A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
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
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 & Scariness
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
No romantic or sexual relationships.
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Calling a possible Ajin a "freak" is about as tough as it gets.
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Products & Purchases
The show is based on an eight-volume manga series, and a series of anime films will be released in Japan.
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.
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.