Tokyo Ghoul Root A: Why did it Suck?

Key points for Why Tokyo Ghoul Root A Sucks:

  • The manga excels in fleshing out Kaneki’s character post-Yamori, showcasing his deep connections with fellow ghouls like Hinami and Banjou. Root A’s anime adaptation overlooks this crucial aspect, opting for a drastic divergence that undermines Kaneki’s growth.
  • Root A’s decision to have Kaneki join Aogiri Tree instead of pursuing his own group sacrifices significant character development and meaningful interactions. The absence of key manga moments, such as Kaneki’s bond with Hinami, leaves a void in the anime adaptation.
  • While Root A isn’t inherently terrible on its own, comparing it to the manga highlights missed potential and narrative missteps. The divergence from the source material, particularly in character arcs and relationships, leads to a sense of dissatisfaction among fans who envisioned a more faithful adaptation.

It seems that I have talked a lot about Tokyo Ghoul Root A recently. It was mentioned in my “What Makes a Good Adaptation” article and now I talked about it again in my article covering the TG 10th anniversary news. So I feel that it is only fair that I make an article judging the season in retrospect. Compare what the manga did vs. the anime and why did the anime suck so bad compared to the manga.

I am purely going to be talking about the plot, characters, and all that here. I am not well-versed in whose decision it was to deviate so heavily from the manga. So I won’t comment on things like that. This article is a retrospect and comparison of Tokyo Ghoul Root A, nothing more. I won’t be covering any real-life or behind-the-scenes stuff here. With that cleared up, let’s start with the manga first.

What happens in the manga?

After Kaneki escapes from the torture Yamori put him through, he promptly distances himself from Anteiku and forms a group of Ghouls to achieve different goals. His group is against the Aogiri, the CCG, and the Ghould Restaurant. Kaneki’s main objective in this arc is to pick out and eliminate individuals who he thinks are a danger to his friends over at Anteiku.

The main focus of this arc is Kaneki’s character. I know a lot of people like to think of him as an edgelord in the post-Yamori era but no, his relationships with every member of his group, especially Hinami, and Banjou are incredibly well done. He cares about them deeply and this is the time where his and Hinami’s sibling-like bonding is solidified. Yes, he is still ruthless to people who wish to harm his friends but he is a genuinely good person, not an edgelord.

What about the anime?

Well, we all know what route the Root A anime too, don’t we? I don’t think anyone saw this “twist” coming back in the day. It is as if the anime only took the ruthless edgelord part from the manga and forgot that Kaneki, at his core, is a good person. Kaneki joins Aogiri Tree in the anime instead. And I-… Why would you join the people who just captured and tortured you for god knows how long?

Since he joins Aogiri, we never get to see his heartful interactions with Hinami or Banjou. I don’t think even Chie Hori has a role in the Root A anime. She just appears out of nowhere in Tokyo Ghoul: re. While in the manga, she had been Kaneki’s associate before he turned into Sasaki. So the anime misses out on so much good character development and amazing interactions just to experiment with a “twist” that doesn’t even make sense in hindsight.

That is all for now

Let me know what you guys think in the comments. In a vacuum, I don’t think Tokyo Ghoul Root A is terrible. But man, when you compare it to the manga and think of what could have been, you can’t help but feel massively disappointed. With that said, I will take my leave here. See ya!

Also, check out some Mappa original anime news here, it is called Zenshu and it looks promising!

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