Ajin: Anime/Manga Comparison – Season 2 Episode 2
Ajin – Anime to Manga Comparison Season 2:
Episode 2/Chapter 25
With Season 2 of Ajin’s Anime, the story has wrapped up, culminating in a thrilling conclusion most viewers seem to be quite happy 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 2/Chapter 25:
As we’ll see over the course of the 2nd season’s comparison, a lot more liberties have been taken in the adaptation and they really start to ramp up with this episode. For starters the anime opens, after the credits anyway, with Sato’s lackeys working on the preparations for his next target. They create a face mask for him to disguise his features and book him tickets for a plane trip. None of this is in the manga. Instead the manga merely shows us that Sato has killed his newest target, but he doesn’t look all that thrilled. This becomes an important plot point in the manga, one that the anime ultimately chooses not to include.
The manga also gives us a few pages of society’s reactions to Sato’s efforts, from the political, to the social, to talk show TV. This is absent from the anime. The anime and manga then realign as we witness Nagai and Kou both receiving physical training to help bulk themselves up. The adaptation is virtually one for one here.
We move onto a conversation between Tosaki and Shimomura as they oversee Nagai and Kou’s training. The information Shimomura provides Tosaki is different, however, in the anime: Here she informs him that Sokabe has contacted them and one of Sato’s targets refuses to change his travel plans. The manga has her give Tosaki a seemingly mundane and narratively unimportant report. The conversation is otherwise very similar.
Moving back to Kou and Kei, the anime includes some extra scenes for comedic affect as Nagai reacts poorly to his new exercise regime. When Shimomura requests the two come with her to meet Dr. Ogura, Kou’s attraction to Shimomura is played up for comedic effect. It’s much more prominent in the anime and begins the anime’s re-purposing of Kou’s character. The manga does periodically use him for comedic effect, but its much more pronounced in the anime than the source material.
The meeting with Dr. Ogura starts largely the same but begins to differ significantly once Nagai takes out his Ghost. The anime acknowledges the incident between Tosaki and Nagai from Season 1’s finale, making note that he gives the ghost opposite orders in order to make it obey and it can speak on its own. In the manga Nagai seems unaware he can give it orders. In the anime the Ghost attacks Kou on its own, in the manga it attacks as doing the opposite of Nagai’s orders, which seems to be a surprise to Nagai. All this speaks to two wildly different portrayals. Anime Nagai had an interest in learning about himself and his Ajin abilities. Manga Nagai had some interest in that as well, but apparently didn’t take any of that very far. If anything I think Anime Nagai is the smarter portrayal, as he’s actually learned far more about himself on his own than his manga counterpart.
After Dr. Ogura’s Iowa story the Ghost attacks him in both the anime and manga. In the manga Shimomura arrives in time to save him, in the anime she’s been in the room and prepared since the beginning to step in. Her ghost merely tackles Nagai’s in the anime, where in the manga it decapitates his ghost. The scene then plays largely the same, except that in the anime Nagai actually hears Ogura’s question asking how long he’s been an Ajin. This sparks something in Nagai, where as it goes uncommented on in the manga. This begins a thread of character development that is much more subdued in the manga. In fact, the manga’s culmination for Nagai’s introspection happens well after the anime and manga have completely diverged.
The anime flips to Sato as he checks in for his plane flight, disguised in his new mask. This is mostly anime only, although aspects of his terrorist activity have been adapted from earlier chapters of the manga, specifically the plane terrorist attack that the show replaced with the bombing in the 1st season. Sato’s face mask, seating, and eventual shooting of his target are all revisions to the manga’s previous content and unique to the anime.
The manga moves onto Nagai accidentally catching one of Tosaki’s men off guard and startling him to the point he draws his gun. He uses his Ajin voice to stun him and everyone else in the room, but as it turns out Tosaki’s team was really just showing Kou how to fire a gun. This scene is in the anime, although contains more reflection on Nagai’s part concerning Dr. Ogura’s question, which is clearly having a significant affect on Nagai.
Kou follows Nagai to the bathroom and calls him out for what he did. This conversation, barring a few extra flashbacks, is pretty similar, but feels more emotionally charged since Nagai’s suffering from an internal struggle, which is still largely absent from the manga. That is until the anime has Tosaki call the two out, cluing them into Sato’s latest kill. This is conveyed via a TV news report.
The anime then contains another new scene as Nagai confronts his black ghost and it stops listening and actually attacks him. None of this is in the manga, but for the anime forms a kind of high point for Nagai’s internal struggle and conflict. Since the anime wraps up the majority of Ajin’s story with its 2nd season, and I’m of the opinion we won’t be seeing a third season, it needed to bring this part of Nagai’s character arc forward. Similar doubt does eventually come to a head in the manga, challenging Nagai’s disconnected nature with the more emotionally charged aspects of the situation. It really asks him to confront who he is and the kind of man he wants to be. As said it’s a theme running through both the anime and manga, but the anime brings it to the forefront that much sooner.
Overall I think the anime improves on the manga in the few places the two connect, and otherwise offers up content that is just as strong and well-written as the manga’s. The anime continues to make both large and minor changes that often make the story feel tighter, or perhaps even more intense. That said, there are things the manga does which are unfortunate to lose. Chapter 25 hints at a significant flaw in Sato’s character, one abandoned for the anime. It’s an interesting approach to his depiction and culminates on a disturbing and thought-provoking element that the anime only briefly touches upon. But we’ll discuss that more as we get further in.
Please let me know your thoughts on Ajin’s second season and how it compares to the manga in the comments below!