Gruesome live-action anime show has become a hit on Netflix

Anthony McGlynn
Parasyte: The Grey

Netflix has done the remarkable and made body horror popular. The service’s latest live-action anime adaptation is currently tenth on the TV charts, despite being completely grotesque.

Parasyte: The Grey is a contender for the most ambitious anime show Netflix has made into live-action to date. The source material involves humans being turned into fleshy shapeshifters by alien parasites, with severe mutations and tentacles sprouting from every ligament.

In other words, it’s a difficult job for any effects department to make work off the page. Yet, studios Climax Point and Wow Point managed it, and did so with flying colours, going by the viewership.

At the time of writing, Parasyte: The Grey is in the tenth spot on the most popular TV shows on Netflix UK, right behind the distinctly more child-friendly Bad Dinosaurs. It’s a strong sign for something so leftfield of mainstream, but then South Korean productions have been proving extremely lucrative on the platform.

Squid Game is the obvious example, the first season of which completely dominated the zeitgeist in 2021. But there have been others, such as Hellbound, Kingdom, and All of Us Are Dead. What’s particularly noteworthy is how many of these hits are firmly genre-focused, featuring demons, zombies, and other violent concepts.

Through that lens, Parasyte: The Grey is yet another success in an area that seems to only be growing. The Grey will have drawn in longstanding fans, since the manga was popular in the early ’90s, with an anime in the 2010s, followed by a pair of live-action films. All had their audience, but none to this degree.

If Parasyte: The Grey Season 2 happens, it’ll be interesting to see if it can maintain the viewership. Have a look at our guides to Parasyte: The Grey ending, and the biggest changes from the anime in Parasyte: The Grey if you want to dive even deeper.