Parasyte -the maxim- , (Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu) , is based on the original manga of the same name written by Hitoshi Iwaaki. Published way back in 1988 to 1995, it’s only now receiving an anime adaptation and also two live-action movies, the first of which is being released later this year in Japan.
The story follows Shinichi Izumi and his parasite right arm named Migi. Gruesome murders and killings are on the rise in Japan, the truth behind them is little parasitic worms, with the sole purpose of taking control of human brains and feeding on other humans. Migi is one such parasite, however failed in its natural instinct due to the efforts of Shinichi containing the worm in his arm, via the use of headphones. Fully matured, Migi is now permanently affixed as Shinichi’s right arm and unable to separate from each him. Shinichi has little time to contemplate his situation, as he is faced with another parasite, who doesn’t take kindly to the the pair’s situation.
Having not read the manga my view on the adaptation is solely based on what’s presented on screen and not what differences exist between the two media. What’s immediately apparent is the dated feel of the story, it screams late 80s, early 90s Sci-Fi, even with the technological updates in the story, such as Shinichi using a smart phone at school. That’s not to say it’s a bad thing, on the contrary it makes it rather fresh.
As first episodes go this was definitely a success, combining an everyday teenage school life story, with a lingering uneasiness that makes for very compelling viewing. I imagine the uneasy feeling will continue with every episode and I’m very eager to find out how the story progresses over the coming months. For those that look for particular seiyuu or voice actors before deciding on a show, the likes of Aya Hirano (Suzumiya Haruhi) and Kana Hanazawa (Mayuri Shiina, Steins;Gate) is enough to make anyone happy!