Tokyo Ghoul Volume 1 Review.


  • Story: Sui Ishida.
  • Art: Sui Ishida.
  • Released: June 16, 2015.
  • Imprint: VIZ Signature.
  • Pages: 224.

In modern day Tokyo, ghouls sit at the top of the food chain. Ghouls look completely normal and easily blend into everyday society. The only difference is they require human flesh to survive. Ghouls are all over and could be anyone. 18-year-old college student Ken Kaneki frequents bookstores and coffee shops. He leads a relatively normal life until he becomes interested in Rize. Much to Ken’s surprise Rize is interested in him as well, just not in the way he would like. Even further to Ken’s surprise Rize was a Ghoul and attacked him. After a lifesaving operation Ken is the world’s first human/ghoul hybrid and must find his path in both worlds. Ken’s journey in an uncertain and dangerous world starts here.

This volume produced quality writing and introduced plenty of interesting characters. Ken is innocent and naive to the world which is most likely what landed him in the situation he is in. Ken’s best friend Hide is a loudmouth but appears to mean well and is highly perceptive of most anything involving Ken. It is exciting to see how things will play out between them as Ken continues his transformation and dealing with what he is becoming. I can’t help but wonder how long he can hide his new condition from his best friend. This aspect brings a bit more drama to the story.

Ken doesn’t strike me as the strong and fighting type. It’s not that he’s weak, he just seems to lack the skills needed to accurately deduce the situations around him and that is what lands him in trouble. On the contrary, Ken and Hide are caught in an altercation with a ghoul and Ken adequately defends himself and protects Hide while he is unconscious. During the altercation, Ken had a flashback and recalled his first meeting with Hide and how they became friends. I enjoyed this part because it came at a crucial time and gave the readers a much stronger connection to Hide. 

The other characters that were introduced also play a key role in Ken’s new environment. Ken is slowly realizing that ghouls were always a lot closer than he once thought. This aspect blurs the line even further and shows just how close humans and ghouls truly are. It is shocking to see that the ghouls blend into society so easily. Ghouls didn’t look or act the way that I had imagined they would.

I would have thought that ghouls are like zombies but they are exactly like people except for a few anatomical differences and the need to feed on human flesh. This dynamic alone will present some interesting events in future volumes I’m sure. Just in this volume alone Ken has met several ghouls, both there to help and hinder him. Ghouls are terrifying creatures and they are captured perfectly in the art. The attention to detail is spot on. Not a single page was wasted in this wonderful entry to the series.

My first impressions of this series are highly positive. The writing is thrilling to say the least. I could not put the book down. I constantly wanted to know what was next. The art is dark and grotesque. The scenes of a feeding ghoul will send shivers down your spine if you have a bit of a weak stomach. These events are captured in sharp yet subtle art. Each panel has exactly what the scene requires and delivers perfectly. Between the characters, story and amazing art this series has it all. Probably not a series for younger readers but an excellent read if you do happen to pick it up. If flesh eating monsters and action is what you are looking for, look no further. Tokyo Ghoul volume 1 was a perfect read.