Parasyte by Hitoshi Iwaaki has some of the most compelling designs I've ever seen, but it also has some of the most effective body horror I've witnessed in manga. It's a series that was released over 30 years ago and is still highly influential and loved to this day. It's a sci-fi horror classic that has withstood the test of time, and it's without a shadow of a doubt, one of my favorite horror manga to release so far.
It’s one I highly recommend, especially if you are a sci-fi or body horror fan, but what’s the best way to collect the series? There are multiple different ways you can collect Parasyte with English translation. The first English publisher to release Parasyte in the was Tokyopop. Del Rey later picked up the license and began printing the singles of the series after Tokyopop's release. Both the Tokyopop and Del Rey printings are out of print.
Kodansha later picked up the series for print and they are the current license holder of Parasyte's manga. They released 8 paperback singles that fully collect the series, and later, announced a Full Color Collection of the series. I'm only going to compare the two in-print editions of Parasyte, the singles released by Kodansha and the new Full Color Collection also releasing from Kodansha.
The paperback singles collect Parasyte in 8 volumes. The Parasyte Full Color Collection is also going to collect Parasyte in 8 volumes. Each Full Color Collection volume collects approximately 1 single. Each volume contains around 288 pages of content, so the chapters and content are split up about the same in each edition.
What's different about the Parasyte Full Color Collection?
They are hardcover and feature a new, modern design
The Parasyte Full Color Editions are hardcover, whereas the singles are paperback, so they are higher quality. Kodansha stated that these are premium quality editions, and I definitely agree with that statement after getting the first volume in hand.
The Full Color volume covers are matte, but they added glossy details to the volumes, which add even more appeal. The contrast of the white covers and the red text and details make these editions pop. Parasyte is a horror sci-fi classic, but I really love the modern design they went with for the Full Color Collection.
The spine has a big P at the bottom, so the 8 volumes are going to spell out Parasyte when displayed on the shelf.
While we have a more minimal aesthetic on the Full Color Collection, the singles feature full cover art. The logo is different as well on both editions. The paperback covers are matte, but they have some texture to them.
One of the design differences I like on the singles is the artwork that’s featured at the top of each spine. I also like how the color palette changes on each volume of the singles. All-around, the text as well as the overall look of these volumes vary a lot in comparison to the Full Color Collection. Both look good in my opinion, so it all just depends on which style you prefer.
When it comes to the sturdiness and quality of the editions, though, I have to give it to the Full Color Edition. The hardcovers are sturdy, beautifully design, and they are well-made.
They are larger than the paperbacks
The Full Color Collection is larger all-around than the singles are. This, of course, largely being due to the fact that they are hardcover as well as a new format release. They are 6.00(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.10(d) while the singles are 5.00(w) x 7.40(h) x 1.00(d) inches. Since they are only around .10 inches larger in terms of depth, they shouldn’t take up a whole lot more space on the shelf than the singles do.
The Parasyte Full Color Collection is fully colorized
Perhaps the most obvious difference is the fact that the Full Color Collection is printed in full color while the singles are printed in black and white. I enjoyed reading Parasyte in black and white, but I’m enjoying reading it even more in color. It’s a lot different seeing everything in full color, so if you’ve already read the series, it’s a great way to experience the series all over again. It's also a unique way to get into it if you are new to Parasyte all together.
The coloring looks amazing throughout, but it’s the aliens, which morph their hosts into terrifying visions, the settings, as well as the blood and gore in this series that benefit the most from the full color. The panels look amazing in these Full Color Editions, even more so thanks to the print and page quality.
They are printed on white, matte paper and the print quality is great
The Parasyte Full Color Collection is printed on matte white paper. The quality of the paper itself is great, like the color pages you’d see in the Monster Perfect Editions. The singles, on the other hand, are printed on off-white paper that has an eggshell-like texture—the standard type of paper we see in manga—but the print quality is good and the contrast of the black and white panels is nice.
The printing in the full color edition though is a lot more crisp. It’s somewhat harder to directly compare because one is in full color while the other is in black and white, but the page as well as the print quality is better all-around in the new edition.
The Parasyte Full Color Collection has a revised translation, new lettering, and colored as well as revised sound effects
The Parasyte Full Color Collection also has new lettering. The dialogue and text is more pleasing to look at in the Full Color Collection. Both the paperbacks and Full Color Collection have the original hand drawn sound effects as well as English translations on the page, but the translation text has been redrawn in the Full Color Collection, and they look even better in these editions.
The sound effects have even been colored, so they really stand out, and the translation of the sound effects has been revised in some areas too.
One of the biggest things that’s different about the Parasyte Full Color Collection is that it has a revised translation. They made some grammatical as well as sentence structure updates.
They even emphasized select words more in the Full Color editions for added impact—select words have been bolded to add emphasis and weight, ellipses have been added for pause, etc. These seemingly small additions add quite a bit to the reading experience over the course of the series. The flow of the sentences feels more natural in the Full Color Collection in comparison to the singles, especially when it comes to the narration.
To see all of these differences firsthand, be sure to check out my review on YouTube, which is included below!
They have a sewn-binding, which enhances readability
In terms of readability, both editions of Parasyte are easy and comfortable to read. The paperbacks have a glued-binding, so they have an issue with gutter loss in some areas. You have to move the volumes in a way where you can more easily see some text and dialogue, whereas you don’t in the Full Color Collection thanks to its sewn-binding.
I noticed no gutter loss in the Parasyte Full Color Collection while reading, so they are even easier to read than the paperbacks are. Even though the Full Color Collection’s volumes are hardcover, they are lightweight in hand and are comfortable to read. I’m actually going to go with the Full Color Collection in this category, because they are lightweight for a hardcover manga release and they have a sewn-binding, which enhances readability.
They have some new content
Both the paperbacks and the Full Color Collection come with translation notes in the back of the volumes, but the panels featured in the translation notes in the Full Color Collection are in full color.
There isn't a whole lot of new content in the Full Color Collection in comparison to the singles. The only new addition in terms of material is a few questions asked by readers in the Monthly Afternoon Reader’s page with answers from Hitoshi Iwaaki. These were a nice addition and I really enjoyed reading them. Even though you don't get a lot of new material, the fact that these are a premium hardcover release as well as a fully colorized edition, make them well-worth picking up.
Final Verdict: Is the Parasyte Full Color Collection worth picking up?
Yes, they definitely are. If you are looking for the cheapest way to collect the series or would prefer to read it in black and white, you may want to pick up the singles released by Kodansha. But, if you are looking for the highest quality edition all-around, you are going to want to look into getting the Parasyte Full Color Collection.
I love the fact that they are fully colorized and the print quality is top-notch. The Parasyte Full Color Collection also has the best lettering and translation too, so this is something to keep in mind as well. Personally, I like the Full Color Collection the best of the two in-print editions of Parasyte. They are modern and sleek and have a cool design. They are beautifully made, high quality volumes and I can’t wait to read the rest of the series all over again in full color.
You can pick up the Parasyte Full Color Collection volumes now at one of the following trusted manga retailers. To see examples of all of the differences mentioned in this post, be sure to check out my comparison of the Parasyte Full Color Collection and singles on YouTube below!