Tokyo Ghoul Episode 1 Recap – “Tragedy”
Society fears Ghouls, creatures who look like humans but sustain themselves on human flesh. Ken Kaneki is a bookworm living an ordinary life, until a harrowing encounter with a Ghoul turns him into the first half human half ghoul. Ken must straddle the line between the two differing factions, while dealing with his new powers and the loss of his humanity.
What happens this episode:
During the opening, we meet two ghouls, a woman in shadows and a man wearing a hockey mask (hmmmm I wonder where that’s from). Both escape without killing each other, but the man appears to be the more dangerous of the pair. As it is reported on the news the next day, Ken Kaneki is at the local coffee shop with his friend Hide. He points out Rize, a girl he has a crush on – and wouldn’t you know it, the two share a favorite author! The date is on!
Their bookshop date goes as well as it can, and he decides to walk Rize home, since she lives in a area that is affected by the ghouls. Uh yah – Ken, buddy – looks at the ominous signs dude! She wants you to walk her home alone, she lives down a dark alleyway, and the woman from the opening’s face was not shown. You’re dead meat Ken!
So the inevitable happens and Rize attacks Ken as a ghoul. After an intense chase, falling beams crush Rize, just before Ken faints. As he flickers in and out of conscious, he is operated on in the hospital, where they transplant some of Rize’s organs into his body. When he awakens and recovers his sense of taste for real food is gone.
Once he gets home, he catches a news snippet, where a Ghoul expert points out that the creatures can’t stomach human food. The need at least one human body to keep them going for a month. Ken frantically tries to cram food down his gullet, but it doesn’t take. Depressed that he’s slowly turning into a Ghoul, he never leaves his own house, despite the attempts of Hide.
One night, he finally leaves his apartment when Hide sends him a message about a book signing by his favorite author. He arrives too late for the signing so decides to head back home – only to be struck by the onset of hunger, fueled by the onslaught of humans gathering around him. They are starting to look very tasty…
Ducking into an alley for escape, he catches a smell that is just like mom’s home cooking (brr) and finds a ghoul feasting on a bleeding body. The Ghoul offers him a bite before he is quickly dispatched by another ghoul. This is Nishiki, who is trying to attain status in the Ghoul world now that Rize has disappeared. But before Nishiki can strangle Ken, the waitress from the coffee shop (who has been popping up all episode) stops him. This is Toka, and she appears to be from an organization that regulates the “feeding grounds” for Ghouls. Both Toka and Nishiki notice that Ken has only one red eye, as opposed to their two. She is also strong enough to beat Nishiki in a short fight. She then forces Ken to feed on the corpse’s arm.
It’s disturbing…but I liked it…I’m kind of hungry for real human food now though. It’s one of the best acted series so far this season. I could really feel Ken’s struggle as he wants to eat the corpses but doesn’t want to give up on being a human. The drama was downplayed enough (there’s still lots of over the top emotion) so that it didn’t become annoying (like Attack on Titan, yes I know you all loved it). I hope that Rize’s body parts don’t become a physical manifestation of her mind within Ken though. I’m not sure that would be fun to watch. I do have to say that so far it has been kind of predictable, but not in the aggravating way that Black Bullet was. At least characters have been consistent so far.
Sure, I’ll see where Tokyo Ghoul is heading for the next couple of episodes.