Now it’s time to take on a recently translated light novel. Time for a review of Tokyo Ghoul:Void written by Shin Towada with original story by Sui Ishida. Tokyo Ghoul:Void was translated by Morgan Giles with Kevin Frane. The book was first published in Japan by Shueisha Inc. The Light Novel was licensed by Viz Media and was released on June 19, 2014 in Japan and January 17, 2017 in the US. Hope you are ready to indulge in a series of stories.
Disclaimer: There may be spoilers
The book consists of 5 short stories that all take place in the six month gap between the Aogiri arc and the Raid of Kanou’s Lab arc. The five stories start off with Koutarou Amon being transferred to the 8th ward to help beef up security and to look into a woman’s disappearance with an irritable detective. Second we have a girl named Asa trying become a mask maker like Uta and ends up meeting a very talented embroidery mask maker and learning about an old woman’s past. Third, is Chie Hori racing against Tsukiyama to protect a college Idol for the sake of photography. Fourth, through Hinami’s perspective, we see how the others at Anteiku is dealing with Kaneki running off on his own after the events of the Aogiri raid. Lastly, we see how the ghoul investigators deal with romance in the workplace and with the rise of a stomach virus. The real beauty of these stories is that they all find a way to all be connected with each others stories with intruding or taking away the main individual essence of each story.
There are a lot of characters within Tokyo Ghoul in general, even the book itself has a bit of characters to keep track of. So to save time I will only focus on the main characters in each story.
First is Koutarou Amon is a very diligent ghoul investigator after being raised in an orphanage by a ghoul, Amon felt guilty as he felt somewhat responsible for his foster father feeding on children. So he dedicates himself to his work to protect the world from the ghouls. However, recently a certain Eye-patch ghoul has been making him rethink his black whit morals. Next is Kyouhei Morimine the irritable detective. At first Morimine gives off an air of nonchalance and irritability the mindset of a flat character, but as the story progress we see that Morimine is a very capable detective as he is easily able to observe a person’s demeanor and be able to tell what they are thinking. We get to see a bit into Morimine’s past which makes him become a very rounded character and help to understand why he does what he does. Plus becoming a recurring character within the stories is also nice. Koharu Utsumi, a very beautiful girl, occasional met with Amon to give him both sweets and to help with directions. Her personality would be an example of a Yamato Nadeshiko which makes it all the more tragic when she runs into some trouble along the way. Next we have the tomboyish wannabe mask making ghoul, Asa. Asa basically wants to become a better mask maker so she would try to hound Uta to teach her…in vain. Asa is fierce and can be very foul mouthed at times. However, after a brief encounter with someone she starts to see the beauty of having a home along with the pain of loss. Tsumugi Yamagata starts off as a bitter old woman, but once her whole backstory is revealed she quickly became a fascinating character, from her romance with a Hannibal to making masks for ghouls. She is soon because less bitter and more warm and open hearted by the end of the story. Lastly, we have Kotone Mitsuba a college idol singer, who is second only to Koharu on stories of family drama. Unfortunately, thanks to Chie unknowingly, the unhappy college idol gained the interest of Tsukiyama Shuu. By interest I mean he plans to eat Mitsuba. In order to prevent this Chie must find a way not only to keep Tsukiyama away, but to get the perfect pictures of the chaos. Mitsuba was apparently just trying to find what’s left of her family, which Chie manages to find…except not the way most people would hope. It was very comical to Chie and Tsukiyama having a make shift battle of wits. In addition the pranks Chie pulls on Tsukiyama are absolutely hilarious but also shows how shrewd she can be. Next we have Hinami Fueguchi, who is struggling after the disappearance of Ken Kaneki. She goes through a lot of emotional turmoil from seeing Touka constantly worried about Kaneki’s well being to the terrible dream Hinami has of Kaneki. Eventually we see her character development as we see her harden her resolve and makes an important decision on how to move forward. Lastly, we have a female ghoul investigator by the name of Misato Gori with obvious feelings for Amon. However she soon mistakes a certain Yamato Nadeshiko as Amon’s fiance and ends up in a spiral of emotions. Misato’s story is obviously the least significant as her story barely ties into the important events. If anything her entire story is mainly comic relief, especially at the end.
Tokyo Ghoul:Void was a very entertaining read. Each story had it’s own uniqueness which can stand out on their own. However, the real beauty of the stories, is that they are all connected to each other. For example, Morimine manages to make appearances in almost all of the stories and it is not just him. It’s this sense of the stories being connected by a certain case which show that the characters are not isolated from each other. Each person has their role to play in the grand scheme of things. I highly recommend this book if you are fan of Tokyo Ghoul and if you are not I suggest you read it anyway and try to get into the series. Though mostly I mean read the manga then watch the anime(dear god) but I won’t rant about that again. I suppose one drawback of the interconnections of the story is, if you pay close attention to details, it can become a lot easier to know the direction of where each story is going MOST of the time. However, you need to pay attention to fine details to get some of the subtleties of the story and the various connections it makes. All and all I recommend giving this book a chance if you are looking for a short read to help occupy some free time.