Tokyo Ghoul, the manga, is a good supernatural manga with a decent amount of action and gore. So, when I heard that it was getting an anime, I was very excited. I was not disappointed.
Tokyo Ghoul in itself is a great but incomplete anime. Why is it incomplete? I will get to it in a minute. The anime starts off at a great pace adapting stuff from the manga pretty religiously. The animation is brilliant and so is the voice-overs. The action scenes were well thought out and beautifully animated too. The story is one of the main things that got me interested in the manga (or, in this case, the anime) in the first place.
I don’t recall a lot of seinen anime where the main guy is a teenager who eats man flesh to survive. The story of how he becomes a Ghoul, that’s what the man-eaters are called in this anime, and how he comes to accept that fact is what comprises of the first season. Now, Kaneki as a main character is a very interesting one. His backstory is good, and he does not start out as a ghoul from the beginning as all of the others do. He gets turned into one when the first date he meets turns out to be a ghoul who wants to eat him injures him instead and dies later. Her organs are transplanted into Kaneki to save him, and in turn, this makes him into a hybrid. A half-man half-ghoul hybrid, who belongs to none of the worlds.
The story of him struggling to find his place and stumbling across everything trying to not be the man-eater he was turned into and also trying to run away from the human police who hunt ghouls is what makes it interesting. The side characters too, have ample of motivation in them and their interaction with Kaneki leads to something in the future. Besides having brilliant interaction with Kaneki, they too have their own stories One of the best scene in the anime is when Kaneki actually snaps and embraces his ghoul side and then wipes the floor with the enemy. Also, the OST and the OP/ED are equally fantastic. This is what makes the first season fantastic.
The second season or Tokyo Ghoul: Root A is the polar opposite of the first. The first episode of the second season takes off from the cliffhanger ending of the first season and instead of following the original manga storyline, decides to follow a different path from the manga, because why not? And it drives it to the ground with full force and very fast. By the end of the second season, Tokyo Ghoul goes from good to unrecognizable. The characters are lack-lustered, they have no motives whatsoever and appear to do stuff just to advance the plot, which by the way is pure shit.
The whole effort that the first season put in the character development is simply ignored and Kaneki is suddenly a mysterious man doing mysterious stuff with no explanation whatsoever. Honestly, it pisses me off to see a good main character being misused like this. The character design and the artwork are good and comparable to the first season, but the fight scenes are way too bad. And since the action is a huge part of this anime, it hugely affects the enjoyment factor of this anime. The voice actors make a comeback from the first season and do a stellar job again. The OST are fantastic too.
Tokyo Ghoul Root A, in the end, turned out to be the other side of the split personality which has a penchant for self-destruction.
Do I recommend this? Yes. Do I recommend both the seasons? No. I recommend you watch the first season and then go ahead and read the manga instead of the second season as it is simply fantastic and is a real improvement than the disappointment the second season was.