discord

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Dungeons & Discords Review

Another Saturday equals another installment in the ongoing My Little Pony saga. Despite Season 6 being more on the mediocre side when compared to the previous five, every episode always bring some kind of entertainment. Still, for awhile I was concerned because quite a few episodes this season were either just okay or average. This finally changed last week with “The Times They Are A Changeling,” a much needed emotional entry. Today’s installment has a unique backdrop for the plot. Plus, Discord always makes things extra interesting. “Dungeons & Discords” is definitely better than Discord’s last starring role in “What About Discord?” It isn’t a particularity great episode, but some parts were a lot of fun.

When the Mane 6 leave town, Discord decides to join Spike and Big Mac’s “top secret” Guys’ Night. Much to Discord’s dismay, it turns out to be an evening of fantasy role-playing.

At this point one has either wholeheartedly accepted Discord as a reformed antagonist or still openly against it. I personally think the decision is still a mistake, but for the sake of reviewing I’ve done my best look at his new status quo from the show’s standpoint. Some of his subsequent adventures have been effective, mainly in  “Twilight’s Kingdom.” It is however easy to notice that he’s been more on the lackluster side thanks to incredibly mediocre/average episodes “Make New Friends But Keep Discord” and “What About Discord?” Today’s entry definitely rises above those. How is the writing overall? It’s more on the mixed side, but never outright bad.

A tabletop game isn’t a bad idea for a slice of life story. If the episode had put more of a focus on the game’s inner workings it could have been better. The most fun parts are when Spike and Big Mac are actually in the game. Instead of the story going the route it took, Discord making the game “real” for the entire duration would have made for an immensely entertaining tale. The middle act isn’t a chore to get through, but at the same time some parts were just grating because the story at the time didn’t seem to have much of a point. While seeing Discord continually growing more annoyed with the game the viewer is wondering what the Mane 6 are up to in Yakyakistan.

Discord_looms_sinisterly_over_Spike_and_Mac_S6E17

The final act brings things full circle with a solid message. It’s definitely a good thing to invite somebody whom is alone to come play. That’s part one of the message, the second is that no one is better than another. Discord drives the latter home. Of course, if one is still against Discord being reformed, this message will be painful to watch. Some notable aspects of the episode include the sequence with Discord showing Spike and Big Mac what he considers to be a real “guys night out.” Another is perhaps the most clever line from the show yet, (hats off to writer Nick Confalone) which was said by Rainbow Dash: “If he messes with us I’ll turn that Yeti into confetti!”

Overall, “Dungeons & Discords” is an entertaining episode. The middle act is sometimes grating because the viewer just wants the story to get to the point. The gaming parts are a lot of fun, and at least half of Discord’s lines were very good. The message was definitely solid. While not a 5 star episode, this one was pretty good, and if you’ve gotten past Discord being a good guy, it’ll be even better.

7/10

RAGE TIME

GODZILLA: RAGE ACROSS TIME #1 Review

It’s been about a month since Godzilla: Oblivion reached its final issue. Sadly, that mini-series was perhaps the weakest. The characters were wooden and the monster part of the story was all over the place. There was also very noticeable plot holes. Rage Across Time is the latest series and just from this first issue it seems to have fixed most of the problems with Oblivion. It’s not perfect, but it does have a high quality look to it.

Move over dinosaurs… monsters used to rule the planet! Travel to different time periods to examine the origin of myths that fueled nightmares! In this first installment, Godzilla brings his terror to feudal Japan!

The concept of Across Time is a unique one. Having Godzilla and his monster enemies in different time periods is a fascinating idea. This plot was kind of explored back in the Dark Horse Godzilla series when in a later arc the title monster was sent time traveling. (For example, he was sent back in time to when the Titanic crashed.) Rage’s story is much more refined since this idea is the primary focus. The first issue takes place in feudal Japan. It’s an excellent backdrop since legendary monsters fit right into this time period.

Jeremy Robinson nicely paces the story. It could have benefited from either being two parts or a graphic novel however. While Robinson makes excellent use of the limited pages, it isn’t quite enough to fully establish the human character conflict. We get a broad picture of the internal feudal Japanese dissension, but the two main characters could have used a little more developing. This doesn’t mean they are bad characters, because they’re actually pretty solid. (At the very least, much better written than the cast of Oblivion.) The usage of Yamata no Orochi was an excellent touch. This is another part that would have benefited from a few more pages. The two characters vs. Orochi happens rather fast, and the brief battle between it & Godzilla was excellent, though again rather quick due to limited pages.

time

Even though somethings might have been rushed, the story is still very nicely paced. It’s an engaging read and Robinson makes fun use of the samurai era. Matt Frank’s art is of course fantastic. What I personally like is that it isn’t quite as stylized as usual, fitting with the retro backdrop of the story. This is also helped by the almost-bronze color palette, so credit must be given to the three colorists: Paul Hanley, Goncalo Lopes, & Josh Perez. The main cover by Bob Eggleton is an elegant piece. Everything, from the Sakai version of Godzilla 2000 to the wave is beautifully painted. The subscription variant by Matt is a solid cover, featuring an enraged Godzilla against feudal era ships. Personally, I would say the simplicity of the main cover makes it the winner, but both are good. The RI by James Biggie is definitely the most unique of the three, featuring Godzilla drawn in the feudal style. If you like period pieces, this one is for you.

Overall, Rage Across Time starts out with an excellent first issue. The story is paced very well, with a good balance of dialogue and action. As stated earlier, some parts feel rushed unfortunately. Also, at first it seemed like the book was going to be an anthology. Inside however there’s a sudden cut to modern day, and based on the ending it looks like future issues will be connected in some way. I don’t think this was needed, because the cuts to modern day were distracting. Besides these things, the issue is a fun trek through feudal Japan with some surprise faces. From this opening issue, it looks like we’ll have a great Godzilla book.

9/10

spike

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic “The Times They Are A Changeling” Review

“The Times They Are A Changeling” (try saying that in one gulp) is finally an “important” episode. Now, this is not to say that every episode of My Little Pony has to be “important” in the sense that it furthers certain plot developments or establishes a new status quo. Slice of life stories is the show’s strong suit, and something the first two seasons in particular excelled at. The reason why I used the word ‘finally’ is because the last few episodes have been more on the mediocre side. The writing just hasn’t been quite up to the usual standard. The latest installment fixes this. It’s not a perfect episode but it’s definitely leagues ahead of what we’ve been seeing.

Spike travels with Twilight and Sunburst back to the Crystal Empire to visit Flurry Heart, only to discover that the entire Empire is in a panic due to the reported presence of Changling spy.

Maybe the comics have spoiled me, but I couldn’t help but think how cool it would have been if the lone Changeling had been the prelude to a grand invasion. The first act with the Crystal Empire being worried that the Changeling could be anyone was greatly effective. Of course, the overall point of the story isn’t one of grandeur. It’s meant to convey yet another message of friendship, though this time with a different backdrop.

The main idea of the story is lineage, or one’s association. The Changelings in their appearance way back in the epic “A Canterlot Wedding” appeared almost as mindless drones. When one thinks of a Changeling, it’s associated with the sinister Queen Chrysalis. Therefore, if one of them were to appear, everyone would think the worst. But what the episode conveys is that one shouldn’t be judged on lineage or a stereotype. The son of a killer for example shouldn’t be judged on association. Just because he’s related to a criminal doesn’t mean he has to be a criminal as well. Thorax’s (the lone Changeling) plot was engaging. The flashback to ‘Wedding’ was very effective since we got to see things from his perspective.

Spike_introduces_himself_to_Thorax_S6E16

Spike’s role this season has been his finest. All of his prior development finally transformed him into one of the show’s most engaging characters. He was pretty solid here mostly. The inhabitants adoring him and his giving orders to the royal guards was a bit on the silly side. Also, instead of approaching Shining Armor about Thorax, why didn’t he confide in Twilight about the situation? Some of the happenings in the middle act could have been avoided. With that said, there’s some very powerful moments. The viewer can see the sadness on Thorax’s face when the only friend he’s ever had doesn’t stick up for him. Spike going back and making it right was excellent & great character development for him. The climax song was fantastic. Cathy Weseluck had never gotten a full-length song to herself before, so hopefully starting here we’ll hear more with her.

Overall, “The Times They Are A Changeling” is a very solid episode. It packs fantastic emotion and a quality message which unlike the last couple weren’t at the expense of character development. Aside from a few annoying moments here, Spike continues to be a great product of the latest season. The writing duo of Kevin Burke and Chris Wyatt deliver a winner.

8/10

 

rr

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic “28 Pranks Later” Review

I’ve been a My Little Pony fan for years now. I believe the first two seasons were the show’s prime. This is not to say it has been in decline since then, because if it’s one thing the show is good at, it’s that it had always been consistent with delivering quality. That’s why when more average episodes appear a review seems noticeably harsh, because at this point the show deserves to be held to a high standard. That’s why the previous couple of episodes, while not terrible (in comparison to what’s currently airing on television) got pretty low scores. There has never been a truly bad episode of MLP, but when you compare say the the previous episode to a Season 1 installment, the quality is noticeably lower. Season 6 has been definitely the worst season in this regard. Today’s episode continues this mediocrity, though at the very least it’s far more entertaining than the last one.

When Rainbow Dash’s pranking gets out of hand, everypony decides to give her a taste of her own medicine – zom-pony style!

So, what’s wrong with this episode? The show decides to tackle the message of pranks/jokes. Most of us know how to laugh at a well done surprise joke. Sometimes however they’re in bad taste or downright mean. It’s about balance and asking, “How would I feel if someone did this to me?” It’s definitely a pretty good message that the episode drives home at the end. Like “The Cart Before the Ponies” however, the message is at the expense of characterization. In this case, the victim is Rainbow Dash.

Rainbow has been established as a prankster in the past, mainly way back in the Season 1 episode “Griffon the Brush Off” and the Season 2 episode “Luna Eclipsed.” Since then however that part of her character hasn’t been touched upon all that much. Today we see it come back full force. The story doesn’t start out unreasonably. In fact, some of the pranks she pulls in the beginning are pretty funny. Plus, the banter between her and Pinkie Pie about them is great to watch. (Because the two are pretty similar in this regard.) Toward the middle act is where the main problem lies. Rainbow starts pranking all of Ponyville. She even disrupts a school lesson for the sake of a prank. Even for Rainbow, this is unrealistic and completely immature. There’s just no way she would go around doing this to all the citizens. If the school example wasn’t bad enough, she devises a plan to “infect” the girl scout cookies of the Cutie Mark Crusaders. Rainbow was written pretty much like a villain most of the time here.

The_ponies_enter_the_barn_S6E15

The final act saves the episode from being just a mess of characterization. For pop culture fans, the title of this episode is of course a reference to the film 28 Days Later. The last 10 minutes parodies the plot of that movie in a very entertaining way. “(It’s also a tease, because the viewer now knows how awesome a real zombie apocalypse in Ponyville would be.) As started earlier, the message is delivered pretty well in the end. It’s a shame it was done with a villainous Rainbow Dash. Also, I believe it was a mistake to spoil the plan to make Dash understand the error of her ways in the description. It would have been far more entertaining to watch the events unfold without that prior knowledge.

Overall, 28 Pranks Later is a pretty fun episode, though the writing takes it way overboard with Rainbow Dash’s antics. At the very least, there’s some good dialogue between her and Pinkie. (F.M De Marco should write a team-up episode with the two.) There are other little annoying things not mentioned above, such as bringing back Fluttershy being scared of nothing for the sake of the story. While I greatly enjoy these slice of life adventures, Season 6 really needs an “important” episode to bring back its steam.

6/10

ss

Suicide Squad Review

Ten years ago the thought of a Suicide Squad movie would have been almost unheard of. Today we live in a cinematic world where almost anything is possible. If Marvel can turn Guardians of the Galaxy into a triple a property, there’s no reason why DC couldn’t do the same with another lesser known team. This group of of villains have been around since the late 80’s, but it wasn’t until recent years that they started to become more mainstream. How did that happen? It’s tough to say. Somethings in comic world just happen gradually for no real reason in particular. The Squad film has been garnering a large amount of hype. In fact, many people I’ve talked to in the past seemed to have been looking forward more to it than Batman V Superman. The reasons for that could be an article for another day. For now, the big question is whether or not Squad is the big jump-start for the DCEU and a quality film in its own right. What we have is something that is never boring but often lacks in writing.

Figuring they’re all expendable, a U.S. intelligence officer decides to assemble a team of dangerous, incarcerated supervillains for a top-secret mission. Now armed with government weapons, Deadshot (Will Smith), Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), Captain Boomerang, Killer Croc and other despicable inmates must learn to work together. Dubbed Task Force X, the criminals unite to battle a mysterious and powerful entity, while the diabolical Joker (Jared Leto) launches an evil agenda of his own.

There was an animated film that came out two years ago called Batman: Assault on Arkham. Even though it was titled ‘Batman,’ it was really a Suicide Squad film. It is very similar to the live action one in many ways, and better. I don’t think Squad should be a copy of Arkham, but should have definitely taken more cues. For one thing, the Enchantress is an incredibly generic villain and seems out of place for the tone the film was striving for. Just about all her dialogue is pretty standard. Meanwhile the Joker is on the flip side, completely unique and commands a presence every time he’s on screen. The entire Enchantress angle wasn’t particularly engaging while the Joker in his low screen time was very good.

ceba46ed7c7cd79ac9d8670ea86cb41b6644604b95aac7927cde7e2655f97c19

It’s always a tricky endeavor when a film stars a bunch of characters. Squad manages to semi-avoid feeling overloaded. It introduces the characters one-by-one via flashbacks said by Amanda Waller. The style works for this type of film. Of course, it really depends on the quality of said flashbacks. First up is Deadshot’s. Seeing Batman was definitely a great moment and it’s very cool how the films can have things like that as one connected world. Now, the problem with the flashback here is the writing. It’s established that all Deadshot truly cares about is his daughter. The dialogue between them is extremely mechanical. It seemed like his daughter was just reading lines off a script. There was zero emotion invoked, which is a problem when the film wants the viewer to sympathize with a serial killer.

The rest of the flashbacks are simple and to the point. Harley Quinn’s of course is the best, giving the viewer insight into how she became the deranged person she is. Jared Leto’s incarnation of the Joker is the best character here, giving us a familiar yet different version of the Clown Prince of Crime. It’s a good tease when we see the Batmobile go after him and Quinn. It makes the viewer really want to see this Joker go up against Batman in a future film. Harley’s entire flashback would make for an excellent movie in its own right, and not to mention there’s some awesome references to the 90’s Animated Series and this famous picture. Since we’re on the subject of these two, first Margot Robbie as Harley was definitely a lot of fun. I look forward to seeing her again in a future installment.

Jared Leto as the Joker was one of the most hyped aspects of the film. As stated earlier, he is a presence stealer and should have been written as the main antagonist over the painfully generic Enchantress. This version doesn’t seem to be the anarchist from The Dark Knight nor the comedian from Batman 89. What we have is a unique take on the character, whom is criminally underused in the film. Sadly it’s hard to write too much about this incarnation because he simply isn’t given much to do. It remains to be seen what kind of mark this version of Batman’s greatest nemesis will leave on the cinematic world.

Jared+Leto+Joker

As for the other members of the team, Captain Boomerang doesn’t really add anything to the story. In fact, he could be cut out entirely and it wouldn’t have mattered. Killer Croc isn’t bad, but is only memorable for having a monstrous appearance. Just about all of Croc’s lines were, as a viewer next to me called them, “Corny.” He talked little and was given a very small amount of backstory. He was pretty much just the “grunt” of the team, and nothing more. A surprise highlight was El Diablo. Jay Hernandez portrayed a man whom regrets his past and doesn’t want to use his power anymore. His mini-character arc was one of the best. Katana was fun to have around, but appeared out of nowhere and never got adequate backstory. How is the viewer supposed to accept that her sword can apparently hold souls, in just one sentence without further clarifying?

The team forms kind of suddenly by the middle act. This isn’t the problem however. The problem is some of the dialogue in the middle to last act. Just about all these characters are hardened criminals, yet later they open up like old friends. The dialogue here just wasn’t organic. The biggest culprit is the bar scene. First, the scene is very poorly placed. As the world is about to be taken over we see the characters hop into the bar to reflect. This scene just didn’t make sense at that point and felt thrown in out of nowhere. What’s worst is Flag, the army official in charge of enforcing the team, joins them. He has been their enemy all this time, and just like that he’s their buddy as well? He even says, “I need your help Deadshot” as if the latter would sympathize with him. (After all, Flag just a day ago was threatening the latter.)

Even though the writing could have been better, the team is still fun to watch together. There’s solid chemistry, it’s there, but sometimes the film tries too hard to establish a friendship between them. Harley Quinn stating “You hurt my friends” before attacking the Enchantress was supposed to be a hardcore moment, but the viewer just can’t take it seriously because the friendship just wasn’t established properly. (Not only that, but it’s apparent that she would leave them to be with Joker.)

Obviously going into a film like Suicide Squad you know there’s going to be a lot of grit and comedy to go along with it. The film takes it a bit overboard at some points. For one thing, Slipknot when he first appears punches out an officer followed by some supposedly “funny” dialogue. This was a distasteful scene, and it seemed like the film had a very negative outlook on the corrections system since almost all the guards whom appeared were very abusive to the inmates. Next is an Amanda Waller scene. When she first appears the viewer gets a sense that she’s a bit of a shady government individual. But with the dialogue on hypothetically stopping another Superman, you get a sense that she’s bending morality out of a warped sense of keeping the country safe. This a viewer can get behind, but there’s a scene later in the film where she puts bullets in all her officials because they know too much about the operation, or as her dialogue put it, “It’s above their pay grade.” This scene was done to make her even more hardcore, but ended up making her unlikable in a negative way. It was just meaningless deaths and felt empty.

Even though there’s problems with the writing, the film is on some technical aspects better than Batman V Superman. Unlike the latter, the first half is nicely paced with good, stylized action scenes and character interaction. Aside from the abrupt bar scene, the film moves at an excellent pace. The climax unfortunately isn’t particularly that memorable. It’s only slightly better than Fantastic Four’s (2015) final battle, which is mainly due to the characters being fun to watch. The soundtrack is pretty much what one expects from this kind of film. In any other film it would be out of place, but it works here. (Though the lyrics are sometimes too questionable.) The final battle theme, though some might call it standard in comparison to the rest of the film’s music, truly increased the intensity and ended up being one of the best fight themes of the year.

Harley-Quinn-Suicide-Squad

Overall, there’s definitely quite a few negative things to list about Suicide Squad. This is mainly due to the writing and often choosing style over substance. However, despite these things the film is still very entertaining and the characters are diverse. Even though the dialogue isn’t quite on par with that of say The Dark Knight, one never grows tired of the proceedings. David Ayer directs perhaps the most unique comic book film yet. With better writing, we could have had a truly great film.

6.5/10

cmc

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic “The Cart Before the Ponies” Review

It’s a nice thing to have My Little Pony back on the air. It’s perhaps one of the best ways to start the weekend. Last week’s episode put the spotlight on Rainbow Dash and brought back the Indiana Jones-inspired pony, Daring Do. It was also slightly meta, introducing a brand new character that represented a rather stubborn critic. Even though the writing wasn’t particularly great at some points, “Stranger than Fan Fiction” was still memorable. Today’s installment is also memorable, though for the wrong reason. It’s not the worst episode (though I’m having trouble thinking of a worse one) but it’s definitely on the lower spectrum of the show.

The Cutie Mark Crusaders are excited for the chance to race in the annual Applewood Derby – until their teammates Rarity, Applejack, and Rainbow Dash take over the competition.

So, what puts this episode as a lower tier one? Applejack, Rarity, and Rainbow Dash all are written very terribly for the sake of the lesson. Simultaneously these are their worst portrayals in the show. As stated in the description, the story’s main setting is a race, and the fillies are each allowed to ask for assistance from an older pony. The Cutie Mark Crusaders naturally ask their big sisters (well, sister in spirit for Scootaloo) which is of course welcome, and should make for a fun story. But, the three older ponies are written as unreasonable and stubborn. Almost from the start they take the race for themselves, thinking they’re the ones competing, not the fillies. To justify this, the writing throws in some backstory. The two biggest examples are Rarity’s, where she wants to win after dealing with a second place prize a long time ago, and Applejack’s, whom wants to keep with tradition. The episode really starts to falter here.

Throughout the middle act it seemed like the three Mane 6 members lost touch with reality and became downright mean. Every time the Crusaders would apply features (such as cardboard wings for example) to the cart, their older member would rudely remove them. Perhaps the worst scene was when Applejack threatened Apple Bloom with, “So are you an Apple, or are you an Apple?” when the latter wanted to make a more modern cart as opposed to a traditional one. Just about all the lines from the Mane 6 members were very jarring and forced for the story. It’s simple to see what the message was going for: saying that older people aren’t 100% always right and should listen to the opinions of their siblings/younger people. A message however should never be at the cost of quality characters.

This is not to say there weren’t some things to like. Writer Ed Valentine has a great handle of the Crusaders. The viewer sympathizes with them the entire time. The actual race was also fun. (It reminded me of Wacky Races.) The ending sadly is anticlimactic since we don’t see the actual ending to the race…which was the main part of the plot!

Rainbow_Dash_%5C-it_still_counts_as_a_win%5C-_S6E14

Overall, Cart is definitely more of a mediocre episode. The message isn’t necessarily negative, but it’s at the cost of our favorite characters. At the very least, Crusader fans will be pleased with their portrayal.

5/10

tokyo-ghoul-720x380

TOKYO GHOUL Season One Review

Two of the shortest anime I’ve ever seen are Puelle Magica Madoka  and Serial Experiments Lain. Ironically, those are also two of the best anime I’ve seen. They’re only about 12 episodes each, but unlike shows with over a 100 episodes, there’s no filler and no episodes to stretch for time. Each episode gets right to the point in advancement of the story. That’s one reason why the first season of TOKYO GHOUL is pretty great. There’s no filler and the story is definitely very unique like the aforementioned shows. With FUNimation recently releasing the complete Second Season, it’d be good to take a look at the many positives of the first season and why one should go check it out.

In modern day Tokyo, society lives in fear ofGhouls: mysterious creatures who look exactly like humans — yet hunger insatiably for their flesh. None of this matters to Ken Kaneki, a bookish and ordinary young man, until a dark and violent encounter turns him into the first ever Ghoul-human half breed. Trapped between two worlds, Ken must survive the violent conflicts of warring Ghoul factions, while attempting to learn more about Ghoul society, his newfound powers,  and the fine line between man and monster.

TOKYO GHOUL Season 1 has some unnecessary things preventing me from giving it a perfect score. Even in context for the story, the fan service featured in the first episode was brutal. There are some over-the-top writing and questionable content in some of the episodes, but nothing absolutely terrible because these things appear just for a few moments. With that out of the way, let’s start with the actual concept. It’s really cool how in this universe ghouls and humans coexist. It’s dangerous and an interesting status quo the story just drops on the viewer. Rather than taking its time in explaining things, the viewer learns about it as the episodes move along. It’s a tough thing to do since there can be the complaint of not explaining much, but GHOUL pulls it off nicely.

1

One of the greatest things about Puelle Magica Madoka is how amazing it is in developing likable characters in such a short amount of time. In just 12 episodes we have some of the most engaging characters out there. (Some shows take a hundred episodes to make someone likable.) There’s of course nothing wrong with long-term character development, but it’s always a feat when a short show/season can establish much in so little time. For example here, in just two episodes the viewer cares about the friendship between our main character, Ken Kaneki, and his best friend, Hideyoshi. Then, in even shorter time the brother-sister relationship between Touka and Ayato is fantastic. Somehow just one flashback was needed. Of course, this is mainly due to the great writing present throughout the episodes.

An intro can gain or lose a viewer. If the intro is really bad, then it’s farewell. For example, BATTLESHIP’S beginning completely destroyed the movie before it even began. Most intros in anime are great and Tokyo Ghoul is no exception. We open up to an intense WALKING DEAD-like scene with a ghoul “binge-eating” as it’s called before being confronted by another ghoul. It’s scary, action-packed, and with a stellar soundtrack that sets the tone for the rest of the show. What’s great is that what happens here has an effect on the last episode. If one watches the season over the course of say a month it can be easy to forget that, so it’s good to look back and see how everything came together.

A major part of the first act is Ken having to deal with the fact he’s part ghoul. The show does an excellent job showing his inner turmoil. Here we have this guy whom now has an appetite for humans and there’s nothing he could do about it. It’s an inner battle for him as he tries to retain his humanity while fighting this new tendency. It’s a great concept over the course of 12 episodes, and the fact he really wants to stop himself from giving in, which would be the easy thing to do, makes him quite a likable and engaging focus.

There’s a very intriguing dividing of focus. Obviously Ken’s story is at the main, but the show also shows us the human side of things. We follow detectives Koutarou Amon and Kureo Mado, both very different, but engaging characters. Because of their stark contrasts in personalty they make an excellent pairing, even buddy-cop like. They’re part of the CCG, which hunts ghouls. It’s interesting because as humans in this world we would be on the CCG’s side because many ghouls hunt and kill humans. All we would ever hear about on the news is killings. Yet, there’s a small band of ghouls whom refrain from doing as such, because they choose not to. The CCG is not aware of this, so the conflict in the latter part of the season was extra interesting.

tokyo-ghoul-kirishima-touka__1417315806_135-23-138-149

I suppose what the season lacks is a true main villain. There are some that pop up, but not a main antagonist. Of course, things are heavily established in the final two episodes, setting up for Season 2. The notable villains that do pop up here are all well-written and diverse. Tsukiyama for example with his polite demeanor made for an interesting contrast to the sadistic Jason. Touka’s brother was also definitely interesting. While these villain characters are very good, the show also features some really great protagonists. Touka is very good as she too has to go through inner battles. One of the best scenes was when a character made her re-think what it means to be a ghoul. There are many old, wise man characters in media, but that doesn’t stop Yoshimura from being one of the most likable characters in the season.

It’s a little disappointing how Season 1 ends. Of course, since there is a Season 2 we won’t count loose ends a negative. Rather, I found the end conflict rather contradictory. The character says one thing but something happens anyway which kind of renders his notable line moot. The fight scenes are very impressive throughout. There’s a certain amount of tension that leads up to each fight, making it even more engaging. (A great example is the dialogue back and fourth with Tsukiyama against Ken, Touka, & Nishiki.) The soundtrack as stated earlier is also very impressive.

Yamori's_mask

Overall, Season 1 of TOKYO GHOUL is very strong . It has a unique story which is filled with interesting characters. Ken is unlike a lot of characters we’re used to seeing. His inner battle against this other side is really engaging. The show has been compared to ATTACK ON TITAN, and for good reason. If you are a fan of the latter, you will like GHOUL.

9/10