TNTM Trade Of The Week: Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1
TOKYO GHOUL 1
Tokyo Ghoul is a fairly new, 2011, manga which is now an anime, 2014, in its 3rd season. Volume 1 of the manga is about Ken Kaneki, a teenage college freshman boy, who goes through some drastic changes after getting an organ transplant due to a horrifying accident. If you have seen the anime, Volume 1 of Tokyo Ghoul covers the first few episodes. Personally I saw the show before the read the manga. You've heard it before and you'll hear it again, the books are better or if you like the show/movies(s) you'll like the books or some variation of this sentiment.
The biggest reason the written source material is almost always better is because there is so much more. There is more detail, more depth, more character development, and more time spent on all of those things. My favorite aspect of the manga was the psychological stuff, head games, mind games, mind fucks. It's kind of hard for you to understand what I mean by that unless I go into some of the story a little.
From the get-go the book establishes that there are these humanoid creatures called ghouls, akin to vampires or werewolves. They walk the walk and talk the talk except they hunger for flesh. Unfortunately for Kaneki, the girl he is interested in, Rize, that goes on a date with him, ends up being a ghoul that just wants to eat him up. In a freak accident they are both deathly injured. The surgeon makes the decision to transplant her organs in him. Lets just say it doesn't go well for Kaneki. He goes through some unexpected, unwanted, and unwarranted changes. He discovers what it's like to be a ghouls, to crave human flesh. Not only does normal human food not satisfy him, it makes him ill. You see him struggle valiantly against these animalistic urges for humans.
The art is the driving force for the story. It depicts the struggle Kaneki goes through. He is enticed by the psychological invasion and residue of the ghoul gal whose organs are now a part of him. The action is visceral, raw, and intense. The visuals make you sympathetic to Kaneki at times and irate at him during others. If I had one word for the art it would be powerful.
It blows my mind that in most he comics I read there is a writer, penciller, inker, colorist, and leterrer, whereas with manga there is one person that does all of it. The amount of time, effort, and talent it takes is a ridiculous, and overly impressive feat to me. Personally I like the manga better than the anime but that is because I prefer a more slow and deep approach and experience. There's not a huge difference between the two. The biggest difference I have noticed is that Rize is a much bigger aspect of the story, struggle, and psychological in the manga so far, which I really enjoyed and appreciated. I haven't read too many mangas, Attack on Titan being the only other one, but this is definitely one of the best I've read. The world building is top notch, characterization is well done, the story is interesting and intriguing, the action/fight scenes are pretty sick and hardcore. I give Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 a STRONG BUY. I can't wait to read the next one.
Verdict: STRONG BUY