“The Selfish Gene”

「利己的な遺伝子」 (Rikoteki na Idenshi)


This may have been a slow episode, but it’s still effective in sticking to the themes that are prevalent in Kiseijuu. The concept of Change is one on those themes, always seeming to me at the centre of Kiseijuu’s narrative, and with it comes the idea of adapting, or refusing to do so. Many anime these days have archetypical characters fit into a certain box and appeal to a certain demographic – and that’s fine, it works and it can often produce something entertaining – but when you have an entire cast of static characters it becomes difficult to find anything beneath the surface. Kiseijuu, however, is the opposite, which I think may come down to it being crafted in a different era. Every character is constantly shifting, changing, adapting or refusing to do so for their own limited reasoning. It’s refreshing, and even if this was one of the simpler episode yet, it’s still very enjoyable to watch unfold..

Shinichi is obviously the most changing character throughout the series, and although we don’t see him do anything he hasn’t done before (like screaming in fury over his mother’s death or cursing at humans like a non-human would do) it all continues to push Shinichi forward on a course that I think is only going to end in tragedy. He hasn’t quite done anything as bad as putting a dog in a bin for a while, but he is a losing his humanity as time goes on and I’m just waiting for his character to explode.

Migi and Tamiya are the other two most changing characters so far. Migi is less obvious, since he still comes across as fairly emotionless and unsympathetic to humanity (as well as the concept of names and human rights). But there are certainly moments where Migi seems like the most levelheaded entity in the room, which is amusing and scary to think about. In this episode we saw him defend Shinichi in a way we haven’t seen before; whether he believes what he is saying though, is another matter. Tamiya’s return to the series means we get to see more of her progression as well, for which I am very grateful. Last episode I complained about her complete lack of emotion on her face, so I’m glad we got to see her learning how to correctly match her laugh to her smile. Tamiya is probably the most intelligent parasite we’ve seen to date, so watching her adjust to human life with a mixture of success and mistakes is always fun.

Altruism vs Selfishness:

The university lecture is obviously referencing to what could/will happen with Tamiya’s character in future. Will she embrace her maternal instincts and apply a selfless attitude to her offspring, or will she revert to her parasite ways and sacrifice it for her own good. Well, based on this episode she doesn’t seem to have much of a problem with using her baby as a shield, so I think it’s a work in progress at this stage. Still, Tamiya is one to watch and I’m just not sure where her path will go from here, which makes me even more excited to find out.

Overview – What’s Next?

It was nice to have Uda back on the scene, and Tamiya’s return to the story has been welcomed, but as a whole this episode was much the same as the last – not much happened, but it was still an entertaining watch. I have a feeling we may be continue to set up for the eventual final act in the coming weeks, though I’m confident it will all be worth it in the end.



Information Digest:


  • Parasitic aliens have descended on Earth with a hunger for human flesh. They are everywhere – taking hold in the bodies of those unlucky enough to encounter them.
  • Once fused with a host body they can mutate in whatever way they please – except for the case of Izumi Shinichi, whose alien parasite, Migi, is trapped in his right hand.


  • Shinichi is finding is difficult to react to Kana’s death, and his relationship with Murano continues to grow sour.
  • A detective hired by Tamiya manages to capture Migi on camera, but Shinichi lets him escape with his life.


Details Digest:

Chapters Covered:

  • Chapters 34 p.34 – 36

Comedy in Bleakness:

  • I’m glad we got some moments of comedy with involving Uda and Joe. They provide a nice contrast to the darkness that surrounds them.
  • The Detective:

  • The detective now knows the full story, which could be a very dangerous thing.
  • Either he’s going to be the next to bite the dust, or he’s going to reveal what he knows and put Shinichi and Uda in danger



  1. https://randomc.net/image/Kiseijuu%20Sei%20no%20Kakuritsu/Kiseijuu%20Sei%20no%20Kakuritsu%20-%2014%20-%2036.jpg

    That last scene was interesting because when the fortune teller told Shinichi about the hole in his heart, she probably meant it emotionally and in a sense he still feels responsible for his mother’s death by suggesting she go on a trip when he said he “killed that person”.

    On the other hand, what used to be his mother caused a hole in his heart literally but in that case credits actually go to “Joe” for killing her.

    That being said, Dark Shinichi frightens me…

  2. Migi can morph into someone’s face? Even Murano & Kana? Takes the ”married to my right hand” to a whole new level.

    “I’ll just have to use this baby as a shied” Mother of the year.

    Migi showing empathy? Izumi = less human. Migi = more human.

    1. Well if it keeps following the manga it should wrap it all up by the end of this season. Unless it pulls out some cheese and just strays completely from the source, which personally I would not enjoy in the slightest. Also who would take over as the protaganist? If we got some dude with the same archetype as shin the show would just become boring and stale.

    1. That lecture is just one of the reasons this show continues to blow my mind. It’s very intelligent. Think this is my favorite show by far for last season and will continue to be so this season by the looks of things!

      Rick Anime
    2. significant flaw in the content of the lecture shown this episode: it focuses purely on the biological and ignores the psychological – i.e. the lecture is correct if humans were not sentient beings with emotions.

      human sentience and emotion changes the reality about offspring and love and parental relations completely to what is expressed in the lecture.

  3. I think Reiko is laughing not because of the baby or anything, but because she is trying so hard to investigate the human psyche. As such, she is improving her mannerisms and is becoming more ‘human-like’. Proof of that is when she is in the washroom and says that her laughing expression was wrong.

    1. The contrast between Izumi’s mom saving his life when he was a kid and Tamiya using her baby as a shield was great and made the his anger much more believable. That scene left a bigger impression in the anime than the manga.

  4. Was that lecture a foreshadowing for the possibility of Tamiya sacrificing herself for the sake of her child? Also, technically, she reopened the whole wider than anything else has since it first opened literally.

    1. Hahaha. That is indeed a perfect title. I think the episode is all about parasites beginning to gain emotions and being more human-like. There’s also some foreshadowing that Migi and Shinichi will trade moral ground.

    1. Through analysis of Parasyte attacks at him, the P.I. has determined that the
      geometric distribution of antagonists in any parasyte battle is
      a statistically predictable element. The Parasyte-Kata treats
      the body as a total, each fluid position
      representing a maximum chance of
      keeping the defender clear of the statistically traditional
      trajectories of Parasyte Tendrils and Blades.

      This fighting style, Parasyte-Kata, then taught to Elite Anti-Parasyte Units the Government prepared for the upcoming confrontation…

  5. It’s official, Izumi does not give a damn no more! Shinichi turning to the dark side is exactly what I’m hoping for.

    And Reiko’s got some parenting skills that will put supernanny to shame.

    LeDouche vi Britannia
    1. It was Shinichi laughing while crying due to his reallly screwed up situation. He hoped that at least a fortune teller (sic!) might help him find a solution, but she missed the target by half a mile. Since he technically cannot cry anymore, it just looked like he went psycho.. which he didn’t.

  6. I thought Migi’s defense of Shinichi was especially important for underscoring just how much the former has evolved from an emotionless insect. Before, Migi was quick to dismiss all emotions in favor cold rationality, but his use of pathos to invoke empathy from another human proves he is able to understand the feelings of others now (though it has yet to be shown if that new understanding means he is starting to feel emotions too).

    1. significant flaw in the content of the lecture shown this episode: it focuses purely on the biological and ignores the psychological – i.e. the lecture is correct if humans were not sentient beings with emotions.

      human sentience and emotion changes the reality and our perceptions about offspring and love and parental relations completely from what is expressed in the lecture.

  7. Well, I start to have enough everybody telling how Shinichi is more and more inhumane, because it isn’t true. Shinichi have classic PTSD symptoms and it means he’s more human than anyone can imagine. It’s like the author sat with the symptoms list and checked every box:
    – Exposure to a traumatic event (exposure to real or threatened death, injury, or sexual violence)
    – Persistent re-experiencing (spontaneous memories of the traumatic event, recurrent dreams related to it, flashbacks or other intense or prolonged psychological distress)
    – Persistent avoidance (avoidance of distressing memories, thoughts, feelings or/and external reminders of the event)
    – Negative cognitions and mood (persistent and distorted sense of blame of self or others, estrangement from others, markedly diminished interest in activities, decreased capacity to feel certain feelings, an expectation that one’s future will be somehow constrained in ways not normal to other people, an inability to remember key aspects of the event)
    – Persistent symptoms of increased arousal not present before (aggressive, reckless or self-destructive behaviour, sleep disturbances, hyper-vigilance or related problems)
    – Duration of symptoms for more than 1 month
    – Significant impairment (the symptoms reported must lead to clinically significant distress or impairment of major domains of life activity, such as social relations, occupational activities, or other important areas of functioning)
    – The disturbance is not due to the effects of a substance or another medical condition

    1. I don’t think his changes are due to PTSD, at least not entirely. Yes, he has PTSD and it has complicated his problems but the parasyte in him plays a bigger role in his changes. Besides, people with PTSD can still cry and be emotional while he can’t.

    1. The most hilarious thing from this scene for me was the way in which producers cut the audio sample of the child crying. They literally cut it off, like pressing a pause button on a cd player. No fade out, no mixing a different sample, nothing. I know it was an oversight or negligence of the audio department, but it turned out just golden.

  8. I really like the psychological aspect of the change between migi and izumi. I’m actually wondering if it will get to the point of migi stopping izumi from doing something bad in the future that might further alter his mind set on life as a whole. At what point will migi become more mentally human than izumi already is? We have seen izumi stop migi from killing people, but I wonder if we will ever see migi stop izumi from killing someone from an emotional human perspective.

    1. It’s little unique interactions like this that really put this series at the top. The action is tense and the evolving psychology of Shinichi and the parasytes is interesting, but I really love all the quirky shit Migi does during down time. It almost always cracks me up.

  9. Good thoughts. The ending got me like crazy… (o_o) Also, I agree when Izumi said humans. I was like uhhhh Izumi would never say that. The fact that both of them are changing makes it much more interesting. I also totally called it last week that they would get some info from the investigator.

    1. kittyraider
  10. Where to start. Izumi straight up saying goodbye to Murano, Migi’s development and Ryoko’s laugh….yikes! Fantastic episode yet again. Izumi is definitely on the road to ruin in terms of who he is as a person.


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