As much as it pains me to place the opening, I need to for the sake of my review structure. Zach and I really don’t like the opening. It’s not a bad opening and the song itself would be a lot better if the singer was better…
Kaneki is a college student and he’s fairly normal and average in grades, looks and life. He frequents a coffee shop with his friend and lately a girl has taken to reading books that Kaneki himself loves. Of course he finds her attractive and intelligent and eventually gets the courage to ask her out. In taking her home after their date she comes on to him, but not for the reasons he was hoping – Rize is a Ghoul (a human flesh devouring creature with some super natural abilities specific to individual for hunting and fighting purposes.) While trying to eat him, a platform from a construction site falls on top of them both. Kaneki is found in critical condition and when he’s taken to the hospital, the doctors transplant Rize’s organs into him.
The operation leaves him as a half-human/half-ghoul breed. He begins to develop ghoul tendencies and he battles his ghoul side with his human side, not wanting to be a monster and eat people. He ends up working at his favorite coffee shop, which turns out to be run by a group of ghouls that ration how much flesh they consume. Coffee is also the only human food a Ghoul can eat without feeling sick and vomiting it out. This small group of Ghouls are our heroes. Seemingly.
With Ghouls killing people, humanity’s logical step is to figure out a way fight them. A special unit is organized to hunt and kill all Ghouls. Situations like this makes the humans the villains and it’s really interesting in that respect. Along with the Ghouls that don’t care about human lives and just want a meal.
Throughout Kaneki’s struggle with accepting his fate of being a halfling and needing to eat human flesh to live, he also realizes that he could possibly be the key and bridge to uniting the two species into coexistence. Sadly, the Ghouls and the police force do not ever find this possible.
The horror genre isn’t something I go for, but people were talking this series up and I decided to give it a shot. I kept watching out of morbid curiosity. Given the content of eating people, obviously there is bound to be blood and sounds of eating. But then there’s also torture and bodies being cut in half. Even if it was censored on Japanese television as well as Hulu of which I viewed it, viewer discretion is definitely advised.
A second season has been lit for January and I’m anxious to see where the story goes after that cliffhanger! Now with the manga being completed, we’ll see how long in length the episode count gets at some point. as of now, Viz has picked up the license to the manga in the US!
… Okay, I kept watching because Mamo was in it. There, I admit it. But honestly? His character makes me uncomfortable. He is a Ghoul with refined tastes and only eats of the best blood and flesh. He develops a desire to eat Kaneki and, well, it gets very disturbing at times. Other than THOSE tendencies, he makes me laugh with his multi-lingual phrases that make no sense and his awful taste in clothing.
The other characters are likeable enough as well, but I guess what keeps me interested is where it’s going. Do the Ghouls learn to co-exist? Only those at the coffee shop get to live since they legitimately want to live with the bare minimum of nutrition? Then there’s Kaneki’s transformation and I want to know what that’s all about.
Studio Pierrot did a decent job with the animation. While not a fault on their part (I think), it really bothered me that Kaneki was in college and looked like he was 15 and other college-aged characters at least don’t have the large moe eyes or short and stubby proportions.
Yutaka Yamada gives a haunting and epic score and I can’t wait to nab that OST.
If you’re into horror, super-natural and vampire-type things, this anime is worth checking out. Funimation has the home video rights and has it streaming on their site or Hulu.