Director: Takashi Yamazaki
Writer: Ryôta Kosawa, Takashi Yamazaki
Based on: Hitoshi Iwaaki‘s manga Parasyte
Cast: Shôta Sometani, Eri Fukatsu, Ai Hashimoto, Kazuki Kitamura, Masahiro Higashide, Tadanobu Asano, Miko Yoki, Jun Kunimura, Hirofumi Arai, Pierre Taki, Sadao Abe
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 28.10.2015
Shinichi (Shôta Sometani) is a regular, not particularly smart teenager. Rather than read he listens to music. His penchant for headphones works out to his advantage when alien parasytes start to invade the earth: they enter the human body via the ear canal and infest the brain. But with Shinichi the parasytes finds his entry blocked. When it tries to enter via Shinichi’s hand, it gets trapped there. Shinichi finds himself with a conscious, smart hand that has its own will, an eye and a mouth. Nicknaming it Migi (Sadao Abe), they discover that symbiosis might work better than simple parasitism and decide to fight back against the alien invasion.
Kiseijuu works with a weirdly fun idea and is entertaining a lot of the time. But I don’t understand why they made two films out of it. One film would have surely been enough.
When the movie started, I had a lot of fun with the idea of the parasytes, how they manifest and the way Migi was portrayed with this really strong personality. I also enjoyed watching Migi and Shinichi pulling themselves together. But as much fun as I thought Migi was, once the scene is set up, the movie starts to become repetitive.
With repetition comes boredom and the movie really starts to drag. Which is why I was so surprised that it was divided into two parts in the first place. Surely one could have shortened the entire thing a little and made it all into one film? (I haven’t seen the second film and I don’t know the manga, so maybe I’m just not anticipating how complex everything gets, but I don’t see indication in the first film that a two part treatment is strictly necessary.)
I was a little annoyed that after [SPOILER] the fridging of Shinichi’s mother [/SPOILER], there also had to be a love interest for Shinichi who of course gets conveniently damsel-in-distress-ed, so he can have even more motivation to become active against the aliens who take over everything he knows and loves. One would think that brain parasytes would be enough to kick somebody into gear, but apparently you need to be able to save a girl as well.
Despite these things, I had fin with Kiseijuu. If you’re a fan of crazy Japanese movies, you should definitely check it out. But otherwise it’s okay if you don’t see it. Personally I won’t be too sad if I never catch the second part.