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Tokyo Ghoul – S1E9 – Birdcage

Previously on Tokyo Ghoul, ‘Circular’

Were the last 2 episodes too much for you? Well, you’re in luck. Time has passed and we play catch up with the Tokyo Ghoul players. Amon mourns before moving forward, the 11th Ward spills over into the 20th, and Hide shows his cards.

See You At The Crossroads

Years ago, at the CCG, Amon is reporting for his first day of duty. Amon is warned by the other agents about his crazy partner, but he and Mado are soon off on their first assignment. Mado believes the Applehead, ghoul that they are looking for, is a 68 year old woman, but Amon is skeptical. They pay a visit to the woman to return her medical records that cleared her. Amon is hot about having to wrongfully suspect an old woman, but Mado quickly points out that they could be easy forgeries. The point was to lull her into a false sense of security. Amon seems to be coming around until Mado asks to see his quinque. Thinking Mado is playing around, Amon storms off and impresses Mado. Amon sees the old lady and decides to help, which is a bad move. In a secluded area, he realizes too late that she is Applehead. His quinque is jammed in its case, and Amon is down. As Applehead makes her charge, Mado decapitates her. What Mado says next is the pep talk Amon gave himself last episode.

Gravesite

In present day, it has been almost 50 days since Mado died and Amon is still visiting his gravesite. On the way there, he runs into Agent Shinohara who has news for Amon, but stops short when he realizes where Amon is going. He lets Amon know that Mado was proud of him, which makes Amon tear up. On his way out, Amon passes by a girl who suspiciously looks like Toka in a blonde wig. 

Detectives Kaneki and Hide

At Anteiku, Hinami has moved in with Toka and is slowly coming out of her grief. She is still shaken when she passes by where her mother died, but she is making strides. Having a new disguise and taking in a bird have helped. Kaneki is back at the Helter Skelter bar looking for information. He fills Itori in on how he lost control, stabbing Yomo, and she is shocked at the strength it takes to do that. As for Rize, she can only tell him to check out the 11th Ward. She first appeared there, and no one knows anything past that. Walking home, Kaneki bumps into a kid dressed as a clown. Something smells “delicious” about him, but Kaneki leaves it alone. The clown pick pocketed Kaneki, learns, his name, and that they are the same age, 19. He’s disappointed, however, when Kaneki only has change in his wallet.

Det Hide

The next day, Hide is visiting Kaneki at Anteiku when a news report about the CCG adding agents to the 11th and 20th Wards cuts in. This prompts Kaneki to go pale when Hide theorizes a place like Anteiku exists, their purpose, and most of their recent actions. Before Kaneki can get too stressed, Hide quickly blames his curiosity on a new ghoul manga he’s reading and leaves. Outside, Hide has a somber moment before moving on.

The Dominoes

At the CCG, Shinuhara introduces Amon to the two new agents who will be taking over the 20th Ward, Takazawa and Hoji. Takazawa is a rookie who looks up to Amon, and Amon and Hoji have history together. While these two take the reins, Amon will be joining Shinuhara in a task force for the 11th Ward. The 11th Ward is also being talked about back at Anteiku. Ghouls there are banding together to take out the CCG. Kaneki checks on Toka who is staring at the bird and lost in her feelings. She didn’t expect Mado to have a family, and she can’t get over it. In flashback, we see Toka’s happy family. Of course, Toka is a tomboy, but her younger brother, Ayato is much softer. Their loving father makes Toka promise to teach her brother, and Ayato to protect his sister. Hinami rushes in to show off her new haircut Toka gave her. Kaneki compliments Toka and she melts inside all over again.

The Ghouls 3

Later that night, Hide is having a beer outside when Yamori and a mystery partner walk past. Yamori talks about not letting Rize get away and Hide’s face stretches in horror. Elsewhere, Mr. Banjo and his group of three ghouls arrive in the 20th Ward also looking for Rize. Both groups are heading for Anteiku, but, that morning, Mr. Banjo’s group isn’t moving fast enough for another ghoul. After killing a few CCG agents with no word from Banjo, he decides to take his group to the 20th Ward. They have to beat Yamori to Rize. He unmasks, and it’s Ayato.

Ayato

Tokyo Ghoul S1E9
  • 9/10
    Plot - 9/10
  • 9/10
    Dialogue - 9/10
  • 8/10
    Animation - 8/10
8.7/10

Summary

To the eagle-eyed readers, you may have noticed that the animation was rated and not the action. Well, there was no action. Had this been a weak episode, that would have counted against it, but that’s not the case. This episode didn’t need any more action than the brief fight in the beginning. There was groundwork laid and fallout explored, and, better yet, not just in info dumps.

This episode was more organic than the choppiness of episode 3’s alternating scenes of action and exposition. However, the animation for the opening flashback was lazy for the bar they’ve set. It’s obvious it was shopped out to another group, or, worse, just given to their own B-teamers. That being said, it was good to have a little more time with Mado. I hate that he’s gone. There was too much treasure to mine from his character for him to be gone. If they ever decide to give him his own series, I’m in like Flint. Until then, we have 3 more episodes left and everyone is on a collision course except that clown kid. I can’t shake the feeling that’s the other half human ghoul.

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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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