First, let me talk about what people usually complain about, the animation. As you can see I gave it a 9/10 instead of a low score. This is because I think this 3D animation style is a refreshing change to the normal 2D animation style. True, it's a bit lacking and I think it's because of the time required to do it in 3D rather than 2D. It gets better later on though. I myself thought it was disappointing at the beginning however after 13 episodes I have gotten used to it and trust me, It's not worth dropping the show just because of the animation style.
SPOILER ALERT -
The show tells of a young boy aspiring to be a 'fine human' who, due to an accident, discovers that he is an Ajin, mysterious humanoid beings that are immortal. The police takes action quite immediately, placing a 100 million bounty on him. With Kai, a childhood friend, the protagonist escapes from the researchers that uses "they are rare beings and have to be protected by the government" to capture and research on Ajins without the knowledge of the public. Ajins are used as money-making machines by companies as they are Guinea pigs to test the efficiency and safety of new drugs, technology or weapons.
To be honest, the anime is spot on about how the world would be like if Ajins existed. The police would act immediately. A bounty would be put which motivates people to search for them. Research would definitely take place with backings from the government.
I find the story very realistic and the main character, though wimpy and unknowledgable about an Ajin's power, grows and develops his skill. He has a cold personality and a lack of a sense of justice as he views everything happening to people elsewhere as 'unrelated'. Despite his lack of heroism, I think it brings more charm to him as a character rather than a classic wimpy but heroic character.
Satou is probably my favourite character. Despite his 'calm' look that an old person usually posses, he is the most BADASS character ever. "I always play a game in hard mode" how is that not badass!? (He probably played Dark Souls in hard mode and thought that killing humans was easier) He's also very clever, using the presence of media to gather Ajins to 'change' the country.
The story is well-paced unlike Tokyo Ghoul, which I watched previously, and it is definitely worth the time. I CAN'T WAIT UNTIL THE NEXT EPISODE IS RELEASED!!
Ajin was a show almost nobody bothered to watch because of the crappy CGI. And yes, it was crappy no matter how much some claimed otherwise. It was so bad, Ajin became overlooked to the point it wasn’t even a candidate in the Crunchyroll awards of 2016, despite having one of the best villains of the year. There were some who defended it by claiming the CGI is what made it stand out, which doesn’t mean anything if nobody liked the unusual artwork.
It was even out of place compared to Knights of Sidonia, the previous work from the same animation studio. It had the same style, but the setting of genetic engineering in the far future was excusing the eerie way everything looked. Ajin takes place in a mundane Japan of today, so it’s bizarre for the sake of being bizarre.
The only thing that benefited from the CGI was the appearance of the black smoke monsters, which look really cool as Stand knock-offs from Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. But even those were a small part of the whole. 90% of everything you saw was robotic characters and low frame animation.
Aside from how ugly and robotic it looked for the average viewer, it was also torture porn for edgelords instead of a decent story to enjoy even if you could overlook the eye cancer. It tried to pass as deep by showing the effects of becoming desensitized because of immortality, and how humanity becomes terrified of such creatures living amongst them. It didn’t explore the theme ala Parasyte and ended up being excuses for gore and murder.
The prime problem with the show was the retarded protagonist. Most deaths and torture scenes wouldn’t happen if he had a 3 digit IQ. Nothing he did made any sense, such as not hiding his face in public areas and avoiding the constant attacks of people who recognized him. He was passive, needlessly overcomplicated every situation, did nothing useful most of the time, and constantly made the plot go in circles thus becoming detrimental to the narrative.
Satou, the main villain, was the best thing about the show, since he was the exact opposite of that idiotic MC. Proactive, had an agenda, and was experienced in battle. In effect, he was the story of Ajin. If he was the main character, or at least had found Kei much sooner, the show would be so aimless half the time.
But instead of that, all we got was a useless teenager protagonist constantly reacting to everything, then running after the bad guy, and slowly changing the show from a psychological thriller to a generic fighting shonen. You end up watching it just to see fucked up ways to kill or torture someone, tensionless battles between Ajin who cannot die, before eventually the MC defeats a clearly superior fighter because the plot said so. A complete travesty.
Interested in Ajin? Lemme help!
Let's review one of the highly anticipated anime titles this year, Ajin!
NOTICE: This is a first impression review, it will be updated once 6 episodes are out and then again once it finishes airing. Also, this review does have some comparison with the manga it was based on.
I've read a good portion of the manga (I also reviewed it), and I gotta say I really liked it. The manga has many vile, brutal and hardcore moments, which I'm hoping to see in this anime.
So, let's get started!
The story is based on immortality. A ''new species'' of humans is found in Africa. A kind of a human that are small in numbers and can't die no matter what. Humans capture them and use them for experiments. The story covers what are the consequences of being a newly discovered Ajin.
I like it so far! Even though it's been only one episode I think we got enough from it story wise. I do mind the lack of details a bit and it seems slightly rushed but we'll see what happens in the upcoming episodes.
It's a mix of 2D and 3D. Even though it's pretty well done, I feel like this is one of the bad aspects of this show. I think this anime would be much more enjoyable if it's done in traditional 2D style. I mean, imagine if the animation quality of it was equivelant to Tokyo Ghoul.
So yeah it's a bit of a shame, but not such a common thing to see for a 24min show.
The sound is good. Voice acting and sound in general is on point. Music is decent but nothing special.
I like some of the voice actors, for example the sister.
This could be the aspect of the show that will make it great. Ajin has a variety of characters that are unique and very likeable.
There was not a lot of backstory so far (but there is some) so I can't say much (without spoiling the future episodes) but I hope they develop the characters nicely.
I think it's rare to see and anime or a manga that focuses on immortality. I mean yeah it's not unusual to see godlike or an immortal character that is usually overpowered, however this is the first time I'm seeing an immortal character become vulnerable.
And I have come to the point where I've seen so much anime that new shows with a theme like this are refreshing. So I'm looking forward to seeing more.
COMPARISON WITH MANGA
Wow this is new for me.
The first episode covered quite a bit of manga. And it also reminded me of a lot of things I forgot. But I think they did a decent job so far. I hope to see a lot of detail that manga has, especially those super dark moments.
Really excited to read more since I will most likely not allow the anime to catch up on what I've read.
First episode so there's not much to say.
(PROS): The story is packed with action and will very likely be featuring some amazing moments. The animation is unique, the sound is well done and the characters are enjoyable.
(CONS): The story is a bit rushed. Animation lacks detail. Music is sort of lame.
Since it's only episode 1, I'll give it a 7.5/10. Come back once 6 episodes are out for updated scores and the review.
And that brings us to an end of this review. I would like to recommend this anime to anyone who likes a lot of action and ''good person going bad'' kind of thing. Hope this review helps!
If you liked this review give it a heart, or rate it funny/helpful if you found it so. More of my reviews can be found here.
The first time I watched this, I dropped it about ten minutes into the first episodes. I'm not a fan of CGI in anime, although I will admit Ajin did a far better job with it that some others. However, I ended up going back to watch it and I'm glad I did.
The main character reminds me a bit of Lelouch from Code Geass. He is calm, calculating, intelligent, and appears to lack empathy. He can lie easily and fit his behavior to his current need, but sometimes the unexpected happens. At times though, it is hard to like him as a main character and during the second half, the focus shifts away from him a bit too much.
Unfortunately the character I really liked was thrown out of the story early on. The other characters are stereotypical for the most part. It may just be my personal view, but I feel like the humans are portrayed very well in how they act and the government is about as shady as it is in reality but we should avoid those topics for now or I won't shut up.
The story has good pacing. Being only 13 episodes, I was worried it would rush, but luckily they managed not to rush. Deciding not to try to fit the entire story into just those 13 episodes was a smart choice.
In many ways the story isn't all that original. A main character who wants to be a doctor to cure his ill sister. A punk who is actually a really good guy. A deceiving old many words I won't use on here. A kind old lady who helps the main character. A group of people who are outcasted and treated terribly because of their differences and a group within that group that thinks terrorism and the like is the best solution. A person after them who will stop at nothing but tends to fail and always acts cool, collected, and slightly mysterious. The main character joining the small group of terroist and then later choosing to fight against them. Governments covering up their actions. Running away from persecution. I mean it's nothing new by any means. Despite that, it was interesting to watch. It is a bit predictable and I can't really say why it's interesting, but it is. What the Ajin actually are is interesting in and of itself actually.
After the first few episodes, I got used to the CGI. I will never be a fan of CGI anime though, no matter how good it gets, simply because I believe that it should be done the way it has always been done. If it changes to CGI, then it's not really it's own thing anymore, at least not in my opinion. Anyway, moving on. My main issue with the animation once I got over the CGI has invaded the anime too much issue was the darkness. It's supposed to be a dark anime so of course not having bright colors is a reasonable choice, but the first two episodes felt like a thin transparent grey sheet had been placed over the screen or something like that. It just felt like the colors need to be a tiny bit bolder. I don't know how to explain it so I will just stop there.
As for sound, I really like the opening song and the ending song isn't bad either. The sound during the anime seemed fine too.
Overall, it's average in many ways making use of many tropes, and the animation is unusual, but I would reccomend watching it because I still thought it was rather enjoyable and I'm rather sad the rest isn't out yet.
STORY : OK, the story is about a new species of humans (ajin) who were discovered in Africa, fifteen years prior to the actual timeline. For the past fifteen years the government has kept it under wraps, experimenting etc - the usual corrupt government way - until one day our main character ( Kei Nagai ) gets run over and killed. This is where he, and a group of bystanders learned that he isn't human. He is one of the Ajins! The story revolves mainly on Kei trying to get to grips with this new power whilst on the run from the Government. Kei is a young guy about 16 years old, he is very intelligent and just wants to live a quiet life. He reminds me of other intelligent protagonist's such as Lelouch( code grass ), Light ( death note ). OK so what to expect from this show : horror - there's a lot of gore but its not meaningless. Nail biting moments - there are many moments that keep you on the edge of your seat either rooting for your fav character or vice versa. Action - the fight scenes and shootouts are very well done, sound effects were also very good. Drama - there is a lot of drama as you may expect, top notch stuff as well I may add. Overall it's another roller coaster here!
ANIMATION : Okay this is probably what will put off most people but hear me out. I want to put a very valid point across to some of the other reviewers especially. Its a mix of 2d and 3d. Yes thats right CGI. The last project these guys done was knights of Sidonia. I actually dropped it a few years back because of the CGI. But I picked it back up after I watched Ajin! I'm glad I did. My point is that if your new to anime and are used to 2d then I wouldn't be surprised if it wasn't for you. But here is what I think is great about the CGI - it works really well with fight scenes, and also the actual Ajin look really well done with the CGI. Most importantly though is the expressions when acting scenes, I felt the animation really emphasized the many characters emotions. Made it feel really believable. I strongly insist at least giving this CGI a shot. Chances are your gonna see a lot more of it!
MUSIC : okay this is one of my fav things about the show and is a real strong asset. The music was epic!! The action scenes worked so god damn well! It hyped you up and I felt enhanced every experience immensely. I've saw a lot of action anime and this is second only to Noragami of course. Top class!
CHARACTERS : Now, the characters is a very strong point too without spoiling too much its hard to say but one of my fav characters is the man in the hat, let's just say that lol. He is fantastic. The main character Kei, is a very believable young guy who just wants to live a quiet life. He has a lot of progression not just with other characters, but mostly himself. The main support characters were all decent and played important roles. Their is another couple characters that I can't spoil but they are also very thorough characters with pasts of their own. So overall its a very decent cast.
OVERALL : Okay look, this anime does have a very unique animation style but you would be doing a huge injustice to yourself as anime fans if you missed this one for one reason. This is by far the best anime of the year for me. And an absolute must watch for all Horror/Action fans. There is a second season too so there's that too! ENJOY!
Thanks for your time. 😀