Monday, March 30, 2015

Kiseijuu: Sei No Kakuritsu (Parayste: The Maxim) Review

"Flies know how to fly without being taught. Spiders know how to spin webs without being taught. Why is that? Here's what I think: Flies and spiders are simply following an order. I believe all lives on Earth have received orders of some kind. Don't humans have any directive? When I took over this human's brain, I received a directive. It said, Devour this species."

What does it mean to be human? Is it our DNA that sets us apart from the other creatures that inhabit the earth? From a scientific standpoint, the answer to that question would be "Yes". However, we are not scientists, so we must answer that question in a different manner. For as long as we can remember, humans have been the champions of survival, conquering all obstacles in our path due to the sheer amount of knowledge that we can possess. But what if humans were no longer the champions? What if some other species showed up one day with the likeness of human beings and treated us as their prey? Would it be us that really deserve to survive -- or would it be the newer, more perfect human race? That is the common question brought up in the world of Parasyte: The Maxim.

Based on the 1989 manga by Hitoshi Iwaaki, Parasyte whisks viewers away to a world where a parasitic alien race is attempting to attach itself to and consume the life-force of human hosts. These parasites, however, are just acting on basic instinct. With that being said, it is no surprise that our main character (Shinichi Izumi) in Parasyte becomes "Infected" by one right at the very start of the show. Shinichi, however, notices the parasite as it burrows into his arm and cuts off any path that said parasite has to make it to the brain. The result of this lies in the parasite (Who we will come to know as Migi) controlling his right arm instead of his entire body.

Parasyte works off of a strong pilot episode that serves as an intense attention-grabber and coerces viewers into delving deeper into the series. Through the utilization of suspenseful endings and TONS of gore, Parasyte has become perhaps the most successful anime of 2014. But this doesn't necessarily mean that it is the best. It has flaws, just as 99% of shows do. But are those flaws enough to degrade the score of the show to a state in which it is not worth watching? Not really, no. But lets look into it further anyway as I break the show apart into a few key elements to better illustrate it.

Music: 9/10
I'm going to cut right to the chase here in the music section and state that Parasyte had the single best background song of 2014. That song (Hypnotik) was a powerful blend of techno and orchestra that made each and every fight scene in Parasyte literally ten times better than they would have been on their own. And the great thing is that the soundtrack isn't only extremely interesting, but incredibly dynamic, memorable, and packed to the brim with intensity and drama. The one complain I do have about it though, is that there just wasn't enough. There were only about three or four songs that just kept getting cycled through. And even though I really REALLY liked those songs, there just wasn't enough diversity. Regardless, the music was pretty astonishing and, thanks to Hypnotik, my favorite part of the show.

Characters: 7/10
Parasyte has a pretty heft cast of characters, and almost every one of them is equally important and serves as a stepping-stone in the development of Shinichi. Whether he be coping with loss or learning how the parasites work, his mind is never at rest. And for 22 hours of the day, neither is his right arm. Migi, though extremely annoying at first, quickly grows on you. No pun intended. Shinichi, on the other hand, stays pretty annoying throughout the whole damn show. He was developed well, don't get me wrong. In fact, it was some of the best development of the year. But there was just a certain unlikability to him that pissed me off almost every episode. Plus, this show killed off the only character I actually liked, so I have vendetta against it. Even though the cast is well-varied, none of them are really that all-that likable, and that's a big problem. Characters, being debatably the most important part of an anime series, need to be strong or interesting or funny or anything like that. But almost none of the characters in Parasyte really are. However, because of their development actually being good, this isn't something that should sway your opinion in watching the show.

Art: 7/10
Being the adaptation of a manga from the 80's, Parasyte handles the gap between old-school anime and new-school anime very well. It feels more like something that came out of the early 2000's than something from the past few years. This brings a certain endearing charm to it for those that actually read the manga version, while still allowing new fans like myself to grow fond of it. However, there is a slight lack-in-detail in the art department. The most visually interesting aspects of the show fall upon the parasites while they are fighting, and any time they aren't, the show just looks kind of plain and boring. There is just such a noticeable artistic gap between those two things that the art can't be called perfect. It's good, yes, but good enough to be considered great? Mehhhhh, not really. 

Story: 8/10
The idea of humans being taken over by parasites isn't necessarily the most original idea. BUT, it's still a good one, which means there is a high-chance of success in the story department. And for the most part, Parasyte does succeed. Eventually though (Specifically in the last couple episodes), the plot gets a little too convoluted. I started to feel like the show was basically saying "Okay kids, what have we learned today?" instead of actually coming to a fitting resolution. This really spoiled things for me. Minutes ago, I was in an alternate reality where humans were at risk of dying out, and now I'm basically being told to recycle and not kill bugs. It ruined what was earlier a great plot by literally trying to teach you a lesson instead of letting the story do that on its own. Hell, there is at least five minutes of actual dialogue in the last episode where Shinichi is talking about the moral of the story. AND THEN, they literally take a complete 180 and basically say, "LOL NEVERMIND". It wasn't fair. It was like, for a brief moment, the director wanted to play a cruel joke on all the people who so diligently followed the show -- and it really ruined what could have been great.

Parasyte is pretty much the "Attack On Titan" of 2014. It received a lot of early praise for its ability to set the tone of a dark story, but was consequently blown out of proportion by all those people that thought they discovered the next Evangelion. Don't misinterpret that last sentence either, because I really like both Parasyte and AOT. But there are so many better shows out there than both of them, and they really don't deserve to consume the entirety of their respective year's spotlight. Give this show a watch -- I'm almost certain you will enjoy it to a certain extent. But I would sooner recommend a multitude of shows with interesting characters and a story that lets you determine the moral on your own.

Overall Score: 8/10

No comments:

Post a Comment