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If you need to get your horror anime fix, it seems like Tokyo Ghoul will definitely be your best bet this season…if you can handle the blood and gore, that is.
Fortunately, I like that sort of thing, so I’ll definitely be sticking with this show for the remainder of the season. There are several things about this first episode alone that are legitimately terrifying. The episode opens with a graphic scene of a female ghoul binge-eating several people, bodies strewn about her as she gorges herself. After the opening scene, the episode takes on a very slice-of-life feeling until main-character Ken Kaneki’s date turns out to be a ghoul—Rize Kamishiro, the very same ghoul from the opening scene.
While Rize’s attempt to kill and eat Kaneki falls short due to falling rubble from a construction site (which I’m convinced is an intentional act by someone wanting her dead rather than an accident), Kaneki is wounded badly enough to need serious surgery, in which the doctors—apparently not knowing that Rize was a ghoul—transplant her organs into him. This turns him into a half-ghoul, apparently.
Another legitimately terrifying part of this episode is when Kaneki begins to realize what has happened to him. The animation is done so beautifully that you can actually see it dawning on him, see him realizing to his utter horror what he must have become, and yet being desperately in denial about it. This is so horrifying because it’s so easy to imagine yourself in his position, trying to convince yourself that you haven’t become some horrible monster, that you’re still human.
The final scene of this episode just ramps up the dread of the whole situation is when he begins craving human flesh. Ghouls only gain nourishment through eating human flesh, apparently, and can’t eat the sort of food normal humans do. In his attraction to human flesh, he interrupts a bit of a turf war between some ghouls, one of whom is Toka Kirishima, a girl who works at a coffee shop he frequents. She seems to be part of some sort of peacekeeping or governing force among the ghouls; the episode ends with her forcing him to eat human flesh.
As long as Tokyo Ghoul continues to have the horrific feel throughout the series, it should definitely be an interesting one to stick with. There are still plenty of unanswered questions about ghouls and how they fit into this world, and what will happen to Kaneki now that he’s tasted human flesh and has to deal with the fact that he’s half ghoul. This series is definitely a keeper for me this season!