parasyte1

Sentai Filmworks has a pretty good idea how popular the series Parasyte – the Maxim is. When it premiered in 2014 on Crunchyroll, fans and writers alike couldn’t stop raving about how awesome this show was. Once Sentai received the license for this series, it became abundantly clear that they were going to dub it. Of course, fans were begging them to dub the series, as well as have Toonami broadcast it. In fact, I’d say that Parasyte was requested more than Akame ga Kill by fans on their “Ask Sentai” articles. That shouldn’t be much of a surprise, given how much praise the series has been getting since it appeared on the action block. Even Toonami Faithful founder Paul Pescrillo has placed Parasyte among his top-1o anime that have aired on Toonami (say what now). I’m sure he’s not alone with all the love sent Parasyte’s way.

Sadly, however, it feels like this franchise will always rank in second place to Akame ga Kill (for Sentai titles) in overall popularity/sales, probably because the manga for Parasyte was written in the late 80’s and is finished back in the 90’s. Akame ga Kill’s manga is still ongoing and has a prequel series that I’m betting will be turned into an anime in the future. So with all of that continuing, the franchise should stay relevant for the average anime fan. This newly adapted anime series is all Parasyte has aside from the yet to be licensed live-action films (regarding current products), and should be overtaken when it comes to overall sales. Even when Parasyte first joined the lineup, it was placed at 1 a.m. behind Akame ga Kill, continuing the trend of coming in second. It has felt like Parasyte has played second-fiddle to Akame ga Kill since it has joined the block. However, when looking at how this show performed, I think it smashed expectations and has been the most popular show on Toonami (at least among the dedicated audience), even when Akame ga Kill was still on.

So what makes Parasyte work so well on Toonami? For one thing, it has all the action that fans crave. While it isn’t a non-stop action thrill ride like Kill la Kill, it certainly has its satisfying moments. Toonami needs to have superb action shows like Parasyte that can keep eyes on Adult Swim. Fans loved watching Shinichi rip the heart out of the parasite who killed Kanaand watching Gotou kill an entire Yakuza unit (which was a terrifically bloody scene). And it doesn’t stop with specific battles, as there have been plenty of massacres that occurred in the series. So while there have been scenes and episodes that are slow or quiet, there have also been a plethora of bloody, gory or action-packed scenes for action anime fans to indulge in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IPIh6TJYA-U

Parasyte can also appeal on an intellectual level which makes many older viewers ecstatic. It delves into one of the biggest questions ever pondered by man, i.e., what is the meaning of life. Look at the case of Reiko Tamura, who wants to know what roles her kind (parasites) must face in this human-dominated Earth. Why does she exist, and why is it that she gave birth to a normal human baby? How and where were the parasites created? She wants to know everything about her species and the mysteries that she has pondered throughout her time. Unlike many of the parasites, she seems to be more interested in finding out how they became the way they are than consuming the human race. While I enjoyed her ruthlessness in a few action scenes, listening to her line of thinking on the topic of her origin was just as rewarding.

In addition, the show deals with many ethical questions during conversations between Migi and Shinichi. Questions such as why it’s okay for humans to slaughter cows for food, but parasites can’t do the same, since humans are their primary food source. Or why Shinichi decided not to use other humans as shields when Mr. A was attacking the school. These types of questions always pop up, leading Migi to wonder why humans are such irrational creatures. The conversations between Migi, Shinichi, and Reiko are some of the best parts of the entire series in my opinion, they truly make you stop and ponder subjects that aren’t regularly discussed in anime.

But this isn’t a series that only takes the deep route. I’ve enjoyed the bits of humor that have been a part of this series. While there are some brutal murders and some beautiful scenes, there’s also some solid comedy (which was something that Akame ga Kill had trouble with). At first this seemed somewhat surprising, but it does fit in with the overall product. Like Migi wanting to see humans mate when Murano and Shinichi were alone at his place, as well as Migi helping Shinichi relieve himself in the school restroom. And it’s always funny when parasites try to laugh like humans. There’s something to be said about how such a serious show can have so many hilarious moments that left me rolling on the floor (which includes the most recent episode, when Uragami pleasures himself as he is talking to an attractive woman). I’m impressed with how the humor in this show doesn’t feel out of place.

The powerful scenes and emotional moments also seem to draw fans into this show, like the deaths of Reiko, Kana, and Shinichi’s mother. Shinichi appears to have lost part of his humanity after Migi saved his life when a parasite tries to kill him using his mother’s body. Instead of going insane, he is able to prevail and survive after all that hardship. It wasn’t until episode 18 when Shinichi is finally able to cry after all he’s had to endure. Before that, he’d lost his mother, a friend, and tons of classmates, but he didn’t bat an eye. It wasn’t until Reiko’s death, when she tells Shinichi about how she loved her child and didn’t hurt him, that Shinichi finally breaks down in tears, realizing that he’s still human. It was this moment that felt like a climax for the series, with Shinichi making progress in returning to his normal self. These scenes can resonate with the audience, which has made the journey of watching (so far) worth investing in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lXY-b5KDbTA

Parasyte offers a wide range of topics for anime fans, which is also why it’s so beloved by fans. It isn’t a typical shonen series that is geared toward a younger demographic. Parasyte may have some elements that younger fans enjoy, but it is also a show that has more appeal to an older audience. Similar to streaming shows such as House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, Parasyte is entertaining for those who want more adult-type shows airing on Toonami (basically saying it’s a series that pushes the line). But it isn’t vulgar for the sake of being vulgar. There’s a point to everything that occurs in this show and it understands what its fans find most compelling.

There were many reasons why so many fans were asking for Parasyte to air on Toonami, and we are seeing that now. It takes viewers on a wonderful adventure, giving fans a combination of action, tension-filled drama, and some genunie laughs (and we’re only through 18 episodes). While this could be the final ride for Parasyte (with no other development for the franchise on the way), it has left its mark on the Toonami Faithful. It’s become a fan-favorite and a well deserved one at that. Sentai Filmworks should be applauded for their work in producing and creating the dub for a broad audience on Toonami. It’d be great if more shows executed the type of storylines and drama that Parasyte does, but that’s what makes this show unique. I guess that means that Migi was right yet again (sorry Shinichi).

C.J Maffris is an editorial writer for Toonamifaithful.com. He’s enjoyed almost every aspect of Parasyte and hopes the rest of the fans have been too. Feel free to talk about Parasyte with C.J on Twitter @SeaJayMaffris

3 COMMENTS

  1. You know, it’s funny. Parasyte has the least amount of action on Toonami (it’s nearly Death Note levels of “action”), yet I’m enjoying it more than the other shows on the block right now. Sentai made a good pick and did a wonderful job with the dub, especially considering their company has a very hit-or-miss track record.

  2. Love the article, it is spot on! I’m one of the “older” fans and I love this show. So glad that toonami picked it up and hope to see more like it.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here