by K. Hopson
Before I begin, I must confess that I’m very behind on my anime viewing. I have two whole seasons of backlog because being an adult sucks. Excuse my lateness.
This is very daunting for me, but I’m also pretty excited about getting back into the swing of things because I’ve seen a lot of anime from the past couple of seasons that look like they have a lot of potential to be excellent.
On to the review!
After giving up in the middle of watching the disappointment that was Pupa, I was craving a decent horror-genre. (Because who tries a cram a plot into 15-minute episodes and expects it to not suck?) I came across Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu and knew I wanted to watch before I even knew what it was about. The website (that I can’t read) just screamed “Watch me for your fill of gore and scares!” I’m all about that.
The show features a pretty standard high-school-aged protagonist named Izumi Shinichi. The kid just so happens to wake up late one night at the very moment that a glowing, worm-like parasite is trying to crawl into his ear. He’s able to bat it away, but it doesn’t just die. The parasite fights back and enters his hand and begins making its way up his arm. Naturally, he freaks out and ties off his arms to prevent the worm from making its way to his head. Good move, because the thing would have taken over his entire nervous system and obliterated his consciousness, using his body as a shell.
Coincidentally, Izumi’s actions create a rare and unique living situation, as he now shares his body with this…creature. The bug doesn’t know what it is or where it came from, so it can’t just leave. It only knows that it was meant to take over a human body and has failed. It now controls his right hand. Actually, “control” is very loose description though since the thing only takes the shape of a normal right hand to hide itself from humans. His “hand” is like flubber otherwise.
It turns out that Izumi’s situation is more than just a lucky fluke since a string of horrific slayings called the “Mincemeat Murders” start happening around the same time his parasite dropped in. (I’m pretty sure that nickname was descriptive enough that you don’t need me elaborate much.) These incidents sound suspiciously like the feeding habits of his new parasite friend. Sounds like there are others out there…
And you get where this is going.
I’m enjoying just about every moment of this series so far. I honestly would’ve preferred to wait until the finale before writing my review, but that was a little too long to wait. I left off at episode 20, which has been one of my favorites so far. That, and episodes 12 and 14. Or pretty much any episode where a major character/loved one dies is good for me. Of all the cast, I’m the most partial to Tamura Reiko. I find her parasite’s adaptation to and interpretation of human life both hilarious and terrifying. If you look at it from their eyes, I guess it would be awkward to learn how to laugh. Or even modify your facial expressions. I also find the fight scenes HILARIOUS for no reason . When the parasites fight, they morph into a collection of tentacles on a human trunk. They basically swing their tentacles around at each other while the human remainder just…stands there. I’ve started to call them windmill fights in my head. Anyway, that’s not important.
Some parts of the show have been a little predictable–Izumi’s character development, I’m looking at you. But I was surprised by how much the show focuses on the parasite’s perspective rather than the human one.
Yes, in this situation it would be completely normal as a human to be horrified and immediately try to annihilate as many of these bugs as you can find. But if they are on the same level of intelligence as a human, is it possible to communicate with them, or negotiate some form of co-habitation that does not involve random dismemberments? What traits define humanity? And how are humans any different from a monster themselves? These are the kind of questions the series presents. I find myself rooting more for the parasites than the humans as the series progresses. They are way more interesting, in general. This is probably because the series focuses on more than just the horror aspect and works several interesting moral dilemmas into the story arcs. As you watch, you might find yourself leaning more toward the alien side as well after you learn a bit more about them. But wait, we still don’t know if they actually are aliens yet. Lots of questions remain even so close to the end!
It’s really hard not to spoiler you to death right here at this very moment…
Anyway, please watch this show! It’s great, even if you’re not that into the gore.