Ajin: Anime/Manga Comparison – Season 2 Episode 4
Ajin – Anime to Manga Comparison Season 2:
Episode 4/Chapter 28
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 4/Chapter 28:
As mentioned last time the Ajin anime skips over Shimomura’s flashback chapters, at least for the moment. The anime will eventually come back around to provide a condensed version of these events, but for now this means the anime jumps over chapters 27 and 27.5. Instead we open with content from Chapter 28, our big introduction to Takeshi Kotobuki, and a reintroduction to Kaito, who’s been long absent from both the anime and manga.
Our introduction to Takeshi Kotobuki is much the same, a near one for one adaptation in the information it provides as the heads of the juvenile prison discuss his recent escape and surprise return. Otherwise the number of characters discussing Takeshi’s off screen escape are far fewer in number.
Kotobuki and the other prisoners discussing his escape, and Kai’s subsequent interruption is also pretty similar, with few, if any changes. Kotobuki’s following altercation in the bathroom has a couple additional pieces of dialogue as Kotobuki tries to leave, as well as turning some of Kotobuki’s inner monologue into actual dialogue. Otherwise again the scene is very very close to the manga’s portrayal. Even after Kai arrives to defend Kotobukie things stay pretty faithful.
The anime then switches to the communal hall where the prisoners are eating/relaxing. The anime adds in a TV that’s tuned to the news covering Satou’s most recent kills. This TV update is absent from the manga. When Kotobuki sits down next to Kai a few of his lines have been cut and condensed. Instead we’re treated to a few, brief flashbacks, reminding us of where Nagai left Kai off in the first season. These flashbacks aren’t in the manga. They’re a minor improvement, ensuring audiences understand/remember the current situation and mental state Kai finds himself in.
Jumping away from this episode’s A storyline we’re treated to Nagai and Kou training themselves physically. All of the episodes jumps away from Chapter 28, anything involving Kai and Kotobuki, are inherently anime only. We jump to a TV report where the Forge Security individuals Nagai and Co. will try to protect in the manga are reported as killed. It’s a cool little touch letting manga readers know that we’re really diverging at this point. This moment spurs Tosaki to try and motivate everyone on the team to train harder as they’re running out of time before Sato makes his move on the minister.
Satou then uploads another video on his progress. This is inter-spliced with a training montage for Nagai and Kou. This includes scenes of Satou’s men arming themselves, Tosaki and the others planning their defensive options etc. We then snap to an interview with government officials over their response to Satou. Tanaka is watching it and is disappointed in the response. Sato’s computer specialist, Okuyama, also seems to have made progress on a ‘secret weapon.’ There is no secret weapon in the manga.
Tosaki overseas Nagai and Kou’s efforts and it looks like the two are more physically prepared for the upcoming battles. Shimomura interrupts to let Tosaki know about a special meeting. This is where we’re introduced to an entirely anime original plot line involving agents from the U.S. government looking into Dr. Ogura’s death. It addresses a problem the manga has, where there seems to be no effort made on the part of the U.S. to go looking into Dr. Ogura’s death during Satou’s initial attack. As we learn more about Satou, it becomes especially odd for the manga to lack intervention by U.S. forces and I think the anime adds a certain element of realism by including these developments that remains under utilized, at least for now, in the manga.
Tosaki and Shimomura attend the meeting where we meet two U.S. agents Douglas and Carly. They announce their intent to investigate Dr. Ogura’s death. There’s some protest, but the two strong arm their way into this.
Tosaki and Shimomura leave the meeting and, despite Shimomura’s concern, Tosaki is pretty sure he’s covered most of the lose ends and has Shimomura work on taking care of any other problems.
We snap to another training session, this one involving Dr. Ogura showcasing ways to detect Black Ghosts and how to take them out. We also get a mention that Nagai has managed to tame his Black Ghost.
Finally we return to Chapter 28’s content as Kotobuki finds himself attacked by his fellow cellmates at night. This plays near one for one. The flashback that explains why Kotobuki bothered to escape in the first place, to attend Sato’s meeting, is fairly similar, although dialogue is attributed to the actual Ajins, rather than their black ghosts as in the manga.
Kai’s intervention is near one for one until the final moments, where in the anime the lead prisoner attempts to choke Kai to death, rather than continue to stomp on him.
The anime snaps to more training for Kou and Nagai, followed by another scene of Sato and Okuyama discussing their plans/use of the ‘secret weapon,’ which Okuyama has managed to complete.
we return to Chapter 28 as Kotobuki goes to meet Kai out on the prison grounds to discuss the night before. This scene plays one for one and ends on the two page spread of Kotobuki revealing his Black Ghost, where as the manga ends with Kaito agreeing and putting his cigarette out. Basically its a difference in where the emphasis is placed. In the manga it’s on Kaito and the fact that he’ll be coming back into the story, at some point, the manga really sets this up far too early and only utilizes this chapter to provide a brief catharsis for Nagai’s character. The anime places the focus on Kotobuki’s winged Ajin. However I don’t think that shift in focus is any better, as Kotobuki is still highly underused as a character in the anime as well.
Overall I don’t think what the anime provides here outshines the manga by much. If anything we’re seeing the anime diverge in its effort to wrap up the series within the season, meaning certain elements are cut in favor of expediting the story. We are introduced to an entirely new plot line that addresses, what some might consider, lingering plot holes concerning Dr. Ogura and his ties to the U.S. government, but it’s hard to pass judgement in that respect when the manga seems to have a lot of life left in it. It’s entirely possible this U.S. investigation plot line is just an element bumped forward that the manga will one day incorporate. Either way both the manga and the anime are generally top form here and continue to solidify why I think Ajin is a truly excellent series.
Please let me know your thoughts on Ajin’s second season and how it compares to the manga in the comments below!