In modern day Tokyo, ghouls sit at the top of the food chain. Ghouls look completely normal and can easily blend into human society. The only difference is that they require human flesh to survive.
Ghouls are all over the place and they could be anyone. 18-year-old college student Ken Kaneki frequents bookstores and coffee shops. He leads a relatively normal life until he becomes interested in Rize. Much to Ken’s surprise, Rize is interested in him as well, just not in the way he would have liked. Rize was a Ghoul and eventually attacks him. After a lifesaving operation, Ken becomes the world’s first human/ghoul hybrid and finds himself in the middle of both worlds. Ken’s journey in an uncertain and dangerous world starts here.
The volume has quality writing and introduced plenty of interesting characters. Ken is innocent and naive, which is most likely what landed him in the situation he is in. Ken’s best friend Hide is a loudmouth but appears to mean well and is highly perceptive of anything involving Ken. It is exciting to see how things will play out between them as Ken continues his transformation. He has to eventually deal with what he is becoming. I can’t help but wonder how long he can hide his new condition from his best friend. This aspect brings a bit more drama to the story.
Ken doesn’t strike me as the strong and fighting type. It’s not that he’s weak; he just seems to lack the skills needed to accurately deduce the situations around him and that is what lands him in trouble. On the contrary, Ken and Hide are caught in a fight with a ghoul and Ken adequately defends himself and protects Hide while he is unconscious. During the fight, Ken had a flashback and recalled his first meeting with Hide and how they became friends. I enjoyed this part because it came at a crucial time and gave the readers a much stronger connection to Hide.
The other characters that were introduced also play a key role in Ken’s new environment. Ken is slowly realizing that ghouls were always a lot closer than he once thought. This aspect blurs the line even further and shows just how close humans and ghouls truly are. It is shocking to see that the ghouls blend into society so easily. Ghouls didn’t look or act the way that I had imagined they would.
I would have thought that ghouls are like zombies but they are exactly like people except for a few anatomical differences and the need to feed on human flesh. This dynamic alone will present some interesting events in future volumes I’m sure. Just in this volume alone, Ken has met several ghouls who are there to both help and hinder him. Ghouls are terrifying creatures and they are captured perfectly in the art. The attention to detail is spot on. Not a single page was wasted in this wonderful entry to the series.
My first impression of this series is highly positive. The writing is thrilling, to say the least. I could not put the book down. I constantly wanted to know what was coming next. The art is dark and grotesque and the scenes of the feeding ghouls will send shivers down your spine, especially if you have a bit of a weak stomach. These events are captured in sharp yet subtle art. Each panel has exactly what the scene requires and delivers perfectly. Probably not a series for younger readers but an excellent read if you do happen to pick it up.
If flesh-eating monsters and action are what you are looking for, look no further. Tokyo Ghoul Vol.1 was a perfect read.
Manga ‘Tokyo Ghoul’
Image courtesy of VIZ Media. TOKYO GHOUL © 2011 by Sui Ishida/SHUEISHA Inc.
VIZ Media, LLC.
TOKYO GHOUL © 2011 by Sui Ishida/SHUEISHA Inc.