Long before becoming the infamous "Reaper" of the Commission of Counter Ghoul, a young Kishou Arima was once assigned to attend high school in order to investigate a series of murders caused by a ghoul with a fervent appetite. What was supposed to be a solo mission changed very quickly for the young genius as he became involved with his delinquent classmate Taishi Fura.
When Fura witnesses the brutal death of his best friend at the hands of a masked ghoul named "Lantern," it seems certain he will meet a similar fate. At the last minute he is saved by Arima, giving Fura a glimpse into the world of a ghoul investigator. Although the ghoul escapes, Fura decides to join forces with his savior and classmate, vowing to bring Lantern to justice.
"Jack" is somewhat intriguing, even if it's not necessary at all for the Tokyo Ghoul mythos. The plot and art are decent enough to carry how paper-thin the characterization is. If you want more details, read on.
[Story - 6]
The story follows a ghoul case pursued by the then-teenaged Kishou Arima, the Reaper of the CCG in the main series. He is accompanied by a 'classmate', Taishi Fura, a tertiary character in the main series and arguably the actual protagonist of this miniseries.
The mystery in this story is pretty predictable, but the build-up towards it makes the climax as depressing as what the original TG pumped
out in its prime. Thankfully, with 7 chapters, the pacing is tightly packed.
While there's nothing particularly deep about this story, it continues exploring the themes of mainline TG: what IS humanity and its place in the 'food chain, along with how we handle the knowledge of said food chain.
[Art - 7]
The artwork is admittedly gorgeous here. Perhaps because of its setting in terms of the timeline, Ishida uses an even murkier artstyle here than before. This gives the whole story an atmosphere of hazy reflection and detachment developed through time. This is made more poignant right at the end, when the art starts to sharpen more to resemble the main series.
Action here is rendered adequately, but not to the heights of the original manga. Character design is fairly plain, but since the core cast is so small this time around, everyone is able to stand out. Special mention goes to Yamori's protomask and Kishou's significantly darker hair, since they tickle my fancy.
[Character - 5]
This is probably the aspect of this sidestory that I found the most lacking. I can't really say much, since these characters either show up in the main title in some capacity (Arima and Fura) or are pretty one-note to complement the former type (EVERYONE else, even Yamori). All I can really say is that it's serviceable for this story only.
[Enjoyment/Overall - 6]
It's not bad by any means, but as stated before it is completely unnecessary in the grander mythos of Ishida's work. Read it if you love Arima, I guess.
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Ghouls hide among the clueless citizens in Tokyo, feasting upon flesh. In order to protect their identities and their loved ones the ghouls wear masks. These masks prove to be iconic in the tragic story of Tokyo Ghoul.