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Tokyo Ghoul √A – S2E2 – Dancing Flowers

Previously on Tokyo Ghoul, “New Surge”

Tokyo Ghoul has been on a roll, shooting on all of the cylinders that make this a great show. Two steps forward for one step back. This episode is interesting, but interesting doesn’t automatically equal entertaining. The plot is moved forward, and we catch up with all of the characters, but they barely touch on the most interesting thread, Kaneki in Aogiri Tree. The CCG regroups and refocuses while Amon meets his new partner. Anteiku reopens while Kaneki is filling his role with Aogiri.

Young Mado And Shino

Licking Wounds

The fun starts ten years ago, when the One-Eyed Owl first handed the CCG their asses. Only a small group is left, and, front and center, we meet a young Mado. Unlike the man we’re used to, he is shaken and green. Shinohara isn’t holding up much better, but a young Chief Arima is unphased. He picks up two quinques and begins the attack that will claim the One-Eyed Owl’s original arms.

In present day, some time has passed since the failed assault on the Aogiri. Chief Washu has called a Special Investigators conference, which only Chief Arima doesn’t attend. Washu looks like Jesus, cleaned up and in a suit, but is only upstaged by the chief investigator over the 23rd Ward. Imagine a thin albino, balding like Hulk Hogan, and you’re there. The Aogiri have now also taken the 9th and 10th Wards. Reports say that these attacks were led by a ghoul with an eye patch, who they also connect with the rabbit and Mado’s death. They surmise that Aogiri may have a base in the 20th Ward, and that investigation is handed to Shinohara and his crew. Based on the path the Aogiri are taking, Washu is sending reinforcements to the 3rd and 13th Wards from all others. The Aogiri are trying to take Tokyo from the west, but the plan is to gun for the One-Eyed Owl. After the meeting, Iwa and Shinohara share an idea, alone in an elevator, but the camera cuts away to Yoshimura drinking coffee so we can’t hear. Walking out, they agree to keep it to themselves before bumping into Seido’s new gofer, Hide. On the plus side, he’s a part-timer and already has a good reputation, but his longer hair is also getting dangerously close to mullet territory.

Hide

 

New Beginnings

At Anteiku, the gang is putting the finishing touches on cleaning up the damage Yamori did. The human cover story is that Anteiku was robbed, and they are just getting back on their feet. Hinami has grown, and Toka is studying to go to Kamii, Nishiki and Hide’s school. Irimi knows it’s a tough school to get into, so she gets Nishiki to help Toka. At school, Toka has a moment that forces her to think about Kaneki, which prompts a peek at what he’s been up to.

Kaneki

At the tail end of a slaughtering mission, Kaneki is standing over the bodies of a human and a ghoul. Deep in thought, he spots a human hiding on the other side of the room. To the man’s surprise, when Ayato calls for Kaneki, Kaneki leaves him alone.

At Mado’s grave, Amon is giving Mado his progress report. As he’s breaking the news that he is now a senior investigator, Amon is interrupted. He has a new partner, Akira Mado, Kureo Mado’s daughter.

Akira

Back at the to the office, the announcement is made official. Akira’s introduction goes smoothly except with Seido. They were in the same academy class. He came second to her and it still burns him. It’s Shinohara’s first day back in the office, and he debriefs them on the earlier meeting. When he gets to the connections with “Eye Patch”, Seido jumps to the conclusion that the Gourmet and Binge Eater are with Aogiri too, but Mado 2.0 quickly shuts that down. After going through the predatory numbers the last 6 months, she concludes that the binge eater is dead and was a female. Seido is questioning her the whole way, but she calmly has facts to put him in check. Going further back in the numbers, she hypothesizes that a group like Anteiku exists in the 20th Ward, regulating the ghouls there. When the Binge Eater got out of line, they killed her. New Mado doesn’t believe that they are Aogiri but doesn’t rule out there might be connections.

Amon is having a hard time adjusting to his new partner. Akira doesn’t believe in formalities, or wasting time. She is direct and brutally honest. Her father had to grow into the man who could handle being an investigator, but Mado 2.0 was born into this. Everything that her father had to learn the hard way, she has been taught beforehand. Concern for other’s feelings was not one of those lessons. On the advice of Shinohara, Amon asks to have dinner with her, to get to know her, but he is turned down flat because she doesn’t eat late. 

When I Think Of You

Anteiku reopens with Yomo, Uta, and Itori being their first customers. Hinami gets a new bird mask from Uta and it’s a happy time. Toka enjoys it a minute before her thoughts turn back towards Kaneki. Decked in full bondage gear, Kaneki is alone having a cup of coffee at a hideout. Bookending the quick coffee scene with Yoshimura before, they both have an extra cup for someone who isn’t there, and share a solemn moment. Ayato comes for Kaneki, and their crew is off on another raid. From afar, Kuro and Shiro are watching unmasked. Both girls have one ghoul eye just like Kaneki. As the mission gets underway, the One-Eyed Owl sneaks away to a remote location. After removing her bandages, she smiles thinking about Kaneki.

Unwrapped

Tokyo Ghoul √A S2E2
  • 8/10
    Plot - 8/10
  • 9/10
    Dialogue - 9/10
  • 6/10
    Action - 6/10
7.7/10

Summary

Two classic episodes, in a row, and then this. I didn’t hate it, but this episode focuses on the CCG and Anteiku solely. Let’s be honest, without Kaneki, Anteiku is boring. What’s worse than emo Toka? Fake cheer Toka. Worse than that, this episode was mostly info dumps with filler spackled in the holes. So much information, so little physical motion. I don’t care about Anteiku, I want to see what Kaneki is doing. How is life in the Aogiri Tree? Does Ayato suspect he’s up to something? The gems for this episode were in the first, and last, few minutes. Mr. Mado has been dead as a doornail for 6 episodes and still manages to get his character flushed out more. I’ll say it again, he needs a spinoff, especially after seeing how he started. As for Ms. Mado, she seems to be the next evolution. She’s stiff, thorough, and all business. Where her father let personal feelings push him too far, she seems to be much more reserved. It’ll be interesting to see how she does in action.

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About Stephen Smith (72 Articles)
Stephen Smith is an old military brat who claims Houston, TX as his hometown. Growing up on a steady diet of anime, comic books, and video games, he has always kept his nerd light shining bright. Now, as a married father of 4, he passes on the tradition to his kids, while trying to not be too much of an adult in his bid for world domination.
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