Jul 5, 2018
Battler- (All reviews)
A sequel to any series is tricky, and especially for a successful series, there is a burden of expectations that needs to be fulfilled. Despite its flaws, the original manga Tokyo ghoul delivered some interesting ideas and concepts by drawing the conflict between humans and ghouls, and thereafter promised answers to the loose ends in its sequel. Did it succeed, or at least, was able to keep the quality of its prequel? Sadly the answer is no, even though it looked like the first half of the manga is heading towards a specific direction.

Some spoilers ahead for the following review, mostly from the prequel and Re.

Story:- Tokyo ghoul re starts in a promising manner, after the reveal of the clowns in its prequel, with even more mystery surrounding it. The first 60-70 chapters are decent in that regard, main reason being the story seemed to move in a particular direction, with narrowed focus on characters like Tsukiyama, Sasaki, or the members of the Quinx squad. However after a major event in the Cochlea arc, the story suddenly loses coherence, and the narrative quickly devolves into a mess. The worst thing about Re is that the story has so many fake deaths that it turns into Fairy tail levels of ridiculousness at some points. It takes away any sort of lasting narrative impact, has zero purpose and value, but still are used with characters just to provide a temporary shock effect.

The plot armours of characters are bound to be annoying too, and the main cast, especially the Kirishima siblings show the worst side of this. Here I would also like to point out that the romantic subplot lacks any sort of proper buildup, especially considering there is a time skip of two years. The characters on the antagonist side are either wasted after getting hyped up so much, or used as a plot device after fake deaths. The results of the fights don't follow any power levels, sometimes they are rushed too(chapter 143, just for the sake of drawing parallel). Characters remain popping up alive, no matter if they get beaten to death, or there are supposed hints of death. The pacing remains inconsistent, like Mutsuki's arc which has a weak payoff considering to what extent it is dragged. Needless to say, the story is full of holes, but the last part is by far the worst portion of the series, which is addressed below in a separate section.

Characters- An amnesiac character is always going a step back for any sort of character, as it negates any sort of previous buildup. However if the card is pulled right, the returning of memories can always be a trigger for a huge character development. In this regard, Kaneki simply fails as a whole. After 300+ chapters, the proof that he still remains the same as the beginning are the events of chapter 144. He gives in to the same tendencies, realizes his mistakes again, rinse and repeat. Basically a stagnant character until the very end when he finally realizes how to move forward.

One of the main antagonist of the series who took a central figure in the later portion of the manga, had the potential to be a great antagonist at first but quickly turns into a character who simply couldn't be taken seriously. Since the readers had no idea about his thought process, background or anything, the cliche of foolproof plans always working out no matter what quickly breaks any suspense of disbelief. You hardly get to see his side of working out things, and at the end of everything you always get to see classic "it all proceeded according to plan", making him nothing but a gary stu villain who has everything and everyone controlled, all situations and scenarios working out no matter what until the ending. And the other antagonists from the original series like Eto, Tatara aren't even worth mentioning considering how their characters were butchered.

The quinx squad are perhaps better characters of the manga in this regard, since at least they get some sort of development, Urie is probably the best example of this. The problem with the cast is that it's so bloated since they brought almost every character alive and keep on adding new investigators, that the focus on the characters go wayward, like some promising characters of the prequel are forgotten after becoming relevant for a while like Tsukiyama, or barely receive any focus or development of their own, like Nishio, Ayato, Hide etc.

Art- Inconsistent. Some of the early volumes have decent art, but in some of the arcs like Rue Island, it's just messy and you barely have any idea of what's going on in the fights. Just a point in case here that the some of the scans definitely carry some of the blame for that dark, blurry sketches since it looks a bit better for the higher quality scans.

Now to conclude, let's talk about the final portion of the manga, or the last 20-30 chapters. Worst part of the series by far, the quality goes down by another level. Characters magically coming back alive after that same trope of fake deaths just so that you can destroy their relevance in the series, or absolutely quick or no almost resolutions to the fate of the characters, rushed endings to the plotlines, everything making up a full fledged train wreck ending. In the last chapter, we get a happy fairytale ending for the prominent characters after a few miraculous survivals that the readers have no idea of, just so the fans can be satisfied.

Story- 4/10
Characters- 3/10
Art- 5.5/10

Thanks for reading.