In a year stuffed with long awaited anime continuations the announcement of a Tokyo Ghoul continuation should be glorious news for fans. The original anime adaptation of Toyko Ghoul was a highlight of its season and made a distinct mark on the anime community in both Japan and the West. This was also helped by the fact its original manga is one of the strongest manga being serialized today.

However as with anything there is complications regarding this series. The issue of course being Tokyo Ghoul √A. For those that don’t know the very well received Tokyo Ghoul anime only adapted about seven volumes of the original manga. In fact it ended at a turning point in the series where the main character under goes a further metamorphosis, continuing on with he thematic similarities between itself and the Franz Kafka classic.

Following this major turning point instead of adapting properly the second half of the manga a new anime series was quickly green lit and aired. This would be Tokyo Ghoul √A (Root A) which was not the adaptation of the manga fans were expecting. Tokyo Ghoul √A was an alternate telling of the manga story if Ken the main protagonist made the opposite choice at the end of Tokyo Ghoul. Effectively making it a “what if” story.

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Tokyo Ghoul √A went on to be a fun house mirror adaptation of the remaining volumes. At times similar with key sequences animated but quite different in very key ways. Key ways that will result in issues in any continuation. There is also the fact unlike Tokyo Ghoul which was a relatively faithful adaptation, Tokyo Ghoul √A cut out a lot of content. Prioritizing action rather than the deep emotional issues Ken was facing at the time of the story.

Among the more hardcore fans of Tokyo Ghoul Tokyo Ghoul √A is seen as a horrible interlude. It was always supposed to be corrected by a proper adaptation of the remaining volumes to see the proper sequence of events animated. Long before Tokyo Ghoul:re was ever supposed to be released. Many argued, it now seems correctly, √A was always going to be the adaptation a proper one would never come.

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The argument against this course is obvious: Tokyo Ghoul √A sucked. Financially and I would make the argument artistically it would make sense to make a proper Tokyo Ghoul 2 adapting the last half of the manga. It would give the series its proper bookend while leaving open a bright path to take into Tokyo Ghoul:re.  

However as that now seems to not be the case there are issues arising from the decision to adapt :re following Tokyo Ghoul √A. The obvious is that Tokyo Ghoul √A does not deal with key plot points that would underpin the story of Tokyo Ghoul:re. Including the fate of specific characters following the epic conclusion to the original manga.

The two options that are now before the adaptation of Tokyo Ghoul:re are unenviable ones. The first route of course the series can take is a proper adaptation of the Tokyo Ghoul:re manga, as there is more than enough content to make upwards of three cours with proper pacing.

This is problematic as many fans likely have not read the original manga, especially in the West where Tokyo Ghoul is quite popular and many could be confused. Of course this could be smoothed out just by the nature of :re as the opening of the story is obtuse and purposefully mysterious.

The second option or route B as it were would be to adapt Tokyo Ghoul:re though the lens of Tokyo Ghoul √A. The obvious issues with this are clear: the manga would be put to the side and it would be little more than a filler arc. This would likely not sit well with the fans of the manga nor the original series, potentially putting Tokyo Ghoul:re in a precarious financial position. As such I for one doubt this will be the course of action the studio (unknown who is animating at the moment) will take, it just seems troublesome. Of course I said the same thing about adapting :re without a proper conclusion to Tokyo Ghoul itself...

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In the end this is of course all speculation on my part. There is so little information regarding the adaptation of Tokyo Ghoul:re we really cannot be sure what is going to happen. All in I hope this adaptation will live up to its original predecessor rather than its direct predecessor. Funny enough I am cautiously optimistic I still mourn the loss of Tokyo Ghoul Season 2 that never was.


Further reading related to Tokyo Ghoul from AniTAY!