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Episode Review: Tokyo Ghoul


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Stark700



Joined: 30 Jan 2012
Posts: 11591
Location: Earth
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:14 pm Reply with quote
I'm really going to hope this will be a 2 cour because it has been rushing the material. However, the first few episodes have been quite something and I am fairly impressed by the overall production qualities (both visual and soundtrack wise).
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Ownsin



Joined: 14 Mar 2013
Posts: 27
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:28 pm Reply with quote
Stark700 wrote:
I'm really going to hope this will be a 2 cour because it has been rushing the material. However, the first few episodes have been quite something and I am fairly impressed by the overall production qualities (both visual and soundtrack wise).

It's because they're rushing it is a big proof that it won't have a 2 cour. If they did, they wouldn't be rushing it like this. Also imo... I'm reading the manga, and the anime sucks in every single way, they have skipped so many things and just outright changed a few things for the worse. I also I'm not impressed by the production qualities at all, feels low budget most of time, and lets not forget the awful censoring. I also notice your posts "Stark" on MAL and over here all the time. You seem to overrate a lot of anime, it's a habit of yours sadly. Anyway i respect your opinion either way.
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Gina Szanboti



Joined: 03 Aug 2008
Posts: 9137
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 9:57 pm Reply with quote
I thought Hide spoiler[already knew about Ken and was just hiding that he knew]? And I don't remember anything about the police being corrupt. Maybe I just wasn't paying close enough attention at the beginning, since I didn't really become engaged with this series until the last 3 episodes or so.

I agree about the comedy relief not being very funny. Seems like more and more recent series have forgotten the deft touch it takes to make it work.

My main question at the moment is what's up with all the white hair? Several characters (including the MC in the OP) are sporting it regardless of age or whether they're human or ghoul but I don't think it's just an artistic choice. I hope they at least answer that before they end on the inevitable non-ending.
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CrowLia



Joined: 24 Feb 2012
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:08 pm Reply with quote
^That was my impression too, about Hide. IIRC, in episode 2, after spoiler[they're saved from Nishiki, Hide is shown to be pretending to sleep while the owner of Anteiku explains everything to Kaneki about their organization and the "now you have a home both in the human and the ghoul world" speech. It is heavily implied that he overheard the conversation and that he's very much aware of Kaneki's condition.]
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Doodleboy



Joined: 23 Dec 2013
Posts: 277
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:09 pm Reply with quote
Tokyo Ghoul is... interesting to watch...

Half of it is genuinely entertaining... the other half is poor poor attempts at pathos.

The directing is definitely the highlight of the series. It's super melodramatic but it works in climatic moments. Fights are well directed as well as... some of the emotional climatic moments like Touka's force-feeding of Ken in episode 1. Even with the low-animation budget and the censorship it shines though.

But well... the writing kind of backfires when it tries to be sad. Half-way through a fight we get a five-minute flashback to one's character back-story, complete with sad music. And it doesn't fit within the scene. It's unnecessary. Honestly a few lines of dialogue before the fight would've accomplished what it was trying to do. We already know this guy isn't as bad as we first thought because we're seeing him struggling to defend someone, you don't need to bludgeon me.

And when one ghoul gets orphaned, the series overdraws the melodrama again in an attempt to get the pathos up. But the two characters who die aren't developed enough for us to really care. The dialogue is written more as series of dying parents cliches rather then real characters. You can predict the beats what's going to happen from the get-go, because it's all been done a million times before. You can see the story is manipulating you with pathos that isn't earned.

Half the writing is decent and entertaining enough, the other half is cringe-inducing.
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JacobC
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Joined: 15 Jan 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:18 pm Reply with quote
Gina Szanboti wrote:
I thought Hide spoiler[already knew about Ken and was just hiding that he knew]? And I don't remember anything about the police being corrupt. Maybe I just wasn't paying close enough attention at the beginning, since I didn't really become engaged with this series until the last 3 episodes or so.


Huh! I guess because it's never come up outside of that quick shot, I missed that part. Like I said, there's a lot of weird subtle moments in the show despite it being so over-the-top dramatic, so sometimes stuff like that goes by and you don't catch it. Well, in that case, Ken doesn't know that Hide knows that he's a ghoul. Laughing There's still some misunderstanding of sorts. I'll be sure to correct that in my next episode writeup. Oh, wow, so that really makes what he overheard from the evil new gang in town a big deal. Shocked

The police aren't wholly corrupt, there's good people and bad people, but obviously there's a lot of ghoul prejudice in a ghoul control force. They punish the innocent along with the criminals, just because they're afraid of them. In response, ghouls don't trust them, are dishonest or resist arrest, things get worse. Pretty standard stuff.
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rheiders



Joined: 05 Jul 2011
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Location: Colorful Colorado :)
PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:26 pm Reply with quote
spoiler[Hate to break it to you, but your favorite character isn't dead.]

As uncomfortable as the really obvious gay-panic aspect was, Shuu made me laugh quite a bit so I enjoyed his episodes okay, especially with the development of the other characters. Mamo over-acting was probably a major factor in my enjoyment though. Laughing Basically, I liked the idea of a ghoul "gourmet" as a villain, but I really hated how sexualized/homophobic his character was. At least they made his arc a lot shorter than in the manga, with a lot of that screen time spent on flashbacks, etc.

Quote:
standard shonen fare
whiny-but-bold shonen protagonists
most shonen-manga-reminiscent

I really didn't want to bring this up and realize it's really nitpick-y, but...Tokyo Ghoul isn't a shounen manga. It runs in the seinen magazine Weekly Young Jump. IMO it feels very much like a typical "gritty seinen action horror" series. This is a giant nitpick because what you say about the genre is largely on point, but the two demographics do have a pretty different feel (Kaneki is the [slight? manga spoiler]spoiler[slightly-crazed dark-and-broody all-black-wearing seinen antihero] far more than the whiny-but-bold shounen protagonist, for example).

Anyway, I felt the need to get that off my chest but you can ignore it^^; I've been enjoying the series for all the reasons mentioned in the review, especially Shuhei Morita's direction. I tried reading the source manga, but it doesn't have any of the panache of the anime, so it ends up feeling like pretty generic seinen fare. It's not really anything special at all; frankly, I was surprised by just how much the excellent direction elevates the story. But I really should have guessed, since it was so good I made sure to look up the director's name immediately after finishing the first episode. Very stylish.

As a side note, I didn't get this far in the manga so I don't know for sure, but it seems like they're hinting that spoiler[Hide knew about Kaneki all along]. I'm looking forward to him having a bit larger role!

Edit: Added tag for potential manga spoiler.


Last edited by rheiders on Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:41 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Engineering Nerd



Joined: 24 Apr 2008
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 10:37 pm Reply with quote
I have not read the manga version; but as the anime-only audience for this franchise, it always giving me a weird impression that this series is rushing a bit; or more precisely, I noticed the pacing of some episodes are less-impressive than the others, which made it difficult for me to be emotionally attached and involved into this series during some key moments. But again, for an one-cour adaptation, any possible changes from original source are understandable.


The anime-version might be a low-budget adaptation (the fighting scenes and frequent stiff animation are the supporting evidences), but I do think it did its job: getting the anime-watchers interested about reading the manga. After all, it is unrealistic to ask every popular manga's anime-adaptation will get deluxe treatment like AoT did. As flawed as it is, I gotta admit I enjoy this show for what it is.
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JacobC
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 29, 2014 11:56 pm Reply with quote
rheiders wrote:
spoiler[Hate to break it to you, but your favorite character isn't dead.]


Oh... Dammit. He sure looked dead, but ghouls will be ghouls.

And yeah, I took a cursory glance at the manga version of the scenes I'd already seen in the anime aaaaaaaaand the anime is a big step up. Direction is everything. I definitely wish more adaptations were handled this way. It reminds me of Fullmetal Alchemist (2003).

To people expressing concerns that it feels rushed, I like that about it. The show is moving at a great little pace for me, I'm glad that it doesn't slow down for talking heads or meandering comedy (it does sometimes, but graciously less than the norm.) Some things are blink-and-you-miss-it (including Hide's hidden knowledge of Ken's ghouldom that I didn't happen to catch,) but I like it that way. Keeps you on your toes, makes you think, doesn't babysit you. I could think of a dozen ways that spoiler[wedding ring reveal] on Mado's hand would have fallen flat, but it's a great, visceral shock in the show because they timed it perfectly.
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Zhou-BR



Joined: 28 Feb 2008
Posts: 1097
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 10:22 am Reply with quote
Generally, I'm still enjoying this show, but I thought spoiler[the wedding ring reveal was poor attempt at eliciting sympathy for a sadistic, deranged piece of crap whom I felt couldn't get killed soon enough.

Likewise, I lost all sympathy for Touka once she decided to avenge Hinami's mother by killing an investigator who had nothing to do with her death, which obviously just served to escalate things between Ghouls and Doves. Why couldn't she just take revenge on Mado directly, which would have had the same effect on the plot?]
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Kreion



Joined: 02 Jan 2013
Posts: 332
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:22 am Reply with quote
JesuOtaku wrote:
rheiders wrote:
spoiler[Hate to break it to you, but your favorite character isn't dead.]


Oh... Dammit. He sure looked dead, but ghouls will be ghouls.

And yeah, I took a cursory glance at the manga version of the scenes I'd already seen in the anime aaaaaaaaand the anime is a big step up. Direction is everything. I definitely wish more adaptations were handled this way. It reminds me of Fullmetal Alchemist (2003).

To people expressing concerns that it feels rushed, I like that about it. The show is moving at a great little pace for me, I'm glad that it doesn't slow down for talking heads or meandering comedy (it does sometimes, but graciously less than the norm.) Some things are blink-and-you-miss-it (including Hide's hidden knowledge of Ken's ghouldom that I didn't happen to catch,) but I like it that way. Keeps you on your toes, makes you think, doesn't babysit you. I could think of a dozen ways that spoiler[wedding ring reveal] on Mado's hand would have fallen flat, but it's a great, visceral shock in the show because they timed it perfectly.


No, the anime is not a big step up - it's far worse than the manga and removes 90% of the depth of the series. Don't act like you actually know the series after 'glancing' at the manga: it's paced better, the characters are deeper, the series itself has more to it other than being a bloody mess which is all the anime is.

You don't like that a show is rushed, that's idiotic. You might like a faster series but that doesn't mean a rushed series is better, the two are very different things. Also, you might like a shallower series which doesn't require much thought and that's fine too - but that doesn't mean people have to be happy that Tokyo Ghoul was made into that, especially since the source material isn't shallow at all.

You can like the anime if you want - but as someone who enjoys the manga this is not a good adaptation, it pales in comparison to the engaging and complex series which Tokyo Ghoul is. The only good thing about it is the op.
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Raneth



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 251
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:11 pm Reply with quote
So I've been wanting to check this out since A) I tend to like supernatural-flavored action and B) It's on Crunchyroll so I have easy access, but the one thing that's keeping me away is blood. I have a thing about blood, and the title and some of what I've heard makes me think that this anime is chock full of it. However, I've also heard there's a lot of censoring.

Exactly how over the top bloody is the broadcast version, and how "realistic" are the gory scenes? I could handle Attack on Titan, but detailed images of blood and viscera I'd rather not.
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JacobC
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:25 pm Reply with quote
Raneth wrote:
So I've been wanting to check this out since A) I tend to like supernatural-flavored action and B) It's on Crunchyroll so I have easy access, but the one thing that's keeping me away is blood. I have a thing about blood, and the title and some of what I've heard makes me think that this anime is chock full of it. However, I've also heard there's a lot of censoring.

Exactly how over the top bloody is the broadcast version, and how "realistic" are the gory scenes? I could handle Attack on Titan, but detailed images of blood and viscera I'd rather not.


This may be more cartoony than gory, but ghouls literally fight by extruding their internal organs. That's the big red thing you see coming out of them, it's like a deadly gallbladder.

Apart from that, most of the dismemberment is censored. So you'll see a ghoul get cut in half and continue talking with like a quarter of their body just dangling there/dragging on the ground, but it is blacked or negative'd out.

Point being that the home release is gonna be nas-tay. But for the TV version it's just a lot of blood and spit and puke and sweat, not anything too chunky.
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Raneth



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 251
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 4:29 pm Reply with quote
Shocked Hmm...It doesn't sound too bad, but it doesn't sound too pleasant either. I may wait for this one to wrap and if people say its not to be missed, give it a try then.

Thanks for the response.
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Psycho_Despair



Joined: 17 Nov 2009
Posts: 376
Location: East of Eden
PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:34 pm Reply with quote
I am really enjoying this show but in a way I am sad by the fact that this is going to be a real short show.

Really like the directing in this show and which is why I would like to see an adaptation with a longer episode count someday in the future -___-

Really looking forward to the Blu-ray home release.


Last edited by Psycho_Despair on Sat Aug 30, 2014 5:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
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