Ajin 64-68 – Manga Review
Ajin Synopsis: Seventeen years ago, an utterly immortal human was discovered on an African battlefield. Since then, more of these new and unknown life forms began to appear among mankind. These undying beings start to be known as “demi-humans.” One day, just before summer break, a Japanese boy leaving his high school is involved in a traffic accident that kills him on the spot. Then, he comes back to life. A huge bounty is placed on his capture. Now the boy’s attempt to evade all of mankind begins. (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
(Warning: Spoilers to Follow)
Since Kei discovered he was an Ajin he’s found himself in an increasing deadly situation. Sato, an Ajin bent on terrorism, continues to hound the Japanese government, seeking to rally the Ajins hidden across society and ultimately take over Japan. Kei, coerced into fighting back by Ko, another young Ajin, finds himself working alongside one of his former pursuers, Tosaki, a government agent tasked with finding and controlling the Ajin. With Sato now poised to initiate his final campaign against the Japanese government, its up to Kei and Co. to put a stop to him once and for all.
Ajin 64 through 68 attempt to wrap up a few side plots and extra details while also delivering on Nagai’s final efforts to stop Sato. 64 sees Tosaki spill the beans on the inhuman experiments Ajin have been put through by the Government and their backroom dealings. The problem with this chapter is its approach to events. Tosaki calls a press-conference without evidence, ultimately having sent all the details to a trusted reporter. Because of this the press conference kind of ends with a whimper. It’s one of the few places where Ajin’s grounded approach to its supernatural concept could’ve used a tiny bit of creative license, allowing for a greater impact from the public.
From there we switch back to Nagai’s plan, the Anti-Ajin forces, and the rest of the gang trying to make their makeshift, last ditch effort work in the small window they’ve got. Nagai’s struggle to keep the details in his head, and try to account for everything is expertly visualized, really selling the poor boys intense struggle under pressure and Sato’s madness.
There isn’t too much incredible action here however. For as much as the series can boast some impressive fights, Sato’s two major lackeys aren’t much to speak of in the face of Anti-Ajin trained opposition. There’s a nice couple twists embedded in all this, like one of Sato’s lackeys actually being human when we thought he was an Ajin this whole time. Or how one of Sato’s targets is a TV broadcast building housing a currently airing show with guests who share Anti-Ajin sentiments. Once Sato blows up the building we discover that one of the most Anti-Ajin voices is actually an Ajin herself. It’s perhaps a bit overplayed in stories about oppressive societies, but works none the less.
Nakano even gets to shine here, moving from near totally stupid to coming up with the perfect sized-hole they need to drop Sato’s arm down in order to imprison him. Unfortunately even that’s not enough. Perhaps it should’ve been a clue that Nagai’s plan was so grounded and simple, or that not all of our players are on the field yet, but what they’ve come up with doesn’t work as Sato breaks his take off and kamikaze pattern, now boredd with the very concept he came up with himself. This last minute switch fits perfectly with his character and shows how on point the writing is, keeping Sato’s need for entertainment front and center.
Overall outside of a few places things could’ve been tightened or reworked for better effect, what’s here is incredibly strong and for a series so close to conclusion, it’s coming away far stronger than other manga typically manage.
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