Coming into Tokyo Ghoul: Re, Sui Ishida’s sequel manga to the brilliant Tokyo Ghoul, you have to understand that is quite different from the original manga.
Not in terms of tone, no, the story is still as horrifying and brutal as ever (except for the ending but we’ll get to that).
Tokyo Ghoul: Re picks up two years after the first manga, with an amnesiac Ken Kaneki, now under the name Sasaki Haise, who is working at the CCG as a ghoul investigator, while leading his own squad.
Named the Quinx Squad, the group consists of characters that have gained ghoul powers through experimentation, like Kaneki, however, unlike Kaneki they are still mostly human.
These are the characters that take up most of the screen time in Re, while most of the original main cast are relegated to smaller roles in the beginning and this can take some time getting used to.
Not to say that this new cast is bad or anything as, with one exception, I came to like all of them.
Although, I will say I was not fond of the main antagonist.
Also, it is a shame that many of the original great dynamics of characters, like the one Kaneki had with Amon, are absent for most of the manga.
In comparison, the dynamics of the new cast are good but nowhere near as good as the original.
Credit where it is due though, some characters have been greatly improved and expanded upon from the first manga.
The best examples of this are Takizawa, who became a very tragic character, and, of course, my favourite character Eto, who was given plenty of flashbacks and amazing moments.
A certain scene with her at a press conference was my favourite moment in the entirety of Re.
I just wish that she had been given more screen time because she certainly deserved it.
Another aspect of the original Tokyo Ghoul that is expanded upon is the horror and gore. Seriously, the violence of this manga makes the violence of the last one look like an adorable puppy.
I can recall many moments where I audibly yelped or gagged at how disgusting some of the visuals were, which I’m sure was Ishida’s intent.
Not only this, but when the old cast does finally return, we get the interactions and dynamics that had been missing in the first half.
This also comes with the growth of the newly introduced characters, with my feelings about them progressing over time.
For example, I originally extremely disliked Urie but, by the end of the story, he was one my favourite characters.
On the opposite side of the spectrum there was Tooru, who went from one of my favourites of the new cast to one of my personally most despised characters in the entire manga.
I know Tooru has the most traumatic past out of any character, and what happened to him is something that no one deserves, but that does not justify his evil actions.
Speaking of evil actions, this is one of my many problems with the ending to the manga, because horrific crimes committed by characters are seemingly forgotten about and these characters then get happy endings.
The ending of Tokyo Ghoul: Re was rushed.
Things happen too quickly and in the epilogue there are even important characters who were completely forgotten about.
This can probably be chalked up to Ishida being burnt out after writing the manga weekly for so long, which is understandable.
However, I still have more problems with the ending.
For one, it was a bit annoying how so many dead characters came back to life at the end, or Ishida made you think they were dead before bringing them back.
There were quite a few times where I just wished he had kept the characters he brought back dead.
And then there is my big problem with the ending, it does not suit the tone of the story up until this point.
At the beginning of Tokyo Ghoul, Ishida set out that the story would be tragic, through actually telling us this with narration and by showing us this with the extreme violence.
So, with many characters essentially getting a fairy tale story book ending, it feels at odds with everything the story had set up.
Just to be clear, I don’t hate this ending.
It is definitely not the worst ending the story could have got.
I just wish it had played out slower and felt in tone with the rest of the manga.
Overall, Tokyo Ghoul: Re is still a good follow up to Ishida’s original story.
Despite its many faults, the manga constantly delivers on good characterization, horrifying moments, and themes.
Now that I have reviewed the manga, it’s on to the anime and, boy, do I have things to say.