March 1, 2024

After reports of poor adaptations such as Death Note (2017) or Cowboy Bebop (2021), fans were unsure how Netflix would be able to adapt major storylines in fan-favorite shows. However, all doubts were put to rest following the release of Alice in Borderland and One Piece season 1, each showcasing how good adaptations can be achieved. Moreover, with these hits, we finally see the potential of live-action adaptations and how they can reap financial rewards.

In the same department, K-Drama live-action adaptations happen often, too. However, K-Dramas based on manga do not happen often. In 2024, Netflix has announced various such shows that hold a lot of promise. One anime live-action adaptation that stands out the most, and we are here to talk about it: Parasyte: The Grey.

What is Parasyte about?

Adapted from the Parasyte manga (created by Hitoshi Iwaak), the 2024 series Parasyte: The Grey will be created by Yeong Sang-wo. The Netflix drama is also the third live-action project based on the manga, while the first two were movies released in 2014 and 2015. Parasyte: The Grey, which will release in the second half of 2024, is being called ‘an original story based on the world of Parasyte’. The cast will be led by Our Blooming Youth actress Jeon So-nee.

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The Parasyte manga follows Shinichi Izumi, who becomes host to an alien parasite that replaces his hand. He discovers he’s not alone as other parasites arrive on Earth, taking over human bodies. With its philosophical themes, Parasyte, also adapted into the anime “Parasyte -the maxim-,” has the potential for an enthralling horror K-drama series if adapted well.

What makes the K-Drama adaptation better?

Although an adaptation, this show will not be recounting the story seen in the manga. It is not a direct adaption, but a show that is being based in the world of Iwaak. Instead of following Shinichi, Parasyte: The Grey will incorporate new characters and storylines, and will take place outside of Japan. Moreover, having new characters and setting only means that there is something interesting to look forward to.

The live-action Parasyte movies faithfully recreated the manga, capturing iconic scenes and following Shinichi’s journey closely. With the manga, anime, and movies covering the original story, a Korean TV show with new characters and setting offers a fresh take. This approach distinguishes the series from past adaptations and prevents direct comparisons with the anime.

What makes the show so exciting?

The show is being directed by Yeon Sang-ho, an acclaimed creator who has helmed projects such as JUNG_E, Hellbound, and Peninsula. These movies and shows are some of the best examples that combine horror, sci-fi, and philosophy in an interesting manner. With Parasyte being such a crucial show, the adaptation needs to portray the themes in the manga in a new, distinct light. And so, having Yeon Sang-ho’s involvement only ensures we will get the best of all worlds.

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“Parasyte: The Grey” will center on Jeong Su-in, the female protagonist who merges with a mysterious organism. Whether this K-drama adaptation will connect to the original story remains uncertain.

Referencing the source material may not be essential. Other live-action adaptations like Death Note or Ghost in the Shell could have benefited from creating new stories inspired by the original concept. Hopefully, this approach will prove successful for “Parasyte: The Grey.”

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