A literal blood bath, to give your skin that rosy red glow after~
|The dapper gentleman in the suit who was just introduced last week has turned out to be a lot less of a gentleman than expected. Perhaps I should just expect everyone in this show to be a lunatic at first glance. How else will they make things interesting if everyone isn’t obsessed with murder or torture or some combination of the two? Ahhh, Tokyo Ghoul. You live for the thrills and never let us down in that regard. But boy do you ever go to 250% (and beyond!) in creating those overly extravagant thrills.|
I thought Kaneki would have to worry more about ghoul hunters than other ghouls. Apparently fellow ghouls also pose as a threat to him. Within days of working at the cafe, he gets himself wrangled by a questionably-dressed ghoul (voiced by Mamoru Miyano) and put into a life-or-death situation. Next time when the people sheltering you from society tell you to stay away from someone, you probably should. But Kaneki is new to this world and this is likely only the first of many screw-ups that land him in danger. It’s still a pretty dumb move on his part, newbie or not, but I’ll let it slide since he’s so naive. I’m also a little forgiving because his mistake means we get to see a group of gourmet cannibals host a party complete with a deathmatch. That’s a reward in of itself!
This terrible mishap definitely didn’t happen because Kaneki’s caregivers weren’t trying to help him. In fact, there were many attempts for the first half of the episode to bring Kaneki more up to speed with ghoul affairs and what to expect given his newfound abilities. This is good because it means everyone is trying really hard to help Kaneki be less clueless…meaning it won’t be too long before he’s ready to be a real ghoul.
First of all, he gets some very brief hand-to-hand combat training. Although it’s not really training as much as it is him getting beat up a guy with a body like a tank. He gets no instruction whatsoever. On the bright side, the ghouls recognize that Kaneki will need to learn to fight one day (as in, right now) and to be able to control his powers. It’s a start! Second of all, he meets Itori and gets some more quality time with his ghoul homies. In a twisted way, this transformation has benefited him by giving him new friends. He was always alone before this, but now he’s found 3 ghouls who love books as much as he does. Compare that to his one human friend. Although ghouls are supposed to be terrifying beasts, Kaneki is getting along with them so much more than he was with his human classmates and he seems to like the company. Funny how sometimes you have to become a monster to fit in.
Finally, aside from some important networking, Kaneki also learns more about halfbreeds. Namely that they’re incredibly rare since so many conditions have to be met. Just getting a ghoul and a human to bang is difficult enough without the added factors to consider. This means that Kaneki is going to attract a lot of attention for being such a rare hybrid (something we see later on as Tsukiyama covets him as his prize). It also means we might see another halfbreed later on and that could be really exciting!
Unfortunately for Kaneki, being a halfbreed isn’t the greatest thing to be right now. Tsukiyama is so enticed by his smell that he targets him as the next meal for his special meeting of gourmet ghouls. I have no idea how gourmet you can get when you’re still serving cut-up humans in the end and the only ingredients you can use are HUMAN and COFFEE. Coffee-marinated steak, perhaps? A redeye meat gravy on top? Can they even cook the meat? It’s a weird concept to have a gourmet cannibal club when you’re so limited in what you can do. Although maybe what Tsukiyama means by gourmet is slightly different. Perhaps he looks for tasty individuals such as Kaneki. But then again, he serves his dinner guests a fat dude he rips apart in a dusty, bloody stadium so maybe they just aren’t that picky. I really have no clue how this club works other than the fact they kill people, eat them, and call it “gourmet.”
But just step back for a moment and think about how ridiculous this series of events is. Kaneki makes a friend who invites him for dinner, and then he realizes that he is dinner. Not only that, but he has to fight Gladiator style against a huge, burly man dressed as an Executioner. As hungry dinner guests cheer on in an excited frenzy, Kaneki has to fight to survive. Once again, by being so ridiculous, Tokyo Ghoul accidentally becomes comedic instead of serious.
Hi-ho, Hi-ho, to kill some brat I go~
The situation is just so bizarre and so camp that all you can do is laugh. Maybe if Taro wasn’t dressed like a B-rated horror film monster or if Tsukiyama didn’t have such huge reactions to Kaneki’s scent it would be a little better. True horror and thrills come from subtle things. Things that are just slightly off that make you feel incredibly uncomfortable. But a carnival of cannibals in masks watching a deathmatch and screaming isn’t exactly subtle. It’s cheesy and you can’t help but laugh at Taro’s character design alone. The way he speaks just makes it even worse.
Everything with Tsukiyama turned hilarious far too quickly. It started off well the way he guilt-tripped Kaneki into hanging out with him and established common ground through their love of books. It was the perfect trap for Kaneki. But then he got weird by breaking teacups and getting high off of the scent of his blood. Unfortunately, yelling “SLOW DOWN THERE, BUDDY” at my TV did nothing to stop this from happening. I laughed until the episode ended, and that’s how I was left hanging. In fact, the post-ED credits have a humorous segment so maybe Tokyo Ghoul is secretly supposed to be a comedy.
Don’t do drugs. Don’t do…bloods?
It’s more enjoyable when you don’t treat this show seriously. Don’t expect it to be subtle and just feel free to laugh at anything that seems dumb. It’s clearly a shounen show that just has more blood and horror elements than usual, so it uses the same kind of shounen logic. Now that I’ve made the mental switch, it’s a lot more fun. I’m not expecting a great horror show with deep psychological elements. I know it’s going to be a fast-paced rollercoaster of maniacal villains fighting to be the most messed up person on the show.
The parts with world-building are very good and solidly done, but I think they can only spend so much time with Kaneki sitting down and having things explained to him. It’s time to start some sort of story arc and that time has come now. Ah well, I’m sure we’ll have more time to learn about ghoul lore later. All in all Tokyo Ghoul is far from being a perfect show, but I like it anyways. I’m curious about what the hell will happen to Kaneki next week, and having at least that much interest is definitely a good sign.
All Rize has to do is laugh cutely and the whole world burns