Parasyte: The Maxim balances macabre with psychological horror. Violence and gore have always been an integral part of anime, becoming key elements in many classics. This anime is a 2016 inclusion in the genre, featuring Cronenbergian body horror and graphic depictions of violence and bloodshed, all the while telling a gripping tale of humanity's resilience.
Alien parasitic creatures have landed on earth and are planning to invade humanity by taking over and controlling people's brains. Shinichi falls victim to one of the creatues, but it cannot reach his brain for some reason. Now, he is stuck with a alien as a new part of his body.
While Parasyte may allude to the intended parasitic instincts of Migi, the alien, and Shinichi and its relationship, the anime ends up being more symbiotic. This potential hint at coexistence fuels the hope of a solution to the adversity.
In this article, we've curated 10 anime that fans of Parasyte: The Maxim should watch.
10 anime that Parasyte: The Maxim's fans will take a liking to
1) Tokyo Ghoul
Tokyo Ghoul shares the trope of anatomical modification with Parasyte: The Maxim, which both have undoubtedly perfected. Following an attack by a ghoul, creatures who survive on human flesh, Ken Kaneki finds himself transformed into half-ghoul.
The story follows him as he learns to embrace his ghoulish side, becoming a key player in the war between ghouls and humans. Similar to Shinichi, Ken’s moral conscience begins a battle with itself, and the resulting psychological torment goes on to develop and shape his character throughout the series.
2) Attack on Titan
This anime needs no introduction. When it comes to blood and gore, Attack on Titan has proved to be one of the best the genre has to offer, ticking off almost all of its significant elements.
Humanity is threatened by giant humanoid creatures called titans and the only hope for survival are the gargantuan walls behind which they’ve taken shelter. However, all hell breaks lose when one day, the wall is breached by a special titan whose size surpasses the others.
The series follows Eren Jaeger and his quest to end all titans, but fate has written him a different story entirely. Like Shinichi's anatomical specialty, Eren too can transform into a specialized titan.
Isayama Hajime has sketched the titans with an uncanny macabre which makes them even more terrifying after the brilliant animation by MAPPA.
3) Jujutsu Kaisen
Jujutsu Kaisen has definitely revolutionized the shonen action genre by incorporating as much gore and violence as a seinen anime, like Parasyte: The Maxim, would typically have. The body horror in this series is completely on another level and might even appeal to fans of Junji Ito, which is saying a lot.
Itadori Yuji swallows a cursed item which turns out to be the appendage of an ancient king of curses named Ryomen Sukuna, whom he ends up reviving inside his body. Yuji then finds himself forming an unstable alliance with the evil inside him, much like Shinichi does with Migi.
4) Deadman Wonderland
Another anime that puts human morality in question, Deadman Wonderland is about a prison in post-apocalyptic Japan, where the protagonist Ganta finds himself after being accused of slaughtering his entire class.
Although Ganta may not play host to any alien or monster like Shinichi does, he is forcibly given supernatural powers.
The plot may differ significantly from Parasyte: The Maxim, but it does feature the same dark aesthetic and themes of human ethics, which fans are sure to enjoy in the same way.
5) Death Note
This evergreen classic should be on one’s watchlist regardless of them being a fan of Parasyte: The Maxim. Maybe not as gory, Death Note does explore the human psyche like the former, and depicts the extent of darkness a man can possibly cultivate within him when endowed with unfathomable power.
High school student Light Yagami stumbles across a mysterious notebook which claims to bring death to anyone whose name will be written in it. Light’s already existing apathy towards humankind is enhanced sevenfold when he immediately starts abusing the power, justifying the murderous zeal using his God complex.
Like Migi, the Shinigami Ryuk, to whom the death note belongs, plays an accomplice, albeit neutral, to Light’s endeavor to purge humanity of criminals by embarking on a murderous rampage.
6) Ajin: Demi-Human
The name of the series itself is sure to remind one of Shinichi from Parasyte: The Maxim. The protagonist of Ajin, Kei Nagai evades death by a fatal accident, due to the existence of an enigmatic substance in his body — which is revealed to be responsible for Kei’s identity of an Ajin. They are mysterious, alien creatures who are immortal.
This revelation renders Kei a target for government agencies around the globe who wish to capture him dead or alive. Both Ajin and Parasyte follow the tremendous aftermath of the protagonists' overnight change in their entire lives.
Despite differing from Parasyte: The Maxim, Inuyashiki is no stranger to exploring the human psyche, like Parasyte does. The show deals with two men who find themselves in a similar predicament after an alien encounter.
The protagonist Inuyashiki, an old man with no positivity left in his life, makes the better of his newfound power than Shishigami Hiro, whom the power turns into a psychopath with malicious intent. Inuyashiki must stop Hiro, which in turn will help him find a new purpose in life.
Besides the shared trope of physical transformation of the protagonist, Parasyte and Inuyashiki also explore similar themes of morality and ethics.
The monster behind the human facade in this show is Yoma, a demon warrior residing in our protagonist Clare. She and her comrades are Claymores, half-human, half-yomas, made by the enigmatic Organisation, with the purpose of fighting fire with fire.
Claymore, with its dark ambience and gruesome fights, is sure to appease fans of Parasyte: The Maxim. Unlike the latter, it is set in a fantasy world. The anime features a number of dark twists, as we are gradually brought closer to the real intent of The Organization.
9) Elfen Lied
The series follows Lucy, who is armed with tremendous power. However, unlike Shinichi, that power didn't come to her by chance. She is the product of a scientific procedure that she was made to go through by the government, with the purpose of making her the ultimate fighting machine.
The show has its own share of blood and violence, placeing it at par with Parasyte: The Maxim.
This dark fantasy series takes place in a rural setting where the small town of Sotoba is faced with a supernatural danger. People begin dying mysteriously at the hands of a foreign life form called the Shiki. They are malevolent, vampire-like creatures who prey on humans.
The horror series tackles philosophical questions about humanity and its ugly side, similar to Parasyte, boasting a thrilling experience for viewers.