Tokyo Ghoul: The Movie (2017)

tokyo ghoul the movie poster 2017
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 5/10
Visuals: 7/10

Accessible for fans and newer viewers

Live action versions of the characters aren't always a good thing

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Tokyo Ghoul:  The Movie

Studio:  Geek Sight/Shochiku

Genre(s):  Horror/Sci-Fi/Fantasy

Release Date(s):  July 3, 2017 (Anime Expo)/July 29, 2017 (Japan)/October 16, 2017 (US)

MPAA Rating:  Not Rated

tokyo ghoul the movie ken kaneki masataka kubota rize attack

In the world of bad “first dates”…the ones where your date tries to eat you is probably pretty high

Awkward and shy Ken Kaneki (Masataka Kubota) has just landed the date of his dreams with a young woman named Rize Kamishiro (Yū Aoi).  Rize isn’t everything she seems, and an accident leaves Kaneki fighting for his life.  Kaneki barely survives but finds in his near death experience, he’s become something else…and something hunted and dangerous.  Ken Kaneki is a ghoul and like the other ghouls he meets is trying to hide among the humans in society.  Unfortunately, the Commission of Counter Ghoul is hunting ghouls, and Kaneki could fall into the targets of the CCG.

Directed by Kentarō Hagiwara, Tokyo Ghoul:  The Movie ( 東京喰種トーキョーグール or Tōkyō Gūru) is a horror action movie.  The film is a live-action adaptation of the Sui Ishida manga which first appeared in Weekly Young Jump (September 8, 2011-September 18, 2014) and was also adapted into an anime series.

I saw Tokyo Ghoul—Season 1 and saw there was a live action adaptation of it.  A lot of these manga/anime live-action adaptation are of questionable quality, but I was curious due to the horror nature of Tokyo Ghoul.  While the movie is imperfect, it is still a decent telling of the story.

tokyo ghoul the movie touka rabbit mask kagune

Here comes Peter Cottontail!!!

The film largely adapts the story which was chronicled in the first part of Tokyo Ghoul—Season 1.  It is rather faithful to the story overall, but it eliminates some side storylines (including Tsukiyama and his ghoul fighting pit).  The show does play up the horror possibly even more than the anime since it is more tangible.  The story is largely Ken Kaneki’s entry into the world of ghouls and trying to assess what means for him and his future.  It does suffer from some dialogue that doesn’t quite translate well from the page, and it thinks a bit too much of itself at times.

The acting is also so-so, but part of it is how the characters are written.  Everyone is an extreme.  Masataka Kubota is overly traumatized as Kaneki, Fumika Shimizu is too hot headed as Touka, Kai Ogasawara is too annoying as Hideyoshi, and Hiyori Sakurada is too innocent as Hinami.  It works in the context of the books and even the anime, but it feels a bit weird to translate these rather stereotypical characters to live action.  In addition to that, the movie moves a bit too fast to let the characters develop and have personalities (other than Kaneki).

tokyo ghoul the movie ken kaneki mask kagune masataka kubota

Who’s the victim now?

The movie gets the weird and creepy visuals of Tokyo Ghoul.  When the ghouls go “full ghoul” and release their kagune, it looks like you want it to look.  The quality of the special effects sometimes leave it between a decent live-action film and a video game…especially since the picture is extremely crystal clear in HD.

Tokyo Ghoul will probably please fans of the series especially since it focuses on the early part of the tale which was less divisive for readers and viewers.  It is horrific, and it also is a decent horror-monster film (though the ghouls are rather undefined in general)…it is just unbalanced enough that it is not a great film.  Tokyo Ghoul is a good gateway anime series and this movie could be a gateway to the gateway or a nice addendum if you like the show.  A sequel Tokyo Ghoul S was released in 2019.

Related Links:

Tokyo Ghoul—Season 1 Review and Complete Episode Guide

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.

Leave A Response