OP Sequence

OP: 「無能」 (Munou) by (österreich)

「新洸」 (Shin Kou)

What to call Tokyo Ghoul √A (and no, I don’t mean the weird title – that character apparently translates into “Root A”)?  Is this a sequel – or a split-cour?  Is it anime-original or not?  This series is an odd case – it’s based on the storyline that was supposedly mangaka Ishida Sui’s first planned direction for the manga.  He’s providing storyboards for Pierrot as well, so there can be no question about whether he’s truly a creative influence.  Of course the natural question is why, if this is a good story, Ishida-sensei didn’t end up using it in the manga.  But I think the only logical approach is to take the story as it comes – which is easier for someone who, like me, hasn’t read the current chapters of the manga.

A few things we can stipulate for the record.  First, the production continues to be excellent.  The OP and ED are both terrific and well-suited to the material.  And in Oscar-winning director Morita Shuhei, Pierrot has someone with a well-developed visual style and more creative flair than the vast majority of anime directors out there. Tokyo Ghoul Root A looks great, providing further evidence that when Studio Pierrot wants to make a first-rate series they’re still more than capable of doing so.

I’m nowhere near ready to say what I think of the story direction yet, as it’s only in the final moments that it’s clear big changes are coming.  The premiere of Root A picks up right where the first season left off, with the CCG’s assault on Aogiri’s headquarters still in full-swing.  It takes up most of the episode, with a dizzying array of characters on both sides going at it (frankly, three months later it was hard to remember who some of them were).  While it’s never expressly stated I think it’s suggested that the One-eyed Owl is Yoshimura-san, but he remains a mystery for now.

One of the major battles takes place between Kaneki and Ayato, from whom he’s just rescued Touka-chan (who whether by virtue of her relative power or sentimentality was no match for him).  Kaneki’s experience at the hands of Jason has obviously changed him more than just in terms of what hair products he’ll be buying – he’s now in full-on badass mode, and he proves as superior in combat to Ayato as Ayato was to hie Nee-san.  But for now at least Ken still seems to be in no-kill mode – he spares Ayato anyway, though he says it’s because he’s Touka’s brother.

On the whole, the raid is pretty much a disaster – half of the Ghoul Investigators never make it out of the building when it comes down, and Sinohara declares the entire raid a “trap”.  It’s hard to say how this changes the balance of the series overall, as Aogiri seems largely undamaged (I don’t think Jason was an especially important part of their organization, and I didn’t see anyone else of prominence taken out).  But while this seems a setback for the CCG I wouldn’t say it’s a decisive one – they’ll certainly regroup and continue their mission.

The really important factor here, then, is the status of Kaneki-kun.  Anteiku’s involvement here in the first place was to rescue him, and he ends up rescuing Touka.  But in the end he announces that he’s changing sides – joining forces with Aogiri.  This, then, is presumably where the original and final manga routes part ways.  But since we don’t know why exactly Ken has done this, it’s hard to have much of an opinion on this new route’s potential.  Ken hints at the “secret” of why Ayato has joined Aogiri, implying that this reason is enough to justify his doing so as well –  but what is it?  Has Ken abandoned his ideal of finding a third way that transcends the blind destruction of ghoul society and the CCG, or does he see joining Aogiri as a way of achieving it?  I suspect the latter. but it’s in fleshing out this scenario that the tale will be told of whether Root A makes for a good story or not – and for now, it’s way, way too early to make a call.

Thanks to Cherrie for providing caps for this episode!


ED Sequence

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


    1. Man the OP and ED sequences were so great last season. I’d rather they just bring those back (or at least the music. Heck, Hunter x Hunter used the same OP music for the entire 148 eps! And it worked great 🙂

      Rick Anime
      1. Seems legit to me, I look forward to getting new info on the world that was not in the manga or the sequel and a cool what if? story.

        Aorigi is composed the coolest characters in the manga and most of them got almost zero screen time in the manga, so throwing in Kaneki with them and sending them on a whirlwind ass-beating tour seems awesome.

  1. No censorship in Tokyo Ghoul!? Is this real?!!

    That was the laziest OP I’ve seen. It was like a GIF.

    Wanted to see sadistic Kaneki ‘103 bones’ scene in the Ayato fight but it didn’t happen. But that’s ok. Still excited for this.
    NOTE: The ‘103 bones’ scene is Ch.75 but it’s best to start reading at Ch.1 bec s1 skipped A LOT.

  2. Nice OP and ED, but since I loved the first ones, I still think it’s kind of meh~
    Hope this original course goes well, I always wanted to know what would happen if Kaneki clung onto Aogiri. But I think that we won’t see a “Tokyo Ghoul:re” anime…

    Show Spoiler ▼

  3. So Kaneki joins the organization who kidnapped and tortured him for no apparent reason instead of killing them. Talk about diverging from the manga. Let’s see what Ishida is trying to do.

    I had such high expectations for this season’s OP and I have to say, I’m extremely disappointed.

  4. This is the first time i’ve read ahead of an anime. I’ve finally experienced disappointment!
    First, they condensed 70+ chapters into 12 episodes for Season 1 (standard is 3 ch per ep). Then they fit about 13 chapters into this first episode. Everything was based on the manga except when Kaneki left to join Aogiri.

    And yes, they skipped 103 bones anatomy lesson during the Kaneki vs Ayato fight. I was looking forward to that the most.

  5. I am also anime only viewer so I am not really bothered by changes that made or that are going to be made…In a way I am glad I didn’t read manga since I won’t be thinking ”what should/could have been” so I can enjoy fully new story.
    Out of curiosity I did check that manga chapter and although some things seemed more interesting at the same I am glad I won’t hear sounds of 103 bones cracking. To make things clear I am not saying that not showing that was good or bad(I can’t even attempt to judge that based on few chapters I read) just that that sounds really freaks me out and I am glad I am not hearing it…

    I am not really liking opening even though I can understand where are you coming from. ED on the other hand I really like, that is I really love song 🙂

  6. What a boring OP.

    As a manga reader I’ve officially thrown my manual out the window after this episode. Clearly they won’t be following it even remotely faithfully…
    Which I think is for the best considering when they did follow the manga they condensed about 70 chapters into 13 episodes.
    Wish the Kaneki v Ayato fight had been like the manga though…that kid deserves it.

  7. Ooooooooooooooooookay , so the pacing is fast as usual
    the opening was kind of a disappointment , and if Yoshimura-san is the one eyed owl that would raise some serious questions
    and here is a question : what is the deal with that white haired kid with the CCG ?? “forgot his name “

  8. I loved this episode! I want to know more and I can’t wait 🙂 WHat is it that Kaneki sees and what is it that he is aiming for, this keeps me excited 🙂 Thank you for your review, and I agree, I hope by next episode the opening will be different xD It was such a set back from last season’s. The ending howeever was nice 🙂

    1. People actually think this was mediocre animation?
      I was actually impressed at how much it improved compared to the first season’s average ep.
      It’s definitely going to go down for the next few ep even.

  9. Since I see nothing but hate towards the Opening, I’m gonna go ahead and comment about the Ending. What a wonderful song. From the extremely accurate feeling that the lyrics entail to this series as a whole and the amazing visuals which I was told were made by the author himself, I must say it is a real treat.

  10. Wow~ I can’t believe how many people are firing off “I’m disappointed” left and right. But it’s the same no matter where or which series it is.

    If Ishida Sui himself is providing the direction for the anime story, then just shut up and watch. This is pretty much an AU direct from the creator himself – can’t the writer/creator not want to do something different? You already got one version of the story, why can’t some people just accept another?

    Hopefully this will cut down on needless comparisons for a while.

    1. I haven’t read the manga. I’m not saying it’s disappointing because it’s different from the manga (since I don’t know manga). I’m saying it is disappointing because it was a freakin’ generic episode with low animation quality. I can understand that for a mid-season set up episode, but for a first episode… Yeah, it was disappointing.

    2. Most of the ”disappointing” comments are about the OP, which is just bad. And people have the right to compare the anime to the manga if they want to. Telling everyone to ”shut up” isnt’ gonna change anything.

      1. @James

        It’s fine to compare the two if it actually provides civil and meaningful discussion about them, but most, not all, but most of what I’m seeing is people saying it’s “disappointing” and/or “it sucks” for no reason besides the anime starting to take a different path from the manga, which really just makes those people come off as the arrogant purist-types who see even the smallest of deviations from the original source material as somehow “ruining the series” without even giving it any sort of chance.

        By things ending up different, the purists end up in the same boat as the anime-only viewers they tend to look down on by not being able to know for sure what’s going to happen next by relying on prior knowledge from reading/playing/etc. the source material.

      2. @HalfDemonInuyasha

        for no reason besides the anime starting to take a different path

        You obviously haven’t read all the comments so I’ll list down some of the reasons mentioned:
        – condensing 13 ch into 1 episode (not whether it followed the manga route or not)
        – Kaneki joining the people who tortured him
        – low animation quality
        – generic episode

      3. You didn’t seem to read mine either. I know some people have their own, more specific reasons in terms of this one episode alone, hence why I said “most that I’m seeing”, meaning “not all of them are for this reason”.

  11. I dropped into the myanimelist discussion forum after watching this to see some reactions and didn’t even make it two pages before people started complaining that it wasn’t canon and how the source material was being ruined for the sake of “animiefags” and it will never match up to the manga.

    Pretty funny when you consider that the author of the manga is the one writing the story and is deliberately doing so differently to tell the story he wasn’t able to tell in the manga or something.

  12. Am I the only one that thought that the first episode’s animation quality was lacking compared to season 1’s first episode? Yes, the backgrounds were very detailed and well done. However, the key animation seemed very rushed.

    1. I second that. It was very disappointing. I am not complaining about how it doesn’t follow back the manga, but the quality of this episode was inferior to that of season one in terms of character art, animation and plot progression. Let’s not even talk about the OP. I have been spamming unravel after watching the episode to brainwash myself. Hopefully, the episodes gets better.

  13. Some fun facts:
    – The events of this episode and episode 12 of last season all occurred on Kaneki’s birthday, December 20. Happy 19th birthday, Kaneki! Nothing like some good old torture and psychological breakdown for a birthday gift.

    – The beginning of December 20 in the manga = December 20 in real life. The manga chapter containing the first glimpse of the events of Kaneki’s birthday was published on December 20, 2012.

    – Both the manga and anime ended exactly 10 days after the date of the manga’s first publication (September 18 and September 8, respectively). Still not sure if this was coincidence or not, but either way I get a kick out of it.

    – While a possible translation of the episode title (新洸) is “Faith”, another possible translation (and more likely the intended one) is “New Surge/Invasion”. Or, as a pun, “Arata Hikari”.

    While I thought the episode itself was clunky, I’m nothing but enthusiastic for the changes that will come. I’ve grown quite warm to Ishida Sui and I’m really excited for what else he has up his sleeve. I doubt that the pace will slow down from the first season since I believe Ishida submitted over 100 pages of draft, essentially a manga volume, and I still (want to) believe that they’ll preserve the ending of the manga in order to keep things open for Tokyo Ghoul:re. Gotta get that yen, man. There have already been a few clues placed here and there, too.

    Nice to have this show back, no matter how crazy it might (will) get.

  14. I actually liked the direction it seems to be taking. It’s something fresh and new, so while adapting from the manga directly is one ‘safe’ thing to do, I’d applaud Ishida Sui’s intention (dare I say audacity since it might miff a certain group of fans as well?) to play this out in a different direction altogether.

    The comparisons are probably unavoidable, but I would prefer not to do that altogether. The manga itself was a nifty piece of work even though the ending left me wanting more, but personally when the creator himself wants to take the story in a whole new direction I like to keep an open mind.

    That said, great as the pilot episode was, judgment is reserved until a couple more episodes in. This one’s definitely a keeper for now, at least. 🙂

      1. They did skip a lot of good exposition though, which would have fleshed out the side characters as well as the main characters (and the famous bone crunching scene). But it’s an interesting turn compared to the published story and it might give a different perspective from the original as well, so people should give it a chance just to see if they like it or not.

  15. i have mixed feelings on this series being different from the manga….. but i also like it. it may be a new way to tell the story in 24 episodes max, without feeling rushed or half assed. i cant imagine the manga fitting in any less than 50 episodes, especially with the way RE has been going.

  16. Woh woh woh! Totally was not expecting this. I’m actually quite excited about this. As a manga reader, I’m not even upset that they’re going a different route.

    I can’t judge this yet base on only one episode. Consider me intrigued.

  17. Manga reader here as well. Unlike other manga readers I welcome a fresh take on the story, something new instead of following the manga story which is boring when you read 1-2 times already. Obviously giving a 3 episode rule to see if its any good or not.

  18. I think the new OP is just a place-holder until maybe next episode (this happens a lot with first episodes but it’s usually the ED being used for the OP in most cases).

    As for the story itself, so far the animation (yay, no censorship) and music (barring the OP and it’s animation) are pretty good, but it’s still strange seeing Kaneki suddenly siding with the organization that kidnapped and tortured him, what made him do so and when did he get such “revelation” anyway !!!?, there really has to be a strong motivation to switch sides to your enemies and throw away your ideals like that (specially since those unique ideals of Kaneki were centric to the show’s story), it’s intriguing so far but they better deliver.

    As for diverging from the manga, i think the involvement of the managa/story writer in the show are more than enough to suggest this is going to turn out well .. and the speculation about the title might be right … that it is an alternate route like in visual novels .. i don’t know why manga fans can’t be more accepting of “alternate telling” of their fav manga stories .. it’s not like that has any influence on the original material you adore so much … visual novels fans show a lot more lenience when one of their fav VNs gets adapted and the show makers choose a route that isn’t their fav as the main story in the show … learn something from them.

  19. As much as i loved this episode I can definitely say it would have been better suited as last season’s finale. No harm done though.

    They haven’t exactly explained the process of making their weapons yet but why exactly wouldn’t the police have stock piles of that “ghoul armor”? Sure it’s just a prototype atm but at as long as they don’t go into overdrive mode it works perfectly fine from what we’ve seen. Maybe the Doves are the only people who can use it but even if that’s the case Amano should have had one regardless. Then again their weapons are made from the Kagune’s of ghouls and I think only decently powerful ghouls have those in the first place so they might be tricky to get a hold of. Bleh just theory-crafting here. Hope there is some clarity on that though. The bullet proof vests don’t exactly do much when ghouls can just impale them or shoot them with their Kagune’s which have much more power than normal bullets.

    I’m glad Kaneki still retains his human side even with his new powers. Last season kind of scared me into thinking he might jump the shark and turn into another psycho killer character but it’s nice to see he’s still able to think straight while making rational decisions. He was able to see the group Touka’s brother was a part of had more to it than everyone else thought (which slowly became apparent to the viewers as well during the episode) which is likely why he joined them. Yeah he could have at least gave Touka a better farewell than he did but given how big of a shock it was going to be to her I think it’s generous he said anything at all.

    Oh and Kaneki and his cheeky badassery makes me giggle like a school girl. I already loved him before but now I’m 100% gay for the guy 😉

    1. It’s not that it is inherently awful but rather a bad choice for an OP (both the song and animation), it would have worked much better as an ED (which usually have much more simple animations).

      Then there are the weird lyrics –>“A prostitute spat fire. In a faraway city, somebody died.”… what the heck is that supposed to do with anything!?

      1. Well, yeah, just by the words the song really is weird, but the timming it has with the animations might mean something deeper.
        We start with the memories of living a beutiful life to the “drinking the painting dry”, then to the rather sad kaneki, but still human, after when the “rainbow changed” you can see rize’s hands changing him and from then on comes a lot of words with angry and agressive intentions.
        I’m no expert and all i said could be total bulshit here, but seeing and listening to this OP gave me a rather mix of emotions that i can’t quite put together, that’s why it’s high on my opnion, but that’s me.

        PS: My english sucks, sorry xD

      2. PS²: Another thing i forgot: The balls the production staff had to put this as a OP and not a ED also might be the reason i liked, it’s like they gave us what they wanted, not what we were expecting.

    1. This is just my guess (haven’t read the manga, but I’ve heard scattered bits of news about this series), but maybe they’re diverging from the manga because they don’t plan to continue adapting the manga to anime after this season. To my understanding, the manga’s second part is going on right now, and the end of the first part left off on a cliffhanger, which would make for a pretty shit ending to the anime – so they decided to use an alternate story that would end without ruining the pacing of the anime and producing a satisfying conclusion at the same time. I’ve heard that the first manga ended quite abruptly and that RE was also announced pretty suddenly, so maybe the ending they’re going for with the anime is how the mangaka intended it to end originally, before RE was planned? I dunno.

      Also, I did kind of like the OP – didn’t really match the tone of the episode, but it was kind of understated and (dare I sound pretentious?) contemplative, although yeah, it would’ve worked better as an ED. The episode was pretty mediocre itself.

  20. Ok here is what I think this way its much better cuz the ones who read the manga will know the uncomplete end…
    Show Spoiler ▼

    soooooo its MUUUUCH BETTER THIS WAY if u want the truth press the button and u will stop whining about the anime because its not bad its better… BETTER THAN A GOD DAMN UNFINISHED MANGA I want to see a real end… an end with some answers please this time do your job ppl… tokyo ghoul was like a dream to me and the mangas unfinished end turned it into a nightmare… I hope THIS TIME they’ll do their job well and make me proud or I’ll kill myself…

    James Dickens
  21. I’m disappointed it didn’t show the half killing. Though I’m excited about how its going to play out. I’ve read the Manga and I didn’t really like how it ended. That didn’t matter. I loved it anyways. They animal is taking a different route and I can’t wait to see how it plays out.

  22. ACTUALLY Liked the OPENING. It was Simple and, though it didn’t show the Kaneki we all wanted time see, you can’t lie, when you saw it you kinda just wanted to see the rest even more because of how much it left out. Not every anime needs an awesome Opening just one that helps the anime and how it’s Suppose to be presented. Just like in the anime, in the Opening Kaneki doesn’t say much but shows a lot of emotions as the things going on around him escalate and, if you want to predict something, will go to blank because of his actions then he’ll probably cry like the old Kaneki would. Just saying, It doesn’t need epic stuff in the op to be an awesome anime. And, again, actually like the way they did the op.


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