Available for the first time in an English-speaking country, the two Tokyo Ghoul OVAs saw a release from Anime Limited earlier this week. These two episodes are available as a standard blu-ray, and a standard DVD; an Anime Limited Web Store exclusive Collector’s Edition Combo Pack is due for release later this year. Unlike the earlier two seasons of Tokyo Ghoul that All The Anime released, these two OVAs are provided without an English dub, as Funimation, the licensor of the two series in the US, has not licensed the OVAs.
This release from All The Anime, whether you opt for the blu-ray or the DVD, sees both episodes included on one disc. Each episode has English subtitles and, though useless to many of us, French subtitles, seeing as how All The Anime France have the license as well. These subtitle options can be found under “Audio” in the menu. In terms of additional on-disc content, we’re treated to the Japanese trailer for each OVA, and the English credits for both, alongside the authoring credits; the credits in the actual episodes are left untranslated. The upcoming collector’s edition will also include a chipboard box and art cards.
Both OVAs take place prior to the first series, though each focuses on a different, unrelated, story. Tokyo Ghoul Jack revolves around Taishi Fura and Kisho Arima, two school friends, brought closer together after the murder of Taishi’s best friend at the hand of a ghoul. Undercover CCG agent Kisho works alongside Taishi, and a third friend, in order to try and take down the Lantern Ghoul. Tokyo Ghoul Pinto, however, focuses on the “Gourmet”, Shuu Tsukiama as a young ghoul. One night, while trying to dine on the succulent flesh of a helpless human, another human, Chie Hori, who fancies herself a photographer, interrupts. She isn’t scared by the scene she witnesses, and is instead determined to get the perfect shot; a weird relationship develops between the two from here.
The main series spent a lot of time focusing on how the difference between ghouls and humans isn’t as big as you’d first believe, a surprise considering their source of nourishment is humans. The two OVAs continue to explore this, the implementation in Pinto being possibly the most effective in blurring the difference between the two species. Pinto manages to show us that the ghoul doesn’t necessarily have to be the monster in the room, and you’d be surprised the lows to which humans can stoop.
While Pinto is satisfying viewing for those of us who’ve watched the series, giving an eccentric character from the series who we all remember the stage, whereas I have no feelings towards the characters in Jack. On top of this, Jack doesn’t really show any progression or add anything to the world as a whole, unlike Pinto which is all about the progression of one relationship and the growth of a character it’s impossible to forget.
Now, both OVAs are great additions to the world of Tokyo Ghoul, though I preferred Pinto, as I feel it told a more interesting story. Sadly, the limited budget shows in these OVAs, with movement being less refined and closer to what you’d expect of a weekly Shonen anime; this is not as apparent in Pinto, with the focus being on character interaction rather than action. If you already have Tokyo Ghoul and Root A, don’t hesitate to pick up this release and enjoy it, but if you’ve yet to experience any Tokyo Ghoul, check out the first season instead.
Tokyo Ghoul Jack and Pinto is well worth picking up if you enjoyed the series; insight into Shuu's past alone is worth the cost of the blu-ray. The production quality isn't quite on par with the series, but the stories are still interesting, and it's always nice to see OVAs actually get a western release.