Book Review – Parasyte Vol. 1 by Hitoshi Iwaaki

★★★★★ 4.5 Stars

Genre: Horror / Science Fiction
Manga Demographic: Seinen
Publication Date: July 26th, 2011
Publisher: Kodansha

All about a boy and his alien mutation.
I don’t think I’ve read a book before that actually made the idea of having a sentient being burrowed up inside your arm sound awesome, but I suppose there’s a first time for everything.

Parasyte asks what separates humans from what they see as “lesser” life sharing the same Earth. Is mankind indeed the parasite? A sort of self-made malignancy eating up their own planet, that answers their conflicts with other species with extermination of that species? When an alien race lands on Earth and begin usurping the bodies of humans, will humans and these parasites be at odds because they are different or because they are on the level of rivals?

I’d low-key sought out this manga for awhile, but was kind of mixed about actually starting it because of the iffy status of its being in print at the time. Fortunately, Parasyte has since returned to regular print in an even better version (an anomaly for horror manga in English), so I don’t actually regret hesitating this time.
This was thoughtful and intense and surprisingly fun. Weirdly adorable too, thanks to the parasite Migi and his squirmy bug-eyes. Others have remarked that Parasyte can be something of a gorefest, which I suppose is true but I didn’t really get that from it. Not moreso than any other dark seinen series, anyway. You’d probably like it a lot even if you dislike rampant explosions of guts. Its violence is a little more tasteful than that, I think.


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