Ajin: Demi-Human
Keywords: , , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - POLYGON PICTURES
R1 License - Sentai Filmworks (ADV)
17 years ago, immortals first appeared on the battlefields of Africa. Later, rare, unknown new immortal lifeforms began appearing among humans, and they became known as "Ajin" (demi-humans). Just before summer vacation, a Japanese high school student is instantly killed in a traffic accident on his way home from school. However, he is revived, and a price is placed on his head. Thus begins a boy's life on the run from all of humankind.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

13-episode TV anime that premiered on January 15, 2016.
Animated by Polygon Pictures.
Licensed by Sentai Filmworks.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 8 8 7 6 6 6 Ggultra2764 [series:3412#1552]
Ajin focuses on our main lead, Kei Nagai, discovering he is an immortal being called an Ajin capable of resurrecting and regenerating from all damage once killed and manifesting shadowy-like forms called IBMs to fight on his behalf. This leads him to go on the run as once Ajin are discovered, they are captured and used for experimentation by the Japanese government. Also adding to this conflict is a terrorist organization made by Ajin who threaten to exploit the corruption of the Japanese government in retaliation for their treatment of Ajin.

Ajin is quite a bit of a mixed bag in quality, but I shall focus on the positives to the series first. The series does a solid job with fleshing out the capabilities of the Ajin as such where characters utilizing their abilities like Kei and Sato are able to analytically plan out how to use their abilities and work around their limitations, including occasions where they commit suicide to fully recover themselves in the event of injury. The series also offers some surprising twists and fleshing out of its plot for later episodes regarding the mentalities and motivations of major characters, notably with Kei and the government worker Yu Tosaki. Also, the show's animation is quite fluid with engaging action sequences and great cinematography employed during some key scene points, this shown most notably during one of terrorist operations committed by Sato and his group.

Beyond these points though, Ajin does come with a fair number of major issues. The show's direction on being a dark and cynical world is a bit too much on the heavy side and can come off feeling forced, especially with how many humans in the series regard Ajin. This is most evident with major characters like Kei, Tosaki, and Sato who all have cynical outlooks on life and make morally questionable actions for either their own self-gain or advancement of goals. In spite of the great fluid movement by its animation, Ajin's use of 3DCG animation in a style similar to Knights of Sidonia does make its character designs look artificial in their appearance and their movements can usually look unnatural compared to how the IBMs get rendered. Also not helping matters is the series ends at a rather major point in its storyline that appeared to be deliberate in setting up Ajin's second season.

While Ajin does have some engaging story elements and twists, its attempt at painting a dark and cynical mood felt forced and its key characters were hard for me to care much for. While your mileage may vary with how you warm to this series, I don't see myself being invested enough to venture into Ajin's second season.

Last updated Monday, August 21 2017. Created Monday, August 21 2017.

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