First Impression – Tokyo Ghoul √A

A three-episode test.

It’s late for a first impression post as three episodes have already gone by. But for a deviant, anime original plot line, the three episode test suited better than me hating on everything on my first impression. Really, I did because I’ve read the manga and things really did not go the way I imagined. However, as you must have already heard, √A is an alternate ending to the storyline, penned by the mangaka himself. So, let’s see how this fairs as a continuation along with an alternate route.

Tokyo Ghoul A-00031Tokyo Ghoul A-00037

If you ask me, the manga is much better than the anime. Season one lost a lot due to its pacing. Though, Kaneki manning up too late was more of a build-up of the actual story rather than people being annoyed with his character development. I came to like the manga Kaneki more because he went through hell and back due to circumstances, all of which were not just mere coincidence. So, his transformation made sense rather than a shounen ploy similar to anime. Even when I wasn’t happy with how things went, I finished the first season just because of characters and if you ask me to be particular, I’d say Kaneki and the overall Anteiku bunch. They are interesting, even if their storytelling pacing was flawed.

However, as I caught up with the manga before season two aired, I was not ready for the change of events and alternate route. The biggest moment was skipping the big scene of Ayato getting his butt kicked by Kaneki after he almost killed Touka. Really, don’t you think he deserved it after the douchebaggary he did to his own sister? Whatever the reasoning maybe, the satisfaction I felt when Kaneki broke his 103 bones was marvellous! Très bien as Tsukiyama would say. An amazing moment if you stop to consider the same timid guy just ate his torturer like it was a cold supper few minutes ago. Yep, every action sequence after Kaneki’s transformation will be nothing but badass but I guess, I’m lamenting more like an upset fan rather than an elitist aniblogger.

Tokyo Ghoul A-00049Tokyo Ghoul A-00107

Anyways, we missed a big scene but the alternate story is not too far from the actual events. It’s sad but you can’t work with the dude you just half-killed so oh well… As a manga reader, by second and third episode, I pretty much calmed down with the usual developments in CCG, Anteiku and reappearance of the much-loved old characters. Even after Kaneki joined Aogiri, everyone at Anteiku is pretty much doing well and hanging about their lives. It’s natural for Touka to miss him the most along with Hide, who is the only person really close to him before the whole Ghoul thing happened. Just seeing them coping yet still trying to keep tabs on Kaneki was endearing.

However, I have to mention Mado Akira being quite kickass in her own alienating way. She definitely is Mado’s daughter and Amon of all people should know that but oh well, poor him, he’ll learn. Juuzo is still as amazing in his own crazy way. And let’s not forget the newly introduced Naki, who was Yamori/Jason’s lackey. It’s a difficult role to portray, to annoyingly keep crying in between lines but Hiro Shimono did it excellently and I liked this dork, more than that douche Tatara or even Noro, who must be quite powerful in their own right.

Tokyo Ghoul A-00073Tokyo Ghoul A-00114

Out of everyone though, Eto interests me the most after Kaneki as she seems to wear different masks. Everyone knows my seasoned ears pick up seiyuu and what do you know, the amazing Maaya Sakamoto is voicing her and Takatsuki Sen in this anime. Do you think that could be a mere coincidence? I think not. Eto has to be Kaneki’s favourite author in daytime. I don’t remember this fact being covered in manga and if it was, I was speed reading to notice it. But this fact has to check out on how Sen pronounced Kanenki Ken in front of Hinami. Additional proof is their identical smiles and the way she sways her feet while sitting. There’s more to be revealed about her but at least things are moving to more interesting grounds with the episode counter going up. Appearance of one-eyed ghoul twins is one of them as plot continues to thicken.

Extra TG:A

 Tokyo Ghoul A-1

Badass Kaneki is <3

Click here for more Show ▼

Where is my Ling Tosite Sigure opening? Really, the new opening bothers me still; though, I have become used to the ending as the new art from Ishida Sui keeps me busy. Who in turn is quite a sadistic mangaka as he loves to troll readers and continues to add mystery layers to his story. People who are reading  TG:re with 12 chapters already out know my plight. So, however you liked the anime, I still highly recommend the original manga. It’s brilliant and you should read it.

Root A was originally rumoured to be two-cour so the confirmation of a one-cour anime really makes me worried. Sure, I have read the original and I know Sui is behind the script for this alternate route but STILL, I fear the pacing would be upped yet again and development would be lost in the cutting room. I really liked the CCG development, where we got to know the inspectors like Akira, Amon and Juuzo’s back stories so I hope we get a glimpse of some. As well, I’m not sure how much development they would show compared to the original but I fear the story will be squeezed to finish where the TG manga ended. I have only one suggestion for the people who liked the anime or manga, marathon A when it’s done and definitely check the original. But, be prepared for the tragedies because things don’t always go the nice way. So, tell me, how have been your personal experience with this series?


The Boss lady of Metanorn, who makes it all happen. An animanga enthusiast, who watches/reads almost anything that strikes her fancy. Just beware of her Death Perception and always keep her happy. Regularly found at @KyokaiTM & #[email protected].
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22 Responses to “First Impression – Tokyo Ghoul √A”

  1. Di Gi Kazune says:

    Hmm… What is the square root of A….

  2. belatkuro says:

    I was forced to read the manga before the second season started. I can see why people would really like this but I wasn’t one of them. It was good but not that mind-blowingly good. One of my main gripes of the second half of the story was that we left Kaneki’s POV in the story after the 11th ward raid. It’s already showing in these past episodes as we’re only seeing glimpses of him while we get to see everyone else move about. Even that Takizawa has more screentime than Kaneki.

    Besides Kaneki defecting to Aogiri, most of the other things happening are the same as in the manga. We can’t say for sure if this will only be the difference we’ll see and if it will stick to the future developments in the manga despite this change but with Ishida supposedly involved in here, we’ll just have to wait and see.

    I don’t remember as well if Eto really is the same as Takatsuki Sen but if it was in there in the manga, I must have forgotten about it too. Though the both being voiced by the same person, Sakamoto Maaya, it’s probably not a coincidence.

    Still waiting on that UBW post, boss lady 😉

    • Kyokai says:

      I liked the manga much better than anime. I was sorry I ever did watch that but oh well, just because I feel more invested in all the characters and yes, I like the CCG in the same flair as the Ghouls. Btw, you should check out TG:re, it’s much perky than TG was but yeah, being Kaneki = suffering will not change anytime soon.

      The other events are almost the same so the story hasn’t changed drastically at all. And with TG:re already serialised, I don’t suppose there will be a huge change in the outcome.

      And yeah, UBW post would be out soon. The new season had me tied up in FIs more than I bargained for. >>;

  3. Krono says:

    I’m fine with this new story as long it doesn’t end in such an annoying way as the manga because I wanted to flip a table since I do not like to read stories to have them end that badly.

    • BlackBriar says:

      From what you’re saying, the manga had a tragic ending.

    • Kyokai says:

      It’s the way you see it in the end. Definitely the ending was horrible but at least there have been some new beginnings in TG:re. As well, I don’t think the storyline in Route A will change too drastically.

  4. Bobob101 says:

    I think I finally understand where the name comes from. The root of A is like the ROUTE in a visual novel, and A might be the main path. That makes more sense when you realize this is really just re-telling the manga.

    I never considered sen being eto, I won’t say impossible but I personally doubt it. Though there is the scene where sen Show ▼

    . Overall I’m glad we are getting a different take on a great story the creator. This reminds me of the full metal alchemist situation with two drastically different adaptations.

    • Kyokai says:

      Sui has a way with words so A could mean anything from just Aogiri to another route. If I remember, there is a novel version as well so you never know there was difference of event there too.

      About Eto, Show ▼

      FMA had different routes because at the time of the first anime, the manga was still under serialisation so the directors took liberty with the story. This is the first time the mangaka himself is doing so. Let’s see how it goes.

  5. JPNIgor says:

    If they are making an alternate route to the manga, then it’s surely going to receive a lot of rage from the fans of the manga, and being one-cour, I really think only a miracle could save it from being considered a shitty alternative to the manga by said fans.

    With that said, I think it’s awesome so far, mostly because I didn’t read the manga. I would really love seeing Kanenki breaking 103 bones from that shitty brother (and the gag about Kaneki only half-killing him was awesome as well), but we can’t have everything, can we? Sen is most likely the masked girl, their mannerisms, same VA, same way of calling to him is really giving it. I thought the two one-eyed girls were from Aogiri, but seemingly they aren’t. I wonder what they’re up to.

    About the music, yes, it’s a shame the song is not from Ling Tosite Sigure, but a studio using the same artist for their anime is an exception, and not a rule. So far I only remember Psycho-Pass doing it (mostly because I have a bad memory but anyways). And for the opening last season, as I said, it wasn’t LTS, but only Tk, from the band, who participated in the opening theme. Ah, this opening theme, I actually quite like it. It’s weird and mysterious, it’s closer to last season’s ending, actually. And having an upbeat song for the ending theme is something I enjoy a lot and it motivates me to keep just to watch it. But the ED, I like the beginning much better than the chorus part… It starts great and from it, it goes downhill.

    • Kyokai says:

      Manga fans are definitely raged but in the end, they will come around because of attachment to the characters.

      I’m keeping myself open for the new route, which seems would be slightly tailored from manga than drastic measures. But I’ll still keep away from spoilers. 😉

      Ling Tosite Sigure became a household name for Psycho-Pass watchers but the season one opening was so good. I just miss it and would need time to get used to the new one.

      • BlackBriar says:

        I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the new OP. It feels too flat. “Unravel” was prime mood music. Instantly sways you.

        • JPNIgor says:

          It’s not like all OP musics has to make the mood of the anime. Besides, even if that’s the case, the mood of this song matches the change of pace of the second season. Though the boring animation from this sequence is a minus. And I do miss those awesome artsy abstract kagune from the first sequence…

          • BlackBriar says:

            Yeah, the animation is as bothersome as the music. Rather bland if you ask me. Truly a disappointment compared to the music and visuals of the first season’s OP.

  6. BlackBriar says:

    Oh, what’s this? I had given up all hope the second season would get any sort of coverage. Anyway, good to see more Tokyo Ghoul again. More Ghoul society, Touka, Hinami and a now badass Kaneki to look forward to.

    The trade off in OPs left much to be desired. To have this kind of unimpressive, forgettable OP after last season’s “unravel” by TK from Ling Tosite Sigure which to this day is still addictive to me, calling it a let-down is putting it mildly.

    As for the story, from the three episodes alone so far, I think it’s improved quite a bit compared to the first season. I haven’t read the manga at all, so no comment on those comparisons. Though I think those who have read it should try their best to let it go and continue in blindly to evade frustration. Even if there are some similarities, it’s already a fact not everything will follow. The original concept is from the author himself and that should be enough to instill some relief. All of this is his work from the start, anyway.

    Why Kaneki made the choice he did? Well, before the season began airing, I saw one of the advertising PVs that pretty much gave away his intentions. What I didn’t see coming was how he was going to go about it and that was defecting to Aogiri, the same people responsible for making him who he is now.

    The most interesting developments came from the third episode. Hide is made suspicious every time he’s on screen. I’ll go on a limb and say he’s been aware of Kaneki’s disposition since his release from the hospital after Rize’s attempt on his life and has been keeping tabs since. Also, thanks to those twins that attacked Kaneki, it looks like he’s no longer unique since not only are both those girls one-eyed Ghouls, they have the same kagune he has. Apparently, the same human/Ghoul experimentations are still going on and the one behind it still has a lot of Rize’s harvested organs in storage. The only gripe I’ve got is Tsukiyama still drawing breath. How it really irked me that he survived.

    • Kyokai says:

      Better late than never as they say! 😉

      The original story was amazing and anime adaptations are not always perfect so I’ve gotten over my initial problems with the first episode. Let’s see how this goes but I can already see that nothing drastic would be happening.

      Hide is just worried about his friend, Kaneki should know that he has many well wishers even when he doesn’t keep contact with most of them. You are right about the twins and their mere existence hints on the fact that whatever happened with Kaneki was not just a mere accident.

      Awww, you hate Tsukiyama? He’s the comic relief for me and his outbursts are more comical than perverse. At least the anime has one thing right, him! xD

  7. Foshizzel says:

    I don’t really like Tokyo Ghoul MATH PROBLEM all that much and I find myself rooting for the CCG instead of the main team and why can’t Touka be the main focus?

    As for the “reboot/retelling” I simply DO NOT care about Kaneki especially after dealing with the season one version which turned him into Madoka in terms of WTF I GOTTA CRY ALL THE TIME! Yeah I get it his life as as a huuman is over, but seriously crying about it is not going to fix things; however season two turned him into a completely different QUIET character which is 100% better cause I don’t have to hear him talk…

    I will watch just to see how things go and maybe ill read the manga but I am already reading a lot of series so I dunno if I want to commit to another manga.

    • Kyokai says:

      Tokyo Ghoul MATH PROBLEM

      Lol! No one knows what that A stands for except for speculation but yeah, let me forewarn you that Touka’s role is going to be more limited in this season because of many other things going down in other sectors. But at least, all of us can appreciate the quiet Kaneki. So much better than the whiney version really.

      Manga is pretty good and you should read it like a marathon so whenever you have time! 😉

      • BlackBriar says:

        Something’s telling me the “A” is related to Aogiri. That’s my best supposition.

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