Tokyo Ghoul, one of the most hyped titles back in 2014, got a mixed feedback from the anime community. Others loved it, others hated it, and many were just disappointed. Tokyo Ghoul is a psychological horror thriller anime with a lot of explicit violence that is all about human-eating monsters who try to fit in and survive in modern society. An overly used theme in anime but it sounds kind of scary, right?
In an alternate reality of our society where Tokyo is divided into Wards, humans are not the only species around: Ghouls, carnivorous monsters who look exactly like humans but can only survive by eating human flesh, live amongst humans and are hiding their identities because they are hunted down and killed by the authorities. They have some sort of special predatory weapon called ‘Kagune’ that helps them fight and hunt down their victims. Also, they have superior abilities and senses compared to humans and can heal much faster than them. In a never-ending fight between ghouls and humans, both try to survive using whatever means possible.
Plot & Story
The story follows Kaneki, the main character of the show. He starts going out with a girl who happens to be a binge-eating ghoul who wanted to devour him. They get in an accident and he is been transplanted her organs in order to live, which ends up making him half-ghoul half-human. We then get to see his struggle to survive between humans and how he tries to tame his instincts. A ghoul organization by the name of ‘Anteiku’ welcomes him and helps him balance his inner ghoul self. The story then introduces a variety of characters that you can’t really understand if they are there to help Kaneki or want to just eat him. As we learn more information on how ghouls survive in the society, fights against ghoul hunters and ghouls from other Tokyo Wards come into play. The story is not mind blowing but it’s engaging enough to make you want to see more. Most of the characters are quite interesting and the level of violence really makes you cringe in a lot of scenes.
Art & Music
The music and the voice acting in this anime is really good, having top seiyuus like Mamoru Miyano (Light from Death Note), Takahiro Sakurai (Cloud Strife from Final Fantasy) and Yuki Kaji (Eren from Attack on Titan) delivering amazing performances. The opening song, ‘Unravel’ by Tōru ‘TK’ Kitajima from the band Ling Tosite Sigure, is exceptionally good and makes you unable to skip the intro of the anime. Both animation and art are great, having a lot of the artwork from the original manga illustrated. The fighting scenes and the direction of the show are very well put, although there are a lot of vibrant colors used in the ‘Kagune’ of each character which sometimes can be a bit painful to the eyes.
Themes & Trivia
Yakumo Oomori: Also known as Jason in the show due to his brutality, he is inspired by the notorious Jason Voorhees from Friday the 13th series. The fact that he comes from the 13th ward also adds a reference to Friday the 13th.
Ishida Sui, the creator of Tokyo Ghoul has never shown his identity in public before and when a fan asked him how he looks like, he answered that he looks like Kazuo Yoshida from Tokyo Ghoul. Ishida, before becoming a manga artist, worked as a tattoo artist which is really shown in the quality of his artworks, since he is the one making most of the artwork for Tokyo Ghoul.
I really like Tokyo Ghoul and I think that for someone who has seen so much horror-themed anime, it doesn’t disappoint at all. On the contrary, during the whole season, you can see that it is building up for something badass. Gourmet and his use of the French language made me die from laughter. I just love it when his seiyuu, Mamoru, exaggerates his acting and adds French on top. It made me want to put him as my notification sound or something. The action is great and the use of violence makes everything look so intense. The last episode of this anime has stuck with me since I first watched it. I think the way that Kaneki ‘evolves’ is extraordinary, and compared to his usual sissy self, he becomes more likable because finally, he can do something without playing the ‘I am weak’ card. Also, I have to mention that the masks designed by Uta are very unique, detailed and sometimes hilarious. If you compare Kaneki’s mask and Toka’s bunny mask you would never think that they are made by the same person.
All we can do is live while losing things.
- Nice artwork
- Lovely character design
- Good fighting scenes
- Intense violence that compliments the gore element of the series
- The animation sometimes was a bit cranky
- Kaneki’s damn haircut
Tokyo Ghoul is a great anime that any horror fan will like. I believe that if you value good artwork and quality voice acting along with a decent, and quite dark, story, you would definitely enjoy Tokyo Ghoul. The last episode leaves you hanging as well, which makes you want to watch the second season Tokyo Ghoul √A so badly just to see what the badass version of Kaneki will do!