“PresS: The Crumbling Night”
The Quinx Squad Strikes
After going incognito for a bit, I’m glad that the role of the Quinx Squad was immediately clarified, since they vanished after the crackdown began. They need to quickly rescue Mutsuki, before offering backup to other parts of the operation. And they easily manage that, swiftly dispatching Kanae, who barely escapes thanks to Matsumae. However, Urie is dissatisfied with his subsequent mission, and takes matters into his own hands. Although his disobedience initially pays dividends, with Urie tearing up surviving ghouls with Suzuya, things take a gnarly turn after he ends up in Big Madam’s mouth. This guy constantly overestimates himself and it was funny to see him talk down Kuroiwa, (who singlehandedly defeated a Clown using his bare hands) while getting completely clapped by Big Madam. Will this guy ever learn? I reckon he’ll figure things out over the course of TG:re. I’m completely fine with that, so long as it paves the way for extensive character development.
Continuing from last episode, I had previously narrowed the conflicts down to three encounters: Akira vs Naki, Suzuya vs Ayato and Hirako vs Uta. However, most of these fights were quite short, and with the battlefield constantly shifting in a turbulent manner, matchups changed time and time again. And incidentally, that’s one of the other things I absolutely love about Tokyo Ghoul – unbridled chaos.
Conflicts and hostilities occur due to societal tensions between hunter and prey, and the roles frequently reverse as the power dynamics continually change. But when both sides are hunting with their highest level, a blood soaked battleground becomes guaranteed. I also feel that a lot of these ghouls and investigators aren’t too different from each other. They contain fragments deep inside them that dictate certain actions, that act as catalysts for chaos. And strangely enough, I can relate to some of these ghoulish ones too, since they remind me of patently human weaknesses. Kanae, and the self-destructive persistence you’d have for someone you love; Gagi and Guge being loyal to Naki, even if it resulted in self-sacrifice; Ayato abandoning protection of Big Madam to prioritise saving his comrades at Aogiri Tree.
Despite being ghouls and labelled as alien threats to society, they exhibit ‘human behaviour’ at times, perhaps more so than a few of the investigators we’ve seen in this series. I’ve really liked how Ishida has gone about exploring this idea, because ghouls are humanised in a way that brings about an interesting dilemma. They’re not so different from us bar one fatal flaw, and that makes us question whether all ghouls collectively deserve their designated place within society. However, a coin always has two sides.
Then you have those ghouls who are totally off their rockers, giving their species a terrible reputation. I’d rather just forget about Nutcracker. Although it was pretty cool how she wiped out the Ooshiba squad, I died inside a bit when she went about doing her business. You know… yeah, I’m not gonna go into the details.
Then there’s Takizawa. Just wow… he won pretty much all my accolades for this episode. Those deranged utterances of ‘Jam‘ sent repeated chills down my spine, though I’ll admit they made me giggle a bit owing to sheer silliness. But any comedic apprehension were immediately dispelled, thanks to a standout performance from Tachibana Shinnosuke. His creepy yet whimsical voice acting did a perfect job of portraying how broken Takizawa has become, and this was coupled with a fantastic visual impact on screen. Takizawa eviscerating investigators in the most brutal of manners was a sight to behold, and his frenzied assault upon Sasaki left me very excited for the next episode.
In short, every scene featuring Takizawa was a highlight in this episode, and I honestly wonder what kind of suffering he must have gone through to reach this point (considering he used to be this dorky and frightened investigator).
While the animation can be quite lacklustre at times, especially during the fight sequences, that hasn’t really diminished my enjoyment. Now hear me out. While action comprises a decent chunk of Tokyo Ghoul, it doesn’t hold a candle to the importance of characterisation. You could say I’m rather keen on the substantive composition of the series, and in my opinion, they’ve successfully preserved the core essence of Haise Sasaki. He shoulders burdens all on his lonesome, and refuses to trust his companions with sharing in his pains and struggles. What are his reasons – that he doesn’t want them in dangers way? That he doesn’t trust them to be able to help? A mix of both? Regardless, this same old weakness that we saw in Ken Kaneki rears its ugly head once more, when Haise Sasaki confronts Takizawa by himself.
And it seems fairly ironic that Sasaki doesn’t want to rely on Kaneki, for fear of his consciousness being erased. Yet he still won’t ask for external help, even in dire situations, which inevitably forces him to rely upon Kaneki’s brute powers, creating this ebb and flow where Sasaki’s gains this increasing dependence on letting loose. It’s a ticking time bomb waiting to explode.
What will the outcome be in this standoff? Guess we’ll be finding out soon! As always, thanks for reading my post and see you next week!