Tokyo Ghoul: In a world ruled by the collision between humans and ghouls, amazing battles and existential discussions are ensured. If you add incredibly well-designed characters and a spike of outstanding animation, you’ve got yourself a show that with only 12 episodes has managed to become one of the most successful animes of 2014.
In a Nutshell
Tokyo Ghoul tells the story of a world in which ghouls exist. Ghouls are human-like creatures that can only feed off human flesh. As a result, humans live in fear of ghouls and there exists organisations like the Comission of Counter Ghoul (CCG), which is in charge of fighting the ghouls. Kaneki Ken is a normal highschooler with a passion for literature. Everything changes for him the day he gets attacked by a ghoul and, after a mysterious surgery, ends up being half-human, half-ghoul. What happens when he start getting hungry and starving for human flesh?
Meet the Characters
Kaneki is the main character. He’s an average 18 year old freshman who loves literature and spends all day reading. He’s an orphan and lives on his own. He’s shy, innocent and so nice that he’d rather have himself be bullied than hurt others.
Hide is Kaneki’s best friend. His personality is quite the opposite to Kaneki’s, as he’s a very energetic boy. Kaneki hides his identity from him but he’s still able to suspect something. Hide is very dear to Kaneki and he’s always trying to protect him from his ghoul madness.
Toka is a sixteen year old girl who works as a waitress. She’s revealed to be a ghoul in the first episode and is one of Kaneki’s biggest allies. However, Kaneki has to work his relationship with her as she’s cold, independent and reckless.
Rize is Kaneki’s date in the first episode. However, Kaneki later realises that she’s a ghoul who wanted to eat him. They become close overtime, but not in the way that you might expect.
Mado is a Special Investigator and an expert in fighting ghouls. He works with Amon. He has crazy intuition and fighting skills that make him a feared person among ghouls. Both him and Amon fight using quinques (weapons made from ghoul’s kagune).
*As always, there are many more important characters coming in the future. These are some of the most relevants characters for the first episodes. Revealing much more would be spoilerish.
A brief history of Tokyo Ghoul: The When, Where and How
Tokyo Ghoul is a manga by Sui Ishida that began being serialised in 2011.
The anime, which has 12 episodes as of now, was broadcasted from July to September 2014 and produced by studio Pierrot. The series has also been licensed by Funimation for streaming and home video in North America. The second season, called Tokyo Ghoul √A, will premiere in Japan on January 8th.
Why It’s Awesome
Many people (and I include myself) decided to start watching this show basically because it looks good. You just have to google the show and click “Images” to see for yourself how incredibly badass it looks. Everything from the character designs to the art style and the colours screams pure awesomeness. To start by watching an episode is easy, but the thing with its first episode is that it leaves you hooked and you just have to watch more. The pacing is incredibly fast and there’s exciting things happening in every episode.
This is, however, something that it’s also seen as a negative factor. Yes, you won’t get bored but… for manga readers, the anime goes way too fast to the point that they alter the order of the events or just skip some arcs completely. Another thing that has been criticised is the censoring. It’s REALLY BAD and it’s something that leaves you wondering… why would you censor something when the show is already aired in a non-children-friendly time slot? I doubt that any parents would let the children watch a show as crude as this anyway. If you like reading manga, then you should read the manga first and then watch the show. If you don’t want to read the manga, it’s OK. The show is good anyways, but just keep in mind that it’s not the same as in the manga, and some people are gonna be complaining about it.
Leaving that aside, as we’ve already mentioned, the animation is plain superb. This makes for some incredibly fighting scenes which stand out especially with what is called the ghoul’s kagune (basically, the ghouls main organ that come out of their backs and are used to fight).
Perhaps one of the other things that is also very interesting about this show is that there’s no clear way to guess the ending. With shonen manganimes such as One Piece, Naruto or Bleach there’s always a clear goal that the main protagonist states from the beginning. This is not the case with Tokyo Ghoul (also probably due to the fact that it’s a seinen). The main goal might seem to accomplish peace and coexistence between humans and ghouls. But how do you achieve that goal when ghouls need human flesh to survive? If Kaneki was a human, then the ghouls would probably be the enemy and he would be the one to kill all ghouls (something similar to Eren Jäger’s case on Attack on Titan). But… he’s half-human, half-ghoul.