Tokyo Ghoul – Episode 1 [First Impression]

When I say that this show blew my mind, I am NOT exaggerating.

CarmenTheNinja’s First impression

From the moment the show began, I was already enthralled by the visuals. The animation was beautiful and they were not scarce with the blood. However, I wasn’t extremely impressed by the main character’s (Ken Kaneki) design. He has this very classic and cliche look that most boys in horror/psychological anime have (See: Deadman Wonderland, Future Diary, etc).

TokyoGhoul1 TokyoGhoul2 From a few weeks ago, reading the anime synopsis, to now, actually viewing the show – I have to say, it was nothing like I had expected. From the summary, I was under the impression that because ghouls have hidden identities they: 1.) Have a ghoul form and a human form; kind of like Rosario + Vampire and 2.) The general public are unaware of their existence; thinking people are being killed by actual murderers or animal attacks. I was so, so wrong.

tokyoGhoulFriend tokyoGhoulFriend2

As Kaneki is sharing lunch with his best friend, , a news broadcast reports of strange “ghoul crimes”, casually. CASUALLY. The ghouls weren’t the ‘strange’ aspect of the news, it was rendered ‘strange’ because there’s a ghoul who is binge eating humans. Nobody in the entire coffee shop got upset, disturbed or alarmed. Everyone just continued to eat. What the—? His friend is even like, “Man, these crimes seem pretty close to home. SO ANYWAY, WHO’S THE GIRL YOU LIKE?!” Completely disregarding the fact that people are being eaten in their neighborhood. I just…

TokyoGhoulToka TokyoGhoulToka2 TokyoGhoulToka3 TokyoGhoulLove

Kaneki is trying to get date advice and Hide is literally the worse help on Earth: He’s embarrassing as hell. Hide assumes Kaneki is talking about the waitress and flat out asks her name and if she’s in a relationship, which sends her running away immediately. It was such a facepalm moment for me. When his true love interest, Rize, walks into the shop, he can’t keep his eyes off of her – especially since she’s reading the same book as him. That was an immediate red flag for me. Way too “coincidental”. In a time lapse of a day, he’s already managed to go out on a date with her and appears to have her in the palm of his hand. Not to say that awkward boys have no chance with a cute girl, but this is an anime and we all know that usually… doesn’t end well. I mean, COME ON – she ends the date by baiting him into a dark alley way, YOU AIN’T FOOLIN’ NOBODY GURL! darkalley

Needless to say, he fell for her dirty tricks and got his ass handed to him.

In what seems to be the end of his life, Rize is killed by falling debris. As he’s floating in limbo, he can hear the sounds of doctors taking care of him, performing surgery and saying things like, “He needs an organ transplant”. Why he doesn’t have family or friends to consent for him and why doctors have organs ON HAND to transplant are a mystery to me. Who does this? WHERE ARE HIS PARENTS? Could they not get in contact with ANYONE? NO?!

TokyoGhoul5 TokyoGhoul6 TokyoGhoul7 TokyoGhoul9
Poor Ken is denying visits from his best friend in the hospital, not answering any calls… he won’t even eat. Doctor says nothing appears to be wrong with him, but when he gets home… he STILL doesn’t have an appetite. The news starts making claims about the binge eating ghoul again, but this time they go into detail about how ghouls have no taste for food whatsoever; Ghouls only crave human flesh and weapons have no effect on them so, there’s nothing anyone can do to save themselves. Ken directly correlates the news to himself, eats everything in the house and become insanely sick. In a panic, he takes a knife to himself & it breaks on his skin. WELCOME TO THE GHOUL LYFE
TokyoGhoul8 TokyoGhoul10TokyoGhoul11 TokyoGhoul12 Nearing the end of the episode, he starts to crave human flesh and it leads him to a ghoul feeding. He’s upset that it’s a dead person he smelled but he’s relieved because he didn’t exactly want to kill anybody. Then some asshole megane comes around, kills the previous ghoul feeding and threatens his life – I have the feeling that this guy is gonna be a problem ALL SEASON. Apparently there’s some territorial boundaries to which ghouls can feed (which reminds me of Blood Lad and how in order to gain a territory – it’s head needs to be killed). Remember coffee girl, Toka? She single handedly rips the megane to shreds and send him running. I think Ken has a new Ghoulfriend~ (get it? heh heh, Girlfriend – Ghoulfriend? I’ll stop now -_-“) He spends a good portion of the end of this episode bitching. I mean, full on whining, complaining, pleading his case, repeating how much of a “human” he is and Toka just smashes a human arm in his mouth both to eat and all shut his trap.

Overall: I bet you’re wondering, “Why did you give a complete blow by blow of the show?” That’s just it – Everything about each of these characters was relatively FLAT. I can’t tell you anything about Hide other than, he seems like the comic relief. You don’t get any background to Ken, even though he’s clearly the main character. A good handful of people died in this episode, so even if I were to say their names: It would be irrelevant and one of the characters who seems the most important to this show only had 3 seconds on screen, with his face covered by a mask, and nothing being revealed about him but that he was supposed to collect Rize, like a bounty hunter. Does that mean the show is trash? No. I think it’s a must watch! I really enjoyed it. I appreciated the blood, guts and twisted dialogue. There was really no sugar coating or censoring added to this at all. I’m not too fond of the main character – he seems to be a bit pathetic and whiny (much like his Deadman Wonderland and Future Diary equals). I hope that he gets a bit of character development and progresses into a badass. They didn’t include any OP or ED music, so that was a bit of a drag for me. You could hear something that sounded a bit “Tim Burton-esk” in the first scene, but it was limited to that.  To be quite honest, I was simulated visually but I was left with many questions.

Possibility of Blogging: If no one wants to cover it – I’m down.



Midnight’s First Impression

Well this show wastes absolutely no time at all getting right into the blood. With a Ghoul with a lust that can’t be quelled, perhaps another Ghoul? A Bounty Hunter? They’re kind of unclear about what this guys job is. He’s crazy though, he lived through the scene so maybe we’ll see him again? Then after the opening throws us into a totally normal setting, except for the news reporting deaths caused by Ghouls. Two boys talking about getting dates….Our main protagonist Kaneki seems to have it hard for this purple haired beauty, who I believe is the Ghoul….of course, they’re reading the same book. They set up a date for a book store, though his friend isn’t sure how well a date at a book store is going to go.

I’m telling you man, don’t get too involved with her. She’s a man eater! He notices she doesn’t eat much….
sign number 1 that there is something wrong.

She says she’s scared of all the incidents because she lives close and he offers to talk her home. Guy, seriously, get a clue. You’re way to plain for a girl of her beauty if she wasn’t trying to eat you! You’re like bland anime guy number 1 in the way of looks and you like books and burgers, boring! She’s way to hot for you! Senpai has not noticed you, Senpai wants to eat your flesh.

There we go, nine minutes and twenty-four seconds in and she tries to eat him. I’m glad that didn’t last much longer. I’ve gotta say, the whole blood tentacle thing. Kinda digging it.

Huh, a freak accident or maybe not such a freak accident of metal poles dropping down on her eliminates the ghoul. This is sort of trippy, something about water and blood and hospitals and OH GOD!


He can’t eat, well obviously he’s turning into a ghoul. Is he only half Ghoul? Kaneki’s friend Hide is an awesome guy, while watching a report on ghouls it strikes him what’s happening to him.

He rips open a bag of food Hide brought, including one of his favorite foods and tries to eat it and immediately hacks it all back up. He keeps trying to eat human foods and failing.

Poor guy, he’s avoiding Hide as much as he can. He even misses a book signing for a author he loves.

He fights he urge to eat people and runs home, to see what he’s become….Thanks to her.

DAMN! so neat. The girl from the cafe from before is out….He smells something, something sweet, something that even he can eat. OH GOD, THAT’S HIDE’S FRIEND OR ROOM MATE OR WHATEVER. HE’S A GHOUL TOO? WHAT? WHAT?

WAIT, TOKA’S A GHOUL TOO? -flips table- and apparently Ghoul’s have a lot of nasty politics going on. She’s strong, I like this. He keeps fighting what he is, So he is half Ghoul, only one of his eyes is fucked up. Toka tells him to eat and he almost does but fights it….


overall: I loved it, the visuals were great and what we’ve got of the plot so far is pretty interesting. I’m really digging the concept of Ghoul’s living among us without us knowing, I couldn’t of guessed when I saw her waitressing earlier in the episode that Toka would be a Ghoul or that Hide’s roommate/brother/cousin? was one too! I wish we’d got an opening and ending, It would of given me something to say about the music but for now I’ll say that nothing jarred me from the atmosphere or the show in the way of background music. The blood is pretty much no holds bar and while the guts are sort of censored out by black it doesn’t really bother me in the least. When they said Ghouls in the first scene I was about ready to jump ship because Zombies scare me but these aren’t your ordinary ghouls. Which is an approach I enjoy, this show has a lot of potential to be really good but it could also be messed up really fast. We’re just going to have to have faith in the writing crew. As for covering it? I’ve got three other shows I have my eyes on, which is the only thing detouring me from saying yes. I’ll be watching for sure!

Possibility of watching: Guaranteed
Possibility of covering: Low{Too many people want this show and I already know three shows I want to cover for sure.}



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4 Responses

  1. Alo says:

    Not trying to be a jerk or anything, but just to explain some things…

    “Why he doesn’t have family or friends to consent for him and why doctors have organs ON HAND to transplant are a mystery to me”
    The organs are Rize’s. The anime didn’t make this as obvious, but I figured it would make sense when you noticed his ghoul traits.

    Dead. He says so while talking to Rize.

    “It would be irrelevant and one of the characters who seems the most important to this show only had 3 seconds on screen, with his face covered by a mask, and nothing being revealed about him but that he was supposed to collect Rize, like a bounty hunter.”
    That character’s relevance isn’t huge except as serving as a device for character development later on. The mask should make sense soon as well.

    If I didn’t pick up on sarcasm somewhere, I’m very sorry. T.T

    Anyways, I’m somewhat disappointed by the first episode already. And yeah, the mc is very annoying at times. He gets a lot better very quickly far in, but he’s pretty flat until then.

    • Yea… you missed out on quite a bit of sarcasm and the flow of my first impression was mostly through the anime sequence to prevent early spoilers. I tried to make some key identifiers using caps but uh… I can see where there could be confusion – I apologize for the mix up.

      • Alo says:

        No no. I’m totally at fault. I’m really bad at picking up on sarcasm in text. This was also my first time reading one of your reviews, so I wasn’t sure of your “normal” writing style. I’m very sorry for being so impolite. T.T

  2. someone who's read the manga says:

    @Carmen, ” I hope that he gets a bit of character development and progresses into a badass” – DON’T WORRY

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