Halloween is just around the corner. With that in mind, now would be a good time to check out some classic horror anime. One classic anime that comes to mind is Parasyte: The Maxim.
This 2015 anime is iconic for its body horror. It also had a run on Toonami in 2016, which should speak to its popularity even overseas. Besides this, it’s a generally good series that any anime fan should want to see. Here’s a look at the gruesome details that make this series both a horrifying and fascinating watch.
What Makes Parasyte’s Horror So Good?
The series revolves around parasites, mysterious beings that take over human brains and proceed to slaughter and eat more humans. The main character of this series, Shinichi Izumi, was able to keep one such parasite isolated to his right hand; this has led to more of a symbiotic relationship between the two rather than a parasitic one. Unfortunately for Shinichi and his parasite “Migi,” their unusual relationship makes them the enemies of most other parasites, so they have to work together if they want to survive
The body horror element shows itself along with the parasites. Seeing human heads split open in different ways to reveal rows of razor-sharp teeth and eyeballs can be rather unsettling. The irregularity of their true, grotesque appearances only adds to how creepy they are.
Another thing horror fans might like about this anime is how gory it is. Seeing what looks like an ordinary human contort their face into a giant maw and take a bite out of a nearby human is enough to give anybody nightmares. This is to say nothing of the way they’ll morph parts of their bodies into razors to slice up and impale their prey.
This R-rated series is so horrifying that it was banned in China. Part of this has to do with the grotesque body morphing, but it also might involve the show’s flagrant displays of violence, pornography, and crimes against public morality. The only thing it might not be guilty of is showing scenes of terrorism, and even that’s up for debate.
Besides body horror, Parasyte can also be pretty scary in other ways. It has a tone and atmosphere that’s well-suited to keeping audiences on edge. It’s tense watching Shinichi steadily move through blood-splattered, barely lit hallways where a parasite can jump out at any time. It’s also scary seeing a parasite keep pace with a moving car by running. This anime does a great job selling the idea of just how terrifying these creatures can be.
Is There Anything to Like About Parasyte Besides the Horror?
Parasyte makes for a good anime in general. It has endearing and relatable characters, cool action scenes, a good overarching story, and strong moral themes. The dubstep-heavy soundtrack also has a surprising number of bangers. Things like this make the anime worth watching any time of year, not just Halloween.
That said, those thinking of watching Parasyte while it’s still October should get started soon. The series is 24 episodes long and is currently available on Crunchyroll and Hulu. Now is as good a time as any to sit down, dim the lights, start streaming, and let the carnage unfold.