Where there is life, there is death... or is there? What would you do if you could never die? The possibilities are endless.
Seventeen years ago, the existence of a special species called Ajin was discovered in Africa. They are said to be immortal beings, with several supernatural abilities, that look just like any other human being. Are these Ajin just random phenomena of nature or were they purposely sent to Earth to destroy it?
Since their first discovery, several other Ajin appearances have been reported worldwide. For the majority of citizens though, these creatures are less reality and more of something you see every once in a while in a textbook or on the news. This is how it was for the young protagonist of the series, Kei. That was until a sudden turn of events changed his life forever...
Ajin is a supernatural anime full of complex ideas about life and death, as well as the dark side of human nature. What does it mean to truly be human?
"Don't judge a book by its cover": a metaphorical phrase that I'm sure many of us are familiar with, being one that has long transcended both generational and ethnic background to be used across the globe. A phrase that has taken on several reiterations depending on the time period and linguistics of the land, but still maintains the same direct message. It's simple, to the point and always relevant when entering the world of any storytelling medium. As much as many of us would like to think, that we could quickly discern the contents of a show simply off of the art cover and synopsis, there are times when we are all proven wrong.
Take the outward appearances of Mahou Shoujo Madoka★Magica and Gakkougurashi! for example. Both titles display an outer shell that could be described as innocent or even a bit too cloying upon first encounter. Had any veteran anime viewer taken a glance at them with no prior knowledge, it could be easy to understand if they had fallen for the façade. When any viewer becomes accustomed to familiarized signs in certain anime they've experienced before, it isn't out of character for complacency to kick in.
Whether we want to or not, past experiences tend to lead to some subconscious rewiring of expectations for certain content we perceive later on. It's how we refine our viewing habits and why we tend to avoid certain things that set off red flags in our heads due to unsavory experiences. It's a primal reaction our ancestors had to avoid danger and one we adopted for more trivial things, like avoiding shows that aren't within our favor. It's a habit with polarizing results, but still an understandable one we all share in one way or another.
And if one were to glance at the outward appearance of Ajin, I'm sure the prenotion to quickly judge it would take hold. With promotional art and a premise that seem to enforce the trappings of a typical bishounen action romp, it isn't hard to see why that knee-jerk reaction to label it would occur. But what we see on the outside, and what we actually get, is a whole other story. While Ajin may pattern itself to shows of that caliber, it quickly deviates from the tropes associated with it to become something far more promising. This anime is a book that screams one thing while the pages inside reveal another.
The story takes place in a fictional universe where humanity stumbled upon the discovery of a new sub-species of beings dubbed the Ajin. Having the appearance of regular humans, the Ajins are thought to be immortal, while also possessing several supernatural abilities. Due to their documented cases' being extremely rare, they quickly become subjects of superstition. But all that changes when a resurgence of the species occurs in modern day Japan, bringing with it a public frenzy that leads us into the narrative that unfolds before us today.
What we have here is a fundamental case of man vs 'allegorical' man, something many of us are familiar with, whether we're aware of it or not. Every time there's a story that pits opposing ideals of beings capable of human-level thought, (whether that be man or beast), it follows the man vs man conflict. This isn't always limited to one conflict either, as multiple topics tend to branch out from its inception, as demonstrated with movies like Dances With Wolves, or Cameron's Avatar, for the modern viewing audience. It's the tale of societal discrimination and xenophobic rejection of anything that doesn't align with someone's own principal. These are the stories that advocate awareness by providing social commentary with the human condition used as a platform.
And these common tales are no stranger to the world of anime. You don't have to look far, with titles such as Parasyte and Shinsekai Yori adhering to this traditional narrative. Both of which serve as ambassadors in anime's ability to craft this tale just as effectively as anything found on the silver screen. But despite the commonality of these stories, it's still one that's easily botched when handled without finesse, with titles such as Tokyo Ghoul and Terra Formars being testaments to that fact. Thankfully, Ajin isn't a case of the latter, although I do hesitate to place it on the caliber of the aforementioned that did this narrative well. If I had to give a comparative evaluation, I'd say it finds itself somewhere comfortably in the middle. While not as fleshed out as Shinsekai Yori or as multifaceted as Parasyte, Ajin still manages to hold its own. Instead of letting the subject matter marinate in the subconscious of the viewer, Ajin makes swift actions to drive home the message quickly it wishes to convey. This gives room for a narrative that's constantly in motion, which is ideal for those seeking immediate results. And while this to-the-point approach may leave many of its concepts explored only on a surface level, it still allows for a more consumable binge-watching experience. It prioritizes thrills over thematic pondering, which makes it more accessible to a broader market. This also makes Ajin a good gateway for those who want just to get their toes wet with heftier concepts, but aren't quite ready to dive in. It sprinkles in commentary about our current populace's desensitized state, as well as touching upon ethical treatment taken by governing bodies. It does just enough to whet the appetite of the viewer and add flavor to its narrative. And for those who want just a little bit extra with their action, this might just be all that's needed. But despite that fact, there's still a barrier of entry for those willing to crack the spine of this anime, and that, of course, is the use of 3DCG animation as opposed to traditional style.
Deciding to use 3DCG, similar to that of Knights of Sidonia, was probably the biggest deterrent for those who saw past the generic premise and appearance. And in all honesty, just hearing of this news alone was probably the reason many overlooked this title altogether. Yes, the presentation can take some getting use to for viewers who don't find it aesthetically appealing, but for those not bothered by the occasional 'uncanny valley effect', the show remedied this problem better than most. Unlike Knights of Sidonia, the individual movements here show far more mobility. The soundtrack, composed of Gothic organs, booming 'Hans Zimmer' fog horn sections, heavy guitar rifts and more, also helps in compensating in places where the animation found itself lacking. It might not be by much for viewers who are bothered by even the thought of CGI, but it certainly made it a far more palatable experience for those that could see beyond that.
The fights that occurred throughout the series weren't reduced to two people smashing fists with no rational thought, but are rather tactical bouts where Ajins and humans alike use their strengths and weaknesses against each other. Even with the clear advantage given to the Ajins, the human opposition still found many clever ways of exploiting their strengths by using it against them. This was also the case for when Ajins clashed among themselves. The show went into a decent amount of detail in explaining the body mechanics of the Ajins as well as the extent of their abilities. And the more an Ajin was aware of its abilities, the better it was at utilizing it in and outside the battlefield.
But perhaps the most apparent demonstration of the show's deviation from its inherent trappings can be found with the main characters themselves. In order to avoid turning this into a long-winded analysis, I'll go over only the two prominent characters highlighted throughout the show. They were far from being the most fully realized characters of the 2016 Winter season (that honor resides with Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu); however, they were still far removed from the cookie-cutter lineup that would come standard-fare with these stories. And what they may have lacked in development, they more than made up for with their distinct personality traits and interactions. They're simple, but at the same time, subjects who would make for interesting, if only brief, character studies.
Take, for example, our main character, Kei Nagai. The first defining trait he exhibits immediately separates him from the atypical wide-eyed idealist, or the hotblooded teen that come almost default with his role. Instead of a rehashed archetype with only a different coat of paint to define him, what we get is a selfish misanthrope who places his own self-preservation and needs above others. Whether he had to be deceptive or fake empathy to weasel his way out of trouble territory isn't of concern to him. There are no delusions of grandeur festering in his mind, he is very much aware of the extent of his capabilities, as well as his amoral standing with the world around him. And while not quite being pegged as a nihilist, he doesn't place trust in anything that isn't irrefutable truth. Kei Nagai is a teen whom we've either seen or were at one point in our lives, which makes him one of the more honest depictions of this age group in some time. Unless he's given a feasible or self-beneficial option to assist someone, he will not go out of his way to aid them if it means placing his own life in harms way. Anything outside of that is merely done out of forced guilt or social obligation. This underrepresented type of character makes him far from your garden variety, and as a result, an intriguing one to follow.
And as much as some of us would like to take the moral highroad in response to other people's suffering, the truth is most of us don't acknowledge it with any kind of substantial sympathy. And it's for this reason that our protagonist becomes not only well-depicted, but also easily identifiable for our modern society. Now this isn't to say some won't find his actions deplorable; there are certainly lots of people out there with a strong moral fiber, but his personality and actions are properly documented for the audience to understand his psyche, regardless of one's own personal ethics. He isn't going to fulfill the role of any white-knight advocate anytime soon, but in the context of the story he's placed in, his personality is tailor-made for the current social climate.
And while Kei Nagai retains the main character role, the true star of the series was none other than Satou. Satou, also nicknamed "The Hat" by officials, is quite the enigmatic figure. With a hospitable, soft-spoken demeanor upon initial contact, he brings with himself an aura of accumulated wisdom, but lurking just below the surface of his thinly veiled smile lies a man with a very twisted moral compass. Like the hybrid of a cunning old fox and someone akin to that of Magneto from the X-men franchise, there's nothing he won't do in order to reach his intended goal. While wanting for the betterment of his Ajin brethren, the path he takes to get there is paved with the blood of opposition and bystanders alike, all while sadistically reveling in the madness he brews up. He's a charismatic demon in sheep's clothing, a man who nonchalantly goes about his business with no sign of remorse, which is made all the more menacing given his weathered age. Any youth can demonstrate raw ferocity towards someone, but it's the carefully calculated approach of a much older man that strikes fear into the officials in this series. Satou, for all intents and purposes, is the show's undisputed badass, a title he more than lives up to.
Another character worth briefly addressing was Yuu Tosaki, an official who balances out the opposing ideals of Satou and Kei. He's your "all business no pleasure" kind of detective who is given the task to apprehend the Ajins at any means necessary. While he came across as one note in the beginning, that is later alleviated with the reveal of his motivation. Outside of Yuu Tosaki, the rest of the secondary characters aren't fleshed out to any extent, but they are given distinct enough personality traits to make their inclusion warranted. All in all, the characters, whether important or minor, helped in bringing the world and conflict to life.
This title proves that even action shows can have some level of thought and planning placed into them. It never tried to be something far more than what it was and performed well with the material it had to work with. For those thinking that this would be just another bishounen-cock-fight title, I implore you to discard that premature notion and give this show a try.
There was never a dull moment with this anime. With a plot that continued to push forward and main characters that constantly kept me at the edge of my seat, I found a great deal of enjoyment here. Satou's actions alone were more than enough for me. While the art was a bit off-putting at times, I still walked away satisfied. In terms of quality, it's somewhere between Tokyo Ghoul and Parasyte. If TG were McDonalds and Parasyte were a 5 star restaurant, then Ajin would be your local diner.
Ajin was a show that could have easily dissipated under the weight of its own premise, but managed to hold up incredibly well. With narrative choices and thoughtful insight that demonstrated a level of competency lacking in similar titles, Ajin has proven to be a show worth the initial investment.read more
“Ajin” is the “Batman: Arkham Knight” (PC) of anime.
This show is broken. The show visually assaults your eyes. Visuals are important in visual entertainment. Dismissing visuals in visual entertainment is like dismissing food at a restaurant. You may be influenced to go somewhere because the service rocks, but you won’t go if the food is horrible. The visuals are incompetent at best. I’m going to put this in terms that many people on this site will understand. Some gaming companies restrict games to 30 frames per second (FPS) because they want their game to be more “cinematic”. People complain that games below 30 FPS is not suitable for many games. Frame rates under 30 FPS is regarded as a sign of lacking quality. “Ajin” took this concept of low frames as being cinematic and ran with it. They tried to be super cinematic with frame rates dipping below 10 FPS. In scientific terms, this does not even pass the critical flicker fusion frequency. Human eyes/brains register 24 FPS as a fluid motion. Movies are usually shot in 24 FPS and repeat frames to synthesize a 30 FPS motion. Please have the courtesy of doing a little research and finding out what the bare minimum is for entertainment targeted for humans. This is the first time I have ever had a headache after watching something. The manga has more frames per second than this horrible adaptation.
The show is so horribly animated that the studio acknowledges their professional impotence. I’m not talking about how the 5th episode is deservedly named “Trash”. Although in that episode Satou regenerated an arm, pulled his arm out from under him, and shot a dude in a literal 1 frame. In chapter 19 of the manga, Satou was supposed to fly a plane into the building. They knew they couldn’t animate an airplane smoothly so they gave us a different alternative. We got an explosion and Satou riding the building down. The concept of him riding the building down was legit, but it is wrong. People will argue that the animators were being sympathetic towards Americans by not showing the plane like how Pokémon did, but there is another scene where the animators pushed the action out of the scene. Earlier in the series, a train hit a car and pushed the car out of the frame so they could blow the car up without having to animate it. There was a helicopter that blew up off screen because effort is too much to ask for. If the animators cared about their “art” they would not allow the “please buy our DVD/Blu-ray” halfway through every episode. This ad goes on for a full minute and takes up nearly half the screen. There are reasons that this advertisement doesn’t show up in other shows. Any self-respecting animator would be outraged by the blanketing of their animation. People try to defend CG when it is poorly executed in shows they like, but that is being a zealot. Quality doesn’t have sacrificed because the animation style is being experimented with. Over 2 decades ago Aardman Animation, the studio that brought us the British anime “Wallace and Gromit”, has made clay move far smoother than CG because Aardman Animation actually cares about their work and puts time into their art.
The show does deserve some credit. The orchestrated pieces are put perfectly in place. I like Japanese Justin Timberlake in the intro song. The creators of this show are probably good with the ladies, because the mood is set for every scene. Satou is a great bad guy. He wants the world to burn and he has a great personality. You understand his rage and malcontent with how humans have treated him and he wants back at them. The show is best when Satou is around. The story is awesome. Everyone who has seen the anime or read the manga will agree that the story is cool. Corrupt government, explosions, stands (black ghosts), and Satou are all great things to have in a storyline. Great job on the story for knowing who is interesting and when they are interesting. Most people watch stuff for the main character, but Kei takes a backseat in the story so the show can focus on the larger issues.
In the end, the show is a failure. Polygon Pictures horribly executed an adaptation. It is ambitious to animate humans with CG and the studio is not technically adept enough to execute smooth motion with it. Polygon Pictures joins the ranks of the garbage studios. Studio Deen, Idea Factory, and even KOO-KI could make this show better than Polygon Pictures. It makes me sad that the promotional videos for the new “Berserk” anime will also look like an unfinished project. Guts, if he were real, would bitch slap all those animators in the face with “Dragonslayer” for disgracing the well-deserved number 1 rated manga on this site. Real fans hold standards to their favorite series. If the anime does the manga justice, you should love and cherish it. When they fail at it, the fans should voice their disappointed opinions. Fans do not change their profile picture to a character from the show while rating and reviewing the show at a 10 when they have only seen 4 episodes of the series. read more
Ajin- What Tokyo Ghoul Wanted to Be... and failed miserably at!
Ajin- also the most unfairly ignored series of Winter 2016. There, it's been said. If you were one of the few people who can see past a childish, baseless, and unwarranted dislike of 3D CGI based anime on principle- good for you, because Ajin delivers a quality sci-fi/superpower tale, regardless of the form it's rendered in.
Because it's first on everyone's mind- the first thing to address here is the animation. Yes, 3D CGI can be scary. We've all seen monstrosities of bad animation like the ASS dragon from Fate Stay Night, the original Ghost in the Shell SAC, Absolute Duo, and many others. Yes, we're all fully aware of how ugly that plastic shader looks. To that end, Ajin can be ugly- and the worst part is the framerate, which is very sluggish at times and drags the visual experience down. However, for a show that was rendered entirely in 3D, this is not the end of the world. The majority of it is very easy to watch and flows well- and given the dark subject material, how it's cast in a washed out, at some points almost grayscale color scheme, but the few bright moments seem brighter by comparison in an otherwise pretty dreary show.
The next thing I feel led to discuss are the comparisons to Tokyo Ghoul that I alluded to in the title. The subject matter here is quite similar, only with Ajin taking a step toward realism and making good on its threats, minus the terrible teen angst and melodrama. See, the Ajin are a small group of humans who have the ability to regenerate their bodies upon dying. No matter how gruesome their injuries, they always come back to life in a few seconds- making them almost entirely invincible. Because they're also human, they have similar fallibility to crippling, choking, or otherwise being incapacitated. To further complicate matters, they're also able to summon an invisible, (to everyone who is not an Ajin) but humanoid black specter which can be used as a proxy and controlled remotely- to do combat, spy, whatever. The catch is that they can only use this once or twice per day, before needing to regenerate.
The Ajin are, because of the actions of one man named Satou, hunted by the government- resulting in a sort of class warfare, the nearly invincible Ajin VS the police and special agents whose job it is to control knowledge of and movements of the Ajin- all deemed a national threat from the terroristic operations of the murderous Satou- a broken psychopath with para-military training who exists for no purpose other than to incite fear and shock into the populace of Japan through killing- which he thoroughly enjoys.
However much this story may be about Satou though, the main character he is not.
Kei Nagai, a student who reminds me a lot of Light Yagami, albeit with a much more human mind and cold streak, is involved in a bus accident walking home from school. Smeared on the ground along with his life blood and organs, and dead- this black smoke appears from his body and a crackling sound is heard. Kei sits up, clothes torn from grinding along the road underneath the bus- very alive. Kei recognizes immediately that he's an Ajin, and that his life has just changed dramatically- most likely for the worst. His friends freak out, and then there's a knock at the door. Kei recognizes that it's time to go, and he, who just wants to live quietly and away from the Ajin madness, takes off on the run. Kei is, and shows that he's different from many superpower shonen main characters in that he's a very calculating, cold person. He's not afraid to use anyone or anything in his path if he sees it as a means to get ahead, and through this, he manages to slip under the radar, even if it costs him his friends and family, his force of will and intellect are what keep him alive after the government gets on his scent.
See, the world of Ajin is built up very well from the beginning, featuring students in school gossiping about this viral video, supposedly featuring an Ajin being murdered over and over by shady government officials. We later see news broadcasts with the names of suspected Ajin and recognize that there's a very large gap of information missing to the public about what they really are. This introduction (in a realistic way) of the public intrigue is very natural feeling, and sets the stage for a socio-political facet to the show later on, with government coverups and information war.
On this note, it should be noted that this show really pushed the envelop of gritty content, at least in recent memory, especially in how it presents some of the violent acts. It's never my place to spoil anything, but suffice to say that Satou takes some very drastic and destructive measures (all within the realm of reality, mind you) to make Japan very aware of his presence and the threat he poses as both an Ajin and terrorist. Likewise, the story does a great job of making everything very morally gray, with abuses of power by the government and shrewd manipulations by Satou to shift the public opinion of the ignorant masses towards the plight of the Ajin.
As a dark, engaging, and interesting shonen, Ajin is definitely one of the more memorable of the genre in recent memory. It took many of the themes that Tokyo Ghoul had breadth in, and then gave them depth. Where Tokyo Ghoul was afraid to take steps, or just completely missed steps, especially with its characters, we have much stronger motivation and reaction from the characters here. The plot advances in a way that can be followed, but not in the most predictable fashion, with a couple of genuinely shocking scenes to boot. Though this 13 episode series doesn't completely wrap up the story (that will be left to a sequel movie sometime later this year, a la Madoka Magica), it ends on a satisfying enough note that I wasn't perturbed by its somewhat abrupt ending. I'm willing to give this my stamp of approval, and even go so far as to say that it's the unsung anime of the season for staying true to what it began, not pulling any punches, and remaining consistently good throughout its run- something no other show from this past season can claim.read more
Ajin was one of those anime that received polarized views even before it started airing. Some were interested with the thrills is could give, while others were turned off by the use of CGI and the use of a familiar premise. However, if one could ignore or adjust to the CGI present in this series, they would be able to experience something much greater. Ajin is one of the best thriller anime to come out in recent time, and is easily of of the best of the winter season this year. It’s cinematic presentation with a heavy amount of thrills is a fantastic experience no doubt. And those who are fans of this genre couldn’t be more pleased with Ajin’s final results.
Ajin takes place in a setting where immortal human beings with supernatural abilities, known as Ajin, were discovered and society decided to eliminate them as they are a potential threat to humanity. Our protagonist, Kei, was a victim to a truck accident, which caused him to reveal his supernatural powers, revealing that he’s an Ajin. The series focuses on Kei’s story of being on the run, and the political and social views on Ajin. The premise is quite similar to some other anime of the same series, such as Tokyo Ghoul and Kiseijuu. However, Ajin manages to find its own name in this somewhat overused premise. The story managed to keep me on the edge of my seat throughout the series. It doesn’t start to pick up until the third or fourth episode, but when it does pick up, it’s insanely fun. The situations give to the characters of this series is very enjoyable and very intense. And the series also focuses on the political views of the situations and it’s nice to see some focus on that. The series later felt like a battle between the government and the Ajin and how they can get as much people on their side. This take was definitely in interesting one, and they manage to create tension with this aspect of the story too.
One of the best things about Ajin is its presentation. With its writing, Ajin manages to create a more cinematic feel to it. It’s perfect blend of music, cinematography, thrills and cliffhangers make this one hell of a ride. The pacing is also pretty good in the series. There is sufficient buildup given to the more thriller moments and during the action scenes, the pacing picks up rapidly. However, the third quarter of this series felt somewhat slow, especially after all those events that happened just episodes before. However, they do work well as buildup episodes for its final episodes. The focus of the series is also unique. Not only dies it focus on Kei’s fugitive storyline, but also Satou’s attempts of shaking society and making room for the Ajin species. Another really good this about Ajin is its consistent tone. For the entire series, Ajin manages to keep its thrills and dark presentation stable. The story does go into deeper matter such as politics and torture and the series manages to handle these well. And the present dark humor is also a delight. From Satou’s remarks to Kei’s “IDGAF” faces, the series manages to keep a slight humorous feel that relaxes the tension.
Ajin features a great cast of characters that all stand out in their own way. The protagonist, Kei, is a really hard character to study. What first seemed like a typical helpless character, turned out to be a heartless and selfish character instead. The viewers go from sympathizing with him, to looking at him in disgust at times. The way the series foreshadows Kei’s real characteristics was smartly done. Kei is the type of person who does good deeds not because its good, but because its right. Next we have Kei’s best friend, Kaito, and he’s also a pretty good character. Not much development is given to him, mainly because he doesn’t play too big of a role in the overall story. Satou is easily one of the best things about this series. He’s badass, he’s brutal, he’s ruthless, and he’s so much fun. His ideologies are interesting and the actions he takes in order for Ajin to receive recognition is fun to watch. Then you have those governmental characters that are after these Ajin, such as Tosaki and Shimomura, and they succeed to be good supporting characters, even with their minimal role.
The art design is pretty good in Ajin. The atmosphere in the series was made to be very dark and gritty and it matches the content. The use of darker and bleached out colors, with its limited color palette. Was a really smart choice. The character designs are also fairly good. Kei’s look matches both his helpless and ignorant sides. And Satoru’s look can make him look both the gentleman and the *ssh*le. My major gripe with the art is the lack of details given to anything in the series, mainly due to its CGI. Architectures feel bland and lack detailing. Some surfaces, especially the grounds, feel very blurry. And at times, the CGI prevents the facial expressions to be clear or proper.
The first thing you’ll notice about Ajin’s animations is that it’s CGI… completely. Some people do give it slack for being completely CGI, but personally, I think the CGI suited Ajin. The IBMs depicted in the series look super fluid and really makes the scene feel better. Even things like vehicle movements feel a lot better in its CGI format. That doesn’t cover up the fact that the main use of CGI is to save time, effort and money. However, there are moments where the CGI doesn’t look too good, such as character movements. Polygon Pictures isn’t new to CGI. As a matter of a fact, the only work they have done are all in CGI. However, compared to most CGI products in anime, Ajin’s one of the more polished ones.
The voice acting in Ajin is really good, which wasn’t surprising considering the fact that this series has a good cast. You have Miyano Mamoru voice acting Kei, so it would be a joke saying that he didn’t do a good job with Kei. Miyano does a fantastic job (of course) as he manages to make Kei look both helpless and arrogant. His “IDGAF” scenes were really well done. There’s a torture scene involving Kei in this series and Miyano’s voice acing skills really shine there. With his talent, he’s able to make the viewers understand the pain the character is feeling. Fukuyama Jun, another extremely talented seiyuu, does Kou fantastically too. His character doesn’t play too big of a role in this series, but with his limited role, he does really good. He’s able to make the character feel humorous or serious whenever needed. Hosoya, Yoshimasa does a pretty good job as Kaito, even with his limited role. He does the best friend role pretty well. Ootsuka Houchuu does an excellent job as Satou, he can make his character looks wise and good or sadistic and evil when necessary. Sakurai Takahiro, who is another well-known seiyuu, does Tosaki really well. Other seiyuu such as Komatsu Mikako, Osaka Ryota and Suzaki Aya, all do a very well job too.
Voice Acting: 8/10
Where do I start with the music part of Ajin? The OP, “Yoru wa Nemureru kai?”, is really catchy, upbeat, and it matches the series. It really sets the mood up for the series. The ED, “HOW CLOSE YOU ARE” is also very good. Unlike its more upbeat OP, the ED is more slower and its more relaxed (even if the visuals of the ED are rather the opposite). Ajin has some of the best background music you’ll even hear. By the time I finished watching the third episode, I was begging to get hold of the soundtrack. The music really boosts up the thrills of the series. The beats are killer, especially when something really intense is happening in the series. The main theme of Ajin is absolutely fantastic as its upbeat, thrilling and nerve-wracking. Other tracks such as “Crisis”, “Game”, “Agitation”, and “Execute” are what makes this anime feel so much better.
Ajin was one of the most enjoyable things to come from the winter season. It’s thrilling and suspenseful. Its focus on not only Kei’s fugitive life, but also the political situation of Japan after these incidents, makes the story even better. Its uniquely written protagonist and likeably written antagonist makes this series a lot better. The CGI at times did halt my experience with the series, but it’s nothing too bad. The music in the series is one of the best I’ve heard, and even if Ajin delivered nothing at all, at least I got myself a killer soundtrack. Plus, the series’ cinematography and editing gives it a more cinematic experience, which increases the enjoyment of the series. And with the send of this series, I’m dying for a second season already.
In the end, Ajin is one of those series that is worth checking out, especially those who are fans of the genre. Many people have skipped over this series because of the CGI or the lack of a proper release outside of Japan. But its thrilling storytelling with its cinematic feel makes a great experience. Plus, the use of music in the series is absolutely fantastic. The characters in the series is really good, particularly the main protagonist and antagonist. Its use of CGI is somewhat disappointing, especially during the more unpolished scenes. But it’s content makes up for that easily. Overall, Ajin is something that shouldn’t be judged just by key visuals and PVs, but rather with its great content.
+ Very stylish as it has a cinematic vibe to it, with proper pacing and buildup
+ The main protagonist and antagonist are complexly made and enjoyable.
+ Plot focuses not only on Kei on the run, but Satou’s attempts to shake society
+ Outstanding background music, and with its proper placement, the thrills increase.
- Takes a couple of episodes for it to get really interesting and break away from its somewhat overused premise
- Some of the CGI feels unpolished and makes the art lack details
On April 6, Dai Sato and Justin Leach stopped by The Japan Society to talk about the state of Japanese animation post Hayao Miyazaki. How has it been since his retirement, and is anime moving in a good direction? Or bad direction? Here's a recap of the event.