Parasyte: The Grey’s Major Ending Cameo Connects The Live-Action Series to the Anime and Manga

By Jonathon Wilson
Published: April 8, 2024
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Who is Shinichi Izumi? Parasyte: The Grey Cameo Explained
Shinichi Izumi in Parasyte: The Grey (via Netflix)


While it was widely understood that Parasyte: The Grey was a reinterpretation of the iconic manga by Hitoshi Iwaake, the last-minute cameo of Shinichi Izumi revealed unforeseen connections to both the anime and manga, proving that the Netflix series is, in fact, both a spin-off and a sequel rather than a separate story.

Shinichi’s cameo also has major implications for a potential Season 2, since it’s likely a follow-up would include him and make the connections to both Parasyte and Parasyte: The Maxim even more explicit.

Who is Shinichi Izumi?

Shinichi Izumi in Parasyte: The Maxim

Shinichi Izumi

For those not in the know, Shinichi is the protagonist of both the manga and the anime series. In those stories, he’s a high school student who, like Su-in in the Netflix series, is infected with one of the alien parasites. However, also like Su-in, the parasite, which lives in his right arm and is named Migi, does not overtake him completely and the two are forced into an uneasy coexistence.

The fact that Su-in’s story was so similar to Shinichi’s implied that Parasyte: The Grey was a reinterpretation of the original story.

Shinichi didn’t appear and wasn’t mentioned throughout the Netflix series until the very end, which is understandable since it was set in South Korea rather than Japan, where Shinichi’s story takes place. However, he shows up during the Season 1 ending, introducing himself to Jun-kyung as an expert in parasites.

Parasyte: The Grey Is Both A Spin-Off And A Sequel

Shinichi’s appearance brings The Grey into the established Parasyte canon, making it both a sequel to the manga and the anime – the live-action Shinichi is no longer a teenager, and never left Japan during his stories – and a spin-off, since some events in live-action occur concurrently with those happening elsewhere.

Given Shinichi’s experience, he is an expert in the parasites, and his contributions to Team Grey could be enormous. It would also be very interesting to parallel his story with Su-in’s, especially seeing how Migi interacts with Heidi.

The timeline is a little confusing since some events overlap, but Shinichi’s cameo takes place after the events of both Parasyte and Parasyte: The Maxim.

Who Plays Shinichi Izumi in Parasyte: The Grey?

Shinichi’s second live-action depiction – the first was in Parasyte: Part 1 and Part 2, where he was portrayed by Shôta Sometani – sees the character being played by Masaki Suda, late of the live-action adaptation of Death Note.

Suda is 31 years of age. Since Shinichi has almost exclusively been depicted as a teenager, the casting is significant in what it represents for the timeline. Years on from the manga and the anime, Shinichi will be even more well-versed in the parasite threat, and his relationship with Migi, who is supposed to be hibernating, will likely have evolved.

What Shinichi’s Cameo Could Mean For Season 2

The South Korean setting and redo of Shinichi’s arc suggested that Parasyte: The Grey was a completely separate story, and while Netflix never came out and said so outright, the implication made the live-action series easier to market since viewers didn’t need prior understanding of the story to enjoy it.

This remained true of Season 1 throughout. The story remained focused on Su-in and was self-contained – until it wasn’t.

Shinichi’s cameo obviously has big implications for the established canon, tying all the events together, but also for Season 2, which would presumably feature Shinichi in a larger capacity. With the confirmation that all the versions of the series are connected after all, there are many more directions a second season could take, and long-time franchise fans would be queuing around the block to see what happened next.

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