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New Netflix Series “Parasyte: The Grey” Offers Dark Take on Classic Manga

News Asia 360
ByNews Asia 360
on

Acclaimed director Yeon Sang-ho, known for his thrilling zombie film “Train to Busan,” returns to Netflix with a new series, “Parasyte: The Grey.” This six-part show takes inspiration from the popular Japanese manga “Parasyte” by Hitoshi Iwaake, but carves its own path with a uniquely Korean story.

While the core concept remains – alien parasites invade Earth, seizing control of human bodies – Yeon’s vision is a stark departure from the source material.

Gone is the lighter tone and teen romance of the original. Here, the atmosphere is heavy, the action often taking place under the cloak of darkness. The series delves deeper into the societal impact of these parasitic infiltrators, focusing on the manipulative tactics they employ.

A central theme explored is the way these alien parasites, disguised as a religious congregation led by a pastor (who is himself a host), exploit societal structures for power and control. This cynical portrayal of religious groups echoes Yeon’s past works, “The Fake” and “Hellbound,” which similarly explore the dark side of religious influence.

However, the series doesn’t fully capitalize on this intriguing concept. While it suggests that humans can overcome the parasites through organization, this potential remains underdeveloped.

“Parasyte: The Grey” boasts impressive visuals, but the initial grotesque appeal of the parasitic creatures wanes as the series progresses. The action sequences, while well-funded thanks to Netflix, lack the depth and emotional resonance found in Yeon’s masterpiece, “Train to Busan.”

The protagonist, Jung Soo-in (played by Jeon So-nee), deviates from the original’s teenage character. Soo-in is a complex individual burdened by a dark past of abuse. The series hints at her potential for growth, but this is relegated to a series of stylized internal monologues where the parasite acts as a therapist.

Despite its shortcomings, “Parasyte: The Grey” offers some redeeming qualities. The seasoned detective Cheol-min (played by Kwon Hae-hyo) injects a dose of gruff charm, and the overall pacing keeps the viewer engaged.

While Yeon’s latest series doesn’t quite live up to its potential, it provides a fresh take on a familiar concept, laced with his signature dark themes and impressive visuals. “Parasyte: The Grey” is now streaming on Netflix.

Image—Netflix

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