Tokyo Ghoul Live Action Adaptation Review
This Deadly Diva has watched many live action adaptations of anime and manga. Some were amazing, like Hana Yori Dango and Rurouni Kenshin. Some were ok, like Shingeki no Kyojin. Others were… Let’s just say a Diva will never get that time back Netflix.
So when a Diva sat down to watch Tokyo Ghoul she was a cautiously optimistic. Early reviews indicated it was not abysmal, but a Diva never reads reviews before viewing a project.
The opening scene introduces us to our protagonist, Kaneki. Though the character was aged up in the movie, Masataka Kutoba captures the adorable awkwardness that a Diva came to enjoy in the anime. In this universe, Kaneki, a first year university student, goes on a date that changes the course of his life, after the lovely Rize reveals herself to be a binge eating ghoul.
Since the film covers the half of the first season of the anime, the pacing is a bit rushed at times. As a result, we did not get to dive as deep into some of the interpersonal relationships as was done in the anime. We see the beginnings of the friendship between Fumika Shimizu’s Touka and Kaneki and a Diva wanted more screen time of Kaneki and Hinami reading. (Don’t judge me. Y’all already know how a Diva feels about cute kids.) Also, the battle royale between Kaneki and Nishiki doesn’t make as much sense because the tension amassed during the anime does not have have opportunity to manifest in the film.
Visually, Tokyo Ghoul was nearly spot on. From Kaneki’s apartment to the Anteiku, all the locations felt like they were lifted from the manga. And that was by design. Director Kentaro Hagiwara avoided watching the anime during the making of this film so that he could focus on Sui Ishida’s illustration style. Even the wardrobe brought a Diva back to the source material. My love for a long coat is well documented and the Doves do not fail to deliver.
Can we talk about the lighting for a second? A Diva wants to give the lighting director the biggest of hugs and maybe a drink if they imbibe. When the movie starts, it’s a sunshine and brightness. Then something amazing happens. As Kaneki changes, becoming more accustomed to the ghoul within, solace is found more in the shade and shadows to the point where the darkness came to represent warmth in the vicious world of ghouls.
All visually was not perfect though. The special effects were good, but not spectacular. Remember what a Diva said about live action adaptations – the more fantastic the premise, the more ways it can go wrong. In the case of Tokyo Ghoul, the kagune (and their Dove counterparts, the quinque) presented a potential challenge. However, this Diva thinks they pulled off the writhing weapons well. And what was lacking in the effects was made up for in the characters’ body movement. This was most apparent in the climatic fight scenes as well as the change in body movements in Kaneki’s initial transition into a ghoul.
If you thought a Diva was going to overlook Touka, you thought wrong. We don’t get nearly enough time with her in this movie. It dodges the bullet that killed the Shingeki no Kyojin live action movies for a Diva, the assassination of the primary female character. Touka is allowed to retain the complexity and depth of her experiences. She is allowed to be capable and strong. At no point was Touka’s light dimmed so Kaneki could shine.
(Hit the jump to continue…)Fumika Shimizu did an amazing job at capturing the self protective hardness that makes Touka the young woman we know and love. Or is that fear? A Diva thinks that the subsequent movies will answer that question for those who are less than familiar with this powerhouse.
We all know that this Diva is never one to miss a chance to appreciate beauty. So here are EXILE’s Nobuyuki Suzuki as Kōtarō Amon (top) and Shuntarō Yanagi as Renji Yomo (bottom). You can never say a Diva is not a benevolent goddess.
Fans of the anime and manga will be happy to read that the movies stays pretty true to the source material, even down to the gore and bloodshed. Yet, it resists the urge to be excessive for the sake of excess. It captures all that we love about the franchise without feeling like it’s pandering. If you are not already a fan, this film is a good introduction to the franchise. Just keep in mind, this may not be the best film for the squeamish, especially if you watched the anime through your fingers like a certain Diva may have. And with Jason coming up next, the Tokyo Ghoul film franchise poised to give us more greatness.
So what are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below! You can also check out Deadly Diva talking more on topics like Tokyo Ghoul and more on our anime podcast, Outlaw Barz! Keep it locked on FanBros.com for more anime news.