Ajin: Anime/Manga Comparison – Episode 9
Ajin – Anime to Manga Comparison:
Episode 9/Chapters 16-18
With just under three 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 nine 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 9/Chapters 16-18:
With Episode 8 we’ve started to get a bit messy with the adaptation. And by that I don’t mean that it’s bad, in fact, it’s still as good as ever. But Episode 8 and 9 begin to chop up the manga’s content in ways that make it difficult to compare. Namely Episode 9 here is a mix of content left over from Chapter 16, much of Chapter 17, and early parts of Chapter 18. In an effort to keep the story sequential the anime has gone to great lengths to reorder sequences into their proper timeline.
For starters the anime begins with an anime only scene of Nagai watching a news program discussing Satou’s announcement video, which by this point still hasn’t appeared in the manga. It’s during this news report dialogue, helping to act as a bit of a recap for the audience, that we have Kou’s search for Nagai through the local village. This search is lengthened in the anime.
In the manga Kou stumbles upon Nagai and his ghost, where as in the anime he spots the ghost earlier and then follows it to Nagai. The ghost is far more talkative in the anime, making its delayed repeat of Nagai’s earlier speech more obvious. Nagai also argues with his ghost a lot more as well. The ghost attacks Kou just as it does in the manga, but when Kou revives he’s much more fervent in his request for Nagai’s aid. There’s also a lot more talk about how hungry Kou is.
The anime also goes to the effort of keeping the audience in the loop with Satou’s terrorism preparation efforts. Namely we get a scene here, not in the manga, where Satou accepts an arms shipment in exchange for more organs.
The anime includes another sequence not present in the manga, as Nagai prepares Rice Balls back at the house for Kou to eat. The old woman also asks Nagai where he’s going when he leaves to meet with Kou. Again all this is absent from the manga.
Kou stares up at the clouds complaining about how hungry he is when Nagai arrives. Their conversation is slightly rearranged, but contains much of the same information as the manga.
The flashback Nagai has, where an old man came to visit the old lady, and Nagai feared he’d been recognized is largely one for one, save Nagai’s comment about the woman’s grandson. This is moved beyond the flashback and instead becomes an off hand remark Nagai makes to Kou.
The anime also makes more of a deal that Nagai is surprised no one has recognized him, acknowledging how seemingly improbable it is. The manga makes no effort to recognize that possible inconsistency. Things then play out similar until Kou is poisoned.
Nagai explains to Kou what the poison is, before informing him that he doesn’t want his quaint new life destroyed. In the manga the poison’s explanation is instead narration from Nagai. Before Kou runs to jump off a ledge and kill himself he tries smashing his head on a rock. No such effort is present in the manga.
The subsequent chase scene is a bit longer as Kou rushes to the cliff side and Nagai tries to stop him. Kou also hesitates to jump, remembering his fear of heights, a fear that’s disappeared by this point in the manga. Kou and Nagai’s struggle is much the same, minus a few lines here or there. Otherwise the fight plays out near one for one.
After Nagai wins the anime cuts again to footage of Satou’s gang arriving at their new hideout/workplace. This scene is anime only.
The anime returns to Kou, now captive inside the abandoned trailer Nagai moved him to. This scene is largely the same besides two minor alterations. First the anime makes a bigger deal of the ‘pee hole.” probably for comic relief. Second Kou, in the manga, thinks back to how the Firefighter must be trapped, equating that man’s confinement to his own. The anime cuts this and instead flashes to a scene later from the manga, where Kou exclaims his bewilderment at Nagai’s attitude.
The anime then begins pulling content from Chapter 18 as Tosaki and Co. watch a press conference denouncing Satou’s claims of Ajin mistreatment, and the press begins to question the government. Outside of certain lines of dialogue coming from different minor characters, this sequence plays out largely the same. Even after Sokabe arrives and threatens to usurp Tosaki, the anime and manga rarely differ.
The anime then follows Tosaki from the meeting with Sokabe and the others to the hotel where he’s keeping Dr. Ogura. Shimomura accompanies him in the anime, but is never present in the manga. Dr. Ogura is meanwhile beaten by one of Tosaki’s goons. This scene occurs separately in the manga.
Tosaki arrives, revealing that Ogura was hired by the U.S. Government for IBM countermeasures. Outside of Shimomura’s absence in the manga, the anime adaptation here is largely one for one. Although this sequence cuts off in the anime just as Dr. Ogura agrees to divulge what he knows about Ajin IBMs, making it the episode cliff hanger.
The manga has a few scenes not adapted, namely Nagai’s return from imprisoning Kou and finding that the old lady has cooked him dinner.
Overall I think we’re really getting to the parts where the anime really outstrips the manga. Small issues, like how Nagai came to be in the old woman’s good graces are answered before the audience has a chance to question their relationship. The anime also keeps Satou more entwined with the story, and does a solid job of jumping back and forth between its characters at a more constant rate. We’re coming up however on some of the biggest changes between the two, so that should be quite fun to compare.
That’s all for today! Please feel free to comment with your thoughts on Ajin and how Episode 9 compares with the manga’s sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth chapters.