Ajin: Demi-human Manga Volume 1: Recap and Review

Ajin: Demi-human is a manga series created and illustrated by Gamon Sakurai. The Ajin is the immortal species that pass as humans. They don’t realize that they’re Ajin until they die. There isn’t a lot of information on the Ajin. A species discovered in the 90s only 45 Ajin has been discovered. There is still research to be done. The mechanism of their immortality is still unknown. The Ajin was first discovered on the battlefield. They were originally mistaken for “zombies.” However, after research, it was concluded that the Ajin is similar to humans, except for their immortality. Societies’ panic subsided, but the Ajin continued to be subjected to research. Furthermore, a black market formed. Ajin were captured and sold. This was known as “Ajin-hunting.” 

The main protagonist, Kei Nagai, is a teenage boy studying for medical school. Ajin: Demi-human uses the classroom to tells us more about the Ajin. The teacher notes the immortality but includes the fact that Ajin can use a “special voice ability.” The first Ajin was discovered by Americans in Africa. 2 Ajin is known to exist in Japan. This is all the public knows. Kei is uninterested. Later he recalls burying his dog and seeing an Ajin. Distract, Kei walks into traffic and is hit by a truck. Outed as an Ajin he flees. Alone in the woods, he calls his friend Kaito. However, he’s discovered by a cop. Rescued by Kaito the government is anxious to capture him before “another country gets him.” 

Ajin: Demi-human Volume 1. Kei gets up after being hit by a truck.
Kei after getting hit by the truck

Yu Tosaki and Izumi Shimomura arrive at outside Kai’s home. The police have gathered to begin a manhunt. Kei and Kai are attacked by criminals. Kei lets out his “Ajin voice” allowing him and Kai to escape. Tosaki compares officials to Ajin, by suggesting that officials “are not humans.” Kai and Kei are being chased by the two men. Kei sees a “black ghost.” They pass some train tracks. When the pursuers follow they’re stopped by black ghosts that paralyze the driver. They both are killed by the train. Throughout volume 1 the series is framed by what happens to a captured Ajin. Named Tanaka, he’s tortured by the researchers. First, he’s crushed, then he’s stabbed multiple times. 

Ajin: Demi-human is giving us a preview of what is instore for Kei if he’s captured. A mysterious figure is also introduced. A seemingly old man in a scally cap, this man is seen watching the video of Tanaka. Tosani spots him in the crowd. However, instead of chasing him he contacts special forces. Meanwhile, Kei and Kai are chased by a motorcyclist. He kicks their bike, sending them crashing. Kai ends up facedown in the river and Kei appears to have a broken bone. Kei asks for an ambulance for Kai. However, the motorcyclists say that “he got what he deserved for aiding an Ajin.” Surprisingly, Kai is still alive. He bashes the motorcyclist’s head with a rock. Kei is paralyzed. He uses the knife to kill himself and is healed. We finally meet the old man, Sato, and he has Tanaka with him. They hope to meet with Kei and show him the “right direction.” 

Izumi regenerating, revealing that she is also Ajin

Chapter 4 begins with the meeting between Tanaka and Sato. After killing all the researchers, Sato offers to “teach” Tanaka about being an Ajin. Elsewhere, Kei and Kai have escaped to an abandoned building. They plan on staying with Kaito’s grandparents in a small community inside Kyushu. At the hospital, Izumi questions Eriko (Kei’s sister). She claims to be disgusted at the thought of a “part of her family is Ajin.” Eriko recalls the dog burial and Kei acting “weird.” She realizes that Kai is the likely accomplice. However, before she can tell Izumi, a black ghost stabs Izumi through the chest. The ghost then attacks the police, decapitating one and piercing the other. Eriko faints. Izumi recovers. 

In another flashback, Sato explains immortality. Using a video game analogy he asks “what happens if you had 100 lives in a video game, and used two at the same time; what would happen to the second life.” Back in the present, Tanka’s Black Ghost says that ” when Ajin comes back to life their bodies are essentially put back together fusing into the right place, but if a body part is too far away it will simply create a new one.” Izumi summons her black ghost, “Blackie.” The two ghost battles. Izumi’s Blackie wins. However, Tanaka was just the decoy. Sato kidnaps Eriko. 

Tosaki is in a meeting with a group of people. They discuss Tanaka’s breakout and the powers of Ajin. Tosaki receives a text from Eriko. Kei has decided that Kai’s plan won’t work. He no longer trusts humans. He abandoned Kai and hoped to discover other Ajin. Sato finally makes contact with Kei. Finding the “community” he wanted he rushes to meet them. Kei determines that there are two kinds of Ajin community, meek and strong. While accepting that some humans need to be killed, Kei refuses to accept harming the innocent. 

I find Ajin: Demi-human to be a very engaging and entertaining manga. So far the lore surrounding the Ajin is interesting. While the dynamic between Sato, Tanaka, Kei is fairly predictable. Kei is more nuanced regarding humans. Sato and Tanaka are likely going to want to kill any and every human. Kei is probably going to end up with Izumi and Tosaki. That’s not a bad thing. With the government’s treatment of Ajin, Sato is likely to be more sympathetic. I expect the two amoral or “evil” forces will come into conflict often. However, Kei and the others will present a third option. As always with manga series, the art has to be great. Sakurai Gamon’s art style is detailed. His use of shadow is amazing and I love the designs of the Ajin so far. Each character feels distinct and realistic. Ajin: Demi-human volume 1 is an impressive start to a series I highly recommend. 


My Hero Academia Vol. 26 Recap & Review

Cover of volume 26 of My Hero Academia

The 26th volume of My Hero Academia begins with chapter 247. It marks the beginning of the “Endeavor Agency Arc.” Endeavor is a reluctant tutor. However, after witnessing the potential of his son, Shoto Todoroki, Izuku Midoriya, and Katsuki Bakugo, he decides to personally train them. First, he wants Izuku and Katsuki to ” talk about themselves” so he can get to know them better. The relationship between Shoto and his father is still fraught with Shoto having resentment. However, Shoto wishes to learn from his father and become the number 1 hero. Endeavor begins training the three. He tells them that “heroes are governed by three fundamentals: Rescue, Evacuation, and Battle.” The goal for the internship is to defeat a villain “faster than Endeavor does,” even if “it happens once.” 

“A true hero must be someone who can handle every role on their own”


The difficult dynamics of the Todoroki family

As I’ve mentioned earlier, Endeavor and Shoto have a “fraught” relationship. We get a greater look at their relationship and the familial dynamic overall. It was established early in the series that Endeavor was an abusive husband and father. He has been trying to redeem himself and restore his family. Todoroki’s sister, Fuyumi, invites him, Bakugo, and Deku to dinner. The dinner begins pleasantly enough, however, Todoroki’s older brother Natsu is bitter. He leaves abruptly. Fuyumi is hoping that they can repair their relationship with Endeavor. Shoto is unsure what he wants. Deku and Bakugo overhear the conversation. While Bakugo is his typical rude self, telling them to “keep that shit to themselves,” Izuku is kinder. He tells Shoto that he’s “too kind” to never forgive his father. Regardless, Endeavor is at a loss for what he can do, as he recalls his son, Toya. 

In chapter 250, one of Endeavor’s old enemies arrives at his house. As he lurks outside, Fuyumi tells Izuku why Natsu hates their father. According to her, he believes that their father “killed him.” On their way back, the villain, Ending, has Natsu wrapped in his “white lines’ Quirk. This ability allows him to “control any lane lines painted on the road. He can use them as tentacles to bind his target.” He threatens to kill Natsu while inviting Endeavor to “kill him.” Deku, Shoto, and Bakugo spring into action. Ending flings cars at them. Using the techniques he learned from Endeavor, Deku uses his new Quirk, Blackwhip, to save all the cars. Ending is defeated by a fiery punch from Shoto. 

Endeavor is grateful to Shoto, Deku, and Bakugo for saving the civilians. Natsu tells his father to “getaway.” Endeavor is apologetic. He admits that not only did he abandon his family, but he did also “killed” his son Toya. Natsu, teary-eyed, claims that he will never forgive his father. Endeavor says that he doesn’t have to because all he wants to do is “atone.” 

Paranormal Liberation War Arc begins

School begins as winter ends. Shota and Hizashi head to “Tartarus.” Joined by Naomasa and Gran Torino, they are asked to interrogate Kurogiri. Torino reveals that Kurogiri’s Quirk is artificial. The number of Quirk’s used is unknown, however, they do know that the base Quirk is Cloud, which belonged to Shirakumo Oboro. A former friend of Shota and Hizashi, Oboro died while they were interning. The police suspect that Kurogiri is a nomu with Shirakumo’s body as it’s base. We get some new information regarding the nomu. The personality of the corpse used as the base can remain after transformation. They hope that Kurogiri has the personality of Oboro. Allowing Shota and Hizashi to potentially get information out of him. 

After the first interrogation, they confirm that it’s Oboro. He manages to say “hospital” before passing out. At the base of the Paranormal Liberation Front, Hawks is told that “aid is needed at Wakagumo Hospital.” The call was used to communicate the word “hospital.” Back at U.A., Class 1-A shows off the fruits of their internships. All Might, Deku, and Bakugo discuss One For All. All Might didn’t find information on the second and third users. He notes that the users of One For All weren’t “chosen ones.” He also notes that his master’s Quirk was “Float.” Bakugo is unimpressed with that Quirk. The volume closes at the end of March, the day that “heroes vanished from the city.” 

One Piece: The 10 biggest events & reveals from the Wano Country Arc (so far)

The 31st arc in the One Piece series, the Wano Country Arc focuses on the Ninja-Pirate-Mink-Samurai Alliance. They hope to ally with warriors within Wano Country in order to liberate the people from the shogun Orochi, and Kiado. So far the arc has revealed some important and interesting facts about the world and the characters in this series. So let’s get to the top ten:

Whitebeard and Gol D. Roger clash in One Piece chapter 966
Whitebeard and Gol D. Roger clash in chapter 966

Ace helped feed the people of Wano

In Chapter 911, Luffy encounters Tama. He learns that Ace help feed the people during the famine four years prior. Tama was waiting for Ace to return. Unfortunately, Luffy has to inform her of Ace’s death. Ace washed up on shore. He was tied up by the villagers, who stole all the food and supplies they had. Ace easily broke free, then asks them “where he could get them dessert?”

The cruel effects and use of SMILE

Kurozumi Orochi used defective leftover fruits and feed them to the poor citizens of Wano. One of the side effects of SMILE is inability of the user to express negative emotion. This results in the miserable townspeople always smiling and laughing despite how they feel. Much to Orochi’s liking.

Levely and the Shichibukai system ends

Levely, the council that features the 50 world leaders from 170 nations ends. With the aide of Fujitora, King Nefertari Cobra and Riku Doldo manage to successfully lobby to end the Shichibukai system. As a result, Mihawk, Boa Hancock, Buggy, Edward Weevil and Kuma are stripped of those titles and the protection that it affords them. The Marines attempt to arrest them. The World Government hope to replace the Shichibukai with the newly created SSG.

The history of Kozuki Oden

Oden was the son of shogun Kozuki Sukiyaki, this means that Momonosuke is the rightful heir to the shogunate. Oden’s wife Toki was born during the Void Century and travel to his time using her Devil Fruit ability. While with the Roger Pirates, he wrote Roger’s message on the Poneglyph in Skypiea. Oden wanted to open Wano’s borders to create “massive change in the world.”

Secrets and betrayals

  • Orochi with the help of a Kurozumi Higurashi, plots to become shogun. He steals money from Oden, while Higurashi uses her Mane Mane no Mi devil fruit to impersonate Sukiyaki. Orochi was successful in taking over Wano.
  • Scratchmen Apoo was secretly working for Kiado, setting up the Hawkins and Kid Pirates for Kiado.
  • X Drake is an undercover member of a secret Marine unit called SWORD.

Kiado’s devil fruit and power

Kiado was already introduced as a power beast that can’t be defeated. This arc revealed how strong he is (compared to Luffy) and that his devil fruit is the a Mythical Zoan. Turning into a massive blue Eastern dragon, Kiado can fly and shoot devastating blast. In his normal for he’s able to easily defeat Luffy, while the later is in Fourth Gear.

Oden joined Whitebeard’s Pirate Crew

After seeking out Whitebeard’s crew after they wash up on shore, Oden is initially refuse the right to join. Whitebeard was concerned with his character. Oden attempted to stow away by clinging to a chain. If Oden could ride the chain for three days, Whitebeard agreed to let him join. However, with only ten minutes remaining Oden drifted away. He encountered Toki, who was being kidnapped by human traffickers. Willing to protect her from them at all cost, Whitebeard intervened, offering him a place on his crew after witnessing his heroics.

Big Mom and Kiado form an alliance

Big Mom arrives to Wano after following the Strawhat’s. However, Kiado doesn’t want her or her crew to enter the country. He sends his crew to stop her. In the confrontation, Big Mom is knocked off her ship and shows up on the beach. With amnesia, Chopper tricks her into helping them free Luffy from Udon prison. After a confrontation with Queen, she captured. Kiado and Big Mom meet again after 38 years and clash. However, they decided to form an alliance and take over the World.

Learning about the Rocks Pirates

The Rocks Pirates are revealed to be a crew that were lead by Rocks D. Xebec, that included Whitebeard, Kiado, Shiki and Big Mom among others. Xebec dreamed of becoming King of the World. Formed on Hachinosu, they became the strongest crew during their time. When they attack the World Nobles, Monkey D. Garp and Roger teamed up to stop them. Five year after them form members began creating their own crews.

The Laugh Tale

The island at the end of the New World that holds the One Piece is called Laugh Tale. Named by Gol D. Roger, it was discovered to be home of the treasure left by Joy Boy. By using the Road Poneglyphs and aligning four islands, the Laugh Tale can be located. At this point in the story, Gol D. Roger and his crew are the only ones who have seen the island. According to the Roger Pirates, Joy Boy’s treasure reveals what happened in the Void Century, the “true nature of the Ancient Weapons, and the meaning of the initial D.”

Edens Zero Volume 2 Recap & Review

Volume 2 of Edens Zero, features more chapters than Volume 1, 14 to 4. The volume focuses on the Norma arc. Xiaomel, a unknown character at this point, is suppose to narrate this arc. She doesn’t. Her purpose seems unnecessary and I must assume that will change. Anyway, Shiki, Rebecca and Happy go in search of Professor Weisz. They encounter, a young man that pulls a gun on them. To their shock, he claims that he’s Weisz Steiner. Donning his new x-ray glasses, Shiki can see that someone is upstairs. He leaps on the ceiling, and attacks the man with “Magimech attack.” The man falls down, as the young professor escapes. The attacker delivers a threat: “that those betray them will die by “Strong-Man” Sibir’s hands.”

Edens Zero 011 (2018) (Digital) (danke-Empire)

At a restaurant, Rebecca tries to piece together what’s happen. However, she concludes that they’re in somehow 50 years in the past. Sibir, piloting a giant robot arrives. He believes that Weisz stole his money, and that Rebecca, Happy and Shiki are involved. They attempt to flee. Sibir’s gang follows them and attacks. However, Shiki uses his Gravity Ether Gear to fly them down the street. As Sibir reaches them, Shiki attacks him with his Gravity Fist technique, destroying Sibir’s robot.

What’s in the briefcase

Shiki, Rebecca and Happy hideout in a local bar. They encounter Weisz here. Rebecca explains everything to him. Weisz is skeptical. Shiki takes his briefcase. However, his gravity powers cut off, causing him to crash to the floor. The briefcase opens, revealing a small robot. Named Pino, she’s a “anti-bot android.” She has an EMP ability. Shiki and the others learn that Sibir is quiet abusive towards Pino, breaking off her legs. Furthermore, he has her memory wiped despite her protest. Rebecca notices that the date on Pino’s last maintenance was in “their time.” Meanwhile, Pino return’s to Sibir, who decides to punish her for “leaving,” by breaking the other leg.

Edens Zero v02 (2019) (Digital) (danke-Empire)

Shiki to the rescue

Shiki being the main protagonists is probably always going to “save everyone,” but I feel that Rebecca and Happy are often render helpless too often. When, Shiki is knocked down to the lower lever, he lands in a scrap heap. Meanwhile, Rebecca “battles” the “Foote brothers.” They demand to see her “legs to the toes.” However, Shiki arrives to save her. Elsewhere, Pino, Weisz and Happy battle Sibir. Shiki quickly arrives to save them as well. He demands Sibir “treat machines right,” because “they have hearts.” He attacks Sibir with his Gravity Cannon. Before Sibir’s robot can explode killing Shiki, Pino uses her EMP. With Sibir and his gang defeated and arrested, Shiki and the others focus on Pino. The police being to chase them. Their ship gets trapped in the atmosphere, however, young Weisz appears having stowed away on their ship. He makes them an offer: “let me have your ship” and he’ll get them into space.

The Chronophage and Professor Weisz

Young Weisz makes himself Captain. Using his Ether Gear, the Machina Maker he recreates the ship. They escape the police and the atmosphere. Once out they are contacted by the old Weisz. He tells them that they didn’t “travel back in time but encountered a space monster called the Chronophage.” This monster “consumes a planet.” This results in the time “being rewound.” This effect cannot be reversed, with the chronophage also creating a new reality. Both the young professor and the old one can co-exists. However, before they can continue their conversation they’re interrupted by the Space Pirate Elsie Crimson.

Edens Zero v02 (2019) (Digital) (danke-Empire)

Shiki vs Skull Pirate Elsie Crimson

Elise Crimson is a pirate that “conquered the seven cosmic seas.” She captures their ship and takes “ownership” over everyone. She plans on selling them into slavery. Shiki decides to “take over her ship instead.” However, he encounters a “mimetic parasite Kawpicatt s4.” The parasite grab everyone with it’s tentacles, but Rebecca and Happy free them. When Shiki reaches Elise’s room, she’s revealed to be a skull person. Shiki and Elise battle as Shiki has flashbacks of his childhood. As they continue to battle, the Cosmic Government’s, Interstellar Union Army arrives to capture Elise. They observe the battle through their sensors. Shiki is identified as the “Demon King.” After Shiki defeats “Elise,” they learn that the real Elise isn’t on board. She gives them the ship, as it belonged to “Ziggy,” or the Demon King. The Union Army attacks. Elise and her fleet hold them off as Shiki and the others escape. Somewhere inside the ship and a woman that has emerged from machine.

As expected, the second volume was more interesting than the first. However, so far there’s nothing “new” about Edens Zero. It’s not a bad things, but mildly disappointing. Shiki is the typical dumb shonen hero that manages to win people over with his personality. With Rebecca being the typical fanservice object, it’s still mild fanservice though. It seems that Hiro Mashima doesn’t know what he wants to do with her. She is smarter than Shiki, but often needs Shiki to rescue her. However, at times she is perfectly able to defend herself. Weisz is the typical anti-hero. Furthermore, the action scenes are often shallow. Every battle doesn’t need to be fourteen chapters but so far they are rather short. Edens Zero may or may not subvert shonen expectations but do still find it enjoyable.

Edens Zero Volume 1 Review

Edens Zero Volume 1 Recap & Review

Hiro Mashima’s new space adventure

A sci-fi Fairy Tail

Cover of Edens Zero Chapter 1 with Many of Edens Zero's characters that resemble Fairy Tail's
Many of Edens Zero’s characters resemble Fairy Tail’s

First I enjoyed this volume, but Edens Zero is really similar to Fairy Tail. Shiki and Rebecca are the title characters of this series, but they’re very similar to Natsu and Lucy from Fairy Tail. This is of course largely due to the art style of Mashima. However, the character of Happy not only is based on the character from Fairy Tail, they share the same name. I’m find if Mashima wants to link his universes by having the same character (Happy) but the familiar look of Rebecca and Shiki feels like he’s not that creative. I was lukewarm on Fairy Tail, a series that has sold over 60 million copies. I afraid that I will probably feel the same about this series. However, that is certainly a premature prediction, so I will have to read more chapters to be certain. I’m not yet willing to dismiss Eden by calling it, Fairy Tail with Sci Fi, instead of magic. The story of Edens Zero follow’s a “young boy named Shiki who is being told by his robot grandfather about making friends and leaving this place one day.” He quickly befriends Happy and Rebecca.

Mission to find Goddess Mother

Happy and Rebecca’s goal is to get 1 million subscribers to their “Aoneko Channel,” a channel on the video sharing site B-Cube. I won’t spoil the twists that occur in chapter 1, but I hope that Mashima will continue to subvert our expectations with this series. After Shiki is registered as an adventurer, Rebecca asks him to become her bodyguard. They arrive on Blue Garden, the planet of adventurers. Here we get some backstory on Happy and Rebecca’s friendship and how they met. We also get a look at the main mode of combat in this series, Ether Gear. Like most of the elements of this series so far it resembles Fairy Tail in some way. However, unlike Fairy Tail’s magic system, Ether Gear, is useless without the users hands. After joining the Shooting Starlight Guild, Shiki, Happy and Rebecca decide to pursue the “Goddess Mother.” To accomplish this they need to get a better ship and a larger crew. So far Edens Zero fails to separate itself from Mashima’s previous series, Fairy Tail.

Hiro Mashima’s art style remains top tier

Is Edens Zero just Fairy Tail in space?

Ether Gear is basically a mechanical form of magic, most of the characters design look just like they’re from Fairy Tail. Or characters from Fairy Tail in different outfits. Volume 1 is just four chapters so there’s not too much story presented yet. Shiki’s desire to make friends is a bit of a trope, but considering his backstory it makes sense. Rebecca desire to be a intergalactic YouTube Star, feels like it’s a shallow reason to go on this adventure. However, I doubt that she will only care about that by the middle of this series, but she and Happy will likely become popular.

Happy’s backstory is really sad and was moving. So far the space setting hasn’t really had much impact. Mainly because Mashima doesn’t focus on anything other that traveling between planets. While, the similarities between Fairy Tail and Edens Zero can feel uninspired, I suspect that this will change. Mashima’s artwork is among the best, the depiction of action and expression are excellent. I like the designs of the technology and locations, even though most of the characters designs are reused. The use of fanservice is mild.