Armed with information from Kuramori's report and plenty of guns, the military finally takes the fight to the Parasytes who have infiltrated the city government.
Writer/Artist: Hitoshi Iwaaki
Translation: Andrew Cunningham
Adaptation: Andrew Cunningham
What They Say
Shinichi is both man and monster. He's an ordinary high school student whose body has been invaded by an alien parasite. And he alone knows a terrible secret: The aliens are plotting the destruction of humankind. Now Shinichi is the target - for both the government and the alien invaders - in a hunt that will lead to a terrifying, bloody showdown...
Contents(please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers):
Volume seven of Del Rey's release contains content from volume 10 and 11 of the Tokyopop release. The differences between the Del Rey and Tokyopop versions are consistent with the previous volumes, so there's no need to rehash them here. However, I want to note how excellent the end notes are in the Del Rey release for this volume. In particular, the translator explains the meaning of the title of the manga and this volume's chapter 55: Kiseiju, which is normally translated as "Parasyte". The nuance in the title takes on special meaning by this volume's completion.
The seventh and penultimate volume of Parasyte details the first military offensive against the Parasytes. Using the information from detective Kuramori's report, the police and Japanese self defense forces prepare to take down all Parasytes working in Tofukuyama city's town hall. X-ray machines are set up outside the buildings to determine which employees are actually Parasytes. For additional help in locating Parasytes, Shinichi and serial killer Uragami are brought along as well. Shinichi is coerced into coming by police inspector Hirama, and he sits in a police van watching the proceedings on a video monitor. Uragami, however, is taken handcuffed into the building with a small police escort. Naturally, this is an entirely rational decision that will in no way have any unintended consequences.
Whether or not you accept the idea that the Parasytes are just following their natural drives in killing and eating humans, there is something undeniably disturbing about the way they are systematically slaughtered during the military operation. Without being given any chance to defend themselves, the heretofore unsympathetic killers appear completely helpless for the first time. While it's obvious that Iwaaki intended to send a message about how cruel humans can be, it doesn't feel that he's being unfair to any of the characters in order to make a point. Each character, both human and Parasyte, attempts to do their best to protect his or her own kind and his and her own life. This even-handedness makes it all the more tragic when the body count starts to explode.
Unfortunately, this volume starts to show some plot holes that are never really explained away. The second chapter begins with Shinichi returning to school. This is very odd, considering he is presumably still being pursued by the Parasyte assassin Goto. Shinichi has been reluctant in the past to involve others in his life-or-death struggles, so the fact that he shows up in class seems out of character. The second major problem is Goto's odd reluctance to kill Shinichi the end of the volume. Goto is incredibly powerful, and it seems that Shinichi is nothing more than a sitting duck that can be pursued and killed at the Parasyte's convenience. Regardless, the fact that Goto doesn't off Shinichi when he has the chance seems impossible to explain within the context of the narrative. It's obvious Iwaaki can't kill of his lead with a volume yet to go, so Shinichi lives on, at least for the time being.
Iwaaki turns in another strong volume with this release. The conflict between the Parasytes and the military in a building filled with dozens of potential hostages is incredibly tense and exciting. There are also a few plot twists that I had forgotten from my previous reading that caught me off guard. Unfortunately, some plot holes are beginning to appear as Iwaaki begins to maneuver the series toward its conclusion. While it's a step down from the superb sixth volume, Parasyte is still an engaging and thought provoking read. Recommended.