Tokyo Ghoul Season 1 Review [Spoilers]

Tokyo Ghoul follows the story of Ken Kaneki, a timid college student looking for his place in the world. While on a date, the beautiful Rize Kamishiro reveals to Kaneki that their date is much more than it seems. Rize is a ghoul, and like all other ghouls, her survival depends on her diet of human flesh. Kaneki is paralyzed in shock at the realization that his date is a ghoul. In the blink of an eye as Rize approaches her prey, construction material from above their location falls onto them seemingly killing them both.
The couple is taken to a hospital where doctors make the decision that will change Kaneki’s life forever. The doctors perform surgery on the couple, removing Rize’s organs and transplanting them into Kaneki, saving his life, and sacrificing hers. Unbeknownst to Kaneki, Rize’s organs immediately begin to change his body drastically. He finds himself unable to keep any food down and all manner of food and liquid have lost their taste. Even his favorite meal tastes repulsive in his mouth. Kaneki is now a ghoul, or perhaps more accurately, half ghoul and half human.

Kaneki struggles to cope with his condition using all of his strength to retain any trace of humanity left within him. As his craving for human flesh continues he hears a familiar voice in his head. Rize, now seemingly living within Kaneki, taunts him, and urges him to give in to his desires and tear into human flesh to unlock his true powers as a ghoul.

The story of Kaneki is both heart breaking and delightfully infuriating. In watching Kaneki grasp at what little remains of his human form one can’t help but to share in his sorrow and despair. Such a seemingly innocent child thrown into such cruel circumstances surely deserves our pity and support however; Kaneki’s inability to stand up for himself quickly becomes a serious road block that ends up costing the lives of other innocent people.

Tokyo Ghoul is incredibly gory and dark through and through. You’ll witness block soaked scenes of cannibalism and some of the most merciless killings ever seen on screen. You’ll squirm at first sight of the brutality of the ghouls and then, almost unnoticeably, you’ll learn to empathize with their plight. The ghouls are not evil in nature. They are doing the best they can to survive with the unfortunate curse upon them. Watching Kaneki develop his powers and relationships with his fellow ghouls is instantly gratifying, and I have to mention that ultimately the reveal of his power in the season finale is one of the most satisfying moments in anime history I have ever seen. After standing shoulder to shoulder with Kaneki on this journey through darkness, it was as if I felt the same release and freedom he felt when he finally embraced his new life and fought with all of his strength to survive and save his friends.

Tokyo Ghoul is absolutely intended for mature audiences. If you can stomach the gore, you’ll be rewarded with an incredible fight scene in the series finale. Few things feel as good as watching a seemingly unstoppable, unmatchable evil enemy fall to the hands of an underdog like Kaneki. Now count backwards from 1,000 by 7 and dive in Tokyo Ghoul today.

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