The importance of violence in storytelling in Tokyo Ghoul

Tokyo Ghoul is an anime which has managed to generate a cult following among anime fans having two successful seasons leaving audiences begging for more. Tokyo Ghoul has a rather unique subject matter concerning the nature of violence though it also can viewed as somewhat of an allegory of society itself with the interspecies war between humans and ghouls demonstrating the violence caused by segregation. More of an attribute to the anime’s success however, would be its stunningly unique cinematic. The anime itself has no shame depicting violence in its rawest form yet does so with meaning and not just for shock value. Each an every violent exchange builds upon the overall moral of the story and also contributes to the development of each character- a prime example of this would be the 2 episode torture sequence where the antagonist modelled after western horror icon ‘Jason Vorhees’, grotesquely disfigured the vulnerable half human, half ghoul protagonist Ken Kaneki. This display was one of the most demented yet disturbingly well thought out scenes which makes the horror franchise ‘SAW’ look like a romantic comedy. The scene masterfully depicted the psychology behind the antagonist and his worldview on how the weak are overrun based on their lack of ability. This display is a very sufficient argument as to why violence can sometimes be necessary within media as it is an excellent instrument in storytelling. How much more effective would this iconic scene have been without the gruesome visuals and bone grinding SFX?

  • Should ghoul be written with a capital G? Is it because it is the name of a race in this anime? – Ceroca 7 years ago
  • I feel that the violence is also partly due to the fact it is marketed as a Seinen so it's targeting adolescents and young adults. But the violent panels in the manga usually have very rough lines with plenty of monologues to depict the inner struggles of the characters. And this is one of the reasons why fans felt the anime didn't do justice to the series. – Hann 7 years ago
  • Love the question at the end--would the story be as effective if heavily censored for violence? Might be worth looking up a few other series that were censored when translated into anime or live action adaptations, and suffered for it, just for the sake of the comparison. – Eden 6 years ago

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