You know, I bet there are some readers of this series who are so into it that they reached the end of this volume and felt legitimate suspense at its conclusion and the possibility it represents. Most readers, I would imagine, got to the end of vol. 14 and probably felt their stomach turn a little. That lurching feeling signifying a sinking feeling that all of the efforts of the main cast in this volume were for naught and that Sato was one step ahead of them the whole time.
What did I feel? Amusement, mostly. The kind of narrative delaying tactic that mangaka Gamon Sakurai sets up here would’ve been downright infuriating if I had been invested in the series the way he wants me to. Unfortunately, Sato has been the most interesting and entertaining character in the title up to this point, so it was kind of fun to reach the ending and realize that he had put one over on them again. I do feel a little bad for all the work that Izumi and Tanaka put into this plan, but I guess that’s what you get when you put your faith in a couple of teenagers.
As is the case with just about every volume of “Ajin,” there were some things that managed to be entertaining in spite of the main story. There was the Diet member who sponsored an anti-Demi-Human bill only to be served some delicious irony after Sato’s latest terrorist attack. Then there’s Tosaki, who possibly exits the series with some quiet dignity after doing the right thing. The bits with Manabe shopping for a gun, and Akiyama “opening an umbrella” were also pretty neat. However, even with these things and the quality action scenes, this series really feels like it’s about to overstay its welcome. “Final Arc” energy can only sustain it so long in the absence of genuinely interesting plot developments. So let’s hope that if things don’t wrap up in vol. 15, then vol. 16 is the grand finale.