Tokyo Ghoul Manga Volumes 1 to 7 - Ishida Sui
It has been a while since I found a manga that captured my attention, even though I actually am reading Shingeki no Kyojin (which is very very popular), Tokyo Ghoul has the kind of story that always capture my attention… or, most of the times at least!
No, it is not about the violence or the blood (there’s plenty of that, yeah!) but is more the humanity of the characters in a world where humanity is rare. A seemingly weak and kind lead character with lots of unknown potential, AND cutely drawn! I love cute drawings!
My Number 1 filter for choosing a manga is drawings! If I don’t like the drawings, I won’t like the story! That almost always happens… but anyway, back to Tokyo Ghoul, it had nice drawings and a storyline that seemed appealing to me so I started with it.
(I have to admit, that I watched the Anime series first, so I kind of knew the story already, but the anime is soo good !! that I decided to now read the manga)
In this post, I decided to write about the first 7 volumes of Tokyo Ghoul (shown in the picture), may I add this are the first complete manga series I’ve ever bought! they look very pretty! haha
As you can see from the picture, the first 2 volumes are different, larger.. because I bought them from an american publisher, that was before I realized that in Mexico they’re also sold and cheaper! (what are the odds)…
I have to say, the spanish copies from Panini Editorial are much better than the ones I bought in english, first because they’re smaller in size (as you can see in the picture) but most importantly because they respect some of the japanese original language tricks and explains the kanji usage and how it create puns or other meanings..
Ok, so, the story!
*** SPOILERS AHEAD ***
We follow the story of a certain guy called Kaneki Ken, nice shy quiet college orphan guy who likes to read and is very lonely except for his one friend (Hide) who never leaves him alone and always tries to cheer him up… because Kaneki is an orfan and, well, he’s all of the above! (good friend Hide)
They live in Tokyo, Japan and the city is divided in districts, the one they live in is the Numner 20.
In this story universe there also are some creatures called Ghouls, who are human-looking human-eating monsters (?) or so the world looks at them, because as there are good and bad humans there’re also good and bad ghouls.
Kaneki starts dating a girl who seems to like the same books as he, only to find that the girl is a ghoul and wants to eat him, but while fighting for his life they enter a construction site that is destroyed (accidentally) with them inside. Fortunately, he survives but is in need of organs and the doctors make the rush decision to use Rize's (Kaneki’s ghoul date) organs since she died at the accident. He’s miraculously saved but as he wakes up discover he’s feeling different; he doesn’t see it but one of his eyes turned black with red (the mark of Ghouls), he starts realizing something’s wrong with him because food doesn’t taste well and eventually starts understanding what happened to him, he has been has turned into a Ghoul.
He gets very very depressed and doesn’t want to accept his new life, but can’t do anything about it, so decides to go outside at night out of hunger and discovers some ghouls that try to attack him because no one knows him and he’s invading their territory… but another ghoul appears and say those are acctually invading HIS territory… and then ANOTHER ghoul girl appears saying that they’re acctually not allowed to kill (hunt?) for food in that district. They sort of fight while Kaneki is shocked out of his wits, and after Touka (the girl) sends them away scouls Kaneki for being stupid and leaves.
Next day, Kaneki stumbles upon a guy in his university that turn out to be one of the ghouls that wanted to attack him the night before, both of them are very shocked but play it cool (because Hide is there), but then when they decide to go run an errand the ghoul Nishiki attacks both Kaneki and Hide… but fortunately Kaneki (after being heavily damaged) strikes back because he doesn’t want to see Hide hurt and damages Nishiki very bad also and black out.
Kaneki wakes up at a strage place that turns out to be the cafe he often goes, and discovers the place is ran by ghouls who don’t kill humans and he is adopted there under the condition that he’ll work at the cafe and help “bring” food for the ghouls that go to the place.
Kaneki is shocked to find out how many ghouls walk among humans without rasing alarms and start to discover that not all of them are bad. The food they collect (corpses) come from people who commit suicide so they don’t have to kill them themselves, but despite that Kaneki decides not to eat human meat and survive on coffee and a strange sugar that they make at the cafe (most likely from dead people).
After he starts working at the cafe he tries to become friends with Touka (the girl who helped him before) but she’s very cold toward him, doesn’t trust him and often tricks him into working more (but we can see he kind of grows into her, because he’s cute and good).
Along the first volumes we’re also introduced to the Inspectors (Ghouls code-call them Doves… i think, though I don’t remember well because I read it in spanish haha), who work at a place called CCG (Control Center for Ghouls, or something along those lines) and they’re like the police in charge of hunting down and killing ghouls. They have lots of ranks and lots of rules and don’t consider that any ghoul can be spared. Main characters from this group is Amon (young but very talented, big and strong) and Made (crazy old guy, obsessed with the ghoul’s power).
The ghouls have this strange power, they can expell some kind of redish energy called kagune out of their bodies and use it as a weapon. In the fight where Kaneki saves Hide, we find out that he inherits Rize’s kagune that looks as if he had 4 fox tails sticking out of his back that extend at will are very strong and cut like knives. (but in the first half I think he can only stick out one or 2.)
The inspectors use a kind of weapon, manufactured out of ghouls kagune, called quinque. (If you were to ask me, I’d say is cool the humans have a strong weapon because is kind of unfair that the ghouls are so strong and heal so fast and eat humans, but also, I like Kaneki’s group so… I don’t know…)
Anyway, after Kaneki joins Mr. Yoshimura’s cafe named Anteiku (あんていく) he starts learning about the life of the ghouls and how they’re also good people and above all, they didn’t chose the ghoul life they just borned that way…
The most important battle they have in the first 3 or 4 volumes is when they encounter Mado and Amon, that want to call a small ghoul child called Hinami, and to protect her, Touka and Kaneki battle them. Touka and Hinami endup killing Mado; but since Kaneki is very inocent and good he didn’t kill Amon, and told him that he wasn’t a killer and that Amon was not going to make him a killer (which left Amon very stunned because he had very very specific ideas of ghouls and one of them was that they’re unscrupulous and VERY BAD)
After that Kaneki does almost nothing and keeps being tricked into traps but smarter and meaner ghouls… but eventually he gets away. BUT people start noticing his one-eye rareness… (because one-eyed ghouls are very rare and supposedly stronger)
As word gets around, people arrive at Anteiku suddenly asking for Rize (no one knows that she’s been killed, except for the people close to Kaneki) and ghouls at disctrict 20 as well as the inspectors start realizing that some ghoul organization is developing in troublesome district 11.
The ghoul organization is called Aogiri and for some unknown reason they’re looking for Rize or someone who smells like her (I actually don’t know what’s their plan because I’m at volume 7 haha). Eventually some of the Aogiri simpathizers arrive at Anteiku, one of them turns out to be Touka’s little brother Ayato and another is one called Yamori and looks very big and cruel. There, they kidnap Kaneki and take him to the Aogiri headquarters in District 11.
Once they arrive they take Kaneki to the big bosses and make Kaneki show his eye and apparently he’s not the one they’re looking for (they wanted someone that had the oposit eye to the one Kaneki has… (I don’t know what’s important about that… yet). But we learned something there, aparently the doctor that decided to transplant Rize’s organs to Kaneki did it to others aswell (don’t know the purpose… yet!!)
Since they don’t need Kaneki anymore they send it to work with the lowly ghouls… but there he and others decide to escape. In the mean time, the Anteiku guys are plotting to go to District 11 HQ to rescue Kaneki AND the inspectors plan to invade and kill as many ghouls there as they can.
In the end, Kaneki and his friends are not able to escape and Yamori tricks Kaneki into sacrificing himself for capture to save his friends (he doesn’t know, they’re acctually not spared, they’re also captured).
Here it starts a very twisted and creepy turning point in Kaneki’s story, because Yamori is indeed a very cruel ghoul and enjoys torturing his “pets”, and he finds out that Kaneki’s status as half-ghoul half-human gives him faster regeneration abilities, which means he can be tortured in faster intervals… The tortures he has tu endure go from loosing his fingers and toes to getting ugly insects inserted into his ears (CREEEEEPS >_<) (in the anime this part is very very long and the screaming is very very much, I remember I suffered a lot haha, but the manga is well, less noisy, but cruel all the same).
After some days of torture (I don’t remember how many)… Kaneki starts having hallucinations and starts a conversation with Rize regarding his character, and why he’s so weak and doesn’t want to accept his new nature as a ghoul and after some days(?) talking he mmm breaks… and accepts that he can’t be the one receiving pain and that he also has to inflict pain to others, specially the cruelest ones (…like Yamori). In this moment (I don’t know why..) his hair turns white...
And when Yamori comes back to inflict more torture, he’s attacked by Kaneki… who by now is so used to pain that doesn’t care about broken bones or anything… This is the point when Kaneki becomes a bad ass!!!
On the other side of this, the CCG are invading the Aogiri HQ buildings (Yamori&Kaneki are located in a secret wing of those buildings), at the beginning have troubles entering the place but a new character called Suzuya Yuuzou (small, girlish boy who is CRAZY) decides to make a crazy move and goes inside the Ghoul center to kill some Aogiri sympathizers and give chance to the other officers to enter.
And finally, Yoshimura, Touka and the other workers at Anteiku also infiltrate to the Aogiri building to rescue Kaneki, little do they know about his situation… where he really doen’t need any saving...
- End of the first half -
OMG there were some parts that are different and better explained in the manga that I didn’t quite catch while watching the anime… anyway… I can’t wait to start reading the 2nd half!!
I like it that since this story has an anime adaptation there are gifs I can use to better ilustrate the story… so, here, a spoiler from the next part… (or I think it is… haha)
* Bad ass Kaneki ❤️ *