|Title:||Parasitic Soul (パラスティック・ソウル)|
|Original work by:||Konohara Narise (Novel)|
|Cast:||Ono Yuuki x Takeuchi Ken (小野友樹 x 武内健)|
|Genres:||Drama, Fantasy, Psychological, Sci-fi|
|Drama translation:||Translation (external)|
|Synopsis:||Joel Howard received a message from his fiancé, Yahiro, who had left him at the altar two weeks ago and sets off to meet up with the Bilure (human with dog ears and tail), who seems to have something important to tell him.|
After listening to the Cold Series, I thought I would get to Parasitic Soul since anything by Konohara sensei should be promising. Right at the first track, I knew this was exactly the type of drama I liked. You have a blizzard out there, a gentle and sad piano track playing in the background and a depressed Ono Yuuki… Aw, this reminds me of 500-nen no Itonami somehow.
I enjoyed the plot execution more than anything, how the little details of the story get revealed to us over time and how we get the most unexpected plot twists at the most unexpected timings.
Parasitic Soul is set in futuristic Japan where there are the existence of human-dog hybrids called Bilure species. The Bilure species was introduced 50 years ago when mankind was attacked by this deadly virus, which was countered with the introduction of vaccination made with dog genes. As a result, that vaccine caused a change in the people’s DNA and women started giving birth to children with dog ears and tails, the Bilure species. About 10% of humans became Bilures, although they’re referred to as a new species, besides their appearances, they don’t differ much from humans. However, occasionally a Bilure with five times the normal person’s IQ will be born and they are called High Bilures. These High Bilures start to exhibit extreme intelligence at the age of 5 and there were even some who become famed researchers at the age of 10. However, all High Bilures who reach the age of 30 will start to degenerate and most of them go missing after that, but about 20% of them are sheltered in the slums called Hope Town. These High Bilures who stay in Hope Town lose all of their memories after 5 years old and become children in the body of adults. As there are no alterations to their level of intelligence, there is a possibility of them maturing again. However, the fully grown brain can’t develop as well as a young child’s brain and at best, their brains would attain the maturity level of a 12-year-old. The degenerated High Bilures are called “fade-outs” and the troubles faced by the families of these High Bilures who had faded out are indescribable. There are many who divorce due to the birth of a High Bilure child and in order to safeguard the families with High Bilures, the military enacted a law regarding the proper education of High Bilures. This also applies to those High Bilures who are born in Hope Town.
Yahiro is a Bilure who’s born in Hope Town and he’s been attending school in order to become a researcher of High Bilures. One day, he caught the eye of Joel Howard, a rich boy who had always managed to get by in school with the influence and donations by his father. Joel started to spread horrible and untrue rumours about Bilures of Hope Town and soon, Yahiro started to become totally alienated by everyone at school. One night at a social party, Joel had too much to drink and when Yahiro found him slumped in a corner at the party location, instead of ignoring him, the Bilure offered him a glass of water. After that night, Joel was moved by Yahiro’s actions or something else, and he started to fall in love with Yahiro gradually. He pursued Yahiro persistently and even started attending school seriously in order to get closer to Yahiro. However, this sudden change in attitude wasn’t the least bit welcomed by Yahiro and it didn’t sit well with Joel’s friends either. Despite all the obstacles that he faced, Joel continued to pursue Yahiro until one day when Yahiro finally accepted his love.
Fast forward to more recent years, Joel broke off all relations with his father and started working at the same High Bilure research lab as Yahiro. The two of them even got engaged and was supposed to marry 2 weeks ago, however, Yahiro never appeared at the ceremony. Since then, Joel had been having the recurring nightmare of waiting in vain at the altar for Yahiro until he finally got a text from Yahiro, who has decided to meet up to “talk”.
Plot twist! Yahiro confessed to Joel that he once fed Joel a potion which was supposed to grant wishes and he gave it to Joel while wishing with all his heart that Joel would fall in love with him. The original plan was for Joel to fall in love with Yahiro while Yahiro remained cold towards Joel so that the nasty rich boy could suffer in the worst possible way. However, Yahiro didn’t factor in Joel’s persistence and his own feelings. Over time, he fell in love with Joel and until the point where they were about to get married, he hadn’t considered how he had “ruined” Joel’s life. Yahiro does have a point here, he made Joel turn gay and abandon his successful life plan of inheriting his father’s business for a lowly paid life of a High Bilure lab worker. However, if Joel didn’t meet Yahiro, he wouldn’t have become a better person in general. I’m sure we all agree that he was such an arrogant brat who thought he could do anything and get away with everything until he failed to get Yahiro to fall in love with him. Joel, being the confident and stubborn man he is, refused to believe that he was affected by something like a mysterious potion. He drank the remaining portion of the potion while wishing that he could be freed from the effects of the previous dosage and he was right, nothing happened. He didn’t “wake up” from a spell and suddenly see Yahiro in a different light and the two decided to continue with their relationship. Yahiro moved in with Joel and we thought all was well. That wasn’t it.
Although Joel still loved Yahiro, something slowly changed and he couldn’t get hard for Yahiro anymore. It must have been depressing because he obviously still treasured Yahiro a lot, but he just couldn’t get his body to respond to Yahiro. He even had to jerk off to someone’s girlfriend instead of Yahiro and I’m sure at this point, we can confirm that that strange potion might have actually had some effect on Joel. Yahiro gradually realised that something was off and requested to break up and moved out of Joel’s apartment on the basis that what Joel feels for him isn’t romantic love but love for a close friend.
Even after the breakup, they still work at same place, and would go for lunches together. Things can’t go on like this for long; Yahiro got disturbed when he saw Joel with another girl and refused to eat lunch with Joel anymore. After that, having lost his only chance to interact with Yahiro, Joel got desperate and once again, we saw how persistent he could get in order to get what he wanted. Although he managed to get Yahiro to begrudgingly agree to still have a meal with him daily, this definitely isn’t the relationship that Joel hopes to have with Yahiro. But, things take a drastic turn after Yahiro got injured at Hope Town while visiting his brother. He was attacked and had his tail cut off. While Joel was greatly relieved at seeing that Yahiro was safe, Yahiro was really sad because he lost his tail, the tail which Joel loved. This part really broke my heart because it was so evident that they both loved each other so much and so deeply – not the kind of shallow and sudden love we keep seeing nowadays, but a sort of deeper bond which can’t be broken by anything, not even a potion. Yahiro revealed his true reasons for going back to Hope Town that day, because he wanted to get rid of a potion he had on hand. He was recently given that potion and he had been plagued with the dilemma of how to use it. He could have fed Joel with that potion to make Joel fall in love with him again, or drink it himself wishing that he would forget about his love for Joel but it would be an extremely sad ending either way, so he wanted to rid himself of it as soon as possible.
I was half expecting Joel to drink the potion, but he refused the medicine saying that he doesn’t need it. Come to think of it, it was rather cliché but I still loved the ending all the same – how it was left open to our imaginations and all.
Characters & Seiyuu
Yahiro is one of those people who really know what they want in life – that’s to be involved in the research of High Bilures and to contribute to the limited amount of knowledge the world currently has on them. He is a calm sensible and level-headed man, the type of character that Takeuchi Ken seems to be synonyms with. Although I like to say that Nojima Kenji does cold and aloof well, Takeuchi does it very well too, with the lack of arrogance. Yahiro really looks down on himself and thinks that he is worthless, possibly because he was born in Hope Town or because his brother is a High Bilure who faded out. However, he can be surprisingly stubborn when he knows what he wants and nothing Joel said could convince him otherwise when he had his mind set that breaking up was for their good. Yahiro sort of reminds me of Shizuru from Aozora no Kimochi, both in terms of their calm and mature personality, self-deprecating attitudes and the general atmosphere around them.
On the other hand, Joel Howard was a rash and spoilt rich boy who relied on his father’s influence and money to get whatever he wanted until he met Yahiro, whose love he couldn’t get with anything other than his own hard work. I’m exactly a fan of pushy and spoiled boys who can’t take no for an answer, but Joel won me over with his gentleness towards Yahiro. I love Ono Yuuki’s voice (although I can’t really identify him still, oops) and I’ve always heard him playing a more matured man so hearing him yelling childishly and talking with a sulking tone was a first. But it’s amazing how love can change people for better or for worse, and in Joel’s case, it was definitely for the better. Although I don’t exactly think that it’s good for him to have decided his future based on Yahiro’s choices, it was Yahiro who made him start studying seriously in school and cast his reliance on his father aside. For someone who had always gotten everything he wanted easily, Yahiro must have been the first who refused to bend to his will. That, along with the effects of the potion, must have built up Joel’s parasitic obsession towards Yahiro.
This is another not-your-normal BL drama from Konohara Narise and it’s definitely a very sweet and special story which should be listened to when you can give it your full attention. I also thought that it was interesting that we have the concept of animal ears in here, but not in the usual cute moe context. In Parasitic Soul, Bilures are an existence which is the product of an epidemic and is slightly discriminated against in society. Trust Konohara sensei to come up with something like that. I also enjoyed the execution of plot, which kept me guessing and holding my breath most of the time. I highly recommend this drama because of its interesting story, and when it’s Konohara sensei, you know you’re in for a good ride.
PS: I don’t really think there is a translation for this drama, even though it was linked on drama cd translations. I did try quite hard to find the elusive translation but who knows, I might have just missed it. In any case, I decided to paste the link to the “translation” above and I’m not doing any translating for this until someone requests for it.