I’m a huge fan of the manga for Parasyte and was cautiously optimistic coming into this anime. One thing I was a little afraid of was whether it would be full of censorship. Body horror is right at the core of Parasyte and stripping that out would diminish the horror these things are supposed to instil in you. Literally 5 seconds into the anime and NOPE this isn’t censored in the slightest! We get to see people’s faces morph into giant mouths with 8 jaws rip the head off their wives, and the world is a better place for that.
This anime adaptation is really making good on the manga. The animation is pretty damn excellent (with the exception of that one super awkward CG background characters shot), which really helps drive home to mutating body parts grossness in a way the manga couldn’t get across as effectively. There’s quite a few changes from the manga too, most of which I like. They’ve modernised it for one. Forget smartphones, Parasyte is old enough that I’m pretty sure our handy friend wasn’t even using the internet for his research back in the day. The main character strikes me as a lot wimpier in the anime, which I like. At the start of the manga he was a bit of a Yuji Everylead the Bland and only developed later. If anything this change will make that development even more interesting when it starts to happen. The boob grope is new though, with our handy friend decided he’s going to act on his host’s hormones and grab what he wants.
Back to the animation again though because the fluidity of the transitions between normal hand to grotesque alien are vital to getting across the horror of the story. The scene that grossed me out the most wasn’t the transforming flying dog (although I did let out an involuntary “oh god” out loud at that scene). It was the above scene where the guy’s hand starts to split down the gaps between the fingers. Am I the only one who has horror images of the webbed skin between your fingers tearing if you stretched it too far, ripping down the middle of your hand and oh christ I’m finding it hard to type because my hand keeps trying to bunch itself into a fist to escape the sensation.
I’m normally really bad with body horror but there’s something about Parasyte’s brand that keeps me engaged. When they go full alien it stops being scary and just becomes weird, but it’s that in-between moment that grabs me. It’s like when you start warping a photograph in photoshop and the things you create start looking horrifying but after a while just looks like muck. It’s tapping into a primal fear that can catch you off-guard in Parasyte because it’s not solely out there as torture porn or anything like that. Because Parasyte is funny too, and quite often. I love little throwaway lines in the episode too, like the drunk guy going “wooh wall slam” while wandering home drunk, or the dad inquiring whether his kid was on drugs. Don’t let your natural squickiness scare you away from Parasyte. It is a fantastic, funny and remarkably deep story too which the anime looks like will be able to keep intact even after 20+ years.