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Parasyte Collection 2 Blu-ray Anime Review

7 min read

When I took over this human’s brain, I received a directive. It said, Devour this species.

What They Say:
They seem like the perfect killing machines: taking the form of their latest victim as they move on to hunt their next meal, blending invisibly into the chaos of human civilization.

But as the human race becomes aware of the invaders, the rules unexpectedly change. Because, while the predators may be far more deadly individually, human beings hunt in packs… and no species in the universe has spent more time perfecting new ways to kill than man.

As the military secretly mobilizes and a shadow war erupts, Shinichi and Migi find themselves trapped in the escalating purge. Born from a merging of both sides and yet belonging to neither, the best they can do is merely hope to survive as the lines between friend and foe cease to exist.

The war between the planet’s two apex species spills into the streets as human sheep reveal the wolves hidden inside in the apocalyptic second collection of PARASYTE- THE MAXIM!

Parasyte – the maxim Collection 2 contains episodes 13-24.

The Review:
Audio:
Parayste: The Maxim’s second collection boasts an English dub brought to you in DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 as well as the original Japanese dub in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. Both the English and Japanese dubs come in crystal clear and equalized at all points throughout the series. There is no clipping, overmodulation, or anything of the sort. Even when jumping to the opening and ending portions of the episodes, the audio remains equalized so you don’t have to keep adjusting your volume every three seconds. Also, I just want to note that the OST of this series is phenomenal, so hearing it loud and clear is always a good thing.

Video:
As per usual, the video quality of this Blu-Ray collection comes in 1080p HD with a default aspect ratio of 16×9. The video, which is uncensored on the Blu-Ray release, comes in crisp and colorful at all points throughout the series. Character outlining is well-defined and everything just looks flat-out beautiful all around. The show’s art style is reminiscent of those older shows from when Sci-Fi reigned supreme in the anime world but don’t let that fool you- Parasyte still has a modern day twist for all of those who are afraid to look back to a time when anime was less “anime.”

Packaging:
Much like its predecessor, Parayste Collection 2’s box art is pretty darn red. This one, however, has significantly more teeth than the one before it. But even with its grotesque and parasitic imagery on the front cover, the set isn’t all that visually appealing. The rear cover seems rather jumbled and, as a whole, the Blu-Ray doesn’t do much in terms of jumping out at you. Even the discs themselves look rather boring when compared to similar releases. But then again, things like this sit sideways on your shelves anyway, so only true collectors will care.

Menu:
Guys, guys, guys! Guess what? You know how I’m always complaining about how Sentai’s DVD and Blu-Ray menus are always the same, boring thing? Well, in Parasyte, we actually get some real video content! The series’ opening theme plays on loop in the background while the episode titles are displayed in small boxes beneath it. It’s one of the tidiest menus I’ve seen in a while (Considering DVD menus are a dying breed) and they even added in a feature where you can just scroll over the “Back” button instead of clicking on it to return to the title screen. It may seem like a minuscule detail but its things like this that set apart normal menus from great ones.

Special Features:
In the usual fashion, Parasyte is a bit lacking in terms of special features. It contains only the clean opening/ending songs as well as four aptly-chosen trailers for other Sentai releases (Akame Ga Kill, Chaika The Coffin Princess, The Fruit Of Grisaia, and Higurashi/When They Cry). There is nothing else to report as far as features go.

Content: (Please note that the content portion of the review may contain spoilers)
So, Parasyte is kind of a big deal. Not only did it show up almost twenty years after its manga release in 1989 but it friggin’ blew up fast and it blew up hard. Back in Fall of 2014, if you weren’t watching Parasyte, people wouldn’t even listen to your opinion. It’s one of those shows that kind of just appeared and captivated not only new audiences but old audiences will- and very few titles actually reach both of those groups nowadays. But even with its incredibly heavy (And gory) start, Parasyte couldn’t stay perfect forever. In fact, the latter half of the series runs into several issues. This collection, while still a mainstay in many households, holds each and every one of those flaws.

Now, don’t get me wrong- I really like Parasyte. Its got one of the most interesting and brutal stories in all of the sci-fi genre. And even if Migi is potentially the weirdest character ever created, the overall tone and the questions that the series raises are nothing short of incredibly important and thought-provoking. Shinichi is actually one of the most dynamic characters of that year, going through so many changes (Both physical and mental) that he is literally a different person by the end of the series. As far as everyone else goes? Well…Not so much.

You see, Parasyte spends the bulk of its second half emphasizing the idea that humans are, in a really roundabout way, the true bad guys. I mean, the Parasytes are really just doing everything their power to try and survive. And we really know this is the case because Migi reminds us of it every five minutes. The series tries so hard to beat into these ideas into the viewer that it neglects several of the characters who were instrumental to the story just episodes ago. And after all of this time is ultimately consumed and things finally boil over into complete, utter panic…Parasyte does a 180 and backtracks on everything. It finally displays true side effects of neglect and, even with the string of fatalities earlier in the series, it finally appears that the consequences are going to be actual consequences rather than just dots on a timeline in Shinichi’s life.

The problem with Parasyte’s second cour is by no means a reflection of its content but the manner in which said content played out and how it was all executed. You can’t spend so much time trying to teach us a lesson only to turn around and say that the lesson was a joke. And maybe this wasn’t the intention of the writers- maybe its a simple result of condensing the series too much and overclocking the pace? But the way it appeared to me, and what makes it divisive to the community as a whole, is that Parasyte waits until the very last moment to be sympathetic to its characters. Its disregard for its own teachings is not only a directorial misstep but something that causes its final arc to feel more like a confused mess rather than an actual conclusion.

Of course, I wouldn’t like the series without its fair share of good points. The animation is phenomenal, the soundtrack is arguably the best in all of 2014 and, despite some qualms I have with him, Shinichi is honestly a great hero. Parasyte is packed with drama, action, a touch of humor, and tons of violence that is sure to shock some and amuse plenty of others. With so many good qualities, it’s no surprise that it reached such a high pedestal so quickly. Do yourself a favor and check it out because who knows? Maybe you won’t hate the ending as much as I did.

In Summary:
Parasyte runs into some late-cour issues and struggles in its final moments to reach the same heights as the rest of the series. And even though its conclusion may leave some confused or upset, the bulk of the series is good enough to have myself and many others overlook that. While divisive in nature, Parayste has a lot to say and even more to show. I’d go ahead and recommend this to any fans of the sci-fi genre as well as anyone interested in that raunchy, 90’s vibe. This is a series unlike any other and, even with its issues, it lives up to the hype.

Features:
English DTS-HD Master 5.1 Audio, Japanese DTS-HD Master 2.0 Audio, English/English SDH subtitles, clean opening/ending songs, Sentai Filmworks trailers.

Content Grade: B-
Audio Grade: A
Video Grade: A
Packaging Grade: B-
Menu Grade: A
Extras Grade: C

Released By: Sentai Filmworks
Release Date: July 5, 2016
MSRP: $69.98
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen


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