Animation supports character malleability and power

ajin-s2-netflixWEBSome of you may have seen it already, but over spring break I decided to binge the Netflix original anime, “Ajin: Demi-Human,” based off the manga series.

The story takes place in Japan where there are people known as Ajin – humans who come back to life if they die. Kei Nagai, a prep school student, learns this after being hit by a truck on the way back from school, and flees to escape being captured by the government for experiments. Kei soon meets another Ajin called Sato who tries to persuade him to join his cause in gaining civil rights for other Ajin while also helping him escape from capture within a government testing facility.

As the story progresses, however, Kei and even those working for Sato begin to realize that Sato simply wanted the thrill of battle rather than a quiet life for him and others.

Normally this isn’t my cup of tea, and with every episode I watched I kept thinking, “Why am I watching this, again?”

The animation was a little odd since it used computer animation rather than the traditional 2D sketch, but there is some merit to the technique. Ajin are also able to summon ghosts that are invisible to non-Ajins, and the animation used in the anime brings out both their fragile malleability and their quite fearsome power.

That, and some of the fights within the series get incredibly intense, especially ones involving Sato. To avoid capture while in the testing facility, this guy cuts his own arm off with a knife after it was hit by a tranquilizer; guns down some guards; shoots himself in the head after being hit by more tranquilizers; and then kills them off, after playing dead for a few seconds. The flow in this fight is incredible, and the same goes for ones that involve other characters.

While the graphics are great and the story good, there are some problems involving the black ghosts and how they worked. Originally, no one except other Ajin could see them, except in certain conditions. As the story progresses, it seems to be that the Ajin could let non-Ajin see their ghosts, and in other cases some people can see the ghosts completely. I’m not sure if it is a mistake made by the screenwriter or the original writer, but there does seem to be some sort of loophole.

Also, at the end, Sato is captured before wreaking havoc to the whole of Japan. He manages to escape, calling Kei and others back into action, after everything seemed to finally be okay. It leaves me feeling half-,satisfied and confused, and there have been no announcements for a third season to the show.

I will remain optimistic, though.

Overall, to those who enjoy something with suspense, action, and a little supernatural element, go for it. You only live once, after all.


  1. I completely agree with your points here, especially the fighting scenes. They work really well with the animation, as do the ghosts. I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed 3D animation so much simply because the lighting and shadows add so much depth. Although the concept of different people seeing the ghosts gets a little wonky at times, I think at one point they said that if the feelings directed towards someone were strong enough, they would see the ghost regardless…anywho, great show and great post!

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