What They Say:
Witness the finale of Tokyo Ghoul! A thrilling new chapter unfolds in Tokyo just two short years after the raid on Anteiku. Countering a resurgence of ghouls, the CCG selects young officer Haise Sasaki to lead an unruly team of humans infused with ghoul powers. Known as the Quinx Squad, they walk the line between humans and ghouls to rid the world of its most daunting threat. But no one said it would be easy. Let the hunt begin.
The audio presentation for this series is pretty good all around as we get the original Japanese language in stereo while the English mix gets a 5.1 boost. Both of them are encoded using the Dolby TrueHD lossless codec, so we get pretty much as good as it can get with the source material. The series generally finds a pretty good balance between its dialogue and action components so that one never really overwhelms the other. The dialogue is one that’s well placed as needed and with some good sound effects for various situations and costume designs. It’s generally a center stage approach as one would expect, but there is some good directionality to be had from time to time. The action side works more of an intense approach in a shorter period of time and that gives it more impact because it’s not overblown or overdone. There’s a welcome intensity to it because of the situations and it works in a ghoulish way. Both tracks are clean and clear throughout and we didn’t have any issues with dropouts or distortions during regular playback.
Originally airing in 2018, the transfer for this series is presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 in 1080p using the AVC codec. The twelve-episode set is spread between two discs with nine on the first and three on the second. Animated by Studio Pierrot, the show has a strong visual design to it with some great detail and color pop that it stands out in a great way. Though a lot of the show is the usual slower scenes to balance out the high action ones, the quality of the designs, backgrounds and the fluidity of the animation is very well presented. The characters are well detailed and the settings are great with all the backgrounds elements and the little things that enriches the world. Colors are heavy in the darks when it comes to the action side, especially at night or in closed quarters, but there are no murky aspects to it that make it unwelcome. Color pops elsewhere in the show, from the blood to the costume design and the world in general. It’s a very rich looking production and the end result is beautiful across the screen with clean colors and no problems to be had.
Funimation opted to do the limited edition for this release at the backend of its run, which isn’t too surprising. The set gets some great treatment as we have a heavy chipboard box that utilizes some great visuals for it that may be dark and murky in places but fit the series so well. The logo was never my favorite but it has the spooky elements it needs to look good against the darkness as well. Within the box, we get a gorgeous hardcover art book for the show that gives us a lot of character design material, full-color pages of various visuals and releases, and a look at the Japanese artwork as well. It’s got a great high-quality paper about it as well that makes it really delightful to pore over. The set also comes with a spacer box where the first half of the season can go. Within that spacer box we get a really nice face-mask pin, a packaging of stickers, and a great acrylic standee of Kaneki. You get him in either chibi or regular form and you can use the one that doesn’t go in the stand as a keychain!
Also within the cast is a slightly thicker than normal Blu-ray case that holds the four discs inside for the two formats. Like the standalone release, it comes with an o-card that replicates the same case artwork but with more vibrancy and pop to it even with so much black around the two main characters. Even the Blu-ray strip along the top doesn’t run against it in a bad way, giving it a touch more color to contrast the black and white aspects of the character designs. The back cover uses one of the familiar key visual image of the group in more of an action pose that gives it some vitality and movement needed to catch the eye. The rest is laid out well with a clean looking the extras and the premise as well as a few very small shots from the show. The technical grid captures everything well for both formats, making it clear how they’re put together. While there are no inserts within the release, we get a pretty good piece of artwork for the reverse side that shows off cast in a moody black and white style image with everyone in their suits and ties that means they mean business.
The menus for this release are kept simple with the series logo across the middle while clips play behind it with a bit of a stylized filter. The show is generally a bit darker with some of its backgrounds so that plays well here in contrast to the character artwork and all the white coats that they wear and the spread of it across the menu works nicely. The navigation is kept to a larger block along the bottom where it’s got a sliver of purple where the disc number is while the rest is black text on white making for easy navigation. Submenus load quickly and access is easy throughout it. he back of the box uses one of the more used publicity image pieces with Kaneki in his waiter outfit with the mask on, eye red, in an attack position while there are splatters of blood from the spine of the box coming around onto it. It’s a solid-looking box overall and definitely sets expectations.
The extras for this release are pretty solid in general as they’ll please both sides of the language equation for fans. For the English language fans, we get some good episode commentary material from the cast and staff with the twelfth episodes. The use of the twitter Q&A piece surfaces with this release and we get some good questions here, though it’s always fun just to see the person’s twitter handle used as well. Add in the clean version of the opening sequence and a few of the promotional videos to get people ready for the season and it’s a good roundup overall..
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
The further on that Tokyo Ghoul goes the more I find myself lost with it. Somewhere along the way, partially just in the gap between the main seasons, a disconnect happened that made it hard to get back into. In looking back at the very first season I found that it was really that first cour that worked the best for me, when it was smaller, more personal, dark and disturbing. The more that the series expanded in scale, the more characters introduced, the less it resonated with me. There are things that are interesting along the way but the property just began to feel far bigger than it should have been based on how it all started. Admittedly, this is all fairly normal progression for a property like this but some of these characters are almost unrecognizable from when we first met them and that works to keep them at a distance.
A lot of what goes on here for a while is the fact that we have Kaneki still living under Sasaki even though he gained his memories once again. There are reasons for it that make sense as he’s still trying to get a handle on everything that’s going on, but at the same time you want to get past that part of it and get him into a better place, for him and for the storytelling itself. Thankfully, some of this happens fairly quickly as when he learns that Hinami has been slated for execution and his resolve is that helping her to escape this fate will be his last true role as Sasaki and will be able to move forward anew from there providing they survive. It’s a solid piece overall as it plays out and that makes the first two episodes of the set work really well since we see him taking control of things and truly coming back into connection with his friends.
But it was after this that the rest of the season really started to falter more for me. The cast has grown so much over the course of it and with many introduced without enough of a connection that it’s just bodies moving about in the plot. The idea of creating a Kaneki to use as their own is a given since he was such a talented agent for so long is understandable but it’s all weighted down by the cast and their interactions over it. Everyone has opinions but I’ve lost track of who is who and what their larger motivations are. I imagine this all works better as serialized manga or when watched with both seasons close together, but the gaps really did me in with this show. The time spent with Kaneki is what ends up working the best, especially with Hinami, but that’s really only a small part of the show as a whole. And the whole CCG side with the Quinx Squad felt like they lost some relevance back in the first season.
Honestly, I kind of lost it a bit about halfway through this season when we get events underway at Cochlea where Arima starts revealing some new truths about their origins, lifespans, and what they belong to. It’s something that just ups the ante and I’m sure really worked well for those heavily invested in the show, but it just felt like a forced twist in order to twist the knife more in what these characters are suffering. It’s not that Arima and the rest were great characters or anything but it’s just like being fridged in order to push Kaneki into the doing the right thing when you know a good part of him just wants to walk away from everything if he can. Sadly, the show just made me feel like I wanted to walk away from it.
Like a lot of shows that are of this length, a good chunk of the final season is all about the fighting. We get a lot of creative and interesting scenes adapting from the manga but as has been said, the adaptation was rushed and never felt like it came together right with its quality and in fleshing things out. I enjoyed the early stuff with Hinami and I really liked the final battle with how it brings everything to a close, though the whole resolution to the two sides being able to co-exist just felt incredibly unrealistic and forced. It’s a pie in the sky view of reality because anyone who has seen similar experiences in the real world knows that it’s not an easy solve. But I did love seeing a real future for Kaneki and Touka and what it represents since a book like this might not always get a happy ending. Funimation did very right by fans with all the seasons with limited editions, extras, and overall disc and dub quality to bring it to life. This limited edition side is really slick and has the heft to definitely make it feel like it’s worth its weight. Fans of the series will definitely love having this bad boy on their shelf.
Japanese Dolby TrueHD 2.0 Language, English Dolby TrueHD 5.1 Language, English Subtitles, Tokyo Ghoul:re: A Conversation with Cast & Crew, Episode 1 Commentary, Episode 12 Commentary, Promo Videos, Textless Songs
Content Grade: B-
Audio Grade: B+
Video Grade: A-
Packaging Grade: A+
Menu Grade: B
Extras Grade: B
Released By: FUNimation
Release Date: October 8th, 2019
Running Time: 300 Minutes
Video Encoding: 1080p AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
Sony KDL70R550A 70″ LED 1080P HDTV, Sony PlayStation3 Blu-ray player via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.