Parasyte : The Maxim – Review – Right Hand Rules and Philosophy

If you have the right to live, so do we. Granted, I believe rights are a concept unique to the human species.

– Migi

Humans are a cowardly bunch, they have many things they fear because they have many things that they do not understand. Because of that, we humans are inclined to seek knowledge.

The-Thinker

Some seek scientific knowledge, some turn to religion in hopes to quell their fears, some turn to atheism to dispel fears of the unknown by claiming they don’t exist. But, curiosity drives us. It motivates us.

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We think, we try, we experiment. Philosophers come and go, scientific discoveries are documented one after another, but we could never possibly, especially by ourselves, answer the age-old question:

“Why do we exist?”

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Hmm….?

 

Parasyte: The Maxim answers this question….and more…


 

Parasyte The Maxim

Parasyte: The Maxim is an anime adapted from the 1988 science fiction horror manga by the same name. It revolves around Izumi Shinichi, a normal, nerdy 17-year old teenager. One day, a parasitic worm-like creature attempted to enter his head and take control of his brain. However, it failed as he slept with his earphones on and when it decided to enter through the nose, Shinichi was alerted to its presence. In a desperate bid to enter Shinichi’s body to avoid death, it burrowed into Shinichi’s right hand and settled there.

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The next day though, Shinichi realized that his right hand was now under the influence of another creature. Shinichi realized that the creature was a highly intellectual being albeit having the emotional sentiments of an insect, and called it Migi, literally ‘right’ in Japanese. Migi is a rather selfish creature as it cares only for its own survival and could shape-shifts Shinichi‘s right hand, changing the composition of the hand while doing so.

Meanwhile, Migi’s failure, as a parasite, to destroy the human consciousness drew the attention of Migi’s comrades and some of them decided that Shinichi and Migi are both dangerous to their species, thus attacking them. Their lives now at stake, the duo now have to work together to fend off other parasites that have taken over the brains of their human hosts.

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The plot of the anime adaptation is rather simplistic. There is no distinct plot or story arcs. Rather, it follows the daily life of Shinichi and Migi as they attempt work around the obstacles faced as they go about their daily lives. It doesn’t attempt to do anything clever, but follows the plot and makes up things as they go.

The more interesting portions of the show focuses on the philosophical side of the story. The psychological aspect of the plot is rather interesting, as you follow the ups and downs of the characters’ mental state. Such a thought-provoking plot is commendable and the execution was flawless. There were not many plot-holes but if there were such plot holes, they wouldn’t be obstructive or even obvious enough to be noteworthy.

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The character development of the show was rather intriguing too. The variety of characters, humans and parasites alike, ranging from serial killers to detectives to parasite mothers are rather interesting to watch. I mean, watching parasitic creatures with the sentiment of an insect trying to figure out human reasoning is definitely a much needed change of pace compared to the regular anime cliches to be had.

That being said, the main human characters do feel a tad bit dull in comparison (Just a tad bit, mind you) since they were regular high-school students, but I’d leave that to your own discretion. Everyone’s tastes are different after all.

However, it is interesting to point out that the manga the anime is adapted from is as ‘seinen’ as it gets. It’s gritty, it’s dirty, it’s bloody, and most of all, it’s downright gross. Let me give you an example.

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Do you know the reason for the anime setting being in an high school? No, it was not because it was following a set anime-high school trope. The reason the author chose to set the story in a high school was actually out of consideration for a particular scene in which Migi shape-shifts Shinichi’s right hand into the shape of a penis in front of the main heroine, Satomi Murano.

In fact, in one scene of the already toned-down anime, Migi was obviously very interested in how the human body (Read ‘d***’) works and promptly tried to cause an erection when Shinichi is answering nature’s call in the school toilet. It also referred to Satomi as the girl Shinichi wants to ‘mate’ with, which he eventually did in the later half of the anime. I can already imagine those bloody doujinshi authors franticall churning out hentai manga based on this anime. ‘Cuz you know, inspiration strikes only once, right? Especially with shape-shifting, tentacle-like right hand, y’know?

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Now you know where all the masturbation jokes came from.

If you’re grossed out already, don’t worry. This anime adaptation is extremely toned down and almost all the sexually charged parts of the manga has been left out, replaced with only the less offensive and sometimes rather awkward sex references. Even the gory parts that was supposed to be the main attraction of the manga itself was toned down so much so that blood splatters on the wall is probably the goriest scenes you will get from the anime. The parasites themselves were also less intimidating and scary compared to their manga counterparts.

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While that is the price to pay in exchange for being produced as an anime, I wouldn’t say it was for the better. It’s not as if I have a fetish for shape-shifting hands or extreme gore, but in the anime adaptation, there are many scenes that felt a little odd as there were parts of the story that felt as if there were missing portions. Though I can’t help but feel a little weird, the alterations did not directly affect the story.

However, it did alter the overall feel of the anime. Instead of feeling as if it were a seinen horror science fiction, it feels like it is adapted from a shounen action manga. While it doesn’t necessarily means that the anime is bad, it is safe to say that the feel of the anime has deviated from that of the manga.

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The animation is fluid and well done, though not exactly very outstanding. I guess it will suffice. Not every studio is like Ufotable, after all. The music though, was quite peculiar. For some reason, the background is very jarring and definitely didn’t suit the show at all. The piano background music in sentimental scenes were out-of-place due to its pacing and the dubstep/techno soundtracks during the fight/confrontation scenes were so weird that I actually found it hard to take that particular scene seriously because the music was too weird.

All in all, Parasyte: The Maxim is an enjoyable anime with fluid pacing and packs a lot of punch. Even though I say that, it is not exactly very memorable as it lacks something that stands out among the crowd. If anything, the BGM is the only thing about the anime that stands out. I mean, in today’s anime realm filled with multi-colored haired characters and cross-dressing traps (in the 2015 summer season, there are already two main characters I know of that are traps), you’ve gotta have something that stands out to be great, and that is the one thing that is lacking in this anime.


Thus, after I have meticulously calculated the scores for plot, character development, animation and sound, and my own personal enjoyment, which I have injected with 5 individual parasites, making it into an impervious, invisible yet fragile being of mass destruction, I decided to award Parasyte: The Maxim with a rating of:

8.05 (Good)

There you have it, my review of Parasyte: The Maxim. Well, I know I said some bad things about the show in the past, but now that I’ve watched the whole thing, I would say it is quite good. I still won’t say it’s the best though.

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I know, I sound rather serious and all in this review, but I just can’t joke about a show like this. Well, maybe just the occasional masturbation joke that doesn’t seem appropriate at all. I just finished my mid-semester examination and binge-watched the whole Parasyte series in two days and even caught up to the latest episode of Ushio to Tora. Now all I have to do is find a reliable Wi-Fi to upgrade to Windows 10.

I am now flexing my muscles to binge-watch another series. This time around though, it’s a 51-episode long, well known anime series. It’s a little old, but the animation is splendid and I’m enjoying it so far. Out of all the ongoing series, I found only a few worthy of my attention. That is a story for another day, though.

So, till the next post, Cheerio!

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Genocyber – Review – Gore and Controversy

Do you like mindless gore?

dO YOU LIKE MINDLESS GORE??

DO YOU LIKE MINDLESS GORE??

DO YOU LIKE…?

Genocyber 5

 

*throws up*


Genocyber

Genocyber: The Animation is a 1993 anime OVA series that is adapted from an unfinished manga series by the same name. It revolves around two sisters, Elaine and Diana Reed. Both were revealed to have extremely powerful telekinesis powers and are raised as biological weapons. Kenneth Reed, claiming to be their father, wanted to fuse the two sisters together in order to create a bigger, stronger monster with unlimited power.

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However, Kenneth Reed wasn’t the only one who wanted to get his hands on this weapon that is capable of mass destruction. His superiors and employers, Kuryuu Group, discovered the existence of such a weapon and proceeded to capture Elaine Reed, who was more powerful than her sister, Diana.

Here’s the catch, though. Unlike DianaElaine is utterly disobedient towards her father and often escapes from the facility in which she was kept in. During one such occasion, she meets a homeless boy and becomes attached to him. When the people of Kuryuu Group decides to capture Elaine, and Diana was sent by Kenneth Reed in order to prevent Elaine from falling into the hands of the Kuryuu Group, all hell breaks loose.

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This OVA series is split into three story arcs and there are time intervals between the three. The plot is rather complex, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself lost in the midst of all the chaos.

This OVA series is produced in 1993 and is infamous for its controversial graphic violence and gore. The show really pulled no punches as it cynically, almost gleefully, unfurls the madness that is Genocyber. Despite having so many weight-y themes in the story, I find myself unshaken by everything that is going on. Why, you may ask?

Well, even though I didn’t want to admit it, I am after all, such a strong and willful person. I have endured the darkest recesses of the Internet and developed a heart of stone. Puny human beings like you wouldn’t possibly comprehend my hardness. In fact, I am so hard that I…

Genocyber 1

*throws up*

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*Ahem* As I was saying, this show isn’t for the light-hearted, for sure. More so, for those people who actually get offended easily, because this show tries its very best to offend. Ranging from child sexual molestation to severe mutilation and decapitation, this show is extremely violent and graphic.

Most people who watch this show would either loathe it or love it, mainly because of its gore and violent plot. While I do understand the reasoning behind them liking or hating it, I find myself rather unaffected by all of that.

It isn’t necessarily because I am a strong person or whatever. The main reason for me not over-reacting like the others is because I found the show to be rather pointless. Aside for to establish itself as a cyberpunk gore anime and to penetrate the Western market by shaking it to its very core, I couldn’t find much other reason to justify the usage of graphic scenes.

Genocyber tries way too hard to be what it isn’t and is better off without so much gore. If it wasn’t trying so hard to shake things up, the story wouldn’t be drowned out, and at its fullest potential, it could very well shake up the community despite having considerably less gore.

For example, if the more sentimental parts or the complex portions of the sci-fi story were to be explained more thoroughly, I’m pretty sure it would have been so much more than just a bloodbath that it is now.

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It’s too bad that the plot is under-developed and drowned out by all the gore and bloodshed. The motives of the characters weren’t explained thoroughly enough either, and that causes the viewers to be unable to relate to the them.

The animation, on the other hand is rather detailed and it kind of brings out the troubling atmosphere of the show. Despite that, this is 2015 and I doubt the old school animation, no matter how detailed, can be successfully translated into the modern world today. I mean, how can animation of old be able to match up against the technology we have now? (Aside from Cowboy Bebop, that is.) Surely, it wouldn’t be able to retain the same impact as it had back in those days. The music, the BGMs and the ending theme were old-school but suited the show rather well. At least, that’s what I think.


With all that being said, after meticulously calculating the points awarded for story, character, music and animation and my personal enjoyment, having it undergo a massive surgery which removes all its skin and muscle tissues, revealing internal organs within, had me awarding this show with a rating of:

7 (Average)

If you like gore and want more of it, I point you towards the revered gore anime of all time, Corpse Party: Tortured Souls. I mean, it’s not everyday that you can find so much intestines and psychological torture in one place. Intestines are fine, but if it were to be human…

*throws up*

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If you want more 1990s anime bullshit crap, I recommend you City Hunter, another one of my all time favourite anime from the 1990s.

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So, there you have it. I’ve finally gotten around to watching Parasyte: The Maxim and may appear with a review soon enough. Or with a right hand that shapeshifts and do as I pleases.

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So, till the next review, cheerio!