Tokyo Ghoul Anime vs. Manga: Here are 5 changes that made a difference

Tokyo Ghoul Anime vs. Manga

Tokyo Ghoul is the classic and most popular example of ‘an anime adaptation went wrong’. Instead of adapting the manga accurately, the anime creators decided to turn the adaptation into a what-if scenario. The fans weren’t happy with the way the anime deviated from the manga. This led to the Tokyo Ghoul Anime vs. Manga becoming a frequent discussion for the fans.

While the Tokyo Ghoul Anime made a lot of changes, some changes directly affected the main storyline. Let’s find out what they are and how they wrecked one of the first and most iconic dark-shounen manga. 

Tokyo Ghoul Anime vs. Manga: Here are 5 changes that made a difference

5. The Cochlea invasion

Tokyo Ghoul Manga
Kaneki and his group right before the invasion | Image Courtesy of Viz Media

In the anime, the Cochlea invasion decides the fate of many characters. However in the manga, the events of the Cochlea Invasion take place at a different location, Dr. Kanou’s lab. Kaneki finds out that the doctor is experimenting and turning people into Ghouls, the way he did it with Kaneki.

 He eats the doctor’s experiments which leads to the development of Kakuja Armor and him gaining the SS-rating. He also learns about the origins of Aogiri at the lab. The CCG, Aogiri, and Kaneki’s group are all present at the lab. If this arc was present in the anime without any major deviations, the transition to root A would’ve been smoother.

4. Rize’s status in the manga

Rize from Tokyo Ghoul
Rize at Dr. Kanou’s lab | Image Courtesy of Viz Media

The invasion of Dr. Kanou’s lab also impacted Rize’s character arc. In this arc, Rize is present at the lab and gets saved by Yomo. He takes her under his care. In the anime, there’s no clarification if Rize is dead or alive.

Fans just assume that she’s dead while it’s explicitly shown in the manga that she was alive and held captive at the lab. She also appears more often in the anime as compared to the manga.

3. The rearrangement of Arcs

Kaneki Ken Tokyo Ghoul anime
A still from Tokyo Ghoul anime featuring Kaneki Ken | Image Courtesy via IMDb

The Dove Emergence arc is pushed back in the anime. The events of the Gourmet arc take place right after the Nishiki arc. This changes the background of Hinami. The anime shows the death of her father whereas in the manga he’s already dead.

This change was probably a result of the 12-episode format. It also affected the ending as important information was left out and the finale was shortened. The last few episodes end up being rushed as well. 

2. Kaneki doesn’t join Aogiri

Yakumo/Jason from Tokyo Ghoul
Jason(Yakumo Oomori) from Aogiri | Image Courtesy via IMDb

In the manga, Kaneki never joined Aogiri. Instead, he leaves behind Touka to protect her and builds an organization that goes against the functions of the Aogiri. The manga does a great job of making the intentions and motives of Kaneki clear, making his decision seem convincing.

On the other hand, Kaneki joining Aogiri doesn’t make much sense in the anime. It left many viewers confused as to why he would do it. The reason behind it was as simple as looking into their actions and plans so that they don’t hurt anyone from the Anteiku. 

1. Lack of context

Kaneki and Hide after the underground fight
Kaneki and Hide from Tokyo Ghoul anime | Image Courtesy via Crunchyroll

Along with all these differences, the link between the anime and the manga is extremely loose. There’s a lot of context which doesn’t make it to the anime. Such as the relationship between Kaneki and Touka in the initial chapters, the gruesome and gradual change in Kaneki’s character during the torture, and the intentional ambiguity about the fate of some characters like Hide. 

The anime cuts out a lot of context and introduces anime original plotlines which leads to the disconnection between the previous season and Root A. Most fans feel confused without any explanations about a lot of characters in Root A. The lack of context is the biggest difference between the anime and the manga. 


Kaneki and Rize
Kaneki and Rize | Image Courtesy via Crunchyroll

It’s a well-known fact that manga is a better way to experience Tokyo Ghoul as compared to anime. And rightfully so, given all these anime original changes. Besides the changes, the anime also tones down the essence of the manga. All of this made the manga a clear winner in the Tokyo Ghoul Manga vs. Anime battle. 

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