Neo Parasyte F
Originally crated by Hitoshi Iwaaki, Parasyte was a critically acclaimed sci-fi horror series from the late 80s/early 90s, which told the story of Shinichi, a teenage boy, and Migi, a parasitic organism which took control of his right hand. Despite ending over a twenty years ago, Parasyte still has some life left in it. It recently received an anime adaption, which was dubbed and aired in the US on the Toonami block in late 2015/early 2016. If that wasn’t enough, the original manga has been released in the U.S. by three different companies! With that in mind, it’s not surprising that Kodansha chose to bring over Neo Parasyte F, a single volume anthology which pays to tribute to the critically acclaimed sci-fi/horror series with. Full of stories set within the world he created, loving satires and more, it features contributions from no less than thirteen shojo creators!
As a single volume, Neo Parasyte F is a pretty solid and engaging read. While some stories are more enjoyable and memorable than others. Three of the anthology’s stand out gems are; “The Telepathist and the Parasite” by Kashio, which is set years after the original series and explores the burgeoning friendship between two high school students and the powerful emotional connections often developed during that time of life; “Forbidden Fun” by Mikimaki, is a hilarious comedy with some truly laugh out loud moments as Migi presses Shinichi on the topics of relationships and sexual attraction; And “The Royal Prince” by Miki Rinno, one of the lengthier installments which involves lost memories, parasytes and a doomed romance. Each one approaches the idea of the parasytes in their own way and does a fantastic job at highlighting some of the different approaches to the world and the material.
In addition to the stories, each creator gets a page which highlights their works and includes a paragraph from the creator talking about <bParasyte. In a few cases, this simply involves mentioning that they were fans of the original series, while others talk about what the series meant to them, what they liked about it and how it inspired them. It’s a nice little touch which might lead people to more work from their favorite contributors, while also highlighting the lasting impact of the original series how it resonates and inspires others to this day.
Over all, Neo Parasyte F is one of the better manga or comic anthologies I’ve come across. The strongest stories are surprisingly good and even the weakest entries aren’t bad enough to bring the rest of the volume down. Long time fans of Parasyte will appreciate the humor and probably enjoy some of the stories set in the original series’ continuity. Hopefully newcomers will be intrigued by the stories that touch upon the emotional core and strong relationships, things which made Parasyte so enjoyable, and seek it out for themselves.
Neo Parasyte F is available now from Kodansha Comics. Review copy provided by the publisher.