The first episode…err 30 seconds of Tokyo Ghoul set me back a bit. There was a hell of a lot of blood and they were accompanied by some serious gross munching sounds. Now having just read/watched Attack on Titan or Shingeki No Kyojin for my weeaboos out there, I wasn’t quite sure if I was ready for another bloodbath of a series, but seeing as Tokyo Ghoul was only 12 episodes it couldn’t have been that bad right?
I swear it was like Hannibal Lecter had a fever dream of being a boy in modern Tokyo. I’m not even sure if that makes sense, but I don’t care because Tokyo Ghoul is seriously F$#@&% up.
Sorry, lost a bit of my professionalism there. Where was I? Oh yeah, Tokyo Ghoul is about Ken Kaneki who is a nice little guy who likes reading, goes to college, has an awesome outgoing best friend and a crush on a beautiful woman. (See how everything is safe so far?) What great luck for Kaneki-kun that he and the same woman share the same interest in books and she even agrees to go out with him.
Even more luck when they spend the entire day out together on a beautiful date. And even more luck when they take a nice peaceful walk alone in a dark alley and even more great luck when she skewers him with her freaking ghoul powers!
The ensuing struggle for survival leads to the death of the ghoul, Kaneki’s (former) love interest, and a doctor fusing his organs with hers in order to make some freaky Ghoul/Human hybrid.
Ghoul’s unfortunately though cannot eat human food, but instead they can only eat humans. It’s not a matter of preference either, a ghoul literally gets sick from human food and MUST eat humans in order to survive. Kaneki, going from a human to a ghoul has to unfortunately make this transition and it is far from an easy one.
Throughout his resistant journey into realizing that he is a ghoul he learns more about both sides and the difficulty for them to understand each other.
As a series, Tokyo Ghoul is great, but the 12 episodes feels like there is something amiss. On the one hand things progress quickly and it gives you a great deal of information. At no point did I ever feel as if I wasn’t aware of the main cast or their motivations. In fact, it didn’t feel as if anything was left out…at least for the main cast.
The antagonists on the other hand, specifically those that show up in the later episodes seem a bit random and out of nowhere. I understand there was some decided build up to them, but it just seemed as if it all came too fast and I never really got to delve deep enough into the reasoning of the battle that occurred in the final episodes.
With a second season out, I am hopeful that the series can delve deeper into the opposing sides of ghouls and humans, but with the series taking a stark turn away from the manga I fear that may not be the case.
If you’re looking for a good short series though that has all of the blood, violence, and emotionally hard to take moments, then Tokyo Ghoul is definitely right up your alley. Let the psychological trauma begin.