Tokyo Ghoul – 03

Tokyo Ghoul 002

The DIY plumbing Home Depot side story

Ahh what a lovely way to start my Saturday morning: with heavily censored gore and cannibalism. Definitely the perfect show to watch while drinking tea and wrapping yourself up in a fuzzy blanket the second I wake up. But then again, it’s not that much of a mismatch in mood since most of the bloody is stuff is censored. I’m actually surprised how much we’re seeing the black blurs considering some of the stuff they do show us.

Kaneki has been thrown from one bad situation to another non-stop. It’s about time to let him orient himself to his new surroundings so we can finally have him gain some confidence (or a general sense of what the hell is happening at the very least). It’s clear he’s sorely lacking in ghoul-related knowledge. This is, coincidentally, the kind of knowledge he needs to survive without getting killed. So this episode lays on that knowledge so Kaneki (and the viewers) have a stronger base of understanding. It’s a good sign that Tokyo Ghoul remains interesting even when it’s an action-light episode. That means it has a solid story holding everything together, and it can survive without spamming us with blood, guts and hyperviolence.

Tokyo Ghoul 102

“No one likes you, son. Just try not to let it get to you.”

Action can be dumb and fun because you don’t have to think about it at all. A dude punches another dude. Alright, got it. Sometimes when you peel that away, a show has very little substance and you realize you were just in it for the adrenaline. But Tokyo Ghoul has a solid concept beyond just senseless violence to keep you excited. I actually really like the concept of ghouls trying to blend in with humans in various ways and how they really aren’t as bad as you’d think. You can either completely hide from humans and just jump out for meals every now and then or you can try and coexist with them. But the problem is that even if you try really hard to get to know humans, that puts you in greater danger of being caught. Things like going to school, working in a cafe and talking to people are enriching experiences, but they have huge consequences. Touka plays it cool as a cucumber, but the fact is that her life is in danger every single second she’s out in the open.

It’s a sad trade-off. Touka gets the benefit of going to school, but she has to work really hard at protecting herself. That’s probably part of why she’s so jaded and refuses to let Kaneki get close to her. Well, that and the fact Kaneki is kind of a wimp and a life of hunting down your own food probably makes you a bit tougher than the average kid. But I’m getting off track. Basically, Touka is willing to risk everything to learn because it’s such a valuable experience for her. Hinami, on the other hand, has never gone to school and likely never will because she might accidentally bite off Little Timmy’s arm during recess. It made me realize how much we don’t think about what a privilege it is to be able to go to school – or to at least have the choice. Ghouls are so starved for knowledge that they try and soak up every single fact they learn and some of them enjoy being around humans for this reason. They are willing to risk their existence just to be able to write algebra tests and serve coffee to people. It means that much to them.

Tokyo Ghoul 105Tokyo Ghoul 106

Kaneki is making some…special…friends

As a result, the human-ghoul relationship becomes very complicated. It’s not just a simple rivalry between two sides that despise each other with every fiber of their being. Ghouls actually find humans interesting and exciting and just want to blend in, but at the same time they have no choice but to kill them. Humans probably wouldn’t like the idea of killing a species so similar to themselves, but how else will they protect themselves? That’s like letting all the serial killers roam free because “they have feelings too.” The fact that ghouls must eat humans – one way or another – makes it impossible for them to coexist without hurting each other. But who is right and who is wrong? Arguably, no one is. They’re both just doing what they have to in order to survive. It’s the same “grey area” debate you see in Shiki, and it works really well for getting you to sympathize with a group of flesh-eating beasts.

Truly, this episode was designed to get you to feel bad for the ghouls. The ghouls are depicted as misunderstood outcasts whereas the hunters are vicious murderers. When they bring out the cute loli to get you to care, you know they mean business. It helps that Kaneki is working with a ton of really nice ghouls who want to help him out, and they’re all really likeable characters. Touka is gruff, but clearly a good girl. The owner of the cafe is a gentleman who helps everyone out, no matter what species they are. Uta is adorably quirky without being too in your face like a Gatchaman Crowds character. I loved getting to know everyone and to see how they all rely on this tiny cafe. These are the goody-two-shoes ghouls who would rather suck on intestine-infused sugar cubes and eat suicide victims instead of committing murder. Unlike Nishiki, not everyone is a cold-blooded killer and the ghoul lifestyle can be lived in many different ways depending on your moral code.

Tokyo Ghoul 107

Kaneki is still figuring out where he fits amongst all this. “A ghoul body with the mind of a human” is probably the most accurate. He’s essentially a ghoul, but his past memories are holding him back. He still probably remembers what real taiyaki and sandwiches are supposed to taste like. It’s a weird transition. But he’s making progress by eating the mystery meat “sugar” cubes, helping out at the cafe, and befriending a rather cute little ghoul. I’m thankful that he’s progressed into saying “yes, I am a ghoul” and affiliating with the cafe. Unfortunately, he’s still a boring character who reacts to everything with screaming.

It’s understandable that you would be freaked out by having to pack away a suicide victim in the middle of the night (without prior explanation) and witness a little girl chowing down on some vital organs. But it’s not fun to watch. It’s doesn’t make for a good story or good characterization to have him freak out at everything constantly and act little a pansy. Buck up, Kaneki. You’re the most boring part of the show and I wish we were exploring this amazing world through someone else other than you.

So my complaint of the week is that Kaneki is rather dull, which is a shame given how much I’m invested in learning about the ghoul underworld. Oh, if only someone else other than him was my guide to this wonderful world! Anyways, things are shaping up nicely with Kaneki commissioning his badass mask and the ghoul hunters coming out swinging. The ghouls look like sweet little lambs compared to these psycho killers. It’s like they’re not even trying to make the humans look sensible because it might make you question having a ghoul main character. Weird. I guess Hide will be the sympathetic human who tries to accept ghouls. We’ll see, because there are a lot of exciting flags that have been raised and I can’t wait to see what goes down next week.

Tokyo Ghoul 108

Looks like Team Flare appears next week


A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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23 Responses to “Tokyo Ghoul – 03”

  1. belatkuro says:

    Team Ghoul has a loli while Team Human has men with briefcases and pliers.
    I know which side skylion is joining.

    • BlackBriar says:

      As do we all. To his defense should he choose the predetermined side, the loli is obscenely adorable.

    • Overcooled says:

      It’s not even a competition at this point…

      • BlackBriar says:

        It would be foolish to bet that he wouldn’t choose a side that has a loli in it.

    • skylion says:

      Sounds like you guys are doing fine being me, without me.

  2. Namika says:

    So this is the time when Kaneki learns more about Ghouls and starts to realize that they’re not that scary and monstrous. Nice.
    Though it’s funny to me that those two dudes from CCG(?) are running around with that tool(idk what’s it called in english) tryig to find out what it is. I know why do they need to know and stuff but it’s still a little funny and primitive.
    Is Kaneki calming down, or is it just my imagination? I hope it’s not.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, they’re not exactly the best detectives when they have to do groundwork. It’s pretty crude to go around attacking ghouls and waving pliers in their face while screaming “DO YOU KNOW ABOUT THIS?” I think anyone would be confused about that.

      Kaneki is getting better because this week he didn’t cry lol

  3. Iron Maw says:

    Glad to you see covering this series. I’m a big fan of manga and it’s one of few ones I’ve come consider to be pretty well written. The while the anime it self follows the manga’s events generally there so clear alterations done so this can be fitted into 1 cour. Still isn’t necessary a bad thing though as long as the adaptation itself remains decent.

    As for Kaneki’s initial attitude towards the ghoul world, I don’t see anything wrong with it or at least hadn’t effected my enjoyment show. I thought his reactions were pretty reasonable given until literally just one-two days ago none of this was part his life. Furthermore unfortunately while this doesn’t come across too well in the anime as it cuts most of cuts most of the internal monologues, but Kaneki is very often analyzing the ghouls around himself. Usually bring some interesting observations and shows his views towards change overtime.

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m glad to be covering it! There’s a lot to talk about, even if I’m poking fun at the drama. It’s sad knowing that they’ll probably give us a cliffhanger to fit it all into 1 cour, but I hope they at least finish off an arc nicely.

      As I say in my post, his reactions are totally reasonable for anyone put in the same situation as him. It just isn’t all that fun to watch him scream at everything around him all the time because it’s happened so many times now. Maybe if they kept more of the internal monologues it would be easier for me to like him. I’m sad to hear I’m missing out! I’ve noticed when they focus on Kaneki properly – like when he sits down and speaks with Hinami – he has some interesting stuff to say.

  4. Foshizzel says:

    This episode was great! I liked that whole mask making part because I often wondered why he wore a mask in the trailers for this and now I know, but the only thing that I find annoying is Kaneki himself he is such a god damn cry baby! Yeah I KNOW his battle with being half human and ghoul is the reason he acts wimpy….I just want him to accept it and become a badass or is that not a thing? As a non manga reader I hope this doesn’t happen around episode ten or eleven.

    I believe that LOLi Ghoul is gonna die! I have learned that these kinds of shows leave no room for happy moments or characters getting what they want.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, he looks different in every trailer/image I see of him! Sometimes he has a mask, an eyepatch, white hair, black hair…He has a different look all the time.

      I’m hoping he becomes badass soon too because that just makes things so much more exciting to watch =w=

      Oh gosh, the loli ghoul is almost certainly going to die. You can tell which shows kill off lolis and this is one of them.

  5. BlackBriar says:

    Personally, Tokyo Ghoul is getting better and did well with this gray area development entry to get to know the characters. Hinami’s cute for a pint sized man-eater. Kaneki’s on a new slate so it’s natural he has to learn the ropes. It’s already clear he’s begun to see Ghouls in a new light. Judging from the OP and his hair turning white, something is bound to happen so he may not remain dull for long. Irenesharda definitely needs to get pulled back into this show. She loved Shiki so she’ll love this.

    The Ghouls have a well-organized group yet some want to live among humans. Kind of a paradox, if you think about it. They’re so alone and vulnerable I can see why Toka would threaten Hide’s life if he ever catches on. And her hostility towards Kaneki is understandable since she’s most likely still angry with him for branding her kind as monsters without knowing their lifestyle and what’s needed to maintain it. Even though he’s slowly becoming one of them. Someone of that degree of ignorance is going to get burned. So it’ll take some time before she cools off.

    Those “Doves” from the CCG are already pissing me off and as I suspected, I don’t like Mado. People like him with their heartless tactics sometimes make the image that humans are more monsters than anything else. They go about their business but never consider the repercussions. Following the food chain means taking life so if humans hunt animals to survive, then they should accept they’re just as open to be the hunted by Ghouls.

    Uta (Takahiro Sakurai) is an oddball Ghoul. Honestly, I expected him to be stern and hard to approach but instead, he’s pretty laid back and eccentric.

    @Overcooled: 7000 comments in the bag, master. Lucky number 7!! 2000 more and I can say that iconic anime phrase. On another note, I’m closer to catching up to Fosh!

    • Overcooled says:

      There’s ALWAYS a loli version of the monster to make you pity them more. Always.

      I’m glad Kaneki is slowly accepting his position as a ghoul. I’m curious about all his various looks in the OP and promo art as well. His development should be very interesting. If Irene could take the blood, I think she might like it too.

      Mado is ugly, creepy and horrible. There’s nothing to like! I thought his partner would scold him for being so ruthless but he’s just as bad! Those Doves are just as bad as ghouls, if not worse.

      Congrats on 7000 comments! Thanks for your hard work, my loyal servant ahahaha!

  6. BlackBriar says:

    For anyone who likes the OP “unravel” by TK from Ling Tosite Sigure, info from Nipponsei states the full version will be available on July 23rd.

    • celestine says:

      Uhh actualy the full version is on youtube allready, I download on my phone like two days ago, this guy is the one who sings Psycho pass first opening isn’t he? Hes tone is so reconizable and unique.

      YES good, somebody said what was on my mind! Kaneki is deeeeeeeeeeeeply anoying , however I can’t say he do not have a reason to scream all the time i mean every thing new he descovers is sooooo creepy and I mean REALLY creepy I don’t think he will be lik this all the time thought, he sems to be getting stronger and making progress really quikly if you think about the time he got to adjust to such a life changing twist.
      There’s something i don’t get thought, i hize like alive inside him? Or is just his mind playng tricks on his head ? By concept thinking that somone’s soul might be living in some level inside your body just because you got. Their orgams is prety disturbing, in a filosophic point of viel however we can play the shirondinger cat card and say she’s both Dead and alive as a kind of perspective action of kaneki’s mind representing his hunger nd hes ghoul Instints, also I really like the caracter so I do hope she’s alive

      This Agakame ga kill and Aldonoah zero are being the best for me this season ! The whoke premise of the story as cool says is interesting . i want to find out more about their pouwers thought , those things that come out of the ghouls back’s for an example what are they?

      Aniway really looking foward to next week episose.

      • BlackBriar says:

        Seems that way that since I just downloaded the OP from a torrent site. Thanks for the info.

  7. Hazou says:

    Hi Metanorn. Been a while. I feel like I was tricked into watching Tokyo Ghouls. I saw some pictures online, when Kaneki has white hair and his human eye is covered. I only watched this anime thinking Kaneki was some badass mofo, and this anime was going to be on the lines of Deadman Wonderland. Instead I get an anime that I cannot tell if its a bad comedy or a bad horror. I mean the parts that work, work well. Kaneki’s emotions. Then there are times when it doesn’t work, trying to eat everything in site in the first episodes. I am having an on the fence experience with this anime. When does Kaneki become awesome and crazy?

    • Kyokai says:

      Hey Hazou! Good to see you back. 🙂

      I haven’t read the manga but I heard that he will turn into a badass mofo and the wait is worth is because we will see all the transition. However, as this is an adaptation and pacing is crammed, manga-readers will be cringing on the details missed but personally, I’m fine with the pacing currently so we shall see.

      • celestine says:

        See how people become badass mofos, test the process on yourself, become a badass mofo, sell the process online, get rich.
        See? Life is so simple, and you got rich from watching anime. So this can’t be bad!
        I actualy lovee the transition part because, you really fell like the cararcter is real, i mean people change, almoust never how they want to, but they do! That’s make the whole thing worth watching really, I am actually loving this since I am quite the crybaby myself so let’s see how kaneki does, and I just try to copy it, if it works, will wait for all of you guys on ebay 😉

    • Overcooled says:

      On the bright side, it’s not Deadman Wonderland because that was just horrible and the main character was also a loser. But yes, I’m waiting for Kaneki to become interesting as well. I want him to be the badass I saw in the promo art!

      I just ignore Kaneki when he annoys me because the rest of the show is actually getting pretty good. Maybe a manga reader can estimate when the badass kicks in?

      • Hazou says:

        Deadman Wonderland was good. I’m surprised you of all people, didn’t like Deadman Wonderland.

        When does Kaneki become bad ass? Cause I’ll watch it then. But I am not going to watch this. When I saw all the promo art, and him with white hair I thought I was getting into some kind of psychopathic main killer. Instead I get this guy “Kaneki” with black hair and wimpy.

  8. Kyokai says:

    I’m fine with Kaneki’s wimpiness for now because it’s the beginning and I’m hoping for a better character transition soon enough. The side characters are quite interesting honestly. I mean, Touka’s a tough girl but with a good heart. Hide is very likeable and the newly joined Uta is eccentric but not on your face (I would’ve flipped a table if someone like Hajime showed up here! ><). However, the most LOL moment for me was Miyano Mamoru voiced character waltzing in with a "Ee nioi" dialogue similar to Noragami. Had me in fits really and as I've heard his character is going to be VERY interesting, looking forward to the next episode.

  9. skylion says:

    This show is in the danger zone for me. I really really like the background. Whenever they pull the monsters out of the wainscoting and yet maintain the Masquerade to some degree, I want to see how they build it. And it has good opening inning.

    But for Kaneki. Holy Crap. I know, as Kyo states above, that he’s in early days. But did they have to set the whinging bar so low/high? He can be a decent character. His involvement with the LOLi is proof; and that is not a LOLi Defender coincidence.

    I’ll stick with it, I stuck with Accel World but for Haru…

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