Ajin: Anime/Manga Comparison – Season 2 Episode 1
Ajin – Anime to Manga Comparison Season 2:
Episode 1/Chapters 23-24
With Season 2 of Ajin’s Anime, the story has wrapped up, culminating in a thrilling conclusion most viewers seem to be quite thrilled with. But that’s not how the manga ends at all. In fact, the manga still seems to have a ways to go! Welcome to the Ajin Anime to Manga Comparison Second Season. Here we’ll compare each episode of Ajin’s 2nd season alongside the corresponding Manga chapters, detailing the differences and gradual significant divergence from the source material all in an effort to try and see which did the story better justice. Let’s dive in.
For the 1st Season’s comparison click here.
Ajin Season 2 Episode 1 /Chapters 23-24:
The anime already includes a few new scenes from the get go, with a helicopter landing carrying both Tosaki and his aid, Shimomura. The two are greeted by Sokabe, who informs Tosaki that he’s off the Ajin Control Commission and he’s got but one chance to redeem himself, as Satou has released another threat.
The anime then incorporates Chapter 23’s opening, as Satou lays out his plans for Phase 2, a targeted list of individuals who he’ll kill until the government gives into his demands. Anime viewers would already be familiar with this list, as Satou presented it at the end of the first season, as well as his plans for Phase 3. The anime moves on again to new footage as Tosaki and Sokabe discuss options for dealing with the situation and it’s again reiterated that it is Tosaki’s last chance.
The anime then snaps to a Public relations conference held by the Government, denouncing Satou’s actions and again denying any wrong doing against Ajin. This is absent from the manga. This press conference leads into the scene of Nagai waiting for Nakano in the noodle shop. This scene is in the manga and both play quite similar.
In fact the next several minutes of the anime come pretty close to a one for one adaptation as Nagai and Nakano get in their stolen car and try to figure out what the next best course of action is. This adherence to the manga continues all the way through the warehouse scene up until Nagai gets a message back from the detective he hired to look into Tosaki.
The anime then cuts away to another scene, loosely adapted from the manga. Tosaki converses with the minister, although a lot more of the details discussed concerning Satou, and his website, are cut. Instead the focus here is reminding Tosaki that his deadline is the Minister’s death, he has that long to redeem himself and if the minister goes down, so will Tosaki. This is a pretty significant difference, as Tosaki is on Satou’s hit list in the manga, where as he isn’t in the anime. I have a couple theories as to why, one being the anime writers might’ve found it a tad too petty of Satou to go after a nobody like Tosaki. He isn’t a public figure, and most of his other hits involve big name individuals. This is especially true of the anime. I think some effort has gone into thinking about how Satou presents himself, and his ’cause’ to the masses, by refocusing his efforts on more public type figures, or at least heads of large companies involved in the mistreatment of Ajin. I think it adds a little more real world weight to the story this way.
The anime then returns to the manga’s content, as Nagai and Nakano continue to discuss their options. This part of the scene, as Nagai rattles off details about Tosaki’s life, has been moved from the warehouse to the car and ends with Nakano asking what Nagai finds fun about any of this. The manga continues into a flashback for how Nakano and Nagai stole the car in the first place, with the underlying point being how different Nakano and Nagai are. Nakano is an outgoing individual, where as Nagai has trouble understanding others.
The anime then cuts to Tosaki and Shimomura in a hallway, waiting for a meeting to start. It’s here he flashes back to a scene between him and his now comatose fiance, one the manga includes later on in Chapter 24. Just after Tosaki receives a call from Nagai.
The manga concludes Chapter 23 with Satou having killed the first man on his list, via a simple stabbing in his hotel room. Then we have Satou’s second video message about taking over the country. The anime’s version of this is saved for the end of the episode.
Chapter 24 then starts with flashback mentioned previously before moving onto Tosaki’s meeting with the minister that was adapted earlier in the episode, very loosely. Tosaki then moves onto a meeting with the other committee members, which is interrupted when they learn that Dr. Kishi, another member, was murdered, despite being one of the lower names on the list. It’s interesting because while the manga has Satou killing people out of order, the anime has him adhere to the order the names are listed in his video. The anime probably does this to provide a better sense of dwindling time to build and ramp up tension over the season. The manga has no such need since it releases monthly, and it’s harder to maintain tension over such a wide release time frame anyway.
Finally the manga and anime realign with Nagai’s phone call to Tosaki. Outside of some minor differences (Shimomura’s presence, viewing the TV news via cell phone, and some additional shots of Nagai and Nakano racing to the hospital) everything here is very similar.
When Tosaki and his men confront Nagai in his fiance’s hospital room the manga does something that I find a tad odd. Nagai talks about seeing Tosaki face to face again, yet they never actually met face to face in the manga, only the anime. The only scene Nagai could be referring to is when he was captured and experimented on, with Tosaki on the other side of the glass. Nagai’s ghost did attack the glass and stare at Tosaki, but the manga didn’t make it clear that Nagai could actually see Tosaki, or was even aware of him at the time.
This scene feels more poignant in the anime, as Tosaki was present for Season one’s big finale and they did, clearly, meet face to face. Also, in the manga Nagai warns them that his Ghost will run wild, even if he’s knocked out. Why Tosaki believes him in the manga I don’t know, considering there’s an assumption that once an Ajin is knocked out their ghost disappears. So Tosaki has no reason to believe Nagai. It makes more sense in the anime since he’s actually scene Nagai’s Ghost keep going even after Nagai has lost consciousness. Also Nagai summons his Ghost to threaten Tosaki’s fiance, making the scene feel far more tense than the manga’s rendition.
The aftermath of this scene is virtually one for one and the anime only deviates once we switch to Satou’s phase 3 video. This video differs greatly from the manga, as Satou kills Dr. Wakai, one of the characters most vocal from the committee that’s appeared all through season 1. This character is actually killed far later in the manga. Outside of some other aesthetic differences, the scene plays quite similar.
And that’s it. That’s episode 1. Overall I think the anime does a solid job of improving on the manga and cleaning up a few potential issues with the continuity. It keeps the really good and already solid parts of the manga, while improving on a few smaller aspects to make the whole thing really feel tight and shine through. Please leave your thoughts on Ajin’s 2nd season and the manga’s content, in the comments below!