Lurking within the shadows of Tokyo are frightening beings known as "ghouls," who satisfy their hunger by feeding on humans once night falls. An organization known as the Commission of Counter Ghoul (CCG) has been established in response to the constant attacks on citizens and as a means of purging these creatures. However, the problem lies in identifying ghouls as they disguise themselves as humans, living amongst the masses so that hunting prey will be easier. Ken Kaneki, an unsuspecting university freshman, finds himself caught in a world between humans and ghouls when his date turns out to be a ghoul after his flesh.
Barely surviving this encounter after being taken to a hospital, he discovers that he has turned into a half-ghoul as a result of the surgery he received. Unable to satisfy his intense craving for human meat through conventional means, Kaneki is taken in by friendly ghouls who run a coffee shop in order to help him with his transition. As he begins what he thinks will be a peaceful new life, little does he know that he is about to find himself at the center of a war between his new comrades and the forces of the CCG, and that his new existence has caught the attention of ghouls all over Tokyo.
Tokyo Ghoul ranked 12th in the 2015 Kono Manga ga Sugoi! magazine in the male readers category. The manga was the 27th best-selling manga series in Japan in 2013 with 1,666,348 estimated sales; 4th in 2014 with 6,946,203 copies sold; and 13th in 2015 with an estimated sales of 3,576,177 copies sold. An artbook titled Tokyo Ghoul [zakki] was released on October 17, 2014.
The series was published in English by VIZ Media under the VIZ Signature imprint from June 16, 2015 to August 15, 2017. It has also been published in Spanish by Norma Editorial from March 20, 2015 to June 23, 2016 and by Ivrea Argentina starting December 12, 2016; in German by KAZÉ Manga since May 2, 2014; in Polish by Waneko since April 15, 2015; and in Brazilian Portuguese by Panini Comics and Planet Manga since July 2015.
Ignore almost every negative review, it's probably someone complaining about the conclusion.
The author ended the manga and started the sequel a month later. He likes to screw with people like that. It is a direct sequel starting 3 years after the ending of TG. Without spoiling anything, there are answers and it will end your anger.
The manga is amazing, the characters are too well written (it could be an actual novel tbh), and the concept is really well played out for something so out there.
The fact that so many people nearly killed the author because he ended the series
so suddenly is really just proof of how strong the story and characters are.
I'm going to make this brief. Tokyo Ghoul is one of the most overrated mangas ever made.
The characters aren't interesting, the philosophy is weak and always try to be deep when the only thing it's good at is your typical shounen tropes and gore.
Stupidly bad characters, poor story, good art and surprisingly entertaining for a bad title, that's all Tokyo Ghoul is.
At first this manga might not have the most original concept or story. However, the way in which it is executed is excellent. There are no such things as 'black and white' in this manga.
Each important character has proper development and significance to the story, and none of them are there just for the sake of them being there, nor are they useless. The characters have realistic personalities, and none of them are just 'good' or 'bad'. Each character is well developed and continue to develop and none of them are completely innocent just like how it is in real life.
I appreciated the fact
that the characters are like this and this manga understands this perfectly. Characters that may seem shallow at first actually have depth to them.
Ken Kaneki is by far one of the best developed characters I have had the pleasure of seeing. He is not just the 'nerd' or the 'cool emo badass'. Just like any person in real life, he does have secrets he wants to keep buried and not willing to accept. He has various stages of development that actually makes sense in the situations he is in. His motives and thought process is excellently displayed.
Another good thing is how the manga does not just spoonfeed you the facts. They are foreshadowed with various references to numbers, tarot cards, symbolism and metaphors, but unless you pay attention to what you read you will not notice them and not be able to appreciate the manga in its full glory. I would recommend not just reading the manga just once but at least several times to get what you may have missed.
Overall an amazing manga, and the cliffhanger ending was actually the best way to end the first part.
Despite the manga's popularity, it wasn't until the anime aired this year that Tokyo Ghoul exploded in sales and became one of the top five best-selling manga in Japan (beating Kuroko's Basketball, Naruto and Magi).
So what is it about this series that attracted such popularity? It’s by no means a perfect series, that's for sure; but it gets a lot of things right.
The story begins by introducing readers to the timid protagonist; Kaneki Ken. Kaneki is an average college student that is forced to come to terms with living as a ghoul after a freak accident results in a ghoul's organs being transplanted into his
body. Whilst not exactly the most subtle premise, the manga wisely focuses on the duality of Kaneki's life, as he attempts to maintain his normal, human life whilst having to deal with the problems that his ghoul identity incorporates into his lifestyle. The author attempts to question the morality of the world he has created, and encourages the reader to do so as well. As ghouls are required to consume human meat to survive, Kaneki is forced to confront the prospect that he may have to kill humans if he wishes to live. Usually I prefer to avoid elaborating on the story so much, but the moral dilemmas that this manga presents are one of the most interesting aspects of the series, and are one of the driving forces that keep readers engaged in the events that unfold. Unfortunately they tend to lose their significance as the story progresses, and around halfway through the series is an event that drastically alters the story and feels far too ham-fisted compared to the rest of the series, but I'll elaborate on that in the character paragraph. Added to that, the story also ends on a highly unsatisfying note. Regardless of what information is revealed in the sequel manga, this is a review of the 144 chapters that the story spans across, so any information provided externally means naught. As I read the final few chapters, my faith in the series having a gratifying conclusion eroded further and further. As the manga ends, readers are left with the story tying itself together within the last few chapters. Having to process what had happened was jarring when the series had handled its pacing so well throughout the rest of the story, and the author definitely should have reconsidered how he chose to conclude it. With the amount of literary influence in the story, it felt as though the mangaka was trying to structure his story as a classic tale of tragedy, and if that were his intention then it was well-done indeed.
The art for the series is pretty decent overall, but there's not much to praise. His character designs are done well, and the inky panels help maintain the dark atmosphere of the series. The art is fairly standard but it definitely has its moments where it shines. That said, the fight scenes can be quite hit or miss; especially in the early parts of the story. The way the mangaka draws the fights occasionally lead me to be confused with what actions were performed in each panel. It’s a very minor issue as it only happened a few times, but it was something that was highly noticeable when the rest of the art flowed relatively smoothly.
The characters in the series are a strong point as well. Kaneki is a particularly strong protagonist in the sense that the ghoul’s violent lifestyle being inflicted on such a mild-mannered person is intriguing to watch. The supporting characters are also written well, and unlike a lot of other stories, they actually continue to serve a purpose after their initial introductions. With a story that raises a variety of moral dilemmas, readers can often question whether the antagonists are truly the 'evil' ones and vice versa for the protagonists. But the characters aren't always handled well. Kaneki in particular undergoes a period of rapid growth about halfway through the story, and it feels far too convenient. Almost as if the event was used as an excuse to fast-track Kaneki's development to allow him to play a more integral role in the story. Whilst this isn't a huge detraction, it’s something that irked me long after I'd finished reading the series.
Tokyo Ghoul has a lot to offer, and its popularity is well-deserved. Those that tend to avoid dark stories would be wise to avoid this too. It’s terrific, but it’s not the series that'll change your mind. Not once was I ever bored while reading, and I often looked forward to doing so to see how the story would develop.
This manga is great, and those interested in a dark, strong story would do well to give the series a try. If some of the characters were developed more subtly, and the ending hadn't raised more questions than it answered, then this manga would definitely be bordering masterpiece territory. As it stands, Tokyo Ghoul is an undoubtedly solid manga that deserves your time.
Tokyo Ghoul is a romantic tragedy that follows the young Ken Kaneki who is born human but is transformed into a man-eating ghoul. A twisted story of morality, humanity and friendship, its opening theme song beautifully captures this complex narrative.