I have heard of Tokyo Ghoul off and on for a while now. I never really had any interest in reading it, as the images I had seen did seem a bit “too much” for my tastes. However, I am curious. I feel, as a reader and bookseller, I should try and experience many different genres. Therefore, when I saw the book Tokyo Ghoul Illustrations: Zakki in the damaged box, I assume it was a Tokyo Ghoul graphic novel and picked it up.
It was not a graphic novel. What it was, was even better.
I started to browse it when at work by skimming the illustrations and realized it was a book about the illustrations and the authors notes with them. I started to read. Next thing I know close to 10 minutes had gone by! They were mesmerizing! The details and the simplicity. The dark and graphic nature (sadly what most people think of when they hear “graphic” novel) of them was overpowering. The blood, the cuts, the markings, the red eyes, the sinister masks are horrific at first glance. They are also the softest illustrations, too, with the smiling manga girls and boys. The naughty rouge sitting in his chair, knowing that he is the King of all before him has both the loving strokes of being a favorite character and the possible evil glint to his eyes. The sadness of the other character sitting in his broken chair is felt. Another character in his rumpled, worn forever shirt hanging off his thin frame makes you almost smell how ripe he probably is. All of it tells the story the author wanted to tell with just art.
The colors are amazing. They are bright, dark, muted and vivid. They are a mixture of what makes good art. I hate saying this, but I would cut these out of the book and frame them. I would have these as artworks on my walls.
I cannot convey how amazing this book is. If you are a fan or know someone who is, this is a must book to have in your/their collection. The fact the illustrator gives you what format they used and information about what they were thinking, the process and some of the events happening around them makes it better. You are part of the process this way. While it would have helped to have known who the characters are and their stories in their novels, online stories, etc. and to have known who some of the other illustrators and publications mentioned where/are, it is not needed.