Ajin: Anime/Manga Comparison – Episode 12
Ajin – Anime to Manga Comparison:
Episode 12/Chapters 20-21
With less than 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 twelve 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 12/Chapters 20-21:
Episode 12 is surprisingly faithful after how different and reworked Episodes 10 and 11 were. Here we find a few additional scenes setting up Satou’s battle with the SAT and viewers watching from home all around Japan. Otherwise, the majority of content is lifted from the manga, and mostly one for one at that.
The anime opens with a recap of the devastation, helping to set the stage for what’s to come. We also get a few tension building shots of Tosaki and the SAT teams. The anime also makes note that the SAT team are having to adapt their original plan. The units then spread out to surround Satou, which isn’t included in the manga. Satou also has some additional internal dialogue noting his pleasure in the situation. He feels this is now a proper war.
Okuyama, the crippled Ajin, comments on how everyone might be watching this as a view counter skyrockets. The anime then snaps to two old guys from the village Nagai is staying in. They’re watching the news and commenting on how the Pharma company is very likely to go bankrupt from this. Mr. Kita enters and the anime reveals that he sunk all his money into that company. He’s ruined too. This information isn’t revealed till later in the manga, and very shortly after Mr. Kita is even introduced for the first time as a character. The anime instead builds this into the narrative ahead of time, allowing this plot thread to grow a little more naturally rather than appear out of the blue.
We snap back to manga content as Tosaki is asked how they plan to knock Satou out. This sequence is very similar, although parts of Tosaki’s explanation are handed off to Shimomura in the anime. There’s also a flashback to Tosaki’s earlier meeting with Ogura when discussing the Shinya Ajin incident.
When the SAT finally begins their assault on Satou things play out similar, although we cut away to news coverage, including a brief cut away to Ogura as he ponders if this strategy will work. These cut aways aren’t in the manga.
The anime contains more cut aways to Kou watching and cheering the police on. Then to Nagai noting that the police shouldn’t let their guard down. Not when dealing with Satou.
The SAT teams bring out a stretcher and begins to carry Satou away. The anime then includes some earlier manga content, where everyone in the meeting room with Tosaki are stunned that such a simple strategy actually works. Tosaki comments on how it works because of SAT’s strength, and outside of the number of SAT officers having been revised down from 50 to 20 in the anime, this section is largely one for one. The manga ends Chapter 20 here, with just a few more shots of the SAT teams subduing Satou and a brief couple panels of Nagai watching, wordless and enthralled. Manga Nagai continues to be far more apathetic than Anime Nagai.
Chapter 21 of the manga skips over the trucks arriving for Satou’s transport, which is depicted in the anime. In the anime Tosaki comments on not allowing Satou a chance to revive before we return to the SAT teams moving him to the trucks. They’re then hit with incoming fire and outside of a few comments cut from Gen and Takahashi, our Ajin snipers, this sequence is largely the same between mediums.
When Satou wakes and calls out for Gen and Takahashi to shoot his restraints free, they blow his hands off in the manga. The anime keeps it less gory and has them merely blast away the restraints. My guess is this is, unfortunately, a censorship change. The SAT snipers then subduing Gen and Takahashi is largely the same. The anime then includes a few extra shots of the SAT team resuming their advance to the trucks.
When Gen reports through his ear piece the locations of the SAT snipers, the anime includes an extra scene of Tanaka acknowledging the information. Tanaka’s Ghost’s attack on the first sniper team is then largely one for one, although slightly less graphic due to tight camera work. Again, probably a censorship change. The second SAT sniper team attack is also largely the same, although Tanaka berates his Ghost more after it stops working due to the sprinkler system. The anime also has Tanaka note that he can’t use the Ajin ghost for awhile now. This isn’t true in the manga.
With that Gen and Takahashi are able to pick up their sniping again. The anime removes a moment where Takahashi has to take another hit of drugs, presumably cocaine? before he fires the rifle again.
The third sniper teams efforts to stop Takahashi’s sniping are largely the same, but they aren’t killed by Tanaka’s Ghost as they were in the manga. Instead Okuyama distracts them with his drone, long enough for Tanaka to shoot them, himself, from behind.
When Satou wakes and survives a barrage of bullets thanks to his Ghost, he comments “good try” to the officers before blowing them away with his shotgun. He’s silent in the manga. Gen and Takahashi also initially lavish him with a lot more praise than the manga, although this is likely to compensate for the removal of a later cut away to these characters.
Satou’s charge against the police is more chaotic in the anime, but appears to be pretty faithful. After Satou has won the day, his exit from the battlefield is also largely the same. When the news chopper is taken out by Okuyama’s drone he comments on how he hates the press. This commentary isn’t included in the manga’s version of events.
The manga ends after this, with a simple shot of Tosaki and the others in his group, stricken with shock and fear. Tosaki comments “That didn’t work” and the chapter ends. The anime drags the conclusion out a bit more with reactions from Kou and Tosaki’s team in the immediate aftermath. Sokabe and Co. scramble to do something, although find themselves without any real options. Tosaki’s comment from the end of the manga’s chapter occurs here. We snap to Dr. Ogura, who comments that they’ve been played. We then get one final reaction from Nagai, as Ms. Yamanaka calls for his help off screen, but Nagai remains seated, intense and highly concerned by the events that have just unfolded.
We snap to a news report on the incident, which then switches to Mr. Kita watching, upset that he’s lost all his money. He hears from the report talk of a huge cash reward for the capture of Ajin and sees Nagai’s picture, finally putting together who Nagai really is. This revelation is in the next chapter of the manga, although plays out differently. The episode ends on this realization.
Overall I think the anime continues to proves itself as a step above other anime adaptations. The content added here helps to flesh out events, and additional plot threads. The adaptation of Satou’s battle with the SAT is incredible, and a huge highlight in both the anime and the manga. They’ve really done it justice here and I think that deserves praise. Again this is another case whether neither version out does the other. I think however it’s rather impressive how often Ajin’s anime adaptation equals, or improves upon the manga. Most anime adaptations tend to falter more often than equal their source material. Polygon Pictures continues to prove they’re capable of adding to, and elevating, a story they choose to adapt, rather than creating a less interesting version.
That’s all for today! Please feel free to comment with your thoughts on Ajin and how Episode 12 compares with the manga’s twentieth and twenty-first chapters.