Tokyo Ghoul – 04

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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!

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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All Rize has to do is laugh cutely and the whole world burns

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A mad scientist with a third degree black belt in karate. She uses her Neuroscience degree to run experiments on humans and you just might be next. :3
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20 Responses to “Tokyo Ghoul – 04”

  1. JPNIgor says:

    I’m supposed to laugh? Because I can’t. It’s like remembering those two sick characters from SAO (the useless guild member and the guy who planned the ALO arc), they’re just too gross, I can’t stand those reactions.

    Kaneki wasn’t so bad after all. He is really good at dodging and he even landed a kick on Taro-chan, though he clearly need to work on its strenght. If only he didn’t snap his leg halfway things wouldn’t end up so bad.

    I’m so glad that Rize still appears as an important character even though she died three episodes ago. First because having a HanaKana voice a character for one episode would be just a shame. And second because Rize is an awesome character. What you and she said is pretty much the truth, a bunch of wild ghouls pretending to live in society is nothing more than a joke.

    And wtf with that post-ED joke? It just doesn’t match with the “horror” brand. I’m getting more and more skeptical as to what horror means in Japan…

    • Overcooled says:

      I don’t think we’re supposed to laugh, but I couldn’t help it. Tokyo Ghoul is just not very good at horror…

      Rize adds a really nice touch since her past actions are affecting Kaneki’s current life. Plus, she can speak to him and sway him verbally as well. She has such a huge impact on everything even though she’s technically dead. I’m glad she told Tsukiyama to screw off because there’s really nothing high class about what he’s doing at all.

  2. Iron Maw says:

    Ugh, this episode marks the biggest deviation from the source. I don’t mind arc rearrangement when its done well, unfortunately this isn’t case here. =(

    Even taking the episode on it’s own this week introduced stupid inconsistencies (the tea cup scene) that won’t clear up because of cuts or the random out context stuff like Yomo training Kaneki despite never having much of anything to each other among other world building aspects. The changes kill most of impact of restaurant scene and removed irony of the situation.

    The worst part though is the effect on Kaneki’s characterization, lets just say he acted very differently from his manga counterpart here. I can only guess that anime intend to make him more shounenesque due to jumping back and forth between arcs.

    Anime only viewers probably won’t have a problem with this due too ignorance and can possibly still enjoy it, but most manga readers will be grimacing.

    Oh well, Mamoru Miyano performance and animated Itori were a treat. So there is a bright spot for me at least.

    • Overcooled says:

      Ahhh, so I guess we’re getting some new interpretations of the manga storyline. Hopefully they can bring it all together in the end. I don’t know how likely that is though if they’re splicing arcs together :/

      I’m glad I don’t read the manga now because I have no idea what I’m missing out on

  3. Iron Maw says:

    Crap! My earlier comment got lost. “sigh”

  4. skylion says:

    Wow, Grand Guignol is alive and well!

    • Overcooled says:

      Had to google that and wow, I didn’t know they had theatre shows just for people who want gore. Wild.

      • skylion says:

        It was Paris. Wild parties, absinthe, tuberculosis…people had odd ideas about life….

      • BlackBriar says:

        Yeesh. This was no better than the public in ancient Rome heading to the coliseum to see gladiators tear each other apart. Savages!

  5. bobob101 says:

    If you do read this manga, the horror aspect is more prevalent. The anime has decided that instead of a horror show, this will be a study of how absolutely crazy your characters can get when they really don’t have to follow any laws. I like were this is going, and I can’t wait for the madness to continue.

    • Overcooled says:

      I’m not sure why they had to shounenize the source material instead of just letting it be horror. I would have preferred that.

      But I’m still down for crazy dudes punching each other in the face! It’s just not what I initially expected.

  6. belatkuro says:

    Wait, Kaneki couldn’t be stabbed by a knife(and even broke it) but he bled from a broken teacup? I hear this is an anime inconsistency but still it would raise questions a lot for nonmanga readers. So how did that scene happen in the manga and how did Shu get a blood sample from Kaneki? I assume the handkerchief sniffing is still in the manga.

    And Mamoru Miyano at his hammiest. Glorious. Though Berg Katse from Gatchaman Crowds is still his hammiest performance so Shu needs to step up to match that.

    • ooraloo says:

      Yes, the weird creepy handkerchief thing is still in the manga. Show ▼

    • Overcooled says:

      True, he shouldn’t get cut by a tiny piece of porcelain if a metal knife didn’t make a dent in him. That’s probably just a dumb mistake…

      I love Mamoru Miyano so much. He’s great at over-the-top performances! I don’t think anything will top how crazy (and obnoxious) his role as BK was.

  7. Namika says:

    I’m liking this so far. Either Kaneki is starting to toughen up, or I really want him to. On the other hand, Tsukiyama made me laugh and cringe at the same time. This show reeeeeeally loves it’s exaggeration, doesn’t it :D Though I’d say that for now, my favorite characters are Uta and Rize. Too bad she’s dead. But she’s still a little awesome.
    That aside, I’m enjoying the hell out of this show. But exactly as you said, not treating it seriously anymore.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yep, I’m liking this show for all the wrong reasons now. How can you not laugh at the crazy exaggerations? It’s on par with an episode of JoJo!

      • Namika says:

        Miyano Mamoru added to the craziness. For some reason, I just can’t take him seriously most of the time.

    • BlackBriar says:

      Though I’d say that for now, my favorite characters are Uta and Rize. Too bad she’s dead. But she’s still a little awesome.

      In the end, it’s the sexy bad girls who truly deserve attention. There’s just something about predator girls who like to toy with their victims before proceeding to finishing them off. Kana Hanazawa needs to play more roles like this!

  8. BlackBriar says:

    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

    Considering what the series is aspiring to be with its tags, it wasn’t surprising he’d turn out to be a whack job. It’s the well dressed, eccentric ones that you really need to look out for. Toka practically called it when she shot him down and personally, he creeps me out severely. Looking at him made my skin crawl.

    Kaneki has some skills even if they’re only evasion moves. Couple that with some good offense and he can definitely hold his own.

    I like the idea of the human/ghoul coupling and what would happen if they procreated. Often enough with anime fans, if there’s a series centering on a pair and only one of them is human, they’d wonder what kind of child they’d have together. A hybrid can certainly be more powerful than a pureblood thanks to its genetic structure giving it more strength and rendering weaknesses on both sides ineffective because of mutation.

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