By: Warren Younger
It has been awhile since we have witnessed a good “dark” anime series.
Not since the cult hit Madoka Magica came out in 2009 has the anime scene seen an anime with a dark undertone that has been considered good.
Well that is until now. Tokyo Ghoul which is a new anime that started to air back in July has taken the anime world by storm. The suspense horror/dark fantasy story is set in Tokyo, which is haunted by mysterious “ghouls” whose way of life includes eating humans to survive.
People are gripped by the fear of these ghouls whose identities and existence are masked in mystery.
The stories main character, an ordinary college student named Kaneki, encounters Rize, a girl who is an avid reader like him, at the café he frequents. Little does he know that his fateful encounter with Rize will change his life forever.
When looking at the things that make an anime good we can split this up into five categories.
Those 5 categories are story, characters, animation, sound and personal enjoyment.
Tokyo Ghoul does four of the five right.
The story of Tokyo Ghoul is definitely unique, to say the least. There really isn’t any anime like it in terms of plot and the only anime that has any remote similarities to it is the 2010 American hit Deadman Wonderland, which only has a few similarities at that.
Perhaps this anime could be called Deadman Wonderland 2.0 but that is a good thing, as Tokyo Ghoul is everything that Deadman Wonderland wasn’t.
The Characters in this anime are pretty solid.
Our main characters Ken, Touka and Rize get really nice character development throughout the series and they are all really likable. The antagonists for the anime are top notch as well.
Each antagonist provokes anger like any good villain should so it is safe to say that the characters in Tokyo Ghoul get the job done well.
The soundtrack is by far the best thing about this anime.
In an anime series the opening and credit sequences are very important as they take up about four minutes of each episode and the opening for Tokyo Ghoul is one of the best I have ever seen.
The song that plays in the Opening is called “Unravel” and is performed by TK from the group Ling Tosite Sigure who has performed a couple of other great anime openings for the cult hit Psycho-Pass.
The soundtrack for the anime is composed by Yutaka Yamada and he did a fantastic job composing music for the series and the credit music is also on point.
The soundtrack is amazing, but without a release date announced you will be patiently waiting for one after experiencing it.
However the downfall of the anime is well, the animation.
Because anime airs in primetime in Japan, animators are forced to censor some of the “gory” scenes. Since this anime has plenty of those scenes, it takes away from the experience.
If you can get over the censored scenes, then the anime is almost perfect, but if you absolutely can’t, then waiting for an uncut release of the anime which is expected sometime later this year might better appeal to you.
Tokyo Ghoul was an amazing ride through its first season and I enjoyed it more than any other show that aired in the summer season.
At the end of the day, after calculating a score based on the categories used earlier and my personal enjoyment, I find myself giving Tokyo Ghoul a score of 8.5 out of 10 and the recommendation of watching this anime if you are looking for a ‘darker’ series as this is the best dark series that has come out in a long time.