As stated in the title, I want to know what the major differences between the manga and the anime adaptation are. From what I've read online, the anime adaptation diverged from the manga. So where does this diversion occur? Does it start from a particular chapter of the manga or has it been taking its own course gradually from the very beginning?
⚠ The answer below contains spoilers.
- The manga skipped a chapter which took place before the first Revival in the anime. This chapter concentrates on the bond between Airi and Satoru, when he saves someone's (I won't spoil) life with her help.
- When Satoru and his mother meet Airi in the parking lot, in the anime, he uses Revival only once to spot the difference. In the manga, he uses it 3-4 times.
- In the scene where his mother is killed, he doesn't meet with the culprit in the hallway. In the manga, he catches a glimpse of him in the garden and pursues him, during which he is seen by the landlady.
- The manga narrates the background story of Yashiro, which the anime skipped. The scene in the anime where Satoru decides whether or not to push Hinazuki's mother is altered. In the manga, he has a homemade taser with him.
- In the manga, in 2003, when the photographers take pictures of him and Kumi (the leukemia girl), they are stopped by Airi instead of Yashiro, and Satoru recognizes her. Then he falls in coma again for another 2 years (the numeric details may have a 1 year error).
- After he can walk, he goes in town and he sees Airi from afar. However, he decides to not talk to her in order to keep her away from the killer.
- The end of the anime is dramatically changed. In the manga, the story follows a bit of a longer period of time after he can walk. He has a strong big brother relationship with Kumi. The ending takes place in a holiday camp for patients who undergo recover such as Satoru and Kumi. There, the death match takes place between Satoru and Yashiro and is more complex as compared to the anime. Sawada and Kenya having a bigger role as well.
- In the manga, Hinazuki indicates to Satoru that Misato is alone instead of the glasses boy.
- When he was little (younger than the 4th grade), Satoru had a female friend two years older than him, whom he used to play with. When she said that he is her second best male friend (or something of the sort), he goes with a stick to the group where the first "male" was, to remove him from her life, doing nothing in the end. A few days later she goes to a building attracted by something. She comes out with her hands full of pictures for kids when she is called by Satoru. It was another kidnap attempt by Yashiro, stopped unknowingly by Satoru.
- The reasons for which his mother stopped being a TV anchor are hinted in the manga. The reason is the fact that the TV station director wanted to have an intimate relationship with her (most likely). She refused, resulting in cuts on her palms (probably obtained when she refused him).
- The job of Hiromi Sugita is changed. In the manga, he is a physicist while in the anime, he is a doctor.
- The identity of the culprit is more hinted in the manga with more small panels concentrated on his reactions on Satoru's and his friends' actions and dialogues in the school grounds (about saving the victims).
- In the last showdown scene, Yashiro intends to kill Satoru and himself on a bridge set on fire. Satoru escapes and Kenya and Sawada save Yashiro's life, an event present only in the manga.
- In the anime, it is skipped that Yuuki went to continental Asia and married a woman from there (her and their son having black skin are visible for a few seconds in the last episode of the anime and in the manga as well).
- In those 15 years, in the manga, Yashiro kidnapped and killed around 15-30 other children, leaving some clues for Kenya and Sawada which led to him. He is charged for those murders in the manga. On the other hand, in the anime these crimes are not mentioned and he is only charged with attempted murder of Satoru.
There may be other changes which I didn't notice or forgot. The changes were less visible in the first half of the anime and were more prominent in the second half of the show, due to the anime having a short amount of screen time left to portray all of the manga content.