Ajin – 17

ajin-17-1Blah blah, blah, great episode of Ajin.  Terrific pacing, yada yada.  But warning: incoming bitching.  Because there’s anime-original material coming up, and as far as I know that’s the first time we’ve seen Ajin divert from the manga storyline in either its TV or film adaptations.  I certainly have faith in the ability of the staff to adapt material beautifully, but this is uncharted territory – one way or another manga readers will likely complain, since there’s no more hated word in anime circles than “filler”.

ajin-17-2One thing I will say – we’re off to a good start, because if the ending this week kicked off the new material, it was a cracker.  I believe most of what we got before that was canon, and while it was the Ajin we’ve come to expect – taut, disciplined storytelling – there was certainly a major plot twist.  That was the introduction of Kotobuki Takeshi (Saitou Souma), the 17 year-old cellmate of Kai’s whose appearance was teased at the end of Episode 16.  That teaser made it seem as if Kotobuki was going to cause big trouble for Kai, but it turns out to have been a misdirection – though there’s no denying his presence does indeed cause Kaitou some trouble.

ajin-17-3I think it’s pretty clear from the start here that Kotobuki is an Ajin – it was certainly hinted at strongly enough, and there’s no other way to explain his mysterious escape from the juvenile prison.  That escape, it turns out, was going to Satou’s Ajin meeting on a “whim” – after which Kotobuki promptly presented himself back at juvie to be locked up. But he’s not going to share that with the cellblock psycho, obviously, and knowing Kai as well as we do we know he’s not going to sit idly by and what Kotobuki be tortured to try and wring the information on his escape out of him.  Kotobuki would just as soon have Kai butt out and take care of his own, but well – it’s Kai.

ajin-17-5Meanwhile, our old friend Satou is seven names down his list, and Tosaki is increasingly desperate to move forward with his plan to stop him before the Minister’s number comes up.  It’s interesting that so much of Kei and Kou’s training seems to involve basic gym class activities (which Kou has the advantage in) because I wouldn’t have thought building up their physiques would be the most important preparation for dealing with Satou.  But Toaski at least isn’t blind to the strategic genius Kei brings to the table.

ajin-17-6So was that a nuke Okuyama was building for Satou?  Sure looked like it – and that would certainly represent a pretty dramatic raising of the stakes.  So does an Ajin with wings (I believe that part at least is anime-original), which Kotobuki shows off to Kaitou in a rather splendid and dramatic reveal at the close of the episode.  As if all that weren’t enough, the U.S. Department of Defense (oh boy, here we go with the cartoon stereotypes) shows up to investigate Ogura’s “death” – which is seems very likely they know wasn’t a death at all.  Whatever percentage of all that is original I don’t know, but to this point there hasn’t been a hint of a drop in quality so I feel pretty good about watching all those plot threads untangle themselves.

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3 comments

  1. A

    Sorry to burst the bubble, but winged ajin is indeed from the manga. So far everything has been quite similar to manga save some specific details I won’t mention :). Starting next week, I believe content starts to become 100% original, so I’m looking forward to how the story will pan out.

    I imagine they’re expecting close quarters combat (rmbr back in ep 1 Kei said ‘as your undying soldiers’) so they’re training. One of the questions I did have watching all the gym training was if their muscles will be reset if they die.

  2. Another well wriiten informative post. For myself I am amazed how much they pack into the episode without losing qualitly. If the EP is this good Anime onyor Manga sourced it just had me watching intently. Kotburi with a winged Ajin that raises the bar again for what an IBM could do.

    My own take on things / not disagrreing at all with you just adding a perspective

    1 The US DOD team didnt seem to be potrayed badly . If anything it reflects more on the Japanese poor handling of the Ajim threat f they were such bunglers Tosaki would be so concerned about altering . deleting evidence,

    2 It’s crazy I cant find the right words to describe Satou / not say what I approve of him but he gets my vote as one of the Top villians in anime. I mean he’s right about the treatment of Ajin but wrong how to rectify.the issues / not saying the Govt is no hero either. Satou does have great lines

    3 Satou’s tech guru is way underated He’s a mad genius ! He makes plan that Satou just implements.

    On the issue of that device Satou says we have lots of explosives left ( Pic of boxes ) so I knnda that it is not nuclear itself but more a source is the target. Tha would dangerous as you would think heavy resources be brought to stop Satou .But who knows ?

    4 I am kinda glad Kai is back / BTW that was a big flashback for Kotobuki !

    5 This is my favorite show !

  3. k

    Regarding fillers these last episodes, they usually were the Satou assasination scenes (plane, mansion etc.), however the main plot is still the same. Also the vicim list has been altered a bit (diverging plotwise from the manga as well)
    Also a major manga arc will be skipped /altered, regarding the two victim faces they showed on the TV (Forge Security Arc.). It was a pretty good enjoyable arc though. As the last episode adapted chapter 28, I’d suggest reading from Ch 29 on, in case you’re interested in the manga events. ( However it’s up to you to get spoiled :D).

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