How the lackluster anime adaptation ruined the show’s reputation

tokyo ghoul was an incredibly popular series throughout the 2010s, especially due to its original manga. In many ways, this series paved the way for the current popularity of darker shonen/seinen manga/anime franchises such as demon slayer and somewhat similar Chainsaw Man. Unfortunately, his reputation would be completely destroyed following his stranding off the printed page.


the tokyo ghoul The anime adaptation is widely considered horrifying, especially when compared to the source material. Unnecessary changes and not adapting the story as a whole ruined the quality of the series, which in itself would be bad enough. Unfortunately, this notoriety has also affected the manga’s reception, which is considered poor by simple association. here’s how tokyo ghoul became the poster for a bad anime ruining the whole property.

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Why The Tokyo Ghoul Anime Was So Disappointing

Ken Kaneki in Tokyo Ghoul anime promo art.

The first season of tokyo ghoul came out in 2014, around the same time the original manga ended. This was quite a beneficial situation for the show, as it meant that large amounts of filler wouldn’t have to be produced to avoid catching up with the manga. Produced by Pierrot (who has also worked on shonen hits such as black cloverthe different entries of the Bleach anime franchise and the naruto anime), the 12-episode first season was easily considered the show’s best. He adapted the first 66 chapters of the manga, which had 143 chapters in total. This meant there was enough material for at least one more season, if not two.

Despite the hardware already there to adapt, the tokyo ghoul the anime took a much different direction with its second season’s story. Instead of continuing to tell the story of the manga, second season Tokyo Ghoul √A loosely combined elements of subsequent manga chapters with an original storyline. At least it was written by franchise creator Sui Ishida, though the result still wasn’t good. Characters were introduced and quickly forgotten, making character development a haphazard affair. The same goes for the characters that had already been introduced, whose behavior and actions change drastically. The result was a miasma of characters fighting each other without much context, made worse by the fact that important elements of the manga were completely ignored.

Things only got worse with Tokyo Ghoul:re, the third season of the anime. This season adapted the manga sequel to the original series, and since the anime’s second season skipped several plot and character elements, Tokyo Ghoul:re was unable to capture some plot elements. Plus, it attempted to tell much of the sequel manga’s story in just 12 episodes – a pretty tall order even under the best of circumstances. Add to that the fact that the storytelling and animation take a bigger drop in the second half, and it’s no wonder that tokyo ghoul went from prince to punchline.

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Tokyo Ghoul Anime Ruined Manga’s Reputation

Kaneki and Hide in Tokyo Ghoul manga.

While manga and anime are often considered synonymous, it’s pretty easy to argue that watching anime is a more popular and accessible mainstream activity. This was particularly the case when the tokyo ghoul the anime was streaming, while the manga was still spreading until its current availability in stores and retailers. Thus, there were many more viewers in Western tokyo ghoul anime than there were readers of the manga. Since the anime was more mainstream and had more eyes, its rapidly decreasing quality was associated with the franchise as a whole. In online discussions and reception for tokyo ghoul, it was widely criticized as a terrible franchise and the epitome of an awful anime. The franchise’s popularity only made it a bigger target, with the series becoming something of a joke among anime fans who had never even seen the series.

Of course, this gruesome nature was inherent in the anime and the anime alone, with the manga maintaining its quality throughout its run. Nonetheless, he is closely associated with the anime’s gruesome plot direction, even though much of that story was exclusive to the series. Fortunately, the manga is still widely available in stores, so those new to anime and manga might read tokyo ghoul with a more open mind. For those who were around when the anime first aired, however, it seems like even the big tokyo ghoul the manga is forever tarnished by the poor adaptation it inspired.

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