her son. I guess things aren’t going to end well for the parasite mother.

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But the episode ends there, so we’ll just have to wait another week to see whether or not this is truly the end of the road for her.

5 thoughts on “Parasyte Ep. 17: Motherhood

  1. lagarto220

    I definitely agree with your comment that it doesn’t make sense to have Reiko randomly scare the shit out of random people by showing them her empty head. However, I would like to mention that, in the manga, she does it to scare away some men who are harassing her (the anime seems to have left out a lot of important parts of the headless Reiko scene). It feels like they just put in the empty head quote because it was iconic, and they left out all the important context :P

  2. Rangi

    Reiko is the most human parasite (maybe after Migi and Jaw), and even she had to practice laughing until she got it right. As she said, parasites are naturally logical thinkers; it takes human thinking to enjoy trolling for its own sake. I think she also had a second purpose, of trying to seem like by splitting in half she had become crazy/stupid, to make the parasite chasing her let down his guard.

  3. S&P

    Already bracing myself for some more cheap Satomi drama when she wrongly assumes Shinichi knocked up his sensei… *Sigh*

    Though maybe it could be interesting if they manage to fit that into a larger thematic point. Just, please Parasyte, do something that doesn’t amount to dull repetition or cheap contrivances.

  4. Pia

    I don’t get why the detective feels the need to kill Reiko, it makes no sense, they kill her and then what? that’s the end of the road.
    They should try to convince her to join them or try to capture her in some way, that would be a lot more beneficial for humanity.


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