Parasyte: The Maxim Character Analysis: Gotou
By: Prince Lammy
Gotou is the main antagonist of the Parasyte: The Maxim anime series. He/it is an experimental embodiment of five different parasites, and is a product of Tamura Reiko’s experiment on the cohabitation of more than one parasite in a single host’s body.
Seeing as he is an organism that comprises of five different parasites, he’s the strongest parasite and character in the whole Parasyte anime series. He even very nearly killed Shinichi, as he was thought to be the perfect/apex predator (parasite).
- Name: Gotou
- Status: Deceased
- Hair and Eye Color: Black
- Gender of Host: Male
- Species: Parasite
- Anime Debut: Episode 11
- Status: Deceased (Died in Episode 23)
Just like all other parasites, nothing has been noted about Gotou’s past, or even referenced before he made an appearance in episode eleven of the anime. According to Tamura Reiko, he’s notably the only experimental parasite in existence. And he’s the only parasite who successfully cohabits five parasites all in one body.
The first time Gotou was sighted, he was wearing a singlet and shorts, and went into a building to kill twenty-one yakuza men. Before killing the last of the yakuza, he informs them that he is acting to test the limits of his ability. A number of witnesses pursue him as he attempts to flee the scene, and to make a clean getaway, he jumps over a fence, and takes on the appearance of a man he just saw, as he turned into that street, returning to Kusano. They then make their way back to the headquarters and report their achievements to Hirokawa.
Gotou was again sighted when Shinichi is waiting for Kana Kimishima in East Fukuyama City. Hirokawa, who is running for mayor, has the support of Gotou, who is backing his campaign. Even though he has no interest in Migi or Shinichi, he is able to distinguish Migi from the crowd of onlookers and readily recognizes both of them.
Owing to the fact that Gotou is a parasite, and as such can morph into anything and change his physical appearance, he didn’t stick to a single human form.
The first time he made an appearance in public, he wore a white singlet and red shorts. He had a round face and short brown hair (as in the image above), and kept his eyes shut the whole time. Afterwards, he took the appearance of a passerby he saw, as he was making his getaway after killing all the yakuza men he met at their base.
In Episode 23, Gotou grows into a 3-meter-tall monster. The exterior of his body turns gray and gives the appearance of exposed muscle. His face becomes more angular, and he now has pointed ears, four eyes, and many rows of fangs. He also sports four limbs, a scythed tail, and dinosaur-like legs.
Gotou is one of the most intellectual individuals of his species. He feels superior to humanity and regards them as worthless garbage. This leads to his superiority complex. In the midst of combat, he demonstrates no remorse and nonchalantly dismembers his enemies without batting an eye.
Despite the fact that he seldom displays enthusiasm or other emotions, he does so on occasion. He demonstrated patience by not assaulting until it was his turn and by allowing Shinichi to go so he could rest and recover.
Moreover, he praised the offensive method that Migi and Shinichi had come up with, and he praised the soldier who had attempted to shoot him, adding that it was a courageous endeavor. Despite believing himself to be superior to people, he considers himself to be nothing more than an "organism." In contrast to Reiko, he asserts that his primary purpose in life is to engage in fights, and he could care less about the purpose of Parasites.
As he undergoes the metamorphosis, his mentality reverts to a more primal condition, being singularly focused on self-preservation and the annihilation of humanity. This disease also made him more aggressive and prone to anger, both of which led to his premature demise.
As a parasite, Gotou can morph any part of his body, creating blades and limbs and maximize the physical capabilities of the host body. However, he chooses to alter his limbs only, because controlling all four parasites requires a significant amount of energy and focus. He is the strongest parasite that has ever existed, exceeding all others.
Gotou's body has five separate parasites, all of which are completely under his control. He can exploit the powers of each parasite, assuming their form and deploying them at will, affording him tremendous fighting advantages. He was able to condition his legs so that he could sprint beside a vehicle going at 60 kilometers per hour without problem. Migi claims that in the forest, he turns his lower legs into prongs that allow him to cling to and leap over trees, making him more agile than a monkey.
His defensive capabilities transcend those of the average parasite. By hardening the parasites in each of his appendages, he is able to resist powerful shotgun blasts at close range, leaving only minor dents (holes in the anime) in his skin, something normal parasites are incapable of. Moreover, he could also construct a shield from his forearm by elongating and hardening it. As a straight shot from a grenade launcher left him unhurt, the barrier was more of a display.
Gotou has proven to be extremely deadly in close combat; by employing his enhanced speed, he has been able to dismember hundreds of fully armored and armed soldiers in mere seconds. He can effectively avoid gunfire and dodge bullets according on the gun's aim, making him exceedingly difficult to hit. Migi and Reiko Tamura have remarked that he is extraordinary in every regard, even when compared to other parasites.
Tamura Reiko even regarded Gotou as being the only invincible parasite, but even in while doing so, still pointed out that he had just one tiny flaw, even though she wasn’t specific about it. For while all other parasites have been killed by a single hit to the heart of its host, Gotou’s body was completely impenetrable, except for a small space at the side of his stomach, which Shinichi later used to his advantage in his last fight with Gotou.
If the series wasn’t so short, then Gotou would’ve definitely lived to remain in the series in a second season, or maybe an upgraded, more powerful and more invincible version of him would’ve been created. But even as antagonists go, Gotou was really a formidable one, and one that really gave Shinichi a run for his life.