Tokyo Ghoul – 20 Question Anime Review

 What’s the show? Tokyo Ghoul (2014).

And what’s it about? I’ve got to be honest with you, this is the 4th time I’ve tried to write this review, because every time I’m writing it and it gets to this question I’m stumped. Not because it’s a complex or convoluted or confusing show, it’s because I just plain don’t remember. Like sure I remember, characters and the setting and I know I enjoyed it a lot while I watched it, but wow is this show forgettable.

Well that’s… something. Did you consider maybe watching it again as a refresher? Or even just reading a plot synopsis online? I did! I mean the latter, I only watched it a year and a half ago, I don’t need to rewatch it so soon. But even reading individual episode synopsis’ I was like, “oh that happened did it?” and “did I maybe watch a different show?”

Hmm, okay. So with the assistance of Wikipedia and to the best of your recollection what is the show about? It’s about an alternate universe where creatures called ‘Ghouls’ exist alongside normal human beings, they look and sound just like us except that they survive on the flesh of humans and possess superhuman abilities like strength, speed and regeneration.

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Interesting! How could you forget about a show like that and yet you know to the excruciating detail all about K-On which you watched at roughly the same time about a year and a half ago? Cute girls?

Yeah, yeah… you and your cute girls… I can’t help it… something happened a year and a half ago and I haven’t been the same ever since.

Right. So who are the characters in this show? Hmm? Oh, the protagonist is university student Ken Kaneki, who is about to be killed by his crush Rize who is actually a Ghoul, until she is crushed by a falling beam on a construction site. He’s left in a critical condition but is saved after some of Rize’s organs are transplanted into him, which makes him half human-half ghoul! It’s honestly an extremely strong first episode, and easily the most memorable thing about the first season, well except for…

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For what? That opening theme song! Oh my god, it’s like an auditory orgasm!

The theme song? Way to have your priorities in order! Bite thy tongue heathen! The anime theme song is a hallowed institution for otakus such as I.

Yeah? Then why don’t you talk about them in reviews more often? Well it’s not exactly the easiest thing to bring up when talking about a show in a restrictive format such as this, hmm, maybe I’ll do a new blog series about anime theme songs!

Focus, focus! Oh right, where were we?

Literally the first episode. Who are the other characters? What’s the central conflict? Details, details! Yes, um, so there’s a small café that’s secretly run by ‘good Ghouls’ i.e. the one’s that don’t go out eating humans indiscriminately. The stoic and dependable Yoshimura runs the café, and there’s also a waitress called Tora, who has her own tragic backstory and it’s all very rich and dramatic and interesting.

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Stop being so flippant! People are probably getting angry about how you’re acting! It’s the Internet, I could literally post a picture of me petting a cat and people would send death threats.

Eh, fair point… Besides, it’s not all my fault; it’s just so hard to get over what happened to me a year and a half ago…

Either tell me or get on with it! So, the Ghouls of the city are relentlessly hunted by the CCG (Commission of Counter Ghoul) and specifically two agents of brutal efficiency, Kureo and Kotaro who go to extreme lengths to rid the streets of ghouls, regardless of whether they eat humans or not.

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So it’s kind of like the story sides with the monsters and not ‘justice’? It’s not so black and white as that, there’s good and bad people on both sides, everybody has their own personal agenda and their own stake in the game, it makes for a very dynamic and thought provoking show.

Though not ‘thought provoking’ enough to stay in your memory, huh? Listen, if I tell you what happened to me a year and a half ago, will you promise to lay off me a little?

I guess so. Fine, so a year and a half ago, round about the time I was watching Tokyo Ghoul I was beset upon by a ravenous gang of cute girls, they tore me limb from limb but I survived, but only because one of the cute girls sustained fatal injuries in the attack, her organs were transplanted into me and ever since that day, I have an insatiable appetite… FOR CUTE GIRLS!

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Fuck off. And besides, that doesn’t make any sense, why would having the organs of cute girls make you obsessed with cute girls, wouldn’t that just make you half a cute girl (if we’re entertaining this absurd logic)? Because in my heart I am a cute girl and so every time I look in the mirror and see my bearded male face staring back I have no recourse but to devour every cute girl anime I can ‘til I can forget about who I really am! I’m, I’m… a monster!

I’m so sorry if you read this expecting a sensible Tokyo Ghoul review, you see what kind of shit I have to deal with? *sigh* Final score? It’s a violent, gory and disturbing show at times, but it’s got pathos and humanity and tension! It’s also, unfortunately (at least for me) exceedingly forgettable, all jokes aside I couldn’t even remember half the things that happened in this series without reading through a recap and even then it was like a half remembered dream. Absolutely I recommend this show, but only based off the fact that I remembered liking it a lot when I first watched it. Prime meat: 87 out of 100.

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9 comments

  1. This was great to read! Definitely entertaining 😀 I feel like, at least for me, the manga was a lot better and more memorable than the anime… Though I agree that the OST is awesome! And I loved Tsukiyama’s voice! (Though I might be just a bit biased there…)

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I just finished reading the manga recently! And I’m actually reading Re now. It is quite an interesting story. No clear line between black and white and as you said very thought provoking especially on the issues of morality and all that.
    And you should totally do a series about theme songs. I for one know nothing much and would be interested in that!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think my issue with Tokyo Ghoul is it starts out asking thought provoking questions about what is human and what makes someone a monster and then it just kind of becomes an excuse to have some really over the top action and torture sequences. It kind of falls apart from a narrative point of view by the end of the first season.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Because it’s one of those shows that so many people were talking about that I felt obliged to watch it. I may not like violence, but I have no problem watching something with it in, if it’s relevant to the story or the setting or whatever then I can take it.

        Liked by 1 person

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