Tokyo Ghoul √A Anime Review

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Nine months ago, the Tokyo Ghoul adaptation dropped and was welcomed with content by many fans. The first instalment did not disappoint many and ended on somewhat of a high point with lots of momentum. The issue with sequels is that the majority of them do not continue with that same momentum; and unfortunately the√A sequel did not fair that well and left me with lukewarm feelings by the end.

The story focuses on Kaneki - a 18 year old boy who has been transformed from human to half-ghoul by having organs of Rize, a now deceased ghoul, surgically substituted for his organs. His status of being a ghoul is deemed extremely rare, since he is only one of very few ghouls who are half-bred. The plot follows Kaneki's quest to gain strength to protect the people he admires.

Throughout the anime I found myself following the plot and having it lead to me to dead ends which are not explained in the moment or explained later on. For example, we find out in the first episode that Kaneki joins Aogiri. It's unclear why but it's answered half way in the anime; however that approach in telling a plot leaves an air of question as to what's going on, or why is this happening? There are many loop holes which are tricky to follow, and some questions that are left unanswered; which is one of the reasons why I feel that √A has not really been great at developing the story to further explaining it for that matter.

The visual cues are very similar to the parent adaptation. The design and art of the anime has not changed that much compared to the first season. The majority of the combat is very fluid, the stills are very crisp, and I especially enjoyed seeing the visual effects used on the kagune to show movement and shine.

When it comes to the sound in Tokyo Ghoul √A the secondary sounds, OST, opening and ending are quite polarizing; meaning people are either going to enjoy it or don't care for it. I own the entire track list of the OST to √A and after listening to the the entire two hour and thirty minute ensemble I find that it's not exactly my cup of tea. If anyone has payed close attention to the music you will find the it's very dark, and not very uplifting so to say; however it fits very well with the atmosphere of the anime. Not many people enjoy eerie music, but if it's you're cup of tea, then thumbs up! Father from disc 2 is my personal favourite.

As mentioned earlier there are many questions within the anime that leave people a bit agitated, confused and left with unanswered questions. Most of these unanswered questions I think are stemmed from the inorganic introduction and underdeveloped introduction of various characters as well as unexpected surprises that come from characters from the main storyline. For example the introduction of Matasaka Kamishiro, and twins Nashiro Yasuhisa and Yasuhisa, Kurona. The introduction of the twins were unusual, their premise is not exactly known or explained well; and as for Matasaka Kamishiro, he seems to play a big role in one instance then disappears the next throughout the reminder.

Although the anime itself was not that well developed, the fascination, or my fascination, with √A comes from watching the conflict. Besides from the storylines, I think the success or enjoyment of the Tokyo Ghoul franchise comes from seeing the characters engage in physical combat, and arguments; you can mute the dialogue and have the background music playing and I would have still be sucked into watching due to the fact that the fights as they were very well animated.

The decision to make a sequel to an anime which had many people riled-up, under performed. Overall, the art was great, the enjoyment of the scenes were great, and the sound fit the mood of the plot. However the characters were underdeveloped or not developed enough, and the plot was not told that well within 12 episodes. If you enjoyed the first season, it's either a hit or miss if you're going to enjoy this one.

Anyways, thanks for reading my review; feel free to leave some feedback or comments on this anime so please leave me a message!

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