寄生獣 kiseijiu, “parasyte” a word coined by Iwaaki for his manga. The root, “kisei” comes from “take/collect” and “life” which forms “parasitic.” The last character represents “beast.” The word is based on, but distinctive from “parasite” 寄生虫 (kiseichuu), where the last character represents an insect, worm, or bug.

hito/bito/jin person/people (not an animal)

*in Japanese there is a distinct linguistic difference between “people” and animals, one that gets blurred in “Parasyte: The Maxim.” There are very few plural nouns in Japanese, and so counters are applied to almost everything – and the type of counter varies depending on the type of noun being counted. People have their own unique counter – hitori, futari, mitsu – and animals have their own – ippiki, nihiki, sanbiki. Migi uses the latter to refer to his own kind in the manga/anime, despite the fact that the parasytes are human bodied and consider themselves to be a superior lifeform.

人間 ningen, human being, mankind, humankind,

日本nihonjin, Japanese person

外国gaikokujin, foreigner (lit: outside/other country person)

宇宙uchujin, alien (lit: space person)

さつじん殺人 ころ殺す satsujin is murder (kill people) korosu is “to kill”

ひとごろ 人殺しhitogoroshi, murderer, (lit: person killer)

*disclaimer, in case anyone is using this as an actual language reference: I’ve tagged furigana – hiragana “cheat codes” for kanji – where I don’t immediately remember the on/kunyomi because my Japanese is hella rusty. All of the smaller writing is solely for my own ease of reading this.