You see, I only began reading the manga last week after I finished watching the anime. The last episode was a total cliffhanger so I decided to read the series especially when I found out that it already concluded. Be warned, though. This post contains some spoilers (if you haven’t read the manga yet) and some possible long rants lol. Yosh! Let’s start!
The first few chapters of the manga reminded me of the scenes in the anime although I instantly recognized the parts that were a little bit altered. Since the first season of the anime was too short, I couldn’t completely connect with the characters that much. But with the manga, I was able to establish a more in-depth understanding of them, especially of the protagonist, Ken Kaneki. The story is definitely tragic and more than half of the scenes are vicious and gory. (Therefore, this manga is not for the fainthearted!) As you may probably know, the story revolves around ghouls devouring humans and the protagonist here unfortunately ended up being a hybrid after a ghoul’s organs were transplanted into his body after a certain incident. He tried to suppress it at first, but he eventually learned to embrace his new self after getting help from other ghouls at Anteiku. However, after he was kidnapped and tortured by Jason, Ken began to drastically change. From being a timid and frail teenager, he suddenly turned into an atrocious ghoul who sought more power to protect those around him. He faced a lot of enemies, including the CCGs and Aogiri members. And that was where the climax of the story began.
This is probably a given due to the nature of the story, but still, I must definitely give all the action scenes an A+! Browsing through the pages of each chapter kept me at the edge of my seat since almost all chapters contain grisly images of ghouls and human being severed into pieces. These parts would definitely look more awesome in the anime adaptation, so I’m extremely hoping for a second season!
While reading each volume, I also developed a sense of connection with the characters, especially with Kaneki and Amon. There were also quite a handful of surprises that left me astounded, confused and depressed. Most of the characters were given some brief background details that explained their stance in the latter part of the story. Take, for example, the case of Suzuya. When he first appeared in the story, I ultimately despised him. But toward the last chapter, I suddenly found myself sympathizing with him. The character development of most characters were distinctly written that they’d make you change your impression toward a certain individual. You could never be certain whether the character was a heroine or a villain.
I had no particular problems with the story so far. Well, not until I reached the climax. The battle between the CCG and Anteiku ghouls was probably the best fight in the series. It also clarified some questions about Yoshimura and the One-Eyed Owl but other than that, the last chapter was a disappointment for me. Disappointing in a way that the ending didn’t particularly clear a lot of issues. In fact, several questions remained unanswered. Ishida-sensei did give some hints about some issues but they were too implicit for me to comprehend since I could only make assumptions about the ending. The way Kaneki died looked plain to me. I was expecting a more intense fight between him and Arima. Kaneki’s death was definitely tragic, but also upsetting at the same time since he didn’t even manage to deliver a fatal blow to the investigator. Kishou Arima also didn’t have a lot of scenes in the manga. No background story was given and the only thing I know about him is that he’s exceptionally good and apathetic. ( I also read the spin-off manga about him but so far, nothing really significant has been revealed about Arima.) Questions about Uta and his group Pierrot still haunt me as well. The body of Amon wasn’t also shown though he was presumed to be dead. Same with Kaneki’s friend, Hide. And what happened to Hinami and Rize? You see, I have a lot of questions and I’m not sure if I just missed some important details while reading but I would only be satisfied if the announcement regarding Ishida-san’s “surprise” would be about a sequel.
So if I have to rate it, I’d probably give it 7 out of 10 points. The peak of the story was truly gripping but the end of the series left me discontented.