Parasites are Gone:
After the epic showdown with Gotou last week, it was clear that we weren’t getting another parasite enemy showing up to challenge Shinichi’s victory. Having a final episode almost devoid of the series’ namesake was a bold move. But it paid off. The explanation at the start of the episode was one that fits with what had been hinted early on – the parasites have adapted; they may not be causing trouble, but they’re still there. I remember saying that the thought of the parasites being skilled enough to meld into human society was the scariest part of Kiseijuu, and I stick by that. They’ll forever remain hidden, until they decide to strike again.
Humankind & Migi’s Last Goodbye:
Kiseijuu has been as much about humanity as it has about parasites. Shinichi spends some time contemplating humankind, on wildlife, and reflecting on his battle with Gotou (after all, last episode was the most thought-provoking of the whole series, tying the flaws and weapons of humanity with the downfall of the parasites). I heard there were some negative reactions to how Kiseijuu ended (even before the anime aired), and I suppose I can see why. Some people wanted an epic climax, or some tragedy to finish it off, but I think this epilogue-like episode was a refreshing finish. The conflict of the parasites was over last week, now was a time for reflection and moving on.
Speaking of moving on, we really have said goodbye to Migi – for real this time. His dream sequence with Shinichi was a touching farewell, bringing all the deceased characters back to the screen one final time. I’m glad that Shinichi never forgot about Migi. They shared so much together, so to have those memories wiped would feel cheap, even if it would have made for a heart wrenching moment for us viewers. Shinichi deserves to remember Migi, and the parasites, and all the horror they brought, and he knows that.
Up until the final moments of the episode, I was wondering what note we were going to end on. The first half was so different from every other Kiseijuu episode – there was little tension, mainly farewells and flash forwards to happier times. I was just waiting for something terrible to happen. And then Uragami showed up. I admit, I was spoiled that Uragami is technically the ‘final villain’, so I was waiting for this to unfold like it did. Truthfully, I thought Murano was a goner, but she saved her best moments till last. She didn’t want to hear Shinichi admit that he was some monster hybrid. I’m sure she’s figured out what was going on with him, even if she hasn’t been told the details – she just didn’t want Shinichi to have to say the words. Powerful stuff, if you ask me.
When Uragami shoved her off the roof, I thought that was it. Shinichi’s expression of complete devastation was enough to catch my breath. Thankfully, as he always does, Migi saves the day. May that wonderful parasite never be forgotten. Murano and Shinichi survived, and we avoided what would have been a fitting tragic ending, but I’m glad we ended on a positive note. Many characters suffered brutal deaths, but Shinichi and Murano made it till the end, and there’s something heartwarming about that. In the end, humanity wins. Even if monsters wrapped in human skin still exist. Thankfully, Shinichi stopped himself from going down the dark route I thought he might take. That would have made for a very different story.
Overview – Final Impressions:
First off, let me just thank everyone that read my Kiseijuu posts every week for these past six months. This was the first anime I’ve blogged from start to finish (World Trigger doesn’t count), and I couldn’t have asked for a better first series to attach an END to the title. I picked this up because I thought this was an anime that fans would want to see covered weekly, and I was right. I’ve enjoyed reading all your comments, which have been a mixture of (a) reacting to the craziness of Kiseijuu on a weekly basis, (b) finding humour in the horror, or (c) exploring the bigger picture and what the series was trying to say. The story has been incredible – even if I wasn’t a fan of the second last arc where Shinichi had little to do. Apart from that misstep, Kiseijuu delivered something special every week, keeping me on the edge of my seat, always leaving me wanting more.
The story was powerful, but I’d say the characters were even better. Shinichi was a brilliant protagonist, with heaps of development. Just thinking back to the Shinichi in the first episode, compared to the last, it’s baffling. That poor boy went through so much, and every step of the way Migi was there. To think that a seemingly emotionless parasite would become so likeable. Shinichi and Migi were a fantastic pair, and I’m glad they ended on a positive note, even if they had to part ways. Early on I was convinced there was going to be a rebellion between the two – a battle between mind and body, but thankfully Gotou had that covered. There were so many characters that suffered tragic deaths they didn’t deserve, mainly Shinichi’s mother, and the strong-willed Kana. Both of them were very easy to sympathise with, and I could see the audience growing attached to both of them, only to have them taken away. But there was one character that I must to talk about again, and that’s Tamura Reiko. Shinichi was a brilliant main character, but I’m afraid Tamura stole the show. Her change in character was arguably more drastic than Shinichi’s – one about understanding humans, learning to adapt, becoming a mother of a human child, and unlocking new emotions. Tamura was captivating to watch, and I doubt I’ll ever forget her story. Her final moments were among the most human that the series produced, and that was completely intentional if you ask me. On that note, a big thank you to Madhouse for adapting this classic manga. There were skeptics in the beginning, but it all seems so irrelevant now, considering how fantastic this adaptation turned out to be. Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu is a rare breed in this current anime climate, and for that I’m grateful to have covered it all these months. And I’m glad it didn’t end in complete despair.