Tokyo Ghoul: Re, Anime Review. Declining Right Into The Dumpster.

two-star-rating
Coming into the Tokyo Ghoul anime adaptation, I knew I was pretty sure I was going to be in for a rough time, given its infamous portrayal of Sui Ishida’s original manga.
Thankfully, I found season one and √A to be good adaptations.
Granted, they both had a lot of problems but, overall, I think they are both be pretty decent.
This was not the case for the Tokyo Ghoul: Re adaptation, this time directed by Odahiro Watanabe.
Studio Pierrot really dropped the ball here.
There is so much wrong with this anime that I do not even know where to begin.
How about I start with how they packed 179 chapters into just 24 episodes?
This was a phenomenally bad idea because of much they had to cut or outright skip just to get to the end.

eto ghoul
Some of my favourite moments from the manga, like Kaneki’s up close reaction to Eto revealing she is a ghoul, are completely gone.

Events from the manga that had such an impact came and went so fast that they left no impact at all.
Not only this, but the anime adapts Re as if √A never happened, so the people who only watched √A would have been thoroughly confused watching.
Along with this, it’s clear that the people adapting the manga had only a surface level understanding of the manga.
Key traits of characters that deliver hidden messages, like Kaneki rubbing his chin when he lies are missing entirely.
The animation is also terrible, with the fights lacking any substance whatsoever.
To make matters worse, it’s not just the fight animation that sucks but the regular animation as well.
Just compare how the characters look when comparing Re to the first two seasons.
The characters in Re just look so bland and lifeless.
Something is also wrong with the color, which just looks dreary, and not in a good way.
Coming back to the characters though, they are terrible adaptation as well, with much of their development cut or changed for some reason.
When Kaneki realizes he killed hundreds, possibly thousands of innocent people when he became the dragon he barely reacts to it, unlike the manga where he breaks down.
How are we supposed to get attached to a character who shows no emotion after they learn they have accidentally become a mass murderer?

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awful adaptation
Look at this comparison between the anime and manga of Kaneki’s encounter with a hallucination of Rize. Manga Kaneki clearly has more emotion compared to anime Kaneki.

And then there’s Tooru.
Even though I didn’t like Ishida turning him from a likeable character into a psychopath in the manga, I can at least admit that it was done well.
In the anime, it’s awful.
Tooru is normal one moment and completely sadistic the next.
His transformation was obviously cut for censorship reasons, as was much of the violence to the point that characters who look barely injured die, when in the manga they died from extensive injuries.
Probably the worst part about this anime, though, is not the stupid changes, awful pacing, or terrible animation, but just how boring it all is.
I really had to struggle to get through the second half of the adaptation, which just shows how bad it is.
Whenever I read the manga, I often feel exhilarated but, when watching the same scenes in the anime, I feel nothing but boredom because of how poorly adapted it is.
Almost every single aspect from the manga is downgraded into dumpster quality.

furata
I was genuinely glad when the last episode finally ended because I no longer had to watch this terrible adaptation.

However, there are a few saving graces that stop the adaptation from being a complete disaster.
The music and the voice acting are still good, and there are some funny moments (although this should be credited to Ishida and not the anime).
Also, the two openings, “Asphyxia” and “Katharsis”, are actually very good, showing way more effort than √A’s opening “Munou”, which was just bad.
And that’s it.
The music, voice acting, a couple of funny moments, and the opening.
Those are the only good things about this anime that stop is from being the worst.
Everything else about it is a spectacular failure.
People say Tokyo Ghoul should get the Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood treatment and their right because Tokyo Ghoul deserves so much better than what Studio Pierrot gave it.
Sadly, if we ever do get another adaptation, I doubt it will be anytime soon.
And until we do (if we ever do), we will be stuck with this awful adaptation of Tokyo Ghoul: Re as its anime sendoff.
Well, on the plus side, Ishida recently revealed he is working on a new manga so we have that to look forward to, at least.

Tokyo Ghoul √A Review: The Decline Begins.

3 stars
The first season of Studio Pierrot’s Tokyo Ghoul adaptation was a solid season, but one that had a few issues.
Despite this, the final episode of the season was incredible and a great ending for the next season, √A, once again directed by Shuhei Morita, to pick up from.
Yet, coming into √A, I had a lot of concerns because this is the point that many fans say that the Tokyo Ghoul anime began to decline in quality.
And right from the first episode, “New Surge”, I knew this was going to be the case.
To put it bluntly, “New Surge” is easily the worst Tokyo Ghoul episode of the first two seasons because of how badly it both adapts the manga and tries to add new scenes.
For example, the emotional goodbye Kaneki (Natsuki Hanae) has with Touka (Sora Amamiya) in the manga is replaced in this first episode with Kaneki just being a silent edge lord, which he unfortunately remains for most of the season.

edge lord kaneki
Kaneki barely says anything to Touka when he leaves Anteiku, compared to the manga where he talks a lot, showing Pierrot couldn’t be bothered to write a different conversation.

Then there is Kaneki joining Aogiri Tree this episode, which is also atrociously done.
The anime decided to change the story in √A from Kaneki forming a resistance group to stop Aogiri to him joining them.
Sui Ishida, the creator of the series, envisioned that Kaneki would do this to secretly find and kill the One Eyed King but Studio Pierrot threw this, and his other ideas, out in favor of Kaneki joining Aogiri Tree to get stronger, which makes no sense at all.
This confusing plot line is on full display in the first episode with the scene that I think is supposed to show Eto (Maaya Sakamoto) convincing Kaneki to join Aogiri, which instead just has her giggling at him and then disappearing, without either of them saying anything.
Why would Aogiri Tree decide to let Kaneki join them anyway, when he is responsible for the death of one of their executives?
Not only this, but many important scenes like Kaneki breaking half the bones in Ayato’s (Yuki Kaiji) body are completely removed in this episode.
Unfortunately, the dip in quality of √A continues, with Pierrot trying to work in characters from the manga that just do not translate well to this new story.
The biggest example of this is Kurona (Aoi Yuuki) and Nashiro (Haruka Tomatsu).
In the manga, these two show up because both Kaneki and the CCG are actively chasing them down, forcing them to fight.
In the anime, however, they deliberately pursue Kaneki for absolutely no reason, making it feel like they were written in just because they were in the manga and not because they had a story based reason for being there.

twins ghouls
Kurona and Nashiro should not have been in √A. Without Kaneki pursuing them it made no sense for them to be in the season.

These problems with the anime original content continue throughout √A, with even censorship being a problem.
Tokyo Ghoul is a dark manga so it should have been a dark manga.
Characters that lost their limbs just break bones here.
Studio Pierrot should have listened to Ishida’s ideas for the season or just followed his original story.
Sadly, the anime only events are not the only issues with √A because the animation and soundtrack are issues too.
While the animation isn’t awful, various fights in the first half of √A feel slow and more static than the first season.
As for the soundtracks, songs are repeated constantly to the point that I actually tired of hearing even the great ones.
I lost count of how many times “Glassy Skies” played.
Not only this, but the opening, “Munou”, is flat out terrible, with barely any effort put into it.
However, despite the many problems I have mentioned, I still do not consider √A to be a bad season.
It almost is but there are a few redeeming qualities the season has that cause it to miss the title of bad by the skin of its teeth.
For starters, even though I didn’t like many of the changes that were made to the original story, there are actually some good ones.
For example, there is an interaction between Kaneki and Naki (Hiro Shimono) in the first few episodes that I really enjoyed, and I liked some of the little quirks Eto was given, along with her interaction with Juuzou (Rie Kugiyama) and Shinohara (Yutaka Nakano), which explained some of her later actions.

eto bang
Despite all interactions between Kaneki and Eto being a complete waste of time, instead of interesting changes as they should have been, I still liked the little changes and quirks her character was given in the anime.

Along with this, when the anime actually adapted parts of the original story correctly, it did them quite well.
The raid on Anteiku was excellent, for the most part, with the fights being very enjoyable, especially Yoshimura’s (Takayuki Sugo).
Speaking of which, I really enjoyed the change of having Yoshimura hallucinate Ukina during this scene.
The animation of these fights was also a lot better than they were earlier in the season.
Not fantastic, but good.
The voice acting also remains solid and, even though I had problems with how repeated the soundtrack was, I liked the final, slower version of Unravel that was played at the end.
I may have not liked the four minute walk that accompanied it but it’s still a fantastic version of a fantastic song.
So, despite its plenty of faults, Tokyo Ghoul √A is saved by its redeeming qualities, barely making it a good season.
Unfortunately, this is not the case for Tokyo Ghoul: Re, which I am currently struggling to get through.
You can expect a review for that train wreck soon.

 

Tokyo Ghoul Season One Review: A Rush to a Killer Finale.

4 stars
Before watching Tokyo Ghoul, many people suggested I should read the manga first because the anime was a bad adaptation.
In reading Sui ishida’s manga, I found a fantastic story and a solid yet flawed experience in its sequel Re. 
Well, after watching the first season of the anime adaptation, produced by Studio Pierrot and directed by Shuhei Morita, I can see what people were talking about.
This is not to say that season one is a bad adaptation but it falls quite far from the successes of the manga.
The reason for this mostly comes down to how rushed the story is and the switching around of arcs.
Take the first episode, for example.
I was pretty surprised by how much was adapted in so little time.
Honestly, I expected the first episode to encompass the first chapter, with it ending when Kaneki wakes up, revealing his ghoul eye and noting that his life is a tragedy.
But the episode went ahead of this moment and adapted much more for the first episode, resulting in scenes going by much too fast to be as impactful as they were in the manga.

tragedy 1
I feel like the first chapter should have been extended to make a single episode that builds to the final reveal of Kaneki being turned into a ghoul.

This rushed quality persisted right up until the end, and was not helped by the removal of entire scenes.
Season one should have been around twenty episodes instead of twelve.
The second big issue is the switching around of arcs with the Gourmet Arc happening before the Doves Arc, which came first in the manga.
The Doves Arc being moved behind the Gourmet Arc made certain things not make a lot of sense in the anime.
However, despite these problems, I still found the first season of Tokyo Ghoul to be a good adaptation.
Even though much of the story is rushed and some story arcs happen sooner than they are supposed to, certain scenes are adapted fairly well and the characters are all wonderfully brought to screen.
Kaneki (Natsuki Hanae), Touka (Sora Amamiya), Rize (Kana Hanazawa), Amon (Katsuyuki Konishi), Tsukiyama (Mamoru Miyano) Jason (Rintaro Nishi), and many characters are all done justice with their portrayals and voice acting.
The best example of this is Juuzou because both his Japanese voice actor Rie Kugimiya and his English voice actor Maxey Whitehead all do an incredible job as the character.
I remember hearing Juuzou speak for the first time in both sub and dub and thinking both were perfect.

crazy little s we know and love
Juuzou is perfectly adapted into the anime, with both Japanese and English voice actors doing an amazing job.

Along with the great voice work, another quality of the anime that I enjoyed were some of its original scenes.
The anime hyped up Jason a lot sooner and that made the build up to his torture of Kaneki in the finale a lot better.
Speaking of that finale, I was considering this season an overall average adaptation, what with the rushed nature and switched around arcs of the anime but then, “Ghoul” happened.
“Ghoul” is a fantastic season finale that perfectly adapted Jason’s torture of Kaneki and their epic fight.
The only problem I had with the episode was its censoring of numerous violent scenes but it makes up for it in the symbolism, voice acting, and amazing final scene.
Watching Kaneki take on Jason to the spectacular theme of Unravel made the entire season feel worth it and was the best way to end it.

kaneki unravels
The Kaneki vs Jason fight is the highlight of the season.

As for Unravel, it is already one of my favourite anime openings of all time.
Everything from the music, visuals and symbolism is just incredible.
Unfortunately, the few incredible aspects of this anime, like Unravel and the final episode, would not be continued in the follow up season of √A, which has a lot more problems, but we’ll get to that later.
All in all, the first season of Tokyo Ghoul is a solid adaptation.
Sure, it has its problems, like the rushed story, switched arcs, and missing scenes, but the adaptation of certain scenes, voice acting, final episode, and Unravel make up for it.