JapanaTerror 008: Parasyte


Keep your hand to yourself

When the landscape of western horror simply isn't extreme enough for you, you need another way to satisfy your cravings. Freddy, Jason, and Michael Myers may be enough to terrify the masses, but you're looking for something a little more exotic, right? Lucky for you, the land that brought you your favorite anime series is rife with decidedly more disturbing offerings. We bring you JapanaTerror, a weekly rendezvous with the disgusting and the depraved. Whether it's anime, manga, film, or a novel, you'll find something of value to disturb and delight. We'll cover everything, from bizarre body horror to the craziest thrill rides we can find. Pull those covers tight and lock the doors, because you're about to be haunted.

Title: Parasyte
Author: Hitoshi Iwaaki
Published: Del Rey
Released: 2011
Buy It: Amazon 

Once upon a time, I was a little girl with an insatiable lust for all things Japanese. Okay, well, was isn't the best word. I still am. But back then, anime and manga were strange relics to me, and I needed to get my hands on every single thing I could that featured big eyes, magical girls, and Dragon Balls. Enter Mixx Zine, which published Sailor Moon, Magic Knight Rayearth, Ice Blade, and Parasyte each month. 

Sailor Moon was emblazoned on the cover. I had to have it. 

Dad picked up an issue for me from the grocery store, and I was instantly enamored. I read through some Rayearth too, though it wouldn't be until I could watch the actual series that I would really care about it. I was told, after Dad scanned through the magazine, that I didn't need to look at Ice Blade or Parasyte, since they were for adults, but I did it anyway. I took a crayon and wrote "the silly comic" on Parasyte, because I saw swearing and gore. I kept reading it though, entranced by the graphic displays of exquisite body horror in each issue. I wasn't quite sure what was going on, but I knew I loved it. I wanted to see more. But then the grocery store we shopped at stopped carrying Mixx Zine, or it went out of print -- and I never got another issue. 

I rediscovered the series two years ago when Del Rey republished the manga, and I eagerly sped through it. Parasyte is a horrific dark comedy that follows the misfortune of high school student Shinichi Izumi, who just happens to become infected by bizarre parasites that emerge from spores. Space spores. Once inside the victim, these creatures travel to the brain and kill the host, leaving them free to use the body as they feel necessary. The creature that enters Izumi screws up royally and is only able to take over his right hand instead, leaving Izumi a sort of half-human/parasite hybrid. 

The two learn to get along (sort of) as they encounter other humans who have been completely taken over, most of whom are hungry, hungry hippos who just want to gobble up other humans. That's one of the reasons I dig Parasyte so much: it's awesomely graphic. A guy uses his head as a blade by dividing it into sections. Another guy's head opens up as a giant mouth. It's so gross. And so rad. 

Parasyte opens a whole new world of possibilities to use the human body as its playground, and the results, as you can see in the images above, are pretty disturbing. If that's your thing like it is mine, give it a look. It may not be conventionally scary, but I bet it'll give some of you nightmares. 

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Brittany Vincent
Brittany VincentContributor   gamer profile

3 I'm Brittany, and I'm the resident creeper, er, community manager over here at I'm here to make your experience more + disclosures


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