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review 2017-09-13 18:22
Parasite Eve by Hideaki Sena, translated by Tyran Grillo
Parasite Eve - Hideaki Sena

Parasite Eve begins with the death of Kiyomi Nagashima. While driving, she suddenly blacks out and has the same dream she had previously only had on her birthday, a dream in which she is a worm-like being swimming through fluid. She recovers from her dream just in time to hit a telephone pole.

Toshiaki Nagashima, Kiyomi’s husband, is a researcher specializing in mitochondria. When he hears about Kiyomi’s accident, he drops everything and rushes to the hospital. Unfortunately, Kiyomi is brain dead. Toshiaki and Kiyomi’s parents agree to honor Kiyomi’s desire to be a kidney donor, but Toshiaki has one secret request of his own: he would like a sample of Kiyomi’s liver.

Kiyomi’s kidneys go to an unnamed man and a 14-year-old girl named Mariko Anzai, and Toshiaki gets the liver cells he so badly wanted. While Mariko struggles with guilt and fear over her latest transplant, Toshiaki is happily convinced that since Kiyomi’s liver cells are still alive and thriving, she isn’t actually dead. What no one realizes is that there is a monster hiding inside Kiyomi’s cells, and it’s slowly becoming strong enough to take the next step in its evolution.

I’m going to start by saying that I’ve never played the game of the same title and I have no idea how its events compare to those in this book. According to Wikipedia it’s a sequel, so my only hope is that it left Mariko and Asakura alone.

I don’t know what I was expecting from Parasite Eve, but it left me feeling so underwhelmed and disgusted that I’m glad it was a library checkout rather than a purchase. I’m a horror wimp, and even I wasn’t scared by this book. It was more gross and ridiculous than anything.

It started off okay. I was intrigued by the mystery of Kiyomi’s cells. I wanted to see how things would play out with Toshiaki’s creepy liver cell project and Mariko’s transplant. It was clear that Mariko had a lot of issues where transplants, her transplant surgeon, and her father were concerned, so I also wanted to know what had happened with her first transplant - the kidney she received from Kiyomi was actually her second kidney transplant. The author’s medical- and science-related descriptions were sometimes more detailed than I would have preferred, but I did learn a few interesting things about transplants, particularly how they were viewed in Japan at the time the book was written. I hope attitudes have improved since then.

I became more and more impatient as the story progressed and nothing much happened. Kiyomi’s cells continued to grow, the being in Kiyomi’s cells wriggled happily whenever she thought about Toshiaki (the being was female), and Mariko became increasingly closed off. I was wishing for Kiyomi’s cells to do something long before they actually did.

For a book in which femaleness played such an important role, the female characters were incredibly disappointing. Asakura, Toshiaki’s assistant, was simply a way for readers to see how odd Toshiaki was acting. Mariko became little more than a host and incubator for Kiyomi’s monster. I enjoyed the scenes of Kiyomi’s childhood, but it wasn’t long before the flashbacks revealed that her life had been taken from her long before she slammed into that telephone pole. It was depressing.

Even the being in Kiyomi’s cells was disappointing. Even though she was millions of years old, Toshiaki, a man whose life should have been barely a blip in her existence, was suddenly her sole focus. When she

finally began to create a body of her own, she designed it primarily to please Toshiaki, starting with lips, and then a breast with a perfectly formed nipple, then a vagina and womb, and finally a finger, which she promptly used to masturbate and make sure all her parts were ready for Toshiaki.

(spoiler show)

The being’s hyper-focus on Toshiaki did turn out to have a point beyond “Toshiaki understands me best,” but it was off-putting all the same.

I was glad when the action finally began to pick up in the last third of the book, but I came to regret my decision to continue reading when the monster rape scenes happened. There were two,

one involving Toshiaki that was presented more as sperm theft than as the horrifying rape it actually was, and one involving 14-year-old Mariko. While I was thankful that Mariko was unconscious throughout both her rape and her monstrous pregnancy, I sincerely wish that the author had written her rape with less detail. I did not need to know how much pleasure the being derived from that act. Also, it upset me that the things that happened to Mariko were presented as more horrifying for her father, who witnessed some of it, than for Mariko herself. Even though she was unconscious, it was her body that was invaded and her body that was horrifically used.

(spoiler show)


The final showdown was just ridiculous. In my mind I pictured it with cheap special effects and bad acting, like something out of a B-movie. All in all, I don't recommend this book.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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text 2017-09-09 16:19
Reading progress update: I've read 316 out of 316 pages.
Parasite Eve - Hideaki Sena

I finally finished it. Was it worth it? No.

 

Most of the action happened in the last third, and the final developments were both ridiculous and disgusting. There were two instances of monster rape (one of them involving a 14-year-old girl), one instance of forced pregnancy

(ditto on the 14-year-old girl)

(spoiler show)

, and more instances of monster sex, masturbation, and general sexiness than I was inclined to keep track of.

 

As far as Halloween Bingo goes, this would work for the Genre: Horror, Chilling Children (horror with a child as one of the main characters), Monsters, and Diverse Voices (if a Japanese author counts as an author of color) squares.

 

Since Genre: Horror has been called, that's what I'll be using it for.

 

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text 2017-09-05 01:09
Reading progress update: I've read 265 out of 316 pages.
Parasite Eve - Hideaki Sena

Now I'm wondering whether human teeth could actually melt like that and, with such a hot fire, whether any other living being in the room would survive being so close. 

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text 2017-09-04 20:13
Reading progress update: I've read 232 out of 316 pages.
Parasite Eve - Hideaki Sena

One plus: Toshiaki has seen his "present" and rightfully finds it horrifying.

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text 2017-09-04 19:25
Reading progress update: I've read 212 out of 316 pages.
Parasite Eve - Hideaki Sena

So much eye rolling right now. So much. I need to rant for a bit, so it's spoiler tag time.

 

We have a

female being that has spent millennia waiting for just the right human male, after which she became obsessed with him. She molded a wet washcloth of a woman into the perfect wife for him. She currently exists as a clump of cells (and a few other bits), which has finally grown to the point that she can mold herself into her favorite man's favorite shape, starting with lips, then a breast with a perfectly formed nipple (but only one breast, because the incubator she's in is too small for two), then a vagina and womb, and finally a finger. She uses the finger to masturbate and make sure all the bits are ready for her favorite human dude.

 

There are several prominently placed female characters in this, but of course the most important character is Toshiaki, the dude. Who doesn't even have to be all that good at sex for Eve/Kiyomi to desperately want to have sex with him.

(spoiler show)

 

 

will finish this, but ugh. 

 

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