Tokyo Ghoul—Season 1

tokyo ghoul season 1 poster review episode guide
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Some crazy moments and insane violence

Tone swings all over the place like many anime

tokyo ghoul season 1 title card review episode guide

You are what you eat

Ken Kaneki has a crush.  A girl at the coffee shop he frequents has been haunting his dreams.  When he finally gets the nerve up to ask her out, Kaneki learns the horrible truth about Rize.  Rize is a ghoul and Ken Kaneki is her next meal…but a tragic twist of fate has made things even worse for Kaneki.  Trapped between two worlds, Kaneki is fighting a losing battle against a hunger he cannot control and becoming a thing society hates.

Tokyo Ghoul (東京喰種 or Tōkyō Gūru)—Season 1 is an anime horror thriller.  The series is an adaptation of the first part of Sui Ishida’s manga originally published in Weekly Young Jump (September 8, 2011-September 18, 2014) which was also later collected as standalone collections.  The season aired on Tokyo MX from July 4, 2014-September 19, 2014 and was broadcast on Adult Swim in the United States from March 26, 2017-June 25, 2017.

tokyo ghoul season 1 opening credits kagune touka

Let your kagune fly!!!

Dipping into more anime, Tokyo Ghoul immediately was one of the titles I sought out.  As a fan of horror, the blending of horror and anime can have interesting result.  It is the strange tone of anime that makes it unique and different, and Tokyo Ghoul definitely has that classic anime tone.

What is different about anime is that it can often combines the lightest moments (like characters acting like fan-boys over things occurring) and mix it with some of the most horrific moments (like bones breaking and resetting themselves in seconds).  Tokyo Ghoul is primarily a horror series so the body horror is heavy as the ghouls use their powers and fight their urges to eat.  It is gross, but it also has the heart of a tragedy…none of the “good” ghouls want to be what they are.  It is simply the lot they are given.

tokyo ghoul season 1 episode 1 tragedy rize ken kaneki

This was a pretty bad first date…should have swiped left

The season is primarily about the transformation of Ken Kaneki from a student to a powerful ghoul.  The character most of the season is portrayed as rather meek and weak, but through torture and a series of horrific deaths, Kaneki is practically a new person by the end of the season.  It is a good set-up for season 2.

The key to a decent anime is also a good supporting cast, and Tokyo Ghoul is working on one.  You have Touka, the young Hinami, and the classic antagonist (who isn’t wrong) in the Dove Amon among others.  It feels like there are a number of good and creepy characters like Mado and Yakumo “Jason” Oomor, but it also feels that they might be written out a bit too soon.

tokyo ghoul season 1 episode 12 ghoul jason yakumo oomor

Yakumo aka Jason has some issues

The art is solid and in tune with other similar animes.  Some of the ghouls’ manifestations (like Touka) can be potentially beautiful as well as horrific and this is combined with some grueling moments of body severing, impalement, and torturous abuse (including a biting centipede in an ear).  It is for adults only for a reason.

Tokyo Ghoul is a solid start and origin season.  It has enough twists and turns and storylines that it feels like you can watch it in a couple chunks with some easy stopping points, but you can also power through.  As someone who feels like they’ve seen a ton of what is offered in the United States, it is always nice to get a different (and unique) perspective every once in a while and get out of your comfort zone…check out Tokyo GhoulTokyo Ghoul—Season 1 is followed by Tokyo Ghoul—Season 2 which is also called Tokyo Ghoul √A (not to be confusing or anything).

Tokyo Ghoul—Season 1 Complete Episode Guide:

tokyo ghoul season 1 episode 1 tragedy ken kaneki surgery


1.1       Tragedy Airdate:  07/04/14

Ken Kaneki has high hopes when the girl he has been watching at the coffee shop agrees to go out with him.  Unfortunately, Rize Kamishiro has a secret herself.  She’s a ghoul and has an insatiable hunger for flesh.  When Rize attacks Kaneki on their date, but the attack is interrupted by a construction site accident, Kaneki finds himself stuck in a limbo:  half-human and half-ghoul…and hungering for humans.

tokyo ghoul season 1 episode 2 incubation ken kaneki hunger


1.2       Incubation Airdate:  07/11/14

Kaneki tries to fight his hunger and his urges as a ghoul and finds that being friends with Hideyoshi Nagachika could be a danger to them both.  When Hideyoshi is attacked by Nishiki Nishio, Kaneki must try to fight for his friend and finds a surprising ally.

tokyo ghoul season 1 episode 3 dove yoshimura ken kaneki


1.3       Dove Airdate:  07/18/14

Yoshimura sees something in Kaneki and teaches him about being a ghoul despite Touka’s objections.  Now with a job at Café Anteiku, Kaneki is learning how to control his hunger and discovers not all ghouls are monsters.

tokyo ghoul season 1 episode 4 supper tsukiyama arena


1.4       Supper Airdate:  07/25/14

Kaneki is approached by a ghoul named Tsukiyama and despite Touka’s warnings, Kaneki finds himself in a dangerous position…and the ghouls are hungry.

tokyo ghoul season 1 episode 5 scars church


1.5       Scars Airdate:  08/01/14

Tsukiyama’s obsession with Kaneki continues and his desire to eat him takes a new turn when Tsukiyama decides the meal has to be “special”.  With Nishiki Nishio and his human girlfriend Nishino Kimi as part of his plan, Kaneki might need more help than he expected.

tokyo ghoul season 1 episode 6 cloudburst hinami ryouko


1.6       Cloudburst Airdate:  08/08/14

Kaneki gets to see the full strength of Touka and her kagune as a change comes for Nishio.  The Doves from the Commission of Counter Ghoul seek ghouls in the 20th Ward which leads them Hinami’s father Fueguchi and Yakumo “Jason” Oomor.  A day out for Hinami and her mother Ryouko turns tragic.

tokyo ghoul season 1 episode 7 captivity touka kagune


1.7       Captivity Airdate:  08/15/14

Ryouko has been killed by Mado and the Doves…with Kaneki and Hinami unable to do anything.  As Touka sets out for vengeance, it could bring down the CCG on the 11th Ward and give Kaneki a new direction.

tokyo ghoul season 1 episode 8 circular mado


1.8       Circular Airdate:  08/22/14

Amon seeks revenge for the death of Kusaba, and Mado has a plan for how he can get it.  Using her mother’s blood, Mado sets a trap for Himami, but Kaneki and Touka could be Kaneki’s only hope.  With Mado bent on murder, Kaneki could face letting his kagune take over in a fight with Amon.

tokyo ghoul season 1 episode 9 birdcage touka brother ayato kirishima


1.9       Birdcage Airdate:  08/22/14

Amon remembers his training by Mado and vows to locate the “Rabbit” for revenge.  Things are heating up in the 11th Ward and the battle between the Ghouls and Doves could be brewing.

tokyo ghoul season 1 episode 10 aogiri juuzou suzuya costume tattoos


1.10     Aogiri Airdate:  09/12/14

The Aogiri Tree Ghouls have started targeting Doves in the 11th Ward, and the CCG is seeking to bring them down.  Banjou Kazuichi seeks out Rize, and a confrontation occurs at the coffee shop.  When Jason kidnaps Kaneki, a rescue attempt might be futile.

tokyo ghoul season 1 episode 11 high spirits amon

“High Spirits”

1.11     High Spirits Airdate:  09/12/14

Kaneki is prisoner of Jason, and Yamori is doing everything he can to get information from him.  As the CCG strike at the Aogiri Tree Ghouls, the One-Eyed Owl could be the only thing to stop them.

tokyo ghoul season 1 episode 12 ghoul ken kaneki transformed


1.12     Ghoul Airdate:  09/19/14

Driven mad by pain and torture, Kaneki learns the truth about the surgery that saved his life…and finds himself drawn closer to Rize.  Kaneki is reaching his breaking point, and something must give.

Related Links:

Tokyo Ghoul:  The Movie (2017)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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