Tokyo Ghoul Episode 1 – First Impressions

With the start of the Summer 2014 anime season, I decided to do a quick first impressions post on Tokyo Ghoul episode 1. Since this is one of the series I’ve been anticipating the most, I’ll likely be doing weekly write ups for the show.

Tokyo GHoul Episode 1 Review Rize

I was pretty impressed with the first episode. I thought that the mood was set well from the very beginning. We see that ghouls are a threat to humanity (and can be quite brutal). In addition, there are also other organizations or grouping within the ghoul population. While Rize was acting alone, the ghoul who tried to capture her was taking orders from a higher up.

Tokyo Ghoul Anime Ep 1 Synopsis Touka Red Eyes

There’s also some hierarchy mutually agreed upon within the ghoul society. We haven’t seen too much yet, but Touka is working “Anteiku” who appear to be helping the ghouls who have difficulty hunting on their own. Rize and Nishiki were looking out for their own interests, but not all ghouls are as selfish as they are. When Kaneki stumbled upon Kazuo, he was willing to share the corpse with him despite enduring the cravings for a while. This action leads me to believe that there are ghouls out there who still identify with being human, and unwillingly devour flesh for the sake of survival.

Tokyo Ghoul Ep 1 First Impressions Kaneki Knife Scene

Tokyo Ghoul manages to capture and convey emotions brilliantly. Through animation, facial expressions, music and tone, Kaneki’s desperation to live, his fear and confusion made a lasting impression on me. When he returns home, he’s so desperate to prove that he’s normal. He begins forcing himself to ingest normal food so he can tell himself that nothing is wrong. While he was out in the crowds, you could feel how distorted everything felt for him. His urges were rising and he was losing his sanity. In the last scene, he’s trying his hardest to fight his hunger for flesh. He knows that if he crosses the line by eating flesh, he loses the “right” to identify being a human. He knows that something is wrong with him but he’s still in denial as everything has happened so quickly and it’s all a blur to him.

Touka Kirishima Tokyo Kushi First Impressions

This episode definitely caught my attention and has me interested in learning more. Events progressed pretty quickly and opened up a ton of questions regarding the world. We don’t know the origin of these ghouls or how they’re supposed to be subdued since they seem to have super human capabilities. Kaneki was abruptly thrown into a completely different world and we have to follow his journey as he learns what the world is like for a ghoul.

Summary Tokyo Ghoul Episode 1 Rize Reading

My only complaints about this episode are that it seemed a bit rushed, condensing quite a few events into a single episode, the censorship and the lack of information regarding the characters. The episode jumped from Kaneki about to go on his first date, to him being nearly killed, given the organs of a ghoul, and then him joining up with other ghouls. I can see how the series of events happening so quickly is related to how Kaneki likely perceived everything. From a viewer perspective though, it was a bit hard to follow but I appreciated it a lot more after rewatching the episode.

Kaneki Ken Hideyoshi Tokyo Ghoul Ep 1

My other issue was the lack of information on the characters. I don’t think they mentioned their ages, or much regarding Kaneki’s upbringing. It’s understandable since it’s only the first episode and they wanted to make sure they incorporated key events, but after glancing at the first few chapters, they did cut out on some scenes that showed Kaneki’s personality more. Overall though, a solid start to the series. I’m interested in hearing what other people thought of the first episode, so don’t be shy to share your thoughts!

Tokyo Ghoul episode 1 is available on Funimation (available to free users a week after airing)



I'm a marketing student who got back into anime in 2012. I decided to start blogging as a way to improve my writing as well as my ability to express myself. I generally write whatever comes to mind as I'm watching anime!

5 thoughts on “Tokyo Ghoul Episode 1 – First Impressions

  1. I thought they did an excellent job with the show for a manga adaption. Since I know I was a little wary into this, worried for the adaption but it went really well.

    1. I shared the same hesitation at first (after seeing Black Bullet and Brynhildr’s rushed adaptations). It strayed a bit from the source (which can be quite controversial), but I thought it was handled well as well!

  2. I was a little disappointed with this episode, but as a manga reader I suppose its to be expected.I found the first episode to be really rushed, pushing 5 chapters into one episode, adding that anime original scene to the beginning,and changing things like cutting scenes out but I guess it would hook people better than the slower start of the manga that fleshed things out a bit more.Hopefully the rest of the episodes will be better.

    1. Yeah, I can see how it could have been a bit disappointing for manga readers. I checked it out after watching the first episode and really liked how they shed more light on Kaneki’s personality with his monologues and the significance/symbolism of the books referenced in the manga. Kaneki’s realization that something was off had more build up as well as opposed to the anime where it seemed obvious right off the bat.

      I’m hoping they slow things down as well (2-courpls) since I’ve heard it’s really a great series and it’d be a shame to see a butchered adaptation.

  3. This series has caught my interest a lot too. For me I thought the fast amount of information that we got with episode was still watchable and didn’t hamper my enjoyment of the first episode.

    It was indeed a very impressive premiere. Thanks for sharing your impressions.

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