Saturday, July 2, 2016

Ajin, vol. 8 review

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Ajin, vol. 8 (Good Afternoon, 2015-16), by Gamon Sakurai. Grade: B+.
There's some fighting, then Tanaka gets to the president's floor. President Kai calmly seals himself off in his safe room, leaving Tosaki, Ri and the guards behind. Tanaka sees Ri standing on the other side of a wall of bullet-proof glass. She apologizes for what she'd done to him, while in the machinery room Kei has Kou turn on the big fan. This takes the dark matter Kei is materializing and venting it into the area Tanaka and the other two are in. Only Ajin can see the IBM, which is so thick that the three invaders are completely blinded. It's a simple matter of darting them then, while Izumi uses her ghost to dart Okuyama. The captives are put in the security room and left sedated.

("Ah, it's all a trap." Izumi's ghost gets the hacker.)

Outside, the reporters and police speculate on what's going on inside the building. The Forge rep claims this is a simple internal matter and refuses to let the police through the shutters. Kei and Kou hide in the maintenance room, with Kou wondering what they're supposed to do next, and Kei trying to triple-think all his options. Back at his hideout, Satou gets a voice mail message on his phone saying that for some reason Kei Nagai is in the building, too. Satoh prepares to act by getting himself some old fried chicken from the back of the fridge. Kei flashes back to a conversation he'd had with Kou long ago. Basically, if an Ajin's head is chopped off and moved too far from the body, what happens? Does the head regenerate and the "soul" and all memories magically travel back to the original body? No. The body gets a new "you," and you lose some of your memories and "yourself" in the process.

(Three more down. Ajin can't see when the room is filled with invisible matter.)

(Satoh: "Time to transmit!")

Satoh's plan is suicidal and off-the-wall, but it gets the job done. He cuts off his hand, deep fries it, and puts it in with the rest of the fried chicken. He wraps up the chicken and has it delivered to the detective in charge of the scene. The Forge company rep has the package run through the x-ray scanners to check for explosives. It checks clean, so someone takes it into the building for lunch. Meanwhile, Satoh gets to a lumber yard and forces one of the workers to run the chipper to chop his remaining body into bits. The black smoke links him to his hand and he rematerializes within the Forge building just as 3 guys are sitting down to eat. He kills them, puts on a worker's uniform, and reaches Kei in the maintenance room. Kou confronts him, but Satoh apparently doesn't remember the boy at all (loss of memory). From here, Satoh demonstrates fantastic military skills to completely destroy Kei's plans, along with the fan, and makes his way to the security room to reset Tanaka and the other two. Eventually, Satoh goes up against the bald Hirasawa, and says this is more exciting than when he'd defeated the SAT forces at the Grant Pharma building. Satoh kills one of Hirasawa's partners, while Izumi confronts Tanaka. Tosaki gets the security center running again and opens the shutters to let the police into the stairwells. Unfortunately, one of the cops recognizes Kei, and turns to shoot him with a tranq gun.

(Izumi fights Tanaka's ghost.)

Summary: Lots of fighting, use of Ajin reset skills (committing suicide to lure people into traps or overcome tranquilizer drugs) and general mayhem. It does look like Kei had a chance against Tanaka and crew, but that opportunity is now long gone. And now we have to wait for book #9 to come out in the Fall. Recommended.

(Satoh kills one of Tosaki's guards.)

Note: Ri's complicity was that her boss had supervised Tanaka's torture research, and she had done nothing to stop it.

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