Parasyte: The Grey K-drama isn’t the first manga live-action

Gabriela Silva
Parasyte: The Grey and Parasyte: Part 1.

Netflix’s upcoming sci-fi K-drama Parasyte: The Grey has fans invested as it was originally a popular manga that has been a live-action and anime before.

The K-drama was announced by Netflix in 2022 and has made its official debut on the platform’s list of upcoming content for 2024. Parasyte: The Grey is based on Hitoshi Iwaaki’s comic book published by KODANSHA Ltd.

Iwaaki’s work has an already developed fanbase who are very familiar with the K-drama’s source material. The storyline follows an invasion of parasites on Earth that take human hosts. Humans become ravaged to kill each other. A group of humans wage war against the parasites to save humanity.

While the K-drama is one of the exciting new additions for 2024, it’s not the first time Iwaaki’s work has been on the small and big screen.

Parasyte was originally an anime and live-action movie

Before the Netflix K-drama, Parasyte was developed into a two-part live-action movie in 2014, alongside an anime Parasyte – The Maxim.

Iwaaki’s science fiction horror manga was originally published in 1989. It grew in success to become one of the most popular mangas of all time. In 2005, New Line Cinema won a bidding war for the rights to develop the manga into a movie, but their option expired in 2013.

Toho then won the rights and developed Parasyte: Part 1 directed by Takashi Yamazaki which premiered in November 2014. Parasyte: Part 1 was then released in April 2015.

According to IMDb, the logline reads, “The humanity is suffering from murders all over the globe, called “Mincemeat murders”. High school student, Izumi Shinichi has a parasite living off him, having replaced his right hand, and he might be the discoverer of truth.”

Japanese actor Shôta Sometani played the leading role of Izumi and reprised his role in Parasite: Part 2. The movie takes place a few months after the events of the first installment. Izumi continues to fight off evil parasites while learning new truths and the protection of a newborn.

Around the same time as the live-action, Madhouse, Nippon Television, VAP, and Forecast Communications developed an anime titled Parasyte – the Maxim. It also followed the story of high school student Shinichi Izumi. In 2015 and 2016, Adult Swim’s Toonami aired the anime dubbed in English.

Unlike the live-action, anime, and original manga, Parasyte: The Grey K-drama will focus on a female lead that is likely based on Izumi’s character. Per the logline, actor Jeon So-nee plays Jeong Su-in. She’s infected by the parasite, but it’s unable to take over her brain so they live in cohesion.

Parasyte: The Grey is scheduled to be released in Q2.