Following on from Himouto: Umaru-chan I jumped into the much heavier series Tokyo Ghoul. Ever since Tokyo Ghoul aired in 2014 I had always been interested in it. I couldn’t say no when I saw that AnimeLab was streaming it! Even though I had heard a few things about it here and there I went in almost completely blind.
If you are yet to see Tokyo Ghoul I would like to inform you that there will be spoilers throughout my review.
Tokyo Ghoul ended up being an emotional watch. I am always drawn to anime that has no clear right or wrong side. Life often isn’t black or white and seems to be one big grey area so I find it refreshing when that’s reflected in anime. Too often you have the default attractive hero who manages to save the day against the same evil people again and again. Tokyo Ghoul broke away from that trope and I really appreciated that.
The story focuses on Kaneki, an ordinary college student; polite, well-read and interested in women. He frequented a coffee shop named ‘Anteiku’ which allowed him to see his crush Rize. Through quite a series of unfortunate events they ended up on a date where Rize admits that she is a ghoul. Kaneki barely survives the attack whereas Rize isn’t so lucky. He is left in a critical condition and the surgeon has no choice but to use some of Rize’s organs to transplant into Kaneki. This decision heavily impacts Kaneki as the ghoul DNA mixed with his own turns him into a half-ghoul, half-human hybrid. Something he had always hated. The enemy.
As I touched on previously one of the aspects that I most enjoyed about Tokyo Ghoul was the fact that the two sides weren’t strictly good or evil. When I first started watching it I was immediately on the humans side and thought ghouls were disgusting. However that soon changed once light was shed on the ghouls. They were just (for the most part) born as ghouls and couldn’t do anything about it. They just wanted to live and were brutally hunted and murdered. That really resonated with me.
I liked how the characters were fleshed out with back stories. Everyone from human to ghoul just seemed so tragic. Everyone had experienced loss from the other side which made them angry and spiteful. Certain characters stories went above and beyond. I was fascinated by the relationship between Nishiki and his human girlfriend. The relationship between Touka and her brother and the fact that no matter what happened Kaneki’s friend Hideyoshi was always there trying to understand and support him in any way that he could.
I think the idea that ghouls were just like people and just wanted to co-exist together was the best part of the series for me. At the end of the series I wondered if that would even be possible due to the fact that there’s so much hatred on either side but who knows!
I don’t know if it was just me but I really struggled to understand Rize in the series. Admittedly I haven’t read the manga or continued on to Tokyo Ghoul:re series. It’s even possible I missed little bits from the series here and there so I just didn’t put two and two together. However I am left with so many unanswered questions!
Who killed Rize? Why? Where did she even come from? Why were so many people after her? I tried to Google these and I found a few facts about her that are revealed but nothing that really answers my questions. To me it just felt like things were happening but never explained. That bothered me as I need answers.
Overall I definitely believe that Tokyo Ghoul is an amazing anime that deserves a watch. Serious anime is always my favourite and I wasn’t disappointed with Tokyo Ghoul at all. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who wants something more intense.