5 out of 5
Y’all: I’m sick of telling you how consistently amazing AJIN is; how Gamon Sakurai is somehow able to make a non-stop action comic that also satisfies on a character and story level… Volume 8 is pretty much all action – it’s the culmination of the assault on Forge Security – and it’s admittedly lighter on story developments as a result (no exploration of any of our key characters’ pasts, for example), but it’s still not solely spectacle, as we continue to get a drip feed of Sato’s motivations, and Kei’s in-denial sense of morality. I could snip at a couple of choreographed moments that are a bit hard to suss out at first, but the general “poetry” of Sakurai’s work is so fluid that you can feel what’s happening, even if it’s not 100% visually clear, and with that in mind, it’s easy to go back through and see visual clues he’s using to position you in a scene. Besides, these hiccups are massively overshadowed by the maturity of the storytelling elsewhere, with Gamon’s sharp balance between show-and-tell, and understanding how to do scene transitions across pages or intra-page. There continue to be several Holy Shit moments per book, and shots you want to capture and send out to the world as You Should Be Reading This proof.
But I’m sick of telling you about this. I shall prepare to get sicker with the next volume.