Review: Tokyo Ghoul Vol. 5

The thing I continue to enjoy about the Tokyo Ghoul manga series is just how different it is from the anime. When I originally dove into the manga I had already watched two seasons of the show and I expected the manga to be pretty much the same. Thankfully it’s not. There’s a lot of similarities, but the manga continues to surprise me with its character development and extra backstory that it adds. This volume picks up just after Kaneki was nearly eaten by Tsukiyama's eclectic gathering of fine diners. He’s a bit frightened at the moment which is understandable. Unfortunately, it’s not long before he has to deal with Tsukiyama again as he kidnaps Nishio’s human girlfriend Kimi. That’s the bulk of the volume as Kaneki and Nishio go up against a fully charged Tsukiyama, but thankfully Touka shows up to help out.

The second part of the story is actually spent with Rize as it shows her in the 11th ward and just how freaking dangerous she is. This was actually the best part of the volume to me since it was completely new, but also because Rize’s character is just fantastic. She’s intentionally cute to throw off her prey, but even when she’s angry and killing she’s still strangely sweet. It’s very strange and it makes her even more terrifying.

tokyo-ghoul-manga-vol-5There’s also a segment with the Dove’s and that kid with the stitches is introduced. I like his character even less here. He’s one of the few elements of this story that seems completely out of place and it’s no different here. If anything he feels more out of place in the manga.

While the bulk of this volume is a battle and backstory for a deceased character, it’s really enjoyable. The pacing towards the end is a bit strange, but it in a way it sets up the next leg of the story for volume 6. The writing manages to build the characters and in particular show Touka in a different light and strengthen Kaneki. It also shows how attached everyone at Anteiku is to Kaneki which was something severely under developed with the anime.

The art has developed more since the first couple of volumes. It’s a lot cleaner now and you can really see how Sui Ishida has grown. The only downfall to this is that a lot the unique style and look that the early volumes had is now gone. It’s not as artsy and free flowing in this volume, but rather a crisp detailed piece of work. It’s good. It’s just that it looks a bit like everything else now and that’s a shame. It really stood out before and now it’s just the covers that do.

As much as I enjoyed this volume it does very little to move the overall series forward. Sure we get some backstory for Rize and the mystery behind her, but there’s not a lot to this volume other than that. It’s still good, but the action needs to be spread out more so that it’s more enjoyable. This is one of those unfortunate volumes that’s a transition volume. We’re getting the conclusion of the last story arc and starting the next one with leaves this one a little awkward on its own. But if you’re reading the series there’s no reason to stop here.

[button btn_url="" btn_color="pink" btn_size="large" btn_style="default" btn_outlined="no" link_target="blank" link_rel="" icon_left="" icon_right=""]Score: 3/5[/button]

Tokyo Ghoul Vol. 5 Creator: Sui Ishida Publisher: Viz/Viz Signature Price: $12.99 Release Date: 2/16/16 Format: TPB; Print/Digital