Publisher: Viz Media
Publication Date: December 20, 2016
Since the first volume, we’ve been left to wonder what happened to Rize and Kaneki during their fateful encounter. We do know for sure that a doctor transplanted some of Rize’s organs into Kaneki’s body, making him a one-eyed Ghoul. We watched him struggle with eating human flesh and adapting to his new life as a half-human, half-Ghoul. Throughout his transformation into a self-sufficient Ghoul, the story has always brought us back to questions about Rize and the doctor who operated on Kaneki. After volumes of slow progress, it finally feels like Kaneki made a huge leap in finding the knowledge he has been searching for since the beginning. In fact, he gets more than he bargained for when he begins to realize the old man at Anteku might know more about Kaneki’s transplant than we were led to believe.
This volume is fast paced, but not in an off-putting way. We’re familiar with most of the characters and we get to meet some new characters that help build upon the story. Kaneki discovers he isn’t the only one-eyed Ghoul. He meets two more who are identical twins with a tragic history. They’re also psychologically trapped – it’s obvious these twins are being held captive but their own mental condition prevents them from moving forward and escaping. They could free themselves and join sides with Kaneki, but at this time that seems unlikely.
At this point, it’s obvious the climax is coming and we’ll soon get the answers Kaneki has been looking for since page one. The twins became Ghouls in the same fashion he did; only he was given no choice in the matter and was thrust back into society. How Sui Ishida will unwrap the big reveal has yet to be seen but I bet the twins, their doctor, and the old man from the cafe all tie together into a nice knot. Knowing that Kaneki is so much closer to finding out why he was given Rize’s organs felt like a huge weight off of my own shoulders as a reader.
This volume really builds the anticipation for what we’ve been waiting for all this time. You’d think reading this series would be tiring, with98 volumes filled with the frustrations of both the humans and Ghouls. Indeed, there are definitely some stressful moments as we watch Ghouls we like become callous or punished for being on the wrong side of the war with humans. Despite this, it feels like we’re exactly where Ishida wants us. While reading the manga, I’m not even remotely interested in watching the anime. That isn’t to say the anime is bad, it’s actually great; however, I can’t bring that on the subway with me to work. I enjoy reading a series that makes me think about the complexities of groups of people living together who are ignorant of lives of the population they call neighbors. While Sui Ishida is using Ghouls and humans to convey a message, the internal battle Kaneki faces can be applied to anyone facing an identity crisis. The persecution of Ghouls who are trying to live side by side with humans is worthy of comparing to people who live as second-class citizens. My only gripe with this series is that I can’t get enough. I like a mangaka that makes me think and apply what I’m reading to the real world.
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**This item was provided for review.