Top 5 things that the upcoming Korean live-action Parasyte The Grey has to beat about the original anime

The snippet of the Parasyte the Grey movie

Parasyte The Grey is an upcoming original series inspired by Hitoshi Iwaaki’s sci-fi horror manga series Parasyte. This is a project that has been undertaken by South Korean director Yeon Sang-ho who is notably known for directing Train to Busan and Hellbound. However, Parasyte The Grey has a lot of pressure to deliver an exemplary series given that its predecessor Parasyte The Maxim anime was able to win hearts with its splendid animation.

Built on the foundational principles of science fiction and body horror, Parasyte (anime) was able to surpass expectations and supersede all criticism by delivering an engaging and enthralling piece of work. However, the upcoming Parasyte live-action has a lot to overcome if it were to live up to the expectations of the fandom. We have to remember how the anime was able to explore grim horror and a story that came out two decades ago.

That being said, as we discuss the various requirements that the upcoming Parasyte series needs to fulfill in order to overcome the anime, debates and opinions such as these are usually covered extensively in our newsletter at Spiel Anime!

Top 5 things that Parasyte The Grey has to beat about the anime – ranked

Su-in is sensitive to high-frequency sounds
Su-in in Parasyte the Grey movie. (Image credit goes to Netflix)

The upcoming Parasyte series has a lot to beat about the anime, given that it is not only competing with an adaptation but also the source material itself. As we are aware, the upcoming Korean series is loosely based on the source material but is an original story that changes a lot of the technicalities associated with its origins.

That being said, we have to understand that this debate or opinion does not intimate the fact that the Parasyte series has to adhere to these criteria to be a good adaptation. At the same time, while we talk about Parasyte The Grey vs Parasyte anime, we have to understand that the former has to stand for what it represents and aspire to surpass what has been established.

Also Read: 5 anime to watch if you liked Parasyte anime

5. The Live Action must outdo the anime in Horror

Su-in becomes emotional seeing everyone around her in Parasyte the Grey
Parasyte the Grey live-action Korean movie. (Image credit goes to Netflix)

The Parasyte anime never breaks away from the horrifying reality that it is supposed to represent. A series such as this is never easy going on the audience and it treats the idea of horror as something normal and mainstream. Moreover, the idea of an alien parasite invasion is all the more reason to portray these creatures as heartless monsters who care for nothing more than survival.

  • This horrifying tale is something that is expected out of Parasyte as a show.
  • Nonetheless, even if a Korean original adaptation breaks away from other tropes and motifs, the element of horror must remain consistent with the show. The recently released trailer focuses mainly on the invasion of a species and the take-over of humankind, but it has not managed to be convincing enough as a horror series as it lacks the element of surprise and suspense within the trailer.
  • However, this is simply an initial understanding of the show and opinions are bound to change in the future as the series releases.

4. Unique Characterization will be a deciding factor between the adaptations

A human transforms into a parasite.
Parasyte the Grey live-action Korean movie. (Image credit goes to Netflix)

The Parasyte anime stood out as a series because it was able to bring to life an outdated story in the modern scenario. It was able to focus on conveying human emotions and needs more than just the outlandish battle for survival. The characters go through an intensive process of development, with the character of Shinichi being constantly driven by the tragic events of his past.

Characters, including the parasites, in the show develop constantly and it is simply the case that they are humanized in the process. Ruthless war mongering and bloody slaughter is at one point also balanced with the attention the plot manages to put into developing its characters. That being said, if the upcoming Parasyte series were to surpass the original anime, it has to focus greatly on not just the gore and horror, but also the human aspect that entertains individualism.

3. A Change in lead will change story narratives

A bunch of Parasytes transforming in the trailer of Parasyte the Grey live action
Parasyte the Grey Korean Live-Action movie. (Image credit goes to Netflix)

The original Parasyte series that came out as an anime was centered around Shinichi, a male protagonist who undergoes a series of tectonic idealistic changes upon interacting with an alien entity. Shinichi is taken over by Migi, a parasite that enters his body but is unable to take over his soul completely. That results in the two of them fighting alongside humanity and against the ruthless parasites.

The anime adaptation, thus, inherently revolves around male leads and male actors. The most daring tasks and risks are primarily undertaken by male characters. This is a very gendered outlook and can also be seen as a result of the ‘male-gaze’ that victimizes the woman and glorifies the man. The Korean Parasyte live action has subverted from this primary notion and has put in place a female lead instead of the male.

  • This greatly contributes to creating an environment where we learn to appreciate the fact that even a female protagonist can do as much as a male can, and even much more.
  • The fact that a sci-fi horror series that is original in nature yet inspired from such a classic was able to contribute to its originality by giving space to the idea of womanhood is in fact one of the most commendable facets of the show.

2. Parasyte The Grey must remember to stick to the theme while crafting an original story

A guy transforms into a parasite in a party.
Parasyte the Grey live-action Korean movie. (Image credit goes to Netflix)

The original story of Parasyte as a manga came out two decades before the anime was released. Although the anime modernized a lot of elements and introduced various details that represented the present, it was impressive to witness how the series always stuck to the primary theme.

  • When we talk about themes, we are talking about the humanization, nature of human condition and Darwinism in Parasyte.
  • A social commentary on how the nature of human condition allows Darwinism to operate and how even a foreign element is at some point humanized is a stark realization of conflicts within the society are as much personal as they are meant to disrupt and uphold the status quo.
  • The Korean Parasyte live action must therefore remember to stick to the themes that concern themselves with a sense of crisis, fear and urgency, even though it is an original series. It must be able to deal with turmoil, trauma, suspense and fear so that the basic crux of the story doesn’t lose its essence.

1. The Main Duo dynamics dictate the impact of the story

A Parasyte about to kill a human in the trailer of Parasyte The Grey Live Action
Parasyte the Grey live-action Korean movie. (Image credit goes to Netflix)

The dynamic duo of Shinichi and Migi is one of the most beautiful elements that Parasyte as a show is known for. The timid Shinichi is transformed into a daring man all because of his will and Migi’s natural influence in his body. Migi on the other hand is a parasite who learns how to be as much of a human as Shinichi, while at the same time understanding and exploring the human nature in all its innocence.

Therefore, we would observe that Migi is unlike any other parasite. There is ruthlessness and innocence, and it is simply not motivated by the barbarism that the show endorses and sanctions. That being said, the upcoming Parasyte The Grey series has to surpass this relationship dynamics if it has to succeed as a narrative. The entire fame that Parasyte gained over the years is hugely accredited to the complementary relationship between Shinichi and Migi, and we can hope that we see the same in the upcoming Korean series.

Also Read: Top 10 Anime by Madhouse Studio that have stood the test of time

Netflix Live Action expectations

The Parasyte live action will be releasing on Netflix on April 5, 2024. The exact duration and length of the series is still unknown. However, we can be hopeful that it will attempt to preserve the essence of Parasyte as a story and at the same time impress its audience with the originality that it will harness and foster.

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