Imagine if you would, yourself as a perfectly normal university student living a perfectly normal university student life where your only worry is how bad finals are going to kick your ass. You’re sitting with your best friend in a coffee shop shooting the breeze about whatever is you two talk about when you see the most beautiful person you have ever seen in your life. The utter sight of them is breathtaking, a perfect example of god’s grace and on a whim, you ask them out on a date. To your overwhelming surprise they accept and you two go on the best date that a person could ever have.
At the end of it you escort one another home, cutting through a very suspicious alleyway to save time. Suddenly the two of you are in a construction sight and that oh so perfect person you just shared a meal with turns into an unholy monster, ripping at your flesh and drinking blood through your intestines like a straw. Through an amazing stroke of luck they are crushed by falling metal beams, but their organs are transplanted into you; turning you into a inhuman monster with an appetite for anything that calls itself human. (hell of a first date)
This is essentially the first episode of Tokyo Ghoul in a nutshell.
Treading down the road of the oh so old “turned into a monster against my will” story so many other horror tales take, Tokyo Ghoul still manages to surprise and even gross you out at times. Blood, spit, vomit, blood, it’s all here in a cavalcade of creepy and uncomfortable. Our “hero” Ken Kaneki was just an ordinary kid until a girl named Rize glided into his life and began feasting on his gooey insides. After her “meal” is unexpectedly ended (by what I can only assume is an unsafe working environment), her organs are transplanted into Ken (must have been an organ donor with O blood)and he becomes something monstrous. He becomes half Ghoul, a monster that consume humans like WoW players consume cheetos.
This humanity left in Ken is the main conflict of the story, he knows he needs to eat humans to survive, but his humanity won’t let him. The scenes where he tries to come to terms with what happened to him are really saddening and well done: from no longer finding human foods edible, to nearly going crazy in a crowd of people, everything resonates as it should.
Aside from Ken there are a couple of other ghouls that make their presence known. Aside from Rize, there is the seemingly timid but ruthless waitress Toka, and the arrogant, territorial Nishiki. The three seem to have a prior relationship as Rize’s death leaves a power vaccum that Nishiki tries to fill but is thwarted by Toka is pretty well animated action scene.
All in all the first outing of Tokyo Ghoul gives the show potential to be a stand out of the season and could be a worthy watch for fans of the horror genre. With plenty of questions to be answered and plenty of blood to be spilled, Tokyo Ghoul is a show to be on the watch list.