Tokyo Ghoul: re Vol. 4 picks up after the action-packed Commission of Counter Ghoul operation at the Ghoul auction, covers the various promotions assigned to the CCG teams and shifts the focus to the Tsukiyama family of Ghouls. The CCG plans on targeting them next, but does this volume do a good job of transitioning into the next act of the story?
The chapters in this volume are definitely meant to set up the next conflict and not do too much else. The volume begins with a lighthearted Christmas party thrown by Sasaki and the Qs squad, and it’s a nice breathing period after all the gore and horror of the Ghoul auction. It’s nice seeing the characters interact in a calm setting outside work, as it allows the reader to connect with them more for their personalities rather than just their battle abilities. This is especially true of characters in other squads besides the main cast’s since we haven’t had a ton of time to get to know them yet.
Even more interesting is all the setup work with the Tsukiyama family, which explains what Tsukiyama Shu–known as “The Gourmet”–has been up to since the original Tokyo Ghoul series, as well as further develops his apprentice Kanae. These chapters are definitely a lot slower than the previous volume’s, so some readers may not like the sudden drop in tempo action-wise. Because Tsukiyama Shu is one of my favorite characters from the original series, I was more than interested to know where he was in the story and what his family was like, so I didn’t mind the slower pace as much. I will say there is a ton of talk about who in the CCG has been promoted to what rank and who is being moved to which squad. It’s important to know where each character stands in the CCG, but these conversations were also the most dull for me and had me constantly flipping to the character guide at the front of the book to remember who was who, which broke up the pacing a lot.
The quality of Sui Ishida’s artwork throughout this volume remains consistent with the rest of the series. The art shines most during the scenes at the Tsukiyama mansion where Ishida uses a lot of complex, elegant patterns that reflect the Tsukiyama family’s decadent tastes. Tsukiyama Shu has always been a chic dresser and Ishida takes the same approach when adding patterns to bed dressings and the suits of other family members and attendants. Because of the state Shu is, in which I don’t want to spoil much of here, the horror in this volume mostly comes from the wild facial expressions he makes. Ishida’s face-work never disappoints, and between the wild faces Shu makes and Kanae’s feelings about his master, there are opportunities for some gorgeous portraiture that Ishida takes full advantage of.
Overall, Tokyo Ghoul: re Vol. 4 is a good transitional volume that does some interesting character work while setting up the series’ next conflict. It’s not the most pulse-pounding volume in the series, but it maintains a consistent quality level with previous volumes.