Netflix’s Parasyte Adaptation Misses Key Element of Shinichi’s Anime Journey. What Is This?

Parasyte: The Grey nailed important elements of the anime, but the live-action spinoff failed to capture one great thing about Shinichi and Migi.

Netflix’s Parasyte: The Grey got a lot of things right about the anime, but the live-action spinoff series also ignored the best thing about Shinichi Izumi’s story. With a different approach from other Netflix live-action anime adaptations, Parasyte: The Grey was not a retelling of Parasyte: The Maxim but instead a spinoff set in South Korea. Shinichi Izumi appeared in Parasyte: The Grey, but only in a post-credits scene. Despite telling a brand-new story, the K-drama was as faithful as possible to the source material except when it came to Su-in’s relationship with her parasite.

The world of Parasyte follows the arrival of mysterious life forms on Earth as they begin to take over human bodies. Most of these organisms take over their hosts entirely, but some fail to complete the process and have to co-exist with their human counterparts. A similar thing happened to Parasyte: The Grey’s main character, yet the way the parasite affected her was not exactly the same as how it played out with Shinichi in Parasyte: The MaximThis approach was certainly intentional and allowed the live-action series to do something unique.

Parasyte: The Grey’s Su-in Barely Talks To Her Parasite (Unlike Shinichi & Migi)

“Heidi” only appears when Su-in is unconscious

Jeong Su-in as a parasite in Parasyte: The Grey season 1

The relationship between Su-in and her parasite in Parasyte: The Grey could not have been more different from the one between Shinichi and Migi in Parasyte: The Maxim. Both in the Parasyte anime and the original manga, Migi becomes an extension of Shinichi – particularly of his arm – and can exist at the same as his host. In other words, Migi could appear at any time from Shinichi’s hand and have a conversation with him. Migi could even take control of Shinichi’s entire arm while he was conscious, which led to some complicated moments in which they wanted to go in different directions.

In Parasyte: The Grey, however, Su-in’s parasite can only appear when her host is not conscious. Whereas Migi was almost like a “pet” to Shinichi, Heidi was a dark alter ego to Su-in. This is why Kang-woo named Su-in’s parasite “Heidi” as in Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Su-in and her parasite could only communicate through notes left by the latter whenever she was in control of the former’s body. The only instance in which they had a real-time conversation was when Su-in entered a coma and saw a physical manifestation of Heidi.

Why Parasyte: The Grey’s Heidi Is So Different From Parasyte’s Migi

Parasyte: The Grey didn’t try to recreate Shinichi & Migi’s dynamic

Custom image of Shinichi in Parasyte and Su-in from Parasyte The GreyCustom image by Sam MacLennan

Parasyte: The Grey is supposed to take place in the same universe as Parasyte: The Maxim, as confirmed by Shinichi Izumi’s cameo at the end of the Netflix K-drama. That is why it is curious that Su-in’s parasite functioned very differently from Migi. It can be assumed that the parasites that arrived in South Korea were from the same species as the ones that arrived in Japan during the events of Parasyte: The Maxim. Most of the rules described in the original Parasyte manga were referenced in the live-action show, including the strand of hair test.

The circumstances in which Su-in was infected with a parasite were also similar to what happened to Shinichi. Both escaped from being completely replaced with a parasite because the organisms that attacked them failed to reach their brains in time. In Parasyte: The Grey, however, Su-in was badly hurt when the parasite first made contact with her. This might explain why Su-in’s parasite works differently from Migi even though the former also failed to take over the host completely. Regardless, it can be assumed that different parasites behave differently depending on their host.

Parasyte: The Grey’s New Parasite Was Cool (But Shinichi & Migi Were Better)

Shinichi & Migi’s complex relationship stole the show in Parasyte

Shinichi Izumi and Migi in the poster for Parasyte

Parasyte: The Grey likely purposively avoided recreating Shinichi and Migi’s relationship, which is not a bad thing. Having Su-in treat her parasite as a pet and mimic the dynamic between Shinichi and Migi would draw even more comparisons between the K-drama and the anime, even though Parasyte: The Grey is an original story. Additionally, doing “Shinichi and Migi” with different characters would have come off as cheap and repetitive. By changing the way the parasite works, Netflix’s Parasyte: The Grey added a unique layer to Su-in’s character compared to Shinichi.

Migi was a character of his own in Parasyte , whereas Heidi was more of a sinister version of her host.

That said, the interactions between Migi and Shinichi in Parasyte: The Grey were just too good and delivered some fascinating moments that Parasyte: The Grey couldn’t match. While there were some comic bits involving Shinichi and his parasite, these two beings soon began to develop a complicated relationship in which Migi was going to guarantee their survival no matter what. Migi needed to protect Shinichi, even if meant killing everyone around him or even cutting his legs so he would not denounce the existence of the parasites. This led to some heated, complex arguments between the two.

Migi was a character of his own in Parasyte, whereas Heidi was more of a sinister version of her host. Given how little Su-in and Heidi communicate, it is difficult to say whether there was any tension between them. Heidi was keen to protect her host, as any parasite must do, but there was not too much drama involved. The level of complexity surrounding Shinichi and Migi’s dynamic was missing from Parasyte: The Grey, although the series nailed other important aspects of the source material. Heidi becomes friends with Su-in at the end, but it doesn’t feel too earned.

Shinichi’s Parasyte: The Grey Cameo Means Season 2 Can Have 2 Types Of Parasites

Su-in and Shinichi could work together in a potential season 2

A custom image of Su-in and Shinichi in Parasyte The Grey

If Parasyte: The Grey season 2 happens and sees the return of Masaki Suda as Shinichi Izumi, the Netflix horror K-drama will have the chance to showcase two different types of parasites. It would be great to have Shinichi and Su-in meet in season 2 not only because they are the respective protagonists of their series, but because of how unique their experiences have been. Shinichi can brag about being the world’s most experienced parasite consultant given everything he went through in the manga, but he never encountered a case like Su-in’s.

Whereas Parasyte: The Grey season 1 acted as a spinoff to the source material, season 2 could be both a sequel to Parasyte: The Maxim and a crossover between the K-drama and the original property. It must be noted that Migi should be hibernating now considering how Parasyte: The Maxim ended, but he would likely wake up and show up in a potential season 2 should Shinichi return. Parasyte: The Grey works as a limited series, but season 2 would have a lot of potential to expand the story.

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