For years, anime was not appreciated as the high art that it is, and it’s only in recent times that it has begun to receive its well-deserved recognition. One of the most popular anime franchises is Tokyo Ghoul, a dark fantasy series based on the seinen manga of the same name that is written by Sui Ishida.
It follows the story of Kaneki Ken, a university freshman who lives in a world where ghouls, creatures that resemble humans but eat human flesh to survive, live among humans but conceal their true nature due to the threat of being hunted and exterminated by a ghoul investigation agency. In an unfortunate turn of events, when Kaneki discovers that his date is a ghoul and survives a near-death experience, he wakes up in a hospital after undergoing surgery and finds that an organ transplant to save his life has transformed him into a half-ghoul.
Split into three storylines (Tokyo Ghoul, Tokyo Ghoul √A, and Tokyo Ghoul:re), the anime was initially highly praised for its captivating first season, but a steep decline in the quality of the later seasons saw the anime receive a lot of criticism from the audience. With all the manga volumes completed, many fans have petitioned for the anime to receive a reboot, and in this article, I will give five reasons why a Tokyo Ghoul reboot is the right way to go.
Seinen is a manga genre that is written for young men but targets a more mature reading audience as opposed to the Shounen genre, which is written for young boys. Although Shounen is the most popular anime genre, Seinen has increased in popularity over the years due to the fact that a huge number of Shounen fans have aged as time has passed, and as a consequence, they have started to watch more Seinen anime, thereby increasing the demand for more Seinen content.
In the early 2000s, popular Seinen animes were hard to come by (Berserk and Monster were the big names at that time), but now, there is a huge assortment of Seinen anime (some of which have actually become popular with the Shounen audience, such as One Punch Man and Vinland Saga). With this in mind, now would be the best time for a Tokyo Ghoul reboot since the audience for it keeps growing every day.
Within the last decade, advancements in technology have greatly improved the quality of animation in anime, and many fans have started to take notice of the studios that stand out in this department. Attack on Titan has arguably been the biggest and most popular anime of the 2010s, and a lot of the credit for its great reception among audiences can be attributed to Wit Studio and MAPPA, two of the biggest anime studios in the world.
After the later disappointing seasons of Tokyo Ghoul finished airing, fans immediately took to the internet to decry the poor direction the anime had taken, and many started petitions for a reboot with a different studio. If the fans’ petitions are ever answered, the best studio for a reboot would definitely be either Wit Studio or MAPPA, since both have experience in producing and marketing seinen anime and their reputation among anime fans is untainted.
Tokyo Ghoul:re was poorly received by both manga readers and anime audiences. Serving as the sequel to Tokyo Ghoul, the story is set two years after the ending of Tokyo Ghoul, and despite being a part of the same narrative universe created by Sui Ishida, it exists as a standalone manga series.
The manga started off very well despite introducing so many new characters (a move that confused so many readers), but due to health and stress-related issues during the duration of writing the manga, Sui Ishida rushed to complete it, wrapping up character arcs somewhat prematurely and overall affecting the quality of the story’s conclusion.
However, Studio Pierrot was to blame for the poor reception of the anime adaptation because they made the poor decision of trying to adapt 200 chapters into 24 episodes, inevitably leaving out a lot of information. A reboot that rewrites how the manga ended and adapts all the information in the manga panels would be a huge success for any studio.
Reboots in the entertainment industry have a reputation for being expensive projects that are destined to fail. However, the major reasons why reboots have a terrible return on investment are lazy writing and the fatal mistake of changing the original narrative with the intention of making the story more appealing to a broader audience. If there ever was a benchmark for how to successfully make reboots, FullMetal Alchemist: Brotherhood would be the gold standard.
The 2003 FullMetal Alchemist anime was good until the studio ran out of manga content to animate (since the manga was still ongoing) and decided to take the story in a different direction, whereas the reboot faithfully adapted the manga and won over old and new fans of the story. To date, the reboot has been consistently ranked on several sites as the best anime of all time, a testament to how a reboot can perform beyond expectations if it’s done properly.
With approximately 47 million copies sold so far, Tokyo Ghoul is one of the best-selling mangas in Japan, and coupled with other items from its franchise that have been sold, it is one of the top-selling media franchises. Since Studio Pierrot still owns the rights to the franchise and they are still making money from it, it stands to reason that with the right studio and a sizable marketing budget, a reboot can still produce a profit. After all, without any forecast for profits, no studio would be willing to fork over the cash to buy the rights and pay animators for a reboot.