Based on Sui Ishida’s Tokyo Ghoul manga and following a successful anime series, this live action feature film adaptation follows young college student Kaneki, who, after many visits to his favourite coffee shop finally gets to speak with a girl he likes and manages to go out with her on a date. However, not everything goes to plan, as the girl, named Rize, is a ghoul after Kaneki’s flesh and blood.
Rize, almost succeeds but destiny has other plans, and a ton of steel beams from a construction site falls on her, killing her. In order to save Kaneki’s life, doctors decide to transplant Rize’s organs into him with serious consequences. During his recovery, Kaneki starts to become a ghoul himself.
Now, Kaneki needs to learn how to survive in a world where Ghouls can only eat human flesh to live and are hunted down by the Commission for Counter Ghoul (CCG), with two of its top agents (known as Doves) Amon and Mado, closing in on Kaneki’s ward.
Directed by Kentarô Hagiwara, Tokyo Ghoul is a triumph, that despite not having a huge budget manages to engage you and pay tribute to its source material, with a well-selected cast that looks a lot like the anime characters, and with special effects that – despite not having a Hollywood budget – are well implemented and cleverly used without going over the top.
The whole film, feels like a manga in motion. Each frame is carefully shot, and the scenarios, customs and music add up to a complete package. There’s also a huge quantity of gore and some great spooky moments (especially involving Rize) that die-hard anime and manga fans will love.
Some purists might complain that Masataka Kubota as Kaneki looks a little too mature or tall, or that Toka doesn’t have purple hair but overall, Tokyo Ghoul will be remembered as one of the best live-action adaptations in ages. It’s clearly made with a love of the source material, it has action, gore drama and an excellent cast and hopefully it will never get the Hollywood blockbuster treatment that so far have mostly delivered abominations like Dragon Ball Evolution.
The Blu-Ray release includes a special Anime Expo 2017 feature with the cast and crew discussing about the film and the original Japanese trailer.