Tokyo Ghoul: The Complete Series (a J!-ENT Anime on Blu-ray Disc Review)
September 12, 2015 by Dennis Amith
For those wanting a dark, violent and action-packed anime series, “Tokyo Ghoul: The Complete Series” is highly recommended!
Image courtesy of © FUNimation. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Tokyo Ghoul: The Complete Series
SERIES RELEASE DATE: 2014
DURATION: Episodes 1-12 (300 minutes)
BLU-RAY INFORMATION: 1080pHigh Definition, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0, Subtitles: English
RATED: Suggested 17 and Up
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Originally Created by Sui Ishida
Directed by Shuhei Morita
Series Composition by Chuji Mikasano
Screenplay by Chuji Mikasano
Music by Yutaka Yamada
Character Design by Kazuhiro Miwa
Anime Production by Pierrot
Featuring the following voice talent:
Natsuki Hanae/Ken Kaneki as Ken Kaneki
Sora Amamiya/Brina Palencia as Tōka Kirishima
Ayahi Takagaki/Jamie Marchi as Itori
Kana Hanazawa/Monica Rial as Rize Kamishiro
Katsuyuki Konishi/Mike McFarland as Kōtarō Amon
Mamoru Miyano/J. Michael Tatum as Shū Tsukiyama
Rintarou Nishi/Christopher R. Sabat as Jason
Shintarō Asanuma/Eric Vale as Nishiki Nishio
Sumire Morohoshi/Lara Woodhull as Hinami Fueguchi
Takahiro Sakurai/Aaron Roberts as Uta
Takayuki Sugo/Sean Hennigan as Yoshimura
Toshiyuki Toyonaga/Clifford Chapin as Hideyoshi Nagachika
Yūichi Nakamura/Phil Parsons as Renji Yomo
In modern day Tokyo, society lives in fear of Ghouls: mysterious creatures who look exactly like humans, yet hunger insatiably for their flesh. None of this matters to Ken Kaneki, a bookish and ordinary young man, until a dark and violent encounter turns him into the first ever Ghoul-human half breed. Trapped between two worlds, Ken must survive the violent conflicts of warring Ghoul factions, while attempting to learn more about Ghoul society, his newfound powers, and the fine line between man and monster.
Back in 2011, Sui Ishida created the hit manga series “Tokyo Ghoul” which was featured on Shueisha’s “Weekly Young Jump”.
In 2014, a 12-episode anime series adaptation by studio Pierrot aired on Tokyo MX, followed by a second season featuring 12-episodes titled “Tokyo Ghoul √A“, which is an original story which aired in Japan from Jan. through March 2015.
And now the first season of “Tokyo Ghoul” will be released by FUNimation in Sept. 2015.
The anime series is directed by Shuhei Morita (“Coicent”, “Possessions”) and features a screenplay by Chuji Mikasano. Music composition is by Yutaka Yamada and character designs are by Kazuhiro Miwa (who worked in key animation for series such as “Bleach”, “Eureka Seven”, “Tokyo Majin”).
Set in Tokyo, Japan, the story of “Tokyo Ghoul” is set during a time when many mysterious and grizzly murders are happening throughout Japan due to monsters known as ghouls.
Monsters known as “Ghouls” like to eat human flesh and have the ability to change themselves to look human.
We are introduced to college students, Ken Kaneki and his friend Hide.
Kaneki is a big fan of horror novels and he often goes to a cafe to see another girl named Rize Kamishiro who likes horror novels. And because of their similar taste in authors, the two go out on their first date.
And while the date is going very well, things suddenly take a turn when Rize reveals herself to be a ghoul.
Taking a bite out of Kaneki and impaling him and preparing for the final kill, out of nowhere, a metal beam falls from above and crushes Rize.
As the two are taken to the doctor, the doctor avoids waiting for family donors and takes Rize’s organs and transplants it into Kaneki.
As Kaneki heals and is lucky to be alive, he begins to notice that every food he eats and tastes is terrible. He can’t understand why until he learns that ghouls have that similar problem and he knows that the only way to satisfy his hunger is to kill and eat human flesh, which he will never do, as he intends to maintain his humanity.
He realizes that he has become a ghoul (with one eye showing that he is a ghoul), while he also is human. But he thirsts for eating humans but rather not do that.
As other ghouls taunt him for his weakness and his inability to eat humans, one ghoul starts to threaten Hide, Ken’s best friend.
What will Ken do about it?
“Tokyo Ghoul” is presented in 1080p High Definition and for the most part, studio Pierrot has done a fine job with the anime adaptation of Sui Ishida’s series. Characters and environments are well-shaded, but for the most part, the violence of the series is captured including the emotion of a character’s face. The series tends to utilize a lot of closeups, but for the most part, background art well-detailed. I didn’t notice any major artifacts during my viewing of the series or any major banding issues.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Tokyo Ghoul” is presented in English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 and Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0. While the voice talent on the Japanese end is well-done, watching it in English, I have to say that voice actor Austin Tindle did a magnificent job playing Ken Kaneki. Kaneki has to go through a lot of emotions each episode, especially the final episode of season 1, it required tremendous emotion from the character and Tindle delivered! But the English dub is well-done!
While dialogue and music are crystal clear, there are moments that utilize the surround channels. But for the most part, the most memorable in terms of the lossless audio are the more emotional moments (as there are plenty), because this series gets uber-violent!
Subtitles are in English.
“Tokyo Ghoul: The Complete Series” comes with the following special features:
- Episode 4 Commentary – Featuring commentary by ADR Director Mike McFarland, voice talent Austin Tindle (voice of Kaneki), Brina Palencia (voice of Kirishima) and J. Michael Tatum (voice of Tsukiyama).
- Kaneki in Black and White – (27:42) ADR Director Mike McFarland, Assistant Director J. Michael Tatum (voice of Tsukiyama), voice talent Austin Tindle (voice of Kaneki), Brina Palencia (voice of Kirishima) discuss their characters and the series.
- Episode 12 Commentary – Featuring commentary by ADR Director Mike McFarland, voice talent Monica Rial (voice of Rize), Austin Tindle (voice of Kaneki) and Christopher R. Sabat (voice of Yamori).
- Japanese Commercials – (2:12) The original Japanese TV commercials for “Tokyo Ghoul”.
- Promotional Videos – (2:34) Japanese promotional video for “Tokyo Ghoul”.
- Preview Collection – (6:22) A hilarious collection of “next episode” previews (in Japanese with English subtitles).
- U.S. Trailer
“Tokyo Ghoul: The Complete Series” comes with both Blu-ray and DVD discs for the first season.
Having read Sui Ishida’s manga series, “Tokyo Ghoul” is no doubt a violent, action-packed anime series that was well-adapted by studio Pierrot.
Featuring all emotion and violence of the manga series and magnified by terrific voice acting by both Natsuki Hanae and Austin Tindle (the Japanese and English dub voice actor for Kaneki), they really did a magnificent job of bring the character of Kaneki alive and it’s what makes the anime series truly work!
The series revolves around teenager Ken Kaneki who falls for a girl named Rize, who happens to be a ghoul. She wants to devour him, takes a bite and as she is about to kill him, steel beams fall on both of them. While Rize is dead, Kaneki is saved by a doctor who transplants Rize’s organs into Kaneki and thus turning him into a One-eyed Ghoul.
But as Kaneki tries to keep his humanity and thinking that Ghoul’s are just savage monsters, he befriends a few Ghouls who take him in, understands his hunger for human blood but also understanding his unwillingness to accept being a Ghoul and not wanting to be like them.
But the more he hangs out with the Ghoul’s, the more he stars to learn about the Doves, humans that are no different from savage ghouls that want to eliminate all ghouls.
The first season is a perfect introduction to the characters but also showing us how Kaneki is throughout every major moment after being turned into a ghoul. For the most part, he is a whiny, good boy. But when he is put into the situation of trying to make choices of using his ghoul powers, his fear and unwillingness to turn into a ghoul ends up being a detriment to others.
And things start to go downhill for him, unless he makes the decision to accept what he has become.
The series requires Kaneki to become emotional and that is where having the right voice talent becomes important. And while the Japanese soundtrack features great voice acting, because I prefer a 5.1 lossless track, I went with FUNimation’s English dub soundtrack and Austin Tindle, Brina Palencia, J. Michael Tatum and Monica Rial did a magnificent job. While the series is not super-immersive via the lossless soundtrack, the soundtrack is crystal clear when it comes to dialogue and music.
In terms of picture quality, studio Pierrot did a very good job as characters are well-animated, art backgrounds are detailed. But for the most part, the anime series does a good job of complimenting Sui Ishida’s original manga series.
As for the special features, you get two audio commentaries with the ADR Director and English voice dub talent, a video interview with the voice talent and ADR director and also the Japanese commercials and previews.
It’s important to emphasize that this anime series is very violent and those who do not like dark or bloody anime series may want to be aware of that.
Overall, for those wanting a dark, violent and action-packed anime series, “Tokyo Ghoul: The Complete Series” is highly recommended!
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