Previously on Tokyo Ghoul √A, “Deluge of Flowers”
On many levels, this finale is bittersweet, but that wasn’t the game plan. Like last season, this finale aims to be cerebral, with added symbolism, but results vary. For all the positives, there are some glaring problems, some old and some new. Hide gets the last word with Kaneki before being carried away, Toka runs, Akira cries, and the CCG gets an unexpected surprise.
Hello and Goodbye
Kaneki is deep in his happy place when Hide’s appearance snaps him back to reality of present day Anteiku, the random searchlights backlighting the room, and his gaping side wound. After the initial shock, he covers his ghoul eye in shame, but Hide has a bombshell for him. He’s known about Kaneki being a ghoul since Nishio attacked them both back in the second episode. Through the head stomps and kicks, Hide was only playing dead. He heard and saw everything, and thanks Kaneki for saving his life. Kaneki is finally put at ease, uncovering his eye and facing Hide fully. Blood has been dripping on the floor from the start, but now it’s dropping heavier and a small puddle has formed. Hide confesses that he liked Kaneki being a part of Anteiku, but he felt left out. Regardless, he made the choice to do anything he could to help his friend, even though he considered himself useless tonight. The blood puddle doubles while Hide asks Kaneki not to take on the responsibility as usual. Hide finally coaxes a chuckle out of Kaneki just before a big gush of blood doubles the puddle on the floor. Through the reflection, we see Noro did get to Hide and it has been him bleeding the whole time. Hide knows he’s dead when he stumbles into Kaneki’s arms, and his last wish is to go home.
Outside, the 20th Ward is littered with dead ghouls and investigators. The Aogiri have disappeared, leaving the CCG to regroup. Iwa is badly hurt yet conscious, but Shinohara is somehow only in critical condition knocking on heaven’s door. The normally hyper Suzuya is sulking alone and no one has had contact with Amon’s division except for Akira, who is still crying over Amon’s broken, bloody quinque. Meanwhile, Toka has been running this whole time, until she drops to her knees in front of Anteiku burning.
Inside, Kaneki is still mourning and drops a blood tear, from his ghoul eye, on to Hide’s nose. Hide gives a weary smile that gets one back from Kaneki. Metaphorically, Kaneki’s hair blows in the wind, switching to black, and showing his true, or human, intentions. Toka’s stroll down Anteiku memory lane is interrupted when she sees Kaneki carrying Hide out. Back on the run, she is saved by Ayato’s kagune shards from falling debris, but doesn’t see him. Undeterred, Toka keeps running before stopping short of Kaneki rounding a corner to the main street. In the metaphoric wind, his hair switches back to white once a CCG helicopter light passes him. As Toka moves towards Kaneki, Yomo cuts her off, making good on his promise to protect her for Yoshimura. Toka doesn’t like it, but she can’t argue.
White Hair Don’t Care
Accompanied by a dramatic piano remix of the original opening song, Kaneki carries Hide, slow and measured, through the heart of the CCG. As Kaneki passes the dead and men attempting resuscitation, carrying the dead the injured off, or just wallowing in the horror of battle, they begin to notice. Hoji, who just recovered poor Seido’s broken quinque, is the one to report the Eyepatch to Washu and Marude. The next few minutes, we watch Kaneki carry Hide, look at him, look away, look forward, and some times, blink. Kaneki manages to out walk to remix by two minutes before he finds himself in a standoff with Arima, under helicopter spotlight and surrounded. Armed with his trusty lightning sword quinque, Arima also has another black, gold trimmed case.
Back at the burned out Anteiku, Yomo and Toka are about to leave when she notices a chunk of Yoshimura’s tea cup. As the sun comes up, she swipes it and catches up to Yomo. Back at the CCG camp, the sun is also out. Arima is shown standing with his sword in the ground in front of him, but the black case is gone. Kaneki’s hair is blowing white in the wind. And for those who didn’t learn their lesson last episode, another post credits scene gives us an apparent time jump. Toka has grown into a young woman and is opening a coffee shop. She has kept Yoshimura’s broken cup pristine and appears happy, but for a moment, the old Toka shows as she stares down the street. She brushes it off and goes back in with a smile.
Tokyo Ghoul S2E12
Did you like that long, extended walking sequence? Needing to wait long enough for the manga to get a safe distance ahead of the anime, we’ll be waiting until 2017. After the first season’s finale (which I loved), I felt cheated this time around. The pacing was slow and deliberate to mixed results. The conversation, and subsequent reveal between Hide and Kaneki was perfect. Two old friends, one bravely giving his last sentiments, saying their final goodbyes. Loved it. Toka and Akira? Hated it. Akira spent the episode crying in one spot, and Toka ran to cry and do nothing. Toka felt like filler, while Akira wasn’t even around long enough to be considered. These two used to be two of my favorite characters, they can do better than this. Also, as much as I came to like Shinohara, he should be dead. Period. But this episode was more about symbolism and style. Hide couldn’t go out with some fanfare, so the Great Walk of Eternity was necessary to give it some weight, while slowly ramping up the tension on the way to Arima. Something we most likely won’t get to see thanks to the time jump.
It’s a year long wait until next season and word is already out that Toka will be the center. It’s an idea that is as exciting as it is terrifying. Which Toka will we get? Do-nothing Toka is awful and I can’t sit through another season of her running to nowhere to do nothing. But she’s the center of everything next go around, so there’s hope. This show is too good to not find something interesting to do with her. I blame Yoshimura, lame patient zero. Everyone except for Kaneki went under his wing interesting, and came out as exciting as stale bread. I’m team One Eyed Takatsuki on this one. She’s doing the Lord’s work, hopefully.