It’s no secret that Sui Ishida has a smash hit on his hands with Tokyo Ghoul. Everyone from Ken Kan-edgy, to our fruity little nutbag Furuta brought this dark and gritty supernatural series into the spotlight in a big way. Ishida does have some major faults with this series though, such as having a MASSIVE and I do mean MASSIVE cast of characters, the inability to focus on a single fight, and picking Studio Pierrot to do his adaptation!
There’s no question of whether or not I enjoyed the anime adaptation. I’ll flat out say it here and now. This was one of the most piss-poor adaptations I have seen. Period. Ever. Period. For most people, the review ends here but for those who want to continue… you may now proceed.
Rushed. That’s how I can describe this entire story section in one word. But for more context, I’ll also throw in the word Confusing as well. Rushed explains itself… they had to adapt 16 volumes of manga in 24 total episodes, leaving volumes 6-16 for the last 12.
Confusing stems from two factors… the first at which the pace of the anime adapted the material. This left even anime-only viewers baffled and confused as to what was going on at any given point. Add in the fact that anime-only viewers had it worse all thanks in part to Studio Pierrot throwing the script away with Tokyo Ghoul √A and going with an anime-only story.
Hey… remember when Hide died at the end of √A and Kaneki was carrying him down that snowy street to a beautiful piano acoustic of “Unravel”? Well, don’t worry because Hide is MAGICALLY ALIVE AGAIN with ZERO EXPLANATION in Tokyo Ghoul:re! Isn’t that just wonderful!? Yay Hide! What makes it even worse is that in the final episode, THEY SHOWED A FLASHBACK TO KANEKI CARRYING HIM AT THE END OF √A! Ugh… It’s okay.. he was probably just sleeping under that sheet.
So… as for the actual story… the part they don’t tell you about is that Arima beat the ever-living shit out of Kaneki and gave him amnesia. Arima convinced him that his name was Haise Sasaki and he was now a Dove at the CCG, in charge of the Quinx Squad… a squad of people who underwent RC Cell transplantation to become half-human, half-ghoul. Slowly, Haise regains his memories, discovers the truth behind the CCG and, once again, begins his mission to become the bridge between humans and ghouls. Meanwhile, the CCG continues their operations of exterminating ghouls until something happens that exposes the truth, making the ability for ghouls and humans to co-exist possible.
All in all, it’s not a bad story… if you read the manga. It’s funny because of the aforementioned faults in my opening statement, I would have had people watch the anime to make sense of what was happening in the manga due to Ishida’s erratic style; however, in this case, doing that isn’t going to help much… or at all. You would be in a worse situation watching the anime than just trying to figure out the manga by yourself.
I’m not going through the entire cast. Screw that! Here are the main important characters
Haise Sasaki / Ken Kaneki
I did like the dual personality of Ken and Haise. As Haise, Ken was a gentle soul who cared very deeply about his teammates, almost the point of mom status. Still, he was plagued by missing sections of his memories but despite that, he still showed up with a smile on his face every time. They even changed his voice pitch and way of speaking to reflect his new persona which was a nice touch. When he reverted back to Ken Kan-edgy, all of that changed.
He went back to his more badass self that was mixed with a little bit of his old emo tendencies. Thankfully, didn’t cry like a little baby like he did in the beginning of the original series. That got old pretty quick. Kaneki still was an interesting character despite the fact that Pierrot did their best to ruin this series so I will give it to them for portraying him as best as they could.
Saiko, Urie, Mutsuki, and Shirazou (aka Mellow 2.0 from Death Note) formed the Quinx Squad alongside Haise Sasaki as their mentor. Saiko is just an introverted gamer who just wants to spend time in her room gaming all day. She has power and strength but feels it’s a hassle to use it.
Urie wants to be recognized for his efforts so he can get promoted and doesn’t really care about the Quinx squad. He undergoes a procedure to increase his RC Cell power and almost fully converts into a ghoul numerous times because of it. That just goes to show how badly he wants to put himself above all others. He does mellow out in the end, though, but it takes a while for him to get there.
Mutuski is a boy that’s actually a girl that is in love with Haise but cannot confess her true feelings. Although she feels betrayed once Haise becomes Kaneki again, she still can’t let go of those feelings. She almost goes rogue towards the end of the series but a few bitch slaps later and she’s back to being herself again. Not really much substance to this character in both the anime or the manga.
Finally, Shirazou is your typical loud-mouthed hothead who isn’t very bright at all. After Urie disgraced himself, he becomes the squad leader… until he’s killed by Noro during an operation. Oops… spoilers. Oh well, don’t care with this series. I found him to be more annoying than anything and wasn’t really sad that he died. Wow, I’m cold, aren’t I?
Hey, look! He has black hair now with zero explanation!
Juuzou gets some nice backstory during the series. We get to see his past during the auction raid and then he just becomes a bit character afterword. He’s primed to take Arima’s spot in V due to his high skill level but we really don’t see him much outside of a few key battles. Due to shifting around so much, we only get to see flashes of his character and for a character that was highly interesting in the first series, he really didn’t stand out all that much in Re.
A lot of characters returned from Touka, Ayato, Akira Mado, our favorite Gourmet voiced by the God of anime himself, were among those that returned. With a cast this large, let’s just say that everything was a hot mess. Even characters like Eto, didn’t get the spotlight they deserved and it’s truly a shame.
Art, Animation, and Sound
The kagune looked pretty. That’s all I can pretty much say about the art and animation in this series. There were some flashes of brilliance here and there but for the most part, the animation was shoddy and uninspiring. A lot of the big fights had really bad movement and action and some of the scenes were just your typical still frame with action lines and a camera shake. It felt like Pierrot saved the budget for this show until the final episodes with Kaneki going all Dragon on us and then again with the Kaneki / Furuta fight. Outside of that, nothing really stood out in a way where it looked good. Sure, the backgrounds are nice but that’s every anime in this day and age.
At least all the characters looked like themselves. That’s a plus right?
As for the soundtrack? Copy Tokyo Ghoul √A, Paste into Tokyo Ghoul:re, call it a day. That’s exactly what happened here. Opening and endings were terrible except for “Katharsis.” TK from Ling Tosite Sigure returned to save the day with a brand-new song and while the TV Size version is meh, the full version is just a thing of pure beauty. I really would like to know what brand of portable vice he sticks his balls in to hit those high notes, though. Jesus, that guy’s range is insane.
Don’t waste your time on this adaptation. Just read the manga. While you read it… hope and pray that Tokyo Ghoul is as popular as Fullmetal Alchemist so it can get re-adapted in a proper manner. For as good as the manga is, it deserves FAR better treatment than what Studio Pierrot gave it. Although, I’m afraid a re-adaptation isn’t going to happen but one can dream, right?
Usually, this section is longer but I’d just be repeating every little gripe from above. I’ll just do the typical TL;DR here: poor adaptation, rushed adaptation, anime-only story back into manga story, re-used OST, shoddy animation, and a confusing plotline that shouldn’t have been confusing if adapted properly all adds up to an anime you should avoid like the plague.
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How many brain cells is too much to dedicate to this show?
A Waste of Time
Poor adaptation, rushed adaptation, anime-only story back into manga story, re-used OST, shoddy animation, and a confusing plotline that shouldn’t have been confusing if adapted properly all adds up to an anime you should avoid like the plague.
- Katharsis was cool
- Rushed story
- Confusing story
- Can’t stick to one aspect of a major fight until its conclusion
- Re-used soundtrack from previous series
- Shoddy animation