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Tokyo Ghoul: A Masterpiece in Need of Redemption

Is the anime or manga better? Read more about Tokyo Ghoul lore.

Anime is on the upswing, with Jujutsu Kaisen infiltrating popular culture and classics like One Piece becoming successful live-actions. I hope the next step is to remake animes that have been poorly adapted. With that in mind, a manga that deserves to serve justice is Tokyo Ghoul. Tokyo Ghoul is one of the best seinen mangas of all time, although the anime adaptation was not the best. Here are all reasons why Tokyo Ghoul needs to be remade.

The Beauty of TG manga

A panel of Kenaki after finding out he has become ghoul.
Credit: Screenshot, Tokyo Ghoul

Dark and Compelling Narrative

Tokyo Ghoul is a seinen manga that’s underrated, under the radar especially after the release of the anime. Seinen is a genre that’s primarily targets the male audience, however the series is for everyone.

The dark fantasy manga series follows college boy Ken Kaneki who becomes half ghoul after a date that ended unexpectedly. The narrative is more complex than Kenaki’s survival as a ghoul fugitive in the human world. The story explores the dark grim realities of humanity in a society, where it’s not easy to determine what’s good or bad. As Kenaki is both human and ghoul, the readers see the world from his eyes and how he struggles on his beliefs and morals through the series.

The panel of Kaneki raging.
Credit: Screenshot, Tokyo Ghoul

Beautiful and Unique Art-style

Sui Ishida not only did a wonderful job on the story-telling but also on the stunning art-style. The artwork of Ishida would immediately captivate readers. He creates beautiful and gothic-looking characters using his own twist on different artistic styles like water-colouring, which contrasts perfectly with the dark tones of Tokyo Ghoul. Ishida also conveys how grim, disturbing the world is as well as how it affects Kaneki mentally through the art on the panels.

In the specific image above, we can see how he captivates the trauma and type of rage that Kenaki is experiencing. The messy text box, the way the words are written, and how Kenaki is drawn specific ways to illustrate the themes and emotions of this manga. Sui Ishida does a great job on illustrating that the world Kenaki lives in is not just black and white.

The Downfall of TG’s Anime

A fight scene in season three of Haise and Seidou Takizawa.
Credit: Studio Pierrot

The Good in Anime

Although Sui Ishida’s manga is a masterpiece, the 2014 anime adaptation done by Studio Pierrot did poorly after its first season. Separating the anime from the manga, there are some amazing, iconic things to come out of the anime. The opening song, Unravel by Ling Toshite Sigure, and the iconic fight scene between Kenaki and Jason. However, since there is a manga behind the anime, we have to talk about why Studio Pierrot’s adaptation is the downfall of Tokyo Ghoul.

The issue with Studio Pierrot’s adaptation is that it censors, omits and changes a lot of Sui Ishida’s manga. The manga has lots of gore and traumatic events that happen that are censored in the anime. The manga is very gory and disturbing especially coming out in 2014 which may lose a few of its target audiences.

Haise realizing his other identity.
Credit: Studio Pierrot

Censorship and Changes

This is a problem because the censorship changes the flow of the story and especially with the characters’ developments. A great example would be the ending of season two of Tokyo Ghoul and its transition to season three. Without spoiling it too much, a drastic event occurs with Kaneki that causes a great change in his life. Due to the changes made in the anime, it comes off baseless and confusing as a viewer.

The infamous “I am Ghoul ” scene in season one was actually censored and altered a lot. In the manga, the panel seemed as if Kenaki was peeling his skin off, digging his fingers into his eyes. Unfortunately, the anime watered the scene down into an anticlimactic scene that comes off edgy. The anime tends to repeatedly soften the manga making the source text come of emo and edgy.

One of the biggest complaints however, is the entirety of Tokyo Ghoul Re. The last two seasons of the anime stopped actually following the manga and took its own course on how the narrative would continue. This evidently caused an uproar for manga fans because the anime no longer was staying faithful to the source and lost the essence of the Sui Ishida’s narrative.

The Future for Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo Ghoul 10th year anniversary art
Credit: Crunchy Roll

There is a current project being made by the animators for TG that may hint at a possible re-adaptation called ‘Tokyo Ghoul’ 10th Anniversary Project. The project began with a release of all the Tokyo Ghoul episodes on Studio Pierrot’s YouTube Channel for free. Sadly, the series is only in Japan at the moment. However, there is more information to be released about the project which leaves Tokyo Ghoul fans hope for re-adaptation.

The reason I wrote this article is because I believe Tokyo Ghoul deserves a re-adaptation that can be as authentic to the manga. Sui Ishida’s art style deserves to be animated as it was since it wasn’t depicted that way in anime. With disturbing but beautiful anime like Chainsaw Man out, Tokyo Ghoul has the chance to be animated the way it should have been without any limitations. 

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