“fresh: Eve”

「前夜祭 fresh」 (Zen’yasai fresh)

With the appearance of Nishiki Nishio and an incapacitated Tsukiyama Shuu, we’re slowly being reintroduced to previous characters, and their respective plights following the Owl Suppression Operation. While a way is being paved for a battering ram to be slammed against the gates of Kaneki’s old memories, the main focus has never strayed from the Quinx Squad. These members make for a crucial focus, and their developments will prove integral in further establishing this struggle between past and present, a conflict which will ultimately burst forth during the upcoming Auction arc. This episode, Urie Kuki receives some time in the limelight, while Yonebayashi Saiko finally gets a proper debut.

Blinding Arrogance

Ironically, Urie believed that he gained some of Arima’s attention. In actuality, it was entirely based upon a false equivalence, that depended on non-existent recognition from Kaneki’s part. Arima only acknowledged Urie, on the basis that Sasaki had allegedly deemed him worthy of undergoing a frame increase operation. But we know this to be false, since Urie stamped the document of his own accord without actually obtaining Sasaki’s permission. Sometimes, I worry about Urie’s ridiculously inflated ego, since it might cause him bigger problems in the future.

However, he certainly has his moments. In this episode, tricking Saiko into getting off her lazy butt was an ingenuous piece of malicious compliance. It’s simple really, and an old trick in the psychology textbook. Spout some pseudo-intellectual babble, backed up by realistic sounding facts, to induce panic that allows for easy manipulation of the target. Turns out the CCG would continue supporting them for the rest of their lives, even if they chose to retire, but that piece of detail gets conveniently swept under the rug. No one else is ever gonna know, right?

Haise’s Choice

So it seems that multiple squads are converging at the auction, in order to crack down on Big Madam. Judging by various snippets from the episode’s end, many previous figures from Kaneki’s time will show up, which could elicit some kind of mental reaction from Sasaki.

Also, Roma is absolutely spot on – Kaneki is indeed at his most beautiful when he’s agonising in the pit of despair. And that pretty much sums up my personal obsession as well. Tokyo Ghoul is at its best when exploring characters, because it’s fundamentally driven through extensively delving into the psyche of its wayward cast. This is especially true of Kaneki, be it a sterile perspective on suffering or momentary glimpses into fleeting happiness.

But for now, Sasaki Haise offers his own unique yet tasty flavour, alongside everyone else from the Quinx Squad. I’d like to see this make-believe family carry on for the time being, because it really offers a different perspective from the side of CCG (Investigators), somewhat comparable with Anteiku’s (Ghouls). Nevertheless, these two elements are fated to clash and there will be the inevitable day where Kaneki finally returns. Everything will change for better or worse, and it will come down to a painstaking choice between the past or present.

Concluding Thoughts

Before the complaints roll in, yeah, it’s true. Pierrot skipped over a lot of stuff from the manga in this episode. However, I’m largely fine with this for two reasons. While the cuts definitely hurt, I don’t think it’ll be consequential in the grand scheme of things. Ishida writes in such a jumbled and complex way that’s it’s unreasonably difficult to keep tabs on everything. Select omissions reduce this clutter and make it much easier to discern the situation at hand. Furthermore, Pierrot has a clear goal in mind that’s obviously coming to fruition. We’re swiftly approaching the Auction Arc, and considering the constraints of a single cour, there’s been minimal loss to an otherwise fantastic buildup. I’m excited to see what kind of special hell is about to break loose, and more importantly how the sequence of events will prove a critical juncture to Sasaki’s development.

Unfortunately, I haven’t decided whether I’ll be providing coverage for Tokyo Ghoul:re. But if you see a post next week, you can assume that I’ve picked it up. As always, thanks for reading my post and hope to see you next time!


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  1. You are much more sweeter than on this adaptation than most. I couldn’t care less if the anime followed the manga verbatim; heck I don’t like the re: part of Tokyo ghoul as much as the original; but as a stand alone work, this just falls flat.

    1. Most of my praise has been directed towards the story, rather than the actual production itself. But in terms of the technical details, I’m rather impressed, and I honestly believe that this adaptation has done a better job of capturing the essence of Tokyo Ghoul, even if it’s substantively altered parts of the source material.

      I’ll be 100% honest about my opinions and won’t adhere to this mob mentality that some writers might feel pressured about catering towards. Admittedly, re got off to a rocky start. But if I think a show has fallen short or exceeded expectations within the span of two weeks, I’m willing to reevaluate my opinions, and express why they have changed. Maybe I am being quite kind, but I can assure you that I’m truly enjoying the ride so far, and can live with the apparent shortcomings.

      1. I respect that honesty my dude; I genuinely had a smile on my face reading a post that felt as honest as this one. That’s particularly why i emphasized your sweeter disposition on this series than others. I personally find this adaptation to be lacking both technical and narratively. Nothing is impressive about the cinematography or the storyboarding. The animation is stiff and clumsy, and the adaptation never feels like the decisions it makes in translating the material to anime form are for the sake of the medium or for accentuating the character dynamics of its cast through visual prose. As i said, this all falls flat

  2. In all honesty, I just read concluding thoughts and look at screen caps, for just about every series too. So, if coverage were to be minimized to just that, I’d still be an avid and appreciative skimmer. #realtalk

    1. Thanks for the feedback, and that kind of skim reading is fine! I’ll be taking these kinds of comments into account, when it comes to choosing between the series. Let’s hope this’ll get more love than the others, so that you can help yourself to 9 more episodes of concluding thoughts and screencaps.

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