Tokyo Ghoul √A

TV (12 eps)
3.901 out of 5 from 44,546 votes
Rank #1,454
Tokyo Ghoul √A

In modern day Tokyo, society lives in fear of Ghouls: mysterious creatures who look exactly like humans -- yet hunger insatiably for their flesh. None of this matters to Ken Kaneki, a bookish and ordinary young man, until a dark and violent encounter turns him into the first ever Ghoul-human half breed. Trapped between two worlds, Ken must survive the violent conflicts of warring Ghoul factions, while attempting to learn more about Ghoul society, his newfound powers, and the fine line between man and monster.

Source: Funimation

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"Well, would you look at this artistic anime! My, my. Kaneki is unlucky and tragic and that makes him a deep and well developed character." This is a blister that needs to be popped. This show is a sequel to a decent production by Studio Perriot made fairly recently. Tokyo Ghoul. What a controversial show that's turned out to be. Quite unpopular with some manga fans, the first was really only decent at best. It's philosophy was done before and a bit underdeveloped, and the characters weren't very well explored. In addition, the show had a very open, "trollish" ending, and so a second season wasn't exactly met with hostility. Instead, the show was met with a very wary, defensive feeling. Feelings were mixed, it could either be good or it could also be a trainwreck. Now that the show is out, and the show has ended, these feelings have mixed up even more. People find the ending to be artistic, mindblowing, and one of the best they've seen. Others (like me) found it to be trash, boring, and an extremely poor work. Of course there are some in the middle, but I don't belong there.  Therefore, despite this being a review, it's best that you watch this yourself and make your own judgment. This applies to most things I suppose, but this more than others. However, I would meet the show with skepticism, and here is my opinion of whether this is worth a watch, or whether or not the manga is more up your alley. STORY The philosophy of humans vs creatures have been done before. Particularly in this airing season, it's been compared quite a bit to its counterpart with a similar conflict, Parasyte. Looking back, there isn't much of a story to this show at all. Kaneki Ken, once a nerdy teenager, has been killed by an unfortunate accident and had his internal organs replaced with ones of a ghoul. The rest surround the world -- different groups of ghouls, and human head hunters trying to kill every ghoul in sight. Ken is in the middle ground -- and the first show set up a conflict of humans vs. ghouls, and Ken being a bridge between the two entities. That was the main theme established in the first show Now, what about this one? To be honest, the story of this show has almost completely shifted, at least for a large majority of the show. This sequel instead attempted to turn itself into a character piece -- exploring its characters, and through this spouts a bunch of incoherent plot points. None of which are resolved. Kaneki leaves and branches out into another group, Touka tries to get by in life posing as a human, and the CCG, the premier ghoul hunters, begin to make a move against the ghouls. There is no inherent problem with trying to go down a more unexplored story route. In fact, I find it to be kind of a wise decision, since the ending of season one was incohesive and a bit of a wreck. The problem comes in the show's execution. The show purposely attempts to give the story a deep edge, and a neat and loose way to tell it's story. The first half is absolutely incomprehensive. The story is almost literally impossible to follow, but that's not in the fault of the viewer. They do not give any explanations to any of the story threads. Characters and situations are introduced one by one, but absolutely nothing happens to explain any of this at all. There's even an obligatory, yet unexplained super shounen power up as well through the middle of the show, and not even this is expanded on, only being used as a convenient plot point that is hardly even expanded on.  The second half slightly improves upon this formula, taking the time to slow down and actually explore characters beyond very cliché measures. However, despite this, the plotlines of the first half are still hardly explored. The ending ends up being an absolute trainwreck. It's actually very artistic and as an individual episode -- it's quite well done. The problem is the ending is an artistic one when the show was presented as a narrative that should have a beginning, middle, and an end. It does end, but it is once again open and nothing is done. ANIMATION & SOUND The technical aspect of the show is mediocre. There are very silly moments of poor animation. Studio Perriot really skimped out, presenting it's action scenes (might I mention those are few and spread out) in a very boring and unengaging way. The fight choreography is very static and undynamic, particularly in the first half of the show. Backgrounds and character designs are decent, yet in many places are drawn strangely and at times even look like poor sketches. At times it's even distracting to the show, and largely contributes to the boredom factor of everything. I've never had a problem with the sound aspect during the show. The original soundtrack is quite good in this show, the insert songs being of all good quality. Many people dislike the opening, but I found the song to be quite pretty to listen to. The visuals are of more of an artistic quality. Many people do dislike the song, comparing it to Unravel, but I find it to be a good listen. Insert songs are slightly abused however, despite being relatively good songs. It's not a really big issue, but I did find it to be a bit cheesy at times. CHARACTERS The next part of this trainwreck is through its characters. Almost none of them aside from Hinami are really fleshed out aside from square one, despite its attempts. Touka's resolve almost complete revolves around Kaneki, making her a very poor individual character. Other side characters like Hide, Uta, and Tsukiyaka are just there as side characters, very poorly developed with little screentime. Other side characters do get some development, and are even likeable. Hide, despite being poorly developed, at the very least has a sense of intrigue around him. Akira is enjoyable, and Amon is decently built up, despite being quite generic.  Kaneki is our final main character, and is absolutely terrible. He's given an incredible silent treatment -- his screentime consists of only him screaming and crying in agony because of how tragic and terrible his life is. We are constantly reminded of how awful Kaneki's life has become, but with his lack of screentime, all we know now about Kaneki is that his life sucks. And trust me, this act gets old really fast. TL;DR • Characters are mostly underdeveloped. Side characters aside from Touka have little screentime and don't really impact the story. Kaneki is an awful main character. • Story is incoherent and unresolved. First half moves at an absolutely sluggish pace and is incredibly boring, though second half improves slightly. • Animation is laughable at times and even distracting at points.  • Sound is quite good. Enjoyable OP (though be wary since most people hate it, lol) FINAL SCORE: 2/10


Tokyo Ghoul Root A is maybe not the AOTY 2015, but because I see it collects here only criticisms at best not very fair, I must restore the balance of the opinions. I think the problem, above all, is the state of mind with which we perceive this second season. Indeed, in the echoes which I received from Tokyo Ghoul, there was hardly only of three sorts: "S1 is a little bit boring but in S2 it gets interesting", then "S2 is a waste which murders S1", and "S2 isn't canon compared to the manga since Pierrot has fucked it up". And indeed, we have in front of us 2 seasons with different rhythm which do not have much in common between them.  Personally, when we spoke to me about Tokyo Ghoul, in view of the name, the pictures, the first minutes of the first episode of S1 with a glowing Rize, and... a certain white-haired boy who can "no longer see the world", I imagined at once something bloody , violent, merciless; a persistent war between ghouls and humans until the annihilation.                                                                                As a result, I felt an afterstate of slice of ghoul life, in front of a S1 which has certainly its moments of cruelty and tragedy, but which gets mainly down to show us that ghouls are as the human. They too have their ties, their pains, their hopes, their despairs... It was not what I expected, but it wasn't unpleasant after all. It is necessary to be immersed, this season is essential to blur the manicheanism, make us wonder ourselves of which side we take place in this war. It takes sense only because we know the battle arrives. The last episode of this S1, symbol of its depth, justifies everything, and represents a transition towards a more bestial S2 putting an end in this "calm before the storm".But let us bend over this S2. The answer is yes, it reigns a certain confusion... a certain lack of sense in the plot's structure. However, I would here want to bring a nuance: it's not inconsistent for all that. Those who didn't read the manga are certainly going to miss some information, and in order general the decisions of the characters are not clarified. But nevertheless, by making a little effort there, they can easily, and even with the few of elements they have, to understand what it takes place and why. The biggest riddle, of course, remains Kaneki Ken, our protagonist. It's maybe the one who seems most emotionally weak at first sight. However, you shouldn't forget as far as himself, in the situation, is not necessarily capable of being completely rational, having lost its innocence. Even if he makes a little bit debatable decisions, it works. It's not a plot weakness, but a will to let the public think about cogs. His character developpement is memorable.  And then, it's a season much more turned to the action, with an anthology OST and a magnificent animation made by Pierrot which hits the score, and can show itself rather epic. The characters psychology is not aside left for all that, it's even more developed than in S1...  But it's moved, expressed through flashbacks which often take 1/4 or 1/3 of the episodes (it's not inevitably a flaw). According to me, without saying about it too much, THE big flaw of this season is the end: excess of doors left open, too many tracks which we would have liked seeing exploited throughout the anime and which are dedicated to remain unsettled; despite of a conclusion endowed with a beautiful staging. But I saw it in so many series, and especially I saw so worse than that, I don't see of what complain here. It's less hateful than the disease from which suffer so much animes when, in two episodes of the end, they begin to hesitate absolutely anything, to accelerate things and arrive at a conclusion, which besides making no sense, most of the time solves nothing for all that. And now, it's time for the notation : -Story part : 4/10 .An average pacing, too slow in S1, and too fast in this S2. (0,5/2) .A pretty good premise like S1, with an freshly enigmatic Kaneki. (1/2) .Complexity isn't really present.. Too much focus on the protagonist. (1/2) .Regarding Plausibility, there are some obvious plot holes. (0,5/2) .A conclusion which makes diverge passions, and disappoints me. (1/2) -Animation part : 9/10 .All hail Pierrot, overpowered production value. (2/2) .Great use of shadows and darkness, good visual effects. (2/2) .Memorable character design (Special mention to Eto. Spooky.) (2/2) .Animated by Pierrot? Animated by god. (Especially to the end of the show). Very good staging. (2/2) .A decent background, but there is a lack of details. (1/2) -Sound part : 8/10 .High quality sound effects. (2/3) .According to me, an anthology OST (Special mention to White Silence which isn't integrated in the show : This is art.) (3/3) .A great voice acting (Special thanks to Eto again...). (2/3) .Good BGM, atmosphere is immersive. (1/1) -Characters part : 8/10 .Acceptable presence, especially with the main characters. (1/2) .Very poignant catharsis, definitively. (2/2) .High quality character developpement, in particular in Kaneki and Amon. (2/2) .Detailed and deep characters personality. (2/2) .Good but incomplete backdrop... (1/2) -Miscellaneous part ( doesn't count in the notation ) : 7/10 .Good Rewatchability. (2/3) .Disappointing OP and ED contrary to S1. Just saying. (0/1) .Enjoyment is here. It'll stay in my memories. (5/6) OVERALL : 7/10 This S2 thus has nothing exceptional. It's true, it doesn't reach its full potential, but the whole thing remains effective despite of these frustrations.

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