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Shinichi Izumi
Personal statistics
Name Shinichi Izumi
Other Names, etc. Shin
Japanese 泉 新一
Rōmaji Izumi Shin'ichi
Gender Male
Birthday May 17, 1973 (Manga) (Taurus)

May 17, 1998 (Anime) (Taurus)

Age 16 (Early)
17 (In the middle)
18 (At the end)
Status Alive
Relatives, etc. Kazuyuki Izumi (Father)
Nobuko Izumi (Mother - Deceased)
Satomi Murano (Girlfriend)
Unnamed Uncle
Species Human (Partially Parasite)
Characteristics
Eye Brown (anime, manga)
Black (live-action)
Hair Brown (anime)
Black (manga, live-action)
Occupation Ronin Student
School West High - former high school
Partner(s) Migi
Mamoru Uda
Series statistics
Anime debut Episode 1
Manga debut Chapter 1
Seiyuu Nobunaga Shimazaki
English Voice Adam Gibbs
Cayla Coats (child)
Live Action Shota Sometani
Image Gallery

Shinichi Izumi (泉 新一, lit. Izumi Shin'ichi) is the main protagonist of the Parasyte series. He is a high school student whose right arm was infected with a parasite named Migi.

Appearance

Shinichi is of average height with a small build. In the manga he has short black hair and brown eyes, and is mentioned to have a somewhat feminine facial structure. In the anime, his hair and eyes are brown, and he initially wears large square-rimmed glasses.

Shinichi's uniform comparison

He usually wears his school uniform, consisting of a white shirt and a blue blazer, while in the manga he wears a Gakuran, an all-black, old-style Japanese school uniform, with a white shirt underneath. He also tends to wear T-shirts with strangely appropriate words written on them. For example, when he first meets Migi, he has a T-shirt that says "Misery Confusion". This repeats throughout the manga.

After Chapter 12 of the manga, or Episode 5 of the anime, Izumi is left with a large scar on the center of his chest and back. He becomes more muscular, and in the anime, he removes his glasses, since he no longer needs them. After Chapter 17 of the manga, or Episode 7 of the anime, Shinichi begins spiking his fringe upwards. He claims to like the new look because it "looks more balanced" - symbolizing that he is no longer merely a human, and also referring to his newfound calmness and mental fortitude.

After a confrontation with Gotou, he gains a new smaller scar over his right eye.

Some time during the one-year timeskip, he reverts back to his original hairstyle.

Personality

Initially, Shinichi is a thoughtful and nice person who cares a great deal for those around him. However, he is also considered a bit of a pushover and a wimp, due to his awkwardness and paralyzing fear of bugs. All of that starts to change after being formally introduced to and acquainted with Migi, though he is understandably horrified at first. Shinichi then becomes more aware of his surroundings and excels in sports like basketball. He also overcomes his fear of bugs, due to Parasites being much scarier, much to the confusion of his mother.

When Migi proposes that they work together by "cooperating and coexisting", Shinichi initially shows great reluctance, scared of both working with an alien symbiote and the thought of killing in order to survive. He considers human life precious and is disgusted by the Parasites killing humans senselessly, though Migi speculates that this is because it's his species that's being eaten, and points out humans eat many different lifeforms in order to survive, and that, in a way, that makes them even worse than Parasites. Nevertheless, the two are shown to be able to cooperate in a crisis, and work well together against hostile Parasites.

After Nobuko Izumi's (Shinichi's mother) death and his subsequent rebuild by Migi, Shinichi gains significant resolve and resilience and is willing to risk his own life to protect his friends, family, and the public from harm. He becomes very calm and cool-headed, taking horrific events in stride without so much as flinching, a sharp contrast to his former awkward, timid self. His father even asks him outright if he's made of steel. However, he is not immune to anger, as he also shows a very vengeful side when he attempts to track down and kill the Parasite who killed his mother and took over her body, saying that the thought of such a being walking around freely makes his blood boil.

However, as a side-effect of fusing with Migi, Shinichi becomes somewhat distant and unsympathetic. His bond with Migi becomes stronger and he occasionally begins to think like a parasite, as how he described a dead dog's body as 'a lump of dog-shaped meat' (Migi even notes that that sounds exactly like something he would say). This change in his behavior starts to worry those around him, especially Satomi Murano, who often wonders if it's really he, or someone else entirely. This is made worse by the fact that Migi often threatens to kill anyone who finds out about him, and so he is unable to tell people the truth about what has happened to him.

Shinichi also gradually loses the ability to empathise with others and even his ability to cry. This is shown when he comes into his father's room at the hospital, speechless with grief, but unable to shed a single tear. It is also shown that he is still unable to cry despite feeling responsible for the death of Kana Kimishima and her subsequent funeral, much to the disgust of Mitsuo who speculates that he doesn't even care that she's dead. It is after this particular incident that Shinichi seriously starts to question exactly what he's turning into. However, after the death of Reiko Tamura, Shinichi reverts back to his former emotional state where he finally accepts the death of his mother and Kana Kimishima that he has regained the ability to cry again.

Shinichi's opinion of Parasites changes a lot over the course of the series. At first, he considers them to be monsters, due to their being responsible for the 'Mincemeat Murders', and vehemently dismisses Migi's claim that humans are worse, though he begins to reconsider after rescuing a dog from a group of thugs. His belief that Parasites are monsters only strengthens after the deaths of his mother and Kana, believing that they must be wiped out and being frustrated by Migi's refusal to co-operate. However, after being saved by Reiko and encountering the psychotic Uragami, he admits to Migi that he doesn't know what's what anymore, and starts to wonder who the real monster is. He ends up concluding that they are only trying to survive like him, and that he can only protect the small family he has around himself.

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Background

A young Shinichi comes home from school one afternoon and asks Nobuko Izumi (Shinichi's mother) for an aluminum plate for use in an assignment. Though she tells him to wait for her to get it for him, he tries to reach the high shelf himself where the plates are stored, falling in the process. When he falls he hits the stove, causing a pot of boiling oil to spill over, his mother quickly grabs the pot, saving Shinichi from harm, but she becomes badly burned in the process. Shinichi is often filled with guilt whenever he catches a glimpse of the burn mark on his mother's forearm.

Years later, Shinichi is seen looking at the results of his high school entrance exams and he is soon approached by a young Satomi Murano, and after a brief misunderstanding, they learn they will be attending the same school. They express their excitement, looking forward to meeting again in April.

History

The story starts with Shinichi sleeping with his ear buds on as a parasite then enters his room and attempts to take over his brain. As it tries to crawl up his arm, he takes the ear bud cord and ties it around his arm to stop it from advancing and the parasite suddenly disappears.  

When Shinichi encounters the parasite again he is horrified to find out that it has eaten his right arm and replaced it. Over time they become companions, necessary for the others survival. He asks the parasite what his name should be and it replies "Migi", meaning "right [hand]". 

Shinichi is initially weak, letting Migi do all the fighting and continues to stay like this until his mother is killed by a parasite. The parasite eventually finds Shinichi's home and then supposedly kills him, stabbing him through the heart. Migi then attempts to save Shinichi's life giving him incredible strength, physically and mentally. 

Afterwards, Shinichi also begins to harbor great hatred towards parasites and declares to wipe them all out. He begins fighting along Migi which greatly increases their strength.  

Plot

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Shinichi is first seen sleeping as Migi attempts to invade his head through his ear. However, the parasite is unable to enter Shinichi's ear due to some earbuds and instead tries to enter his nostril, causing him to sneeze and wake up. He throws Migi and, believing the parasite to be a snake, prepares to kill it. Migi then burrows himself into Shinichi's arm, but is blocked when Shinichi wraps his earbud cord around his upper arm. When the commotion wakes his parents, Shinichi discovers the hole where Migi burrowed through is gone and asks himself if it was a dream.

The day after, Shinichi finds that his hand has begun acting oddly. It moves unnaturally or touches other people without Shinichi realizing, causing him to get in trouble several times. After it punches out a group of irritated older students[1], he runs home and forces Migi to show himself by pointing a knife at his hand. Migi appears, expresses his disappointment in having not taken Shinichi's head, and goes back to sleep.

During daytime, Migi continues to wreak havoc on Shinichi's social life, causing awkward situations with Satomi and embarrassing Shinichi. Shinichi's mother notices that he is starting to eat more and seems to have changed a bit.

Some time after they get into a routine of uneasy cooperation, Migi alerts Shinichi to the presence of another parasite. Although he attempts to flee, Migi refuses to allow Shinichi to run away and demands they investigate, citing both his and Shinichi's curiosity. They encounter what appears to be a dog in an alleyway eating another dog, and it reveals itself to be a parasite as it turns to face them. It concludes that both Migi and itself are failures.

Migi then tells Shinichi to run, and explains while they flee that the dog parasite wanted to kill them because of Shinichi's human brain. The dog's head morphs into wings and flies after them. Migi stretches out and stabs the flying parasite in the torso, gouging out its heart. It immediately falls to the ground and struggles in its death throes.

Shinichi is scared by Migi's utter lack of sympathy towards the dying parasite. He washes the blood off his hand, causing Migi to complain of the cold.

Later, Shinichi and Migi have a conversation about letting the authorities study Migi. In response, Migi threatens to leave Shinichi in a helpless state without speech or senses should he do anything to risk harming Migi.

Eventually Migi detects another parasite, but this time Migi wishes to leave while Shinichi wants to meet him. They travel to a secluded area while the parasite follows them and discuss killing him with Migi's help. Once he meets them, he offers to let Migi migrate over to his arm, even cutting it off in advance to Shinichi's horror. When Migi hesitates, he attempts to force the matter by attacking Shinichi and is killed by Migi in retaliation, who decapitates him and pins down his parasite portion as he withers away, reaching for his destroyed human host body. Shinichi thanks Migi for saving him, but Migi claims he only did it because he was uncertain he could be transplanted at all. Shinichi later thinks about the parasite's dying words.

Over time Migi is seen studying information, though he disparages school study because he deems it not useful.

Soon after, as Shinichi is walking to school, Migi warns him that there is another parasite in his school. Shinichi frantically attempts to single it out, but Migi warns him not to meet its gaze or it would notice him as well. They eventually determine that it must be a teacher and as Shinichi hears that a new substitute teacher has joined their school, Migi determines she is the parasite. Upon realizing that she would be homeroom teacher for Satomi Murano's class, Shinichi looks up despite Migi's frantic warnings not to, and meets the eyes of Ryoko Tamiya.

A flashback depicts Shinichi and Migi arguing about her presence and likelihood of killing people in the school, with Migi praising her for her ability to stay hidden and Shinichi wary of her existence. Shinichi is then jolted out of his musings when she calls on him in class to answer a question. When he is unable to answer, Ryoko requests he go to the teacher's lounge after class to speak with her.

In the lounge, she confirms that he knows what she is and that she knows of Migi's presence and location. She requests they meet her after school at the Herald Coffee Shop, and while Shinichi is again reluctant, expecting a trap, Migi readily agrees. Ryoko disparages Shinichi's human irrationality, claiming that if she had wanted to kill him he would already be dead, and instead she only wishes to exchange information.

At the coffee shop, Shinichi's suspicions of a trap are renewed when he is warned of a second parasite approaching. Ryoko walks in and introduces a nameless parasite she then dubs A. A is threatened by Shinichi's existence, claiming Shinichi and Migi aren't "one of us", and begins unspooling his head to attack while Migi sharpens Shinichi's fingers into claws. Ryoko interrupts and tells them to stop.

Ryoko then asks Shinichi various questions about how he perceives them and then reveals that she's pregnant with a human child. A leaves, stating he has no interest in anything beyond eating food and killing threats. Ryoko warns Shinichi not to make trouble for her or she will kill her homeroom class, Satomi included. After she leaves, Migi once again praises her and Shinichi pours cold water on him.

The next day, while Shinichi is in school Migi detects A approaching and emitting killing intent. Elsewhere, A is seen attacking teachers who attempt to get in his way and killing one. The others announce an evacuation and Migi tells Shinichi to follow the class, claiming to have a plan. While evacuating, Migi reveals that his plan is for them to hide in the crowd and attack A while A is attacking the students in front of them. Shinichi immediately leaves the throng of people, angered that Migi only cares for his own life and not of the people around them. Migi remarks that he recalls humans being the only animal to commit suicide.

Once in a corridor away from the other students, Shinichi begins building a barricade of desks around himself. He asks if Migi is mad at him, and Migi replies that he doesn't have time to be mad; he has to think up a new plan. He realizes that they outnumber A two-to-one if Shinichi joins the fight, and hands him a pointed pipe made of the remains of a desk leg as a weapon.

Migi then detects A in the floor beneath them, and A crashes through a window, taunting that Shinichi has only barricaded his escape. He then launches an attack that Migi defends, and the two of them clash blades evenly while Shinichi recalls Migi's updated plan. He approaches slowly, trusting Migi to defend him, and once in reach stabs the pointed pipe Migi made into A's chest.

A catches Migi and throws Shinichi away in response, but is weakened due to the blood loss of the pipe hitting an artery. He manages to shove it far enough through that it stops further bleeding. Migi commands Shinichi to follow and finish him off, but Shinichi refuses, not wanting to kill a person. A limps away, barely able to support his body, and tries to find Ryoko to be transplanted to her body and survive.

He finds her alone in a room, but she jumps out a window and the room explodes with him in it, killing him once and for all.

Much later, Shinichi and Migi are seen discussing Ryoko again, with Migi claiming that he would be unlikely to be able to beat her, and bringing up the human child she has in her. Soon after, when Ryoko is harangued for her pregnancy as a single mother and she decides to quit, she meets up with Shinichi and Migi one last time before leaving. She reveals to them her instinct to kill and eat humans, then begins morphing in preparation to kill Shinichi. However, she hesitates upon noticing that Shinichi seems to have a little of Migi blending into him, and lets them go without a fight.

Powers & Abilities

Before his "death" and "rebirth", Shinichi is an ordinary human teenager who mostly relies on Migi to fight the parasites.

After being saved by Migi from dying, Shinichi developed his own powers because of having 30% of Migi's body unexpectedly dispersed as cells throughout his body. Shinichi can hear, see and sense better than normal humans that his physical abilities greatly exceed those of normal humans and even parasites.

  • Enhanced Strength: Shinichi's strength has grown to the point where he can easily shatter bones if he uses enough force. Another testament to his strength is being able to smash through a person’s ribcage and throw them through a concrete wall, all while ripping out said person's heart, with one arm.
  • Enhanced Leap: Due to his newfound physical strength, Shinichi can jump at a height over 20 ft. He can also drop several stories and easily land on his feet while carrying another person.
  • Enhanced Speed & Stamina: Shinichi has shown to be able run faster than a car driving down a road. He stated that he could easily run 100 meters under nine seconds if he really tried. He is able to run and fight for long periods of time and only needs minimal time to recover.
  • Enhanced Durability & Endurance: Shinichi is able to withstand injuries that would affect a normal human. He is shown to jump from the school building at a high height while carrying Satomi and land with little consequence, barely flinch from the attacks of a grief stricken Mitsuo, was still able to run despite getting multiple cuts from Gotou in their first fight, and even withstood the pain of getting stabbed in the left arm by Uragami and retaliate afterward in the series finale. His most epic moment of durability and endurance was shown as he got punched in the stomach by fully transformed Gotou that flung him several feet in the air and onto a pile of trash, and survived.
  • Enhanced Vision & Perception: In the anime, Shinichi originally needed glasses, though after merging with Migi, he no longer needed them. He's stated himself that he can easily see a person's face from 300 meters away. His brain is able to process visual stimulation to the point where a normal human appears to be standing still, when they're actually attacking him. He can also see how a parasite's appendages morph mid-attack to form weapons.
  • Enhanced Reflexes: Shinichi has demonstrated incredible dodging skills and agility, most notably when he becomes scared, he uses said skills to create distance between him and his opponent(s).
  • Mental Fortitude: After merging with Migi, Shinichi gains a high level of mental resilience as he walked through a hallway tainted with decapitated bodies of students with little discomfort.

Weaknesses

At the cost of his newfound abilities, Shinichi's empty expressions and lack of emotions began to make people suspicious of his composure in events that would cause a normal person to break down in fear. After the death of Reiko Tamura, this weakness is no longer a problem in most situations. A small remaining weakness is his inability to shed tears (except for immediately after the death of Reiko Tamura) which concerns him and makes him seem less sad to others who might expect him to cry in some situations.

At the end of the series when confronted by Uragami, Shinichi states that he isn't as strong as when he faced Gotou. It's unknown if he was referring to his actual physical abilities becoming diminished, or the fact that Migi had become dormant and could no longer assist him. However, it is most likely the latter, as Shinichi stated that he isn't a normal human and that Uragami appears to be standing still right before he breaks Uragami's jaw with one hit.

Trivia

  • The name Shinichi means "fresh, new" (新) (shin) and "one" (一) (ichi).
  • Shinichi's surname Izumi means "spring, fountain" (泉).
  • In the anime, Shinichi starts off with large square-rimmed glasses, but he later discards them and this is most likely because his eyesight is improved, which results in Shinichi no longer needing glasses as Migi enhances Shinichi's senses. This could be a reference to Peter Parker's own improvement after gaining his spider powers.
  • The manga's timeline spans the length of Shinichi's high school years, while the anime condenses it solely to Shinichi's senior year.
    • Also in the manga, his mother is afraid of cockroaches, while he has no fear of bugs.
  • In the Tokyopop westernized release, he is simply named "Shin".
  • Many of the unusual mental & emotional characteristics Shinichi demonstrates after fusing with Migi are potential reactions ordinary humans have when experiencing grief and trauma.
    • Through this lens much of the series could be taken as analogue for the spectrum of reactions humans have to adversity.
  • In the anime, Shinichi instead gets in the way of a car and his right hand stops it single-handedly.
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