“MAIN: Auction”

「オークション MAIN」 (Ookushon MAIN)

So much happened that it’s difficult to discuss the events of this episode under any particular unifying theme. However, I think we can all agree that there was an underground auction of live humans, that the CCG promptly gatecrashed.

Auction Lockdown

Tokyo Ghoul has always tapped into that dark side of us that enjoys witnessing these sufferings, and this episode was no different. From a human perspective, the Auction is a depraved slave trade resulting in horrible deaths. From a ghoul’s perspective, it’s an underground food market, thrown together with some usual entertainment. From our perspective as the viewer with a high enough level of sentience to appreciate both sides, it’s a gruesome yet delightful spectacle. It gave me uncomfortable shivers to see monetary values being ascribed upon human life, for the purpose of consumption no less. But while there’s a barbaric spectacle akin to Roman style entertainment (making me recoil in disgust), I’m also able to equally revel in the sheer horror of it all.

I’m surprised that Mutsuki and Tooru were able to easily infiltrate the Auction. Don’t the Auctioneers screen the background of their quarry, just in case this kind of breach happens? Apparently not, because the ‘Doves’ surrounded the auction from all sides, intent on taking out some big wigs. Though CCG assumed a tactical advantage, it was never going to be that easy. We’ve always seen the investigators get foddered by powerful ghouls and ghouls getting foddered by powerful investigators. Plus, Aogiri Tree were spread throughout the Auction, acting as security. Well, it wasn’t any different this time round. Naki jumps into the thick of things and immediately eviscerates some poor sods, with Miza quickly joining after some slight hesitation. Meanwhile, in case people don’t remember, Big Madame used to be Juuzou’s master. She subjected him to horrific torture by pulling strings on his body, diminishing his ability to sense physical pain, and smashed his testicles with a hammer so that he could continue looking boyish. Having been tasked with dodge knives in the past, as a means of providing entertainment to ghoul-kind, it’s only fitting that Suzuya exacts retribution by killing many ghouls at the auction in a flurry of blades. Does it look like he’s out for revenge? Quite possibly. Akira also wanders into the fray, brandishing Fuegechi One as she swiftly repelled a rampant Naki. Carnage everywhere, as a sinister presence makes itself known, with body counts continue mounting from both sides.

However, this begs a question that I suspect will be answered next time. With most adversaries already being occupied, how will Sasaki and the Quinx Squad fit into the frame, considering they were told to proceed forwards?

Concluding Thoughts

To wrap off the episode, we’ve boiled down to a couple of key confrontations between investigator and ghouls: Akira vs Naki, Suzuya vs Ayato, Hirako vs Uta. With Eto waiting in the wings and a familiar face wreaking havoc, I’m excited to see the situation escalate further.

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After parsing through reactions by communities on the internet, there seemed to be an uproar at the adaptation doing this wrong or that wrong. Conversely, I find it difficult to launch similar criticism. If I had to explain why, I’m completely up to date with the manga, meaning I’m not lacking in context. Additionally, my memory of the manga is a bit fuzzy, so I can’t nitpick particular details that the anime has decided to change.

While the animation wasn’t quite up to par, in terms of expressing these fragmented skirmishes between CCG and Aogiri Tree, I thought the overall directing captured the chaos very well without losing too much essence. You could also feel the emotions underlying actions taken by individuals, which expressed quaint particularities in their characterisation. e.g. Kanae attempting to steal away Mutsuki so that Tsukiyama could be healed, Torso’s obsession causing him to intervene and save Mutsuki, Atou defeating Nutcracker’s partner through his belief in hard work, etc.

Even though Torso’s obsession with Mutsuki wasn’t properly explained (from a manga reader’s perspective), I believe it’s passable that this deranged lunatic just happened to develop an unhealthy infatuation. Leaving out the detail doesn’t create a wild inconsistency, and that’s part of the reason why I’ve chosen to stand by Tokyo Ghoul:re. So far, it’s done well with limited resources in creating a complex adaptation that hasn’t fallen afoul of my sensibilities. That is partially why I’ve chosen to continue covering this series (in spite of its apparent shortcomings), alongside my personal fixation of seeing Kaneki’s suffering unfold on the screen. Not to mention, Tokyo Ghoul has had a history of being covered on RandomC and it’d be a damn shame to see coverage getting dropped.

As always, thanks for reading my post, and hope to see you again next week!


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