I just finished watching Ajin and absolutely loved it. If I had watched that show last year, it would have headed my “Top Five Anime of 2016.” Ajin gets five stars from me and places sixteenth on my top fifty list–right in between Princess Tutu and Fullmetal Alchemist. (It was sad to see Solty Rei dropped from the list, but it had to be. Now, Pumpkin Scissors is hanging on precariously at #50.) One of the more interesting points about this series lies in how many grey areas can be found within it. The bad guys are easy to pick out: Mr. Sato and the Japanese government. (For all intents and purposes, the United States government is as evil as the Japanese government; though, the role of the U.S. is much smaller in this series.) Other person in this series align with either Sato or the Japanese governments depending on their interests. Kei Nagai wishes to live in peace, and sees Mr. Tosaki as his best ally in this regard–Miss Shimomura is no different. The Ajin allied with Sato want the same rights as other citizens and see Sato as their best bet in obtaining these rights.
For this post, my dear readers, I’ll let you into the workings of my scrupulous mind. You see, for a long time now, I worried whether manga like Akame ga Kiru and Silencer actually carry a benefit to the reader. In general, a fascination with blood and violence for their own sakes obviously manifests a disorder of the soul. At the opposite extreme, squeamishness at the sight of blood and the refusal to countenance the existence of violence must also count as defects. So, do Akame ga Kiru and Silencer fall in the mean between these two extremes? And if they are in the mean, what is their particular virtue?
A couple of quotes I found recently appear to show the value of such works. One derives from Erik von Kuehnelt-Leddihn’s Leftism: from de Sade and Marx to Hitler and Marcuse and the second from one of Chesterton’s Father Brown mysteries. After describing a horrific and monstrous scene from the French Revolution. Kuehnelt-Leddhin writes the following: