Parasyte Ep. 23: Who’s the real villain here?!

Parasyte - 2302You can still put down a rabid dog…

Like a lot of shows this season, I simply lost interest in Parasyte. I truly feel as though the arc involving Shinichi’s mother was the story’s high point. It felt personal. It felt like we were exploring these characters as opposed to just throwing them at each other, and let’s be honest, the fighting in this show sucks. But I guess what it really comes down to is that Parasyte just hasn’t challenged me. It hasn’t really made me think. The sad thing is, the show tries. It really does. Take the latest episode, for instance. Shinichi really struggles with whether or not he should put Gotou out of the latter’s misery. And then there was that pontificating about how humanity is possibly the toxin, and perhaps the parasytes are the cure. And despite all of Gotou’s greatness, humanity’s pollution is ultimately what saves the day. Hoo boy. At one point, Shinichi even literally sits on a pile of trash. What’s my point? Well, am I supposed to reflect from this shit? Am I supposed to nod sagely as I wonder about humanity’s place in this world? Nah, it’s all rather elementary. Heavy-handed, too.

So, too, was the story involving Shinichi’s mother. Parasyte was never really deep even when I did enjoy watching the show. But I can at least appreciate the first half of the series, because, again, it felt personal. I could thus empathize with the characters, think about their motivations, so on and so forth. Why? Is this at all useful? Not particularly. But I’m human. And of course, I’m drawn to human subjects. And so the first half of the series didn’t need to be particularly complex or intelligent. It simply needed to evoke a strong feeling from me. It simply needed to move me. Cheap or not, manipulative or not, a story involving a kid growing up and away from his mother is something that most of us have gone through. So it was easier for Parasyte to make me feel something — anything — in the early going. A character’s psychology is always going to fascinate me more than lofty discussions about humanity’s role. Afterwards, the story just became a mishmash. As a superhero story, it didn’t really deliver, The action is really lame, and well, Shinichi’s no Batman. He’s no Superman either.

Parasyte - 2303
Fuck wasps.

Maybe our hero’s Spiderman as so many of you have insisted, but I never found Spiderman very interesting to analyze. But more importantly, the story came back to that question — that all-important question about life and purpose. And if you’re going to go there, you just have to be a little smarter than this. You just have to really say something thought-provoking. At least take a controversial stance that takes guts to defend, y’know? No, the possibility that humanity is a blight upon this planet doesn’t say anything. It’s just “nature rulez” circlejerking. We’re smarter than this. But apparently not, because that’s where the show went. So naturally, I became disengaged from the story. There was one small glimmer of hope. Reiko was that glimmer of hope. We could have really explored her journey from a mere parasyte to thinking creature with unconditional love for her child. That could have been a personal story. But the story didn’t give her enough attention. I’ve written about it before, but I was terribly letdown by her character development and lack thereof. And when she finally died, it felt like Parasyte had just passed up a golden opportunity.

Instead, we watched a bunch of episodes about Kana, a story which never really came together. There was that short stint with Shimada, and that was pretty lame. Satomi delivered a whole bunch of forced drama, but when push came to shove, i.e. we gotta wrap this shit up already, it’s like, “Oh, you scared me earlier today, but my parents aren’t home, so let’s bang, ‘kay?” I get that sex is like a great way to get to know someone. Shit, you can’t get any more physically intimate than that. But c’mon. All season long, she’s been like, “I don’t know you, I don’t know you. You scare me. Blah blah blah.” Then they just do it. In the following episode, he presumably leaves her place. We don’t even know if they said their goodbyes or if he slipped out awkwardly. What was her reaction then? Or was she just satisfied because she now “knows” him? But hey, maybe people are right in that having a baby can be the best wingman you can possibly ask for. After all, a switch seems to have been flipped ever since Satomi saw Shinichi crying in the park with a baby in his arms.

Parasyte - 2101Gotta at least make sure you don’t die a virgin…

So lately, Shinichi has had to spend some time with an old woman, and he had to do it without Migi. Really, it’s like he lost his powers, and he had to pick himself back up. Kinda like what another hero had to do this season, i.e. Garo’s Leon. It’s interesting to see how they both approached the same “hero’s fall.” Long story short, Shinichi’s story felt rushed, and it also didn’t feel quite as crushing as it should be. Last week’s episode felt more like filler than an important step in Shinichi’s maturation. All in all, I have to really admit that I’m only tuning in to see how Migi is doing. Sadly, I don’t feel like he’s long for this world. ‘Cause what are you going to do? “And Migi, Shinichi, Satomi, and their future children lived happily ever after!” Nah, I bet that won’t happen. It’ll just be easier to come up with some lame excuse to excise our parasyte buddy from the picture. Like maybe he’ll heroically sacrifice himself again. Ah well. And I suppose we still have that serial killer dude to deal with. So let’s see what the ending’s like, but I don’t have high hopes.

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8 thoughts on “Parasyte Ep. 23: Who’s the real villain here?!”

  1. I feel the same, the show just hasn’t made me think enough when it could have, they could have made it so the parasites were required on Earth or it’d stop spinning and everyone would die but instead they are just monsters, monsters who eat people because they can even when they don’t need to (that’s another thing, they don’t even need to eat people to survive), and the show wants me to think about wether or not these guys are worth keeping around, man, what a hard choice.
    A shame, a shame it’s just going to end in the most pointless and shallow of ways, I really expected this fight to be the end of the show though and hey, there’s another episode, I’m not really expecting anything though.

  2. “There was one small glimmer of hope. Reiko was that glimmer of hope. We could have really explored her journey from a mere parasyte to thinking creature with unconditional love for her child…”

    Exactly my thoughts, they really missed that chance, once she died the series pretty much ended for me, but I’m still watching this trainwreck, not with expectation but morbid curiosity.

  3. I still enjoyed the series not as much as in the beginning but still, I was kind of disappointed with the environmental route they decided to take tho

  4. I felt like this episode really stepped up the show from the mediocre middle part, as Shiinchi mow must move on with facing the world’s reality, and how he has to make judgement for his decisions as a single human being.

  5. I suppose that’s the truth of it, then. Leaving the manga when I did, right after the dead mother arc so early on, was apparently the best choice.

    I have a question for you, mate (should you read this):
    Which parasite/monster-themed character-driven anime did you find more interesting/engaging: Pupa or Parasyte?

  6. In my opinion, I think Parasyte is the best anime of this season. It presented what it wanted to do and executed it perfectly.

  7. Took me a while to get back to this show after getting bored off of it around episode 18. I kind of feel stupid for ever having defended it so fervently. I was pretty much scraping the bottom of the barrel at one point. It just wasn’t aiming as high as I wanted. You’re right in that it tries to ask provocative questions, but lacks the depth to merit critical thought. In the end, the show had some interesting ideas that weren’t really explored well, the action scenes didn’t make up for that, and the execution wasn’t anything special in terms of directing, writing, etc. Pretty much a standard, passable anime.

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