Created By: Sui Ishida
Directed By: Shuhei Morita (S1-2), Toshinori Watanabe (S3), Sóichi Shimada (Jack), Tadahito Matsubayashi (PINTO)
Audio: Japanese, English
Format: DVD, Blu-Ray, Collector’s Edition, Netflix
Licensed By: Anime Limited
Ken Kaneki becomes the latest victim of a savage Ghoul attack, his assailant is none other than the girl he was on a date with. Following a deadly accident on a building site, Kaneki is rushed into surgery where the only hope of saving his life is to replace his failing organs with that of the Ghoul who was about to kill him. Thus Kaneki’s life begins to change forever, as his body and appetite dramatically evolve into that of a ghoul. He later develops a reputation as the ‘One Eyed Ghoul’, as he battles not only against a society that hunts his kind, but also his own mental demons. With little to no ties left in the ‘human’ world, Kaneki trains and fights to defend his new ghoul allies. The franchise is a continuous journey of Kaneki’s life over the course of just a number of years, as his view on the World shifts a number of times. We follow his footsteps as he not only takes on an unjust society filled with hatred for the Ghouls, the CCG that hunt them, the underground societies that support ghoul attacks but also the individual ghouls who let their hunger overtake their sanity.
Within Season One of Tokyo Ghoul, we meet what was once a shy college student on the day of his first date. Our poor Kaneki was soon almost left for dead and upon Doctors saving his life, they practically ended any hope of him living as a simple human being ever again. Following his organ transplants, Kaneki is ‘reborn’ into a Ghoul. He quickly realises the situation he is now in and uses his will power to the best of his ability to put up with his hunger. As the story begins to come full circle, Kaneki is introduced to the manager of Anteiku – an undercover Ghoul café that also monitors and helps the local ghouls in the area. There are many hardships in this first season, as we see many beloved characters meet their end. As well as watching Kaneki being both mentally and physically abused, all of which drastically changed him once again.
Season Two – Tokyo Ghoul √A follows Kaneki as he leaves Anteiku behind and goes down a different path in order to get stronger. Without ruining the plot of this season, Kaneki’s journey does not get any easier. We do learn more about the other Ghoul factions, more information on the ‘One Eyed Owl’, developments in the CCG and their plans to wipe out all Ghouls one by one. This season was full of action, but the final scenes in that episode were dragged out far too much in my opinion. Also prepare to follow the numerous bad dye jobs Kanekis’ hair goes through in such a short amount of time.
Moving on, we have Season Three called Tokyo Ghoul:re. Now this season takes place two years after the final moments of the previous season. The CCG have developed a new section named the Quinx Squad. Formed of a group of highly trained investigators that have been made into one eyed ghouls, established to better attack and defeat ghouls on the field. This particular group is led by a very familiar face now known as Haise Sasaki. This season explores this mans’ identity, past and his decision to change the World around him. More details and secrets are exposed from the inner workings of the CCG. We see the return of many familiar faces, old factions reforming and causing havoc, the ‘Gourmet’ ghoul searching for his beloved Kaneki and the face of Tokyo undergoing a new facelift. An overall satisfying ending to the anime series and still a show I would love to check out the manga it is based on.
The two OVA are JACK and PINTO. Both of which are prequel stories to the series, but can perhaps be better enjoyed once you have watched all three seasons. It is only these two episodes that can only be watched in sub, as there was no English Dub released for these. Anime Limited certainly explained these two plots better than I could:
In “Jack”, see the early days of Kisho Arima’s life as both a high school student and one of the youngest CCG investigators. See him team up with a high school delinquent by the name of Taishi Fura to hunt down a brutal ghoul known as Lantern.
Meanwhile in “Pinto” discover more about fan favourite Shu Tsukiyama, aka the Gourmet, as he meets Chie Hori for the first-time. Find out how the avid photographer captures Tsukiyama on camera for the first time and how their friendship begins to blossom from there.
So let’s dive into the origins of Tokyo Ghoul. This supernatural thriller manga was created by Sui Ishida and was published in Weekly Young Jump back in 2011. Within its first three years it had already released 14 volumes and concluded the initial part of the manga series. It then began a new chapter under the name Tokyo Ghoul: re just a month after ending the original title. That series carried on for another 4 years and ended with a grand 16 volumes. All of which is available in print and digital from Viz Media over here in the West, and can of course be read in its entirety on the Viz Media app. Which is well worth that €1.99 monthly subscription fee.
The franchise has also had a number of light novel adaptations, the three very successful anime seasons and OVAs, as well as two live action adaptation films and five video games. All of the anime was developed by Japanese animation studio: Pierrot. A long established company that is now four decades in the business. They have animated many memorable and classic franchises including Naruto, Bleach, Black Clover and The Mysterious Cities of Gold.
Tokyo Ghoul certainly has it’s darker elements to the show, including murder, mutilation, cannabilism and physcal torture. Its not for the faint hearted or the very young for obvious reasons. But is certainly a show well worth watching for those that can stomach it. You can watch it in all its glory by buying the physical editions from Anime Limited. Follow the link here to buy yours now – (https://www.alltheanime.com/search?q=tokyo+ghoul)
If you instead like your anime incredibly censored, then it is available to watch in full now over on Netflix.