What’s it about?
Tokyo Ghoul is a dark fantasy manga written & illustrated by Sui Ishida, and is about an alternate reality where ghouls secretly live among humans, surviving by feeding on human flesh and evading the authorities. Ghouls appear human but have enhanced strength, endurance and senses; as well as these traits ghouls carry a ‘kakugan’ where the eyes iris turns red and the sclera black and finally they’re equipped with a predatory organ known as a ‘kagune’.
The story follows college student, Ken Kaneki, who through a series of unfortunate events ends up becoming a half human/half ghoul hybrid. This tragedy follows Kaneki as he struggles to adjust to his new life in the ghoul society.
One of the most prominent themes throughout the story include identity crisis, which refers to Kaneki’s adjustment from being human to becoming a ghoul which leads to the core struggle comparable to racism. Through Kaneki’s journey we see a world that focuses on the difference between humans and ghouls, and the humans lack of willingness to understand and treat ghouls as individuals – humans deny ghouls human rights and treat them as animals, even if they have shown to have morals and the capacity to live side by side with humans despite their need to feed on them. An example of this is perfectly demonstrated early in the manga when the CCG (Commission of Counter Ghoul) murder a family of ghouls, showing no mercy even when attempting to dispatch a ghoul child.
Mrs Ryoko protecting her daughter, Hinami, from the CCG Ghoul Investigators
Manga and Anime
At the time of writing this seven volumes of the manga have been translated into English and released through Viz Media’s Signature run, while the anime has seen the release of season one and two.
In Japan, Tokyo Ghoul was published between 2011 and 2014 with its popularity leading to a prequel manga that ran for seven chapters and three light novels. The story is also continuing in the ongoing sequel set two years after the conclusion of the original series, titled, Tokyo Ghoul:re
The first season of the anime is a reasonably faithful adaptation of the first seven volumes of the manga, albeit it does remove many subplots and character development but all the same is incredibly enjoyable and a great introduction for newcomers.
The second season on the other hand is an entirely different beast. Titled, Tokyo Ghoul √A (root A) and unlike the first season, it doesn’t follow the manga and is considered to be an alternate story exclusively for the anime. Fandom for the second season is divided with some fans enjoying the more action oriented turn, while others dismissing it as style over substance for drifting from the original source material.
Should you check it out?
In short, definitely!
Both the anime and manga differ slightly, both offer a great story with a well-developed cast of characters and some great action scenes. I recommend checking out the first season of the anime to get a feel of Tokyo Ghoul, then take it from there.
Tokyo Ghoul is growing in popularity and it’s definitely earned it, as well as the anime and manga it’s also spawned a wide array of merchandise and recently received the announcement of a live-action film, scheduled for release in summer 2017.
…That was this week’s Covert Coot article!!! Check back tomorrow for a brand new BearSleuth Spoiler Free Comic Book Bundle!!!