Parasyte, the creepy science fiction horror manga series about a boy with a sentient alien parasite living inside his arm, was almost the newest Studio Ghibli animated venture, it has been learned. Studio Ghibli’s former president Toshio Suzuki last week sensationally revealed the news that Hayao Miyazaki had intended to bid for the rights to the series, which eventually went to film studio Toho.

So, what is Parasyte and what, if anything, have we missed out on here?

During a podcast last week, Miyazaki’s long-term colleague and former president of Studio Ghibli, Toshio Suzuki, revealed that Miyazaki had plans to make an animated series out of Parasyte in the Studio Ghibli style.

The film rights to Parasyte were acquired by New Line Cinema in 2005, and a film adaptation was planned in collaboration with Jim Henson Studios. However, the film never materialised and eventually in 2013 New Line Cinema’s rights to the IP expired. A bidding war ensued in Japan, the home of the original manga series, and was eventually won by Toho, which has since adapted the material into a two-part live action movie. Parasyte: Part 1 was released domestically in November 2014, and the second release, titled Parasyte: Part 2, is due for release this month.

▼ The series, known as Kiseiju in Japan, features alien parasites which the hero, Shinichi Izumi, must battle against with the help of a sentient parasite trapped in his arm.

▼ The live-action movie stars Shota Sometani as Shinichi and the voice of Sadao Abe as the parasitic hand. Here’s a trailer.

▼ The series has also recently been made into an anime, known as Parasyte – the Maxim which began airing in October 2014.

It seems that Miyazaki’s plans to animate Parasyte in the trademark Ghibli style weren’t meant to be, but the news that it almost happened has got a lot of Japan’s netizens all riled up:

“I don’t feel like this would work as a Studio Ghibli production at all.”

“Nope, can’t picture it at all. I would still like to have seen it, though…”

“Doesn’t sound like they were serious enough about making it, so that’s their loss.”

“Actually, it’s pretty similar to Nausicaa, so I can see this working.”

“I’d be interested, but Ghibli would make it into a whole different thing.”

“I prefer the current anime to anything Ghibli could make. I think they would ruin it.”

“They’d probably make the hand parasite into some cutesy character. Kids would love it. That would suck!”

“They’d probably make it some heart-warming comedy about a guy and his talking hand…”

“Ghibli probably passed cause there’s no way to fit a cute little girl into the story.”

“Ghibli is over, anyway.”

Yikes! It sounds like Parasyte fans are probably breathing a sigh of relief right now that Ghibli didn’t acquire the rights to the series. We’re having a little trouble imagining how the famous face-opening parasites would look rendered in the lovely Ghibli style. Wouldn’t it look a little too cute?

▼ Eep…

Source: Yaraon
Main Image: Flickr © Chris Isherwood