Parasyte Volume 6

ATTENTION: Spoilers below!

What can I say about this volume of ‘Parasyte’ other than “page turner”? This volume, I believe, actually has Iwaaki capturing the essence of his story and actually translating that onto paper. Considering the last was, at best a average, and at worst forgettable the sixth volume makes up for this immensely.

In previous reviews I wrote about how ‘Parasyte’ was an evolution of sorts. This volume is certainly the story’s coming of age. No longer is it this angst ridden teenager longing for love but rather an adult philosophizing where life went wrong. Volume six is certainly a very dark story evoking from its readers a reaction. The reaction could be a questioning of what your life is about; or perhaps it could be an actual reaction to the growing humanity of the Parasytes.

Essentially the story of the sixth volume of ‘Parasyte’ is simple. Kuramori, the detective tailing Shinichi from the previous volumes, comes back to his home to find that his family have been killed. This acts as a catalyst for Iwaaki to investigate the meaning of human life. The Parasytes that killed Kuramori’s family are criticised by Tamura Reiko for not being human enough in the way they handled the situation. The three parasytes in question turn on Tamura and attempt to kill her. Tamura believes this to the development of a more human personality. Simultaneously she is being tracked by the police, under the supervision of Police chief Hirama, who believes Tamura to be the perpetrator of the killing of Kuramori’s family. This volume demonstrates Iwaaki’s ability to successfully weave a web bringing all these characters together for a final showdown.

Tamura’s character is excellent in this volume and her fate is a great shame. It is not unwelcome however because it allows Iwaaki to say what he has tried to avoid for a long time: Humans and Parasytes are, essentially, the same. Indeed Tamura’s final scene is fantastic and it means that Iwaaki can really force home his message that Paraystes at a physical level are similar, they are made up of similar cells, but in the act of saving her child she demonstrates that Paraystes and Humans are the same, to a certain degree, emotionally.

However this does not mean that this volume is not without its flaws. The death scene involving Tamura and Shinichi is great but is followed but what is meant to be a long silent moment where the world has stopped for Shinichi. Unfortunately it doesn’t work. As a dramatic device it fails because without talking it feels as if the conclusion to that scene fails to live up to Tamura’s death scene. Iwaaki is best when his characters are talking and so the aftermath of the death scene fails to live up to what it follows. A little niggle with Iwaaki is his use of humour which detracts from tense, dramatic moments. In the park attempting to locate Tamura some police run into a mother wearing the same clothes as Tamura and attempt to arrest her. It was not a funny moment and certainly detracts from a tense pursuit leading to a rather dark final scene.

In conclusion, the volume is the best of the series yet and the action is, for once, interesting. As opposed to the boring ‘dragon ball z’ kind of fight we had to read in the previous volume we are treated to Iwaaki actually crafting a decent story and having our protagonist face up to the reality that Parasytes and Humans are very similar. Tamura’s death scene is fantastic and it really is the crowning moment of the series. Tamura having been a great character, an adversary who was very well characterised through out the series, was treated to an excellent death. It really has spiced up the series. Unfortunately with not all the strands of the story completed I doubt the next volume will live up to the end of this volume.

9 / 10