Sui Ishida’s two-part manga, Tokyo Ghoul, has been adapted into a popular anime series. Although the series wasn’t consistently praised, it is considered among the better modern-day anime series, especially in the seinen category. The story of Tokyo Ghoul was split into two parts – Tokyo Ghoul and Tokyo Ghoul:re – with the anime adapting half of the first part (Ishida reworked the second part into Tokyo Ghoul √A) and the second part (although with a lot of left-out segments). The series has been, among others, praised for its dark tone and subjects but also because of its visuals. Considering all of that, would we recommend it to kids? Keep reading to find out!
What is Tokyo Ghoul about?
The story of Tokyo Ghoul is about student Ken Kaneki, who falls in love with a young woman named Rize. After meeting her, she bites his shoulder in a secluded alley and reveals she is a ghoul. As Rize is about to eat Ken, several large metal poles fall on them from the construction site of a high-rise building. Rize dies while Ken is taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries.
After he recovers, he is released from the hospital. On the day he is released, he finds out that he is no longer human: in the mirror, he sees that he now has a ghoul eye (ghouls actually have two ghoul eyes, but Ken only has one). He realizes that Rize’s organs were transplanted into him in the hospital. Since he now has Rize’s organs, he is a so-called and very rare half-ghoul.
Because he has no one else to turn to, he is taken in by a group of ghouls who run the Café Anteiku. They teach him how to live his new life as a half-ghoul and explain to him a lot about the society of ghouls, their factions, and that he has to keep his identity a secret from other people. Although he is reluctant to eat human flesh, he is forced to do so in some situations.
Tokyo Ghoul is not for the youngest, but teenagers can enjoy it normally
So, now that we know everything we need to know about the plot of Tokyo Ghoul, we can actually explain whether it is appropriate for children or not. Regarding the official ratings, in most countries, Tokyo Ghoul is rated as either MA or 18+, meaning it has mature content. And while some jurisdictions labeled it as 16+, they are rare exceptions. So, what does this mean in reality?
Well, the main “issue” with Tokyo Ghoul is its violence. The fighting scenes are intense, there is a lot of blood, and the overall level of violence is very high. There are mutilations, cannibalism, physical torture, morbid transformations, and whatever else comes to mind, and in that aspect, it is an animated gorefest. There is also a lot of psychological violence in the series, which might disturb many fans. As far as other elements are concerned, the series doesn’t really go overboard there.
So, can your children watch Tokyo Ghoul? Well, we wouldn’t really recommend children below the ages of 15 or 16 watching it, as it might be scary and disturbing for them. However, they might not take animated violence so seriously, so it might be okay. We think it is better to be a bit older when approaching Tokyo Ghoul, but you shouldn’t be worried if your teenager is watching it. Tokyo Ghoul, despite all the violence and gore, has a truly great story about friendship, love, and getting through hard times. It ultimately sends a message that despite all the crap that happens, life can be good, and we can work towards a better solution.
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