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Film Friday- Parasyte

Film Friday- Parasyte

An anime television series adaptation by Madhouse, titled Parasyte -the maxim-, aired in Japan between October 2014 and March 2015. The English-language dub aired on Adult Swim’s Toonami block in America between October 2015 and April 2016. The manga has been adapted into two live-action films in Japan in 2014 and 2015.

Plot

Parasyte centers on a male 17-year-old high school student named Shinichi Izumi, who lives with his mother and father in a quiet neighborhood in Tokyo, Japan. One night, strange worm-like creatures with drills as a ‘head’ called Parasytes appear on Earth, taking over the brains of human hosts by entering through their ears or noses. One Parasite attempts to crawl into Shinichi’s nose while he sleeps, but fails as Shinichi wakes up, and enters his body by burrowing into his arm instead. In the Japanese version, it takes over his right hand and is named Migi, after the Japanese word for ‘right’; Tokyopop’s version-(English dub), in which the images are flipped horizontally, has the Parasite take over Shinichi’s left hand and it is named Lefty.

Because Shinichi was able to prevent Migi from travelling further up into his brain, both beings retain their separate intellect and personality. As the duo encounter other Parasites, they capitalize on their strange situation and gradually form a strong bond, working together to survive. This gives them an edge in battling other Parasites who frequently attack the pair upon realization that Shinichi’s human brain is still intact. Shinichi feels compelled to fight other Parasites, who devour humans as food, while enlisting Migi’s help.

Parasites

The series’ antagonists, the Parasites are creatures of unknown origin which start off as worm-like creatures that instinctively enter the body of the nearest life form and travel to the brain to completely assimilate it while destroying the host’s identity in the process. From there, using the vital organs of the host bodies to survive, the Parasites would be driven with a need to kill humans and Parasites with failed host bodies. After assimilating their host, Parasites exhibit a variety of abilities that make them dangerous adversaries: the immediate area around their entry site (typically the head) is morphed into a versatile “parasite tissue” which can take a variety of offensive and defensive forms, and a parasite that successfully takes over a host’s brain can then maximize the physical potential of that host. In general, Parasite intelligence is comparable to humans, though their thought process is strictly rational and cold, with very little emotion. They are also capable of learning extremely quickly depending on their environment – Migi, for example, mastered Japanese after one night of reading books on the subject. While most Parasites initially acted alone, causing a chain of multiple grisly deaths coined the “mincemeat murders”, they eventually form groups for safety in numbers. By the time of the final chapter, Shinichi speculating that they might have been created as an evolutionary countermeasure to humans, the surviving Parasites are assumed to have gone into hiding and adopt themselves further into human society to keep their activities to a minimum.

Reiko Tamura
An extremely intelligent, calculating Parasite and one of the story’s main antagonists. She originally infected and took on the identity of a woman named Ryōko Tamiya, one of Shinichi’s high school teachers while suggesting a beneficial ceasefire. Unlike most of her kind, she is motivated by scientific inclinations with a drive to understand her kind’s biology, origin, and purpose. She learned that she is pregnant with a normal human infant as a consequence of being impregnated by Mr. A, deeming it interesting while forced to quit to avoid unwanted attention resulting from it. Though she intended to kill Shinichi soon after, she lets him and Migi live unmolested largely because she finds them an interesting anomaly worthy of study. After killing off Ryōko’s parents when they saw through her, the Parasite alters her face and creates the identity of “Reiko Tamura” while aligning herself with Takeshi Hirokawa. She eventually gives birth to Mr. A’s baby and later kills three of her fellow Parasites when they deemed her actions with a hired detective a threat to their plans. It was after Reiko killed the maddened detective to save her child that she allowed the police to brutally gun her down in a park instead of trying to resist or escape. The baby survives because of her protection and decision not to fight back against or run away from the police.
Tamura is portrayed by Eri Fukatsu in the film.
Mr. B
A Parasite who attacks Shinichi and tries to coerce Migi into relocating to his arm in order to extend his own lifespan. To his surprise, Migi kills him on the pretense that relocation is too risky to try.
Mr. A 
An highly aggressive Parasite formerly aligned with Reiko Tamura. When first introduced, he (or rather, his host body) fathers a child with Reiko as part of the latter’s experiment. Described by Migi as “not one of our smart ones” and called a fool by Reiko, Mr. A is extremely impulsive and animalistic. He has little capacity for subtlety or deception, and no qualms about killing humans in the presence of numerous witnesses. Shinichi is forced to battle Mr. A when he attempts to hunt Shinichi down and kill him at school. Though Shinichi and Migi mortally wound him, they are forced to flee before they could kill him. Mr. A attempts to find Reiko to transfer himself to her body and survive, but she rigs the room to explode to completely destroy him to preserve her human cover.
Hideo Shimada
Hideo is a Parasite with a teenager’s body who decides to integrate with human society. Hideo enrolls in Shinichi’s high school on Reiko’s suggestion and expresses a desire to become friends with Shinichi, who does not trust him. Although Hideo is a relatively peaceful Parasite, he has no qualms about brutalizing or even killing bullies who try to start fights with him, and he continues to hunt humans despite claiming to be learning to eat like a person. But when Yuko uncovered his secret and confronts him about it, Hideo ends up being exposed to paint-thinner during the confrontation as Yuko manages to escape. The paint-thinner’s chemical make-up disrupts Hideo’s Parasite cells, causing him to go on an involuntary killing spree across the school. He is killed after he escapes to the roof, when Shinichi, using Migi to enhance his right arm’s strength, throws a well-aimed stone through his chest, destroying his heart.
Shimada is played by Masahiro Higashide in the film.

Manga Monday- Parasyte

Manga Monday- Parasyte

Parasyte is a science fiction horror manga series written and illustrated by Hitoshi Iwaaki, and published in Kodansha’s Afternoon magazine from 1988 to 1995. The manga was published in North America by first Tokyopop, then Del Rey, and finally Kodansha Comics.

Manga

Parasyte was originally serialized in Japan in the Morning Open Zōkan from 1988 and switched to Afternoon after a few issues in 1990. It was collected into ten tankōbon volumes by Kodansha, and was later republished in eight kanzenban volumes. It was originally licensed for English translation and North American distribution by Tokyopop, which published the series over 12 volumes. The Tokyopop version ran in Mixxzine. Daily pages from the Tokyopop version ran in the Japanimation Station, a service accessible to users of America Online. The Tokyopop English-language manga went out of print on May 2, 2005. Del Rey Manga later acquired the rights to the series, and published eight volumes following the kanzenban release. Kodansha Comics later republished the volumes in North America between 2011 and 2012.

Characters

Main characters

Shinichi Izumi 
Shinichi is the protagonist of the manga, a thoughtful, compassionate high-school boy whose hand is infected with a Parasite and is repeatedly put into difficult positions. He must find a way to peacefully coexist with Migi, the Parasite which has taken over his hand, and reconcile his desire to protect humanity from the Parasites with his desire to keep his own Parasite a secret in order to avoid being killed or used as a laboratory specimen. Like a superhero with a secret identity, he must also find a way to explain away his Parasite-fighting activities, as well as the stress and grief they cause him, to his friends and family. While originally forced to have Migi fight for him, Shinichi later gains heightened abilities when trace cells of the Parasite course through his body, and fights his own battles, with the two having an advantage in both being able to act independently and work as a team. Shinichi’s retention of his humanity, despite gradually becoming emotionally distant as a side-effect of Migi’s cells, makes most of the other Parasites deem him a threat. After defeating Gotou, with Migi deciding to “go to sleep” indefinitely afterward, Shinichi attempts to live a normal life again while having an understanding of natural order from his experience.
Masanori Harada, a 20-year-old student, wrote to the editor of the Monthly Afternoon noted that Shinichi acts calm when he is threatened and that he is “not human anymore!” Iwaaki responded, stating that Shinichi is accustomed to “close calls” partly because Migi calms Shinichi down during battle. The statement and response were printed in the April 1993 Afternoon.
Shinichi is portrayed by Shota Sometani in the film.
Migi 
Migi is the Parasite which lives in Shinichi’s right hand, named after the Japanese word for “right” ( migi). Unlike “successful” Parasites, Migi has no desire to kill humans for sustenance, and is nourished by the food Shinichi eats. Migi is, like other Parasites, completely without emotion. His primary consideration is survival, and he has threatened (and in some cases attempted) to kill other humans who pose a threat to his and Shinichi’s secrecy. When he and Shinichi were first coming to terms, he even threatened to remove Shinichi’s other limbs in order to render him unable to place the two of them in danger. Migi can be reasoned with, however, and has just as much reason to be mistrustful of other Parasites as does Shinichi. On the other hand, unlike Shinichi, Migi has no inclination to place himself at risk in order to protect other humans from Parasites. But Migi gradually evolves over the course of the series, he becomes more human while able to temporarily separate from Shinichi’s body. After the final battle with Gotou, having been absorbed by the Parasite prior to his defeat, Migi’s composition is greatly altered to the point that enters a deep sleep though he briefly woke up to save Satomi without Shinichi’s realization.
Iwaaki explained that while Migi appears to be Shinichi’s weapon, in fact Migi is in control of the battle and orders around Shinichi. Iwaaki explained that Migi is easily able to order Shinichi since Shinichi is young and “needs guidance”, while Migi would find difficulty if he became a part of a politician or a president of a company since in that scenario Migi and his host would argue a lot.
An 18-year-old from Saitama Prefecture named “Midari” asked in the letters to the editor that if Migi took Shinichi’s left hand, if he would have been named “Hidari”. Iwaaki answered that it would be Hidari, but Iwaaki felt that the name would be similar to those of Bokuzen Hidari or Tenpei Hidari and the name would “bring to mind a doddering old man, so that wouldn’t have been a good idea”. Iwaaki then said that the first man to climb Mount Everest “had a name an awful lot like that…”
Migi is voiced by Sadao Abe in the film.
Satomi Murano
Shinichi’s best friend and love interest. She is a thoughtful, tender-hearted young girl who cares deeply for her friends. While Satomi and Shinichi are mutually attracted towards one another, their relationship is strained to the breaking point when Shinichi’s life is thrown in turmoil by the Parasites.
From the moment she is introduced, Satomi is depicted as being romantically attracted towards Shinichi due to his kind and sensitive nature. Consequently, she is utterly grief-stricken as she watches him grow ever more cold and withdrawn over the course of the story. Despite her best efforts to find out the reason behind Shinichi’s behavior , Satomi becomes increasingly estranged from him as he desperately strives to keep her in the dark about Migi and the Parasite threat. As a result, she begins to question whether any trace of the gentle, caring boy she originally fell in love with remains. After losing nearly all hope, Satomi’s faith in Shinichi is restored upon witnessing him cry freely while protectively cradling Reiko’s orphaned baby in his arms. Upon learning that Shinichi is part Parasite at the end of the series, Satomi firmly proclaims this does nothing to diminish his humanity because he still regards all life as precious.
Satomi is played by Ai Hashimoto in the film.