Tokyo Ghoul by Sui Ishida is an interesting manga series. It has an interesting plot, setting and characters. Then it all went downhill.
Tokyo Ghoul is about Ken Kaneki who one day goes on a date with a ghoul who almost kills him and causes an accident that kills her. He has surgery where some of the ghoul girl’s organs are transplanted into him, turning him into a ghoul. Now he has to leave the human world and live out the rest of his days in the ghoul world.
This plot had a lot going for it. Kaneki was an interesting character, as were the other ghouls. It was also fun to see how the ghouls kept their secret from humans. One of the most interesting ones was how to eat human food and make it look like you were enjoying it instead of the normal “I feel like puking” reaction ghouls have to human food.
Even the artwork was pretty neat. It had this weird look to it take screamed: “This is horror.” Some people will say that it looks like a generic shonen manga, but if you look closely you’ll see that the artwork had plenty of layers to it that makes it stand out. Just look at the character designs: look at how evil and messed up they look.
As said above, things changed for the worse somewhere around volume eight. Ishida decided that it was a great idea to focus 95% of the plot to the ghoul elimination police (I know they have a name but I don’t care.) These characters are so flat and boring that they were the worst part of the manga and Ishida wanted to spend more time focusing on them. It got to the point where reading the manga became a chore. There are scenes with the real cast, the ghouls but they come off as someone on the editorial team reminded Ishida that these characters exist.
Then things get worse. The final battle. While it’s a decent battle, we didn’t get any input from the real leads: the ghouls. They were treated like they there the villains throughout the series and all character development was thrown out the window. Not to mention Kaneki went out like a bitch. I was expecting him to be alive in the final chapter but NOPE, he’s dead. That was when I threw Volume 14 right across the room so hard it hit my wall.
I tried reading the sequel Tokyo Ghoul: RE, but it suffered from the same problems as this manga so it’s a miss for me. What a pity, a great series that had so much potential ruined by the creator wanting to do a sequel/spin-off but couldn’t wait. No wonder it was only 14 volumes long and so many people dropped it.