This weekend I was lucky enough to attend the UK premiere of Kentarō Hagiwara’s Tokyo Ghoul, one of many live-action anime adaptations from this year, and without having read any of the manga or watched the anime series, I was pretty open minded.
Buried in books and a quiet life, Ken Kaneki (Masataka Kubota) is all but dead to the world in an age where flesh-eating ghouls live among us. But when his only chance of survival is an organ donation that turns him into a ghoul-human hybrid, he finds sanctuary at Anteiku-a cafe run by the people he once considered monsters. Targeted by anti-ghoul forces, this safe house is up against a hunger more sickening than their own. When their most innocent members are threatened by humanity’s taste for vengeance, Ken will risk life and limb to protect the very world that changed his own.
Most of the film focuses on Ken as he struggles to adapt to his new life, bouncing back and forth between human and ghoul while he and his fellow ghouls from the Anteiku-a cafe try to evade a group of anti-ghoul authorities hellbent on taking them out.
Overall I was rather impressed with Tokyo Ghoul as someone who had little to no knowledge of the source material. While the film did suffer from pacing in its first-half it still managed to keep me thoroughly entertained throughout the two-hour duration. The acting was great, with Fumika Shimizu as main heroine Tōuka being the standout, the somber cinematography was simply stunning and the CG was utilised well in the action sequences of the film.
Tokyo Ghoul is far from perfect, but it is one of the best live-action anime adaptations I’ve seen so far. Hopefully fans of the series will enjoy this adaptation of a Sui Ishida’s original manga just as much, and having read further into the series after viewing it is apparent that Kentarō Hagiwara has tried to stay as faithful to the source material as possible – albeit with less gore!
| Courtney Bennett
Sci-Fi, Horror | Japan, 2017 | 15 | 13th October 2017 (UK) | Madman Entertainment | Dir.Kentarō HagiwaraPowered by Sidelines