Review: Tokyo Ghoul [Void] (Vol 2)

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After the raid of the ghoul detention centre by Aogiri Tree, the CCG has tightened security across all 23 wards in retaliation. Because of this, Koutarou Amon finds himself in the 8th Ward, helping with the CCG Investigator shortage. When there he’s informed of the kidnapping of a local girl—the only evidence left behind being her barrette, obviously covered with evidence of a ghoul. Each of the five stories in this book is linked to this event, and we have a suspicious Amon, a frustrated Asa, a curious Chie, a worried Hinami, and a love-struck Misato to enjoy in book two: Tokyo Ghoul [Void].

Following the first volume of the Tokyo Ghoul light novels, [Void] also consists of multiple interweaved short stories—a little more obvious in their connection compared to the previous. Inspired by Sui Ishida’s manga, Shin Towada once again reimagines the characters and setting for the novel. Published in 2017 by Viz and Morgan Giles is yet again responsible for the translation. Just like the previous, familiarity with the original manga series is recommended to fully enjoy this book.

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Heat Haze is the longest of the stories in this book (making up over a third of the total page count) for the obvious reason that it is the main conflict that the other stories diverge from. After temporarily transferring to the 8th ward, Koutarou Amon is dragged into an investigation of kidnapping, possibly done by a ghoul, by police officer Morimine. Morimine’s dedication to the case goes beyond simple job expectations, and Amon soon realises that the case may be much larger than he expected, with the beautiful young woman he keeps running into on the street seems to have some sort of connection to it all. She’s struggling after the sudden hospitalisation of her adoptive father and clings to the small kindness that the CCG Investigator shows her. This story is a look into Amon’s mind during a complicated case and the morally grey struggle of carnivorous creatures like ghouls having to eat people to survive—and their right to live at all. It’s another instance of Amon being confronted with the fact that ghouls are not just mindless killers, but struggling, near-human individuals desperate to live in peace.

Embroidery is the second story and follows Asa, a masculine young woman who dreams of being a top-rate mask maker like Uta. After another failed attempt at becoming his apprentice, she shares a photograph given to her by Officer Morimine. The picture is of a beautifully embroidered mask related to the kidnapping case, and Asa is interested in meeting the person who could make such beautiful things. Unsurprisingly, Uta does know the person responsible, and takes Asa to meet them—an elderly woman called Tsumugi; a human with a long history with ghouls. The two women don’t get along at first, thanks to Asa’s laziness and Tsumugi’s no-nonsense attitude, but the two slowly grow closer over time as the older woman imparts her sewing wisdom to the young ghoul.

The third story, Photography, is of the young idol Mitsuba, who is secretly photographed by Chie Hori. Her expression on stage is incredibly sad, which inspires the photographer to snap a picture at an event. Her long-time friend, Shuu Tsukiyama, takes an interest in eating the sad singer, and now Chie is trying to prevent that from happening—to preserve her opportunity for future photographs of the woman. After hiding from the Gourmet ghoul, Mitsuba admits her motivations in becoming an idol: trying to find her sister and mother, who disappeared nine years prior. Surprisingly, Chie’s information network has tracked down a lead for Mitsuba’s missing family—hoping to reunite them before Tsukiyama can get a taste of the idol.

Injury Name is a short introspective piece about Hinami struggling to find a way she can support her ‘big brother’ Kaneki and ‘big sister’ Touka after the former disappears from Anteiku. It’s a small part, showing the love the young girl has for the people in her life, and the two very different paths they’ve taken. We also get a peek at the slow changes occurring between ghoul factions too.

And finally is Misato, a short comedic interlude about the titular character’s crush on Inspector Amon, and her failed attempts at gifting him homemade doughnuts. The poor young woman can’t seem to catch a break in confessing her feelings, and a mysterious stomach bug is sweeping the CCG.

Tokyo Ghoul [Void] is another solid light novel addition to the Tokyo Ghoul setting. The main focus point of the novel is interesting and provides plenty of potential for the other stories in the collection. Like the previous, only pre-existing fans will likely enjoy the book to it’s fullest, but it gives a lot to enjoy for those who are.

Gee’s Rating: Recommended for fans.

You can purchase this book online via sites like Amazon (available in paperback or as an ebook) and Book Depository (which offers free worldwide shipping). These are affiliate links, so a small percentage of sales goes toward this site.

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