Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Parasyte, vol. 3

The story: Things have gotten complicated fast for Shinichi. He's losing his human ability to feel and experience emotions, two girls are seemingly competing for his attention and there's a new parasite in town who's always watching him. Not to mention, his dad and the government have finally realized what's going on. When the new parasite attacks Shinichi's school, several people die, but there's also a question of how the government will deal with a mass murderer. When Shinichi and Migi realize what they might have to do, will Shinichi's heart be able to carry out their plan?

Reaction: There is a lot of blood, gore and transformation in this volume. While I didn't necessarily cringe, I did pass my eyes over those panels quickly. There's some intrigue in this volume, too, including the girls' ability to sense parasites, to Shinichi's new observer and the government's conspiracy. I was completely glued to this book. Of course, there are a lot of questions about what's going on, but not too many answers. If nothing else, it's an effective method for keeping me reading!

Deep thoughts: The two girls interested in Shinichi seem to be able to sense parasites, as they have an ability to sense Shinichi whenever he's near. I think it's somehow connected to their ability to sense the satsuki, or "killing aura," that Shinichi and others who serve as parasite hosts exude. For some reason, these girls are not only drawn to Shinichi, but one of them—the girl from another school—makes the mistake of getting the attention of Shin's parasitic classmate. It's an interesting ability that I'm curious to see Hitoshi Iwaaki expand upon.

Artwork: Again, there's a lot of blood, gore and guts in this volume to a more gruesome degree than I've seen previously in this series. But, there's also some great detailed illustrations of Shin's changing face, which really displays his volatile emotional state. There are also some nicely done watercolored panels at the beginning of two early chapters; it's almost a shame they're not in color. Lastly, in the middle of this volume there are some fairly humorous renditions of "mouthhead," the urban myth-like creatures the media has created in response to some rumors about the parasites.

The verdict: Highly recommended. This series just keeps getting better and better! While I could do without the all-too-visual horror of certain scenes, I do enjoy the interwoven plotlines and varied intrigue involved. Of course, knowing that the last volume in this series was recently released makes me want to zip through these books as quickly as possible! Parasyte is available in the U.S. from Del Rey.

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