When this world was created, by any deity you choose to believe was the cause, do you think all living things were made as equals? Chances are, if you answered “yes” you may be the type of person who doesn’t necessarily eat meat of any kind. Slaughtering and devouring an animal is akin to believing you have the right, as a superior being, to take another creatures life for the sake of prolonging your own…some believe. Others, like myself, tend to consider this act a simple part of the natural food chain. Much like a lion hunts a gazelle, we feed on cattle, and though there are ways to survive without taking the life of another beast, there are also clear differences, both intelligence and otherwise, between us and the animals we choose to call “food”.
Now what if our food was as intelligent, if not moreso, than ourselves? Does that make it wrong to hunt, kill, and feed on said creatures for sustenance? Granted, when referring to the Ghouls of Tokyo Ghoul, some more infamous members of the mysterious, human-like race are known moreso because of their excessively brutal hunting habits rather than the simple fact that they are monsters, essentially, disguised as humans…but not all Ghouls are this way, so does it make it right, as prey to these creatures, to hunt and kill even the ones that dedicate themselves to their own preservation while doing all they can to not only refrain from taking the life of a human but steering clear of them entirely?
This question, or series of, is the foundation that Tokyo Ghoul’s overarching story is built upon, and it is volumes like this that bring said clashing of ideology to the very surface, showing readers that things of this kind simply cannot be resolved. Thanks to Madman Entertainment, once again, I’ve been given the chance to review another volume of Sui Ishida’s hit Seinen Manga; a series that has come to be one of my favorites not only as of late but of all time.
Kaneki is still trying to get used to his new life when Commission of Counter Ghoul agents Mado and Amon start sniffing around for Hinami. Kaneki and Touka are going to have to get them off her tail and fast. No easy task now that Kaneki’s got to bring humans and Ghouls to a rapid truce at the same time. – Madman Entertainment
Tokyo Ghoul’s story, from the first moment, has been a hard-hitting one. With Kaneki Ken becoming a Ghoul, then having to deal with being the bridge between both worlds, it was pretty obvious almost instantly that this was going to be a Manga that will tug at the heart strings every moment it can. Volume three is a testament to that statement in the way that it shows both sides of the same coin but doesn’t rely entirely on Ken to do so. It instead focuses on Dove operatives Amon and Mado as well as the young and highly emotional Ghouls Hinami and Touka. Kaneki Ken is used only as a distraction, literally, for the events of this small arc, with the focus being on the ramifications of Hinami’s death and the continued investigation that comes with the death of a CCG Agent at the hands of a Ghoul.
Volume three was…devastating. It showed the audience that both sides of this war have both good and bad participants, with an obvious sliding scale, and casualties that rock the mental state of all involved in wonderfully realistic ways. The raw emotion that filled the pages of Tokyo Ghoul volume three were severe enough to drill particular fragments of the story featured in the volume deep into my long-term memory. Each character featured heavily in the volume had their time in the spotlight, and a chance to show readers just how well-written each and every single one of them are. There was no characters who took a back seat to another in this volume, not even Ken who, as mentioned, was used literally as a distraction to save the others. It still felt as though he was as pivotal a member of the events that unfolded as any other character, including those who took precedence.
Backing up the gravitas of Tokyo Ghoul’s story is Sui Ishida’s imperfect but affective style of illustration. It is gritty, often odd-looking, but as enjoyable to experience as any other modern Manga. The fact that Sui Ishida isn’t a perfect illustrator gives a great deal of character to the visuals of the series as a whole. Terrifying scenes are often backed up with terrifying visuals, the likes of which I don’t believe I’ve ever scene before, with any other style being ill-fitting to Tokyo Ghoul’s abrasive spirit. As I briefly mentioned; Sui Ishida is nowhere near the greatest illustrator, it’s easy to tell that his experience level isn’t as high as it could be, but his approach to Tokyo Ghoul’s illustrations is rough…but audiences absolutely love it, and he knows this quite well so he leans into it heavily. He understand what it takes to illustrate dynamic combat, and scenes of gravitas which, in a series like Tokyo Ghoul, are the most important parts, so it works incredibly well. That being said, there are panels wherein which illustrations are quite poor, but it’s not often that it comes about so it’s easy to overlook.
Tokyo Ghoul continues to surprise me. Being someone that watched the Anime adaptation before experiencing the Manga, I wasn’t expecting too much from it…but that has helped me to enjoy it so much more. It constantly amazes me, volume after volume, and has me counting the days between new releases. It’s an amazing series that brings to light questions that we, as everyday human beings, never thought were worth asking. Not that man-eating monsters hunting as down and devouring us is something we have to think about daily, but it is interesting to question which of the two parties is right in their cause, and which is just using the situation as a chance to wreak havoc. Each and every character, as well as their reaction to specific situations, are written realistically, with none, at this point in time, behaving in ways unlike their deeply confusing, overtly human personalities. It is a series that should be read by anyone wanting a darker, more relatable experience from a Manga that deals with the issue of a war between humans and monsters, to put it simply. It is not something you can get from any old Manga, and that’s what makes Tokyo Ghoul great.
Want to experience the ghoulish world of Tokyo Ghoul for yourself? Madman Entertainment has you covered: Click Here