Tokyo Ghoul is an amazing anime, in my opinion. Hopefully, you are looking forward to its return, on January 9th, 2015 as much as I am. This is a guide that will bring you up to date on season one and lead you directly into season two. Obviously, this article is filled with spoilers. So, please stop reading now if you haven’t watched season one yet and don’t want to have it spoiled. With that being said, there is a lot to cover so let’s jump into how this guide is organized.
First off, I am not going to discuss the manga at all since I haven’t read it. So, I’m only going to talk about what we’ve seen in season one of the anime. I’ll give you a detailed summary of the plot and of the characters introduced so far. I’ll make sure to mention every important death that took place. Finally, I’ll lay out the current situation and what we can expect going into season two.
Tokyo Ghoul PV
Episodes 1 - 4
Rize Kamishiro and Yakumo (Jason) Oomori are briefly shown in the intro. She is standing over a pile of dead bodies, devouring their remains. Jason tries, unsuccessfully, to subdue her. She gets away.
After that, we are introduced to Ken Kaneki and Hideyoshi (Hide) Nagachika. They are two college students relaxing at Anteiku (a cafe). They briefly talk to a waitress, Touka Kirishima. Kaneki later talks to Rize at the cafe.
He discovers that she is a book lover just like him. They go out on a date. As he walks her home, Rize bites his neck and begins to grow tentacle-like appendages (kagune). She almost succeeds in eating him, but some structural beams from a nearby roof fall down and crush her. Kaneki falls unconscious.
He wakes up in a hospital feeling strange and unable to eat the hospital food. He is told that he had some of Rize’s organs implanted within him so that he could survive. After being discharged, he returns home and discovers that all the food in his home tastes bland to him, even his favorite burger that his friend Hide had bought for him.
While he’s among other people he get’s the urge to eat them. He is slowly realizing what is happening to him. In a state of panic he grabs his kitchen knife and tries to stab himself, but the knife breaks.
Later, he wanders into Nishiki Nishio’s “territory” and is almost killed. But, Touka comes just in time and saves him. Revealing that she is also a ghoul. Kaneki begs for her help. He doesn’t want to kill or eat people.
Kaneki continues to struggle with his new life. He is constantly fighting off the urge to kill and eat humans. Part of the reason why the urge is so strong in him is because Rize is essentially a part of him. She was known for being a glutton. So, now that never-ending hunger is inside of Kaneki. He learns that he is special and different from other ghouls. He is the only one to possess one kakugan (a ghoul’s eye where the sclera is black and the pupil is red). Other ghouls have two kakugans. Most of the time their eyes are normal, but when a ghoul becomes excited or uses its special abilities, the eyes transform into kakugans. Kaneki is also different in this regard since he can’t properly control his. Therefore, he wears a medical patch to cover it up.
He refuses to accept his ghoulish side, but is forced to in another confrontation with Nishio. Hide and Kaneki both get attacked. Hide’s life is in danger and Kaneki is forced to use his kagune to stop Nishio.
Kaneki is taken in by Yoshimura (the manager of Anteiku) and Touka. Yoshimura explains that Anteiku is a haven for ghouls of the 20th ward. Kaneki has to hide the fact that he’s a ghoul from Hide. Touka takes Kaneki to Uta-san (the owner of Hysy Artmask Studio) who begins to make a mask for him. Most ghouls wear a mask to conceal their identity when they have to kill or eat someone.
Two new characters are introduced. Ryouko Fueguchi and her daughter Hinami, two ghouls who decide to take shelter at Anteiku as well.
We are introduced to two Commission of Counter Ghoul (CCG) agents (aka doves), Amon and Mado, who are currently looking for the Glutton (Rize), Jason, and the Gourmet (Tsukiyama). Tsukiyama enters Anteiku and is introduced to Kaneki.
Kaneki is later visited, on campus, by Tsukiyama. He agrees to meet up with him later for dinner. He also starts receiving training from Renji Yomo (Yoshimura’s right-hand man). Kaneki hears a rumor, from Itori-san, that there may be another one-eyed ghoul like him. Also, he hears that the beams that crushed Rize may have been dropped deliberately by someone on the roof of the building.
It slowly becomes clear that Tsukiyama has alternative motives for hanging out with Kaneki. He is tricked into entering an underground arena where the audience is waiting to devour him. However, after learning that Kaneki is a one-eyed ghoul, Tsukiyama interferes at the last minute and saves him. He plans to devour Kaneki all on his own.
Episodes 5 - 8
Tsukiyama struggles to come up with the perfect way to prepare a meal consisting of Kaneki. While walking around town, having finished up some training with Yomo-san, Kaneki stumbles upon Nishio being beaten up by a couple of ghouls. He saves Nishio and takes him home. There he meets Nishio’s girlfriend Kimi Nishino. They go outside and talk while Nishio sleeps in the house.
She explains that she is able to turn a blind-eye to all of his murders because he has never tried to harm her or her family. Kaneki promises to find a way to help Nishio recover from his wounds. While Kimi-san walks back home she is kidnapped by Tsukiyama.
Kaneki heads to Anteiku to search for any kind of flesh he can find to take back to Nishio. Just then he discovers a note left outside of the cafe. The note is from Tsukiyama. It says that he has taken Kimi and would like Kaneki to join them for dinner. He and a very weak Nishio head to the meeting place.
A fight breaks out and just as Tsukiyama takes the upper-hand Touka shows up to their aid. However, her help is not enough and they become overwhelmed by Tsukiyama’s strength. Nishio has a few flashbacks about his relationship with Kimi. He becomes enraged and assaults Tsukiyama head-on. It’s not enough to harm him. But, it buys enough time for Touka to bite Kaneki and regenerate her strength.
After her power-up, she easily defeats Tsukiyama, allowing them all to return home safely. Following that incident, Nishio becomes an employee at Anteiku. However, Touka hasn’t returned to work since the fight.
The scene changes to an interaction between Jason and Hinami’s father, Asaki Fueguchi. He hands over a completed weapon to Jason and asks him to leave. But, Jason starts attacking him. Amon and Mado show up. They are unable to match Jason’s strength and eventually Mado’s weapon (quinque) is broken by Jason’s kagune. He decides to stop “playing” with the agents and leaves. The two men turn around and finish off the injured ghoul, Asaki. They then take his kagune to forge a new weapon.
Later, Hinami and Ryouko are out shopping when they become lured into a trap set by Mado. They get attacked by him and a few other officers. Fortunately, Hinami escapes and runs out into the streets. Kaneki happens to walk by and notice her screaming in anguish.
Kaneki runs with Hinami to the alley where Ryouko was trapped. They arrive just in time to see Mado deliver the final blow. Kaneki covers Hinami’s eyes so she doesn’t see her mother being killed.
Kaneki returns to Anetiku with Hinami. He relays the events that took place to everyone there. They agree that they can’t seek vengeance against the “doves” without huge consequences. Touka however takes it upon herself to avenge Ryouko.
The next day, she puts on her rabbit mask and follows Amon and a couple of other investigators. She finds her opportunity and attacks them. She manages to kill one before Mado shows up. He evades her attacks and overpowers her with his new weapon. Before she sustains any real damage she runs away.
After returning to Anteiku, Kaneki notices her wounds. He decides to help her get revenge for Ryouko. After that we see Kaneki picking up his mask from Uta-san.
Mado is lured into the sewers by Touka. She and Hinami confront him there. Meanwhile, Kaneki fights Amon above ground. Kaneki has to give into his ghoulish side in order to summon the strength to destroy Amon’s weapon. After doing so, he yells at Amon to run away. Kaneki does not want to lose control completely and murder him.
Back underground, Touka is forced to kill Mado before he can land a killing blow on Hinami. She freaks out at the sight of Mado’s wedding band. She realized that even though Mado was a man who hunted her kind ruthlessly, he still had a family of his own. After their battles they head back to Anteiku.
Episodes 9 - 12
The story picks up again two months after that night. While visiting Mado’s grave, Amon has a flashback of his rookie days. He pays his respects to the man that showed him the ropes. As he leaves he walks past another person who is about to visit the same grave, but he doesn’t recognize her. Also, since the incident, Hinami has been living with Touka. She is trying to piece together her life to a somewhat normal level.
Kaneki visits Itori at the Helter Skelter bar and asks her about Rize. He doesn’t learn much but is told to visit the 11th ward if he wants to get some information on her. (Kaneki and the other characters we’ve been introduced to so far mostly live in the 20th ward.) On his way back to Anteiku he has his wallet stolen by a random passerby whom Kaneki remarks as smelling delicious.
Amon returns to his headquarters and is notified by Yukinori Shinohara that he has been reassigned. He’ll be joining a special task force in the 11th ward.
We get another glimpse of Jason. He’s talking with someone and mentions that this time there’s no way he’s going to let Rize get away from him. In another part of town, four masked figures are shown. Their leader, Banjo, says they should head for Anteiku since that’s the kind of place that Rize would go to.
The scene shifts to yet another group of new characters. It looks as though they’ve just killed about five or six “doves”. The leader mentions Banjo but it’s unclear if they are on good terms. Of course, he says they better head for the 20th ward and “secure” Rize. It’s revealed that this group’s leader, Ayato, previously lived in the 20th ward and is in fact Touka’s younger brother. Obviously, something very big is about to take place soon. All of these groups have their eyes set on finding Rize and entering the 20th ward.
One of the police branches gets attacked by a group of ghouls called Aogiri Tree. Its unclear where exactly its located, but everyone has been killed by the ghouls. Afterwards, two hooded figures say that their task is complete and its time for them to move out. One of the characters is named Tatara and is shown to have white hair.
Yoshimura and Yomo-san arrive at the scene Ayato’s group had killed the group of agents. It appears that the ghouls who committed those murders were also part of Aogiri Tree. Yomo-san mentions that the leader of Aogiri Tree is a one-eyed ghoul.
Banjo shows up at Anteiku and questions Kaneki and Touka about Rize. Banjo then fills them in on Aogiri Tree. They are a mysterious group who showed up in the 11th ward. They are hunting and killing all the ghouls there. Also, they are killing all of the “doves” in that ward. He warns them to run since Aogiri Tree is on its way to the 20th ward. Just then, Ayato and Jason walk into Anteiku. They kidnap Kaneki.
Meanwhile, a big meeting is taking place in the 20th ward’s CCG headquarters. They talk about the movements of many different ghouls and discuss the attack that took place on the 11th ward office. They are worried that there is an imminent war between the humans and ghouls. In the middle of the meeting, a young man barges in and states that he is Mr. Shinohara’s underling, Juuzou Suzuya (the person who stole Kaneki’s wallet in a previous episode).
Yoshimura arrives at Anteiku and is filled in about Kaneki’s kidnapping. He gathers the other ghouls who use the cafe as a refuge, and begins to talk about a plan to save Kaneki. They discuss how breaking through Aogiri Tree and retrieving Kaneki won’t be easy. Just then, an unexpected guest walks through the door and offers to help, Tsukiyama.
While rescue preparations are being made Kaneki is being tortured by Jason. The “doves” and police force also prepare to raid Jason’s hideout. On the way to the location, Amon is filled in, by another agent, about Jason’s past. Apparently, he had been captured and tortured by a “problematic investigator”. Jason developed a split personality to cope with the pain and then escaped.
While the raid is taking place, the members of Anteiku sneak in. Amidst the chaos, Amon finds Touka and begins to fight her. However, their fight is interrupted by two members of Aogiri Tree, the Bin Brothers. Another fight breaks out: Tsukiyama and Yomo-san vs a strong member from Aogiri. Ayato manages to find Touka and their confrontation begins. Amon quickly defeats the brothers and runs up to a nearby roof. A group of agents meets him there as they prepare to take on The One-Eyed Owl.
Kaneki continues to be tortured by Jason. He slips in and out of consciousness. While he’s under he has conversations with Rize. During the torture, Jason reveals that Kaneki’s regenerative powers are much higher than a regular ghoul’s. This is because Akihiro Kanou (the physician who performed surgery on Kaneki) used Rize to turn Kaneki into a ghoul. It was no mere coincidence that Rize’s organs were transplanted into Kaneki. Kanou combined Rize and Kaneki for an experiment.
After a long philosophical discussion with Rize, Kaneki agrees that he needs to become strong enough to make difficult decisions. He accepts Rize’s strength and embraces his ghoulish side completely. It is the only way he can fight and protect those he cares about. He breaks off his chains and attacks Jason. A fight to the death breaks out between the two. Kaneki exhibits a completely new demeanor and ferocity. He easily overpowers Jason. He begins to torture him a bit before he decides to eat his kagune.
That’s it! You’re caught up on the current story of Tokyo Ghoul. Congratulate yourself for getting through all of that info. You’re ready to dive into season two!
Hopefully, you noticed the italic-bolded text up above. Those are a few of the mysteries remaining from the first season:
Why was Mado’s family foreshadowed? Who was the mysterious person who was also visiting Mado’s grave? Who dropped those beams on Rize? Was it Dr. Kanou or someone else? Why did Suzuya smell “delicious” to Kaneki? Who exactly is the one-eyed ghoul/ One-Eyed Owl? Kaneki received his one kakugan under special circumstances. How did this other person’s kakugan come about?
Plus, we still have the various battles taking place around Aogiri Tree’s hideout. Not to mention we have a more badass version of Kaneki to look forward to!
Make sure to tune in on January 9th, 2015 for the season premiere of Tokyo Ghoul!