My expectations were pretty high for these episodes of Kiseijuu. I mean after that amazing first episode I was very intereested in what the series could offer and expand upon! From the brilliant premise, amazing animation, and interesting characters I needed to see how this dynamic story would play out. And now having caught up with the series (On Crunchyroll at least), I can safely say that Kiseijuu is still on track to becoming one of the best shows this season, and while there were a few nitpicks along the way, there was still plenty of intriguing content.
I guess I should probably start with the biggest thing introduced in these most recent episodes, that thing being the parasyte who goes under the alias Ryuko Tamiya. Already it’s a pretty interesting character to say the least, and it has also introduced a lot of cool thematic questions to the series which weren’t present before. You see, Ms. Tamiya is a parasyte just like Migi (Formerly known as Shinichi’s right hand) but unlike Migi and the other violent creatures we’ve seen him fight, Ms. Tamiya is different. While Migi and her both lack human morality, she often tries to justify this by saying she’s just living her life like a normal animal. This brings up a lot of interesting ideas about the border between humans and animals, what the human directive is, and what lengths people will go to survive.
Throughout these episodes you can see how Shinichi struggles with the things happening around him, and how they change him as a person. From the way he goes into shock after stabbing the murderous parasyte called A, to his primal and impulsive reactions to threats about killing Murano, you can tell Migi and the other parasytes are starting to affect him, for better and for worse. This makes him and the other characters interactions extremely enjoyable to watch, and it’s entertaining to watch the warped minds of the parasytes coercing with Shinchi, who is a very morally upright high school boy.
However the most interesting part of these episodes would have to be the twist they gave to Ms. Tamiya, as it turns out she attempted intercourse with another parasyte infested human, and now she’s pregnant with a human child. Not only is this terrifying news for Shinichi, but it’s having a profound effect on Ms. Tamiya herself. It’s weirdly fascinating to watch her be in shock as the baby kicks around in her stomach, and it’s even stranger to see her surprised at how Ms. Tamiya’s mother reacts to seeing her brainwashed daughter. This all brings up a lot of interesting questions about how Ms. Tamiya’s personality will develop in the future, and I’m looking forward to seeing how this affects both her and Shinchi.
Now while all of that praise is fine and good, I can’t deny there a few noticeable hiccups throughout these otherwise masterfully done episodes. For one thing the soundtrack is just frustrating! I know I mentioned the dubstep tracks were weird in the first episode, but they’re really starting to annoy me now. The weird techno beats and loud bass just really doesn’t match up to anything here, often making scenes feel weird and unnatural in places. And that’s not even to mentioning the completely tone dissonant ending theme! It feels like it belongs to a slice of life romance anime, not a body horror action show, and it just comes of as awkward at best. The best piece in the OST so far is still the track which they use during each next episode preview, which is kind of sad considering this show’s animation deserves something so much better.
Another minor nitpick I had for the show here would have to be the structure of each episode, which was strangely episodic. I mean don’t get me wrong, it’s not like it’s a monster of the week show or a miniseries of short stories like Mushishi, but each episode definitely has a similar flow to it. In fact it feels like each episode plays out in roughly this fashion: Shinchi learns stuff about the parasytes from Migi or other monsters, Shinchi battles a parasyte, Shinichi develops as a character, end of episode. Now don’t get me wrong, it doesn’t really feel this rigid in execution, but it was a minor thing I noticed that might bother some viewers.
Otherwise though Kiseijuu is still pretty great. Besides the previously mentioned slip ups it’s a very thematically interest series, with good characters, animation, and a whole truck load of other amazing things. I’m still liking it a lot, and I’m looking forward to more of it in the coming weeks! And with that I bid you adieu; I’ll see you in the next post!