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Tokyo Ghoul (Japanese: 東京喰種トーキョーグール, Hepburn: Tōkyō Gūru) is a Japanese dark fantasy manga series written and illustrated by Sui Ishida. It was serialized in Shueisha’s seinen manga magazine Weekly Young Jump between September 2011 and September 2014, and was collected in fourteen tankōbon volumes. A prequel, titled Tokyo Ghoul [Jack], ran online on Jump Live in 2013 and was collected in a single tankōbon volume. A sequel, titled Tokyo Ghoul:re, was serialized in Weekly Young Jump between October 2014 and July 2018, and was collected in sixteen tankōbon volumes.
A 12-episode anime television series adaptation by studio Pierrot aired on Tokyo MX between July and September 2014. A 12-episode second season, Tokyo Ghoul √A (pronounced Tokyo Ghoul Root A), which follows an original story, aired from January to March 2015. A live-action film based on the manga was released in Japan in July 2017. An anime adaptation based on the sequel manga, Tokyo Ghoul:re, aired for two seasons; the first from April to June 2018, and the second from October to December 2018.
In North America, Viz Media licensed the manga for English language release, while Funimation has licensed the anime series for streaming and home video distribution.
Tokyo Ghoul is set in an alternate reality where ghouls, creatures that look like normal people but can only survive by eating human flesh, live among the human population in secrecy, hiding their true nature in order to evade pursuit from the authorities. Ghouls have powers including enhanced strength and regenerative abilities – a regular ghoul produces 4–7 times more kinetic energy in their muscles than a normal human; they also have several times the RC cells, a cell that flows like blood and can become solid instantly. A ghoul’s skin is resistant to ordinary piercing weapons, and it has at least one special predatory organ called a kagune (Japanese: 赫子), which it can manifest and use as a weapon during combat. Another distinctive trait of ghouls is that when they are excited or hungry, the color of their sclera in both eyes turns black and their irises red. This mutation is known as kakugan (赫眼, “red eye”).
A half-ghoul can either be born naturally as a ghoul and a human’s offspring, or artificially created by transplanting some ghoul organs into a human. In both cases, a half-ghoul is usually much stronger than a pure-blood ghoul. In the case of a half-ghoul, only one of the eyes undergoes the “red eye” transformation. Natural born half-ghouls are very rare, and creating half-ghouls artificially initially has a low success rate.
There is also the case of half-humans, hybrids of ghouls and humans that can feed like normal humans and lack a Kagune while possessing enhanced abilities, like increased speed and reaction speed, but shortened lifespans. Naturally born half-ghouls can also eat like normal humans or full ghouls.
Have you ever wondered how Tokyo Ghoul:re characters would look like in real life? In this video I’ll show you, I hope you enjoy it.
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Four light novels have been released thus far and all are written by Shin Towada, with illustrations done by series creator Sui Ishida.
On June 19, 2013, Tokyo Ghoul: Days (東京喰種トーキョーグール［日々］, Tōkyō Gūru［Hibi］) was released, Illustrations were done by the series creator Sui Ishida and written by Shin Towada and serves as sidestory/spin off that focuses on the daily lives of characters from the Tokyo Ghoul series.
Tokyo Ghoul: Void (東京喰種トーキョーグール［空白］, Tōkyō Gūru［Kūhaku］) was released on June 19, 2014, and fills in the 6 month time gap between volumes 8 and 9 of the first series.
The third novel Tokyo Ghoul: Past (東京喰種トーキョーグール［昔日］, Tōkyō Gūru［Sekijitsu］) was released on December 19, 2014. Past takes place before the events of the main series and focuses on the further backstory of certain Tokyo Ghoul characters, including Touka Kirishima, Ayato Kirishima, and series protagonist Ken Kaneki.
The fourth novel, Tokyo Ghoul:re: quest (東京喰種：ｒｅ［ｑｕｅｓｔ］, Tōkyō Gūru:re: quest) was released on December 19, 2016. It takes place during the events of Tokyo Ghoul :re, focusing on the Quinx, CCG, and other characters.