After the diabolical misstep that is Tokyo Ghoul Root A, it’s refreshing to see that the Jack & Pinto OVA collection takes us back to the highs of season one. It’s arguable that these two OVAs are the peak of the series, and both tell complete, fleshed-out stories in just shy of an hour.
The two episodes are vastly different to each other, but I preferred the Jack OVA. Jack focuses on Kishou Arima, a young ghoul investigator, and high-school delinquent Taishi Fura who sees one of his friends murdered by the ghoul Lantern. When Arima comes to his rescue, Fura decides to help him out with his ghoul-slaying duties, and they’re soon joined by a third class-mate – Uruka Minami.
Despite only being 30 minutes long, there’s enough action, character development and twists and turns which left me shocked. I’d say I’d love to see more Tokyo Ghoul like this, but those 30 minutes made for spectacular viewing which leaves very little room to properly build upon.
It’s arguable that these two OVAs are the peak of the series.
Pinto is far more violent and focuses on gourmet ghoul Shuu Tsukiyama and photography student Chie Hori, where Chie follows Shuu around as she finds him fascinating. Shuu is happy to have her around as she takes ‘lovely’ photos of him eating his victims and, if you’ve seen the main series, then you’re aware that Shuu loves a spectacle.
There’s a scene towards the end which is incredibly brutal, and I found myself wincing away. There was a fair share of violence in the parent series, but Shuu really revels in his victims pain and enjoys a long, drawn-out death — it’s unsettling, but Shuu is supposed to be.
Concise and focused.
Studio Pierrot did a great job with Tokyo Ghoul season one, but it’s undeniable that the second season was both a mess narratively and visually. The OVAs are much more concise and focused, and they look far superior than anything found in Root A. Each OVA has its own setting and characters, so both feel fresh despite using characters from the main series.
They hold back no punches on the action front and, as mentioned earlier, some moments had me pretty squeamish — just thinking about it makes me squirm! Unlike the series, the OVAs have no English dub but a mix of brilliant voice-acting and crisp, white subs made this a joy to listen to. And read. I’m a big fan of the sub presentation on this one.
Jack & Pinto manage to enthrall and disgust.
Whilst spending upward of £10 for less than an hour’s worth of content is a hard sell, it’s worth it if you’re a big Tokyo Ghoul fan. Nobody could fault you for waiting for a hopeful price drop though but, regardless of price, this contains two engrossing episodes which have all of the makings of why the series is adored so greatly. Short and sweet, Jack & Pinto manage to enthrall and disgust, and they’re well worth checking out.
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