One night, sixteen-year-old Shinichi Izumi was peacefully sleeping when a race of parasitic aliens descended on Earth. One parasite infects Shinichi, trying to get to his brain to take over his body, but ends up getting stuck in his right hand. Unable to relocate to the brain, the alien, named Migi, now has no choice but to learn to coexist with Shinichi in his body in order to stay alive. Unfortunately, the other parasitic aliens are not so friendly with humans or to parasites that failed to complete their mission.
Although only one season with a manga that has already wrapped up, Parasyte made quite the impact with its brutal violence and thought-provoking morality choices. For those looking for a new series that is just as good, give these anime recommendations a try.
For Fans of Monster Hybrids
Tokyo has become a place overrun by flesh-eating monsters called ghouls. Unlike your typical zombies, they are able to blend in with humanity, making it so people live in constant fear of each other. However, for Ken Kaneki, a bookish college student, he finds himself drawn to another avid reader, a girl named Rize Kamishiro. Unfortunately, she turns out to be a ghoul. In a twist of fate, Kaneki gets saved from his gruesome death, but now begins a new life as a half-human, half-ghoul hybrid.
Both feature some kind of monster living inside a human, creating a unique hybrid to the world. As both relatively new anime series, if you enjoy one, you will likely enjoy the other. However, while Parasyte is (surprisingly) more realistic and down to Earth, Tokyo Ghouls is a bit more over the top with its action.
Attack on Titan
Centuries ago, mankind was almost annihilated by a monstrous race of humanoid creatures that wanted to eat humans not for survival, but for fun. In order to persevere, they retreated behind three massive walls. In the present day, Eren Yeager and his adopted sister Mikasa swear revenge on these titans after they breached the wall and killed his mother. After enlisting in the military, they join the Survey Corps that goes beyond the wall to fight these monsters.
In both series, the main characters undergos growth from some kind of traumatic event as well as play host to the very thing they are fighting. While in Parasyte Migi is sentient and highly dictated by logic, the titan inside Eren is mute and somewhat unpredictable. In both series, vengeance plays a very central theme in why the characters fight.
In Claymore, the world is overcome with demons called Yoma that constantly plague humanity. After Raki’s parents were killed by Yoma, he teams up with Claire, a Claymore, an order of powerful half-human, half-Yoma women that are shunned by society but fight to rid the world of Yoma. Together, each learns more about the each other and work towards their own goals.
To the untrained eye, both characters in the series look like regular humans, but are really hybrids. While Parasyte has much more gore, Claymore is actually darker in terms of themes. Regardless, both are pretty violent and action-heavy while dipping their toes into the psychological.
In this world, a race of cannibal monsters called Shokujinki prey on humanity, and it is the job of elite monster hunters called Kifuuken to stop them. However, Toshihiko Momota, a Kifuuken warrior and son of the organizations leader, ends up falling in love with Yuka, a beautiful woman who also happens to be a Shokujinki.
Although it features an art style that is not for everyone, Kemonozume, like Parasyte, primarily focuses two species and seeing if they can coexist together, especially when one eats the other.
For Fans of Complex Ideas
Two decades ago, a special immortal species called Ajin was discovered in Africa. However, for many people, spotting an Ajin was rare and typically something they would only hear about on the news. However, for Kei, he comes up close and personal with an Ajin, and it is an event that will change his life forever.
In their most basic forms, Ajin and Parasyte start off the same way, both featuring a main character that was normal until a new creature ended up using them as a host. Eventually both main characters go from wimpy to cold-hearted killers, but still contemplate the morality of the situation. The only real different between the shows is that Ajin cranks the intensity and suspense up to eleven.
Dr. Kenzou Tenma had everything – a prestigious job, a beautiful fiance, and the respect of his peers. However, one night he was faced with a moral dilemma. Does he save the mortally wounded mayor or a mortally wounded child? Against the advice of his colleagues, he chooses the child. Things seem to be fine until a series of murders begin to happen in his vicinity with all evidence pointing to the boy he saved that fateful night.
While significantly less violent and action-packed, Monster does present a highly intelligent murder mystery the dives into complex themes that Parasyte just begins to touch on. Both are well animated and compelling watches.
Fourteen-year-old Megumi Shimizu dreamed of nothing more than moving from her rural town to the big city, at least until she died. Her death was only the beginning of a savage epidemic that rocks the small village of Sotoba. In order for young doctor Toshio Ozaki to discover the truth behind the disease, he must first abandon his humanity.
Like in Parasyte, Shiki is about a foreign species gradually infiltrating human society. As the heroes of both series begin to investigate it, the lines between man and monster, good and evil, begin to shift. Parasyte is more obvious about this while Shiki takes a more subtle road.
For Fans of Fights for Survival
Life was completely normal for Ganta Igarashi and his classmates when they took a trip to the famous prison theme park. They would get to watch convicts perform dangerous acts for their amusement and have a jolly good time. However, when his whole class gets murdered by a mysterious man in red, and Ganta is framed to be the culprit, he is sent to the very theme park he was visiting that day.
After the murder of his classmates, Ganta, like Shinichi, ends up with a supernatural power that he didn’t really want. Both also end up fighting others with similar powers in a fight for their own survival. While featuring a good bit of gore, both series also primarily rely on character growth for their plot.
From the New World
After a small portion of humanity began to develop psychokinetic abilities, many of the power wielders turned to violent. In order to prevent war with the rest of humanity, they separated themselves into their own society. Enter Saki Watanabe, a young girl whose powers just awoken. She is thrilled as she can now enter the Sage Academy with her friends. However, as the group begins to look into why some children have been abducted, they uncover the dark truth of their society.
Like in Parasyte, you have two factions fighting each other. However, throughout From the New World, you discover that both are simply just trying to survive by doing what they think is right. The difference is that From the New World makes you wonder who the real monster is while in Parasyte, it is pretty clear.
Birdy the Mighty Decode
Federation investigator Birdy is chasing a space criminal called Geega through the universe until their game of cat and mouse lands them on Earth. However, Geega has disguised himself as a human in the entertainment industry. Unluckily for college student Senkawa, he gets used as a shield by Geega during one of their fights. Birdy saves his life, but the two now find their lives linked to each other.
Through their own circumstances, both anime series end up with the main characters having to share their bodies in order to survive. Of course, then they both have to fight off alien life forms in a fight for survival. However, if Parasyte was a bit too much of a Debbie Downer for you, Birdy focuses more on comedy to pair with its action.
Have your own recommendations for anime series like Parasyte? Tell us about it in the comments section below.