[HorribleSubs] Parasyte - the maxim - 02 [720p][17-22-39]

Spoilers for episodes 1-2 of Parasyte -the maxim-, but no manga spoilers!

I haven’t had the luxury of time to do episodic blogging now that school has started, but I have a few posts I’ve been planning for awhile, and they’ll slowly be coming your way once I find the time to get down and put my thoughts into words.

Anyways, if you read the blog’s The Team page, you’ll notice that I listed Parasyte as one of my favourite manga. Seeing it animated with a fresh and modern coat of paint makes me really, really happy, and I wanted to just write about some of my thoughts based off episode 1 and 2 that have just aired, and the questions that have been explored back in the manga as well.

A Man’s Best Friend Is His Right Hand

Ever heard of that phrase? There are obvious sexual connotations behind why Migi is on his right and not his left hand. I see Migi’s possession of Shinichi’s right hand as a metaphor for adolescence/puberty, or perhaps a repressed sexuality coming to surface.

Before Migi came into the picture, Shinichi was reserved, quiet, ignored. You could argue that he was still ‘like a child’ – he was pure, like a child that has not yet experienced puberty. Right after Migi enters the fray, we see Shinichi ‘struggling’ to keep Migi in control. Migi was grabbing breasts, trying to get him to masturbate. Migi is ‘curious’.

The boob grab actually being thematically relevant, for once
The boob grab actually being thematically relevant, for once

Alternatively, I think Migi is Shinichi’s existing repressed sexuality coming to surface; and Shinichi can no longer deny the desires that existed within him. Shinichi was never a ‘child’, Shinichi was keeping it all under wraps, but Migi’s arrival, its ability to look deep into Shinichi’s deepest desires, makes it all impossible for Shinichi to keep any secrets from Migi.

Doesn't that look like he's got a boner
Doesn’t that look like he’s got a boner

Migi is, as I said, ‘curious’. I think that also leads to another question Parasyte poses to us – what exactly is sex? What are its implications?

Migi is an amoral, ‘neutral’ existence here – Migi represents a middle-ground between the creatures that supposedly lack a ‘conscience’ (animals?) and humans. Its position allows us to think about why we see sex the way we do – whether it is just a physical act that is a consequences of natural hormonal needs, or whether it is something more. Is sex just an amoral method for reproduction? If not, then what is it, and why do we perceive it to be something more?

Dicks are now sentient beings!
Dicks are now sentient beings!

Eating Minced Meat

The ‘violent incidents’ caused by the parasites are smartly called ‘Mincemeat Murders’. What does that term imply? It is quite obvious that Parasyte is drawing a parallel between humans eating animals and the parasites act of eating humans. What exactly is the difference between the two situations here?


"I do not understand your logic. My kind are simply eating. It's natural for life forms to eat." - Migi
“I do not understand your logic. My kind are simply eating. It’s natural for life forms to eat.” – Migi

Why do we label the parasites’ actions as ‘murders’, when we do not use this term for humans eating meat? Are the parasites’ eating of humans really morally different in any relevant way from humans eating meat? What exactly gives humankind the right to reign superior over other living organisms?

[HorribleSubs] Parasyte - the maxim - 02 [720p][17-09-58]
“You’re an animal. An insect. Of course you don’t understand (that human lives are precious)” – Shinichi
This issue is also explored in episode 2 when Shinichi saves the animal from being abused by the teenagers. Why are we so against animal CRUELTY but are okay with eating them? Is there some kind of hypocrisy in our actions? Why do we feel so differently about animal cruelty and eating animals when they’re not very different situations?

[HorribleSubs] Parasyte - the maxim - 02 [720p][17-12-15]


This speaks to me on a personal level. I eat meat, I am aware of animal cruelty, of factory farming and other inhumane methods of breeding animals ultimately being sent to the slaughterhouses. I am uncomfortable about eating meat, but I am against animal cruelty. Obviously there is something that doesn’t add up, and I believe it to be a self-centered reason – eating meat has tolerable effects on MY conscience, but animal cruelty crosses this line and makes ME feel uncomfortable; and that is why I think the way I do. It’s this sad understanding of my own selfishness that makes Parasyte’s message hard for me to swallow, yet it is also a necessary, and thought-provoking message for myself.

Demons Within Us

[HorribleSubs] Parasyte - the maxim - 02 [720p][17-20-20]
Migi: “I believe that, among all life, humans are the closest thing to it (demons).”
Migi’s position is an easy one to figure out – it, like other parasites, are for moral nihilism – the belief that there is nothing ‘right’ or ‘wrong’, that moral responsibility does not exist. That is why Migi does not understand Shinichi’s need to suppress his sexual desires, or why it does not understand why Shinichi thinks the parasites ought to be stopped.

Migi also makes this very interesting comment that ‘humans are closest to demons’ – and I think this applies to many of us, uncomfortable as it may seem. Humankind often claims to have a clear grasp of moral responsibility and tries to uphold this standard, yet there have been so many acts that have been committed out of reasons outside of justifiable ‘self-preservation’. Unnecessary evils, as we call it. Is Migi’s claim that there is nothing wrong with what its kind is doing really that unreasonable, considering the relative lack of morality of human beings in the first place? (This presence of an unnecessary evil also bleeds in to the parasites possible reason for existence – God bringing down judgement on humans at last? This one is just me rambling on senselessly though, but this is actually an argument many people hold for atheism?)

The anime has already established the central conflict of the story – amoral parasites versus the immoral humans. Which one is better/worse? Which will create the better worldview, and allow for greater welfare for all living creatures? All this is represented through Shinichi and Migi’s relationship – they are learning to coexist. Can there be a balance between the 2 worldviews?



This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Desperado316

    This was a very interesting read. I liked it. When you come to think about it, the Parasytes are simply going by nature. They don’t kill for fun or out of emotion. They only kill to survive. Well so far that is… They could become just as inhumane as humans later in the show.

    Thanks for the read…

    • Desperado
    1. sidekick

      Thank you! I’d reply to your comment about parasites being ‘as inhumane as humans’…but that would be a major manga spoiler so I’ll stop myself here 😛

      1. Desperado316

        Thanks. Appreciated.

  2. Noc

    This post has finally given me the motivation I need to start watching this series! (I know, I know, what’s a person doing reading blog posts about an anime they haven’t seen yet? I love spoilers you see…) I kept looking at it on Crunchy and thinking, this seems really interesting, but I just don’t know if I’m in the mood for it right now. But I absolutely LOVE morally grey scenarios like “is what we’re doing good, evil, or just basic nature?” so count me in!

    On the topic of eating meat and animal cruelty, I think eating meat doesn’t bother as many because we’re killing for food, for survival (although some countries could probably stand to eat a little less). Physically abusing animals for fun or otherwise treating them unkindly warrants no such excuse however. I eat meat, but it’s not like the butchers are slowly sawing up still-conscious livestock with a psychopathic grin on their faces. Or so I hope.

    1. sidekick

      Heheh, got another person to start Parasyte. Keikaku doori www

      Parasyte is definitely very interesting, and well worth your time. It has very heavy themes, but is very very subtle in its approach. The horror makes you uncomfortable, and the comedy keeps you well-entertained. In particular its use of comedy is excellent.

      The thing about eating meat, is that it always comes back to us. What humans ‘need’ to survive. The metric for right and wrong is based off the human conscience – which is very subjective, and it implies that animal pain and suffering are beneath us (factory farming for example, is basically just us creating animal suffering for our own sakes; doesn’t really differ that much from physical animal abuse me thinks). This is probably just me, but I personally hate the part of me that is only concerned for animals/other living creatures only when I feel uncomfortable, or only when MY own life is at stake. Of course, my take is that intent (of farming or of animal abuse) does not matter when the end result is the same – animals suffer. But that of course is up to the individual to decide 🙂

      Kind of makes me think about how we’re not that far off from parasites. Probably worse.

      1. Noc

        Back from watching episodes 1 and 2! It really is very interesting so far, and the opening gives me lots of things to look forward to (and DREAD).

        It certainly makes me sad to think of animals being raised just to be eaten- they should at least get to roam around and enjoy life ’till they’re older! In the end they’re still killed though, which is still sad, but I was raised to eat a balanced diet of meat and veggies to stay healthy and in the end I’m not going to change that. No sense hating myself over it. Basically, if I see an animal being hurt with no sense of self-preservation in mind then it’s bad, or at least ‘unnecessary’. If they’re killing to eat it or in self-defense then I can let it go since that’s how all animals think, but we’re definitely on the greedy side. Like you say, it all depends on the human conscience which is very subjective.

        …And on a slightly different note, all this talk of cannibalism in-series has got me hoping prion disease becomes an issue at some point.

        1. sidekick

          Yay, glad you enjoyed it! 😀 Welcome to the club, haha!

          (and lol prion disease)

  3. Xandra

    This anime is very interesting, that made me want to read the manga XD and it did XD

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