Previously on Tokyo Ghoul Re, “Those Who Hunt: START”
If the new pace was a little too fast for you, this week must have been dizzying. In 20 plus minutes, Fragments: member chewed up about four episodes worth of material, but the series is now in focus. As much as this feels like a bold new direction, it’s right in line with its predecessors.
Picking up where we left off, Sasaki has partially given in to Kaneki to defeat S-rated Orochi. Though he resists, Sasaki has to fully give in to Kaneki to beat Orochi in a decent fight. Mask-less, Orochi turns out to be a grown Nishio, who drops a bombshell on us: Sasaki is Kaneki.
Just like that, in the first five minutes we’re back on track. Dress up Tokyo Ghoul however you like, but one of the core tenants has always been torturing Kaneki. Hell, it started before Rize was taking chunks out of him, all the way back to the bullying and sad home life. We’ve watched him be mentally and physically mangled into the mental mash he is in now, which isn’t a surprise considering this is at least his third psychotic break. Aware that his first 20 years (and that person) are separate from him, he clings to the life he has now. The rest of the squad are his brothers and sisters, making Mado and Arima his mom and dad.
There’s no way Kaneki isn’t coming back, and in the road to recovery it will be hell. The Quinx squad is Chief Washu (CCG Jesus) and Arima’s baby, especially considering Washu handpicked Sasaki as the mentor. As seen in this episode, Arima is more than just a mentor to Sasaki, imparting wisdom and getting progress reports during impromptu sparring sessions. Arima even refers to the others as “grandkids”, yet how literal or metaphorical that was is unclear.
I’ll Slap The Ghoul Out Of You
Sasaki being the father could be a joke on how he deals with the Quinxes or that he is the basis for the group. Using the same principles that created him, the CCG has implanted these humans with ghoul kakuhous, the core of kagunes. In a sense, they are his children and he can treat them as such. For endangering the lives of the squad and not retreating, Sasaki strips Urie of being captain and awarded it to Shirazu. Intended to spur an attitude adjustment, Urie’s issues run to deep and he spirals down some more.
Haunted by the his father’s death, and the hate he feels for the doves that left him behind, Urie’s solution is to not only insult Mr. Sass with low blows, but to go behind his back to power up his kagune. A move which shouldn’t have worked, and nobody would sign off on, but their Dr. Shiba is a shady one. The tension and competition between Sasaki and Urie is slowly becoming hate, another battle down the road for a Sasaki who may end up more Kaneki than himself by then. As highly regarded as Sasaki is, he’s only to be treated as a human as long as he’s in control. Going crazed ghoul can be instant death.
You Can’t Take The Anteiku Out Of The Man
Past the CCG, there’s the ghoul world to deal with. Sasaki may disregard them, but they don’t disregard him. Ayato, is still running with Aogiri Tree and hot on his trail, already decimating a squad and leaving their commander to tell the tale. Word must be getting around as Nishio wasn’t shocked when he realized who he was fighting. All he could do was call him irredeemable, words that are already haunting Sasaki / Kaneki. He believes himself to be redeemed by working with the CCG, but how could he explain that to Hinami, who watched her mom get massacred at Papa Mado’s hands? Much worse, there are some things he can’t resist.
On the way to search for a ghoul, a familiar aroma leads Kaneki to a coffee house, “:Re”. Yomo instantly recognizes him, but Sasaki can’t place him. Before he can make sense of it, grown woman Touka appears. Keeping it together, she serves Sasaki a cup of coffee love that brings a tear to his eye.
He’s in love and feeling at home. Intercut with Urie’s kagune surgery, it’s a touching scene that works off everything set up the earlier seasons. Kaneki can never fake the funk around Touka, she’s his weakness.
It’s just a matter of time before Kaneki comes back. Sasaki’s life is already unraveling, and with creepy doves like Kijima taking notice, that can’t mean anything good. No matter which way Sasaki / Kaneki decides to go, he’s screwed, but that’s okay. Tokyo Ghoul is at its best when Kaneki gets it worse. Hopefully :re can keep cashing in on the work put in before it. If this is what we’re getting two episodes in, they’re going to be covering massive territory that can easily fall flat with no weight or emotional connection attached.