Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tokyo Ghoul

Continuing my trend of creepy Otaku-related goings-on, I tried out the relatively new anime Tokyo Ghoul. At only twelve episodes (for what I can only imagine to be the first season) Tokyo Ghoul takes the Black Bullet route and squeezes all it can out of its runtime. Almost too much, really. It moves so fast and apparently leaves so much of the manga out that fans were left clamoring for a remake rather than a sequel. That's not to say this anime isn't good, but that the manga is said to be vastly superior and not as rushed. That's what I've read, anyway. I haven't read the manga, but I am definitely intrigued enough to pursue that avenue in the future. For now, I'll just let the anime settle. 

As always, I want to discuss quite a bit. I suppose I'll start with the background stuff. 

The story takes place in Tokyo (duh) and in this particular version of Tokyo there are these human-looking creatures called ghouls running around that eat people in order to live. Naturally, there's a mostly ineffective task force assigned to capture and kill these ghouls in order to save humanity. There are a few aces that work for the department such as Amon Kotaro and Mado Kureo and they are as ruthless as they come. Especially Kureo. 

Kaneki Ken, at the beginning of this story, is a perfectly normal human being with an eye for the cute girl sitting at a different table in the same coffee shop. She even happens to be reading a book by an author he loves. 

Unfortunately for him the girl he had his eye on was a ghoul. As he walked her home she attacked him and left him for dead before she could get around to eating him. The reason she couldn't eat him was because, in the spirit of an anvil falling on Wile E. Coyote, a large i-beam fell on her and killed her. 

Ken is given surgery to save his life, but the surgeon uses the organs from the dead ghoul in order to save his life. Needless to say the surgery is not without its side-effects. Real food like french fries and burgers begins to taste terrible to him in his post-surgery life. And no, he wasn't just eating at MgRonald's. 

It turns out that Ken is craving human flesh, but he can't bring himself to eat his best friend no matter how much his bout with starvation is threatening him. He is, however, driven to almost murder a motherfucker. 

With nowhere else to turn to Ken gets some help from the Anteiku, the very same coffee shop that began his life predicament. Anteiku is actually a coffee shop run by ghouls who aren't evil and try to provide food for ghouls who can't or won't resort to murder in order to get sustenance. Anteiku creates their special ghoul-food by raiding morgues or coming across recent roadkill from car crashes. In either case, the victim is already dead and the guilt these ghouls feel is lessened somewhat. 

They actually sell real coffee, though. Coffee is just about the only item that ghouls can have that won't taste disgusting or kill them. They don't give their ghoul food out to people, either. So, in a way, Anteiku can be seen as the good guys in this whole shebang. Even though they still do eat people. 

However, there are no good ghouls as far as Kureo and Kotaro are concerned. The government wants to destroy all ghouls. Period. Wielding tools crafted from the bodies of dead ghouls, Kureo and Kotaro want to extinguish every single ghoul in Tokyo. 

Ken, now a half-human/half-ghoul, is caught in a fight between humans and ghouls and must somehow make it through unscathed while still retaining what makes him human. 

I suppose that's enough of the background stuff. If it sounds good then I recommend checking it out. The episodes will definitely fly by and it's still pretty damn good even if it is a bit rushed. The ending is a definite cliffhanger, but an awesome one. 

The ghoul that wears a Jason Voorhees hockey mask and is even nicknamed Jason is especially neat. He's obviously a bad guy and a very demented one at that. He's a treat for horror fans, but don't just watch this because of him since he isn't featured all that much compared to other characters. 

With all of the violence and talk of cannibalism in this series, I think it should be redundant to say that this anime isn't for kids. This anime is for those adults that like it bloody. Funimation's simulcast censored the shit out of this so that's extra incentive to pick up the blu-ray. Another would be that it is just a damn good anime. It works. I don't have the feeling that I was left unsatisfied at all. I loved it. 

I personally felt that "new anime high" I get from discovering an anime that kicks my ass. I liked it more than I liked Black Bullet. Possibly because this one was so much bloodier and about eating people and didn't feature shitty-looking monsters. 

The fights in this series were definitely good. A bit more breathing room in this series could have made them awesome, but fights aren't everything. The animation was very good, although definitely like a lot of its modern day counterparts. Sometimes it can be tough to tell certain anime characters from others, but this one did a fairly good job thanks to the masks used by each ghoul. 

Yes, it has occurred to me on occasion that I am not quite right in the head. I get used to it after a while. 

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