Anime fans were surprised to see scenes from Tokyo Ghoul playing on the side of a building in Netflix’s action flick Kate. According to director Cedric Nicolas-Troyan, it’s not only a tribute to the show, but it’s meant to convey similarities between Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s character and the Tokyo Ghoul protagonist.
“I wanted to find something that was connecting, and that’s why Tokyo Ghoul is in the film because I was looking for a connection with Kate and with the [Ken] Kaneki character has that connection,” director Nicolas-Troyan explained to ComingSoon. “So to create those images that people who are [fans] of that kind of style, can be like, “oh yeah,” and they know why. People that don’t know Tokyo Ghoul, they’re going to be like, oh, it’s just a cartoon on the building. But people that know they’re going to be like, oh, I can see why Kaneki and Kate are together. Actually, I wrote a letter to the creator of Tokyo Ghoul to ask him to put it in the movie.”
If you’re unfamiliar with Tokyo Ghoul, Kaneki gets turned into a half-ghoul against his will and now must consume human flesh to survive. Similarly, Kate becomes an assassin not by choice but circumstance and has been put into a life of crime.
The director has a long history of appreciating anime and has credited Studio Ghibli’s Hayao Miyazaki as one of his main influences creatively. Nicolas-Troyan has been an anime fan since childhood and that bond continues with his son currently being a big fan of Japanese animation.
“I grew up with Japanese culture like Grendizer and [Message from Space:] Galactic Wars. All of that was big deals in France. So I was really drawn into that kind of anime culture very, very young and to this day my son is very much into it, so I never really kind of gave up. So that was a big part of the design and the look.”
Kate is now streaming on Netflix.