Comic Picks By The Glick

Ajin: Demi-Human vol. 16

April 12, 2021

So it turns out that THIS is the penultimate volume of “Ajin.”  Mangaka Gamon Sakurai sure had me fooled with the ending of the previous volume.  As it showed Kei getting up and starting the climb out of the sewer to face off against his nemesis one last time, I was ready to expect things to be wrapped up here in vol. 16.  So what do we have instead?  A whole volume of most of the cast running around trying to get Sato while he proves once again that he’s the only guy in this series worth rooting for.  I’m sure not rooting for Kei as he just continues to fail here while also getting a moment of amnesia that’s incredibly dumb even by this title’s usual standards.  In the cast’s favor, Manabe comes through in his last-minute plan while Tanaka and Sato’s final(?) encounter actually kind of worked for me due to the latter’s blitheness.  Ko and Akiyama also helped out some by doing the one thing they’d be hard pressed to fail at:  acting as meatshields.

 

There is one thing in this volume that does stand out by not being business as usual.  After fifteen volumes, and with the end in sight, Sakurai has decided to finally give us the origins of Demi-Humans.  He does this by having a couple of randos pick up Dr. Ogura and ask him about it.  Which the doctor gamely replies by saying, “It all began 13.8 billion years ago…” and provides an explanation that feels like a whole lot of bullshit.  Yet it’s bullshit that the doctor looks to be enjoying himself with and the outlandishness of the explanation, which involves pre-universal existence, some cavemen, and the energy of the human heart is at least something.  Much like the series itself, I enjoyed it.  Just not for the reasons that the mangaka likely intended.  Still, anyone still taking this series seriously is likely to be put out by all the wheel-spinning this volume consists of and I think we’ll all be glad to see this series put to rest in vol. 17.

 

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