Parasyte – 17

Parasyte-Can't give him up

Satomi just can’t forget about Shinichi

winter15-highwWelcome back to Parasyte! For some reason, 2-cour shows at around episode 16-20 feel like they’re starting to wrap up, but 1-cour shows always feel like they’re just starting to get their act together. And now with Parasyte, we’ve got a show that’s in excellent form as we go through that stretch.

It’s Never as Easy as You Thought

Parasyte-Dead already

“We thought we had this covered…”

So Kusano and his comrades thought that they could simply outnumber Reiko and beat her. But much like that opening scene from The Matrix, those three are dead already. I had wondered if Reiko had fighting chops to match her position as the highest intellect among the parasites, and it’s hard to decide if she’d win in a straight-up fight. But the point is that she’ll never be in a straight-up fight. Similar to how Shinichi and Migi have used the capabilities of both of them to complement each other and vanquish anyone who tries to come after them, Reiko uses much more than just fighting ability to win. Fighting three-, maybe four-, dimensionally, not just facing strength with strength, she puts the attackers off their own strength by misdirection and surprise tactics.

Parasyte-The End

Reminiscent of Aliens

She even splits her own consciousness to fight on two fronts at once, or at least to draw Kusano away from Mita and Hikawa while a fragment of her kills the two of them from within. By the time Kusano gets back, unable to understand how Reiko is fighting, he really is as good as dead. And the fact that they had not consulted Hirakawa or Gotou about it (probably because Hirakawa or Gotou would have disagreed, or at least told them not to try) is just the final nail in their coffin. There’s no help for them. At this point I wonder if even Gotou could kill Reiko. But this fight also serves to further my opinion that I can’t see Shinichi / Migi even trying to fight Reiko. Shinichi may hate her guts, but he’s not stupid, and neither is Migi. There’s very little chance Migi would underestimate Reiko’s combat ability the same way that Kusano and the others did.

Let’s All Meet at the Park


Learning about being human


Despite Reiko’s smarts, she actually does get snookered a little by Kawamori, who manages to sneak in and steal the baby, and sets up a meeting at the park the next day. This starts a chain of events that gets all of the players at the park. But there are some notable things that happen on the way. One is that Reiko, who presumably went to the Izumi house to talk to Shinichi, takes time to look at a photo album of Shinichi growing up (it’s a tad unbelievable that there would be all those full resolution computer pictures for a boy who is 17 years old now, but whatever). And while this might have been just intrusive a few episodes ago, it takes on a different meaning now, as I think we’ve seen Reiko obviously growing more attached to her own child. When the others in the cabal suggested it was time to get rid of it, she said she was still investigating, but I think there was more to it than that. Is she a helicopter parent? Heck no, I mean, she left the kid at home all day for Kawamori to snatch. But she’s definitely feeling something that the other parasites do not feel, and seeing the way Kazuyuki and Nobuko cared for Shinichi and celebrated their time with him is helping to draw out more of those feelings.

Parasyte-Kawamori's last stand

Could he actually have done it?

And when she’s faced with a threat to that child, from a Kawamori who is still thinking of revenge for his own family, it engenders a new emotion in her. Even though her stoic face doesn’t change, Migi reveals its existence, even though it can’t give it a name because it’s outside of its realm of experience. What sets Reiko off? Is it the explicit threat to the baby’s life? Or is it Kawamori’s dismissal of her being a parent, his declaration that she wouldn’t care about it. In the end she does care, even if her facial expression doesn’t change. But that’s not the only emotion I think was interesting from Reiko, because earlier, in her talk with Satomi, she expressed envy at the fact that Shinichi had someone who cared about whether he’d come home.

Parasyte-Much more emotion

Madhouse isn’t particularly known for their great art, but I love the subtle differences in how they are drawing Reiko now

But now we’re set up for a big confrontation, as the cops, Reiko, Shinichi and Migi, and even Satomi are all at the park. Will this be the end of Reiko? The cops are after her, and know what clothes she’s wearing (vaguely). And it would be the vindication of her belief that the worst thing the parasites can do is come to the attention of the humans. I don’t think that Reiko would have much qualm about cutting down 4 or 5 police officers to save herself, but I think she’d make a calculus that it would end up worse for everyone else. And what role are Satomi and Shinichi-tachi going to play in this kerfluffle?


Envious of someone caring for them?


This may have been the best episode of Parasyte to date. I love the ‘humanizing’ of Reiko, as she’s becoming more human, at the same time as being something totally apart. We’re seeing the same kind of movement in Migi as well, and maybe it’s because they are the same kind of parasite, voraciously consuming any experience and knowledge they can, not really content to just eat humans. I even wonder when the last time Reiko ate a human was, although she defended the idea with Shinichi last time they talked. And this was the kind of fight I like to see in the beginning of the episode: won with brains and tactics, not just “I’ll bring my best and you bring your best, and the strongest wins.”


Proving that you don't have to be young to love anime, I enjoy all genres and styles of shows. If it's not hurting anyone else, you should never be ashamed of what you like!
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3 Responses to “Parasyte – 17”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    So we Reiko can hold her own in the face of hostiles. She’s cold, calculating and vicious in her execution. Given that she’s more advanced in a handful of aspects than others of her kind, she presents herself as another adversary than can give Shinichi a run for his money. Assuming Reiko gets some kind of outcome where she stays alive, I wonder how she plans to continue on with her newly acknowledged motherly instincts. Her encounter with Satomi had me on edge. I was sure she’d have killed her right there for being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

    The episode title already gave away that Kawamori was nearing his final moments. More than revenge, it looked like he was deliberately poking around and waiting to be killed and pretending to harm the baby while throwing his words of morality at Reiko was his way of goading her to lash out.

    • sonicsenryaku says:

      I agree that kawamori in some ways wanted to die, or at least be stopped before he did something he regretted. The loss of his family and everything he loved dear was slowly driving him insane. That feeling Reiko had that migi had never felt: call it love, caring, whatever you like; i think it all comes down to a feeling that went against self preservation. Every parasite seems to be programmed to only care for their existence and use any rational means to accomplish thaat. Reiko had an emotion that went against her programming. That altruism alluded to in the lecture is what Reiko felt. A complete disregard for self preservation that parasites cannot grasp or feel. It is that which Reiko felt and in that we see the change she has been gradually going through since the series began. This is one of the best eps of parasyte.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Well, it’s been said before that a man that loses everything is capable of anything. Once a person experiences a loss like that, they’re unpredictable.

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