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Tokyo Ghoul Root A – 05 »« Tokyo Ghoul Root A – 03

Tokyo Ghoul Root A – 04

「深層」 (Shinsou)

What a weird series Tokyo Ghoul √A is turning out to be.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I have almost no idea what’s going on here. Tokyo Ghoul has to be approaching some kind of record for the most new characters introduced in the shortest time with the least exposition. And most of them are powered-up, too – badasses on either the Ghoul or CCG side with a history the anime is almost entirely unwilling to do more than hint at. As I said last week I’m still finding this show intriguing, but at some point I would sincerely like to start getting some explanations.

To address the elephant in the room, yes – the animation this week was pretty subpar. In point of fact the visuals generally were uninspired (and that’s being charitable) – background detail all but disappeared and the fight choreography was rather bland. And because this was one of the most action-driven episodes of the entire series, that’s a pretty big problem. Pierrot has generally done pretty well production-wise with Tokyo Ghoul, but this was one of those eps that cause people to grimace when they find out Pierrot is adapting a property they love.

The net result of all this is that this week’s offering played like a string of only semi-connected battle sequences, which existed for their own sake and for the purposes of character introduction. Yes we had a premise – an Aogiri attack on Cochlea, which happened (I’m assuming this is coincidental) to occur while Amon and Akira were there to interview Porpora Donato (the peerless Inoue Kazuhiko, a welcome addition to any cast). He, at least, is presented in some context – he was the Priest at the orphanage where Amon grew up, apparently unaware Porpora was a ghoul and apparently the only resident who didn’t get eaten. But once the attack started, the rest of the episode was pretty much an extended blur.

Who else did we meet? Yoshitoki (Sakuya Shunsuke), seemingly a very highly-placed CCG figure. Shachi – later referred to by Eto as “Kamashiro” (Yanada Kiyoyuki) – whose release might be the point of the Aogiri raid, and who ends up fighting with Kaneki despite the latter saying he was there to release him. There’s also Naki taking a bite out of Akira’s thigh, Juzo vamping for the camera as usual, and Ayato going at it with Shinohara. And lots and lots of both ghouls and humans being sliced and diced.

I think this is an episode that kind of ran up against the limits facing this series right now – how far it can go without starting to actually explain what’s happening and make us care, and its own budgetary constraints. If there’s a hopeful sign it’s that the aftermath of Kaneki’s bruising at the hands of Shachi seems to hint that we might at last be getting an explanation for what he’s done. The people he’s left behind at Anteiku are still clearly very much in his thoughts, which strongly suggests that rather than having had a change of heart, this defection to Aogiri is a result of Ken employing a new strategy to achieve the same end result. Even if that’s true Tokyo Ghoul is going to have to do some serious explaining in order for that to make sense, though.


ED3 Sequence

ED3: 「季節は次々死んでいく」 (Kisetsu wa Tsugitsugi Shindeiku) by (Amazarashi)


January 30, 2015 at 5:29 am
  • January 30, 2015 at 5:38 amRyuuzaki

    mother of all fluid animation

    • January 30, 2015 at 9:05 amAschente

      I watched this after Parasyte and man, what a stark contrast between Studio Pierrot’s powerpoint animation and Madhouse’s animation. Parasyte’s fight scenes were 3x better than this. I’m not even sure if this can be called ”animation”

      Another week and Parasyte takes another huge shit on Tokyo Ghoul.

      • January 30, 2015 at 1:58 pmesdesu

        This Tokyo Ghoul adaptation is not even close to how good Madhouse is adapting Parasyte. I’ve always thought that Madhouse should have been the one to adapt Tokyo Ghoul. Just imagine how much better it would be.

    • January 30, 2015 at 12:44 pmdeVaras

      Season 1 did not look this bad, and I thought they made some decent money on it, so why is the quality down? Even Seiken Tsukai no World Break’s fight scenes looked better then this.

      • January 30, 2015 at 1:43 pmsherrislok

        Beats me. The animation and visuals visibly regressed. I have no idea what’s going on. Did the studio give up on Tokyo Ghoul?

      • January 30, 2015 at 2:02 pmhld

        Their budget was spent on Naruto fillers.

      • January 30, 2015 at 10:35 pmyuri

        The story doesn’t help season 2 either. Every single fight felt impersonal, no build up. I’m losing sense of who is who and what’s their purpose in life. The initial ghoul worldbuilding and the kaneki/touka duo was the most interesting aspect of season 1 for me. I still have hope in those sexy one eyed ghouls but at this rate all we’ll get is a teaser it seems.

      • January 31, 2015 at 4:40 pmSchmellow

        Is it just me, or character design changed between season?

        Overall i can’t shake off the impression that i’m watching some arthouse flick. It feels weird all over the place.

        Probably have to read the manga

  • January 30, 2015 at 6:28 amMarshal

    Haven’t read the manga, but it’s looking like lots of epic fights are shaping up. Do these match-ups happen in the manga as well or are these fights all anime-exclusive? And oh snap, looks like another power-up inc.

    • January 30, 2015 at 6:54 amArtorias

      actually so far the anime version does not live up to the manga when comparing fights…in this episode you see a rushed approach to the fights while in the manga especially Kaneki’s fight was great due to the monologue and dialogue of the fight unlike here where just at the end of the episode you see him crying about wanting to be strong…

  • January 30, 2015 at 6:32 amSissy

    I think precisely because of all the (let’s be honest) terrible animation this episode contained, I really couldn’t feel the tension this episode should’ve had. :/ I mean, when Akira was being munched on, what the hell was Amon doing? Cat’s cradle? Or did their conversation go so fast it was in the span of a single second and that’s why Amon didn’t do anything until she got bit? Or maybe he wanted her bit so he could be the hero? (Senpai notices you now Akira! Wait, it’s backwards, kohai is finally noticing you senpai!)

    • January 30, 2015 at 12:48 pmdeVaras

      That part was mind-blowingly bad, he had time to knock her down, talk to her, then eat part of her leg while Amon did jack 4 feet away. Amon wasn’t even fighting anyone at the time.

      • February 3, 2015 at 8:24 pmReverseTales

        He just stood there…

  • January 30, 2015 at 7:30 amSynic

    This episode brought back some fond memories of Kaneki being absolutely useless and getting his ass beaten before pulling out some ridiculous trump card to come out on top. I remember watching this episode, seeing all of the fighting and thinking to myself, “What the hell is going on…?” The lack of any sort of background music or sound to aid what we saw on screen makes me believe this wasn’t a final edit or just a really lazy last cut. They’ll release a finished product with the Blu Rays, right? Like what they did with the new Sailor Moon… So many questions…

    Show Spoiler ▼

    This honestly feels like a marathon-worthy show in the sense that all of my questions won’t be answered on a week to week basis. Only problem is that i waited for season 1 to finish to marathon it and i wish i hadn’t. Hopefully this doesn’t turn out the same way.

    • February 1, 2015 at 5:10 pmshirakiri

      The story line of manga is so much better than anime.. kaneki doesn’t look useless at all in manga, and his fighting scene with mr. sachi give us impression that even though kaneki is already so strong but he still have to face the stronger opponent, and there’s so much emotion there when kaneki think so hard how to beat mr. sachi.. unfortunately, that fighting scene was lack emotion in anime, and didn’t gave excitement much like in manga.. anime story line is REALLY confusing, why mr. sachi should fight kaneki when he just freed him from the jail? =,= (just because he smelled like rize? it doesn’t make sense =,=), manga gives us more reasonable cause why they should fight..
      ofc aogiri was there to free the mr. sachi (and other ghouls to distract CCG)
      Show Spoiler ▼

      mr. sachi is stronger, but it doesn’t mean kaneki is powerless
      probably just coincidence #lol kaneki often met with ppl who are familiar (or even had relationship with rize)

  • January 30, 2015 at 7:58 amSebbyGVS

    Animation has been getting worse over the last few weeks..but this week…man they really outdid themselves.

  • January 30, 2015 at 8:10 amApa


    or this?


    Seriously, Tokyo Ghoul to be adapted as an anime requires immense detail and very fluid animation, which studio Assrot doesn’t seem to understand very much. The animation felt stale, the choreography felt stale, everything felt stale. Except for maybe a few seconds in animation every 5 minutes.

    • January 30, 2015 at 5:11 pmos

      you want fluid animation? buy blu-ray release

      • January 31, 2015 at 4:32 amconyo985

        I doubt it. Garbage in garbage out I always say. Root A just dipped in quality in all aspects. Animation and storyline. Sigh.. spin-off series really wasn’t a good idea without the right production values.

  • January 30, 2015 at 8:48 amSilke

    I like that piano music while Kaneki was fighting. The soundtracks in S2 are definitely better than S1.

    So the inspector’s armor is made out of Ayato’s father? Damn.

    That ending. Kaneki got a power up. We all know what’s coming. Show Spoiler ▼


    • January 30, 2015 at 4:55 pmbell

      Music is the only thing good about Season 2.

  • January 30, 2015 at 10:05 amKabble

    Such a bad episode.
    They’re going for the centipede thing already? Okay…but I was really looking forward to this episode and they thoroughly ruined it with the craptastic animation. Last season had better animation….

    • January 30, 2015 at 12:48 pmDualash

      I had to laugh when I saw the centipede; with how this episode turned out, the dialogue and animation were not fluid together, making it really awkward seeing the fights (especially around 16:32, the guy just disappears when he gets past Kaneki’s kagune!). At least with season one, although it was rushed, it had better animation compared to this episode.

  • January 30, 2015 at 10:11 amVolkainr

    The animation quality is one thing but all the “its personal” fights happening at the same time really dilute the overall experience. Not one of the them feels focused and it’s hard to feel invested since its all rushed. Such a big contrast from Parasyte recent episode.

  • January 30, 2015 at 11:03 amHochmeister

    Yhwach, is that you?

    I have no idea what’s going on either. All this action has little impact on me when I have no idea why people are fighting or what’s at stake. It’s pretty much pure dumb schlocky action fun at this point, which is fine but not as good as it could be.

  • January 30, 2015 at 1:53 pmsherrislok

    With the things being like this…I really wish they followed the manga instead. The story as it is now makes little sense.

  • January 30, 2015 at 1:56 pmhld

    I hope this episode’s low budget means we are getting amazing Centipede scenes next week.

  • January 30, 2015 at 2:08 pmNoragami!

    “Pierrot has generally done pretty well production-wise with Tokyo Ghoul”


    To be honest this show isn’t working for me. It’s so slowly paced and uneventful that it’s hard to care about any of the events going on. It’s not intriguing at all because there’s nothing of intrigue going on. They are throwing plot after plot after plot at us, expecting to very stealthily build up to something extreme, but doing that really tires you out after a while. Kaneki is a badass? Why? Why should I care when literally nothing is happening around him? I suppose things are happening but it’s not at all coherent.

  • January 30, 2015 at 3:23 pmricz

    Is it possible to just pick another series to blog? lol

    But seriously speaking TGR is such a mess right now

    • January 31, 2015 at 8:33 amhobby

      I think it’s too soon for that. These 4 episodes felt like a setup for the events of the coming episodes. I’d like to see what Ishida has planned for this. Besides what would you prefer Enzo blog? One of the many generic harem shit this season?

      • February 1, 2015 at 4:07 amricz

        It’s gonna be too late if he just wait for it to happen… 4 episode of the same thing is too much

        No.. and I’m not even watching those generic shit your talking lol

        It’s just that Tokyo Ghoul Root is not worth it anymore…. Heck if possible why not blog the manga instead >.>

  • January 30, 2015 at 3:53 pmBlahto Blahtoto

    The animation that’s all…….

  • January 30, 2015 at 4:32 pmGran

    Miki has 2 voices in this episode. His real voice AKA Hisoka’s voice, then when Gotou took over AKA Kakashi’s voice.

    • January 30, 2015 at 4:39 pmGran

      Whoops. Sorry, wrong post. Was reading this TG post together w/Parasyte.

  • January 30, 2015 at 7:11 pmWhat’s Happened

    They must’ve locked their writers in seperate rooms, and just mashed the plot together cause I have no clue what the hell is going on.

    Psycho-Pass 2 was making more sense at this point.

  • January 30, 2015 at 11:41 pmGinobi47

    Im not surprised at the drop in animation quality. This is Tokyo Ghoul Root A, not Fate Stay Night: Unlimited Budget Works. Aside from type-moon’s jugernaught, i doubt any anime can keep up the HD performance in every episode

    • January 31, 2015 at 3:10 amdeVaras

      Tokyo Ghoul actually had fairly decent sales numbers last season. This is just being cheap. I can think of 3 harem shows this season have had better action scenes, harem shows man.

      • January 31, 2015 at 8:38 amhobby

        The manga was #4 best selling last year. The problem is obviously with Studio Pierrot. They had a well-written story with a huge fan base. All they had to do was adapt it properly.

    • January 31, 2015 at 8:45 amv

      Why the hell are you bringing up Ufotable? They only produced 1 anime last year, Fate, so they have the luxury to pour all their resources into this show. In fact, you could say it would be more surprising if Fate was a poor adaptation. On the other hand, Studio Pierrot (and other studios) did about 8 shows last year.

  • January 31, 2015 at 7:18 amKamijou Konata

    No wonder Ishida didn’t make this as the manga’s original ending. The plot has become more and more confusing, and with these characters piling up in a short span of time. . .
    Good luck to all of us.

  • February 1, 2015 at 11:30 pmMiyuki

    I wonder if I’m the only one who’s not really excited to see centipede Kaneki. I’m more interested with Ayato vs. Shinohara.

    • February 2, 2015 at 2:49 amJustsome1

      I’m with you. I like Kanekipede but not like this. In manga Show Spoiler ▼

      Anime makes it look like it’s a Shounen-Jump- friendship power or something.

      And yes Ayato with Shinohara/Arata is more interesting.

  • February 2, 2015 at 2:43 amJustsome1

    I’m seriously doubting : Did Ishida Sui, the author, really really wrote this adaptation himself? Seriously? The only thing I like in this ep is Ayato meeting his dad’s armor. I could change my mind depending on the result of this face off though.

  • February 3, 2015 at 1:32 pmbarry

    I hope Episode 5′s animation improves.

  • February 4, 2015 at 5:37 pmWhyWai

    The animation this this episode is totally disaster… makes me wonder why I’m still looking forward to next episode…