The conclusion to October’s acclaimed horror series is finally here! If there is one thing that MADHOUSE has done right with the Winter 2015 season and the second half of Kiseijū its adaptating. Writing every chapter to its fullest leaving little to nothing out of these episodes while enhancing a more modern setting and character design to bring in new fans.
Migi’s departure is both sad and blissful because Shinichi has matured a lot with him during their dreadful experiences with parasytes. The dream sequence that we’ve seen finally comes to fruition bringing everything back full circle– Migi’s constant hunger for knowledge regarding his own species as well as others doesn’t escape his mind. Playing a larger motif about his bond towards Shinichi’s right hand rather than consuming his brain. Even in the finale this is what separates Shinichi from him. The manga even handles the entire scene well describing it as a long dream.
If I hadn’t read this I would have guessed that this series would end without any sort of turmoil for Shinichi to go through– Uragami’s story isn’t open ended as we do get a solid face-off between him and Shinichi. The creators don’t leave out the fact he’s murdered tons of people– killing the couple on the roof is animated extremely and portrays his authenticity quite strongly! Satomi plays off wonderfully to the supposed tension between parasite Shinichi and human murder Uragami.
With Migi gone all Shinichi can do is talk him out of it or use all the strength he has with everything his been through to save the woman he cares about. It’s a simple situation over all the supernatural battles he’s had before. Great transition from this genre to a realistic narrative with the lead at its core! Uragami points out to Satomi that he’s not human and it’s great to see how Shinich and her are so closely connected after their struggles and romance from two episodes ago flares this up. She understands that there has always been something different since he came back from his tragic family vacation. Ultimately its Shinichi’s determination which we saw in his battle against Gotou with Migi inside of him that foreshadows this very scene with Uragami and proves he can overcome just about anything.
Episode director out visually depicting Migi saving Satomi is a nice touch– Shinichi has lost so much that he doesn’t want to lose anyone else and points out an a slightly open-ended style that their companionship could return in the future. Leaving it up to the viewers to decide.
Aya Hirano’s performance as Migi is quintessentially supernatural that establishes such an interesting method to a character within a character. I’m going to miss this friendship in a series.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10
Kiseijū could have ended here and I would be more than satisfied with the outcome– this is a phenomenal episode we’ve got here! Shinichi going off into the woods again from last time built this episode up wonderfully– he’s entering this showdown weak without his partner and a measly hatchet. Finding Gotou in a sleep-like state giving him an strong advantage where he walks right up to him without being detected.
All this time Migi has been telling Shinichi what they could achieve in these fights would be exponentially overturned with a win for them if they worked together rather than as one. What came to mind from this fight is his battle with A. Here though he’s gone through a ton of emotional trauma losing people close to him and seeing others die right in front of his very eyes– the creators don’t neglect this at all because he still fears the unknown and what these things are capable of. We see this at the trash dumping scene where he’s moving far away from Gotou as possible but suddenly he figures out that he needs to be using more of his human intellect than a parasite’s raw killing-intent. Migi could not have showed up at a better time either– the poison that Gotou is inflicted with here drains him of complete control over the others inside his body and just re-states Migi’s original fascination with reactions. Something this series touched on in the first few episodes.
What makes this an even more engrossing episode is how Shinichi doesn’t kill him outright– he’s suffering physically while this show brings out a moral dilemma for its conclusion. Should Shinichi kill Goutou where he’s at his weakest state or murder him at this point of life? Recollecting what Tamiya Ryoko said about their lives can’t survive on their own– he begins to search for a valid reason in why he should kill him right then and there. However, it’s this reoccurring theme that hardens this scene so much more– parasites and humans are somewhat alike and are constantly evolving physically and emotionally. Migi steps back because he knows he can’t kill his kind in this state but if Shinichi can do it than so be it. We’ve seen heads get lopped off, people getting stabbed, cut in half and even eaten– but this scene while doesn’t show much of anything is probably the most powerful death because Shinichi in his own mind commits murder.
Seeing this unfold is icing on the cake and I can’t wait to see what this show does for the final act!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10
With the aftermath of the attack inside the government building, Mayor Hirokawa dead as well as other countless humans and parasites– Shinichi finds his resolve when he sleeps with Murano. Here, the perspective has changed slightly– instead of Shinichi facing these parasites out of protecting others on the scene he’s finishing what he started in the first place. The investigator led Shinichi from the underground feeding area at the car park area to a path in eliminating Gotou’s group one by one. Here it’s a lot more personal– for both of them. We’ve got an all out attack against Gotou and we see that Shinichi doesn’t want to waste much time keeping him alive. He’s frantic and it’s wonderful to see Migi counteract his more emotional behavior now!
I like how there’s this parallel between this episode and the previous one– Shinichi fears Gotou however this time Migi teaches him that he’s more than most humans. This is the big idea I got out of this entire episode. One single human takes Gotou on with everything he has including the ultimate sacrifice being Migi. So we get to see the entire fight here and its drawn really well– the animators didn’t have a drop in quality on this episode! Mitsuyo’s introduction is a nice change of pace and brings Shinichi back to normalcy– something he hasn’t had for quite some time. His narrations were an indication of this greatly.
This is a lot better than the previous arc! Really takes us back to how this series began in the first place! They are terrifying beings that are trying to find there own way for survival any means necessary. My favorite scene is where the villagers are questioning Shinichi because he’s a new arrival in town and people are getting killed in the woods. Mitsuyo sees right through Shinichi and understands he has wounds that haven’t patched up– Gotou is still out there and continues to kill giving all the motivation Shinichi needs in finishing what he started!
This is more like it and if I hadn’t read the manga I’m sure I would have enjoyed this episode tons more than I already had!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8/10
The beginning of this episode strongly points out what Kiseiju does well and what it does bad. Something I’ve noticed in this arc even from the manga is how Mayor Hirokawa is written for the purpose of bringing a strong connection between parasites and humans in this story. Reiko’s intentions showcased this wonderfully in previous episodes. She held faith that Hirokawa could develop a plausible structure between species with his position in politics but what is wrong with this is how this show and even its author neglected to build the framework for this into something larger. How about a few chapters and episodes dedicated to Hirokawa’s power within his position. For some reason I feel this segment of the episode is underwhelming. Although the narrative and the underlining point he’s trying to get across is strong, its the build-up to this point that falls short. This declaration in front of the soldiers here is something that’s been touched on by Migi throughout: “life should be protected” and is a nice way to conclude this arc and bring a somewhat solid finale to humanity’s response to the parasites invasion. Heck, this is even shown where Yamagishi finally sees the sort of monster Gotou is and fails in taking Shinichi’s advice resulting in his downfall.
While Shinichi is still left in the sidelines here he’s still very much an integral part in creating this distinction between the two species: they’re living out of survival and he’s living for many reasons including his father, Murano and most importantly ensuring his mom’s death isn’t in vain. In retrospect the flashback of her protecting him from the hot pan illustrates exactly what and why he wants to protect and survive in the first place.
At first glance from seeing how this arc has panned out I was worried but with its conclusion here, I’m sure that writer Shoji Yonemura has plans to develop this finale in only three episodes without missing anything. We’ve only got a bit of content left to go with the manga and this episode manages to even bring in the sex scene between Shinichi and Murano within good taste. It’s a great scene that provides a good startup for the final act for Kiseiju. This just touches on the narrative slightly– this scene between the two not only enhances their relationship but relinquishes Shinichi’s parasitic behavior and creates this atmosphere of compassion and a will to live for him rather than just out of instinct for survival. I guess if I had to pick something I didn’t enjoy its the music– why couldn’t Ken Arai create a more diverse soundtrack for this series? Nonetheless the dubstep has been a step in the right direction for modernizing a story that’s fairly older but it could have been nice to get a wider range of styles especially for this scene.
It’s also a shame that this police effort arc couldn’t have learned how to develop considering how good the second half of this episode is– Shinichi’s fear of Gotou showing up at any time to kill him gradually builds up to him sleeping with Murano. I love that part where he punches those guys in the face as he’s apologizing. There’s the Shinichi from the beginning finally showing back up again but now with brute strength. Haha, great moment for him there!
I hope once this series wraps up that there is some announcement for the one-shots the various authors are writing within this world because this idea of alien beings playing host to humans has been fantastic! A strong action-packed character study series for its main character!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8/10
Lots of action-packed moments that is dissolving the mystery of these parasitic beings rather quickly. I didn’t like this episode too much because it’s fighting fire with fire or in Yamagishi’s case exterminating these pests in the same fashion that they are doing to humans only out of survival. On one hand though it is interesting to see this comparison between the two species because we are finally seeing humans standing their own ground keeping their world safe by using any means necessary.
Here’s where Uragami comes in. He’s ruthless, has about zero compassion for others and above all else tests the naivety of the police force with his supernatural power to detect the parasites from humans. I like how fear is used as a rolling thread in establishing Uragami’s probable escape– he’s in the protection of one of the most worthless cops. Un-cuffing him is definitely going to be a fatal mistake in the next episode but I like where his character is going. It really is too bad we could’ve have seen more of Uragami in the series more shining arcs towards the beginning, but this works quite well here. Yamagishi’s plan is too far-fetched here to even work: we saw that with the previous episode starting to unravel with that woman being a parasite! Going from bad to worse in a life and death scenario. Yamagishi is the only police member here that is choosing to discard humanity for the sake of telling these monsters apart which can be good for personal development but here its very lackluster and forced.
This episode chooses to push forward without any deep narrative to back it up like the previous arcs have done– Gotou telling the police team to follow him so he can kill them. What? Student Himada would have rushed in just like he was going to do to Murano’s friend uncovering his identity in the first half! What is Gotou even thinking?! This is where this series is falling off its tracks with this single episode. However, I do like how the Mayor is involving himself in the conflict with that cliffhanger.
On a more personal note, I didn’t like this arc very much even in the manga. It forcefully brushes through the story way too quickly without any developments from its side-characters or Shinichi providing the momentum to carry it along.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 4/10
Having read the manga to this I personally didn’t like this arc as much as the previous ones– parasites gathering into one place and considering that there may be others out there what are their intentions? Hopefully we will see some OVA’s that tackle these new one-shots the numerous mangakan have been creating lately. I’d love to see Asumiko Nakamura’s one-shot animated.
Nonetheless, this is a decent beginning to the next arc– serial killer Uragami questions whether or not Shinichi is more than just a human and the background on this guy is nicely done. It’s dark and series writer Shoji Yonemura didn’t back off from including him into the story between the parasites pursuit of a suitable restaurant for feeding grounds. This first half is a lot more engrossing than its second half– too bad we couldn’t see more of Uragami throughout this series.
A back seat to the all the action we’ve had these past six episodes it’s good to see a flushed out perspective on the police investigation and their upcoming operation. Yamagishi’s headstrong introduction is just the backbone this new arc needs– especially with Harama’s redemption towards the death of investigator Kuramori. Shinichi is gradually getting back to normalcy and the track scene is a nice touch to settling things down for him– his emotions are back and as saddened as he is with everything that’s happened he’s trying to find some good in it.
The creators did a wonderful job here– balancing Murano’s relationship with him. She’s being supportive in any way that she can and Harama’s appearance at the school dismantles this completely. She’s being upset not just for herself but for Shinichi as well– he’s still learning on how to handle his emotions with Migi still a part of him. I’m certain director Kenichi Shimizu will adapt every bit of the manga but I’m curious about how the pacing is going to be from here on out.
Now that the stage is set within Town Hall in order to distinguish humans and parasites– Goto and the Minister will hopefully provide the intriguing aspect of these future episodes. It’s the overall impact and the delivery of it I’m a bit worried about with only 5 to 7 episodes left.
While the cliffhanger is expected it does give a sense of character development for Yamagishi as well as the other law enforcement that are apart of this operation. Yamagishi knows he might have to kill some humans to get to these monsters as he calls them. Sacrifice over the greater good but the question remains how much longer will Shinichi be able to take this?
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 7/10
Yes! I’m finally caught up with this series and I’m sure glad I have! It’s been incredible! Not many series can take its time and develop the manga entirely but I feel that Kiseijū can really achieve that with a 2-cour airing!
Detective Harama– it’s too bad this character couldn’t have had a single episode that focuses on him. While this series doesn’t push them to the sidelines they use these cop characters when they absolutely need to and it works out especially in the case of this episode.
He’s intriguing and while we are finally getting down to the wire with Reiko’s story it’s the crime part of this series that shines it’s head here. He rules out Shinichi as a suspect and it certainly is amazing that we are almost at the end of this series and the plot uses his ideas about parasites in order to follow-up with a conclusion in the death of Shinichi’s mother to make grand assumptions that turn out to be true here. His verification of Shinichi being the same boy he investigated previously was a nice set up that perfectly brought an end to Reiko’s life. Not to mention establish a new arc in the second half of this episode with Shinichi back into the picture!
This episode definitely took its time here with Reiko’s death. This ends up being a very powerful scene– there is no music playing around the shots of gunfire piercing a satisfied Reiko now that she’s been able to discern that she loves her child and is able to protect her own baby. Those flashbacks intensify her gradual fading away from the world so well here! So she gives up her baby to Shinichi, to the only hope she has to a person that retains a strong parallel between parasites and humans.
Shinichi visualizes his mother in Reiko and I really am glad they use that mixed with all those flashbacks of what Shinichi has gone through emotionally. It’s about what could have happened if Migi hadn’t entered the picture, the loss he’s held in his parasitic-infused heart and what concludes a long-time coming reunion with his human side! The result here was spectacular– he’s now able to shed tears! Murano’s placement was well-timed and that piano piece is a solid way to bring their relationship full circle!
The second half of this is very different– use a killer to catch a killer. Nicely done– the mystery aspect of this series that separates humans from the supernatural parasites of this series is coming back and what’s more is how they did it with a serial killer! The same guy that was in the first episode murdering a woman and it’s the woman that shows up at the screening that doesn’t let go of the comedy this series does well at executing either!
What’s more interesting is how different this is to the manga– the first time we see Uragami is at the beginning of the series. However, in the manga it’s here where we see this serial killer for the first time!
One thing I do want to point out is how this series has shifted it’s characters with such contrast. Kana had the same unique ability that Uragami has and while she was using it out of a naive attempt at getting closer to Shinichi and that she might have a soul mate in him here is the reversal with Uragami! A perceptive look into discerning from parasite to human with killing intent!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10
The episode just proves how different Tamura Reiko is from the rest of the parasite group she’s been working with. From the get-go I’ve really enjoyed her character a lot– she’s brilliant and has this composure and curiosity to learn more about the species she’s been killing. I like how the baby is the integral piece in her transformative process from parasite to human and we get to see the results of that here to great lengths!
The fight that starts this episode off was incredibly well-drawn animated sequences with such fluidness! This was probably one of the best first-halves to a Kiseijū yet and I enjoyed that scene where she’s running through the city with half a head– the couple frightened by her appearance and still mesmerized by what they had just witnessed only to bring back the humor of what makes this series so great! Reiko splitting her head apart was very funny! The reactions of the couple brought this series back in full swing– classic horror!
Shinichi feels like a minor character here. Tamura Reiko is put into the spotlight after that intense cliffhanger from last time! Three parasites don’t agree with her motives of leaving Shinichi alone and find her to be a dangerous parasite that’s evolving with more human components than anyone ever could have imagined!
I really like this episode a lot. This not only provides a a strong buildup for Shinichi and how he’s going to live his life after all this is over but it also bridges the gap between human and parasites right into plain view here– the relationship between Reiko and her baby. What does that mean to her feeling like an outsider looking in– developing human emotions towards a living thing that she gave birth to.
I’m sure next episode will be a nice closure for her and Shinichi coping with his own mother’s death– we can clearly see that when Reiko arrives at Shinichi’s house and takes an interest in all the pictures he has with his mother.
I’m fascinated by the fact that this show chooses to not neglect it’s minor human cast– The detective’s death here pushes the original investigator on Shinichi’s family case to expose the parasites for what they are. What’s even more is how well the creators put Murano back into the picture by using her as the piece of the puzzle that brings Shinichi and Reiko together– love that scene where she shows up at Shinichi’s house to find Reiko there. Good thing she didn’t get killed there and I would venture to guess that if she hadn’t had the baby and learned of the turmoil Shinichi went through with losing his mother things would have gone much differently here. She would have killed Murano on the spot.
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10
I feel bad for Shinichi. He has lost his mother and Kana– two people that were directly involved with parasites and the very thing that has changed his life since the very beginning. And that was just part of what has happened to him– the entire Class 3-3 being slaughtered except for Murano. He’s changing and it’s made his life as a human much different than what he has ever hoped it would be– those dreams we’ve been seeing emphasize this a lot!
Now he’s in an even worse situation fighting against Miki– a parasite with what was thought to be three parasites in complete control of its human host however this fight manages to be absolutely incredible at dissolving that fact. Five total parasites inside transforming him from Miki into Goto! Strong lead-in to this half’s villain and one that puts Shinichi and Migi in a very dangerous situation. As much as I liked this fight and how strong Arai’s soundtrack comes through I was hoping we would get to hear a new collection of songs for this second half. Nonetheless this is an awesome episode.
We went from a worried Shinichi to a frantic human struggling to survive– what strikes this greatly is where Shinichi jumps on the truck and fends off Goto’s attacks. The only thing saving them from death here is a human solution– slamming Goto into the oncoming truck! This show is graphic and really captures the frightening nature of these aliens very well but I must admit I’m curious as to how the Blu-ray will look on this. Can’t wait to get that in March!
The second half of this episode was a lot calmer than I had remembered it being in the manga. That scene in the alleyway was really good– you can hear all the sound effects from the bustling city close to him and we’ve got Shinichi hiding to save his life. The detective losing his family and Shinichi seeing it on screen gave a nice jump into his feelings towards his father and what he has to do to protect all he has left in his somewhat human heart. Everything is turning from bad to much worse for not just Shinichi but even Tamura Reiko!
The detective is headed on a revenge path heading to Reiko’s apartment, the other members of the parasite group finally realize that Reiko has been dangerous all along, and what a great chance to see this show build its momentum by using an engaging cliffhanger without Shinichi at the forefront!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10
I cannot believe in two weeks I will be having my one-year anniversary on this site. Not to mention my 300th post is just around the corner. Crazy how quickly this has gone by. Before I dive into the latest episode of Kiseijū I want to shift gears into a more personal aspect of my life. Which come to think of it, I don’t think I’ve ever done on this site before.
I’ve watched anime all my life ever since I was a little kid and have always had a passion for how much creative freedom these incredible artists have in this kind of medium of entertainment. For almost a year now I’ve been hosting anime gatherings with friends and this is one of the series we are watching. It’s great to watch anime series with other people as it can give way to fantastic discussions. Including what the heck is up with the bears in Yuri Kuma and what does the guy look like under the crocodile mask in Rolling Girls? Animation does indeed play a small factor in terms of what I watch but there is always one rule I follow. The style of anime should be varied and that includes story, music and directing among many other aspects. I might not be a strong writer but I do like to catalog a lot of series I enjoy. Hopefully the readers here find them somewhat of a good read. It’s also good to see some feedback on the site as well. I guess what I’m trying to say here is that having this blog and hosting those screenings I’ve been able to look at anime in a different light than I ever have before. A change of perspective so to speak.
With regards to animation studios, I want to point out that I’m really impressed with Madhouse this year as they’ve got two incredibly awesome series airing alongside each other. Kiseijū and Death Parade. These series have something unique this season in terms of animation: the designs are mature looking. I think what inspired me to talk about animation studios are the screenings I hold. I tend to re-visit an older series in the mix of new anime of the current lineup which this season has been studio Gonzo’s 2006 series Red Garden. A horror and drama series with a small amount of musical scenes in it. That series has quite a mature look for its character designs as well as how fluid the animation can be. I am always taken in by this style which is what caught my eye to Kiseijū in the first place.
The detective decides on having Ryoko tailed by one of his assistants. As slow moving as this episode was there sure were a lot of intense action sequences that bridge the gap between humans and parasites. This was developed throughout the majority of the episode here! The detective getting sick accents how much humans should stay clear away from these things and I like how he avoids the subject all together with one basic reason. Keeping his family safe. Funny, how this has been Shinichi’s same reason all along and he’s handling it differently because he’s shifted away from humanity. Migi is being more sensible than he ever has been! He brings up the possibility that Shinichi’s father might be killed if they go head on.
It’s nice to see this episode display some human emotion as its been quite some time for Shinichi. This is due to the fact that Kana has died and he’s separated from Murano. It’s large impacts like these that make this series spectacular as a whole– he’s tried to save others and it’s the repercussions of his actions that finally have caught up with him!
Hirokawa’s goals of establishing dining areas for his fellow parasites depicts the trust the others have with Ryoko. Specifically with her idealizing Shinichi as a wondrous achievement for their species– the integration of human and parasite as two separate beings as a team. Shinichi’s dream illustrated this point in such an odd way and I like how it’s this nightmare that further progresses his intent on killing each parasite one by one!
The introduction of Miki was hysterical– he’s a clumsy guy when he’s trying to be human but it all makes sense when he’s got three parasites inside of him! Migi’s four hour absence and Miki pursuing him led to a really good cliffhanger here!
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 10/10