Tokyo Ghoul: A comprehensive review of the Manga and Anime
Tokyo Ghoul Review: What is the Manga and Anime All About?
Tokyo Ghoul is one of the best-selling manga series to ever see the light of day. This Japanese dark fantasy, gore manga is one of the highest-grossing ones of the century, which means it has crushed the competition in many ways. The story has a loyal fan base who love the manga, and it’s well-deserved.
( Tokyo Ghoul Image credit: https://freestylethoughts.wordpress.com )
This amazing Japanese manga is the brainchild of Sui Ishida, a young artist who launched his first project in 2010, and, since then, he has amassed worldwide recognition. He has grown incredibly fast in only a decade and his work has evolved brilliantly.
He works with publishers like Sueisha and Norma, and he was also honored with an adaptation by Pierrot Co, the studio responsible for famous adaptations such as Naruto. Need I say more?
The storytelling behind Tokyo Ghoul is quite fantastic and they’ve done a great job with it, which is why it’s so successful. The plot is anything but predictable, the narrative is perfect, and the circumstances of each story play out in perfect symphony with the plotline. Let’s learn more about it!
Tokyo Ghoul Characters - Image credit: https://www.deviantart.com/chinkoshabure
Tokyo Ghoul: An Introduction
The world of Tokyo Ghoul is divided into two races: the ghouls and the humans. Though ghouls have human form, their bodies have extraordinary healing properties and supernatural powers.
In other words, they’re practically indestructible. That wouldn’t be an issue if they weren’t natural predators with a taste for humans. But since humans are the predominant race, they hunt ghouls down and it gets pretty vicious.
The nature of the ghouls is pretty basic: they are hungry and their only source of nutrients is human flesh. Normal food makes them sick. A juicy burger and fries? Forget it, that won’t work.
The story starts with Kaneki Ken, a nerdy college student who meets a nice girl in the college’s cafeteria and asks her out. When she agrees, he feels like a very lucky guy, but that feeling doesn’t last very long… She takes him to a dark alley and starts to eat him right then and there, and not in a good way.
But maybe his luck returns because suddenly a huge beam falls from one of the buildings in the alley and it crushes her. Kaneki is rushed to the hospital and he’s in a critical state, so the doctors decide to transplant the girl’s organs to him and he survives. This makes him the first human-ghoul hybrid.
I know what you may be thinking: “oh, so this is the typical story of good versus evil, humans versus demons”, but that’s not the case.
What makes Tokyo Ghoul so good is how complicated the story is. It’s not as simple as good or bad; everyone’s only trying to survive, protect their loved ones, and avenge the people they’ve lost. That’s why it’s worth your while.
The universe that Sui Ishida has created with Tokyo Ghoul is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. It’s brutal, so much so that not even the best censors can block it out, and it’s an essential part of the story.
The manga has 2 seasons of 14 and 16 volumes each, the anime adaptation has 3 seasons with 48 episodes, and there are also two Original Video Animations (OVAs) that develop some of the best secondary characters in the story.
What I enjoy most about Tokyo Ghoul is how unpredictable it is. You never know what can happen, which is exciting. It’s also very different from other fantasy stories out there where the main character learns to control their newfound abilities and become a role model in society.
When Kaneki discovers his new reality, he goes from being a nerdy, simple boy, to being completely insane. He fights for justice at first, but in the end, he becomes bloodthirsty, which is not what you expect. His journey as a character is complicated and even cruel, but it’s compelling.
Another great thing about Tokyo Ghoul is that the story develops the secondary characters very well and they have great personalities. Their pasts are connected and they’re not inserted out of nowhere into the plot. Ishida’s work is just flawless.
Image credit: https://www.funimation.com/shows/tokyo-ghoul/
A Breakdown of the Animation
When you approach the manga you have to remember one thing: this is Ishida’s first work, so the drawing inexperience shows in the first volumes. However, as he grows as an artist, his style becomes more refined and appealing with time.
I do have to say there’s a point where the manga loses some of its visual quality and it happens right at the climax of the story, but it recovers from this and it makes an even greater impact from then on.
The anime is different, though. The animations are top-notch from the start and it’s clear the drawings are expertly made. They’ve chosen the colors perfectly while maintaining a 90s anime style that goes perfectly with the story.
The battles are developed really well, not just in the anime, but also in the manga. This is important because some battles can last from 2 to 3 arcs, but they’re so well-made they’re not confusing at all. Tokyo Ghoul is a gore manga, so you can bet there’s a ton of blood and mutilation going on, but it all makes sense within the story. It’s never without context, which is great.
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Popular Tokyo Ghoul Shirt: Kaneki carrying Hide
I can’t praise Tokyo Ghoul enough for how unexpected it is. The characters all have great personalities and they’re thrown into circumstances where they can explore their full potential.
In my opinion, the story is a reflection of our base passions and impulses. Both races involved in this conflict show their darkness and their light, which makes everything a lot more real and raw.
Tokyo Ghoul is the kind of manga and anime you can enjoy more than once. It’s beautifully written, exciting, complicated, emotional, intense, raw, and there’s nothing unnecessary in the story. Should you watch Tokyo Ghoul? Hell, yes! Should you read the manga? Absolutely! You won’t regret it, it’s a great experience.