Review: Tokyo Ghoul

So as not to make it awkward because I feel like it’s been so long this place has become an unfamiliar one, I might as well start with something recent and a little impersonal. Because I’ve also lost touch with myself the past few months. Right now, I don’t even know how to begin this review with a relevant introduction.

This is the me who isn’t able to write.

Oh well, I guess I finally got what I wanted. Apart from vacation you know. Well, kind of.

The very reason I turned to this anime was because I was craving for something dark and wild and intellectually challenging. I searched for SnK recommendations and I came across this one. Tokyo Ghoul.

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Instead of something akin to the apocalyptic feel that Shingeki no Kyoujin possesses, this anime feels more like Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight. That’s a totally weird comparison I know but really, pips from the 20th ward are meant to be cannibals but they do not want to harm humanity like the way the Cullens’ family feel about their identity as vampires. There’s a certain hunger that the protagonist has to satiate at the beginning but cannot fulfill because hello forbidden fruit. Hide’s his friend. Kaneki wants to stay as human as possible. Like the Cullens. So he tries to find the alternative food.

The only better thing is that this anime gives the characters no options. They have to eat humans one way or another. Peace is out of the question.

Story-wise, there really isn’t any. I don’t get where the anime is headed. At all. I might’ve overlooked but (if there is) it isn’t so explicitly pronounced. Kaneki is half-ghoul, half-human. So what? Apart from the fact that he’s standing on two boats so haphazardly and his friends are being killed one-by-one…what else is there?

The length gave the anime quite a damage.

My sister told me that the point perhaps was to overcome Kaneki’s identity dilemma. That is, to regain his humanness. If that were the case, then his character fails big time with reference to the last episode. At the end of the day, when a human is put under immense pressure and torture, even the kindest kind can sell his soul to the monster within him and learn to hurt other people.

Since I am also going for action, I’m kind of disappointed that there isn’t much focus on individual fights during the 11th ward war. I mean, it’s the main stage! It’s where humans and ghouls are to finally confront each other. It’s when humans are no longer foods but fighting soldiers. It’s when ghouls are not animals but beings struggling for their right to exist. Quite sad though because, as I’ve pointed out, there’s no way they can mutually live. The desire of ghouls then turns to dominance hence, resulting to said war.

We’ve only seen the final battle where Kaneki accepts Rize and turns against Jason. It’s awesome if you ask me but not quite since the rest of the battles are cut short. Just like that.

Definitely a problem of episode number. Which tells me that season two is very understandable.

The anime didn’t do all characters enough justice. A lot of characters are introduced who aren’t much of a character. I thought they’ll be a little bit more useful but nah. Rize, Touka and Kaneki are the only ones that made impact. I am even surprised that Hide isn’t brought up at all by the later parts of the episode given that he’s the last string that’s holding Kaneki’s humanity. Even Mado’s wife (daughter?) intrigued me when she visited his grave. She isn’t given a follow up episode. Hinami, on the other hand, who isn’t really that much is given a whole episode on her own. And wow, didn’t even know Arima is an important character in the manga!

The anime has a lot of flaws in general but I am watching out for season two because I feel the potential. It makes you think about a lot of obvious things. I particularly love Rize’s conversation with Kaneki. No one’s born evil but no one’s to remain saint either. The paradox of wanting to save two things and having to sacrifice at least one and ending up losing both.

And don’t you just love the part where Kaneki devoured Rize?

It was a nice symbolism. Kaneki -originally human- is now eating a ghoul.

Just goes to show how fearful humans are. That one review I’ve read is right. It’s ironic that ghouls are being hunted instead of hunting.

All in all, I’m saying that I got what I wanted but only with a ‘kind of’. Tokyo Ghoul is dark and wild and it makes me think how fucked up human beings are but I kind of wanted more. I think the animators could’ve maximized the number of episodes to a better use.

8 out of 10 maybe.

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