Thursday, February 19, 2009

Parasyte, Volume 06

While not devoid of emotion -- Shinichi's struggle to maintain his sense of humanity provides plenty of moments for that -- Parasyte is generally far more subdued in sentimentality compared to most manga. A certain incident in volume four that would pass for fodder in other series is detachedly presented and ended, with only a handful of references to it appearing since then. This relative sterility stays near-constant throughout the series.

Until this volume. Hitoshi Iwaaki ratchets up and maintains tension from start to finish in the aftermath of the intricate fight from volume five. All factions involved are moving, and this gradually culminates in the penultimate chapter of this volume. Here Iwaaki grants the sort of climax that has been needed, and gives the spotlight and final word to one of the most compelling and developed villains I have read in manga.

I could talk about the various problems and questions that are raised here, but no justice can be given in just a couple meager paragraphs. Iwaaki has simply created one of the most consistently well-written and ambitious manga available in English. It's a cliché, but you are doing yourself a disservice if you have not checked out Parasyte.

(Oh, and Andrew has to be commended for the translation, particularly the humorous asides.)


  1. Nice. I read this volume myself it a few days ago myself and highly enjoyed it. I love how much Tamura changed over the course of the series, paving the way for the events that transpired in this volume. Certainly of the best manga available legally in English.

    Hitoshi Iwaaki continues to impress, volume after volume, be it Parasyte or his masterpiece Historie. Have you read his one-shot Me o Mite Hanase?

    Oh, and I'm with you in commending Andrew on the translation. The highly amusing Chapter 46 probably couldn't have been handled any better. I found his note regarding the translation of "koma" on page 79 to be quite humorous. I'm so glad he got it right.

  2. Look Me in the Eyes When You Talk? It's nice. Ending is very unnerving.

  3. Yup, that's the one. Read it a couple of weeks ago myself and I enjoyed it quite a bit.