Anime Review: Tokyo Ghoul Jack & Pinto (Lights, Camera, Action!)

By Drew Hurley 02.09.2017

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Tokyo Ghoul Jack & Pinto (UK Rating: 15)

There have been a few series in recent years that have shot to considerable international popularity, from the new contenders to the Shonen crown, like My Hero Academia, to the darker series pulling in the older audiences, like Attack on Titan. Tokyo Ghoul belonged somewhere between these; a tale of human flesh eating Ghouls that stalk humanity and the government CCG branch who hunt them. The series gained enough popularity in Japan to receive a sequel, light novel series, anime series, some games, and even a live action adaptation. This latest addition to the franchise bundles up the two animated OVAs the series has released and comes courtesy of Anime Limited, available to buy now.

The first of the pair, entitled "Jack," is named after a pumpkin-headed Ghoul with the moniker Lantern that it is hunting through the 13 wards. The story follows a delinquent student named Taishi Fura. Heading out after dark to meet up with some fellow punk friends, he finds that Jack has already paid them a visit. His friends are butchered but he's saved by the studious and reserved member of his class, a boy named Armia. It turns out Arima just happens to be an undercover member of the CCG and spends his nights hunting the Ghouls of the city. After losing his friends, Fura teams up with Armia to avenge them, tracking down Ghouls, taking them out, and hoping each time to find the Lantern. They gain a third to their little team when they rescue a girl at their school and the trio develops into a team of friends. Serious fans will recognise the names and appreciate this historic glimpse at some minor characters.


 
There are plenty of colourful and unique characters within the Tokyo Ghoul series but likely none more so than the Ghoul known as "The Gourmet" - Shu Tsukiyama. Tsukiyama is a flamboyant and absolutely insane character; quite a unique enigma that has a strange character arc in the original series and this OVA puts him into the limelight. Opening on Tsukiyama slaughtering a human and about to indulge in devouring his fresh kill, he is startled by the flash of a camera. A young girl jumps from the bushes and it seems at first she could be doing this to uncover him as a Ghoul, but in truth she has no interest in doing so. Her name is Chie and she happens to attend the same school as Tsukiyama. She's a true photographer, living her life through her viewfinder and only cares for seeing new and beautiful things. Tsukiyama's lineage and pedigree are too important to risk on a seemingly scatterbrained girl, putting her life on the line.

Both OVAs were produced by Studio Pierrot and originally broadcast in Japan at the tail end of 2015, they both retain the art style and overall aesthetic of the original, with the character designs and colour choices being very recognisable. Neither episode looks particularly good, though, even less so than the original series, in fact. There is no English dub for this release, either, only the original Japanese with an English subtitles option (although the default subtitle option is French).

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

While each OVA is enjoyable enough, short, self-contained stories with no prior knowledge needed of the series, Tokyo Ghoul Jack & Pinto doesn't feel enough to justify this type of release. Two 30-minute OVAs without any sort of bonus other than a trailer for each, this should serve as a bonus disc in a collection instead. One for just the hardcore Tokyo Ghoul fans.

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