「青桐」 (Aogiri)
“Chinese Parasol Tree”

Author’s Note: I realize the temptation is overwhelming, but please avoid any manga spoilers in the comments. Most of you have shown admirable restraint thus far – please continue to do so for the remainder of the series.

Damn, this has turned into one crazy-ass show.

I’ve reached the conclusion that it may be best to stop worrying about what’s going to happen with Tokyo Ghoul, and just enjoy the ride. This has become the Silver Streak of the anime season, a wildly out-of-control express train that’s throwing everything including the kitchen sink at the audience over its last couple of episodes. There’s really no hope of making sense of all of it, much less seeing any meaningful percentage of it through to fruition.

I can say this much for sure – if there’s no second season (and right now I’d put the odds at about 50-50) I’m going to be seriously pissed off. And that’s a compliment, because the reason I would is that I find Tokyo Ghoul to be a pretty compelling series. We’re seeing what feel like the beginning of about six different arcs over the last two episodes, but each of them is an arc I really want to see (though preferably not all at once). These new characters are intriguing, the developing scenarios are compelling, and the overlying story is one that I’ve come to genuinely care about. It’s going to take some skill not to seriously undo much of the good the show has accomplished if the next two eps are as rushed as they seem destined to be, but there’s serious skill on display both in the source material and the adaptation.

To start with, we do at least get a bit of a clarification on some of the avalanche of plot and personnel introduced last week. The nasty organization from the 11th Ward is called Aogiri Tree, and Touka’s otouto Ayato is clearly a fairly important member. Banjou appears to be a flunky more than anything, a hothead who’s basically a decent guy, and also one who happens to in love with Rize. He’s not exactly a formidable fighter despite his looks – even Ken has no problem stopping him dead with a well-placed head butt – but he’s at least enough of a banchou to have thee flunkies himself (all of whom wear gas masks and – conveniently – numbers on their hoodies for easy identification). The organization is apparently headed by a ghoul called the “One-eyed King” – a significant title if I’ve ever heard one – and he has an underling named Tatara (Yusa Kouji) that we meet briefly.

Rize seems to be the cause of all the insanity that’s playing out as all these threads converge into what looks like a major cataclysm. Banjou is after her to tell her to run, because he knows his bosses are after her. And so is Jason, why gives the impression of being the nastiest piece of work we’ve met (and that’s saying something). He shows up at Anteiku right after Banjou and Ayato with the wildly effeminate Nico (Tsuda Kenjirou) in tow, and immediately smells Rize on Ken. What follows is a display of really shocking brutality, so much so that even the now-bloodthirsty Ayato is repulsed. It’s a great scene in a terrible way, and really reinforces the impression that Yakumo is somebody everyone on both sides would rather avoid dealing with if they had a choice.

In the end Jason kidnaps Ken, and takes him back to the 11th Ward (whether the 13th Ward-based Yakumo is permanently allying himself with Aogiri Tree or merely did so for the purposes of finding Rize is unclear). Just why is everyone so interested in Rize, and who was it that killed her? It’s not as though the CCG is going to be finding out anytime soon, because they have their own problems – their entire 11th Ward detachment has been wiped out by Aogiri Tree. They seem quite unprepared to deal with the notion of an organized and purposed enemy, and they’re clearly hamstrung by the fact that their hatred for ghouls prevents them from fully grasping that they’re dealing with an opponent that’s of human intelligence, not a bunch of mindless beasts drunk for blood.

There’s another X-factor for the Doves, and whether it’s a strength or a problem (most likely it’s both) isn’t 100% clear yet. That’s Suzuya Juuzou (Kugemiya Rie), the “only 3rd-Class Investigator” and the strange boy (not girl) with the scars (or tattoos) that picked Ken’s wallet last week. He introduces himself at the emergency CCG meeting as “Shinohara’s underling”, talks (coincidentally) to an absent “Rie-chan”, looks about 12 (but according to his file is 19) and is clearly much more than simply an underling. Just what his role is going to be isn’t clear (we should have a stamp made up to that effect for the last two episodes) but the impression is certainly of someone very important – and of someone almost akin to a Dove Jason, someone the rest of the cops would rather not deal with. And if all that weren’t enough, did we just get a hint that Amon’s father was a ghoul?

Given the sheer volume of plot and new characters that have been introduced in the last two episodes, the miraculous thing is that things are not only still pretty coherent, but genuinely engaging. For now at least, it appears the focus is going to be on the manageable morsel of Anteiko gang trying to rescue Ken – a high-risk operation for which Yoshimura has brought in none other than Tsukiyama, the Gourmet. I suppose the operating notion is that the enemy of my enemy is my friend, and anyone who plans to steal Ken off Tsukiyama’s plate is his enemy – that, and this is a measure of just how much Yoshimura considers the odds to be stacked against his side. Apart from that it’s anybody’s guess what’s going to happen in the next two weeks…



    1. oh yeah i forgot to say that i didn’t expect gourmet would return as an ally, the situation is so grave that they want to ally with gourmet. but i think this would be epic, because the 20th ward would unite now to fight together

      1. @Apa

        Having read Akame ga Kill!, I sense trauma rather than fanboyism from Revolver instead.

        While Tokyo Ghoul does have it’s share of creepy and dark characters, it doesn’t go out of it’s way to traumatise you, because that’s not the point. It’s meant to provide something deep and provoke thought about justice, morality and how an enemy may not really be that different to you. There are even funny omakes at the end to lighten the mood.

        Akame ga Kill! on the other hand, also explores justice and morals, but was written by a sadistic author who lures readers with promises of Friendship, Courage, and Victory… and proceeds to artistically destroy their minds… and drive them towards depression and despair.


        I cannot unread this, nor can I stop reading it.

      2. I was wondering about Kaneki at the end of the OP too, now after your hint it has taken a whole new meaning (and after rewatching the trailers for the show i was surprised that they reveal scenes from an upcoming event that seems pretty intense).

      3. Late comment, but no, it’s not fanboyism. It’s fact. The downvotes are from people who haven’t read Akame ga Kill. I’ve read the manga. Jason is tame compared to characters like Syura from Akame ga Kill.

    1. @PtolemaiosOO

      You’re putting a hint in a spoiler tag? XD Well, you can never be too careful, cant you? 😉 I dont know, for me the manga of TG was really good – and after my studies in literature, I hope that my judgement isnt too off. I still think its great in creating different strangs that all come together in the end. I have yet to find any inconsistency and reading this a second time makes you realize some things you havent before Show Spoiler ▼

      On the other hand- and Im sorry to everyone who likes it, its just my humble opinion – Akame ga kill is only uuugggghhh, sooooo badly written, its like a porno and it appears the story is only there for the “other stuff”.

  1. Actually, it seems like a majority of the Ghoul “community” doesn’t even know that Rize is dead (if Banjou’s questioning and such was any indication). Maybe the higher-ups do, but they haven’t really shown one way or the other.

    As for Amon, it’s hard to say, but it looks more like his mother may have been a Ghoul (how would that be for a twist, Amon being half Ghoul himself, or at least damn lucky to be human and not get any Ghoul traits?) and his father killed her, given the way the blood looks more splattered on his face from hitting rather than eating or else his mouth would be covered in blood.

  2. In reference to a second season I’d say the odds are pretty high. The manga has had a massive anime bump with all volumes ranking for weeks on end. The disks could probably sell nothing and it would still make money.

    1. The pacing is still pretty damn good seeing all the plot points introduced recently and if there’s a high chance for a 2nd season,then I assume there’s a good stopping point at which they can end this season.

      For now,things are getting pretty exciting.

  3. I wonder who did the drawing of Yakumo in the ED; it was very cool, very Leyendecker! (And also, y’know, very evil-looking.)

    Here’s to hopes for a second season! Reading the manga is pretty great, but seeing it animated is a really different experience altogether.

  4. I’m sensing that the old man that owns the shop will die. Jason is too much for them to handle. Touka didn’t even do shit against him. What will Hinami do in that rescue mission?

    1. Hinami did manage to fight and pretty much kill one of the strongest agents/doves, it might have been a stoke of luck or due to her emotional trauma (and not wanting to see her friend get killed too) that she reacted that violent way .. but aren’t we in the same situation here .. i’m sure Hinami values Kaneki as much as she values Touka … and most importantly her Kaguni is pretty powerful by default and in the right emotional conditions -and despite lacking actual combat experience- she can do some serious damage (specially since she will be underestimated).. either way Ghouls are far more resilient than humans so i doubt she will get killed that easily.

      1. Female voice actresses do per-adolescence boys most of the time, and the three characters here don’t look like kids .. not to mention the character’s voice sounds clearly and intentionally female .. most female VAs change their voices for male characters (prime example is young Naruto).

        And since when mentioning something that happened in the episode or wondering about it is a “spoiler” !!!

  5. I have a problem with the show. This is a fantastic series, but the adaption is SOOOOO rushed. This really needs to be two cour. I have a feeling this will have an original ending. I’m still watching it but, the manga is WAY better.

    Corey Lucas
    1. “Aww, don’t say that. The anime and manga are completely different so it’s entirely stupid to believe that the anime should be on par with the manga’s quality just because the anime is good to those who didn’t expect a fantastic adaption 🙁

      I mean it’s silly! It only has 12 episodes, so because of how it was like that, we should all ignore the flaws the anime has in comparison to the manga because “that’s just how it turned out!” I mean, c’mon guys!”

      …said every anime-only watcher ever.

  6. I really don’t understand why the Japanese have to ruin every show like this by introducing a shit-ton of characters who change it from a paranormal horror to a shounen fighting story.

    This is like Bleach all over again. Just a whole bunch of random characters being added into the mix so that they can have more fight scenes. This show is at its best when its exploring the transformation, the related psychological and moral trauma, and creating horror situations.

    It is at its worst when it is about quiche quiches, idiotic throwaway characters (the scrapper in ep4, the ridiculous shota/tattooed detective/thief/etc), and about the inevitable “bankai” form of the kagure that I think we all know is coming.

    A sad throwaway of potential and another series that shows the pitfalls of serialized manga– an eternal retreat to the formula to keep getting published.


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