Tokyo Ghoul: Season One

| October 27, 2015

I can honestly admit that I was scared when watching the very first few episodes of Tokyo Ghoul. Not because it was actually scary, but the fact that it seemed to have been plagued by being a derivative work of horror/action storytelling and was failing to live up to the hype that anime fandom was giving it. Well, after completing the first season in its entirety, I can honestly say that Tokyo Ghoul is a fantastic show, full of gothic beauty and superb action. Set in modern day Tokyo, the world is full of normal people and ghouls, monsters that maintain the appearance of a normal human, but have supernatural powers and must feed themselves off of human flesh.

Ken Kaneki is a normal high school boy, who’s awkward around girls and hangs out with his best friends, but things change for the worst after he goes out on his first date. The girl, who happens to be Rize, one of the strongest ghouls in the area and tries to feast on Kaneki. In the midst of her attack, a part of a building collapses on both of Ken and Rize. When they are taken to the hospital, Ken is dying and needs some organs and with Rize already being dead, the doctors place some of her organs in his body. When he wakes up, he slowly comes to the realization that his world has now changed for the worse and must live with being a ghoul for the rest of his life.

Again, after the first episode, while I was intrigued by aspects of it, Tokyo Ghoul felt like a common fish out of water tale. Our main character must now endure this new subculture has been a basic plot thread in anime and manga for years, but what quickly set Tokyo Ghoul apart from any other generic shows, was that it slowly began to flesh out details on various members of the cast, as well as elaborate on its world extremely well. With the sudden change of Kaneki being a Ghoul, he becomes our point person into how the rules of Tokyo Ghoul work. But when we’re seeing character goals within sub-characters and even villains halfway into the show, Tokyo Ghoul just becomes that much more engaging. Once the series gets into full swing and becomes action packed, the series almost feels like its Shiki meets Naruto, in the sense that Tokyo is divided, Ghouls run certain areas and now some of them are trying to destroy other in a power struggle for all of Tokyo. While that may turn some people off, it was definitely enough to pull me further into the series. Another fantastic element of Tokyo Ghoul is the progression of Kaneki himself into this new world of Ghouls, that he is forced to inhabit. While in the beginning, he’s trying to figure out how to balance his normal life and the life of a Ghoul. By the end of the season, Kaneki comes to terms to what he is and the change within his character is shown both visually, through a flower motif in the last episode and his actions in retaliating against opposing Ghouls.

While there are horror shows that manage to be scary and imbue themselves with tons of atmosphere, Tokyo Ghoul does this ever so slightly through its first season. It’s more concerned with its characters, the mythology and the overall world building, that make it resonate and fell much more stronger than other shows like it. It may start off very weak, but I can assure you that you can believe the hype, because Tokyo Ghoul is an amazing show and very much left me wanting more. Highly Recommended! 

About the Author:

is a graduate from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Audio for Visual Media. He works as a freelance location sound mixer, boom operator, sound designer, and writer in his native Chicago. He's an avid collector of films, comics, and anime.
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