The arc draws to a close as Shinichi sets off to settle things with Gotou and avenge his fallen Migi.
The episode begins with Shinichi’s monologue as he treks towards Gotou. For the first time, in a long time, Shinichi is finally alone. Whenever he had doubts or thoughts on his mind, he would always consult with Migi. He knows that the odds aren’t in his favor, but he can’t help but feel optimistic and numb to the actual dangers that lie ahead.
He could have easily fled and continued living his life, but he would carry the guilt of unleashing Gotou upon this small village. He felt like he started this war, and it’s only fair of him to finish it. There were countless of times where he should have died, and it’s a miracle that he still stands today.
He comes face to face with a sleeping Gotou. He’s remained calm this entire time, and it’s as if everything has been going too smoothly. His first assassination attempt ends in failure and only angers Gotou further. At this point, Gotou has given up trying to blend in with the humans. He has no reason to, return to the city life, where his entire colony has been exterminated. There’s no reason for him to cooperate with humans after they’ve wiped out his comrades.
Even with his heightened physical abilities, Shinichi can’t possibly match up to Gotou. Shinichi accepts his death, but vows to inflict a wound on Gotou. At least this way, his death would have some meaning to it, hopefully allowing others to take down the beast in the future. He gambles everything on landing one blow, which he does and manages to prolong the fight.
That wound ended up being the turning point for Shinichi. Laced with poisonous substances, it wreaks havoc in Gotou’s body, making him lose control of the parasites. Migi and Shinichi are finally reunited. I guess it was a mix between Gotou being on the verge of self-destructing, and Migi valuing Shinichi as more than just a host. By rejoining with Shinichi, they’re able to dispose of the weakened Gotou.
As Gotou tries to regenerate himself, Shinichi battles between crossing that line of what is humanity. While Migi doesn’t hold any emotional attachment to Gotou, he rationalizes that finishing him would be considered a crime by human standards. The decision is left to Shinichi, whether Gotou lives or dies.
Perhaps parasites and Gotou are a necessity to maintain balance on Earth. Every creature has a predator, except for the human race who are constantly taking from the planet and destroying it. He doesn’t feel that it’s fair for him to kill Gotou who is only acting based on his instincts. He’s clearly not a rational human being, and believes that it’d be unfair to impose human values on him. We don’t fault a lion for killing a deer for means of survival. It’s unfair for him to apply the man made rules and laws to a non-human.
He’s ready to walk away, until he has a change of heart. He’s only one individual amongst billions. On a larger scope, he’s an insignificant being on the planet, and ultimately his decisions won’t make a huge impact. Humans are selfish creatures, wanting to put their best interest ahead of others. Shinichi decides to side with this rationale. By killing Gotou, he can protect his family and those he cares about from him, and that’s all that really matters to him in the end.
Overall, it seems like a depressing way for the mighty Gotou to be defeated. He was unstoppable, but in the end, he was as fragile as Reiko had suggested. I like how they set up all of the elements leading up to his defeat. The acrylic paint material being toxic to parasites was mentioned back with Hideo. Gotou having to rest was brought to light with Migi’s random sleep periods. Lastly, Migi being able to survive within Gotou was explored during Reiko’s fight with her fellow parasites.
I guess this would technically be the climax of the series, the main threat has been eliminated. I’m interested in seeing how they wrap up the rest of the series in the final episode. Are there still parasites remaining elsewhere? What will become of Shinichi’s life now? What happened to the escaped Uragami? There’s still a lot of questions that need to be addressed.
You can watch Parasyte Episode 23 on Crunchyroll