What happens when you find out your lead might just be a massive, unsympathetic jerk? I guess nothing, really—contrary to popular belief a character doesn’t need to be likable to be a good character—but that’s one of the handful of revelations in Ajin: Demi-Human vol. 3, where nothing is as it seems. Gamon Sakurai continues with an intense tale of special humans who can’t be killed and the adversity they face from the government and public at large, and it just keeps getting better.
In our review of the second volume I spent a decent amount of space talking up Sakurai’s art, going so far as to focus on a few specific panels that blew me away. I could probably do the same with a chunk of this volume, as well. Sakurai is great at both bullet-spraying, neck-snapping action and subtle facial expressions that say more than the dialogue that accompanies them. Ajin started out as something worth keeping up with, but now it’s up there with some of my favorite current regulars.
There’s a lot going on outside of the action in this volume. In addition to learning a little more about the past and true personality of Kei Nagai, we’re also treated to some revelations regarding the capture and torture of Demi-Humans. Naturally, there’s something even more sinister going on behind the scenes, serving as a public call to arms to every Demi-Human in the vicinity and the powerful, mummy-lookin’ Variants they control.
Kei is still the center of attention for the most part, but the vicious gunman known as Hat has been stealing the show since the last volume. There are also some interesting developments with Tosaki, a highly ranked Ministry of Health member who has his own concealed motivations and isn’t as black and white as he may have appeared in the series’ beginning. He continues to surprise, so I’m looking forward to seeing how he deals with the “sea change” Hat is cooking up for human and Demi-Human relations in Japan.
The opening two chapters of Ajin: Demi-Human volume three are worth the price of admission alone. Don’t sleep on this series while it’s hot.
Story& Art: Gamon Sakurai
Publisher: Vertical Inc.
– Manga Review: Ajin: Demi-Human vol. 2
© 2014 Gamon Sakurai