Throwback Thursday: Tokyo Ghoul Season 1

Tokyo Ghoul has arguably one of the best first episodes in anime. It does exactly what it needs to do. It engages the audience in a way where the three episode test isn’t needed. It introduces the world it lives in, the main character and his conflict within it, perfectly. If you were a manga reader, you’ll even find that the anime handled it better. BUT season two is a whole nother story. Let’s look at one the most popular anime series of 2014, Tokyo Ghoul.

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Tokyo Ghoul takes place in modern Tokyo but with a twist. It’s ridden by creatures called “ghouls.” The citizens live in fear of these ghouls since they live only by devouring human flesh. What makes ghouls so scary? In a city like Tokyo aren’t they noticeable/avoidable? WELL, in this series they have the ability to masquerade as humans. They’re constantly living as humans to blend in by day and devour humans on nightly patrols. Kaneki Ken, a college student who happens to make a terrible choice in women, finds himself being attacked by a ghoul. However, things don’t go according to plan. Somehow, Kaneki becomes half human and half ghoul.

So as usual, if you haven’t watched this anime yet, please do and come back once you’re done.

Some spoilers Ahead! You’ve been warned.

So usually I talk about the series’ aesthetics but this time around, I want to just dive into the story. Everything about this series appealed to me. As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, this anime begins strong. One episode and anyone should get into it. The only thing that would really stop someone would probably be the gore BUT you could watch it censored(like most of us did when it aired). The world building is perfectly paced with the perfect main protagonist perspective to present it to us. Kaneki is a plain student who’s very easy to relate with. You can’t help but really feel for him when he first begins the transition to becoming half a ghoul. The idea that the reason why all this happened was that he fell for a girl that he knew was just too perfect for him.

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My issue with this show lies more with the end of this season leading into Tokyo Ghoul Root A. I can honestly go on for days about this transition between the seasons but I’ll save you from that 5,000-word rant. This is mainly where the series faults. You can’t help but feel like you missed something when the story goes from 0 – 100 somewhere in the middle. It just felt like the series could’ve benefited more if they went for a two cour broadcast versus the annoyingly popular 12 episode cour of the time it aired. It goes from Touka attacking the doves to Jason smashing into Anteiku out of nowhere with no reason to validate this. It even feels that Kaneki becoming this white haired version was extremely under developed with the only real explanation being stress from the torture he suffered. Like What? So yeah, the plot has major faults that could’ve easily been addressed.

Spoiler Free! 

Tokyo Ghoul is animated by Studio Periot. Yeah, the studio that animates all the Shounen anime. Some examples:

I feel that Tokyo Ghoul is somewhat out of their scope for their usual series but it works! With their style and the source material, they present a quality anime. As much as the plot takes a dive, it’s still a well-made piece of work. The animation delivers when it needs to and never seems lazy. You’ll never have a moment where you’ll see characters with no faces and terrible animation on non-important characters *Cough*  *Cough* Yuri on ICE *Cough*  *Cough*.

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Now, let’s talk about its OP and OST. Well, the OP is fucking great! I’d even say the OST of Season 2 is also impressive if it wasn’t for how overused some of the songs were. You may not know this but one of the bands I enjoy listening to is Ling Tosite Sigure. Actually one of my favorite Japanese bands. I couldn’t tell you why I like them. I just do. They’ve always appeased my ear drums and left me satisfied. So because I’m such a fan of this band, I was over the moon when they announced that the lead singer, TK, was announced to sing this OP. BOY, was it greater than I expected. This song is the song that you’ll find at all weeaboo karaoke parties and youtube cover videos for years to come(and fail miserably).

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So as much as I could praise aspects of this anime, it still has many faults. If I’m going to leave you with anything or final thoughts, it’d be short and simple. READ THE MANGA. Seriously. The manga is 5 times better than the anime. It’s not an opinion. It’s a fact. Also, if you read, you’ll find yourself with plenty of content instead of waiting for the announcement of Tokyo Ghoul Season 3. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this article. As always hit that like button if you enjoyed it! Also, what are your thoughts about this series? Over hyped? Anime’s better? Let me know below!

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