- Episodes: 12
- Genre: Action, Drama, Horror, Psychological, Supernatural
- Airing Date: April 2018 – June 2018
- Studio: Studio Pierrot, Pierrot Plus
Tokyo Ghoul:re (BRIEF) Introduction
We'd like to start out by saying that this is a review for the first part (12 episodes) of Tokyo Ghoul:re. Even though the season is technically over, we know that a second part is coming later this year around October. There will be spoilers. Also, our opinions for the show as a whole are subject to change as more episodes are released and the narrative is further developed.
Our readers should know that Tokyo Ghoul:re is not a show intended for viewers who have only watched anime adaptations of the Tokyo Ghoul manga. You'll be able to follow a large portion of the show's events and understand why characters act in certain ways. But you'll miss a lot of the background, character details, and symbols which would enhance your experience to a whole other level. From episode one, the studio assumes you know what is going on in this universe and it isn't going to slow down to fill you in unless absolutely necessary.
We are immediately introduced to Haise Sasaki, a character that sounds and looks a lot like Ken Kaneki (the protagonist in Tokyo Ghoul and Root A) and his fellow investigators. His Quinque Squad consists of himself, Kuki Urie, Saiko Yonebayashi, Ginshi Shirazu, and several others. We watch this squad argue with each other for petty reasons such as money and promotions. They're forced to work together to take on the increasingly dangerous threat of ghouls within their city. Eventually, see them mature as people to the point that they're willing to sacrifice themselves for one another.
There's where the emotional core lies in Tokyo Ghoul:re. The growth of the individual and how their actions affect the ones they care about. There may be some cool action sequences, stylish animation, and mysteries but we recommend you watch this show if you're invested in Ken Kaneki's story and if you've read the manga.
What We Liked About Tokyo Ghoul:re
We have to give props to Studio Pierrot for attempting to adopt such a unique work such as this. Sui Ishida's work is very unique and makes it near impossible to adapt in a way that will be universally accepted by audiences. It's on the same tier of exceptional artwork as Berserk or Vagabond. The stories are fantastic and fans are extremely loyal to the work. But adapting it for the small screen is an arduous task that's immensely daunting. Studio Pierrot did their best to distill Tokyo Ghoul:re's story to 12 episodes, so far. While it could have been done better, they have another chance with season 2 later this year, it definitely had extraordinary moments.
We also loved how Ginishi Shiarazu's character was handled throughout the season. His voice actor, Yuuma Uchida, brought his A game and delivered a top-notch performance every episode. We quickly grew attached to this emotional punk whose only goal was to earn as much money as he could to support his hospitalized sister. His association with Urie, the strong connection to his sister, foreshadowing of his demise, and his ultimate death were the most impactful moments of the entire season. We'll deeply miss this character going forward. Hopefully, we'll see flashbacks of him or maybe Urie will see glimpses of him while he mourns the loss of his friend and comrade. RIP.
Why You Should Watch Tokyo Ghoul:re
1. A character-piece
The show is character driven. A need to accumulate power in order to protect others. Acquisition of money to help a sick family member. The search for lost memories. A struggle to understand what strength truly is. These are few of the motivations you'll see grow and unfold throughout the season
Why You Should Skip Tokyo Ghoul:re
1. Made for manga fans
This show assumes you're intimately familiar with the Tokyo Ghoul universe and doesn't slow down to fill you in on details. You're shown just enough to appreciate the season's story arc. If you want a clear understanding you have to read the manga. For instance, Haise Sasaki's reverse transformation into the black-haired Kaneki (aka the Black Reaper) is meant to be the climax of this season. But, there wasn't enough context, emotional gravity, or appropriate symbological significance to appreciate it properly.
2. No emotional weight
This show isn't mean to be watched for fight scenes, detective work, slice of life interactions, or any shounen tropes. We have a solid cast of characters thrust into a world in turmoil where humans are fighting ghouls. Every event, each exchanged dialogue, and every character death should have weight behind it. That wasn't the case here. It felt like we were watching events roll by on a conveyor belt. Only Shirazu's death had any emotion or consequences behind it.
Tokyo Ghoul:re attempted to adapt the manga closely and have us relate to Kaneki and the Quinx squad. It faltered a lot this season, but we caught glimpses of what this show could be at it's best. Hopefully, more of those moments return for part 2 later this year. We still have hopes that Studio Pierrot can improve on a decent part 1 and gave the fans what they deserve.
Thanks for reading our review for part 1 of Tokyo Ghoul:re. Have a great day and we'll see you in the next one!