Ajin: Demi-human, can you still be human if your immortal?


Ajin is a manga series written and drawn by Gamon Sakurai, it focuses on beings that have a resistance to death. These beings are called Demi-humans, Ajin. When Kei Nagai is killed in a traffic accident and comes back to life. Kei world dramatically changes as a result. He becomes a media sensation and a target for government agencies. Kei are contacted by Ajin that are hostile towards humans. They question the loyalty of Kei, wondering who he sides with?

Ajin: Demi-human manga page
Black Ghost face each other

What are Ajin: Demi-human?

Demi-humans (Ajin) are almost identical to humans in terms of physiology, however, they cannot die. To be clear demi-humans do die, they will simply return to life after some point. Demi-humans can’t permanently die, they are impervious to accidents, sickness or suicide. Ajin can emit a powerful voice that is a defensive response to danger. When they emit the voice those that hear it can become paralyzed. However, earplug’s can defend against this sound. Furthermore, humans with a friendly view of Ajin, or ignorant of their presence.

Ajin: Demi-human manga page
Black ghost in a hospital

What are Black ghosts or IBM’s?

Ajin do have the ability to create humanoid like creatures called black ghost’s or IBM. Each Ajin can manifest a unique ghost. IBM means invisible black matter. They are made up of an unknown matter. This matter grants Ajin the ability to restore their bodies tissues and nutrients. IBM’s cannot be seen by most humans due to having perfect transmittance. However, human’s can see IBM’s if they are in an emotional state. Black ghost’s are capable of killing humans and each other. Their weakness seemed to be the heads, once their heads are destroyed they lose the link to the Ajin. In Addition to this, the link between Ajin and black ghost can be effected by water.

Ajin: Demi-human manga page
Black ghost trying to eat a government employee.

If a Ajin is killed under extreme distress they could cause a “flood.” A flood is when an Ajin summons several ghost that aren’t under their control. This has only occurred once, ghosts can share memories with other Ajin when their heads collided. Black ghosts are appear to have their own free will and intelligence. They tend to reflect the core personalities of their hosts and even their speech patterns. Black Ghosts can become independent if they are left on their own. One such case is the farmer that left his Black Ghost and it eventually taught itself to farm and ride a tractor. If abandoned for too long, they become difficult to control at all. Some ghost for example will not listen at all, whereas, others can completely control theirs and even share their field of vision.

Ajin: Demi-human manga page
The destruction of the Black Ghost’s head

How society responded to the Ajin?

The first Ajin that was discovered 17 years ago on a battlefield in Africa. He was named a “solider of God” and was captured by the American government. The government captures Ajin for experimental purposes. They scientists brutality abuses the Ajin, chopping limbs off, yanking teeth out and intentionally inflicting pain on the subjects. A government agency is created called the “Demi-human control commission.”

They hunt Ajin on behalf of the government, they generate income by “renting” out Ajin. Ajin are loaned to companies as test subjects, like drug trials or crash testing. The general public see the Ajin as being financially value. It is unclear whether the government would actually pay for the capture Ajin, but that hasn’t stop people from trying. Overall, Ajin are not considered to be dangerous towards humans.

Ajin: Demi-human manga page
Kei and his Ghost

Who are some of the characters?

  • Kei Nagai is the main character and a Ajin. He is considered to be cold and logical.
  • Kaito is the friend of Kei, he’s human and the only one that tries to help Kei.
  • Sato (Samuel T. Owen) aka Hat is an older man and a Ajin. He is merciless and hopes to kill massive numbers of humans.
  • Koji Tanaka is the partner of Sato, he hates humanity due to his being tortured.

This series is great. I love the art style of Gamon Sakurai, his art is detailed and beautifully shaded. When the characters are in motion his style changes to represent that movement. The story is complicated and the Ajin, human relationships are very complex. This series is rather violent, which isn’t a turn off for me, but maybe for some of you. The use of the Ajin’s immorality as a clever way to fight is enjoyable. I recommend this series to anyone who is looking for another series and I will be reviewing Ajin in the future.

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