Four New Reviews From Our Local Book Reviewer

By Adventures in Obsessive Reading 

Tokyo Ghoul Vol. 1

Author: Sui Ishida (writer), Joe Yamazaki (translator)
Page Count: 224
Rating: A++++++++++
Keywords: Ghouls, Horror, Identity, Transplant, Mystery, Bookworms
Genre: Manga
Younger Readers: Rated Older Teen, not overly sexual and has limited language, horror aspects could be considered gruesome though not overly

I will admit I was not so sure when I read that synopsis. It just sounded super weird. Then there was the opening scene. Two boys gushing over pretty girls while drinking coffee made me worry that this was going to be a light, funny series. My tastes in reading tend to lean more towards the dark and creepy fantasy stories. 

Despite my worries, things quickly made a turn for the creepy. This delightful read balances comedy and horror well. Creating a fun, fast paced, and intriguing world that will quickly suck a reader in. I love this interpretation of the Ghoul. Rather than an ugly creature, rotting like a gimmicky zombie, we get more sophisticated Ghouls. They have their own society and rules, fitting in and hiding within the human world. Eating human flesh while drinking coffee is one of the many oddities I thoroughly enjoyed. The intricacies of this balance are part of what I absolutely loved while tearing through the pages. 

Ken Kaneki is gullible and young, making him an endearing lead for readers to become attached to. His struggle does not become too much. My only issue was trying to remember that he is a college student. His mannerisms constantly had me thinking of him as a high school student. 

At times the story seems a touch silly and this just adds to the charm rather than feeling out of place or like it is trying too hard. The world is intricate and interesting, challenging the reality of a strict divide between good and evil. Characters are fully fleshed, a mix of intriguing and lovable. 

Tokyo Ghoul Vol. 2

Author: Sui Ishida (author), Joe Yamazaki (translator)
Page Count: 208
Rating: A++++++++++
Keywords: Ghouls, Mystery, Murder, Identity
Genre: Manga
Keywords: Ghouls, Horror, Identity, Transplant, Mystery, Bookworms
Genre: Manga
Younger Readers: Rated Older Teen, not overly sexual and has limited language, horror aspects could be considered gruesome though not overly

Not surprisingly, I thoroughly enjoyed the second volume of this series. Rather than focusing entirely on Kaneki’s struggles, the reader is exposed to a broader array of characters and gets a better feel of the word of Tokyo Ghoul as a whole. 

Greater conflict in the Ghoul society was developed in this installment while deepening the reader’s understanding of the world. The Doves and the moral dilemma they raise are interesting. Are Ghouls truly just creatures that can be killed? Or are they more human than anyone is willing to admit? Who is right and who is wrong? This moral challenge is not overly complex but I did enjoy watching Kaneki debate with himself on these very issues and his entire view of the world begin to shift.

Touka’s character development was a welcome addition. She is not just the snobby Ghoul who works at the coffee shop giving Kaneki a hard time. She’s a student, cares deeply about others, and blends into the human world. Without spoiling this installment, her actions hint at an interesting back story that I would love to see further developed in the future.

A character I look forward to seeing more of in the future is the mask creator, Uta. His oddities and brief appearances leave many questions that will hopefully be answered more fully in the future.

Tokyo Ghoul Vol. 3

Author: Sui Ishida (author), Joe Yamazaki (translator)
Page Count: 192
Rating: B
Keywords: Ghouls, Mystery, Loss, Identity, Morality
Genre: Manga
Younger Readers: Rated Older Teen

This book did have the general interest I have come to know from the series but I also just could not bring myself to say that I truly liked this installment. It builds on the major events that occurred towards the end of volume 2. The greater focus on Hinami was not overly intriguing to me though I could see how her presence could deepen the moral dilemma that is being created earlier in the series. Overall, this installment is still worth reading. Just be prepared for a slower pace.

Tokyo Ghoul Vol. 4

Author: Sui Ishida (author), Joe Yamazaki (translator)
Page Count: 192
Rating: B
Keywords: Ghouls, Mystery, Loss, Identity, Morality
Genre: Manga
Younger Readers: Rated Older Teen

Oh my lordy I enjoyed this installment. It brought back the mystery and creepiness that I had enjoyed earlier in the series. Twists keep the reader guessing throughout and new information hints at the remainder of the series being full of mystery and wonder.

Readers are finally exposed to the world outside of the 20th ward, even revealing a new Ghoul hangout. New characters and new locations give Tokyo Ghoul deeper roots than the previous installments. 

The Gourmet is an interesting and thoroughly creepy addition that I did not expect. His actions are unexpected and engaging. My only frustration with this strong addition to the series was the cliffhanger ending. Alas, I must wait for volume 5 to arrive.

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