The Korea Herald


'Parasyte: The Grey' explores coexistence, nature of ties between individuals and organizations

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : March 26, 2024 - 16:29

    • Link copied

A scene from A scene from "Parasyte: The Grey," starring Jeon So-nee (Netflix)

Director Yeon Sang-ho, known for hit thriller series "Hellbound" and groundbreaking zombie flick "Train to Busan," said he aimed to explore the true meaning of coexistence and dynamics between individuals and organizations in "Parasyte: The Grey," his latest Netflix original series.

"Parasyte: The Grey" narrates the story of Jung Soo-in (Jeon So-nee), who is partially turned into a monster by an alien species that falls to Earth from outer space. Seol Gang-woo (Koo Kyo-hwan) becomes Jung's comrade in arms as he searches for his younger sister, who mysteriously disappears.

"Parasyte: The Grey" takes place within the universe of the popular Japanese manga series "Parasyte," written by Hitoshi Iwahaki. While the manga series focuses on the Parasytes' invasion of Japan, the drama series diverges completely from the manga plot, portraying the story that unfolds as the Parasytes invade South Korea.

Yeon said in "Parasyte: The Grey" he sought to challenge the audience with the question of what coexistence truly entails.

"I pondered whether there could be the possibility of coexistence between humans and creatures that are nonhuman, for humans," Yeon said in a press conference in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Tuesday.

Yeon said the series also explores the relationship between individuals and organizations.

"In the drama series, there appear a number of organizations such as police, organized gangsters and religious organizations," he said. "Organization is the result of coexistence for humans."

"I aimed to pose a question regarding the nature of the relationships between organizations and individuals living in Korean society," he added.

A scene from A scene from "Parasyte: The Grey," starring Koo Kyo-hwan (Netflix)

Yeon emphasized that in directing the series, he placed particular emphasis on achieving a realistic visual portrayal of the Parasytes.

"I previously worked on series that had creatures appear on-screen, but the creatures in my previous works had consistent forms. In this series, the creatures constantly change their forms, which made the computer graphics work more challenging," he said.

"We discussed the concept of creatures and had to undertake extensive research to convey the ideas on-screen within the confines of the original manga series. We aimed to enhance the details and achieve a more realistic depiction of the creatures utilizing (visual effect techniques) such as texture, reflection and lighting," the director said.

"I wanted (the emergence of the creatures) to look like it could happen in our everyday lives," he added.

According to Yeon, the drama series was the result of his deep love for the original manga series.

"I was originally an animation director and Hitoshi Iwahaki was considered a biblelike figure for students studying animation. I was such a fan of the original work. When you love comics, you get deeply immersed in that world and you start to imagine what other worlds beyond that comic might be like. If such a thing happened in Japan, what might happen in Korea? That's where the inspiration for this series began," Yeon expanded.

"If the fans of the manga series watch the drama series through its end, they will particularly rejoice at the last scene," the director hinted.

"Parasyte: The Grey" streams exclusively on Netflix from April 5.

Jeon So-nee poses for a photo during a press conference in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Tuesday. (Newsis) Jeon So-nee poses for a photo during a press conference in Yongsan-gu, Seoul, Tuesday. (Newsis)