Ajin: Anime/Manga Comparison – Episode 10
Ajin – Anime to Manga Comparison:
Episode 10/Chapters 18,22
With just over two weeks until Netflix releases Ajin’s 2nd season, now seems like as good a time as any to compare Ajin’s Anime and Manga forms. The series is one highly polarized by the Anime’s usage of CGI, rather than traditional 2D animation the medium is often known for. But let’s look beneath that, beneath the stylistic choice and at the actual content. How does Ajin’s anime live up to the original source material? What changes were made? Were any for the better, or is Ajin’s anime the inferior way to experience the story? This is part ten of a thirteen part comparison of Ajin’s first season to the Manga’s content. To see which comes out as the ‘truly better’ way to experience Nagai’s epic tale of self discovery.
Ajin Episode 10/Chapters 18,22:
Episode ten is the first big departure from the manga’s content. Here we see the anime branch out and try to fill in a few gaps from the manga, as well as alter the story in a couple big ways. To open the anime includes a scene absent from the manga, where Satou explains his plans to his comrades, although not to the audience, and talks of they themselves ‘redrawing’ the map.
The anime rejoins the manga in Chapter 18, continuing from last time with Dr. Ogura and Tosaki’s chitchat. Tosaki is a tad more insulting in the anime than the manga, and Dr. Ogura isn’t as immediately forthcoming with his information. Shimomura continues to be present here, where as in the manga she never appeared during these scenes. In the anime she flashes back to Episode 4’s Ajin Ghost hospital fight while Ogura describes what Ajin ghost are made of and capable of. The anime also includes a brief flashback to Ogura’s earlier comments on IBMs not being as powerful as we all assume. Otherwise this sequence is still quite similar to the manga, containing virtually the same information.
Tosaki is the one who brings up the Shinya incident, chapter 9.5 from the manga, rather than Ogura himself, but otherwise the information offered is the same. The conversation ends differently between the two mediums though. Manga Ogura gives into blood loss and loses his train of thought. Anime Ogura says he’s done sharing because he’s out of cigarettes. The anime probably made this change to offer a brief avenue of humor over the manga, although the change has little barring otherwise.
The anime again jumps away from the manga and back to Kou, who’s still trapped in the trailer. Nagai brings him food and entertainment before leaving Kou alone again. This is, again, only in the anime. The next time Kou is scene in the manga is during Satou’s terrorist attack and even then it’s only a brief appearance.
We continue onto another exclusive scene, with Nagai taking note of his Ajin Ghost’s odd behavior. These scenes offer a lot of information to the more attentive viewer. Namely from Ogura’s comments earlier, we know most Ajin can’t summon their ghosts more than a couple times a day. But the anime has scenes with Nagai summoning it over five times in a row. Giving attentive viewers the impression that Nagai is definitely an oddity, even among other Ajin. During this scene itself Nagai also discovers that his Ajin obeys only opposite commands. Tell it to attack it’ll stay still. Tell it to move and it’ll attack, etc. None of this is in the manga, although I haven’t read far enough in the manga to know whether this concept is anime only or not.
Also during this scene Nagai meets Mr. Kita, a much smaller character in the manga. Mr. Kita’s introduction leads into another scene where Nagai is massaging the old lady, and also asking her for information on Mr. Kita. The anime fleshes Mr. Kita’s backstory out here, allowing viewers to get to know his character well before anything big happens. This is where I feel the manga is a bit lackluster compared to the anime. The anime works hard to try and make sure all the players feel real, with backstories and motivation. The manga is far less concerned with any of that, allowing bit players to pop in and out as the need arises, with brief bouts of dialogue to try and give them reason for their actions.
This then jumps to another scene with Mr. Kita himself who is talking to another old guy in the village about how he doesn’t believe Nagai is who he says he is. He thinks Nagai is the same type of city person who swindled his son away from him and his fortune. Again these scenes are all anime exclusive and build the conflict with Mr. Kita, and the threat to Nagai’s peaceful life well in advance of anything happening. The manga doesn’t offer any of this, with little build up to the collapse of Nagai’s peaceful existence.
The anime then rejoins Chapter 18 as Tosaki goes before the group of scientists about his new plans to compete with Ajin that he learned, in secret, from Ogura. Outside of a few dialogue cuts and additions this scene is largely the same. That also goes for the following scene as Sokabe reports to his superior on Tosaki, as they suspect Tosaki has Dr. Ogura captive. When it’s revealed that Shimo’s Ghost is spying on the men the shot and positioning of her Ajin is different. Also Shimomura and Tosaki are listening from a car outside, rather than in another nondescript room as it is in the manga.
The anime again goes back to its exclusive content, with a TV interview of one of the Pharmaceutical company heads responding to news of Satou’s impending attack.
We then return to Nagai walking in the woods and making notes of his surroundings when he’s spotted by another elder of the village. This scenes leads into content loosely adapted from Chapter 22. In the manga version Satou’s terrorist attack has already happened, and thanks to media plastering Nagai’s picture all over the TV, the old folks are beginning to suspect that Nagai isn’t in fact the old lady’s grandson. The anime has similar sentiment, but it isn’t fueled by the TV news. Also, Nagai only talks to two old men, rather than a council of four. His speech to them, and subsequent peace offering of liquor is the same however.
But the conclusion to this scene is really where the two heavily diverge. In the anime Nagai succeeds at convincing the old men he is, in fact, Ryota, the old lady’s grandson. In the manga Mr. Kita enters, making his second appearance in the manga, and blows away Nagai with a shotgun, revealing him to be an Ajin. For the manga this all then builds into Nagai’s big escape from the village, which plays out significantly different from the anime’s version. But we’ll discuss that more in an upcoming comparison.
The anime the snaps to Satou and his gang as they prepare for their attack. Again, this scene is not in the manga as the two terrorist attacks are very different. Next time we’ll be comparing the differences between the two. But this means the majority of Chapter 19 is skipped over entirely.
To conclude the anime does cut out some manga content entirely. There’s a scene where Tanaka greets Satou’s Ajin Ghost, thinking its him only to discover Satou isn’t controlling it. Satou explains that he wants his ghost to have a sense of self like Nagai’s does. This concept is absent from the anime entirely.
Overall I think the anime does a solid job of making the degradation of Nagai’s peaceful village life more apparent. It all seems to come out of the blue in the manga, where as here we can see the players and active collapse as Nagai isn’t able to keep up the facade himself. It’s not to say the manga does a bad job, and the manga’s portrayal of the events is passable, but the anime manages to make so much more of it, and turn Nagai’s fake quaint life into an interesting game of deception he’s gradually losing.
That’s all for today! Please feel free to comment with your thoughts on Ajin and how Episode 10 compares with the manga’s eighteenth and twenty-second chapters.