A Mid-Tier Adaptation That Leaves Us Wanting More

I was also struck by the episode opener, considering that an anime’s opening credits sequence is an important part of the overall feel of the series. The upbeat music is a bit out of place, but the fact that it’s a screamo-style song kind of makes up for it. The visuals are very colorful, which feels strangely at odds with Ito’s core style, but so does a lot of the color in this series. That said, it’s psychedelic, strange, and a bit gory, so it’s striking enough to do the job. It just doesn’t exactly fit in with the darkness of Ito’s style, an overarching issue within this series. Another element of note is the series’ voice actors, who are consistently believable and compliment their drawn characters well in their speech. It’s a great group of voices that are fun to listen to and complement the genre of stories well.

Overall, however, this series doesn’t accurately reflect what it feels like to read an Ito story. The goal in all of these adaptations, of which “Maniac” is just the latest and certainly won’t be the last, is to get as close to that experience as possible. This one just doesn’t quite make it there. It’s not entirely dislikable, and it may be a more fun watch for those less precious about Ito’s work or even folks who aren’t invested period. But for fans of the mangaka’s work, it’s going to feel like there are holes and improvements that could’ve been made.

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