Review: Tokyo Ghoul

By Teen Blogger, Timothy

If you are ever browsing around Instagram or Twitter, you may have come across the saying “It would certainly be a tragedy,” or you may have seen your friends cracking their knuckles in an unusual way. For those of you who have no clue where these things come from, let me fill you in...

The story of Tokyo Ghoul takes place in a world parallel to ours, but there is one huge difference: Ghouls. Ghouls are a species similar to humans, but unlike us, they crave flesh and blood, and are unable to eat our food, as it tastes disgusting to them. Tokyo Ghoul centers around Kaneki’s life, and begins with him going on a date with his first ‘girlfriend,’ but unfortunately for both of them just before the night can end, it takes a dark turn that will change both of their lives forever.

Tokyo Ghoul

Ken Kaneki is a Freshman at Kamii University, and is the protagonist of the series. Kaneki starts out as a bookworm, and enjoys reading books written by the author named ‘Sen Takatsuki’, a mysterious young woman best known for ‘Egg of the Black Goat’, a book about a serial killer and her son, who eventually has to embrace the killing instinct inside of him after his mother dies. The other book that is mentioned is ‘Dear Kafka’, a book about a young man who wakes one morning to find himself transformed into a giant insect, but what makes this inclusion so interesting, is that it is based off of a real book by Franz Kafka, called “Die Verwandlung”, meaning ‘The Metamorphosis’. Both of these stories are extremely import to the plot of Tokyo Ghoul, as it foreshadows what is to come, as well as paralleling Kaneki’s relationship with his mother. As the story progresses, Kaneki quickly learned that in this messed up world that he lives in, it’s either kill, or be killed, because if you don’t fight, you will lose everything you love.

To make matters worse, as the story progresses, the readers learn of an organization called the Commission of Counter Ghoul - or CCG for short - whose job is to hunt down ghouls and eliminate them, whether they are threats to humanity, or innocent families just trying to survive in the bodies they were given. At times, the members of the CCG can seem very cold hearted and self centered, and yes some of them are, but many of them do their job to protect their loved ones from harm. Because of the power certain ghouls hold, Tokyo has been divided into 24 Wards, each ruled over by a different organization of Ghouls, or Investigators from the CCG. Each of the wards have a different danger level, as many of them are ruled with an iron fist by ghouls, or by the CCG, and in some cases, even cannibals.

Overall, Tokyo Ghoul is an interesting series to read, as it gives you a different view of our world, and what could happen if we continue to build up powerful organizations and shun others because they’re ‘different’, and because that person doesn’t fit the social norms of society. This is an important lesson, because if we push people away, and they die because we left them defenseless, we may as well be the one who killed them. As well, by big organizations shunning people who are ‘different’ it shows they are afraid of them; that those in power know those people who they shunned will rise up against their ‘Mighty Empires’, and dethrone them if they don’t stop them first - even if that means they get blood on their hands.  

However, one thing to keep in mind, is that just because Tokyo Ghoul is a book full of illustrations, that does not mean it is a book about sunshine and rainbows. It is about a world full of death and sadness, where if you aren’t strong enough, you die.

This series is not for the faint of heart, and is meant for mature teens, as it deals with some dark themes. If you are curious, don’t be afraid to read the first book, I promise it won’t bite. And for those of you who enjoy it, the series continues for 14 books, leading into a second series called Tokyo Ghoul re:, all of which are written by Sui Ishida.

"All acts of taking are equally evil. We take from the moment we are dropped into life. We take from those around us, even from our own blood... We butcher, kill and take as long as we live. Life is a continuous commission of sins. Life is evil itself."

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