Director: Yutaka Yamada
Creator: Sui Ishida
U. S. Distributor: Funimation Entertainment
U. S. Release Date: Sept. 22nd, 2015
Format: Blu-ray & DVD / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes
Genre: Supernatural, Thriller, Dark Fantasy
Age Rating: TV 17+ (violence)
Overall Personal Rating: B
In modern day Tokyo, society lives in fear of Ghouls: mysterious creatures who look exactly like humans, yet hunger insatiably for their flesh. None of this matters to Ken Kaneki, a bookish and ordinary young man, until a dark and violent encounter turns him into the first ever Ghoul-human half breed. Trapped between two worlds, Ken must survive the violent conflicts of warring Ghoul factions, while attempting to learn more about Ghoul society, his new found powers, and the fine line between man and monster.
Tokyo Ghoul has already taken on a hype that hasn’t been seen since Deadman Wonderland first made its way to our shores. I use Deadman Wonderland as the prime example because the story feels a lot like it. It just has enough story line changes that very few people will see the similarity. There is also the over used young whinny male lead that we have seen over and over since Evangelion first aired. Ken is a nice young man given a terrible gift to remain alive and now must whine about not wanting to kill for the next 11 episodes and honestly I for one am getting very tired of this charter being forced upon us over and over again.
Tokyo Ghoul is much better than Deadman Wonderland and no where as confusing as Evangelion, but that doesn’t help it get over the punk factor. I get where they are coming from by making the humans nothing more than cattle to the ghouls. That concept is nothing new or different. The main draw to the series is most likely the graphic amount to blood that splatters the world they live in. The only reason they create the moral conundrum is to give the series a point.
My great hope for Tokyo Ghoul is that it makes it past the overwhelming anime history that it has decided to emulate. I am looking forward to the second season because the end of the first season gave me a peek at something that could in fact take the series to the next level. I just hope Ken looses that Kenji whinny persona because it makes me want to turn off the blu-ray player and never watch it again.
The production values are that standard fare from studio Pierrot and the writing manages to give us enough solid footing to keep the viewer moving to the next episode. The one thing that is for sure is that the U. S. audience is clearly a sucker for a bloody series that just might go absolutely nowhere. Maybe there will be a surprised or maybe just maybe it will fall apart and prove to be another series that never made it Japan and was sold to the U. S. Viewer as something really special.