Anime fans are already eager for a taste of Tokyo Ghoul:re Season 2 now that Haise Sasaki and the Quinx Squad have shown audiences a finger-cracking good time. Thankfully, it seems like Tokyo Ghoul Season 4 is going to be the second cour for the third season, but the real question is whether Tokyo Ghoul Season 5 is even possible based on the way the Tokyo Ghoul:re manga is being adapted by Studio Pierrot.
The original Tokyo Ghoul story comes from creator Sui Ishida, who has published 170 chapters of the Tokyo Ghoul: re manga as of April 27, 2018. As of March of 2018, Tokyo Ghoul: re Volume 15 was the latest book released in Japan. The release date for Volume 16 has not been announced yet.
The Tokyo Ghoul:re English translation by VIZ Media is only up to Volume 4, but the book publisher plans on releasing multiple volumes in 2018.
Considering that there is a seasonal gap between the episodes, some anime fans may prefer to label the next set of 12 episodes as Tokyo Ghoul Season 4. Others may call it a split-cour anime, which means that it's the second part of Tokyo Ghoul Season 3. A split-cour anime is when a single season takes a broadcasting break for a single three-month unit of time.
At this time, Studio Pierrot has not officially announced how this new season will be labeled. Based on this uncertainty, this article will be referring to the second cour as being the fourth season, which means that when counting the entire series, Tokyo Ghoul Season 5 will be the start of Tokyo Ghoul:re Season 2. However you want to label it, that final season for 2018 will end in the fall with Tokyo Ghoul:re Episode 24.
The third season's first cour will be distributed over six Blu-ray and DVD volumes (Volume 1 releases on June 27, 2018). The first manga series was 143 chapters long and was adapted into two anime seasons comprised of 24 episodes. The first season covered 60 manga chapters, while the second covered 83 chapters. It's possible Tokyo Ghoul:re Season 2 could be a single cour season depending on how the first season is handled.
The biggest plot difference was that the anime adaptation had main character Ken Kaneki joining the Aogiri Tree ghoul organization rather than form his own ghoul group to protect his friends. There were also many details left out that led to later plot developments in the Tokyo Ghoul:re story.
The ending of Root A also had Hide dying in the arms of Kaneki, which was a major change. That particular detail forced the Tokyo Ghoul:re anime to show Hide's face on a missing person's posters in Episode 1's opening scene. It will be interesting to see how that discrepancy will be handled long term.
Years later, some fans are still quite angry with the studio, believing that they purposefully went against the script provided by manga creator Ishida. In a 2018 Reddit AMA discussion, director Shuhei explained how these plot changes happened from his perspective.
"In order to complete Tokyo Ghoul √A's aim of Kaneki joining Aogiri, we needed to make some changes," Shuhei said. "Ishida-sensei also urged me to change stuff and go a different route, which is where a lot of the anime came from. We had a massive bubble of ideas, but as to not affect the lore of the original manga, it constantly felt like those ideas were being chipped away at by those above me. I tried my best, and I honestly don't have any regrets given the movement space I was allowed."
At the time, Ishida had not finished writing the first manga's ending, although he did give the director an idea of how the Root A anime should end. Shuhei revealed that he "already knew that Season 2 was going to happen when [he] started Season 1" and he claims the manga creator "specifically wanted us to create something original for the second season, which is why it moves in a different direction."
For example, the first episode did not introduce Cochlea warden Haisaki Shinme or discuss Arima receiving a book from Haise. The proper characterization of the Quinx Squad was lacking and the introduction of Serpent was too quick. Haise's dream sequences and a brief reference to the "gourmet" ghoul, Shuu Tsukiyama, were skipped entirely. The scene with the Torso ghoul failed to show how the eyepatched Tooru Mutsuki is female even though the character is referred to as a male. In Chapter 5, Mutsuki is shown in a flashback and the manga explains why the character "wants to live as a male."
The anime also failed to introduce the concept of RC (Red Child) cells, a fictional type of cell that ghouls use as nutrients. RC cells are stored in the body and used to create the predatory organs called the kagune. In this fictional world, all humans possess RC cells in the low hundreds, but ghouls have an RC factor that is 10 times the average. Thus, RC cells give ghouls tough skin and a high regeneration rate.
Chapter 2 of the manga specifically listed the RC levels of the new main characters since it's important that they keep them under control by holding back by using manufactured Quinque (which was explained in detail in Chapter 4). The RC cells of the Quinx Squad are controlled by a special system of five frames, which regulate the level of RC cells through surgery.
The anime did briefly explain the frames in Episode 2, but that explanation was necessary since Quinx Squad member Kuki Urie desired more power. In the anime, the Quinx Squad are using the F2 frame, which explains why they were relatively weak since their potential is limited to 40 percent.
The goal is for the Quinx to remain below a 1,000 RC level since that allows them to consume human food without becoming ill. In the case of Mitsuki, the low-ranking investigator has an RC level barely above a normal human, which explains why the kagune couldn't be used in combat. Haise, on the other hand, is already listed with an RC level of 2,753.
Just gonna leave this here. :Re anime has left me a little salty. pic.twitter.com/Gxt3rnqcHH
— JoJo (@JoJoTalks2Much) April 3, 2018
— JoJo (@JoJoTalks2Much) April 3, 2018
From there, the pacing with the Nutcracker case increased a bit since the auction raid of Episode 4 ended with the "freshly picked pineapple" scene that ended Chapter 21 of Volume 3. But the problem is that episodes 3 and 4 cut some character development, including Mutsuki's mixed feelings about dressing as a woman for the investigation. The personal history of uber-otaku Saiko also hit the cutting room floor. While certain scenes involving side characters' feeling and motivations are not 100 percent necessary, the issue is that Haise's time spent analyzing his feeling over his lost memories were cut short. In fact, whole sequences from chapters 10 through 16 involving Touka and Haise's time spent time at the "re" coffee shop are missing from the anime. (For more details, see this article.)
Assuming that the anime adaptation averages about five chapters per episode, that means Tokyo Ghoul:re Episode 12 will find an ending somewhere in Volume 6 near Chapter 58. If the pacing slows from hereon, then the ending would be from Volume 5. Assuming that the pacing does not accelerate drastically, and the anime does not change anything major, Tokyo Ghoul Season 4 (the second cour of Tokyo Ghoul Season 3) will probably end around chapter 126. The good news is that would mean there could be plenty of source material for creating Tokyo Ghoul:re Season 2 (Tokyo Ghoul Season 5) since it appears the manga author intends on ending the final story in 2018.
(This article was published before Tokyo Ghoul:re Episode 12 was released and will be updated over time with more details.)
Some anime seasons are forced to wait until enough source material is produced. Thankfully, by the time the fourth season finishes airing, there could be over 200 manga chapters depending on where the final story arc finishes. That would be just the right amount for creating a final single-cour season.
Really, there is no reason to wait from a financial perspective. When it comes to the top-selling media franchises in Japan in 2017, the Tokyo Ghoul manga and anime series was right behind Attack On Titan and a billion yen ahead of popular series like My Hero Academia and Sword Art Online. The anime industry just loves announcing sequels lately and even Studio Madhouse is producing third seasons nowadays since Overlord Season 3 was confirmed on the day of second season's finale. Hopefully, Pierrot Plus will follow suit and plan for Tokyo Ghoul:re Season 2 will be announced shortly after Episode 24 airs in December of 2018.
The only issue is availability since anime projects take years to develop. Studio Pierrot does not yet have any major anime projects announced for 2019, but it's certain that their schedule is already booked up. Besides the Tokyo Ghoul:re anime, the only other announced 2018 anime are Magical Girl Ore and Puzzle & Dragon (both launched in April of 2018), and a single-episode OVA special for a 25th anniversary Yuu Yuu Hakusho Blu-Ray is scheduled for the fall. There's also the ongoing Black Clover anime series, which could possibly be renewed for a second season in October of 2018. Anime fans have also been petitioning Studio Pierrot to bring back the Bleach anime for 2018 and 2019, but so far nothing has progressed on that front.
However, the Tokyo Ghoul:re opening video and the teaser trailers have already given some hints about the German Rosewald family. The Rose Investigation story arc takes place in Chapters 32 through 45. Ending with that story would be a decent stopping point assuming the third season dramatically slows down the pacing of its remaining episodes, but that possibility seems unlikely considering that Episode 4 was already up to Chapter 21.
Otherwise, the next story arc goes all the way to Chapter 59 and focuses on a CCG operation to eliminate the members of the Tsukiyama family. These upper-class ghouls wield influence in Japan due to their Tsukiyama Group business conglomerate. It's decided that the company's president will be targeted and the raid on the 8th Ward's Luna Eclipse building commences. This story arc is probably the best stopping point for the anime since it is when Sasaki recovers memories that were previously lost to him.
In addition, having Tokyo Ghoul Season 4 (Season 3: Part 2) start with Chapter 60 would probably be the best option since there is a six-month time gap between the Rosewald operation and the next major story arc. Sasaki will eventually earn the nickname of the Black Reaper by the ghouls. It also turns out the ghouls have their own plan to create a world where both humans and ghouls can live together peacefully.
The CCG has refocused on eliminating the One-Eyed King and the Aogiri Tree ghoul organization. Mutsuki (who is now a Rank-1 investigator )is sent as part of the Hachikawa Squad to investigate an island called Rushima, which the CCG believes to be a base of operations for Aogiri Tree. Meanwhile, the ghouls launch a raid on the Cochlea prison as a rescue operation.
The next major time gap occurs right after Chapter 126. However, that's in the middle of a story arc so ending Tokyo Ghoul:re Season 1 around Chapter 116 is more likely, especially since the pacing has been about five chapters per episode. That means Tokyo Ghoul:re Season 2 will start up with a raid on the 24th Ward when the CCG begin slaughtering ghouls in the streets.
Anime fans will just have to wait and see what Studio Pierrot has in store for them. Anime fans should just hope the Tokyo Ghoul Season 5 release date is announced soon. Stay tuned.