Tokyo Ghoul – 05

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Even cannibals can get lucky sometimes

Day turns to night, the seasons change, and Tsukiyama continues to have the worst wardrobe possible. His bad taste (in fashion) extends to just about everything else because this man is one giant creep and needs to get the hell out of this show.

Clearly, I’m not too thrilled that Tsukiyama is getting so much attention in the story. They’re trying so darn hard to make him look insane that it ends up being comical. As a result, he’s not scary at all because his whole character seems like one big joke. That’s one thing Tokyo Ghoul really struggles at: going to extremes without it feeling so forced that it ends up achieving the opposite effect. Since Tsukiyama’s entire personality is “extreme” it makes his presence on screen a very unwelcome addition. I did not enjoy seeing him fight with Kaneki, Touka and Nishiki as much as I wish I could have.

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Fortunately, if you ignore everything involving Tsukiyama (especially having to sit through yet another scene of him sniffing a handkerchief, as if we didn’t get it the first time), there are some glimmers of good characterization. For starters, Kaneki has become proactive and competent enough to push him into the “solidly NOT annoying” category. He’s decent at fighting now and he’s less prone to fits of running the hell away and screaming. He’s still the same goody-two shoes with a bit of a shy streak, but that’s just fine. All I wanted was for him to make smart choices and stop reacting to everything as if it were the end of the world. I know it sounds silly to want a teenager to accept that he’s destined for a life of man-eating torment so quickly, but I’m just thinking about entertainment value here. Normal human sanity and mental functioning comes second to that.

This character growth is mostly going on in the background, such as Kaneki’s offscreen training sessions with Yomo. I still find it more interesting than anything having to do with the psyche of Tsukiyama. So let’s just keep ignoring him and talk about all the little glimpses we get into the lives of the characters I actually like. Aside from Kaneki, there’s Touko. She’s very close to her one human friend, and she forces herself to eat her cooking. This is slowly ruining her body and dulling her fighting skills. She was once a vicious fighter, but keeping that up is not so easy when you’re essentially ingesting poison on a regular basis.

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Touko could have secretly tossed her friend’s cooking into the garbage, but she doesn’t. It’s more about the symbolism of being able to eat something her friend has given her. She wants to show appreciation for her friend’s hard work, even though her friend would never know whether she threw up the cooking in the end or not. It’s adorably sentimental. I suppose this means that friend is going to die, find out Touko is a ghoul and freak out, or have something else horrid happen to her. See any hint of happiness? You can bet it’s going to be ruined in a show like this! It’s a miracle nothing has attacked Hide yet, come to think of it.

Finally, the biggest focus of “fit as much characterization as we can in between fight scenes” this episode was Nishiki. Like a roach, he doesn’t die! But I’m glad he didn’t. It turns out he’s got an interesting backstory and isn’t such a one-dimensional jerk after all. I hate it when they retroactively try and make a villainous character seem like he wasn’t such a bad guy. However, it feels more like they’re explaining why he’s become a dick instead of giving excuses for him for being a dick. In other words, we know why he’s so evil, but we are given very little reason to forgive him. Almost everyone in Tokyo Ghoul is a vicious, meat-devouring beast so there’s no point trying to make anyone seem innocent. Or maybe they tried to redeem Nishiki and it just failed so badly all I saw was an interesting backstory. Whatever the intention, I liked seeing Nishiki go from being a lost little shota into a hot guy (with real nipples! take that Free!) getting laid.

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Girl meets ghoul

It’s a very melodramatic story complete with a dying sibling and falling in love with a human. Homelessness, orphans, murder, death, romance and sex all bundled into one little story. You can tell they wanted a really dark story to explain Nishiki’s inability to trust others. But despite being exaggerated, I enjoyed it. It gave us some much-needed insight into Nishiki’s life. Before this, he was just a bad guy given evil intentions for no reason aside from the story needing it. Now we can finally understand why he did it. He’s still a huge dick, but now we know why! I think the fact he ended up dating a human is the most interesting part of this, especially since we just learned about ghoul and human hybrids. If the two of them stay alive long enough, this relationship could be interesting.

Part of me wishes Tokyo Ghoul was more of a character study. It has such a good concept and I would love to just see how ghouls cope with everyday life without the whole battle thing. Living in fear of getting caught or eating your own lover is exciting enough. But on the other hand, the execution is clumsy and it would probably be way too dramatic if it narrowed everything down to daily life shenanigans. The battles aren’t really that great right now either, but it fits the exaggerated tone of the show so much more. I’m torn. Tokyo Ghoul is a shounen show that has the premise of a really, really good suspenseful drama about the daily lives of ghouls. But good ideas aren’t enough if they aren’t executed well. Tokyo Ghoul remains solidly “okay” for me each week, but that’s about it. Not good, not bad….but okay.

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Snacking between meals is bad for you!

About

A mad scientist with a third degree black belt. The combination of these two things leads to blog posts combining a love for psychology, violence, anime and watching boys cry.
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11 Responses to “Tokyo Ghoul – 05”

  1. sonicsenryaku says:

    I think you know see what i meant when i mentioned before that the Manga had its hammy moments…oh manga readers. Either way this was an episode that really worked for me despite the slighty quick pacing in the beginning. It was genuine, which i think is a aspect of story-telling that is effective and should be appreciated more.

    By the way, was it just me who just couldnt stop laughing when Shuu said he wanted to eat Kaneki while he eats kimi. Just saying that sentence makes me laugh. As comically evil Shuu is, the amount of Vigor is his theatrics are quite bombastic and make for an entertaining time, even though i feel like a better decision would have been to make Shuu a much more visceral yet eccentric villain without the over-the-top campiness. I do think there are times when an over-the-top character that is super campy or just over-the-top in general works in a narrative.

    • sonicsenryaku says:

      *now*

    • Overcooled says:

      I definitely see it…I did enjoy seeing Nishiki’s past though. It had cheesy moments, of course, but overall it was enjoyable.

      Yeah, Tsukiyama saying he wanted to eat Kaneki while he was eating Kimi was more funny than anything else. His overdramatic delivery just makes it seem like a comedy act. Sometimes having characters like this works, but I don’t think this is one of those times. Ah well. I can tolerate him for now.

      • sonicsenryaku says:

        Id say shuu’s over-the-top demeanor get’s the job done but i would have rather preferred a more compelling type of insane portrayal

  2. JPNIgor says:

    It was only me who thought that Touko eating Kaneki was kind of cute? ‘-’

    • BlackBriar says:

      I wouldn’t say “cute” but rather alluring. It certainly got a lot of attention out of me. Maybe it was the way she slowly wrapped herself around him before biting him, along with that near relaxed expression on her face when she sank her teeth in.

    • skylion says:

      Kawaii half ghoul eating….

    • Overcooled says:

      Her c: mouth shape was pretty moe. It looks like she’s biting into cake or something and not someone’s shoulder!

      • JPNIgor says:

        Exactly! Or like she’s sulking because someone got mad at her at the same time she’s biting someone to relieve the stress. Oh, that’s still weird.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    Clearly, I’m not too thrilled that Tsukiyama is getting so much attention in the story. They’re trying so darn hard to make him look insane that it ends up being comical.

    I’m just waiting for him to royally get his ass kicked and disappear. If you ask me, there’s nothing comical about Tsukiyama. Creepy is more like it. Last post, I said the sight of him made my skin crawl but this was to a whole other level. Very unpleasant. Even worse when he was in his library chucking books while butchering the French language.

    Maybe Nishiki is eligible to get a second opinion after that otherwise convincing backstory. It works more or less why he was the kind of person we previously saw. Realistic enough because losing something irreplaceable, a person can get numb and careless, ignorant of the ramifications of their actions. Plus he has a nice relationship with a sweet innocent girl who’s willingly staying silent for his sake, even offering some of her own flesh. If he can keep someone like that his side, it can’t be all bad.

    Lower than expectations, I do appreciate Tokyo Ghoul for the world it’s created so far. Not to mention no black and white areas. It’s all gray and the judgments are made by whoever is having a first-hand experience. Some Ghouls seem more humane than humans themselves so it bothers me at times when they aren’t left alone. In my opinion, similar sentiments that are beginning to show on Kaneki. And there’s the aspect of human/ghoul relationships despite the obvious differences. Personally, story wise, I like seeing a human/other species pairing than the standard two human couple because it’s interesting, has charm and seems to do a lot better than regular romances (those bore me to no end). Especially when one is doing all they can to protect and comfort the other.

    Kaneki is making progress. Good as in I have hope he’ll turn out a good enough protagonist. Impressive enough with his uncanny ability for evasion but he willingly went on the offensive against Tsukiyama and got a good kick in. Plus the way he carried Nishiki to his apartment with no wounds of his own suggests he took on those thugs with minimal effort.

    My highlight for the episode was Touka’s bite scene which was nicely done. Kaneki’s flesh must have tasted sweet considering how rabid that Ghoul mob acted last episode. Probably tasted even better since he offered it to her. Touka’s kagune looks awesome. Bottom line: because of some aspects, Tokyo Ghoul has become a nice little substitute for what I fancy most.

    • Overcooled says:

      I don’t take his creepiness seriously anymore. He needs to go though. I forgot about the bad french too ahhhh he can’t get any worse.

      Tokyo Ghoul excels in having a really interesting setting and concept. There’s just so much to be done with it. I love morally grey concepts and the very existence of ghouls is one of those.

      As much as I prefer the more regular life scene of Tokyo Ghoul, I am curious to see what Touko looks like in a serious fight. I wonder if she’ll get addicted to the taste of Kaneki too? :3c

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