Tokyo Ghoul (東京喰種) is a Japanese anime series by Studio Pierrot based on the manga of the same name by Sui Ishida.
The first season premiered in Japan on Tokyo MX from July 4, 2014, to September 19, 2014. The second season, titled Tokyo Ghoul √A, aired from January 8, 2015, to March 27, 2015. An English dub of both seasons produced and published by Funimation aired consecutively on Adult Swim's Toonami block from March 25, 2017, to September 30, 2017. The third season, Tokyo Ghoul:Re, aired from April 3, 2018, to June 19, 2018. The fourth and final season, Tokyo Ghoul:Re 2nd Season, aired from October 9, 2018, to December 25, 2018.
Tokyo Ghoul follows Ken Kaneki, a college student who barely survives a deadly encounter with Rize Kamishiro, his date who reveals herself as a ghoul. He is taken to the hospital in critical condition. After recovering, Kaneki discovers that he underwent surgery that transformed him into a half-ghoul. This was accomplished because some of Rize's organs were transferred into his body, and now, like normal ghouls, he must consume human flesh to survive. The dead-eating ghouls who manage the coffee shop "Anteiku" (named after a mispronunciation of "antique") take him in and teach him to deal with his new life as a half-ghoul. Some of his daily struggles include fitting into the ghoul society, as well as keeping his identity hidden from his human companions.
Why It Rocks
- Studio Pierrot seemed to learn from their awful animation mistakes from Naruto and Bleach and this anime shows a lot of improvement, given its appealing art style reminiscent of other horror anime like Death Note, Parasyte, and Attack on Titan.
- The music is wonderful and each music cue reflects the mood of the scene very well. If you wanna listen to it for yourself, feel free to buy the soundtrack on CD or iTunes. In fact, three of the Japanese DVD/Blu-ray volumes come with mini soundtrack CDs as limited edition bonuses.
- On the topic of the music, the openings and endings are breathtaking, with the first, unravel, being a popular meme among fans.
- The voice acting is an auditory treat in all languages (Japanese, English, French, German, Italian).
- On the DVD and Blu-ray releases, the animation is improved, the special effects are more visually appealing and most censorship is removed, making this edition more sought out after among Tokyo Ghoul fans.
- many memorable characters are written very well:
- Ken Kaneki was once a normal college student that made his life worse after his first disastrous date with Rize, had to cope with using her ghoul powers, got kidnapped, tortured, had to suffer mentally, went to a downward spiral as he goes mad, and slowly loses everything.
- Touka Kirishima used to be a happy child, but losing her mother and father, being hunted down by ghoul investigators, caused her to change.
- Nishiki Nishio acts like a jerk to Kaneki and Hide, but after learning his backstory, revealed to be similar to Kaneki's, viewers begin to sympathize with him.
- The tragedy element of Kaneki's life is turned upside down and losing everything he ever cared about, from his appetite to his humanity, is still present in the anime.
- The two spin-off specials, Tokyo Ghoul: JACK and Tokyo Ghoul: PINTO, as well as the live-action film are also very good, especially if you loved the manga.
- The immense popularity of the anime led to a boost in manga sales, and as expected, brought a wider mass appeal. This is one show non-anime fans will most definitely remember, alongside Attack on Titan.
- The fight scene between Kaneki and Jason was awesome.
- While the anime is good, it's infamous for not being a very good adaptation of the manga, and rushing the story quite a bit towards the end.
- Both Season 2 and Season 4 aren't great.
- Due to the negative reception of its later seasons, it paints the first season to age more poorly as time goes on.
- The fights in the first season are good, but as the show goes on, the fights suck now.
- The series inspired some rip-offs like the manhwa, the Devil's Boy.
- This anime is one of 38 banned in China due to its content. In fact, there was a trend based on this anime where one character is covered in stitch marks from human skin and many Chinese fans were taking part in this to the point that it led to a moral panic and China has banned it since.
- The theme song, Unravel had later become an internet meme.