Well, both the anime and manga have concluded for Tokyo Ghoul. Since this was a series that I really loved, I think it’s fitting to do a more indepth discussion post. I’ll go over episode 12 of the anime and then go over my thoughts on the adaptation/anime as a whole. I’ll post my thoughts on the manga series in a separate post once I’ve finished collecting my thoughts.
Tokyo Ghoul Episode 12
Well, I was a bit mistaken. I was positive that they would have skipped over the torture scene (given how last episode ended) but they actually adapted it pretty faithfully to the manga. Yamori’s torture scene was a huge moment for Ken’s character. I gotta give props to Hanae Natsuki, he did an amazing job voicing Ken throughout the series.
Kaneki is nothing more than Yamori’s play thing at this point. Having been tormented for so long, he begins hallucinating and seeing Rize once again. Rize’s become a part of him, but he pretty much pushed her aside. Now that he’s at his breaking point, she’s the only one he can “talk” to.
We learn more about Kaneki’s mom from his hallucinations as well. She was similar to Kaneki. She didn’t have the heart to hurt others, and therefore took on the pain herself. Rather than hurt anyone, she made herself suffer. In the end, she ended up hurting Kaneki by being weak willed. She lost her life and abandoned her child because she didn’t have it in her to turn her sister away.
Kaneki’s in a similar position now. He refused to rely on Rize’s powers because he was afraid of hurting people. He says he cares for his friends (Hideyoshi), but his indecisiveness ends up causing them pain. Kaneki finally realizes that he has to embrace change. The world isn’t just going to magically fix itself, he has to take control of his own life and bring change himself. He’s done being a sitting duck and finally embraces his inner ghoul.
Kaneki realizes how naive he was. The entire concept of Anteiku was flawed in this sort of world. The ghouls just sit back and try to co-exist alongside humans. In the end, they just get trampled on as they wait for their fate to arrive. In contrast, we have Aogiri and CCG who are proactive and trying to set their own destiny. Peaceful times have come to an end and everyone is forced to choose sides. Fight to survive, or wait as two massive forces destroy the world.
While part of me is frustrated that this is how the anime ends, there’s something special about it. It ends similar to how the series started off (end of the first episode). With the OP playing in the background, we have Touka shoving flesh down Kaneki’s throat. Now, we have the new Kaneki about to feast on his own terms. The series ends as it started. The weak are “eaten” by the strong (Kaneki vs Rize, Yamori vs Kaneki). The other special part about the ending is that it leaves you wanting more. There are still so many unresolved conflicts going on, yet we don’t know the outcome of them.
With all that said, I actually remain hopeful of a second season. (Second Season possibly leaked!) They’ve used this entire season to show Kaneki’s transformation, and his story is only just beginning. There’s definitely enough content left for a full second season. The only problem I see is how they’d handle adapting the rest of the series, given how they did change quite a bit from the original material. Regardless, there’s a special announcement for Tokyo Ghoul in the coming weeks, so one can only hope for more!
Tokyo Ghoul Episode 12 is available on Funimation (available to free users a week after airing)
Tokyo Ghoul Anime Review
I really enjoyed the animation, art, direction and soundtrack used for Tokyo Ghoul. It was amazing to see something I loved so much being brought to life through animation. The voice acting was spot on for all of the characters, and they had beautiful soundtracks to accompany the scenes to help deliver more of an emotional punch. On top of that, I found the story to be captivating as well. Even if it sounds a bit cliche (weak MC who’s given incredible power and dragged into a mess), I found myself wanting to know more about the story and the characters. They introduced all of these different organizations (CCG, Aogiri, High Class Ghouls, Anteiku) and we’ve only just scratched the surface of what their goals are.
On the downside though, I think that the series definitely felt rushed at times. They cut out a lot of small details, explanations, and compacted a lot of events into the 12 episodes. The censoring, I felt, was a bit overboard at times as well. Although this will likely be changed in the blu-ray release, it definitely did detract from my viewing experience. The series as a whole also felt incomplete, since they introduced a bunch of new characters who we barely know, but seem significant.
The main thing that comes to mind when I think about the anime, is that it’s main purpose is to advertise the manga. Being only 12 episodes, they chose to make it as flashy as possible, by rearranging material, condensing scenes, and cutting out information in favor of more action sequences. The manga dives deeper into the ghoul world, explaining every unique feature about them. I can see why they left out the majority of this information since it can be a huge turn off to tune into a budget strapped anime and get 5-10 minutes of information dumped onto you. I think in general, the anime was much more enjoyable when one hasn’t been exposed to the manga yet. The way they tell the story of Kaneki Ken varies greatly, which lead to high expectations from the readers.
Kaneki as a protagonist is your typical weak character who is suddenly thrown into a whole new world. He struggles to cope with it, which has him coming off as a weak or whiny character. The anime cut out on a lot of his inner monologues and character development (due to budget, time, or not fitting the direction of the series) which made him feel rather useless for the majority of the series. He was given this strength, yet he doesn’t use it at all, and ends up being the one who gets saved all the time. In comparison, Kaneki does actually try to embrace his inner ghoul earlier on, and he tries to become stronger through a variety of means. In particular, he showed a lot of strength within the Aogiri Arc (prior to the torture), which wasn’t shown in the anime.
With all that said, Tokyo Ghoul has easily become my favorite manga series to date. While the anime adaptation did not live up to my expectations, I think it brought the series to life in a way that the manga couldn’t. Seeing the fight scenes beautifully animated, superb voice acting really highlights some key moments within the series. To get the full Tokyo Ghoul experience, I feel that you need to view the two and have them compliment each other. The manga for deeper story, characterization, and the anime for the action!
Feel free to share your thoughts on the Tokyo Ghoul anime, or how you felt about the adaptation!