—Disclaimer: This Post May or May Not Contain Spoilers.—
So just recently I just got done reading Tokyo Ghoul: [Jack] (for a 4th time) and I felt like give you all my thoughts on [Jack] and recommend it to any newcomers to TG and/or people who did read the manga but just didn’t get around any of the side material. Also, to anyone who has read [Jack] feel free to leave down your thoughts.
12 years before the original series, set in the 13th ward, a ghoul investigator is assigned to attend Seishin High School in order to investigate a series of murders caused by a ghoul with a vicious appetite. One night the ghoul ends up murdering Ryou and injuring Aki’s right eye, a high school student, who’s a childhood friend of both Ryou and Aki, teams up with the investigator in order hunt down the ghoul known as “Lantern”. The high school student is Taishi Fura and the ghoul investigator is a young Kishou Arima. Taishi is hunting down Lantern because he wants revenge for Ryou & Aki and Arima is hunting down Lantern….mostly because it’s his job.
I’ll admit I ended up reading [Jack] for the first time on Viz’s site immediately after reading Volume 14 of the manga, probably not the most ideal way I realize but to be fair I was too impatient in wanting to read it. In fact, before I even read [Jack] all I knew about it was 4 things…..
Arima was in it
It was a prequel story to the original series just like Days: Chapter 3: Photography and Light Novel #3: Past
It was “adapted” into an OVA by Studio Clown months after Root A ended
Apparently, Akira made a small cameo in it……I think?
That about the basic jist I got from the whole thing. But after reading it I can easily say that I really enjoy Tokyo Ghoul [Jack]. I personally found the story to be really engaging while it is a bit simplistic compared to the original series (and :re, for that matter) it has share of complexity and deeper meaning with its themes in its own special ways and I think the reason why I found the story engaging as it is was the characters and without spoiling anything I’m just going to talk about the two main characters Arima and Taishi, and these two are amazing. OK, for Arima, in terms of personality and character, he’s….almost about as he is in the main series except he a bit more “humane” if that’s a way of putting it, what I mean is that Arima opens up a bit more slightly but he’s still the same calm, mysterious badass we’ve all known and loved since the original. Taishi, on the other hand, is a completely different character compared to his older self who is a seasoned-veteran with his own priorities, here he’s a rebellious teenager who’s determined to get revenge on Lantern for his friends. Throughout, the entire story, you get know Taishi more and more as character and what he has go through in order to get what he wants and see how that shapes him into the man becomes later on and with the way the story plays out I would make the argument and say that Taishi is the real protagonist of [Jack] while Arima is just there for the ride. Don’t get me wrong, Arima does his moments in the sun but really the one character that kinda gets the most development is Taishi and I think it works rather well, plus the way they work off of each other is beyond entertaining with Arima being the Straight-man and Taishi being the Idiot. As for the characters, they fill their roles quite nicely even though that they don’t get as much attention in the spotlight like Taishi and Arima do but they’re still pretty good nonetheless.
Now then, I think the one thing about [Jack] that might turn a lot of people away is art. The art is, for lack of a more better description, is less detailed and refined compared to the main series and even :re , in fact, is a lot of sketchy and rough even more so then say….the first 3 chapters of the original series. Some may say the art in [Jack] is “unrefined”, “lazy” or even “unfinished” but….even though, that the art could be all those things, I personally think it works to its own advantage because well the art is not as refined as the main series I do feel like it has its own detail and there’s a certain atmosphere from the rough art style, this IS a prequel story so I think that the sketchy and simple-ish style could be representative of that plus there are some absolutely impressive artwork in some of the panels, I especially love the shots of Arima in some of these chapters. Heck, there’s even some moments where some of the characters are shaded in color, not full color obviously, what I mean, is that for example when a ghoul’s kakugan is activated their pupils are actually colored in red and thought that was pretty cool. Also, the action moments are just as cathartic and amazing as always plus they’re WAY more easier to follow this time around, which to be fair I never had that problem when reading both the original and :re as I almost always take my time to analyze a panel in order to understand what’s going on and whatnot but I thought it was worth bring up. But anyways the art I was pretty good.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading Tokyo Ghoul [Jack], its an amazing prequel story that gives attention the two main characters qutie nicely. So I’d recommend it to newcomers and people who read the manga but just read other stuff yet.
credit – MasterAdventZero