In this post I’ll be marking some of the differences between the movie adaptation and the novel, Loups=Garous. (Of course it’s going to be a spoiler-fest.)
Kunugi and Fuwa Shizue
In the adaptation, the two know each other. But in the novel, these two were strangers, and only first met during the retrieval of the kids’ data for the serial murders investigation. Kunugi was sent there to monitor Shizue as she downloads the data on the children from the center.
Mio Tsuzuki trespassing into Hazuki Makino’s home
Making that Scandal music video as the reason for Mio’s trespassing was quite dumb. In the novel, while interacting with Ayumi Kono and Hazuki, Mio drops a hard drive. So Ayumi and Hazuki go to Mio’s house unannounced to return it. So when Mio breaks into Hazuki’s house, she was just ‘returning the favor.’ Mio’s purpose was to return a pink piercing that she thinks belongs to Hazuki. However, it does not belong to Hazuki. So Mio goes on to Ayumi’s house for the latter’s payback. (Though in truth it belongs to Yuko Yabe, who ‘drops’ it on Ayumi, the night the former was attacked. When Ayumi and Hazuki ‘visit’ Mio’s house, Ayumi ‘drops’ it there.) At Ayumi’s house they discover an illegal structure, where Ayumi usually stays, and doves take shelter. I will call it Ayumi’s lair.
Kidnapping of Yuko Yabe (and other unregistered residents)
I don’t know why they had to create a story about Yuko’s kidnapping–it was a waste of scenes. They could have gone straight to Rey Mao’s dwelling place. The novel has Rey Mao taking care of Yuko when the threesome of Mio, Ayumi, and Hazuki find her to return the piercing. (Note: In the adaptation the name is Miao, but in the English translation it’s Mao.)
No, there’s nothing like this in the novel. Nothing!!
The death of Yuko Yabe and the attack on Hazuki Makino’s house
The adaptation has area patrol attack Hazuki in her house. I was like huh, just like that? So lame. In the original, as Yuko was being escorted by the area patrol after she was apprehended, Rey Mao was secretly following them. Yuko is kidnapped by a guy with tattoo on the head and a foreigner in a metal suit. Rey Mao tries to rescue Yuko but is shot at with a gun. The threesome are shocked at Yuko’s death, and learn about the abduction from Mao. Mao describes the kidnappers. So when the kidnappers/killers go to Hazuki’s house as area patrolmen, she recognizes one of them after they enter the house. Hazuki shakes with realization–and I would have wanted to see this animated. And the attack by the area patrol shows that so-called ‘authorities’ were involved in the killings. But the adaptation skips this.
Hazuki wakes up in Ayumi’s lair and the march to SVC
Why does Hazuki wake up at Ayumi’s? How is SVC connected? How the hell does Ayumi know about the place? Why do they go there? Well, after Hazuki is attacked, she escapes to Ayumi’s lair with Mao. Mao takes a dove and tells Hazuki that she will send the dove when something happens. When Hazuki wakes up, Ayumi is holding the dove that Mao took. On it is written 119 SVC Memorial Building, together with Yuko’s piercing. Mao had followed Hazuki’s attackers, and came up with that address. Ayumi infers that this was the place were Yuko was killed. She then feels a responsibility to undertake–because killing people is wrong. (The killing theme is discussed throughout the novel, but it’s too long to tackle here.) Thus the march to SVC.
Shizue Fuwa wakes up in the SVC Memorial Building
Now this scene is the start of the real WTF. How did she get there? Where’s Kunugi? This part was quite mangled. In the original novel, Kunugi is not a villain, but becomes an ally of Shizue. The two are actually ‘captured’ by one of Ishida’s followers, a subordinate of Kunugi’s called Takasugi, and imprisoned in the SVC building. I wonder why they did not include Takasugi. Were they lacking money for voice actors??
Death of Kunugi
They really messed up Kunugi’s character. The one who was supposed to take Ayumi et al into the building and then get killed by Ayumi was Takasugi. Kunugi was supposed to be with Shizue and having the conversation with Ishida in person (and not via monitor, as in the adaptation). Kunugi does not die in the novel.
The reason for the serial murders
Well, it was indeed cannibalism. However, in the novel, Ishida was a real person, while the founder of SVC was an old, bed-ridden man kept alive by machines. And his wires were cut; he was not slashed. Ishida maneuvered the killings by timing it with unrelated serial murders. With his clout in the police force, he was able to mislead the investigation so that the cases are never solved. The SVC Memorial Building was built solely for keeping the SVC founder, Suzuki, alive.
On a side note, the state of the SVC founder, Suzuki, feels strikingly similar to Kanako’s plight in Mouryou no Hako. She was kept alive by the machines just like Suzuki. And like Kanako, Suzuki was actually no longer truly alive.
In the adaptation Hazuki goes off to practice some stupid dance. However, the actual ending was that the attack on the SVC building was deemed a terrorist attack. The girls were absolved, and the real reason for the serial killings never came out either. The girls had confessed their deeds, but nobody was punished. Ayumi was branded a pathological liar by the police. As the SVC founder, Suzuki, was highly respected and influential (and supposed to be dead), the whole truth could never be revealed because it was such a big scandal.
This end was not what the girls had wanted. Mio had hacked here and there and blown things up; she even killed one of Ishida’s goons. She goes unpunished. Ayumi killed several people but was willing to go to prison; and there is no punishment. There is no chance for atonement. In spite of all that has happened, in the end, nothing really changes. The world just moves on.
The wolf and the sci-fi
There is no real wolf, the animal, in the story. Ayumi is the ‘wolf’ in this story. I think it is the ‘killer’ instinct, plus her physical abilities, that makes her like a wolf. She declares herself as a Loups Garous and acknowledges the crime of killing people. However, to avoid scandal, the truth is hidden. Because Ayumi’s crimes were not publicized (and probably not even recorded), in effect she has not committed a crime. No crime, no punishment. Even if she wants to atone for it, she cannot. She disappears.
Much of the sci-fi is around the virtual reality, and the monitor is the main object that demonstrates this. Communication with other people is mainly done on the monitor. For Hazuki, what she sees through the monitor is reality; the outside environment looks fake. The world is reduced to numerical value by a monitor; Hazuki grows up with this virtual reality as the reality. However, what Hazuki discovers is that this can be faked–Mio does this with her so-called magic, and Ishida does the same to cover up the truth about the murders.’
It is very unfortunate that the source material was butchered in this anime adaptation. So if you want the essence of the story, you would have to read the novel. Fortunately there is an English translation under the Haikasoru label. Please buy if you can–perhaps more novels by Natsuhiko Kyogoku might be published! (And I hope it’s under Haikasoru–Vertical’s Summer of the Ubume book didn’t have a good design outside or inside.) 😀