By Dustin Cabeal
After the last volume, there’s not a lot that this one can do to top itself. It’s still a great volume if you’ve been reading the series from the beginning, but it’s not as mind-blowing to the plot as the tenth volume of Tokyo Ghoul.
Ken has gone a bit crazy and turned into a damn centipede ghoul, which is gross, awesome and scary all at once. That’s the great part of this volume, though, Ken not being himself. Eventually, he gets there, but it takes a very scary moment for him to snap out of it. Until that moment, you’re left wondering if he’s gone full blown crazy ghoul because of all the ghoul eating. Everyone’s plan goes to shit which leaves all parties involved in an interesting spot. The next volume seems like it’ll be interesting and it’ll be because of the groundwork laid here. There’s just not much to say about this volume because so much of it is the conclusion of the battles started in the last volume.
The last third of the book is lighter and more carefree as everyone settles back into their lives waiting to take the next steps. Some of these scenes are also in the anime, but because the manga is its own entity, you see them in a different context. It makes these simple scenes that much more powerful because they end up being deep character moments.
The writing is very sharp. I’m reading a lot of stories involving huge casts of characters, but none of them handle it as well as Tokyo Ghoul. At the end of the day, there are about five characters that are the focus of the story. The rest play a role, but their popularity doesn’t affect the story. That’s what I appreciate because it doesn’t read as if Sui Ishida is forcing characters to do more than they should. They’re not all being given ample page time to be developed because some of them are just bit players in the scheme of things and that’s how it should be. I greatly appreciate that as of late.
The art continues to be a gory, bloody mess of brilliance. The fight scenes stand out because of how different they are and can be. The ghouls with their Kagune’s always make things interesting, but the inspectors with their altered Quinque make for a great counter. That and I like the emphasis on the different types of Kagune/Quinques that make it seem more like rock, paper, scissors instead of “I have the biggest sword, so I win.” Ken’s centipede transformation is disgusting, but I love it. It’s just so creepy and a great visual to show how much he’s gone through recently.
If you’re just watching the anime version of this, you’re missing out. While the anime is great, the manga it’s based on is very different and going for layers that the show isn’t capable of reaching on its story path. I will continue to enjoy both, and while this volume was more of a wrap up that relied on the previous volume, it’s still a hell of a read.
Creator: Sui Ishida
Publisher: Viz/Viz Signature