Tokyo Ghoul – 02

Tokyo Ghoul 001

Hey how ya doing lil mama let me whisper in ya ear

In a move that surprises no one, I’m going to be blogging Tokyo Ghoul in all of its bloody glory. Yoroshiku. There are actually a ton of shows this season that are right up my alley, and this is just one of them. Hopefully you guys are enjoying the Summer season as well!

Tokyo Ghoul is a dark show that revels in providing shock factor after shock factor. It either wants to freak you out or to indulge those with sadistic appetites. It certainly keeps things interesting, but I always get the feeling that they’re trying too hard. Kaneki’s emotional reactions range from nothing at all to excessive screaming with tears, snot and god knows what else frothing out of every orifice. And by “range” I mean he’s either at one extreme or the other. There isn’t exactly an in-between. It’s like every scene is the climax of a theatrical Shakespeare performance. These moments should be used sparingly to provide a bigger impact instead of just hammering us over the head so much we’re totally desensitized to Kaneki’s suffering. The result of having this much intensity all the time is that it only works some of the time at getting me to feel something. The rest of the time, I end up laughing at inappropriate moments at how ridiculous it gets.

Tokyo Ghoul 004Tokyo Ghoul 007

For the most part, Kaneki’s interaction with Nishiki was hilarious instead of ominous or threatening. Nishiki was Evil McBadguy for no apparent reason other than to have a character that’s a total dick antagonizing our hero. Tokyo Ghoul has all the subtlety of a bull in a china shop, and prefers to tackle issues head on with lots of violence. Themes that originally seemed complex, I fear will end up being reduced to the simplest of terms.

However, I mustn’t get too ahead of myself. I started out with the bad, but Tokyo Ghoul also has a lot of good! At the moment, Kaneki’s position as a halfling is really cool. It allows him to learn about the lifestyles of the ghouls while still living a relatively normal life as a human. It presents a totally novel issue to simply being born a ghoul as well. People like Nishiki and Touka had to endure this persecution all their lives. It was no doubt a terrible way to live (I don’t want to picture a toddler ghoul chowing down on a full grown man) and getting used to being a flesheater must be rough when you’re the minority. But that’s all they’ve ever known. They’re used to it. Kaneki lived a comfortable life and now he’s been completely torn away from it.

Tokyo Ghoul 005

Kaneki discovers that indeed, cranberry juice is another thing he cannot eat

For example, they say people who are born blind do much better than those who become blind later on. Those who have congenital blindness learn to adapt to their illness, and they never miss something they never had (that thing being eyesight, of course). But if you have sight for half your life and suddenly lose it, you feel as if a huge chunk of you is missing. You become depressed. You’re unable to learn how to navigate your environment quite as well. It’s harder to rely on your other senses as well because those born blind learn, at birth, how to use their other 4 senses to cope. Kaneki doesn’t have the benefit of that learning period, so he’s stuck trying to get used to this completely alien lifestyle. Although it’s impossible to say who really has it worse for subjective issues, it’s safe to say that Kaneki is really struggling with the transition.

I can’t wait to see what else he learns about ghouls and what will happen when these ghoul hunters start becoming more central to the plot. I assume Kaneki will end up protecting the ghouls instead of joining the hunters. Even though he’s only half, he still needs to eat humans to live. That means he has to be hunted down. As much as Kaneki wants to say he’s human, the fact that he has adopted just about every trait a ghoul has makes him pretty much a ghoul. I’m glad he’s starting to slowly accept that, because that means we won’t have to watch him hyperventilate over slabs of meat anymore. For a second I thought the coffee was bone marrow steeped in water and a horrible trick was being played on him, but alas…being force fed human blood wouldn’t be until later in the episode.

Tokyo Ghoul 002

Is it still bromance if your friend wants to eat you?

I also really like how Kaneki’s transformation takes a toll on Hide. His friend is really quite an incredible person, bringing him food and looking after him so thoroughly. He’s wonderful. All of this is emphasized right before Kaneki almost eats him, which is my favourite scene of the episode. After fawning over how awesome Hide was only hours ago, Kaneki becomes so hungry he almost accidentally eats him. Who the hell accidentally almost eats their friend? Aside from Hannibal Lector. That just proves how powerful the hunger is that ghouls feel. They cannot control it, even when they want to. That’s why many of them act rashly when they’re hungry. Touka will most likely teach him that ghouls are just like humans, and that their hunger is what makes them insane. Not all of them are terrible people. That’s what makes ghouls a very, very interesting creature to study. It’s becoming easier to sympathize them with every single episode. Just who will I stand beside next week? Will I be Team Ghoul by the end of the series?

So although Tokyo Ghoul seems to be laying on the drama a littttlllle too thick, I’m enjoying the little story threads that are slowly being unraveled. There’s a lot of stuff going on in this world, and Kaneki is only beginning to understand how things work. It’s a diamond in the rough right now, and I’m hoping I don’t end up with a lump of coal at the end.

Tokyo Ghoul 008

Some pleasant imagery before you go :3


A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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38 Responses to “Tokyo Ghoul – 02”

  1. bobob101 says:

    I do agree that this adaptation is just a little too ham fisted, and it’s moving a little to fast. For instance, Episode 1&2 is the first 10 chapters of the manga. So this means some stuff is being cut, probably in the hopes of being more exciting for viewers. But we are still going to be watching an amazing show, so I won’t complain anymore. Plus: I’m sitting on a mountain of spoilers thanks to reading the manga.

    • sonicsenryaku says:

      From what ive read of the tokyo ghoul manga, as much pulse-pounding entertainment as it has, it is even more hamfisted than the anime adaptation in my opinion (citing examples would only spoil things so for those who are curious, go read the manga). Plus as far as i have seen, nothing of relevance has been cut from this adaptation so far. The manga pages are literally only five to seven (at the most)mins of events when put into motion so id say the pace is just fine. Murata’s directorial work and decisions so far have made the pacing and tension pretty well done and id like to see where he takes it. If anything, id say the ham in the anime is a little toned done if that even means anything considering how hammy things get in the manga. It works for tokyo ghoul while in most manga/anime it doesnt. In the anime’s case, id say a part of that has to do with murata’s directing.

      • Overcooled says:

        It’s cool to see how the anime compares to the manga. I’m surprised the manga is even more hamfisted, actually. That usually happens when an anime tries to cram a lot of chapters into an episode and it just loses a lot of nuances. But I guess here they’re trying to cut out the cheesy bits and give us a better product. Good to know!

        • sonicsenryaku says:

          Yea that definitely seems to be the case here? there’s a future character that im curious to see how they will handle in this adaptation

    • Namika says:

      I have a question. How would you describe the plot in 3 words? *impatient*

  2. Mirun says:

    I wish this would have taken a Psycho Pass view of anime. Because Psycho Pass was slow the first couple episode and kept my attention. I’m having trouble with this anime. It’s just one or the other like Kaneki’s emotions. Either it’s bloody gorey, has good atmosphere, good connection, and makes me feel for the characters and scenario. Then it has me laughing. I can’t take this anime seriously. I want to, but it’s just to funny sometimes.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, I inevitably compare it to slower paced psychological anime and sigh in mild disappointment. Especially Shiki which was slow as hell at first but damn did it ever have a great payoff.

      I’m not the only one laughing at it then. Sometimes it works and sometimes it just…doesn’t. :B

  3. Karakuri says:

    Rofl. “Evil McBadguy”. Really, there was no reason for Nishiki to be such an asshat. He just was. But I was okay with it, since it’s good for laughs…

    Anyways, Rize (or at least, some delusion of her that Kaneki has) seems to be sticking around! Yay!!!

    Kaneki’s ANGST over being a ghoul isn’t nearly as annoying as I was worried it would be too. It still exists, but after almost accidentally eating Hide, he might suck it up and figure things out way faster than I thought he might.

    • Namika says:

      Imagine if he doesn’t get off the cross O_O

    • Overcooled says:

      I hope Nishiki is gone for good because other than being a megane character, he was pretty lame. But Rize is great! She’s a wonderfully creepy addition. I like how Kaneki isn’t alarmed that Rize talks to him all the time. He just kinda…doesn’t question it.

      Kaneki seems to be progressing towards eating humans out of his own volition, which is really relieving! I wouldn’t want him to be angsting about his newfound ghoulhood for half the series either.

  4. BlackBriar says:

    In a move that surprises no one, I’m going to be blogging Tokyo Ghoul in all of its bloody glory. Yoroshiku.

    Ah, come on. We all know what’s in your strike zone and I’m happy for you blogging this. It would’ve been a surprise if you didn’t.

    So Ghouls can tolerate liquids but can’t hold down the form of sustenance suited for humans. Yet another similarity these beings share with the Shiki other than having the same kind of eyes. If not for one crucial difference, both sides would actually be the same but it’s clear enough there wouldn’t be any compromise.

    Nishiki (Daimon Kaito Shintaro Asanuma) was an ass with apparently no redeeming traits from the first episode. A first impression quickly solidified so having him suddenly change would’ve rubbed me the wrong way. I can’t see him as anything other than what he’s presented to be. The ass kicking he got was glorious.

    Kaneki’s put into an unstable position. Now half of both predator and prey, he’s stuck in the middle and he dives deeper into his new settlement, lines are inevitably going to blur. His psychological tug of war is a huge load by itself. The ghoul leader left him to be his own judge yet with a world so gray, I don’t see him making any concrete verdicts. I mean, it’s practically out in the open that some ghouls curse their fate.

    As for the two guys at the end of the episode, particularly the old fossil, I have a feeling I’m not going to like him. Oddly enough, his seiyuu Tooru Ookawa has played another character I’ve loathed for quite some time. *coughToshio Ozakicough*

    • Namika says:

      It was Rize’s power, I guess, but the newcomer really bent him down and you know what. That scene was great

    • Overcooled says:

      I wonder if coffee is all they can handle or if they’re okay with tea, water etc. I think Rize was drinking something in the first episode but I can’t be bothered to check what it was.

      Nishiki was so bad…I’m glad he got his butt kicked too. They really didn’t need to add him fooling around with a girl either. I think we already got the idea that he was a jerk before that.

      Yes, predator and prey is a good way to look at it. Either way, you don’t really belong and you’re not in much of a better position than just normal prey.

      Haha, didn’t realize there was a Shiki seiyuu in there. The similarities are endless!

  5. BlackBriar says:

    Will I be Team Ghoul by the end of the series?

    Funny that you asked such a question. Will you? I have a feeling you will. 😉 Whenever there’s a series with a structure like this, I usually find myself easily siding with the non-human species. And that tends to happen once I see things from their perspective.

    • Overcooled says:

      I might! I have that feeling as well (and I feel like you will too lol). I really don’t know what kind of tricks they’re going to pull. I’d really like to know where ghouls originated from before really picking sides.

      • BlackBriar says:

        I guess it’s easy for me to side with another species because of all the bull humanity has done throughout history.

  6. JPNIgor says:

    It’s so disturbing to hear Rize’s voice and remember that it’s HanaKana voices her. At the same time, it’s pleasant to know that she has such a wide range of voices and proves that she deserve every single role she gets.

    For a second I thought the coffee was bone marrow steeped in water and a horrible trick was being played on him

    That’s exactly what I thought. If they did it, though, he would probably lose the little trust he had on them up until that moment.

    And you’re most likely right, Kaneki is as half human, half ghoul as any other ghoul who fits on the society and is able to pretend to be a normal human. If having only half the body structure of a ghoul would end up with him having only half the traits of a ghoul he would be in a nicer position.

    And I had almost forgot by the end of the episode that ghouls had these tail-like things, and daaamn they’re awesome. My only complaint is that the version of this… “thing”… that they showed on the opening is just way cooler than that. I would really like to see that abstract art instead of bloody tails…

    • Namika says:

      Was that HanaKana? O_O I didn’t recognize her at all. Wow.

      • JPNIgor says:

        I was unsure but I just checked on MAL. It’s HanaKana indeed. Rize kind of makes me remind of Nadeko-chan on her goddess form madness. Scaaaaaary.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, the coffee looked so unappetizing I thought it couldn’t be anything but something…human.

      Kaneki’s life is more like a ghoul than a human since he has to eat people and then cover it up. The only difference I can see is that one eye is normal and he might not have to feed as often. But that’s it!

      I agree about the tails. That was another thing that made me laugh – a giant blue tentacle sprouting from Nishiki’s ass =w= Come on guys, make it look cooler!

      • Namika says:

        I had no problem with the tails, tbh.

      • JPNIgor says:

        Unfortunately it’s supposed to be gross to justify the horror genre they branded it with. It’s not ugly, since it’s almost like Naruto in it’s kyuubi glory, but damn, it could be much cooler.

        And I was seeing on a wiki these days, these things have around four variations, one that is tail-like, another that is wings-like, one that is on the waist and another that is just below the shoulders. And one is supposed to be usually stronger than the other in some kind of rock-paper-scissor matchup. PLEASE MAKE DEM BE COOL!

  7. Namika says:

    Uuuu I love this show. Although Kaneki’s reactions are borderline ridiculous almost all the time. I like that it doesn’t shy away from the ugly side and emphasizing it, though a little too much.
    I’m enjoying this regardless of that though. I’m really enjoying this. But I hope the plot won’t be as simple as I see it now. There are no promises for the plot yet. There’s just a poor MC that turned into a ghoul (and WHAT exactly makes him human, again?) and ghoul hunters(?). But I hope this show will surprise us.

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m a little wary of how dramatic it is, but beneath all that appears to be a solidly interesting concept. I love ghouls and want to learn more about them right now!

      I’m worried they might keep things too simple as well (if it goes the shounen battle route then we’re doomed) but I’m hanging in there to wait and see since we rarely get decent horror shows these days.

      • Namika says:

        The second thing that worries me is Kaneki. If he doesn’t start to look for some balls, we’ll REALLY be doomed. If he stays a whiny brat it’ll be horrible 😐
        And it’s such a rare genre, too. Please, be amazing, Tokyo Ghoul ;_;

  8. Namika says:

    Oh, and youoshiku, Cool-chan. ^w^
    (spammy ate my comment again~)

  9. Highway says:

    The question is: How many shows that OC is blogging can Highway watch? 🙂 (and I think OC generally has the same number watching of shows I’m blogging 😉 ).

    This show’s not bad. I like the times Rize shows up a lot more than the rest of the time. Hopefully we can now get away from Kaneki’s “I’m not a ghoul, I’m a human” whining, which was getting really tedious.

    • Overcooled says:

      lol we have polar opposite tastes most of the times. The shows that we end up both watching, we end up liking for opposite reasons as well.

      We’ll only be able to move forward into more interesting territory once he accepts it. I’m also hoping that happens sooner than later. And more Rize is also great.

      • Namika says:

        Yeah, somehow, Rize’s presence spices up the events in a weird way.

  10. whisper says:

    love this show and also agree with the whole drama thing.
    Even though it is a bit thick, it is quite enjoyable seeing Kaneki suffer.
    The manga delivered it much slower and was more meaningful (?in my opinion), but the pace is slow.

    • Overcooled says:

      I like seeing Kaneki suffer too :3 Although I don’t know how much I’d want to see him agonize over the same issue when it seems like every reaction is going to be that dramatic anyways. He’ll find something new to cry over in a second.

  11. Kyokai says:

    Zero person is surprised and I’m so going to enjoy your review of this series!

    Having read some of the chapters, the anime is definitely roller coasting the whole thing but I do like it still because if the adaptations was slow as manga (in some cases at least), we would still be stuck with Kaneki dealing with the initial phase of becoming a ghoul. So, I’m fine with pacing.

    I really am getting attached to characters, even with all that drama. Hide is going to be an interesting one to deal with now that he knows about Kaneki hiding a secret. Oh and both OP and ED rock.

    Also, let me do this do you, the asshat is voiced by Shintarou Asanuma, Kaito’s seiyuu. xD

    • Overcooled says:

      Thanks for assigning it to me, Kyo!

      I’m fine with the pacing. It’s certainly fast, but it works with the tone they’re aiming for. I actually really like Hide and hope we see more of the human side of things from him. Although I fear he may die eventually…

      I actually didn’t realize it was Kaito’s seiyuu until you and BlackBriar pointed it out. It’s totally not the kind of role he usually plays!

      • Kyokai says:

        Oh I knew, you’ll do this justice! :3

        I was disappointed to see this being a one-cour anime so it must be a challenge for the anime staff to cram stuff into 11-12 episodes.

        Also, I have a feeling this is not the last time we’ve seen Mr. Nishiki, just because Asanuma is voicing him and ghoul killing should not be this easy. He has voiced supporting characters before but not this small.

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