Tokyo Ghoul 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 it has been collected in fourteen tankōbon volumes as of August 2014. A sequel titled Tokyo Ghoul:re was serialized in the same magazine between October 2014 and July 2018, and was later collected into sixteen tankōbon volumes. A prequel titled Tokyo Ghoul [Jack] ran online on Jump Live.
Tokyo Ghoul started as a manga series, written and drawn by Sui Ishida. It began serialization in 2011’s 41st issue of Weekly Young Jump, published by Shueisha on September 8, 2011, and the final chapter appeared in 2014’s 42nd issue, released on September 18, 2014. The series has been collected in fourteen tankōbon volumes, released under Shueisha’s Young Jump Comics imprint between February 17, 2012, and October 17, 2014. The series has been licensed for an English release by Viz Media and the first volume was released on June 16, 2015.
In August 2013, a prequel spin-off manga titled Tokyo Ghoul [Jack] was released on Jump Live digital manga. The story spans 7 chapters and focuses on Arima Kishō and Taishi Fura 12 years before the events of Tokyo Ghoul. The manga features several characters from the main series including the above stated Kishō Arima, Taishi Fura, and future key characters Itsuki Marude and Yakumo “Yamori” Ōmori.
On October 17, 2014, a full-color illustration book known as Tokyo Ghoul Zakki was released along with the 14th and final volume of the manga. Zakki includes all promotional images, Volume covers and unreleased concept art with commentary by the creator Sui Ishida.
A sequel titled Tokyo Ghoul:re began serialization in 2014’s 46th issue of Weekly Young Jump, published on October 16, 2014. The series is set 2 years after the end of the original series and introduces a new set of characters. This series was concluded on July 19, 2018, with Volume 16.
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 amongst 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 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 like full ghouls.
To hunt down the ghouls, several government-sponsored organizations such as the CCG were created worldwide, but struggle, due to the immense power of certain ghouls.