By Dustin Cabeal
I’ve been a big fan of Tokyo Ghoul and re-added some interesting elements and has taken a lot of chances. Moreover, Sui Ishida grew and changed as a creator which is an incredibly rare thing in manga. That doesn’t mean it’s all worked out, but it’s made Tokyo Ghoul one of the more interesting franchises to follow.
Sadly though, there have been so many loose dangling storylines, unanswered questions and hard turns that I’m beginning to wonder what the commentary is here. From the very beginning, the story raised this hard question about the nature of Ghouls, if they’re inherently evil or just a repressed group of people that could be helped and integrated into society. It’s also at times seemed to tackle the subject of racism in a way that comics/manga haven’t since the original X-Men took on civil rights.
Now though, I can’t tell you what the story is going for because it seems to be lost on identity but has yet to offer a clear outline of the bigger picture it’s working towards. That has become frustrating as a reader since the anime has blown past this volume. This volume is damn near verbatim episodes nine and ten of the first season of the series of the same name. Part of the season will likely be covered in the next volume but having already experienced the story laid out here I stepped back and looked at the structure of the story. Sadly, the conclusion I came to was that the story only cared about the split personality of Ken and Haise, but without a lot of emotional build up. There’s mention, there’s manipulation, but there’s no emotion. Everything feels forced at this point, and it robs Haise of the character he was developing as.
The fighting is cool, don’t get me wrong, but it’s also a bit too quick in the manga. Usually, the manga loves to draw out the fighting, but this volume ran through a lot of the fighting which wasn’t as rewarding. That and the action in this segment of Tokyo Ghoul has felt rushed in general. It’s like everyone is landing kill blows all of a sudden.
This volume is entertaining for sure. There’re some great deaths of characters that lack humanity, but it’s all so quick and underdeveloped at times. Like there was a need for a big battle because that would soak up a lot of pages. Knowing that this series has come to an end already in Japan leaves me feeling like Sui Ishida was ready to move on and just going through the motions of getting there. I hope the next volume proves me wrong, but this volume, was better served in the anime and that’s not something I’ve ever said before given how much the anime has left out of the manga. Time will tell, and we still have eleven volumes of Tokyo Ghoul: re before we reach the ending… let’s just hope the Viz cranks out the volumes given the next season of the anime is just months away.
Tokyo Ghoul: re vol. 5