Right before I was sitting down to write this review, something I’d already expected and assumed happened: Tokyo Ghoul is getting a second. In January, Kaneki and the rest of Anteiku and Ghouls will continue their war with the Commission of Counter Ghoul or CCG. Which, is quite good news for fans, it’s also damned irritating for them to have to wait 4 months to do so. About a week before the news of season two’s renewal, the mangaka Sui Ishida would be completing Tokyo Ghoul’s run in mid-September. Since the final chapter has since been released, Studio Pierrot can hold back nothing when it comes to adapting for a new season, but should you even bother waiting for it?
If you recall from my review of the first half of Tokyo Ghoul‘s recent cour (season), you’ll remember that I wasn’t too keen on it; especially the storytelling, the rearranging of plot details, and the censorship, but I soldiered on and Tokyo Ghoul became an enjoyable show to watch for the action and over-the-top violence and fights. That’s really the main attraction here though. The inner struggle Kaneki has in the manga hasn’t been successfully brought over into the anime. The final episode is a nice attempt, and does a better job than the entire series ever did, but bloating the final episode to contain 15+ minutes of angst with 3 minutes of action and credits, it lessens the impact of what the finale is about. Not to mention it leaves the rest of the CCG versus Ghouls arc in a complete stand still with no resolution until season 2 premieres next year.
I understand why companies do this, and I can appreciate it from a business standpoint, but I’ve personally never been a fan of this kind of storytelling and ‘drama’. Don’t make your viewers wait only 4 months to finish an arc; even when the arc has only a few more moments to close out with. You’re not on the same level as a sitcom or American show where cliffhangers are good for ratings and leave people coming back for more next season; you’re an adaptation of a series that’s already been told, and you need to sell DVDs, so need to give us what we need: content. You didn’t need to spend all of that time with a long overdue flashback of Kaneki’s childhood, nor did you need to rush the fight with Jason. It was rather anti-climactic and diluted the character of Jason to almost merely mortal. Kaneki’s growth wasn’t admirable in the manga, but in the anime it was pitifully done.
Tokyo Ghoul is much better and improved in it second half, but falters with its final episode. I’ll likely watch the second season in 2015, although if the manga is any indication of what it will contain, I won’t care for the stories being animated as they haven’t been as enrapturing as I’d like. Tokyo Ghoul is not one of the worst anime I’ve ever seen, and I don’t regret watching it week in week out, but I do think they created a real missed opportunity to bring something solid to the table and failed doing so. Tokyo Ghoul is licensed by Funimation and is still streaming on their site and will likely be on store shelves by year’s end or early 2015, so be sure to support the industry by buying it if you like it. Heck, don’t be surprised if you end up seeing it on Toonami by 2015 either; most Funimation shows end up there lately, so kudos to them! Now we await the unrated Blu-Rays to see what the animators had to censor and edit out to allow it on TV.