Earth is quietly invaded by alien parasites which have the ability to crawl through people's nostrils or ear canal to access their brains, eventually taking full control of their body. Shinichi Izumi manages to partially escape this fate because he happens to be wearing headphones when one of these parasites attempts to control him. The parasite, ''Migi'', instead takes up residence in Shinichi's right hand and the two form a symbiotic relationship with both of their personalities fully intact. Together, they fight against other parasites who devour humans as food.
Directed by: Takashi Yamazaki
. Starring: Shôta Sometani
, Eri Fukatsu
, Ai Hashimoto
, Kazuki Kitamura
, Masahiro Higashide
, Tadanobu Asano
, Miko Yoki
, Jun Kunimura
, Hirofumi Arai
, Pierre Taki
, Sadao Abe
, Satoshi Araki
, Mansaku Ikeuchi
. Music by: Naoki Satô
Despite advocating for the harmonious co-existence between races (a theme that crops up in conversation too many times to be coincidence), Parasyte is a testament to human selfishness, with many characters pursuing their own desires, without thinking of other people, or the potential consequences.
Though friends of mine see me as an 'anime addict' my lacking knowledge of the anime this feature is based upon, did not infringe upon my experience. The beginning of the film sees multiple parasitic organisms finding their way into human society, though their origins remain unexplored. Invading the bodies of potential hosts, the parasites completely take over, and despite having an obscene appetite for human flesh, they also exhibit a dire craving for knowledge, with stereotypical plans for world domination. Imagine a combination of Slither and Supernatural Season Seven, and you're on the right track. Though infected humans like Ryoko (Eri Fukatsu) have an open mind, and attempt to find a way to coexist amongst the human populace, most of her kind do not share such peaceful agendas.
Shinichi (Shota Sometani) is a high-school student, with nerdy hobbies and few friends, though his character's life before the film is rarely touched upon. During the first scene in which we are introduced to his character, a parasitic organism invades his body, taking control of his arm. Later referred to as Migi (voiced by Sadao Abe), the creature quickly acquires great intellect, and knowledge of its surroundings, despite the predicament that it was meant to seize control of Shinichi's brain. Regardless of his situation, Shinichi is seldom seen as a sympathetic character, a certain degree of humor transpiring in regards to both his nightmarish experience, and the banter that takes place between him and Migi.
That being said, his mother (Nobuko Izumi), and love interest Satomi (Ai Hashimoto) are certainly depicted sympathetically, though neither of them is ever provided significant screen time to be truly memorable. Shota's mother is allocated some degree of backstory, and Ms. Izumi's talents heighten her character's motherly affections. Satomi on the other hand, is depicted as either the damsel in distress, or as an object of copulation, and is rarely treated as a mature, young woman.
Other characters, including Detectives Hirama (Jun Kunimura) and Tsuji (Takashi Yamanaka) provide the viewer with information necessary to the plot, though seldom is it explained how they themselves acquired such knowledge, while characters including Goto (Tadanobu Asano) and Yamagishi (Kosuke Toyohara) appear in cameo roles, presumably with the intent to have them portray larger roles in the sequel.
Much like The Thing, a film which would make any viewer paranoid about their surroundings, Parasyte is a film that will occasionally leave you wriggling in your chair at the sight of such violence. Although blood-thirsty, what is most disturbing is watching such disgusting creatures eating human flesh. This is accentuated by the effects, which are truly superb, the creatures looking incredibly imaginative, unique and realistic.
Upon discovery that those around him are being taken over, Shinichi and Migi form an unlikely alliance to combat the villainous creatures. Although Parasyte is unafraid to have characters experience great tragedy, at the same time, the film is very predictable, even for someone who hasn't seen the anime, and though the acting cannot be faulted, the melodrama did take away from some of the experience. This being said, Parasyte provides the viewer with an original experience, which is as tense as it is entertaining, though lacking information and an anti-climatic finish, may leave question marks bobbing above your head.
Review by Derek Childs from the Internet Movie Database.