Unpopular Opinion: Kiseijuu Sei no Kakuritsu

Warning there will be spoilers for Kiseijuu aka Parasyte.  You may not know this but I’m a more of a fantasy guy than a scifi one.  As a result I tend to watch fewer scifi shows and care less about them.  That being said, Kisejuu is not only one of the best scifi shows I’ve seen, its arguably the best show to have come out in 2014.  It’s not without its flaws but there is just so much it does right that I have a hard time not forgiving them.  So without further ado let the digging commence.

For the sake of not gushing all once, I’ll start with the bits of the show I didn’t like.  The characters were surprisingly hit or miss in the show.  In particular I found most of the high school girls to be kind of annoying.  Murano is especially tough to deal with during the middle segments of the show when she just keeps asking Shinichi “Are you really Izumi-kun?” or something to that effect.  Ordinarily this wouldn’t bother me too much but the girls get quite a bit of screen time focused on them which  is a shame since there were other characters who were just so much better.  Likewise I think some of the episodes towards the middle of the show, the ones that dealt with how Shinichi perceived himself and how those around him perceived him was an interesting and even ambitious idea to work into a story at the conceptual level but the execution fell a bit flat mostly thanks to Murano.  I also found the police chief Hirama to be less than compelling even if his characterization didn’t really have any issues.  But what about the rest of the characters?

Well the rest of the important characters are either really good or I bear them no good or ill will.  Shinichi and Migi make a great combo especially after Shinchi almost dies and undergoes some major changes.  I think they did a really good job balancing out his human reactions with his ability to shutdown his emotional reactions, it gave him the strength and confidence he needed to operate in the deadly world of the parasites but enough humanity to still be relatable.  But so long as we are talking characters the winner by a landslide is Tamiya Ryouko.  Tamiya Ryouko is one of the best written and most compelling female characters I’ve seen in a long time.  Even in a show like this one where there are other good characters to consider she stands head and shoulders above them all.  Mere words cannot express how much respect I have for her character and how she was handled during the show.  She had it all really, the intelligence to be dangerous to everyone, even herself.  The curiosity to move the story forward in ways the other parasites and even Shinichi never could.  And last but not least the grace to make her death scene one of the most powerful I’ve sat through.  Tamiya Ryouko was a rare and powerful character that I feel I can never do justice, it was a privilege to witness her and one I’m very glad I was lucky enough to have had.   Anyway what else do I like about this show.

The action is intense and memorable, the fights are dynamic and I really looked forward to each and every one.  In a similar vein I was big fan of all the creativity that went into the different parasite transformations.  Especially when Gotou arrived and we saw full body transformations, that shit was awesome.  The stunning levels of gore were also a nice bonus.  But perhaps the best part was that while the show had good action it also did a good job being thought-provoking during the downtime.  At no point in this show was I bored because even when there wasn’t some crazy action going on the show didn’t stall.  It explored how the parasites evolved and grew in their understanding of the world and humans.  In fact one of the better details was the shift from parasites as solitary predators to the parasite organization, as it reflected their ability to grow and their intelligence.  But even when it was just Migi and Shinichi talking to each other the downtime was interesting, the two were constantly learning new things about each other and each others’ species and I was a big fan of that kind of dialogue.  It was also a setting where lots of exposition would flow naturally instead of just being dumped in our face so we can understand the story.  I also thought the environmental message added some interesting flavor even if it was pretty heavy handed in the delivery.

Overall this is a show with an interesting story that delivers.  It doesn’t just rely on a cool premise and nice artwork unlike some of its contemporaries, it brings the whole story to life and made a hell of a name for itself.  And while it does have some flaws and rough patches the overall narrative is highly interesting, the most important characters are really good and the show just does a good job making sure we the audience never gets bored either by awesome action or thought-provoking dialogue.  This show was a treat, and that’s really all there is to say at this point.  Thank you for reading, hopefully you enjoyed it and I’ll see you in the next one.

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