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Tokyo Ghoul Root A – 03 »« Tokyo Ghoul Root A – 01

Tokyo Ghoul Root A – 02

「舞花」 (Maika)
“Dancing Flowers”

I’ll say this much for Tokyo Ghoul – at the very least, it still manages to keep me guessing.

For once the manga readers are almost as much in the dark as the rest of us as Tokyo Ghoul Root A sets off on its mysterious journey. I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting this week, but it probably wasn’t a slow-paced episode focused on the CCG and the introduction of a spate of new characters (and re-acquaintance with old ones). I wouldn’t call it exciting, but it was certainly interesting – and it follows this series’ usual pattern of taking its time in setting the table before finally serving dinner.

There was a veritable cavalcade of faces parading across the screen this week, some familiar from last season and some not. It starts with a flashback to what appears to have been ten years earlier, and likely the battle where Mado lost his eye. A character named Arima makes a silent appearance here, and judging by the reaction of those around him it seems likely he’s a significant one. From there it’s a roundtable around the CCG – starting with a meeting of the higher-ups where it’s announced that Aogiri Tree has steamrolled through the 9th and 10th Wards, and continuing to a look at those who’ll make up the team in the 20th (under Shinohara’s leadership).

Who else is important here? It’s hard to say, but the freaky Juuzou is obviously a key player based on the S1 finale. Takizawa Seidou seems to be the resident butt-monkey, though he was 2nd in his class at the CCG Academy – second to Mado’s daughter Akira (Seto Asami), briefly introduced last season, of whom he’s insanely jealous. In his defense Akira is a tactless, arrogant jerk with no discernible social skills, which rather sets Amon’s nerves to jangling. There’s also a part-timer running around CCG headquarters delivering mail – Hide-kun, who introduces himself as “Seidou-san’s gofer”. Presumably this is an effort on his part to find out what’s happening with Kaneki, who’s presumably given his friend no information about where he’s gone or what he’s up to.

Of Kaneki himself there’s almost no mention – we see him briefly on a couple of occasions on Aogiri Tree missions, and he’s cited by CCG as the ghoul in-charge of their assaults on the 9th and 10th. He’s also got a couple of admirers (or stalkers) keeping close tabs on him. If you hoped to be enlightened as to why he’s made the choice he has, you were certainly disappointed with this ep – that remains very much an open question.

Finally, there’s the gang back an Anteiku – which is finally ready to reopen after the disastrous events of the S1 finale. It seems more and more likely that Yoshimura-san is the Owl – that’s certainly what’s being hinted at – but for now he’s back in his role as den-mother to the “good” ghouls. Touka is the only one showing overt signs that she misses him, right down to sitting exams for Kamii University in the seeming hope that she’ll meet him there. The lack of interaction between Ken and the Anteiku cast – especially Touka – certainly leaves a significant hole in the narrative structure of Tokyo Ghoul, and to be honest it’s not clear to me yet what (if anything) is going to fill it. And that, for me, is the most important question staring at us as Root A unspools its story.

 

Preview

January 17, 2015 at 1:20 am
39 comments »
  • January 17, 2015 at 1:42 amdeeb

    I know most people already read the manga, but for a person like me, who hasn’t read it, its very hard to keep up and care about all the new characters that just keep on coming in. They always keep showing one or two characters at the end of each episodes that are supposed to be dramatic introductions to people who read the manga, but it’s not the case in the anime.

    • January 17, 2015 at 3:48 amTresBien!

      Give in to peer pressure and read the manga. You will like Tokyo Ghoul more if you do.

    • January 17, 2015 at 9:46 amigriega

      It’s an unfortunate side effect of adapting 143 chapters worth of an already large cast in 24 episodes; it’s a lot easier to cut story lines than it is to cut characters. Kind of a mixed bag for me. While I enjoy seeing everyone get screen time, it’s very overwhelming to see it happen all at once. And there are still more to come! Yikes.

      Other thoughts:
      - The romaji for the episode title should be “Buka” – a pun on the Japanese word for “subordinate”, which we got in spades this week.
      - Almost didn’t recognize Akira’s VA. Certainly no Chihaya here, lol.
      - I like it when they pay attention to the small details. For example, besides functioning as a good transition, Touka’s presence in the bathroom after “eating” lunch reinforced her ghoul nature nicely.
      - Kaneki standing over the dead human and Aogiri member: still playing it ambiguously, I see.

  • January 17, 2015 at 2:18 amSean

    Oh, great. Guess we’re stuck with the same boring OP.

  • January 17, 2015 at 2:21 am/人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\

    It seems like Kaneki in this anime is being more of a puppet than a badass. Hmm i’m still not sold on the plot. I hope his reasons for joining Aogiri is reasonable.

    • January 17, 2015 at 8:58 pmkillua69

      Darn, I was hoping to see Kaneki’s true reason for joining Aogiri, but it looks like we’ll have to wait to find out.

  • January 17, 2015 at 2:49 amconyo985

    The one eyed ghoul twins intrigues me http://randomc.net/image/Tokyo%20Ghoul/Tokyo%20Ghoul%20Root%20A%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2034.jpg
    Kaneki being mysterious about his actions isn’t helping me to enjoy this episode. It seems deviating from the manga ispushing this series to unknown territory. From past animes I’ve watched, going this route isn’t met favorably by viewers.

    • January 17, 2015 at 6:59 pmford

      Those twin sisters seem to be half ghouls just like Kaneki.

  • January 17, 2015 at 2:50 amSilke

    I really like the English song that started during this scene.
    http://randomc.net/image/Tokyo%20Ghoul/Tokyo%20Ghoul%20Root%20A%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2027.jpg

    That girl’s rapist smile at the end. Run Kaneki!!!
    http://randomc.net/image/Tokyo%20Ghoul/Tokyo%20Ghoul%20Root%20A%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2036.jpg

    Manga readers know his Eyepatch nickname might soon change into… Show Spoiler ▼

    • January 17, 2015 at 3:06 amhld

      I also loved that song. Quite unusual for an anime to use an English song. Anyone know the title?

    • January 17, 2015 at 3:45 amalex

      They keep playing really good songs at the end. Hope it continues.

      • January 17, 2015 at 3:52 amSean

        That’s because they gotta make up for the garbage opening somehow

  • January 17, 2015 at 2:57 amAschente

    A great Tokyo Ghoul x Parasyte OP crossover: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1iSUT9QB7Q

    • January 17, 2015 at 3:51 amJames

      • January 17, 2015 at 7:14 pmKabble

        Money’s on Kaneki.

      • January 17, 2015 at 8:02 pmPatty

        Obviously Shinichi.

      • January 17, 2015 at 11:39 pmDwarg

        just tell Shinichi that Kaneki hurt Murano before they fight, and Kaneki dies by getting his hurt ripped out, limbs chopped off, head crushed all within 3 seconds.

      • January 17, 2015 at 11:40 pmDwarg

        heart* not hurt :<

    • January 19, 2015 at 3:03 amdfp396

      That fits since both Kaneki & Izumi go through similar transformations. From wimp to badass.

  • January 17, 2015 at 3:16 amTresBien!

    When I saw Akira it got me a little bit hyped not gonna lie. Even seeing her was a surprise.

  • January 17, 2015 at 3:28 amgrant

    The ending images were different and I love the OST’s during the end (english songs). I hope we get a new ED images for every episode.

  • January 17, 2015 at 3:30 amesdesu

    Amon X Akira ship has begun.
    http://randomc.net/image/Tokyo%20Ghoul/Tokyo%20Ghoul%20Root%20A%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2021.jpg

    Considering how Tokyo Ghoul is so popular right now, it wouldn’t be strange if there’ll eventually be a brotherhood adaptation of the original manga and re, after all they need more chapters and the studio will probably invest even a bigger budget for it.

  • January 17, 2015 at 3:58 amlalala

    the english inserts are way better then the op and ed =X

  • January 17, 2015 at 4:01 amdfp396

    Seems like they’re sticking to the manga, it just completely changed Kaneki’s path after the war at Aogiri’s hideout.

  • January 17, 2015 at 4:11 amblue

    Spoiler deleted.

  • January 17, 2015 at 4:20 amkaye

    Glad to see a new female investigator join the team. Not enough Kaneki in this episode. I hope to see more of him next week.
    http://randomc.net/image/Tokyo%20Ghoul/Tokyo%20Ghoul%20Root%20A%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2022.jpg

  • January 17, 2015 at 4:41 amryan

    I did not expect for Arima to appear at the start of the episode! Dude gave no fucks!

  • January 17, 2015 at 5:57 amSouthSky

    Arima had already been silently introduced in episode 9 of S1.

    Damn! I wanted to see more of Arima vs Owl.

  • January 17, 2015 at 2:23 pmKonata Kamijou

    For those who HAVEN’T read the manga, PLEASE DO READ IT. You’d never understand Tokyo Ghoul’s 2nd season based on its pace now. I do think that it’s faster than expected, super train-wrecked, but to a point that I know who is who, because I’ve read the manga.

    But does it have to be that fast, since the second season also have twelve episodes? Ridiculously funny.

  • January 17, 2015 at 6:05 pmRick Anime

    Very good episode I thought with very nice character development. Wish we could revert the OP & ED sequences to Season 1 (which was one of the best sequences I’ve ever seen)

  • January 17, 2015 at 6:56 pmford

    Did they do a timeskip or something? Everyone looks older to me, especially Hinami.
    http://randomc.net/image/Tokyo%20Ghoul/Tokyo%20Ghoul%20Root%20A%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2032.jpg

  • January 17, 2015 at 7:59 pmPatty

    This episode essentially built Akira as a new character, setting up her bitchy no-nonsense attitude to clash with the opposing mentality of Amon. Kaneki seems lifeless while going along with the other villainous ghouls.

  • January 17, 2015 at 8:11 pmMolin

    The animation quality has dropped in the second episode which is usually the case with most anime. Great animation in first episode, a little less in the second episode. The pacing is pretty normal. I really like Akira’s personality and I hope to see more of her in the coming episodes.

  • January 18, 2015 at 2:59 aminnu

    I dunno about you guys but I think they really nailed this episode in the audio department. Some of the backing tracks and even the song near the end was amazing.

  • January 19, 2015 at 6:02 pmVice

    Does anyone else really dislike Juuzou, and Akira? The CCG is the least likeable group of the three (Anteiku and Aogiri being the other 2, to me at least. Though the episode wasn’t boring, actually rather interesting with all of the new content

  • January 21, 2015 at 8:28 pmJesse

    I have read all of the first Tokyo Ghoul and am currently reading the sequel and this anime is seems to be going in an entirely different direction. Although it has been awhile since I read the first Tokyo Ghoul it seems they cut out a lot of things and added others. I was expecting better things from this anime, but so far it has been a disappointment.