I’m very glad Ajin is returning to our screens in
2017 (actually next season – my mistake). While I consider it a good series rather than a great one, the leading indicators for 2017 (Winter at least) aren’t looking too favorable, so we need all the good series we can get. And while it has its flaws, Ajin is about as reliably good as any non-masterpiece anime could be. The series is remarkably consistent and features some of the best pacing of any action anime in recent memory. It’s never going to be perfect, but it seems very unlikely to let you down either.
I kind of put the presence of Kaji Yuuki in the titular starring role here in the same category as stuff like the awkwardness of the CGI with this series – it isn’t ideal, but it’s not a deal breaker. While I wonder how anyone could possibly be casting a dramatic role and think “How about Kaji Yuki?” is a good thought to have, he’s certainly not at his worst in this role. There’s a certain detachment in the narrative style to Ajin and I think that plays to its benefit where Kaji is concerned, reining in some of his more misguided impulses as an actor.
We’ve been hearing an awful lot about the Nakamura Shinya incident since Ajin got started, so it’s nice to finally have some flesh on those bones. Shinya is a college student, a seemingly normal guy with a best friend named Yuusuke who he adores and a girl he pines after. When Emi-chan invites him to the birthday party he initially declined to attend because he was waiting for Yuusuke , Shinya makes the fateful decision to attend. Then when he has to go back for his phone and misses his train, he makes the fateful decision to ride his motorcycle despite the fact that he intends to drink. I thought that unwise move would get Shinya what he sort of deserves, but he doesn’t even wait that long to crap out – he checks his phone while speeding and crashes in the rain. There’s a lesson in this – always keep your head about you.
In terms of explanation there really isn’t a whole lot to Nakamura Shinya Jiken – Shinya doesn’t understand what’s happening to him, and neither do we. We still don’t know why Shinya has the unique (almost) Ajin ability to create a swarm of black ghosts when under deep duress (in this instance, after Kido and his goons shoot Yuusuke by mistake), or what brought Ajin into existence in the first place. But what’s important, seemingly, is that Nakamura Shinya is apparently still alive out there somewhere, and as such seems very likely to play a role in Ajin’s future plot developments.