Thursday, August 7, 2014

Tokyo Ghoul

WARNING: Contains spoilers

Do you want to know what manga that has driven me becoming the most anti-social family member during my stay in my hometown? Even if you don't want to know, I will tell you.

It's Tokyo Ghoul, or Tokyo Kushu.

I've wanted to read this manga since it became popular on internet. I often found the post about this manga on my Tumblr dashboard. Even once, Ruki from The Gazette posted his reading it on Instagram. "Oh! Ruki reads it! I must read it!" said me.

I ended up watching the anime first, and it was completely not planned. I was getting bored waiting for my Dad to come home, because we were supposed to go Mudik once he's arrived. So I just turned on my laptop again, and decided to watch this anime. The anime has just started this July and reached its 5th episode. Because the anime only showed a tiny part of a whole story, I became really curious. I started to read the manga, and next thing happened was me looking at my phone screen all day long. I read it on my phone, by the way.

I knew it from the start this manga would be thrilling and gory. So I had prepared to see the most horror thing I expected from a manga. Frankly speaking, this genre is my favorite. Don't judge me a psycho, because I can't stand to see the real blood nor human flesh. NO..NO.. But usually the suspense mangas have interesting story or I may call it as the genius one. 

Despite every expectations I had for the goriest scene that might happen in this manga, I was still aghast. It's mindblowing, twisted, and....TRAGIC.

Rize and Kaneki
The story is about Ken Kaneki, an ordinary college student who likes to read novels. He has had a nice personality and is was a bit shy. He was attracted to a girl whom he saw often in a cafe. That girl seemed to have an interest in novels, just like Kaneki. And finally, he was able to talk with her and ask her for a date. That girl's name is Rize Kamishiro.

Conflict began when things turned out bad, because Rize is actually a ghoul. Ghouls are creatures that eat humans. Their existence has worried human beings, because they're incredibly strong, they can regenerate their cells to heal wounds, and most importantly, they NEED to eat.

Kaneki had almost become the main dish until suddenly steel bars fell on Rize's body, resulting her 'death'. Unconscious, Kaneki was brought into a hospital. There was a doctor named Kanou, transplanted Rize's organ to Kaneki's body in order to save his life.

Kaneki becomes a ghoul
Since that day, strange things happened to Kaneki. Well~ he has become a ghoul...or maybe half-ghoul. Ghouls' eyes turn red when their appetite grows. But only one eye of Kaneki that turned into ghoul's eye.

He just would not accept this. It was against his morality. Eating human flesh is sinful, evilest thing, right?! No matter how much he craved for food, he could not do it.

When he was really starving and tempted by the smell of 'something's delicious', he found a ghoul who was enjoying his 'meal'. Disgusted by the fact that he was dragged there by the smell of corpse, he insisted to refuse to eat, being stressed out instead. Another ghoul named Nishiki appeared. Easily, he killed the ghoul who was eating, then confronted Kaneki for being in his territory, even though Kaneki had explained his not-knowing for such a rule.

Touka Kirishima appeared and saved him by wounding Nishiki. Touka is a high school girl who worked at Anteiku, a cafe which Kaneki and Rize visited. She's, of course, a ghoul. She has such a rude behavior and has a hobby to kick someone's ass (literally), even Kaneki always said that Touka-chan is scary. But she actually has a gentle heart, and she seems to envy normal human's life.

Started from this meeting, Kaneki found out that Anteiku, the cafe, was actually a place for ghouls. The manager and the staffs are ghouls. They live in a group to help each other as their fellow ghouls. Here, Kaneki was taught many things. Besides human flesh and blood, ghouls only can eat/drink coffee, while any other human food will taste horrible. He was trained to eat sandwiches though, in order to easily blend in the human's world. He also started to practice martial arts, because ghoul's world is...cruel.
Juuzou Suzuya

To eliminate the ghouls, there's a special agency called CCG, Commission of Counter Ghoul. Thus the ghouls must surely hide themselves to prevent getting killed by CCG agents. The mindblowing thing is I found a purer heart in a ghoul like Touka than in an agent or human like Kureo Mado or Juuzou Suzuya. They are absolutely psychos. The fact of Juuzou Suzuya is he's a pretty popular character, but I really don't like him. I can't accept his being as the happiest one, and free, and gives no fuck while slicing ghouls' flesh (or perhaps it doesn't matter for him if it's humans' flesh). Meanwhile, Kaneki is in his misery for trying to save everyone he knows. No fair! But the story's still going on. Not sure if one day I will have my sympathy to him.

Now speaking of Kaneki, I found one interesting quote in the manga and someone posted this on tumblr, saying that the quote has summed up entire story.

Here it is:

Exactly it is! So I have sort of thing like...maybe...protagonist complex. If I read a story, I would like to be the protagonist, even if it's Katniss Everdeen. But Kaneki is just too unfortunate until I wish nothing except he gains his normal life again.

First, he was changed into a half-ghoul by, later I found out, an illegal experiment conducted by Dr. Kanou. Then, he needed to throw away his humanity and curse his own life as a ghoul. And, he was tortured so badly until he kinda lost his sanity.

White-haired Kaneki in anime opening
When I watched the anime, I saw a white-haired guy in the opening, and I was like 'Wow, he's cool. Who is he?'. I found out that he was Kaneki himself whose hair turned white after being tortured when he was kidnapped by Yamori, a psycho ghoul who likes to 'play' with his victim before eating him. So when I read the manga, I had a thought of wanting to see white-haired Kaneki very soon, because he looks so cool with it. Theeeennnn, when I had reached that chapter, I was like 'this is fucking insane.'. I know there's written 'torture', but having all fingers and toes tore off with a plier and a centipede creeps into his ear are fucking insane. Geez, all my tears goes to you, Kaneki. I instantly regretted my wishing to see your white hair. I regret it so much.

As his hair changed color, his personality can change like a flick of switch. It still remains, the gentle personality of the old Kaneki, but in a glance he can change into the most ruthless ghoul ever.

The whole story of this manga follows Kaneki's ghoul life, solving the mystery of what's going on in this wrong world. But the more he knows, more miserable he becomes. It has crushed my idealism of knowing is way better than not-knowing, seeing more is way better than not seeing. It shows a completely twisted idea. Ken Kaneki is fucked up. I never know a story in which I wish to know more, but at the the same time, I would be happy if everything just stops and goes back to normal. If other mangas, such as Shingeki no Kyojin, promise me someday it will be the bright light that clear off all the mystery, Tokyo Ghoul makes each of its chapters becomes worse to the protagonist.

Huff..I gotta off and pray for Kaneki's happiness.

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