Monday, August 9, 2010

Parasyte by Hitoshi Iwaaki

Parasyte 1

Pages (Paperback): 288 pages
Publisher: Del Rey
Released: May 1, 2007

Note: This is the first book in the series, however, since I finished this manga I'll be reviewing the entire thing. If you do pick this up, make sure you pick up the Del Rey version since it's adapted better in English than the former one.

Quick Thoughts: When I reviewed The Host, I mentioned that in the beginning, it reminded me of Parasyte by Hitoshi Iwaaki. Since I'm a lover of manga, I decided that I'll review this on here as well.

Review: Parasite like aliens come and invade earth, they are small and shoot themselves into people's heads in order to take over their host's body. This is understandable, considering that aliens need to do what they can to stay alive. Sadly, in order to survive in this world, they need to eat us. Again, very understandable, except it's not. And they keep killing a lot of people in incredibly gruesome ways.

One of these parasite tries to infect Shinichi, a high school student, but misses his target and ends up getting lodged into Shin's hand. There, he is stuck, unable to reach his target the parasite lives his life in Shinichi's right hand. Shin, is freaked out about this, but the two form an understanding and decide to help each other out. Shin even gives the parasite a name, Migi, which means right in Japanese.

Things should be okay, but other parasites who successfully took over their host, notice the strange nature of Shin and attack. As you keep reading (and you will) the plot deepens and becomes so much more about Shin and Migi trying to survive and more about humans psyche. It was beautifully done.

Final Thoughts: The artwork takes a more realistic approach and has a lot of details. It's also interesting to see what form the parasite takes, since they are able to manipulate the host's body and change their shape, appearance, and even become a killing machine.

It also makes you wonder, if we, as humans, can kill animals in order to survive and eat something. Does that make us hypocrites if others do the same to us? And if you need to survive and attack another person to do so, is it bad? Migi, doesn't think so, he's incredibly cold and does what he needs to do in order to survive. Shin, being human, is clearly conflicted by this and tries his best to retain his humanity and show Migi what is truly important. I liked Migi, I thought he was a fascinating character in this story, but there are times when he scared me.

One of my favourite side stories was of a parasite, who infected a pregnant woman. Seeing how she, who is hardwired to eat humans, deals with bringing a child into her life. What would she do with the child? There are scenes with the two of them together and slowly she tries to understand a way to bridge her world with the humans.

This manga is kind of gory, no...actually there is a lot of gore, so I wouldn't recommend it to younger readers. However, if you enjoy action, comedy, a hint of romance, and psychological thrillers, then you need to pick this up. What the manga starts with and what it leaves you with at the end is completely different. I loved it!

Grade: 9.5 out of 10

Reader the shorter version of this review at 5 Line Reviews.

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