Ajin poses a question that resonates with me: If immortal beings were discovered, what would the rest of the populace do in response? This anime is focused on Ajins and their struggle of how the humans of the world perceive them. They look like ordinary humans up until their death, when they regenerate as an Ajin. It's a thought-provoking concept: Anyone around you could be an Ajin.
The story starts off with a focus on Kei Nagai and his struggle with accepting his new fate. It hastily expands the scope to include the discovery of an Ajin in one town and the ramifications of the people close to that Ajin before moving on to how the entire country of Japan reacts to the new target. I found the escalation of the story fitting and it could be synonymous to how the world today would react.
That was my favorite takeaway from this anime. There is nothing grounded about immortal beings who manifest shadow monsters, but how the characters reacted to the Ajin seemed relevant. With each new tidbit unveiled I kept pondering: This might be how our government would react. Or, I could still see myself risking my life for this person even if they were found to be an Ajin. I could envision people taking sides in the presence of something humans don't fully understand. To me, that makes Ajin, worth a watch.
Visually, the anime is something peculiar. I can't seem to put my foot down with either liking or disliking the animation. The visuals are bland, but eye-catching, all wrapped in one. I've never seen animation look like this — sometimes it works brilliantly, other times something looks off. It reminds me of another show, Noein, a brilliant anime, but some wouldn't give it a chance because of the style of animation. I don't believe Ajin, looks bad, but Netflix Originals have done this before with another one of their products: Knights of Sidonia. In my eyes, that show had a problem with characters all looking too similar. I wouldn't say Ajin has that problem either — it seems stuck somewhere in between.
Visuals aside, I watch shows to connect with the characters and the world they reside in. That's another strong point to Ajin. It has some well-developed characters thrown into the mix of hunting down Ajins. Not to mention that the concept of Ajins being unique to each character gives a complementing side development for the characters, especially a certain defiant Ajin.
Ajin is a 13-episode series for Season 1. It leaves enough open to pave the way for a second season, but I'm satisfied with the season as a whole. The season goes in a different direction about halfway through than what I would have though, but sometimes that is the best thing that can happen to a show: not being predictable. I've enjoyed the show and recommend it; 13 episodes can go by real quick.
Episode 5 has my favorite scene of the entire anime and of course it deals with the Man in the Hat. You will know when you see it.
Give Ajin a watch I found it worth the time.
Check out anime's influence on mainstream Hollywood in the video below:
What was the last anime you watched?