Ajin: Demi-Human

TV review by
Edie Nugent, Common Sense Media
Ajin: Demi-Human TV Poster Image
Humans summon immortal killers in intense, violent anime.

Parents say

age 15+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 15+
Based on 7 reviews

We think this TV show stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Personal responsibility and self-reliance in the face of external threats are recurring themes, but the mayhem caused by both the pursuit of the Ajins and their own attempts to remain free complicate things.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The main characters are complex, and their ethics are largely situational. Kei was a respectful, industrious student prior to discovering that he was secretly an Ajin all along. Threats to his freedom and fear often push him, and other Ajins, to use violence against others. Kaito immediately rushes to the aid of his estranged friend and demonstrates considerable loyalty and bravery in helping to protect him. 

Violence

Scenes of war; characters are shot, beaten, and murdered in graphic and bloody ways. Hand-to-hand combat involving fists and baseball bats. Ajins are repeatedly shot at point-blank range while tied up and defenseless by government officials. Many instances of hospital experimentation and torture. Limbs are severed, throats are cut. A young schoolgirl is tied up and gagged in the back of a van; it's implied that her captors intend to sexually assault her, though she escapes. 

Sex

No romantic or sexual relationships.

Language

Calling a possible Ajin a "freak" is about as tough as it gets. 

Consumerism

The show is based on an eight-volume manga series, and a series of anime films will be released in Japan.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ajin: Demi-Human is a pretty violent, creepy, and mature anime series that will appeal to fans of the genre while not being appropriate for younger viewers. The human characters known as "Ajins" possess supernatural abilities of resurrection and destruction tied to giant, unsettling "black ghosts." But their immortality and power come at a cost, as their human companions experience extreme pain when regenerating their bodies from fatal wounds. Intense fight scenes with the government, local law enforcement, and opportunistic civilians end in death and dismemberment. There's some implied threat of sexual violence, but mostly the show deals in the damage and torture enacted by the Ajins, which makes it a show for older anime lovers only.

User Reviews

Parent of an infant, 12, and 18+ year old Written byZam M. June 27, 2017

Teens and up

I would not show this to my kids until there mature enough to handle a little violents
Parent Written byfarwan z. December 31, 2016
Teen, 13 years old Written byVzuune February 20, 2017

Personal Rating

This is more of a 14+ title. I'm thirteen and have been exposed to R rated movies (with my parents) so I'm used to anything 17+. So I went to watch Aj... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byPettylzx March 31, 2017

Honestly

It's not that bad, compared to other shows that are rated pg14

What's the story?

Seventeen years ago the first AJIN: DEMI-HUMAN was discovered in Africa. These superpowered, immortal beings are bound to humans known as "soldiers of God." Though 46 Ajins have been discovered around the world, only two have been found in Japan -- that is, until aspiring medical student Kei Nagai (Mamoru Miyano) is killed in a traffic accident and resurrected by his giant "black ghost" in front of a crowd of onlookers. Having previously viewed footage of government officials torturing Ajins to try to harness their power, Kei flees the scene. Now a fugitive with a bounty on his head, Kei enlists the help of his friend Kaito (Yoshimasa Hosoya) to evade capture by local authorities and opportunistic citizens. Their journey leads them to encounter other Ajins and reveal a number of secret organizations and government entities who seek to profit by exploiting the immortals.

Is it any good?

This is a fast-paced but sometimes formulaic anime series based on an ongoing and popular manga. While it suffers from a less than original script, it has solid characters and a unique style that's a blend of 3-D modeling and more traditional animation. The show wastes no time in jumping right into the action, where eye-catching visuals pair with an intense soundtrack that will appeal to both younger and older teens. An ever-present sense of menace, violence, and fear are hallmarks of the show as Kei, Kaito, and the Ajins they meet on the run are constantly in danger of being captured or killed. 

The moral questions posed by the series, however, concerning the limits of government power, corporate greed, and personal responsibility will probably be lost on a tween audience. They'll need some guidance to navigate the thornier social issues and ethical quandaries that give context to the death and destruction on display. Still, unlike many entries in the manga-and-anime genre, Ajin: Demi-Human shows a sophistication in both concept and execution that makes for engaging viewing.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how governments can misuse their power to infringe on the rights of their citizens. How might the authorities deal with the threat of the Ajins and their extreme powers without resorting to torture and intimidation in Ajin: Demi-Human?

  • Families can talk about cartoon violence. Does it have less impact than live-action battles and fight scenes? Why, or why not?

  • Families can talk about friendships and loyalty. Why does Kaito risk everything to help Kei? And why does Kei trust that his old friend will help him escape danger? 

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