Manga Review of Tokyo Ghoul (Toukyou Kushu)

Strange liquid is all that remains at murder sites all
over the city of Tokyo. The culprits are believed to be a type of eater ghoul. No one is sure of just what these ghouls look like but college students, Kaneki and Hide-san have a theory: these ghouls are walking around masquerading as normal humans. The guy next to you in line, the girl serving you coffee, even a kid on the playground can all be ghoul suspects. You wouldn't know until your intestines are about to be ripped out of your body.

When the girl of Kaneki-san's dreams shyly asks him
to walk her home he is in for a shocking answer to their theory. Saved in the nick of time, he's going to die unless an organ transplant is immediately found. Ironically, the very ghoul who was flattened in the midst of killing him becomes his donor. Kaneki slowly begins to suspect the very organ which saved his life has given him a new one. One which means he is no longer human nor ghoul. In a very dangerous world Kaneki must find a way to balance his new ghoulish hunger for humans with his desire to remain himself.

My Thoughts:

The first time I heard about Tokyo Ghoul, the anime, was in a tattoo parlor. The girl getting the tattoo (it's surprisingly not odd at all to be chatting anime while someone gets tattooed) said it fit with my tastes and was a must. Months later I was looking for a manga update when Tokyo Ghoul popped up. Several pages in and I was hooked.

There is something about a dark manga with fabulously drawn illustrations which draws me in but the storyline is what keeps you going. Tokyo Ghoul moves very quickly. New characters get introduced a lot so at first it can be a bit overwhelming. You might want to know a bit of backstory on one and then poof! they might be dead a few pages later. Or you just think they are dead but later on, it's revealed they arent (?).

The best part of the manga for me, so far, is definitely Kaneki-san. For those sneering on how of course its your favorite, hes the main character! this is actually quite unusual for me. Anyway, I have to give a lot of props to him for his struggle to fight the ghoul within. He reminded a bit of the main character in parasite who literally was willing to take a knife to himself and cut out the problem than face a half life.

Maybe it's partly because he often compares his own life to that of one of his favorite novels, The Black
Goat's Egg, which I find uniquely amazing in a manga. Even if the book is on a guy who is forced to turn into an insect. I am also a huge fan of how he really really tries so hard to control his impossible ghoul side. Heck. He has to live every moment smelling humans as meat but not breaking down to devour them. His friendship with Touka-chan, a ghoul successfully masquerading as a human has revealed her to be quite the kick-ass. Also, the
fact that she works at a coffeeshop run by a ghoul for mainly ghouls was quirky in the best way. Who knew the only type of human food not tasting like sh** to ghouls would be coffee? Ironically I was drinking a cup of coffee when it was revealed which amused me.

To the Intrigued Reader:
Even if you are not usually into the darker horror drama (etc) genre I still recommend taking a chance on this one. Tokyo Ghoul does one amazing job at getting you to wonder just how you would be reacting, especially when you begin to discover eating your favorite food is like trying to down a pile of greasy horse crap.

Warning: I do not recommend Tokyo Ghoul to younger readers/those who have an issue with gore/blood/murder. Some people are very sensitive so best to stay away if you have doubts.

As for the anime? I will be bringing it up the next time I visit with my one anime loving friend (no one else enjoys anime like us!) as our 'new anime to watch.' For now though I expect great things to come in the manga! 

Name(s): 东京食尸鬼; 東京喰種トーキョーグール;Tokyo Ghoul, Toukyou Kushu, Toukyou Ghoul
Artist: Ishida Sui
Author: Ishida Sui
Year: 2011
Genre: Horror, Drama, Supernatural, Fantasy, Supernatural, Action, Tragedy 
Chapters: 143.5
Complete: Yes
Anime: Yes