Having spoiled much of the story for myself by watching the first season of the anime, I wasn’t terribly enthralled with this volume. I instead noticed the differences and really began to appreciate the extra details that the manga had for me. The differences in characters, especially the Doves. In the anime, the Doves walk this fine line of being terrible because they remorselessly kill Ghouls, but then you kind of have to side with them since they’re human. The balance is that they’re no different from the Ghouls. In the manga, there is a difference. They’re dicks. I hated the Doves in this volume and I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to. They’re frustrating because they can’t see that Ghouls are just like humans for the most part and that not all of them are killing machines. That’s a big chuck of the what the story deals with, but the last few chapters are when the volume shines. Touka goes after the Doves and kills one of them, but meets her match with Mr. Mado. It’s quick interaction, but it was probably one of the best scenes. It also led to the most character development for Kaneki and also Touka. Kaneki asks her to teach him how to use his Kagune and it’s nothing like what you’d imagine.
The story was a bit slow in this issue, but it does a great job of building the world and establishing the differences between Ghouls and Humans, but then also the similarities. The character development is a bit slow, but again it proves effective for the story it’s telling.
I continue to enjoy the art for Tokyo Ghoul. Personally the manga surpasses the anime in a lot of ways, but I was a bit disappointed that there wasn’t much focus or even panels for the Kagune or Quinques. If it’s being built up for later then that’s great, but for now there’s been too many opportunities to show it and no payoff to go with it. With as detailed as the art is, this is the weakest part. Otherwise, I love the character designs and the individual character moments. The action is a bit lacking in its fluidity, but the individual moments feel personal and look great.
This is a solid volume for sure, but it doesn’t stand on its own. You need the first volume and with that it means we’re over a hundred pages into this story and still establishing the world. Hopefully the story kicks off more in the next chapter because I’m waiting to see what the manga has to offer compared to the anime. If you enjoyed the first volume though, then you’ll enjoy this volume as well. In fact, you kind of need this volume to go with it.