Think this review here is likely geared to watchers/readers of Ajin. It's the second season after all. I won't say much, you know already the main pulls/strengths of this work. I'm just here to comment on the pacing, direction, and creative differences the anime team has taken with s2.
First and final episodes do not feel like an opening and ending, especially considering we're picking up where Kei and Kou left us initially. The first couple episodes in s2 settle us in for that, and once Kei and Kou are firmly established in the next structure/phase of the story it feels like nothing they do here
really matters/add to plot. SPOILER! Rinse and repeat, it's just Satou proceeding with his kill list and the protag team being useless in general. Perhaps the one takeaway would be Kei's convo with the professor, or budding friendship with one of the uncles. Other stuff they do okay, like the female Ajin's backstory but I swear if she calls "Kuro-chan!" for the nth time... (dont. just. dont.)
I'm not a reader of the manga but it seems fights in the manga version are longer, well thought out and more impressive in highlighted areas. S2 seems to be gunning for action as some have pointed out but it wasn't all that interesting either. Actions they take aren't completely out of left field, but a special concoction of bland bc it feels like "this is what would happen if the status quo was like this, but I'm not particularly invested in this universe." Yeah that's it, the production team doesn't feel involved in the mechanisms of this story. It's like okay, this is supposed to be a story of fighting for civil rights (portion of Ajins), a fun-loving lunatic (who is sane for all his craziness), governmental issues, Kei's human psyche (sorry i can't come up with better descriptions lol) but they don't delve, expand or circle too deeply around any of those. It's not like they're skimming the surface either, but just taking them when it, naturally, has to come without a specific direction in mind. Essentially another one of those, presenting a story because we have to present a story.
Now note the staff aren't necessarily incompetent or uncaring. Execution is good overall, but the idea wasn't, because they couldn't get into the idea in the first place. They could have cut half the episodes and s2 would still make sense, mainly bc Satou fulfilling his kill list and the American agents really didn't have anything to set for the overall meaning of the Ajin verse. (So like I mentioned I don't think the anime team's got a good handle of their understanding in the Ajin series.) Who knows tho maybe they just had to fulfill their episode quota. Though one doesn't even have to take a look at s2!Kei to know how horribly wrung he is here. Basically he's been converted into your generic shounen hero (whose actions follow only for plot) under the shell of his idiosyncratic personality. Don't have to mention how all over the place that gets.
The ending has to be the worst part of the season despite people liking how pumped it was. On its own, maybe. Barely. As the ending to the second season of Ajin the series... (chortles) It felt like anime staff was shouting in my ears "WE DON'T HAVE TIME AND WE NEED TO SET THIS UP FOR S3!!!!" Wasn't that what you saw? Tosaki resolving all their ongoing troubles that took most of 2 cours, with like 3 lines, quickly getting to the milestone that is 'defeating' Satou without understanding the usage of this mechanism in their universe, it was and had been difficult getting myself to finish s2 since the anime staff showed how they were gonna direct this: chess pieces in the palms of their hands. The king can't teleport to any space on the board, but they can tell the opposing soldier not to eat him in the next move. So yeah, logical as s2 was, it was irrational in a sense and the reason is simple. There's no direction for the story. Anime team has no idea why they're doing this, which is okay. Stick to the fucking original then.
But I heard one thing anime has done right is moments of curt humor, which I had thought originated from the manga. If so props to the anime side because the humor is gorgeous with all the surprisingly, inherently laid-back steadiness of the characters in Ajin. Like Kou yelling "I'm afraid of heights!!! Dying hurts!!" in his simplicity, cracked me up so bad in s1. But yeah I don't know if there's anything worth watching in s2 that you wouldn't be better off reading in the manga. Again the juvenile Ajin of the winged IBM probably had his dialogue taken word for word bc I can feel that profound, distinct Ajin verse characterization in him, but was completely forgettable the way he has been executed in s2. Kei's sister is as much a mess as him. Kai... should you bother even turning up in the story at this point? Anime team really needs to know where they're going with things if s3's coming up...
Kou... everybody... (props cheek grimly) I don't think I've seen a blander cast being executed, not bc their personalities are 2-dimensional (rich and 3-dimensional as a matter of fact) but that the team presenting you doesn't hold a prominent interest in your workings. It's almost like anime staff is doing a fucking report. You know when a series is derailing, just like in Kimi no Na wa's review I mentioned, is when you can't describe efficiently what the show's about. What's Ajin about at this point, stopping Satou? It's stooping to unbelievably generic levels of typical shounen fare if everybody hasn't noticed this about s2 already and even this is loosely based bc production team isn't letting it allude to that. In fact they aren't letting it allude to anything, and it's not on purpose which is what's so pathetic about the whole season.
The only good thing to have come out of this is my increased liking for Tosaki because, and I bet in the original, of all the characters I've seen in over 400 animes of my viewer life, easily tops the chart for dullest, mundane and most boring. Almost horrifyingly so. So much that I was pissed because what the hell is he doing in a show like Ajin? You know but come s2 and I begin to realize that's really just how he is. Kind of dumb and limited in his sight and when his boringness settled in (makes me wonder why I could accept Kou so quickly, and knowingly, for his idiotic simplicity and not Tosaki? maybe I was casting the shadow of greater things on him considering he's supposed to be smart) I'm like ahhh just like Kei, just like Kou, Tosaki is merely being Tosaki. You have no idea how much he and his Ajin subordinate annoyed me at the start though, all because I didn't categorize them like Kou right away. One thing Ajin does great is genuineness.
So overall, no please don't watch s2. Except for the car scene and the one before that with Kou being stupid (anime brilliance) in the pilot episode there's nothing else in for it, you're gonna be severely disappointed by s2!Kei, not even his reunion with Kai will be worth anything, definitely not the shotgun finale if you love Ajin with all your heart (SPOILER! uhh the professor just disappeared halfway, so is Kai and his new friend in India now, no "Kai-san!!!" spiels from the little sister?), were the American agents a filler arc actually I felt I was watching another anime all together... no, nothing you can't get from the manga from what I've gathered. Even soundtrack was rubbish.
I'm one of those few who gave Ajin a chance while many were turned off because of the animation. I didn't really have any expectations at the beginning, but I was in for one hell of a ride.
The concept of becoming nonhuman and having to protect yourself has been done in animes like Tokyo Ghoul and Parasyte. In Ajin however, there are not just a simple 2 sides in the battle. There are more opponents and each group has different goals.
People hate the art/animation in Ajin, but honestly I had no problems with it. I got used to the animation when Ajin
season 1 episode 1 ended and it actually does fit the anime and its' suspensefulness.
I'm not a big fan of this season's opening in comparison to the first season's opening, but the sounds during the episodes fit the intense atmosphere that Ajin hooked me in with since season 1.
I love everyone in Ajin and their complex personalities. Especially Satou, he's unpredictable and interesting to watch. (Satou is my favorite villain of 2016, right next to Kira from Jojo) Ajin is full of so many amazing characters that you find yourself not knowing who to root for. Everyone has different reasons/motives for their actions and it really makes you care for them.
It was so fun seeing everyones strategies and counterstrategies. It reminds me of a game of cat and mouse like Monster or Death Note. Speaking of Death Note, I haven't been hyped for a new episode like this for a long time. They both have me sitting on the edge of my seat due to excitement and makes me wonder what's going to happen next or how will the next battlefield play out. This show was one of the few shows from this season that made me come back each week to satisfy my anticipation.
A lot of people are missing out on this anime and I'm glad I'm not one of them. Make sure to watch this anime. Satou alone is worth the watch. Everything else is just sweet sweet icing on the cake. Enjoy the anime!
Continuation of Ajin (TV 2016). Overall rating [8.6/10] <reupload>
Story [9/10] - The story continues after Nagai Kei made his escape out of the island along with the new character Kaito. I know I gave 8 for the story, but to be honest, Sakurai Gamon (the original writer of the story) made this series worth watching. Using immortality is so rejuvenating for most anime watchers. Effortlessly using modern society in pleasing ways. There were parts of the anime that I found fascinating, parts that were completely confusing, and parts that were downright irrelevant.
Art [8/10] - The studio responsible for the animation, Polygon Pictures created a good
example of CGI incorporation done right. But most people were turned off by this. I know a fair amount of them who don't want to give Ajin a chance, mainly because of the art style. The way the characters move is not smooth and clumsy most times.
Sound [8/10] - The opening and ending songs were good, but nothing else other than that.
Characters [8/10] - The main character is always indifferent about everything that goes around him. Although he started as a decent main character at the beginning of the story, at some point, he suddenly changed and started thinking logically at everything he does. It's not a bad thing I guess, but most people can't stand it. You always try to understand where he's coming from. But that's what I like about him.
No spoil in this review. The review is the same for both seasons. But the notation differs on only 2 points.
The first season makes you discover a world where Ajin (immortal human) are maltreated by human. It's well done, not too long early, and understandable.
At this moment, you can think that the moral of the story is that maltreating people only because they are different is bad (racism is bad, simple but true moral).
A war is declared between Ajin and human. Exterminate people which don't like you isn't that much better than maltreating. Then you can think that you mustn't confuse with love, respect and
fear, and the war will only create fear. The peace can be established but the result isn't good because of the use of a bad method.
These 2 axes of moral aren't developed at all. Why ?
Because the huge PROBLEM with this whole anime is the MAIN CHARACTER :
the main character is totally egocentric. For him, there is him, and the rest of the world. He said 3 times : "I just want to live peacefully my life". That clearly means "the humanity can die, I don't care if I can peacefully live my life".
There is no time where you appreciate the main character, because he isn't acting like a hero but like an ***hole. This kind of character can't pass a good moral (or it's totally artificial and even him doesn't respect it).
With all theses critics, why I give 7/10 to Ajin s1 and 5/10 for Ajin s2 ?
Because of the legendary fight present in the middle of the s1. This fight is a MUST SEE. Otherwise, there is no reason to continue to watch Ajin.
It's also because of the presence of the unpleasant secondary and useless characters. The second season is really less pleasant to watch.
For people who see the whole season 2, it's serious the end of the fight ?
Sometimes when you look at a new season you find yourself despairing because all you see are a bunch of sequels to anime you've never seen. However I'm here to tell you that you should view this as a fantastic opportunity to catch up on all these anime you haven't seen before the new season begins!