Previously on Tokyo Ghoul
New season, new name, new attitude seems to be the mantra for Tokyo Ghoul. This season opener continues with the intensity the finale ended with, even in its more quiet moments. As Kaneki has changed, so has the tone of the show. This show’s world has always been brutal, but Kaneki’s naive frame of reference has been stripped away. The three-way battle between Antekiu, Aogiri Tree, and the CCG comes to an end, causing Kaneki to make a decision.
Long Time No See
As Kaneki is walking out of Yamori’s room and masking up, Hide is at the 11th Ward’s outskirts. He’s stopped his investigation to see what is going on personally, but the police have blocked off the ward. On the roof, the One Eyed Owl asks for Shinohara, the agent who cut his arms off ten years ago. Obeying Marude’s orders, Shinohara sends everyone but Iwa and Hirako away. Amon, tired of running away, disobeys and stays to fight. Shinohara relents, and everyone readies their quinques. Shinohara and Iwa’s quinques are prototypes called Aratas. This strong armor helps even the one on four fight for the CCG. All four doves are able to slash and stab the One Eyed Owl, even scoring a headshot, but he isn’t down long before he heals up. To make matters worse, not only does he grow more of his shell, but each dove’s quinque is now damaged.
Meanwhile, Team Anteiku are facing their challenges as well. The Gourmet, Yomo, and Uta are having their way with the mysterious ghoul Noro. After Tsukiyama hits Noro through Uta’s hands, and Yomo kicks of the top of his torso, Noro finally does something. He mends himself back together as if he’s made of threads. After doing so, an alarm clock goes off, which he nonchalantly stops, and walks downstairs past the group. They realize that his abilities and energy surpass any ghouls’, with The Gourmet wondering about his taste. The group doesn’t press their luck and just keep moving. Toka, on the other hand, is wasting Nishiki’s save and eating a couple Ayato combos before she can hit the ground. The first chance he gets, Ayato devours Toka’s kagune.
The tide has turned for the doves. Amon and Hirako are knocked out of the game and down, leaving Shinohara and Iwa to make a tough choice. The Aratas they are wearing are turned on and they begin to glow red. The Aratas feed on its wearer, and in turn, the human is granted ghoul speed and strength.
The playing field is finally leveled for the doves as Iwa and Shinohara go toe to toe with the One Eyed Owl. Before Shinohara can enjoy the power for too long, he drops from the fight. The suit is feeding on him too much and he is already weakened. The One Eyed Owl has a different take: the soul of the ghoul that was used to make that quinque was having his revenge. Even he is disgusted by how far the CCG will go.
After being munched on, Toka is barely holding on. Toka has to be saved by Kaneki from Ayato’s killing blow when Ayato hears her call for their dad. Kaneki easily blocks Ayato’s crystal shard attack, with his back turned, while he hands Toka off to Nishiki. He has an even easier time running through the attacks, to go back to back with Ayato, and let him know he won’t kill him because he’s Toka’s brother. Tatara and Eto are both watching from a distance, marveling at Kaneki’s newfound power. Ayato finally manages to cut Kaneki down with his shards, but Kaneki heals up with, what can be described as, blood spiders that sealed up his wounds.
Kaneki begins to psychoanalyze Ayato after giving him a vicious knee to the chest. Ayato is a part of Aogiri Tree for protection, the most important thing to him. What Kaneki can’t figure out, is what Ayato hopes to accomplish. Noro intervenes, scooping up Ayato. Noro turns off his alarm clock again, and they leave in a hurry as bombs go off.
Set It Off To The Left Y’all
The whole headquarters is going down and everyone is making their exit. Kaneki and Nishio carry Toka out. They’re greeted on the outside by Hinami and Kaya, who have at least walked a few steps closer. Still sitting on his ass, in the exact same spot, is Yoshimura. After his tough talk about buying the group some time, the only thing he did was ghoul-up his eyes? Strike one, Yoshimura. Inside, Banjo and his three ghouls are rescued from their cell by the Gourmet. Suzuya is seen dragging Yamori’s body out. On a curious note, as Shinohara and Iwa are about to be crushed by a piece of debris, the One Eyed Owl saves them. No words are spoken by either side as he fades into the dust. Half of the rest of the CCG force don’t fare so well as they are caught in the blast. It was all an Aogiri trap from the beginning, but from a distance, Eto and Tatara vow to not let the over 200 hundred ghoul deaths be in vain. Nico stops by to see his lover and possibly say his good-byes while the watch the shopping center crumble. Also looking on are an unknown “man” in a suit, along with 2 masked ghouls, Kuro and Shiro.
As the dust begins to settle, Kaneki has made his way back in to ground zero. As he surveys all of the dead, Eto appears. Again, there is just silence as she disappears and reappears around Kaneki. Whatever Kaneki is thinking, his decision is made. And with that, he leaves to join up with his Anteiku group. When Toka is left alone, Kaneki shows up and cuts through all of her small talk. He’s not going back to Anteiku, he’s joining Aogiri Tree. Toka tries to give chase as Kaneki walks away, but she is too weak and beaten. She can only collapse to her knees. Back at ground zero, masked and clad in his new bondage look, Kaneki leaves with Aogiri Tree.
There is nothing I can nitpick on this episode. Not even the existence of Kaya could bring the score down. I didn’t see Kaneki’s decision to leave Anteiku coming at all, but then again, he is a totally different person now. And it’s not like Yoshimura is going to do anything about it. I would knock off points just because of him, but they have already established that this is his nature. He will avoid fights nine times out of ten, so I understand, but that’s still a chump move. How are you going to give a rah-rah speech about storming the enemy, but then sit back with the woman and child? Will he ever do anything besides play Professor X from the sidelines? I hope so. Even Professor X got in the game every once in a while, and the man couldn’t walk. It’s that level of aggression that makes Kaneki’s move to Aogiri even more welcome. I don’t want to sit through 12 episodes of the old man getting in Kaneki’s way and slowing everything down with questions of morality. I’m eager to see what life is like on the militant side, and what Kaneki’s true intentions area. I don’t buy that he’s turned to the dark side, but I don’t think he’s exactly batting for angels either. And, as always, please keep our Gourmet in the mix.
Tokyo Ghoul √A - Episode 1 = 10/10