「舞花」 (Maika)
“Dancing Flowers”

I’ll say this much for Tokyo Ghoul – at the very least, it still manages to keep me guessing.

For once the manga readers are almost as much in the dark as the rest of us as Tokyo Ghoul Root A sets off on its mysterious journey. I’m not sure exactly what I was expecting this week, but it probably wasn’t a slow-paced episode focused on the CCG and the introduction of a spate of new characters (and re-acquaintance with old ones). I wouldn’t call it exciting, but it was certainly interesting – and it follows this series’ usual pattern of taking its time in setting the table before finally serving dinner.

There was a veritable cavalcade of faces parading across the screen this week, some familiar from last season and some not. It starts with a flashback to what appears to have been ten years earlier, and likely the battle where Mado lost his eye. A character named Arima makes a silent appearance here, and judging by the reaction of those around him it seems likely he’s a significant one. From there it’s a roundtable around the CCG – starting with a meeting of the higher-ups where it’s announced that Aogiri Tree has steamrolled through the 9th and 10th Wards, and continuing to a look at those who’ll make up the team in the 20th (under Shinohara’s leadership).

Who else is important here? It’s hard to say, but the freaky Juuzou is obviously a key player based on the S1 finale. Takizawa Seidou seems to be the resident butt-monkey, though he was 2nd in his class at the CCG Academy – second to Mado’s daughter Akira (Seto Asami), briefly introduced last season, of whom he’s insanely jealous. In his defense Akira is a tactless, arrogant jerk with no discernible social skills, which rather sets Amon’s nerves to jangling. There’s also a part-timer running around CCG headquarters delivering mail – Hide-kun, who introduces himself as “Seidou-san’s gofer”. Presumably this is an effort on his part to find out what’s happening with Kaneki, who’s presumably given his friend no information about where he’s gone or what he’s up to.

Of Kaneki himself there’s almost no mention – we see him briefly on a couple of occasions on Aogiri Tree missions, and he’s cited by CCG as the ghoul in-charge of their assaults on the 9th and 10th. He’s also got a couple of admirers (or stalkers) keeping close tabs on him. If you hoped to be enlightened as to why he’s made the choice he has, you were certainly disappointed with this ep – that remains very much an open question.

Finally, there’s the gang back an Anteiku – which is finally ready to reopen after the disastrous events of the S1 finale. It seems more and more likely that Yoshimura-san is the Owl – that’s certainly what’s being hinted at – but for now he’s back in his role as den-mother to the “good” ghouls. Touka is the only one showing overt signs that she misses him, right down to sitting exams for Kamii University in the seeming hope that she’ll meet him there. The lack of interaction between Ken and the Anteiku cast – especially Touka – certainly leaves a significant hole in the narrative structure of Tokyo Ghoul, and to be honest it’s not clear to me yet what (if anything) is going to fill it. And that, for me, is the most important question staring at us as Root A unspools its story.




  1. I know most people already read the manga, but for a person like me, who hasn’t read it, its very hard to keep up and care about all the new characters that just keep on coming in. They always keep showing one or two characters at the end of each episodes that are supposed to be dramatic introductions to people who read the manga, but it’s not the case in the anime.

    1. It’s an unfortunate side effect of adapting 143 chapters worth of an already large cast in 24 episodes; it’s a lot easier to cut story lines than it is to cut characters. Kind of a mixed bag for me. While I enjoy seeing everyone get screen time, it’s very overwhelming to see it happen all at once. And there are still more to come! Yikes.

      Other thoughts:
      – The romaji for the episode title should be “Buka” – a pun on the Japanese word for “subordinate”, which we got in spades this week.
      – Almost didn’t recognize Akira’s VA. Certainly no Chihaya here, lol.
      – I like it when they pay attention to the small details. For example, besides functioning as a good transition, Touka’s presence in the bathroom after “eating” lunch reinforced her ghoul nature nicely.
      – Kaneki standing over the dead human and Aogiri member: still playing it ambiguously, I see.

  2. It seems like Kaneki in this anime is being more of a puppet than a badass. Hmm i’m still not sold on the plot. I hope his reasons for joining Aogiri is reasonable.

    /人◕ ‿‿ ◕人\
  3. For those who HAVEN’T read the manga, PLEASE DO READ IT. You’d never understand Tokyo Ghoul’s 2nd season based on its pace now. I do think that it’s faster than expected, super train-wrecked, but to a point that I know who is who, because I’ve read the manga.

    But does it have to be that fast, since the second season also have twelve episodes? Ridiculously funny.

    Konata Kamijou
  4. Very good episode I thought with very nice character development. Wish we could revert the OP & ED sequences to Season 1 (which was one of the best sequences I’ve ever seen)

    Rick Anime
  5. This episode essentially built Akira as a new character, setting up her bitchy no-nonsense attitude to clash with the opposing mentality of Amon. Kaneki seems lifeless while going along with the other villainous ghouls.

  6. The animation quality has dropped in the second episode which is usually the case with most anime. Great animation in first episode, a little less in the second episode. The pacing is pretty normal. I really like Akira’s personality and I hope to see more of her in the coming episodes.

  7. Does anyone else really dislike Juuzou, and Akira? The CCG is the least likeable group of the three (Anteiku and Aogiri being the other 2, to me at least. Though the episode wasn’t boring, actually rather interesting with all of the new content

  8. I have read all of the first Tokyo Ghoul and am currently reading the sequel and this anime is seems to be going in an entirely different direction. Although it has been awhile since I read the first Tokyo Ghoul it seems they cut out a lot of things and added others. I was expecting better things from this anime, but so far it has been a disappointment.


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