Written by Levi Jubelt. Media by Paul Anderson.
Tokyo Ghoul’s story takes place in Tokyo, Japan (obviously), which is being terrorized by a species called ghouls. Now, ghouls are a huge problem for the normal humans inhabiting the city. The ghouls’ only means of survival is to devour humans. However, they are hunted because of this by ghoul investigators known as “Doves”. The Doves aim to eradicate the threat caused by the ghouls. The story revolves around college student, Ken Kaneki, who is a quiet and reserved boy who enjoys a good book. His hobby for reading leads him to meet Kamishiro Rize who just so happens to have the same tastes in books as he does. A few plot points later and our friend Kaneki turns into a ghoul and has to learn how to live as a newly formed ghoul and how this will affect his life.
For the most part, Tokyo Ghoul remains an interesting story. Coming into this anime I was given the impression that I was going to just see a bunch of ghouls eating people for twelve episodes. Thankfully this is not the case. Although feeding may be a central element to the ghoul lifestyle, the story gives a closer look into the struggles a ghoul goes through. The battle between the ghouls and the Doves remains a main point to the story as well as the moral boundaries within the ghouls. Some ghouls fully embrace the feeding side and take to the streets any time they want. While others, only feed when they must and look for more appropriate means to acquire what they need.
This series, due to the nature of its plot, is very violent and can be disturbing, especially towards the last few episodes, for those who cannot handle graphic content well. Many of these scenes, however, have black censor shadows cast over them and are shown in negative to reduce graphic impact, or are heard but not seen due to the angle of the camera.
In general, this show looks great. Each ghoul has a distinctive look that sets them apart from the rest. The main weapon of a ghoul, known as a Kagune, is also beautifully designed and colored. This gives the show a much needed artistic touch to go along with the violence of the series. I would put the story overall as a solid point for Tokyo Ghoul. The characters can be a bit shallow and the story can be a tad confusing, but seeing as how this is much more than a monster vs. human battle adds to the series’ appeal. I would also put the opening to the show as a plus. The song itself has stuck with me and the video that accompanies it portrays the anime and the main characters well. The voice casting is superb and does great at capturing the personality of the characters.
*Video from FUNimation*
First and foremost, the characters are the initial aspect to hold against Tokyo Ghoul. The characters themselves are decent, but many of them have very little or no backstory to them. This makes it hard to really feel anything towards anyone besides Kaneki. Multiple characters are present form the beginning, but are given no backstory until the last few episodes. Because of this, there are certain points in the story where the creators seem to be forcing us to feel bad for characters we have little attachment to. This may only be a twelve episode series, but that should generally be enough time to flesh out some characters.
The direction Tokyo Ghoul is trying to take is also a point against it. As mentioned, the overall story is solid, but the story switches between the battles with the Doves to character relationships frequently. This is not necessarily a problem and it only interferes with the overall story because neither are given enough depth seeing as how the series is so short. If this were a twenty-four episode series I could see many of the issues being fixed. The biggest flaw to the series is the last few episodes. This is where it really goes downhill for me. Without spoiling anything, these last episodes leave so much unexplained. There are multiple new characters and a couple fights that seem to start but are never shown.
Tokyo Ghoul is a decent anime and is worth watching. I do not regret watching this series and I have come away with a generally good feeling. The last few episodes have some serious issues, but are okay when you put that aside. For those interested in the series, I believe Tokyo Ghoul will be a fun twelve episode ride. Watch it, enjoy it, just don’t expect too much from it.
Overall Score: 7/10
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*SoundCloud by Paul Anderson*