Parasyte – 24 [END]

Parasyte - Friends

Friends have moved along

winter15-highwWrapping up my second 2-cour series with just one more to go. If there’s something I’m looking forward to in Spring, it’s writing regularly about a new show for the first time since September.

Tying Up the Loose Ends

Parasyte - Fitting In

That’s not exactly fitting in

The parasites, never something that was a huge thing in the public eye, have apparently become almost nothing. If one can say that the military operation at city hall against Hirokawa’s cabal was a success, it’s more the lasting impression it gave that humans are not to be trifled with. Again recalling the advice of the smartest person in the show, Reiko Tamura, once you rile up humanity and get it to notice you, you’re pretty much fucked. So it’s no surprise that after that, and after the death of Gotou, the very strongest of the parasites (so much so that no other parasite would ever dare fight him), the rest of the parasites, a number that nobody knows, do their best to fit in, or at least keep their heads down.

Parasyte - New Migi

A new, introspective, Migi

But maybe they don’t go as far as Migi who, having experienced a different kind of enlightenment as a part of Gotou, decides that he’s going to hibernate and ruminate on its own thoughts for a while. Even if Migi hopes that Shinichi won’t remember it, that’s a little bit too much to ask. But Shinichi is also thinking about things on his own, using the perspective he gained from talking to Migi to realize that humans aren’t the only point of view, and while we might think we understand the rest of the world, specifically the feelings of other organisms, we really don’t and to think we do is anthropomorphism at best and arrogance at worst. But there is an interesting thought Shinichi arrives at: it’s hypocritical to say one loves the earth without loving themselves. This is somewhat in line with what I’ve thought about people who fetishize the ‘natural’ and pooh-pooh the works of humanity. There is a place for both, and even if in the past we’ve done things which were better not done, we’ve also done a lot of things that are beneficial, not just for humans.

Parasyte - A bad memory

A bad penny returns

But there’s one more trial for Shinichi and Satomi, as Uragami returns (as everyone figured he would). Engineering a showdown between Shinichi and himself by abducting Satomi, I don’t really understand what Uragami was going after in the end. Did he want Shinichi to validate him? To excuse him? To recognize him as another human, or at least more human than Shinichi? But the person who is validated in the encounter isn’t Uragami, it’s Satomi. Seeing Shinichi struggle with his own humanity, question himself on the basis of his physicality, Satomi reinforces that what makes him human wouldn’t be a lack of a huge scar on his chest, or weird things happening to him. What makes him human is the way he treats others. Even later, after he’s saved Satomi (or maybe Migi has), and she has possibly seen that he isn’t all human, she points out (approvingly) that what he is is Shinichi.

Series Wrap

Parasyte - Can't just forget

Shinichi contemplates life without Migi

Going into this series, I didn’t even know if I would watch it. There’s a lot of horror / thriller style shows that I’m just not interested in, actually the whole genre. So when you put up a show that is ostensibly about possessed humans who go around eating other humans, it’s really easy for the first thing you think about to be, for instance, Tokyo Ghoul. Yeah, no thanks here. So it was kind of a surprise for this show to be so much more interesting than that, with truly thought-provoking dilemmas and explorations into the nature of sentience, humanity, and rights. Watching the growth of not just Shinichi and Migi, but also Reiko and the parasites as a whole, was a good look into the self-reflection of people as they realize more around them.

Parasyte - Facing Off

Who is the monster, and who is the human?

The show did have some fights and action, but for me the show never was about the action-y parts. It was about the characters, and why they needed to get in the fights. From sticking himself in the middle of a street fight, to taking a beating for Satomi, to later fighting Miki and Gotou, it wasn’t about Shinichi trying to be the strongest, or ‘win’, it was about having to do what’s right. Way back in the beginning, when Shinichi was getting grief from Migi for not running away from a fight that he had no chance of winning, Shinichi said there are fights you just can’t run from even if you’re going to lose. That Shinichi never lost a fight doesn’t really matter, what matters is that he knew when to fight and when to run. But that’s only part of why the show was great.

Parasyte - In Time

Getting a hand from a friend

There were also some interesting philosophical discussions throughout the show, on topics like altruism, environmental justice, and self-determination. The presence of non-humans allowed for the reframing of these questions away from the usual human-centered perspective, giving that outside look on human actions and the results of our thoughts. And while the show gave the characters a perspective, it didn’t come across as the show moralizing to the audience, something that will quickly turn people off (like it did in Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei). Instead, it presented things and let the audience agree or disagree, without making it the reason for the show.

Parasyte - Satomi shows her spine

Satomi shows her strength

As far as the technical aspects, it was pretty much a standard Madhouse production. Never great, never awful, the fights were never derpy, but they also weren’t particularly flashy, and they didn’t drag out much. They did let the voice acting shine, particularly Aya Hirano as Migi, who went from almost robotic at the beginning of the series to nearly human at the end, a great amount of development and very effectively portrayed. There was the joke earlier in the series about Kana Hanazawa and Miyuki Sawashiro having the most expensive anime conversation ever, but both did great work in the series. The OP song I never liked, so I can’t endorse it, but the ED song was great, with a lot of feeling and adding meaning to the show so many times.


Overall, Parasyte was an excellent show. Something that I was afraid I wouldn’t like turned into a show that was looked forward to in the middle of the week, and even one I looked forward to writing about, the complete opposite of Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso (which was always a huge struggle to get my thoughts down about). The posts frequently felt like they wrote themselves, and always led to something interesting. I hope you’ve enjoyed the show (and the posts) as much as I have.


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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14 Responses to “Parasyte – 24 [END]”

  1. BlackBriar says:

    And so it ends. A bitter, flat and anticlimactic finale in my honest opinion, leaving to feel the show would’ve been better suited capping off with the previous entry. Regardless of how abrupt the developments were. Migi thinking about his own place in existence. While the dialogue was sensible, it was also laborious. Things got worse after that. Shinichi’s monologuing about how he’s come to understand the impossibility of understanding between species, and that humanity working for its own self-preservation is something he can live with was unneeded, especially when it was practically explained within the few remaining minutes of the last episode.

    Those were the thoughts on the finale. There are other issues with the series as a whole. First off are the characters. Save Shinichi, Migi, Reiko and Kana, I just couldn’t, no matter how much effort went in, find myself caring about the others. Satomi was an on and off, back and forth case. For everyone else, I couldn’t remember their names if my life depended on it. Not even the ridiculously naïve girl with glasses who was stupid enough to tell a parasite she was aware of him and asks he stops what he’s doing or the people heading the counterattack against the parasites. Whenever someone died, it all amounted to nothing more than shock factors that blow over in a couple of seconds. Reduced to no big deal without lasting effect. Kana’s death was a dent to my interests in the show. After her passing, save that one shot of her used to motivate Satomi, she was practically cut out of the story. But after Reiko’s death, something greatly significant and captivating was lost so the general feel changed, and not for the better as she basically stole almost all the spotlight. Wondering how Shinichi would press on with his journey to the end was about all the curiosity and motivation I had left.

    Second were the parasites themselves. For creatures trying to define their existence, they were lacking. I had trouble buying into their evolving as a species argument. To my eyes, they were consuming humans for the sake of it, more like robots following protocols. Soulless all the while wearing masks trying to mimic human emotion. Poorly done, if any indication. Plus, by appearance, they’re too easy to detect onscreen. No mystery to it. Due to this, there was no kind of feeling whenever one of them gets put down, creating a black and white atmosphere. Making the line drawn clear: “They are the enemies so they must be exterminated” which isn’t as compelling or entertaining as a gray area atmosphere centering on actual sentient non-human beings that can churn the audience’s point of view. The only one closest to standing out was Reiko.

    Overall, Parasyte gets points for being a thriller. However, ultimately, it’s not a series that has impressed me enough that I’d find myself willingly mentioning or even referencing it far into the future long after the end of its run as I would of other series that have caught my eye. There were some good scenes, small as they may be I’ll admit but I can’t say it saddens me to see this show go. A 6 out of 10 rating is the most it’ll get.

    • Highway says:

      I’d much rather see the show end with this kind of epilogue episode than just “Hey, we finished the big fight, Done!” the way so many shounen shows go. That’s not interesting, it doesn’t say anything about how the struggle impacted the lives of the people involved or changed them (Which is typical in those shows, because they don’t want the protagonist to change, since he’s usually perfect, with one quirky flaw, anyway).

      I thought Shinichi made good points about the self-delusion by humans that we understand animals, and ascribe feelings to them, feelings they certainly don’t actually have themselves (except perhaps domesticated cats). I think it fits in with the philosophical nature of the overall series.

      I do agree that Reiko was the most interesting character, but it’s kind of hard to think about where she would go after her realizations about the fragile nature of parasites, and the disagreement with Hirokawa’s and the others’ plans. Would she turn against the cabal? How? Would she just run? But why? She doesn’t have the same responses as a human does. And either way, she’s out of the story. I found her death to have a lot of meaning, both for herself and for Shinichi, who went from hating her to understanding her much better.

  2. BlackBriar says:

    *sigh* Spammy just can’t take a break.

    • skylion says:

      …gotcha. We are experiencing a very high volume of spam today. Just keep us in the loop, and we’ll do level best to retrieve comments from Spammy’s belly.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Thanks for the save. I was beginning to think it had gotten deleted.

        • skylion says:

          It was swimming among the brain-freezers, the lymph-ticks, and the assorted demon possessed deprecated technology that gets horded in the bowels of the good ship Metanorn. Luckily, we have a pretty good search function….

  3. HannoX says:

    I thought most of this series was pretty good. However, after Reiko was killed off it wasn’t as good. She was the most interesting character with the best character arc, although Shinichi and Migi also had good character arcs.

    This last episode was the worst. The only reason to bring back Uragami was a perceived need to tie up loose ends. I thought that was totally unnecessary. All we got was more deaths to add to the body count and an insane rant about being the real human because he does what he wants and kills people. Then Migi comes back from his hibernation to save Satomi (I’m convinced it was him that saved her) only to immediately go back into it. This after he’d earlier told Shinichi he probably wouldn’t return.

    And in the middle we get Shinichi’s two-bit philosophizing about being human, the environment and such. All stuff that had been better covered earlier in the series.

    So for me there was a distinct drop in story quality and my interest in the series after Reiko was killed and the last episode was a complete dud.

    • Highway says:

      I thought bringing Uragami back was fine. I think the question posed by him is relevant, i.e. “Who more fits the definition of ‘human’?” Where I thought it went a bit wrong was his gratuitous killing of two other people, just because he could. But other than that, I think it was perfectly cromulent.

      And as far as Shinichi’s thinking about the things that had been presented earlier, we’d heard other people say things, but we had mostly had Shinichi confused about what to believe. I think that the finale showed that things did coalesce within his mind, and he, like most humans, figured out his own philosophy from the things he had heard. I thought it worked fine, while giving us a bit of that epilogue I always like to see.

      • HannoX says:

        I have to disagree that Uragami’s rant poses a legitimate answer to the question as to “Who more fits the definition of human.” His claim that he’s more human because he acts upon his instincts and desires and does whatever he wants more fits the description of a beast and the lower beasts at that. There are plenty of animals that show cooperative behavior within their species.

        Humans suppress their baser instincts and desires most of the time both to fit into their societies and for the better functioning of their society. We could have never advanced past the kin-based small clans stage of our evolution otherwise. Cooperation is one of the hallmarks of humanity. There are animals that also do it, but not to the extent we do.

        Uragami’s rant was the classic sociopath justification for his actions. And a sociopath by definition does not fit into society (although many can adopt societal norms without internalizing them, enabling them to function in society) so you could say they fail at being fully realized humans. They are stuck at an earlier stage of human development when cooperative behavior was minimal.

        • Highway says:

          Ah, that’s not what I was saying. Uragami raises the question: Who is more human? Of course the answer he wants to hear is that it’s him. But the show makes it clear that according to the criteria of most humans, Shinichi is the more human of them. I agree with you that Uragami is reaching for a justification. But his justification is rejected by Satomi, the representative of ‘humanity’ in this setup.

          • HannoX says:

            Okay, I wasn’t real sure what you were saying. I’m afraid your post didn’t make it clear that while Uragami raised the question his claim was of course wrong.

  4. HannoX says:

    Spammy is still active.

  5. skylion says:

    I will say this was a great week to week character study, with the relationship of Migi and Shinichi taking center stage. Righty came off as more human than most around him, and his departure is such a heavy load.

    I think I agree with your assessment about Uragami’s placement in the finale scenes. It felt like it was inserted because the show was missing something; credit where credit it do for massaging it into place the way they did.

    But, it was always great to hear from Meow Favaro Tarou Galina…..him

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