Parasyte Part 1 and 2 (寄生獣) do not completely capture the essence of the manga. But nonetheless is still a reasonable watch.
Parasyte Part 1 and 2 Synopsis
Japanese high school student Izumi Shinichi wakes up one morning and discovers that his right arm has been taken over by a powerful parasitic alien. He then learns that many others have been invaded too, and in all other cases, with the humans completely subsumed. Together with Migi, who develops a symbiotic relationship with him, Shinichi investigates and tries to thwart the aliens’ efforts to harvest more and more humans for food. In the process, he also loses more of his humanity, while Migi conversely develops empathy for the human race.
Before all else, I know it’s odd to review two movies as one. But the twin episodes of the live-action adaptation of Parasyte are so close in story and style, they really could be considered as one movie. A four-hour long one, that is. With Part 2 closely following the events of Part 1.
Secondly, if you’ve been reading my movie reviews, you’d know I’m not supportive of anime live-action adaptations. As I previously wrote, it’s such a daunting if not impossible task. How much of the story do you retain or change? How do you replicate the signature but outrageous elements of manga/anime in live action, such as green hair, and not end up looking ridiculous?
Parasyte has it a little easier in the latter area, in the sense its human characters mostly look and feel “normal” even in the anime, so there’s little difficulty translating that to the big screen. I wouldn’t say I’m entirely satisfied with the live-action versions of Shinichi or Migi, but at least they didn’t feel weird or nonsensical, or worse, unbearable.
As for effects, these turned out far better than I expected, especially in comparison to other live-action adaptions made during that period. Overall, my only complaint with the twin Parasyte movies is the one that most fans would probably have.
By condensing ten tankōbon amount of content into four hours, the philosophical essence of the original story is substantially lost. The two movies regress to being run-of-the-mill body horror entertainment. It doesn’t help too that none of the scare moments are particularly noteworthy, even when eye-catching.
Click here to view the trailer.
Check out my other snappy movie reviews!
Read my other Asian Movie Features.