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Tokyo Ghoul Root A – 09

「街望」 (Machimochi)
“City in Waiting”

Perhaps the most important thing I can say about that ep is that it was a lot better than I feared it was going to be.

I’ll admit I was pretty pessimistic watching the first few minutes of this episode of Tokyo Ghoul √A.  I really didn’t want to see the series return to a focus on the CCG, first of all, since they’re generally (though not universally) less interesting and likeable than the gang at Anteiku, and that was one of the things that dragged down the first half of this season.  I also feared we’d be looking at the prospect of yet another numbingly long and bloody battle taking up the entire episode, with another dump of characters we barely know or don’t at all in crucial roles.

Fortunately, those fears proved largely unfounded.  While I wouldn’t put this ep on a par with the last two, it was still a strong one.  The action and the contemplation were nicely balanced, and that action was quite well-animated (which hasn’t always been a given).  This was a fight that we understood in context, and in which we’ve been reason to care about the people involved.  Not only that, it’s quite clear that it was a totally unnecessary fight – one that was instigated by a meddling troublemaker and is more about retribution for past offenses than any present threat.

After a brief introduction focusing on the concept of the testament letter – effectively pointing out that an assignment to an attack on the Owl is tantamount to a death sentence – we pretty much jump right into the action.  There’s a lovely bit of direction from Morita-sensei as we follow a paper airplane that Juzou has made of his letter, first through our eyes and then Ken’s, which eventually leads to him seeing an announcement of the imminent attack in the 20th Ward.  Touka sees the same thing on television, and both of them respond as you’d expect – unwilling to stand aside and watch as all their closest friends are killed.

I’m not sure you can necessarily blame Shinohara for what’s happened here, because the Owl has killed an awful lot of CCG men over the years and a man in Shinohara’s position has a certain responsibility to act on what he knows.  He does what’s expected of him here, but that’s kind of a shame, really – it would have been interesting to see him defy expectations and choose not to instigate a fight against a man who’s clearly trying his best to make amends for his own sins.  By doing what he does Shinohara is knowingly sentencing a great deal of CCG men and women to certain death in order to solve a problem that doesn’t exist – unless the problem is that the past is very hard to forget or forgive.  I don’t blame Shinohara, but whatever minuscule hope of ending the endless cycle of violence and despair rests on men doing the exceptional – which is exactly what Yoshimura-san has done with this (seemingly) final chapter of his life.  It’s a pity there aren’t more like him, but if Shinohara can’t rise to his standard I certainly have no hope for anyone else at CCG.

Kaneki is heading back to help (despite the lone comedic moment of the episode, Tsukiyama’s crying an ocean of tears begging him not to), and seemingly so is Touka – most interestingly because Yomo declines to stop her.  Nishiki is fleeing (after one last round with his girlfriend) since anyone associated with Anteiku is now a wanted fugitive.  The old guard - Devil Ape Koma, Black Dog Irimi and finally, Yoshimura-Owl himself – is laying waste to the front lines of CCG attackers.  But the sense is that the three of them fully expect to die here, which leaves the question of what comes next.  I have no doubt Kaneki and Touka will survive, and the One-eyed Owl remains out there. Is there any hope for peaceful alternatives in a post-Anteiku world, or does Tokyo Ghoul simply turn into a shounen battle manga?

March 6, 2015 at 6:54 pm
32 comments »
  • March 6, 2015 at 7:17 pmNoragami!

    I’m pretty sure that moment with Tsukiyama wasn’t supposed to be comedic lol. Shows how foolish that character is :L

    Anyways I feel like this episode could have been good but the earlier episodes didn’t do anything for me to care about the characters. Literally they did nothing to make me like characters like Nishiki, Koma, or Irimi, and I guess that’s more of an opinion thing but their character moments were very meh.

    Another thing I want to mention is not that there is a dump of characters we don’t care about, but there exists characters that we don’t know about and therefore really don’t think about them all that much. That stupid CCG member that cringinly says “boy” comes to mind.

    That being said the episodes are definitely getting better. I did like how that rookie (my I don’t even know his name) handled the testament note. I don’t really like him but I thought it was smart on how they handled him and his emotions.

    That being said this episode was still mostly boring. The first half was kind of uneventful, Amon cockblocked himself, blah. The action has improved a bit though.

    Still not counting on a good ending at this point though. There’s just too much to answer

  • March 6, 2015 at 7:35 pmMgMaster

    I’m actually thinking that the focus on CCG in the 1st half wasn’t so bad now. The Anteiku gang is naturally more interesting but let’s look at it this way:

    If there was little-to-no focus given to CCG, letting us get at least somewhat attached to some of the people there like Shinohara, Akira, Amon & even Juuzou, it’d be harder to see them as more than a self-righteous anti-ghoul organization that our protagonists have to defeat. Now they’re a self-righteous anti-ghoul organization that our protagonists have to defeat with more depth to them! Naturally, most of us will still root for Anteiku but now we’re also thinking that it’ll sad to see a lot of these decent people die fighting each other.

    If the emotional impact of the upcoming episodes will be the result of some parts of the earlier ones, then I believe they’ll deserve a little more credit, but we’ll see.

    • March 6, 2015 at 8:01 pmOS

      People like you give me some hope with the tg manga fandom.

  • March 6, 2015 at 7:39 pmGinobi47

    AMON! WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU?!

    That cockblocking was uncalled for! It was damn unneccessary!

    http://randomc.net/image/Tokyo%20Ghoul/Tokyo%20Ghoul%20Root%20A%20-%2009%20-%20Large%2005.jpg

    How can you defrost this ice queen and NOT do her?! You bastard!

    • March 6, 2015 at 8:14 pmMgMaster

      Amen to that!

      I’m truly disappointed in Amon…especially as someone who’s life’s on the line every so often. Poor Akira’s prolly’ lost confidence in her feminine side just now…

      • March 7, 2015 at 3:58 amHunter-Wolf

        I don’t think she will lose her confidence in her feminine charms ..*drum rolls*.. because she knows that’s just like him XD

        (•_•)

        ( •_•)>⌐■-■

        (⌐■_■)

  • March 6, 2015 at 9:10 pmKabble

    This episode was pretty powerful…
    It would’ve been a whole lot powerful if the show hadn’t had its head up its own ass in the beginning.
    This final battle in the manga was just…holy shit it was pretty depressing from start to finish.
    Even now I know the final bit with Kaneki will be ruined because of the complete disregard for his character up until now.
    You can’t just drop a few hints that he’s an emotional wreck and expect anyone to connect, you’ve got to show it. All we’ve been able to see was a poor interpretation of the ghoul prison escape with Kaneki and various moments of his writhing in pain from becoming a kakuja.
    Honestly, my suggestion for this upcoming episodes till the end…watch the s1 finale. While season 1 started strong and got weak, it ended perfectly. The season finale was absolutely perfect (imo) and gave the best representation of Kaneki’s turmoil. Watching that should make this ending better, cause I don’t have faith in the ending being a force on its own after how they haven’t paid attention to our MC at.

    • March 7, 2015 at 10:24 amGilgamesh92

      Yeah they have completely destroyed Kaneki’s character. They might have well just removed him from the story.

  • March 6, 2015 at 9:26 pmWill

    I don’t actually believe that the focus on the CCG early this season was such a hindrance. This series has benefited greatly from the prospective change as it gives the Doves character going into life or death struggles and these last two episodes are proof of that much. You can empathize with both sides to greater or lesser degree, and this no win situation is the result rather than the good guys vs the bad.

    I must admit the highlight of the episode, other than the action, was Kaneki’s discussion with Nishiki to the backdrop of battle. It was a well directed scene with a lot of unspoken sentiment. Overall this was a great episode imo.

  • March 7, 2015 at 2:31 amP KO

    You had one job, Amon! ONE JOB! DAMMIT ALL!

    • March 7, 2015 at 3:29 amHunter-Wolf

      That’s just like him XD

      • March 7, 2015 at 10:04 amMgMaster

        Too much like him…

  • March 7, 2015 at 3:24 amHunter-Wolf

    Hands down one of the best episodes of the entire show (both this season and the previous one), it almost feels like they changed directors half-way through this season and got someone who finally knows how to create atmosphere and how to fully utilize it (this improvement is clear in the few previous episodes as well starting right after the detention facility attack, but it’s very apparent here in this episode).

    I’m saying that cause by god there are some amazing scenes here, the paper plane scene was amazing and played with our expectations so well, the scenes where CCG members write their testament letters were done very well it felt so morbid and melancholic (in a good way), every conversation here had a clear purpose and fleshed out the characters even more … every fight scene got a lot of care put into it (Monkey and Dog were so awesome, and the Owl is still such an intimidating presence XD)… it all works so damn well specially with the fantastic OST that this season has.

    If all the previous episodes where on par with this episode this show would have easily been the anime of the year .. but alas .. at the very least it’s going to end on a high note.

  • March 7, 2015 at 6:41 amReallyNow

    I strongly disagree with the CCG side being less interesting and likeable. Except for Amon, who is indeed a bore.

    For example, can someone please explain to me why I’m supposed to cheer for people who supposedly have renounced violence and even feel they deserve punishment (as stated by Yomo and Touka with great pathos), and yet when that punishment arrives, their response is to kill as many of the punishers as possible instead of simply running away or giving themselves up?

    On the other hand, you gotta love the combat tactics of CCG – instead of sending their top fighters against known super class enemies right away, they first send out several waves of regular grunts who get to die a horrible death without ever even having had a chance to make a dent in the situation.

  • March 7, 2015 at 9:18 amfrost1989

    That paper plane scene, with the music, was breathtakingly good, and that moment when Takizawa wrote ‘I DON’T WANT TO DIE!… I just sigh… the mood they’ve set up on both factions are heart breaking and desperate, Tokyo Ghoul wasn’t merely just a shounen battle comic, it always have something more.

  • March 7, 2015 at 4:10 pmYogghii

    The only thing that doesn’t really fit in for me is the fact that the Anteiku guys are actually fighting back. If you want to atone for your sins of killing a lot of innocent people and know that fighting will only make more innocents die, why are you fighting? Isn’t this the point where you say: “Okay I did my best for people, now I’m found out and I’ll be finally laid to rest.”.

    I decided to ignore this thought, by countering it with “It would be suspicious if they didn’t fight back, and that might betray everyone.”. Once I got past that point I really enjoyed this episode and started to appreciate this anime even more. Even Tsukiyama seems like a real bro in this one.

    • March 7, 2015 at 4:29 pmTori

      It’s not as though the CCG is some innocent facility.
      Blood has been shed on both ends due to neither wishing to come to an understand about one another.
      And, as fighters, I’d assume it’d just be downright insulting to those they’re leaving behind to be taken out so easily.
      Either way, the CCG looked for a fight and were damned well willing to give one, why not give one back?

    • March 7, 2015 at 5:23 pmLibélula

      Hmm, I always thought they were fighting for Yoshimura, Ateiku and for protecting Touka- and repenting by giving their life for a good cause this time and for those who helped them get over their past. I never thought that their atonement was directed at random humans, much less at the CCG who just fight to kill every ghoul randomly.

  • March 7, 2015 at 8:18 pmSnooSnoo (@ShinJiwon)

    The CCG commander smirking like some psychopath while his cannon fodders rush to their deaths against Yoshimura showed just how great a leader he was.

  • March 7, 2015 at 8:21 pmRaed Daet

  • March 8, 2015 at 8:05 pmNymbryxion

    Having read the manga, and seeing the direction of this show, I’m curious why they decided to have Kaneki join Aogiri in the first place in the anime instead of pursuing and destroying them in the manga. It seems to have made the plot more convoluted without actually making the plot go a different route….

    The only thing that I can see is that it removes the doctor from the plot…

    • March 8, 2015 at 11:37 pm.Mero

      Spoilers for manga

      Show Spoiler ▼

      ep related:

      Good ep, better then the last few, was looking forward to seeing Koma and Irimi kicking some ass ^^

      • March 9, 2015 at 7:44 pmNymbryxion

        But if thats the case… whats the point of showing the twins…

      • March 10, 2015 at 2:15 pm.Mero

        Twins where part of the Juuzou background, they had some sort of closure as well.

    • March 9, 2015 at 2:34 amBudget

      ^

  • March 10, 2015 at 3:42 pmIchiroye

    “Hurry up. I’m starving!”

    He did nothing wrong. ;(

  • March 11, 2015 at 9:03 pmichinose

    can i get an ost of this episode when an old man of anteiku start to fight with CCG?

  • March 12, 2015 at 8:09 amrootA

    Does any one knows about music that kicks in when Tsukiyama shows up?

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