Previously on Tokyo Ghoul √A, “Permeation”
This series grinds to a halt as the Lame Gang gets the spotlight. Stakes are raised just to pawn it off on another episode. It’s three steps back to take another slower, joyless route to the exact same destination. Yoshimura spills the beans on himself and the One Eyed Owl, while the CCG takes its time zeroing in on Anteiku.
Father Of The Year
The theme this week seems to be taking steps backward, so it’s only fitting it begins with last episode’s meeting between Kaneki and Yoshimura. Kaneki wants to know about the One Eyed Owl, which prompts Yoshimura to open up about his past. Back when he was known as Kuzen, he had a growing reputation for killing humans and ghouls to survive. He was soon recruited into a ghoul organization as a hitman, but over time, he left, not feeling like it was his home. It parallels Kaneki, but to really hammer it home, we get a ghost Kaneki hanging on the rooftops with Kuzen. Time passes and Kuzen drops the emo act when he falls in love with a coffee shop waitress named Ukina. They remain a happy couple even when she later finds out he’s a ghoul. Unlike most ghoul / human swirl couples, Ukina becomes pregnant. She doesn’t bat an eye when she learns that she must become a cannibal for the baby to make it to term. After the baby is born, the family doesn’t get far before the organization finds them. Ukina is stabbed and dying when we see the baby has green hair with one ghoul eye.
Vowing vengeance, Kuzen leaves the baby in an alley to go killing solo. By the time he returned, the baby is gone and he is a human sized version of the One Eyed Owl. The real One Eyed Owl emerged years later.
The Other Stuff
In present day, Toka and Hinami are moving out since their apartment is being renovated. As they’re out on their errands, they’re being tailed by new CCG investigators. Marude thinks they may have become known, and is acting on Shinohara’s reports. That night, Yomo reports some bad news to Yoshimura that shakes him. He decides to tie up some loose ends, also asking Yomo to watch over everyone. As Yomo, Toka, and Hinami leave, armed investigators are surrounding the building.
Shinohara strides through the door and takes a seat in front of Yoshimura. It’s just the two of them, so Yoshimura joins Shinohara for his cup of coffee. The tension in the room drops when Shinohara gets a taste of the coffee. For a moment, the battle lines are erased and Yoshimura gives a profound, thinly veiled, speech on his coffee philosophy.
The approach to the beans is most important. Even cheap beans can give good flavor if you brew with care. There’s an odd standoff when Shinohara refuses to take the coffee for free, but he relents and leaves. Later over coffee, Irimi and Koma pledge their loyalty to Yoshimura, but he knows the end is coming. At the CCG, Marude and CCG Jesus, Yoshitoki, ask the Chairman permission for their next step in getting the One Eyed Owl: attacking Anteiku.
Tokyo Ghoul √A - S2E8
This was painful. I want to just leave it there, but there were 2 scenes in this show that I can’t ignore. Yoshimura’s past was a great way to start the episode. Takatsuki is the One Eyed Owl, and apparently Yoshimura is the watered down version. After these revelations, it’s filler city. I couldn’t care less about The Lame Gang when they’re actually moving the plot along. Here, they just did their job. That’s it. They worked. Who. Cares. This episode should’ve skipped straight to Yoshimura and Shinohara’s meeting. Once again, their conversation is dripping with subtext, but nothing happens. All the tension built up watching the CCG close in ends on a wet fart. This episode set up nothing that wasn’t already done last episode. We have four episodes left, there’s no time to be sifting through filler or wandering down pointless plots. Disappointing.