By Dustin Cabeal
This marks the end of Tokyo Ghoul proper. I will decline reading wiki-pages that would clarify everything going on, but the gist is that after this volume is Tokyo Ghoul: re. Which is sure to confuse anime viewers when the third series by that name starts this month but is not the continuation of root A from what I understand. Pretty much, if you’re a Tokyo Ghoul fan, then who cares? Read it all, watch it all, just fucking enjoy it.
Sadly, I have sat on this volume for so long that nearly four volumes of the new series are already out. I will still tread lightly on the spoilers because if you didn’t even know there was a second series and were dragging your feet with this one, now you hopefully know and can change all that.
This volume is the final big ass showdown between the Doves, the Owl and all the Ghouls from Ward 20. If you saw the anime, let me tell you right now, there are a lot of fucking differences. A lot! Not just in who lives or dies, but also how people die. That last one is especially important because it changes how the story progresses and the character development. As much as I like the anime, Sui Ishida’s manga is so much better because of the layers of the story. The added layer of the doctor creating ghouls and cloning Rize is just the start of how wacky this world can be. There is a massive twist at the end of this volume that flips everything you know about this world on its head and made me excited as fuck about what comes next.
The storytelling in Tokyo Ghoul stands out so much because it’s a deep story. Ghouls aren’t bad people, but they must eat people to live. Humans aren’t bad either, but they obviously have problems with other humanoids eating them. It’s this jacked up crossroads that constantly pushes the story back and forth as both sides have shitty characters that go too far and hurt people well outside the normal limits of war. Because that’s the thing, they are at war with each other. Something that becomes noticeably clear in this volume.
The artwork continues to shine. I don’t mean this as a generalized slam, but a lot of manga doesn’t rely on the art to tell the story. Someone is always shouting and really the art backs up the emotion or puts it on display. With Sui Ishida’s style, the art tells the story as much as the writing. Ishida uses the art to convey other elements and so they play-off of each other well. It often feels as if there are two creators on the story because of how well Ishida separates the two.
Tokyo Ghoul is obviously one of the most popular series to come along in a long while. To get two anime series so quickly and to actually return for a pseudo third/second illustrates this point all the more. Behind all that hype though, is some ground-breaking storytelling and world that is simple in concept, yet deeply intriguing. It’s a world you want to tell a story in because of its coolness factor. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have four volumes of Tokyo Ghoul: re to catch up on.
Tokyo Ghoul vol. 14
Viz Media/Viz Signature