Parasyte - Part 2 (Kiseijuu) (2015)
|Category||Action / Horror||
Trailer-More from Eastern Eye x 4
|Year Of Production||2015|
|RSDL / Flipper||Dual Layered||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||4||Directed By||Takashi Yamazaki|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||None||Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)|
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||2.35:1|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||2.35:1||Miscellaneous|
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Parasyte – Part 2 is the second of two live action films by director Takashi Yamazaki based on the popular 1990s manga by Hitoshi Iwaaki. The first film was released in 2014 around the same time as an anime based on the manga, Parasyte: The Maxim, started showing on Japanese TV, this second part was released in 2015. I am not familiar with either the manga or the anime, so will only consider the Parasyte films in their own right.
As Parasyte – Part 2 starts the divide between humans and parasites widens and the possibility for peaceful co-existence as envisaged by the leader of the parasites Ryoko Tamiya (Eri Fukatsu) who has just given birth to a human baby boy, recedes. Humans have formed a special Police assault team to hunt and kill parasites while on the parasite side the powerful Goto (Tadanobu Asano) is determined that humans should be exterminated. Parasites have now also taken control of City Hall after the election victory of Mayor Takeshi Hirokawa (Kazuki Kitamura) creating a safe haven for parasites. Hirokawa, as well as Goto, does not agree with Ryoko’s order that Shinichi (Shota Sometani) be studied and not harmed and he dispatches a parasite to kill Shinichi and Migi; but Shinichi’s powers are growing and he and Migi are able to defeat their opponent. Indeed, Shinichi’s bigger problem at this time is his girlfriend Satomi (Ai Hashimoto), who is trying to understand just what is going on.
Parasyte – Part 2 continues straight on from Parasyte – Part 1 and lives up to the high standard set by the first part. It is thought-provoking, funny, sad, moving and tragic as well as very bloody and gory. The environmental subtext remains but this second film is more about what it is to be human and who the real parasites on Earth are. Indeed, nothing is black and white; there are bloodthirsty and mindless killers on both sides as well those who display understanding, such as Ryoko and Detective Hirama (Jun Kunimura). Parasyte – Part 2 also does not quite go where one expects; there are unexpected, and very poignant, deaths of major characters, humans acting like parasites and parasites who act like humans, and the film does end on a note of hope for the human species, and the planet. Amid the tragedy and action, which is gory with decapitations, blood and mutilated bodies, the film retains its sense of wry humour, especially the interaction between Shinichi and Migi which is very endearing. The CGI continues to be a mixed bag, from good to quite poor, although one must remember that this is not a huge budget Hollywood production.
In this second part Eri Fukatsu comes into her own as the conflicted Ryoko, a parasite who finds within herself more human traits than she thought possible, while Shota Sometani remains excellent, his scenes with Ai Hashimoto as Satomi providing the heart of the film and, in the end, the key to some of the questions posed.
Parasyte – Part 2 maintains the high standards of the first part and provides some explanations and conclusions, although each is not necessarily clear cut. Taken together the two parts are tremendous sci-fi action/ horror films, complex, thoughtful and satisfying.
Parasyte is presented in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio, in the PAL format and 16x9 enhanced.
This is not the crispest print you will see. While close-ups of faces are sharp enough, backgrounds can be soft. The colours vary; some scenes look natural, others have a blue, yellow or brown tinge, and in most scenes the colours are dialled down and look somewhat muted, an exception being the red/purple of the parasites when they burst from human heads. Blacks are solid and shadow detail good, brightness and contrast does vary, with glare when the light source is behind the actor. Aliasing was also present on car grills, bricks and railings.
Lip synchronisation was fine.
The English subtitles are in a yellow font. They are not burnt in so can be removed for Japanese speakers and I did not notice any errors.
The audio is Japanese Dolby Digital 5.1 at 448 Kbps.
Dialogue is clear. The effects are good including squishy footsteps or the slushy sounds of the parasites eating humans. The surrounds and rears featured music plus screams, voices, thumps and the “whip” of parasite tentacles during the action. In other times there were directional effects such as doors closing and footsteps. The sub-woofer added appropriate depth to the music and rumble to the effects.
The score by Naoki Sato, an experienced composer with music for both live action (Rurouni Kenshin trilogy (2012-14)) and anime (Assassination Classroom (2015-16)) on his CV, was in turns exciting, dramatic and poignant, nicely augmenting the visuals.
|Surround Channel Use|
Trailers for Yakuza Apocalypse (1:05), SPL2: A Time for Consequences (1:22), Metro Manila (1:53) and Rurouni Kenshin: The Legend Ends (2:55).
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 2 UK and Region 3 HK DVDs of Parasyte – Part 2 also include only the trailer as an extra. There are Region 2 Japanese normal and deluxe editions which are not English friendly and there is not currently a listing for a Region 1 US release. Buy local.
I was surprised, enthralled and then moved by the themes, compassion, characters, drama, tragedy and wry humour of Parasyte. The right of humans as a species to continue to destroy the Earth through overpopulation, environmental degradation and greed is a complex question, as is what it means to be human. While Parasyte does not shy away from the big questions and it does provide an answer, of sorts, its approach, where nothing is black and white, and the focus on a few individuals results in a very “human” drama that is tragic, humorous and, ultimately, hopeful, even though some of the CGI is rather dodgy. While some fans of the manga are unhappy with the films, I can only say, as someone new to the Parasyte world, that these are fabulous films in their own right.
The video has its moments, the audio is good. A trailer is the only extra.
|DVD||Sony BDP-S580, using HDMI output|
|Display||LG 55inch HD LCD. This display device has not been calibrated. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080p.|
|Audio Decoder||NAD T737. This audio decoder/receiver has not been calibrated.|
|Speakers||Studio Acoustics 5.1|