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Remembering Parasyte, the Anime Behind Netflix’s New Show Parasyte: The Grey

parasyte the maxim series banner


  • Korean studio follows trend of creating live-action anime series based on successful Parasyte: The Maxim.
  • Parasyte original anime gained popularity for unique concept of alien parasites taking over humans.
  • Netflix to release Parasyte: The Grey with Korean cast in 2024, promising original story and new characters.



Anime inspiring live-action series is starting to become commonplace on Netflix, with more and more being announced by Western and Japanese studios alike. Now, a Korean studio has jumped on the bandwagon, announcing an upcoming live-action series based on a 10-year-old Japanese anime that many people may have forgotten. This upcoming show is titled Parasyte: The Grey, and it is based on the anime Parasyte: The Maxim (herein Parasyte).

Parasyte was a popular anime when it aired almost ten years ago now, based on a manga that was published for 5 years and also had high ratings. It has inspired a couple of other attempts at live-action adaptations over the past few years since it finished airing, but nothing has quite been able to capture the addicting horror of the original anime. Before Parasyte: The Grey airs early next month, let’s have a look back at the original anime that inspired it, and how this latest adaption is going to use the source material.


What Parasyte: The Maxim Got Wrong

This mid-2010s anime about the nature of humanity got plenty right, but what did it get wrong? Let’s find out.

Parasyte: The Maxim – the Original Anime

parasyte anime cover characters


Parasyte: The Maxim (Kiseijuu: Sei no Kakuritsu)

Air Date

Oct. 9th 2014 – Mar. 26th 2015




8.33 (MyAnimeList)

Parasyte originally aired in 2014, based on a manga created by Hitoshi Iwaaki that began publishing in 1989. It is a body horror, science fiction story about alien parasites that come to earth and take over humans’ bodies. In the world of Parasyte, these small parasites enter the ear of people when they are sleeping, eating their head and taking over the form of that person’s head instead. They then continue to masquerade as that person until the time is right for them to hunt again, transforming the head into a monster and consuming other humans.

In Parasyte, the parasite is unable to enter the ear of its chosen victim, a teenage boy named Shinichi Izumi. About to die without a host, the parasite instead takes over Shinichi’s right hand, replacing it with its body. The two then form an unlikely symbiotic relationship, having to coexist if they both want to live. The parasite begins to go by Migi, Japanese for right, to make it easier for the two to communicate. The two face threats from other parasites as more and more humans fall victim to the invasion, trying not to get killed themselves while adjusting to their difficult new life together.

Parasyte‘s Reception


The anime was well-received by both critics and fans, scoring 8.33 on MyAnimeList, and 8.3 on IMDB. The concept of the anime is unique, and truly frightening to imagine parasites living among us without us even knowing – and never knowing if someone you love has fallen victim already until it’s too late. The design of the parasites along with the body horror of people’s faces literally opening up into monsters has become iconic in the world of anime horror, instantly recognizable as Parasyte due to its distinguishing style. Plus, Migi and Shinichi’s relationship and interactions have just enough humor to keep you watching a show that is otherwise nothing but gore and darkness, forming an unlikely friendship that has you cheering for them by the end.


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Parasyte: The Grey is not the first time that Parasyte has inspired a live-action show. The first attempt was actually by New Line Cinema in Hollywood back in 2005, but they lost the film rights before the movie could ever come to fruition. The rights eventually went to Japanese studio Toho, who released two live-action movies called Parasyte: Part 1 in November 2014 and Parasyte: Part 2 in April 2015. Part 1 only received a rating of 6.8 on IMDB, though, and Part 2 an even lower score of 6.5 on IMDB. Now, it is time for someone new to try again.

Netflix’s Upcoming Parasyte: The Grey

Parasyte: The Grey is an upcoming Netflix series made by Yeon Sang-ho (Train to Busan) and Ryu Yong-jae. It will begin airing on April 5th, 2024 on the popular streaming service. Rather than being produced in Japan again, this time the adaptation is being made in Korea, and will all be filmed in Korean with a Korean cast. So far, very few details have been released about the plot of the show, but a trailer was added to Netflix’s official YouTube on March 7th. At the time of publishing, the trailer already has over 1,200,000 views.

Parasyte: The Grey‘s official Netflix page simply describes the plot as;

When unidentified parasites violently take over human hosts and gain power, humanity must rise to combat the growing threat.

It seems like the story will be original, not following the original plot of Migi and Shinichi and their adventure. Instead, Parasyte: The Grey will likely have original characters and a new story, but take place in the same world that was created by Hitoshi Iwaaki in Parasyte: The Maxim. Plus, it looks like the main character is going to be female this time, and that the parasite has taken over half of her head instead of her arm. Regardless of these changes, considering Sang-ho is the director, we can expect some great horror scenes and thrilling vibes if his work on Train to Busan is any indication. We will be hoping for some new thrills with an original story set in such a great horror world.

Watch Parasyte: The Maxim now on Crunchyroll, and catch Parasyte: The Grey on Netflix starting April 5, 2024.

Parasyte The Maxim


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