Looking for a great show to watch and brag about to all your friends, therefore making you superior to them in every way? Well, boy, do I have a show for you. Ajin is a unique show full of new and refreshing ideas that are presented in surprising ways. It’s unfortunate that it will surely get lost in the shuffle due to it’s initially ugly art style, as well as its lack of promotion by Netflix. Ajin is made by the same studio that created the phenomenal Knights of Sidonia; if you’ve seen that show, then it means the unfortunately off-putting CG art style remains. But I promise you...if you give this show a shot, you will fall in love.
The story focuses on the Ajin, a race of people who have suddenly appeared, much to the world’s disdain. What’s unique about the Ajin? They look the same as everyone else, but there’s a catch: they can’t die. Not only are they almost immortal—some are also able to summon an invisible entity called a ‘ghost.’ This terrifies the world, so the Ajin are sought out, captured, and experimented on. Safe to say, finding out you’re an Ajin would put a damper on your life plans. This is what creates the bulk of the shows conflict.
There’s a pretty good chance you’ve already dismissed Ajin, but I assure you, you shouldn’t. Unlike most anime, or animation, Ajin is presented as though a very realistic lens. In a general sense, you can compare it to something like X-Men, but it’s more grounded and the range of powers are very limited. It’s not just the story that’s grounded, but the characters are as well. Nagai, the main protagonist, is anything but typical. Nagai is a sociopath with a cold and calculated approach to every situation. For Nagai, emotional ties are useless and are just a thorn in his side. It comes off as annoying at first. You’ll likely be shocked at how little he cares about his friends, or really anything. But as more characters are introduced and you see him begin to care about his own preservation, the show becomes much more interesting. Nagai is more concerned about preserving his livelihood than his life.He just wants to grow up and become a doctor. That’s it. However the show’s antagonist, Sato, has different plans.
Sato is an Ajin resistance leader who has a fascination with video games and war. He’s one of the best villains I’ve ever seen. That’s not hyperbole either. The video game loving Sato is fascinating because he presents a mild mannered exterior, but has something sinister lurking beneath that deceptive exterior. He seems harmless...until he’s killing dozens of people single-handedly with a smile on his face. And every time he attacks, he does it with more creativity than Heath Ledger’s Joker. His attacks are so interesting that I found myself looking forward to seeing how he would pursue his next target.
Sato’s targets are carefully chosen government officials. Each one proves his sinister point, and moves him closer to an unoppressed Ajin future. A future of which, Sato’s actions seem to betray. Putting him at odds with his own resistance group at times. That is what brings about the opposition between Sato and Nagai; a difference in philosophy. Nagai thinks Sato is harming his chances at a normal life, while Sato is trying to gain liberty by force. Both characters are incredibly smart, so it becomes a game of wits that have so many twists and turns that you’ll be on the edge of your seat, unsure of who will come out on top.
Ajin is a refreshing series, not just for Anime fans, but for fans of great storytelling, intriguing characters, and phenomenal action scenes. I can say without a doubt that if you give Ajin a chance, you’ll be recommending it to all your friends. And they WILL thank you.