Whose Traits are Monstrous Anyway?

Hello everyone! Happy Halloween! I’m not as big of a fan of the holiday in recent years. I know that I don’t live at home at the moment, but it really affects me when no one at all appeared at my parent’s house during Halloween nights for their candy. No, I am not saying this to be creepy. It’s just that my family lives in the middle to lower tier section of town and it’s usually the better idea to go where there is money because that’s where the good stuff is.

Anyway, thanks for going through my small amount of Halloween themed posts everyone. I hope you enjoy this little post which is inspired by Karandi’s post from a long time ago. That was a fantastic post and I wanted to play with that post’s concepts in my own style.

Over the course of the past month, I’ve watched three supposedly Halloween themed anime series. (Outlaw Star doesn’t count). Those series being School Live, Highschool of the Dead, and Parasyte: the Maximum. Yes, those “review” posts were building to something. Now you’ve witnessed my evil plan go to full fruition. All three of these series involved people being infected by something while involved the breaking down of society in some order of magnitude. That resulted in people not acting like they would in a more rigid society which can result in some examination of how people act in dire situations. Also, the opposite was true for a couple of them. Some monsters either still retained some elements of their memories or the monsters learning from different forms of our media to live amongst us. Either way, there is plenty to talk about when it comes to these series.

School Live

School live

School Live has an interesting exploration of this topic. For one thing, our girls never act in a way that makes them hysterical or I can’t imagine that they would act outside of the way they do in a more civilized setting. That is sort of the point of the series and what the School Living club is all about. To keep themselves in a feeling of normalcy, the girls still wear their school outfits and have a club with club activities to clear their minds of the zombie apocalypse that is happening outside of school walls. While this is the most subdued that I’ve ever seen in a zombie apocalypse setting from a human perspective, that doesn’t mean that the threat any of them turning into a zombie couldn’t happen at any time. Not a completely terrible thing in this series though.

The zombies are shown multiple times to have some of their memories still. Some of them can be arguably called human when the moment calls for them to be that way. Maybe you can call some zombies playing outside with a soccer just hitting or getting attracted to it because it’s making a sound that is attracting them to the ball, but I would like to think that these zombies remember how to play soccer. Also, the zombies in question go to school during the day and leave when school usually ends. There is something to be said here for zombies that still have some human traits to them. This is one of the few series that I can see without any bit of doubt that the humans are still humans, but the zombies are still monsters. Maybe not as monstrous as they could be, but still monsters.

Highschool of the Dead

highschool of the dead

Starting this one off, it’s clear that the zombies are Hollywood style zombies. They have no traits that make them human, they are slow and have a thirst for biting into human flesh. That’s it. Done. That doesn’t mean that the other characters aren’t interesting to at least talk about on a conceptual level. HSotD is a wish fulfillment kind of series, so it’s clear that general society and school have held back every character from their potential. Once the break down of all rule enforcement happens, everyone is free to be whoever they want to be for the good and bad. Some characters show all of their sociopathic and psychopathic tendencies that they’ve hidden within the rules of our society and just let loose. Kind of scary. Other characters are excited to become something more then a nerd in a classroom and they thrive in this society as well. The release of potential from the fall of society can be somewhat monstrous in a way.

Then there was the small amount of resistance from adults that want to keep society maintained the way it is. These are characterized by adults who only think that kids should be kids and try to place societal restrictions on them despite the experiences these kids had in the wild to survive. Other adults refuse to accept that zombies exist outside of their walls. I suppose that doesn’t go anywhere and is there to push down on our highschool kids a little bit. Kind of a disappointment this isn’t explored more, but that’s not the kind of series this is so that is ok.

Parasyte: The Maximum

Parasyte the maximum cover

So Parasytes. They certainly are interesting and come in specific types. Some of them just want to be monsters and eat people. Not that interesting there. Then we have the more intellectual Parasytes. The kind that want to learn more about society they found themselves in order to stay around a little longer. Some even found a way into their government to maintain their existence. Despite all that, not many of their have ever felt human emotions. Most are cold and logical. Only learning how to functional in human society during the daylight hours because it’s a necessity not a joy. A sad way of seeing things considering that this series considers emotions the pinnacle of what is human. No matter what happens, most of them are going to be monsters or learn to adapt to human society completely which means they lose in the end.

Speaking of human characters, our main protagonist Shinichi loses a lot of humanity when he absorbs some of the Parasyte cells from the Parasyte on his right hand. He used to be such a cinnamon roll, sympathetic type of character until he wasn’t.  Shinichi was cold and logical until he isn’t. I know what happened to make him change back, but I still don’t completely understand it myself. Then should we talk about the serial murder that was let lose in the back end of this anime. He’s used by the government to track down Parasytes because since he’s a killer, he knows what to look for. I suppose that make sense. Using a monster to track down a monster.  Societal rules parasite: the maximum are kind of interesting in that way.

I suppose that all of this is based on one sort of rule set. Does society decide who is a monster and who isn’t or does society just hold us from who we are? Do rules just make us keep us individuals and monsters at bay until people don’t realize this fact? Some interesting questions that all three of these anime series seem to have an answer for. What do you guys think? Thank you for reading my Halloween post. Hope you all have fun today!


  1. Great post! I have to agree with what you wrote about School Live ( I loved that show by the way 😊). It was definitely very unusual for the characters to be this subdued (I mean, I think I would go nuts if that were to happen for real) but it also created something uniquely different 😊 Hope you will have a great Halloween! 🎃🎃

    Liked by 1 person

  2. School Live does an excellent job of blurring the line of what is a monster and whether the zombies still have humanity. It is a really solid anime in how it builds on these themes.
    Thanks for sharing such a thought provoking post this year for Halloween and thanks for linking back to that feature (that was a long time ago it seems).

    Liked by 1 person

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