Monday, 4 July 2016

Parasyte: Part II

I must admit that I’ve been looking forward to ‘Parasyte: Part II’ for a while. You may remember that I reviewed the first part a while back – usually I end up disappointed by live-action films (hi there, ‘Death Note’), but ‘Parasyte: Part I’ really surprised me. 


Let’s catch up with where we are so far: after a hoard of suspected alien parasites made their ways into the brains of humans, the city is in turmoil. The parasites have been feeding off other humans in order to live, and so countless deaths have happened. Shinichi (Shôta Sometani), a high-school student who also happens to have a talking parasite as his left arm, is right in the middle of it having already lost his mother and several classmates to the situation. 


There’s been a new advance from the parasites that aim to co-exist with humans, as two parasites have managed to create one human baby. This is one of the focuses of the second half, as well as the struggle that Shinichi is going through to save his city from oblivion. ‘Parasyte: Part II’ is much more serious from the start than the first one – emotions are running high, and the tragedies from before are still very present. Scenes feel longer here than the first one, but they’re very intense and have a lot more impact. We also get to see a lot more fighting and action, which is great – the CGI really keeps up and isn’t frustrating to watch like it so often can be.

I also noticed how beautiful some of the shots were – they’re lovely in the first episode, but there’s some really stunning ones this time round. Some were a bit overused, but the combination of sombre settings and detailed graphics made it somehow even more disturbing to watch. As with the first one, there wasn’t a single moment where I didn’t feel gripped to the screen for one reason or another.

I was worried that we might miss out on the wonderful character development from the first half, but luckily this wasn’t an issue. With Migi now fully integrated into Shinichi’s being, we get to see him involved in everyday life and deviating from his main purpose, such as scenes where he proves himself as a remarkably useful vegetable chopper. The humour is still there, which takes the edge of the sinister side a bit. One of my favourite bits was watching the communication develop between Ryôko and the baby – a compelling insight into how we develop, as of course Ryôko has no idea how to talk to or behave around the child as she’s never witnessed it before. It’s cleverly done, and a really strong way of demonstrating something that could have ended up clichéd.

Interestingly, a lot of the focus of this episode is not what the parasites are, but what humans have become. I feel like Hitoshi Iwaaki, creator of the original manga, has a strong opinion about us as a race – when it comes down to it, our human nature can be seen as very parasitic. You may question your whole identity and being while watching this, as I frequently found myself doing.


I think this is what made this particular part so great though – it’s really quite philosophical, and not just about strange flesh beings consuming the entire population. Overall it’s quite deep, and really got me thinking about human nature and the relationship between our bodies and our minds. It’s certainly stayed with me since watching it and I’d say that this episode was actually better than the first one (a rare event!).

I’m giving it 5/5.

★★★★★



Hannah Read


Parasyte: Part II at CeX


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