Tokyo Ghoul is a series that swiftly rose to land a seat at the seinen hall of Fame upon completion, and it had all the rights to do so. Not many series could manage to do what Tokyo Ghoul did with such a convoluted, psychological world and plot. It was also the gateway into the seinen world for many fans.
That is exactly why it is such a shame to see the treatment it got as an anime adaptation. Needless to say, a lot of fans were disappointed in the anime due to a wide spectrum of reasons. What went wrong with the anime? Will there ever be a Tokyo Ghoul reboot? Let’s find out.
Issues with the current version
The first season of the Tokyo Ghoul, was really good, at least for anime onlies. It had a proper, well-structured plot that followed the manga, top-tier animation, and a fantastic soundtrack. Manga readers felt that it was quite a bit rushed and felt a lot of details out, but ultimately accepted it as a good adaptation.
However, Season 2 and beyond were riddled with a plethora of issues.
- Non-Canon Season 2: The events of the second season, Tokyo Ghoul √A were a far cry from what happened in the actual manga. The studio decided to flex its creativity and consequentially produced a mush of unoriginal, bland, snoozefest of an anime that didn’t do any justice to its source material.
- Declining Animation Quality: The anime looked gorgeous in season one. It was no Unlimited Blade Works, but it still looked beautiful and had one of the best action sequences of the decade, Kaneki vs Jason. But then, with the adaption of Re: and in the following season 4, there was a significant drop in the animation quality.
- Heavily Rushed Episodes: The original manga of Tokyo Ghoul is of two parts, Tokyo Ghoul and Tokyo Ghoul: Re, with 143 and 179 chapters respectively. The anime adapted around 6-7 chapters an episode, thus leaving out a large chunk of content essential to the story and worldbuilding.
What do fans expect?
Fans of the series often blame one single entity for all the above mistakes, Studio Pierrot.
- Studio Pierrot is renowned for its beautiful contribution to the shounen world, especially with series like Naruto and Bleach.
- Many fans felt that Pierrot tried to take a shounen approach to a seinen series, which is one of the reasons why everything felt rushed and out of place.
- Pierrot was also notorious for creating long stretches of fillers, which made some fans think that they were not well suited for a seinen series where hidden plot points and events that look insignificant on the outside can actually add a lot of value to the story.
- Many fans think that a better studio for Tokyo Ghoul would’ve been Ufotable, Mappa, or even Madhouse, as those studios have proved to be better at seinen and psychological anime.
While it is true that Tokyo Ghoul has a lot of potential and was unfairly punished with a sub-par adaptation, it is also relatively new. The anime ended in 2018, and Studio Pierrot still holds the rights to it.
A longer remake that stays true to the manga from a studio that specializes in seinen could give rise to fantastic anime that might go down in history as one of the most influential titles. Still, it is too soon for expecting a reboot, and no official talks about it have been going around.