Manga Review: Tokyo Ghoul Volume Four

Originally written for WatchPlayRead.com

Tokyo Ghoul Volume 4 focuses on a college student named Ken Kaneki, who has become a Ghoul after receiving organs from one during an emergency transplant. He must now learn what it means to be a Ghoul.

Tokyo Ghoul Volume 4
Written by: Sui Ishida
Publisher: Shueisha
English Publisher: VIZ Media
Release Date: December 15, 2015

Volume 4 introduces a new character named Shu Tsukiyama, a Ghoul known as “The Gourmet.” As soon as you see him, you can tell that he’s going to be a smooth talking character that you shouldn’t trust. He tries to become chummy with Ken, and Touka warns him not to get too close to Shu. Ken also has to deal with his best friend, Hide, becoming interested in Ghouls and piecing together the truth about the Rabbit (Hinami) and her mother. This creates a new complication for Ken, since Hide’s increased knowledge of Ghouls could make it harder to hide the truth.

Touka is also having trouble of her own. Her classmate, Yoriko, tries to get closer to her by forcing Touka to eat food that she has prepared. Yoriko doesn’t know that Touka is a Ghoul and can’t stand to eat regular food, but Touka forces herself to try to eat it in order to avoid suspicion. But this storyline leads to Touka realizing that she is actually capable of having friends, which is a major point of character development.

Tokyo Ghoul Volume 4 also sees Ken meeting new characters named Itori and Uta. Exposition is part of their meeting, which includes backstory for Yomo and Uta. There’s also some intriguing information regarding a prophecy. But the most interesting part of the story happens right near the end, which involves Shu, Ken, and Ken’s life potentially being in danger.

The story starts heading in some new and interesting directions over the course of Volume 4. I hadn’t expected Hide to become so interested in Ghouls that he takes the time to research and become knowledgeable about them. There was some good character development for Touka, since she always seems rather distant and adverse to making friends, especially with humans. Shu is an interesting addition to the cast, and I’m interested in seeing what kind of a role he plays in future volumes of Tokyo Ghoul.

When it comes to the art in Tokyo Ghoul Volume 4, it felt as if Ishida went to a lot of effort for Shu’s character design. For a lot of the volume, Shu is drawn in such a way where it almost looks like that there’s always light emanating from him. And it also seems like Ishida drew Shu with more detail in most of the panels in comparison to the other characters. He was going for a particular feel for Shu, and I think he succeeded. Ishida also seemed to go to a little more effort with Itori as well, although not quite as much as he did with Shu.

Overall, Tokyo Ghoul Volume 4 has a strong story to tell. It should appeal to readers who have read and enjoyed the first three volumes of the series.

The reviewer was provided a review copy by VIZ Media

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