While the world continues to experience Attack on Titan-mania, Toho is banking on the live-action adaptation of another wildly popular manga: Hitoshi Iwaaki’s Parasyte. It looks like just the sort of mix of cute, ugly, weird, and violent we expect from Japan.
Alien “parasytes” come to Earth and start taking over humans by entering people’s bodies and latching onto their brains. They can deform human bodies in ways that would make John Carpenter’s The Thing smile.
Teenager Shinichi gets infected by an alien called “Migi”, but since it is only able to control his right arm, the two come to an understanding and work together to stop the evil parasytes that only want to consume and control us.
Did you get all that? If not, here’s an even longer, more detailed synopsis of the plot.
One night by the seaside, tiny creatures, or “Parasytes,” arrive on Earth to take over human bodies and prey on humankind. One Parasyte latches on to a regular high schooler, Shinichi, but he prevents it from completely taking over his mind and body, and instead it has to start a reluctant existence in his right arm. Shinichi cannot reveal his terrible secret to those around him, and during this time of stalemate, a feeling almost of friendship develops between him and the creature he calls “Migi” (“Righty”). Before long they begin to encounter other Parasytes, which launch savage attacks against them and put the life of his childhood friend, Satomi, in danger…
Then things take a sudden turn for the worse. Shinichi’s beloved mother is killed and taken over by a Parasyte. When the creature launches an attack on him, he has no choice but to kill her. It becomes all-out war. Parasytes kill humans and humans kill Parasytes in return. But nothing is black and white in this struggle. Among the Parasytes themselves, various factions and different points of view develop. Shinichi’s new teacher, Ryoko Tamiya, although infected with a Parasyte, tolerates Shinichi. On the other hand, the character Goto, a composite “person” made up of a number of cooperating Parasytes, is bent on human destruction. Collectively the Parasytes begin to ask themselves the question, “Why were we created?”
In a world that humanity has continued to despoil and destroy, is it that the Parasytes are here to cull our numbers? Of course the humans continue to kill Parasytes in order to survive.
Which is it that ought to win? The planet needs to be preserved; yet, it is in our nature to protect our loved ones. Amidst this conflict of values, Shinichi and Migi have no choice but to hurl themselves into the fight against the ever more complex attack of the Parasytes.
The feature film version – actually Part 1 of a two-film series – of the popular manga is directed by Takashi Yamazaki, director of the live-action Space Battleship Yamato flick from a few years back. Shōta Sometani, Eri Fukatsu, and Ai Hashimoto star. Yeah, you know – them.
The true stars of the film are going to be the freaky special effects, and there’s definitely going to be a lot of funky visuals in this one judging by the trailer.
Parasyte opens in Japan November 29th. Expect it to start making its way to the US sometime next year, probably right about the time the second film opens in Japan.
Oh, and don’t feel left out, anime fans. An anime adaptation of the manga debuts on Japanese television this fall. Expect to see it in the US even sooner than the movies.
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