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 to be 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 (the second part was reworked by Ishida into Tokyo Ghoul √A) and the second part (although with a lot of left-out segments). Both the manga and the anime ended in 2018. With Tokyo Ghoul still being popular even today, we are going to discuss the possibility of a Tokyo Ghoul remake.
There are still no official information about the Tokyo Ghoul remake. Tokyo Ghoul was a fairly popular show and while the anime version changed a lot and left out a lot of details from the manga, it still adapted the whole story. Studio Pierrot, responsible for the anime adaptation, still holds the rights to the anime and they have not given any information about a possible remake of the Tokyo Ghoul anime series, although there is a demand by fans online.
In the remainder of this article, we are going to tell you about the production of the Tokyo Ghoul anime series, as well as the possibilities of a remake. You’re going to get all the necessary information in this article and while there won’t be any spoilers, we are going to recap the series quickly so if you don’t want to know what happens, you can skip that part.
Will Tokyo Ghoul get a remake?
The publication of Tokyo Ghoul began on September 8, 2011, in Weekly Young Jump magazine. The series is written and drawn by Sui Ishida, and the first collected volume was published by Shūeisha on February 17, 2012. The final chapter was released on September 18, 2014. The series had a total of 14 volumes. In North America, the series is licensed by VIZ Media.
The sequel titled Tokyo Ghoul:re debuted on October 16, 2014, in the same magazine. The story introduced new characters and continued the plot after a brief time skip. A major announcement was made on June 14, 2018, in the 28th issue of the year, where it indicated that the series would conclude in the next three chapters, the last of which was released on July 5, 2018, in the magazine’s 31st issue. The series concludes with 16 volumes.
A spin-off series titled Tokyo Ghoul [Jack], recounting the meeting of the two inspectors, Kisho Arima and Taishi Fura, then still high school students, twelve years before the main story, appeared between August and September 2013 in the digital publication magazine Jump Live. It was then marketed in the form of an electronic book on October 18, 2013.
The anime television series adaptation was announced in January 2014 when the manga’s tenth volume was released. It is produced by the Pierrot studio with Shuhei Morita directing from a screenplay by Chūji Mikasano, premiering on July 4, 2014. The twelve episodes were marketed in four DVD and Blu-ray box sets between September and December 2014. A second season was announced in the 46th issue of Weekly Young Jump magazine.
This season offered an unpublished story supervised by Sui Ishida, which was actually an alternative take on the ending of the Tokyo Ghoul manga. Titled Tokyo Ghoul √A, it consisted of twelve episodes that were broadcast between January 8 and March 26, 2015. It was through the opening of a website, in October 2015, that Marvelous announced an anime adaptation of Tokyo Ghoul:re in 2018 and with the added bonus of the return of Natsuki Hanae for the dubbing of Haise Sasaki.
The 49th issue of 2017’s Young Jump revealed the main staff for this adaptation; Odahiro Watanabe replaced Shuhei Morita as the series’ director at the Pierrot animation studio, whose Pierrot+ studio is also accredited with animation production assistance, Chūji Mikasano retained his position as the screenwriter and Atsuko Nakajima replaced Kazuhiro Miwa as the main character designer.
Tokyo Ghoul:re was divided into two parts, the first one consisting of twelve episodes; it first aired in Japan between April 3 and June 19, 2018, on Tokyo MX, SUN, TVA, TVQ, and BS11. Also composed of twelve episodes, the second part was broadcast between October 9 and December 25, 2018. An original video animation adapting the spin-off series Tokyo Ghoul [Jack] was released on September 30, 2015. A second OVA, Tokyo Ghoul: Pinto, was released on December 25, 2015. It is the adaptation of the third story of the light novel Tokyo Ghoul: Hibi, recounting the meeting between Shu Tsukiyama and Chie Hori.
And with this, we have gone through the production history of Tokyo Ghoul. Now, all of this confirms that the series is definitely over, i.e., that it has been over since 2018. Ishida himself confirmed that he was getting sick of the story so he rushed the ending, and the anime’s final season, although a bit rushed and chaotic as well, managed to adapt the whole story and its canon ending. Since then, Ishida has not given any hints about returning to this world, so we don’t have any information regarding a potential sequel.
As far as the remake is concerned, the situation is the same. Sure, we’re currently in a remake frenzy all around the world, and the anime world is not an exception, but Tokyo Ghoul doesn’t seem like a viable candidate for a remake. First of all, the series is still relatively fresh and it would be highly unusual if Pierrot, who still holds the rights to the series, simply decided to do it all over after just five years since the original series ended. Sure, we’ve seen Trigun remade, Bleach was also revived, and Digimon came back after a long hiatus several years ago, but those are not the best examples from a comparative standpoint.
Namely, Trigun is a 90s classic that only has a small portion of canon episodes, so it was not a direct adaptation back then. Bleach simply continued where it left off, and Digimon is such a franchise that it can be continued, rebooted, or remade at any time, mainly because there is no manga to adapt, as it is an original anime series. Tokyo Ghoul, on the other hand, adapted the manga and its ending, so save for new animations and a possibly expanded story with more visuals, it wouldn’t offer fans anything more.
Sure, Tokyo Ghoul √A was a completely different story than the one shown in the manga, but there are two problems with that. First of all, it’s the middle of the story, so it wouldn’t be overly practical to remake a whole series because less than 25% of the content was manga canon, and even that was supervised and written by Ishida himself, so it was the author’s own decision. Secondly, while Tokyo Ghoul √A greatly divulges from the original manga, it reached the same ending, so it ended in the same way as the original manga (more or less), they just used a different path.
Sure, you could argue that we’ve had a similar case with Fullmetal Alchemist and Brotherhood, but it was a different time back then. At the time, anime series were aired on a weekly basis for a longer period of time and there were no big pauses between the episodes (or if they were, they were rare); we also had a lot of filler episodes. That is why we had series that broadcast 50+ episodes at a time, with some major series having more than 300 episodes in total. This is not the case today, even with major anime titles; Digimon Ghost Game is a rare exception, but the Digimon series has a tradition and it is considered to be children’s programming.
That is why Tokyo Ghoul is unlikely to get the Fullmetal Alchemist treatment. Plus, you mustn’t forget that the original Fullmetal Alchemist series was actually a completely original story that Hiromu Arakawa did not write. Namely, since the anime was too close to the manga, Arakawa allowed the producers to write their own alternative take on the future of the series, giving them only slight hints. That is why the story is so different; Arakawa did not write it, whereas Ishida did write Tokyo Ghoul √A. And that is why Brotherhood made sense, since it presented a wholly different story, a story written by the original author. In the case of Tokyo Ghoul, we’d just have a different story written by the same person.
Be that as it may, we still do agree that Tokyo Ghoul deserves a remake, but it’s not going to happen anytime soon. Knowing the progression, it could happen in 5-10 years, if the series remains popular enough to merit a remake in the distant future. Namely, Tokyo Ghoul deserves some justice. It was a truly great show where tragedy was combined with heroism, and where the characters and their stories were, for the most part, really compelling.
Ishida himself messed up the manga, while managing to retain the general notion of a relatively fine ending, but the anime was an even bigger mess, although it could still be enjoyed. What it deserves is a coherent story with no plotholes and major inconsistencies (yeah, we all remember how :re actually referenced the original manga’s plot, disregarding the fact that Tokyo Ghoul √A told things differently), with better animation and with more of Kaneki’s innate tragedy, regardless of how dark, painful, and twisted it is. Tokyo Ghoul is a proper seinen title and it deserves a seinen treatment.
But, as we have said, this won’t be happening now. Pierrot doesn’t seem to have any immediate plans to remake the series, and since they hold the rights, MAPPA or ufotable cannot adapt it either. Pierrot is busy with other series at the moment and seeing how Tokyo Ghoul is still relatively new, it definitely isn’t a priority for them. But, if the fans keep demanding and mentioning Tokyo Ghoul consistently over the next couple of years, a remake or reboot of the series won’t sound strange and there is a solid possibility that Pierrot could finally do justice to one of the best stories in recent years.