Ajin (2016)

Ajin

  • Ajin -Demi Human (Season1)
  • based on a manga
  • by Hiroyuki Seshita and Hiroaki Andō

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The story begins showing that an immortal creature appears in Africa for the first time. Due to this discovery 17 years ago, these creatures are classified as dangerous and as a threat for humanity. Humans are afraid that they could use advantage of their immortality. These creatures are called ‘Ajin’ which means ‘demi-human’ and everytime one is found it will be immediately arrested. A young medicine student named Kei Nagai doesn’t seem to be very interested in Ajins and doesn’t really pay attention in class as they talk about them. Ajins are seen as non humans at all. One day Kei got hit by a car and received mortal injuries. However, he survives this accident and is reborn as an Ajin. This rebirth makes a big changement in his life. He starts a life as a fugitive and realizes that there are much more Ajins outside.

The concept of the anime series is really interesting. Ajins are living within the society of humans without their conscious. A further interesting point is to see how humans treat Ajins. They are afraid of them because they fear the unknown. Therefore, humans try to dominate them by experimenting on them in cruel ways. We really like the concept of the anime: Ajins who don’t want to harm anyone (at the beginning) and humans who are fixed on the goal to destroy them. The anime makes clear that humans are cruel creatures maybe more cruel than Ajins. So, who is the real monster here?

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The series is filled with many thrilling scenes. More and more interesting and important facts about Ajins are revealed. The suspenses make the anime even more thrilling: Sato, an angry Ajin, hates humans and so what are his intentions? What will the protagonist Kei do, will he ever be able to live a normal life without fear? Nonetheless, the beginning of the series is really interesting, but it will get a bit boring. The story gets slower and nothing really happens in several episodes. The story switches fast from Kei Nagai, to Sato and then to the Ajin research agent Tosaki.

Not only thrilling aspects are included but also emotional ones. The fact that Ajins are treated like test objects, you can clearly see how much they suffer. Even though they haven’t done any harm, they are treated like trash. For example Kei doesn’t understand why people are treating him like that. He is even seen as dangerous by his own classmates as they found out about his real identity. However, his ‘former’ friend Kai is on his side and try to help him out. This brings emotional flashbacks in the anime. The protagonist Kei and his friend Kai were best childhood friends. However, this friendship bond is still strong especially for the abandoned Kai. Even though they haven’t spoken for years, Kai kinda feels responsible for his friend and risks his one and only life to save him.

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Many fantasy and supernatural elements are shown in the anime series. People who normally should have died but are reborn as Ajins. These Ajins also consist of the so called IBM which are black ghosts. These IBMs differ from each Ajins, which means that they have different abilities and shapes but their shapes resemble as the ones of a human being.

The characters have a huge difference in terms of their personality. Firstly, the main protagonist Kei makes a drastic development, from a normal student to a kinda cold-hearted boy. However, he is very intelligent and thinks strategically. As he discovers that he is an Ajin, he quickly starts to practice using his IBM properly and effectively. On the other hand, his best friend Kai is the opposite. He always wants to help even his best friend who has abandoned him. A further, more or less important, character appears later in the anime series. His name is Nakano who is also an Ajin but doesn’t seem to have the ability to show his IBM yet. He is a bit of an airhead but is determined to stop Sato because the latter wants to annihilate whole humanity.

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The art and animation are a bit strange and does not fulfill our satisfaction at the beginning. The style kinda reminds of the American drawing. However, you will get used to it later. The emotions of the characters are well depicted and the different appearances of the characters are satisfying. We really like the drawing style of the black ghosts (IBM) which show great fighting moves.  We are kinda amazed by the music, especially the opening and ending theme. Both themes are very entertaining. In other words, it is almost impossible to skip both themes.

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A further interesting fact to mention is that the story can be compared to Tokyo Ghoul and the life of Ken Kaneki. In Tokyo Ghoul, Kaneki is also tortured because he is a not human (a ghoul). Kei from Ajin and Kaneki from Tokyo Ghoul experienced torture as both have their limbs and body parts cut off. In “Ajin”, Kei is tortured and experimented to find out how much pain an Ajin can bear up against. The researchers don’t  take care that even Ajins experience pain as much as humans do.

All in all, we really like watching “Ajin” as it has an interesting story and concept.However, when it starts coming to the end, it starts getting a bit dull. We would have prefered that the focus have stayed on Kei Nagai. However, the anime focuses more on more on a dislikable character Sato who is only drilled to destroy humanity. The fact that we really like fantasy anime series, we were really excited to watch it, however we expected more and got therefore a bit disappointed. So let’s see how season 2 will be.

Cheers,

MikaYuu Hyakuya

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