Ajin: Demi-Human is one of the best manga series being released in English right now. Gamon Sakurai has taken the relatively simple story of a certain breed of people who can’t be killed and turned it into a tense game of cat and mouse between the authorities, violent Demi-Humans, and outliers who just want to put an end to this conflict once and for all.
Following a vicious terrorist attack by Demi-Human ringleader Sato, volume 5 brings the focus back around to Kei Nagai, the young Demi-Human who we first followed in the opening chapters and sporadically since. He managed to flee his pursuers, making a pretty relaxing life in the country and kicking back in a nice old lady’s house. His face is still all over the news, though, so it didn’t take long for the locals to drum up their suspicions. Naturally, their interrogation quickly gets out of hand, and just like that Nagai is on the run again.
Nagai won’t have to go it alone, at least. He teams up with the equally death-immune Ko Nakano, and the two decide the only way to end this once and for all is to take the fight to Sato. If you’re going to try and kill a Demi-Human, you might as well use a Demi-Human, and Nagai has an idea of who else they can partner up with to make things even more interesting.
Each volume of Ajin is another solid argument for Gamon Sakurai as one of the most consistently impressive artists in comics. Sato gets into a close-quarters gun fight with MPD’s Special Assault Team early on in the volume, and it’s every bit as thrilling and well-choreographed as an action movie. Before he gets loose the police think they have a foolproof way of keeping an immortal man down: Continuously killing him such that he never gets a second’s opportunity to regenerate. It’s just as fun to see how he gets out of this situation as it is to soak in the raucous violence that follows.
A three-part anime film adaptation was recently announced for Ajin, and it should be interesting to see how it’s handled. It’s going to take a decent budget to animate it in any way that does justice to Sakurai’s layouts and sense of motion, though. Do yourself a favor and start reading Ajin on the regular if you haven’t already.
Story & Art: Gamon Sakurai
Publisher: Vertical Comics
© 2015 Gamon Sakurai