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Tokyo Ghoul Root A – 11 »« Tokyo Ghoul Root A – 09

Tokyo Ghoul Root A – 10

「青桐」 (Aogiri)
“Aogiri”

I’m left wondering if the things I thought and felt about that episode were what its creators intended.

That certainly lived up to its billing, on the whole. There were elements of this week’s episode-encompassing fight scene that were animated unevenly, but on the whole it was visually excellent – well choreographed and more importantly, parceled out at such a pace as to give the audience a chance to breath and feel. That hasn’t always been the case with Tokyo Ghoul especially this season, but it’s gotten a lot better over the last month.

Big-battle mode isn’t close to being my favorite face of this series, and if this season follows apace (as it looks like it might) that will make two in a row where it’s basically taken over the ending of the season. However, this episode worked very well because Morita-sensei interjected several long patches of silence – no screaming, no fighting, just close-ups of characters starting each other down, or of their faces. This was a battle where what the combatants were thinking was exceptionally important, and I’m glad that wasn’t washed away in flood of non-stop clamor and gore. That’s not to say there wasn’t plenty of all that, but it wasn’t allowed to neutralize what was really important.

Where this gets a little quirky for me, though, is wondering just how Ishida and Morita want me to react to all this intellectually and emotionally. The heavy focus on the CCG for the first half of this season leads me to think I was supposed to come at this episode with divided loyalties, but then you have a scene with a CCG agent ordering an old woman gunned down and a ghoul protecting her… I can say this much – if indeed mixed emotions were intended that intention failed in my case. My heart was squarely with the ghouls here, most obviously Yoshimura. Sure, we’ve seen plenty of ghouls do plenty of terrible things – but not these ghouls. None of these ghouls asked for this fight, and in fact they’ve really been the only characters we’ve seen in the entire series that have been consistently sympathetic. The eventual result of the battle (this phase of it, anyway) has been pretty much a fait accompli from the beginning, but that didn’t make it any easier to watch play out.

That’s especially true, of course, in Yoshimura’s case. Kaneki is the protagonist but if there’s a hero in Tokyo Ghoul, I would argue it’s been him. He’s not only acted with compassion, restraint and wisdom, but he’s been the only one who’s been actively trying the make the world of those around him better, trying to make a real difference. It was pretty obvious the old man was going to die in this fight, but it was still heartbreaking to watch him slowly cut down, scrap of flesh by scrap of flesh. The way his final moments were shot, along with a staggering performance by Sagou Takayuki (especially that tortured breathing), added up to one of the very best sequences of the entire series.

Perhaps surprisingly, it seems as if Koma and Kaya didn’t die, despite both of them being quite prepared to as a fitting punishment for their pre-Anteiku sins. That’s thanks to the intervention of Kaneki, who fails to make it in time to save Yoshimura however. Whether this means Kaneki is officially back on board with Team Anteiku now is unclear, but then – without Anteiku and its spiritual patron, does that team even still exist? I also found it interesting that Touka didn’t get involved in the fight despite rushing to the scene. That’s certainly what Yoshimura (and Koma and Kaya and probably Ken, too) would have wanted, but it took me by surprise. What stopped her – kept her cowering in that alley rather than doing everything she could to save the others, even if she knew the fight was hopeless? Was it simple fear, a respect for Yoshimura’s sacrifice for her benefit – or, as I suspect, something altogether more complicated than that?

As it stands now, it’s Amon who’s confronted Ken (who, as far as I can tell, has refrained from killing any CCG agents in this battle), which makes the most poetical sense. Is it possible that Ken might somehow reach Amon, and ignite that spark of doubt in him that all ghouls are evil (I frankly doubt it)? But the headline here is the fact that despite Yoshimura’s death, Shinohara’s proclamation is effectively a “Mission Accomplished” banner behind George W. Bush, because another Owl has shown up. The “real” Owl, perhaps, but at the very least not the same one – and while many questions remain about this particular Owl, it’s easy to make some educated guesses based on the clues we’ve been given. At the very least, the revelation that Yoshimura asked Kaneki to “save my child” can hardly have been inserted where it was coincidentally…

March 14, 2015 at 12:03 am
25 comments »
  • March 14, 2015 at 12:16 amPaladinJoe

    This show has certainly gotten better I wish it didn’t take over half the season but, oh well as long as the ending turns out good I will be happy.

    Also I know this a little off topic but, can we be expecting a post for the new Persona 3 movie.

  • March 14, 2015 at 12:22 amIzan

    in the end the story pan out to be roughly the same as the manga route….

    • March 14, 2015 at 2:55 amdeVaras

      Yup. The changes amounted to nothing since it winds up following pretty much the same route.

  • March 14, 2015 at 1:19 amButterzBoy

    I loved how they handled Yoshimura’s scene. The anime did it more justice compared to the manga which was a bit anti-climatic. Also, although no perfect, seeing the animation in the fights with Yoshimura, Koma and Irimi was just an absolute joy to watch. Though people complain about the anime adaptation, these scenes help clarify a lot of things that manga panels can’t and I really do appreciate it for that. Still hoping for a Tokyo ghoul Brotherhood though :P

  • March 14, 2015 at 2:06 amIte

    So, I guess it will end like manga.

    • March 14, 2015 at 3:50 amPonasn

      Nah, Touka being there already makes me think the anime ending will be different, maybe.

  • March 14, 2015 at 2:17 amGinobi47

    http://randomc.net/image/Tokyo%20Ghoul/Tokyo%20Ghoul%20Root%20A%20-%2010%20-%20Large%2026.jpg

    Note: I’m an anime-only fan. I never read the source material.

    The first impression I had on the old guy back in season one was “This guy is a hidden badass…. I can feel it!”

    A few episodes ago, I was right.

    In this episode, the old guy went out as manly as a manly man should. Guns blazing and meeting the love of his life at the very end.

    Old dude, I may not remember your name, but I like you more than the main character ^.^

  • March 14, 2015 at 2:42 amPssh

    The story has gotten better , but the animation was HORRENDOUS.

    Choppy, low frame rates – it’s a crime!

  • March 14, 2015 at 10:08 amAndré

    I hope all the humans in Tokyo Ghoul die.

    • March 14, 2015 at 11:01 amGoodwill Wright

      Kaneki is half human…

  • March 14, 2015 at 10:58 amPancakes

    I thought it was obvious at this point that the “real Owl” was Yoshimura’s son. IIRC Yoshimura also mentioned during his flashback scene that his son was the Owl. Either way still have the predictions on Kaneki being the one who actually deals with the Owl after handling Amon.

    Also the soundtrack and minimization of censoring here helped tremendously in terms of quality. Animation might have been lackluster, but this episode was certainly one of the best ones IMO; really shows a glimpse of what this show could have been with better polish.

  • March 14, 2015 at 12:13 pmpearthefruit

    Did Kaneki’s friend catch it when Touka whispered “Kaneki?” when the “eye-patch” was mentioned to be confronting Amon?

    Don’t remember if that was this episode or the previous episode.

    • March 14, 2015 at 5:25 pmGuardian Enzo

      I got the impression that he did, and that explains his downcast facial expression (though he’d pretty much figured it out already).

  • March 14, 2015 at 1:51 pmApa

    As a manga reader, I can’t help but feel disappointed most of the time, probably because I expected so much more from the animation quality and pacing based on how good the manga is (Ex: http://bato.to/read/_/263647/tokyo-ghoul_ch135_by_anonymous/15 and http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/tokyoghoul/images/2/26/Yoshimura_One_Eyed_Owl.png/revision/20141230130816 ), but the past few episodes have been pleasantly decent.

    • March 14, 2015 at 9:53 pmTyco

      As a manga reader I don’t think the readers should be too disappointed because this is only a 12 episode series. I’m not saying I’m too fond of this season either, it has its moments but had it been 24-26 episode and was on par with the level of story telling and crap character development this season has presented then I could more or less understand fellow readers being disappointed. But all I’m saying that it is only 12 episodes and there is so much they can do with it, things have to be sacrificed in favour of others but so far especially these last few episodes I think they did a decent job, but it could have been a whole lot worst.
      These last 2 episodes were very well done, but each to his own I guess.

      • March 14, 2015 at 10:29 pmApa

        I do think they’ve been decent, that two or three episodes that is, but nowhere near what they could’ve been.

      • March 14, 2015 at 10:31 pmApa

        the last two or three episodes*

  • March 15, 2015 at 12:26 pmKanade

    I like how this episode and the whole season in particular makes us (At least me) think of the controversy of who’s the good one here. Human (the CCG) because they kill ‘murderers’? Or ghouls that are not at fault for being born this way, and some of them even feeding only on dead bodies?
    An average human in Tokyo Ghoul world would definitely think that ghouls are monsters that deserve to die, especially those that had their relatives killed by ghouls. But if you look at it from side perspective it’s a lot more complex.
    At first glance, Aogiri seem evil to the core. But it seems that every member had someone or something taken from them by humans (for example, as it has been implied, Tatara), Ayato, and Show Spoiler ▼

    I wonder if Shinohara’s had similar thoughts when visiting Anteiku. As for Amon, I highly doubt he’s ever come to this. He’s most likely just bewildered by Kaneki’s behaviour as it strikes him as odd for a ghoul. Despite his general hate for ghouls he seems to subconsciously have some faith in Kaneki which surprises Amon himself.
    I’m a manga reader, so I’m not sure I wanna see animated what is left… Truth be told, I’m not even sure I like the turn the whole manga series has taken with Re: as well… I think it lacks that something that was present in Tokyo Ghoul.

    • March 16, 2015 at 8:24 amTheVoid

      Except Show Spoiler ▼

      • March 17, 2015 at 3:45 amHikarie

        Show Spoiler ▼

  • March 16, 2015 at 7:14 amdyeus

    I am liking this series even when some episodes are slow and a bit of a let down (well most of them are) I haven’t read the manga but I have read that kanaki was more a badd ass as it was mentioned his state of mind was more vicious, like the fight against ayato, I do wonder if he will show any of that side in this series, considering what yamori put him though, I am surprised that he hasn’t cracked up more, I want to see him just lose it and cause some damage. (not counting the semi kakauja part in the ghoul prison)

  • March 16, 2015 at 8:17 amTheVoid

    For a second there I didn’t realize Hide was the one dressed as the CCG soldier.

  • March 17, 2015 at 2:24 amIchiroye

    Everytime i see someone say: “…Yoshimura’s SON…” i want to smash some faces.

  • March 17, 2015 at 11:09 pmRue

    It’s getting better, guys. On another note, the animation was a little ‘meh’ for me, but maybe because they’re saving it up for last episode? Cuz the first season’s last episode animation are superb, but the rest of them are okay-ish.

    And I’m still keeping my hope for a twist in the end. Maybe somehow it won’t be turned out like the manga.

  • March 19, 2015 at 5:57 pmMormegil

    R.I.P Yoshimura. What a fantastic character. He’s been my favorite since the first season.