Tokyo Ghoul 2 – 04

tg241

Tokyo Ghoul combines lots of concepts and themes familiar to me through other shows, animated or not, and elaborates upon, improves, or polishes them to a sheen, resulting in an end product that is greater than the sum of those appropriated parts. Four shows that came to mind were The X-Files, Battlestar Galactica (the newer one), and Bleach. A strange trio, I know.

First, this episode started out like X-Files, what with the odd-couple investigators diving into a dark secret-of-the week. Amon mirrored Mulder in the bearing of his traumatic event from the past that shaped the man he is today: having to pay a visit to a ghoul who once ran the orphanage where Amon grew up. Akira is Scully, questioning why they’re even there and turning out to be right about it probably being a bad idea.

tg242

That’s because the day they’ve come to the Ghoul internment facility is the same day Aogiri Tree planned a massive attack, turning the quiet detective episode into an all-out spectacle. Few shows did bold spectacles better than Battlestar, and the creepily-cloaked Aogiri forces massing atop the prison, then descending upon the norma-looking prison guards below, reminded me of a swarm of implacable Cylon raiders going in for the kill. This is going to be a bad day for many many people.

tg244

One place where Koutarou and Akira definitely have Mulder and Scully beat is in the combat department, as neither embarrass themselves in the heated battle against those swarms. Akira just happened to be unlucky enough to come afoul of the childish yet lethal Naki, who bites her in the leg and renders her a non-factor for the duration.

tg245

It’s the doves fighting with their quinques and the masked ghouls fighting with their kagunes…well that’s just Shinigami with their Zanpakutos versus Arrancar with their Resurrection. The difference being, in Bleach, battles were often handled one at a time, and at a very deliberate pace, often stretching several episodes. TG compresses and distills the elaborate character and weapon designs and myriad battles into one bonanza of an episode with a lot more going on.

Then it has matchups that are clever, if unexpected, vehicles for fleshing out characters, like the black and white twins bumping into Suzu (who they know somehow) or Ayato facing his father…in the form of Shinohara’s armor.

tg246

This is also just a good bonding experience for Koutarou and Akira, with the former invoking the words of the latter’s father about not letting up the fight even if you lose your arms and legs…the Black Knight mentality. Koutarou insists Akira not give up, and climb onto his shoulders while he handles the numerous but uncoordinated and fairly weak Aogiri third-stringers.

tg247

Ken, meanwhile calmly walks about the facility, unfazed by everything around him. His role in the mission is limited to releasing a high-security captive in “Mr. Shachi.” You’d think he’d be grateful for being sprung, but he smells Rize on Ken and they initiate the fight that’s the centerpiece of the second half of the episode. These are two tough customers, but Ken is still inexperienced, and Shachi essentially toys with him.

tg248

Even so, there’s a kind of inevitability to this fight, as if Ken was meant to be beaten senseless so that he can awaken an even stronger version of himself. He certainly seems to be on board with that, as he knows everyone he cares about (his “liabilities”) will die unless he get stronger. Eto stops Kamishiro from continuing his onslaught, while Ken sprouts a new and even more unsettling mask, something I can’t help but think Eto intended to happen.

7_mag

Advertisements

Author: magicalchurlsukui

Preston Yamazuka is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

2 thoughts on “Tokyo Ghoul 2 – 04”

  1. Very interesting analysis, and I liked the episode quite a bit. However, I was disappointed in two aspects.

    The animation in many parts kind of sucked, and the censorship returned in full force.

    Additionally, despite being anime-original, this episode began a bunch of fights adapted straight from the manga except in a different place, which is mildly disappointing since if they were going to go anime-original, it’d be nice if they went anime-original.

    (Ayato vs Shinohara is new tho)

    Their straight adaptation resulted in such anomalies as Amon standing there for twenty seconds while Akira was getting eaten, while there was no one around and the twins were visible in the background. This is an artifact of direct adaptation of the manga, where he was fighting somebody, but who isn’t here due to anime original circumstances.

    1. Yeah, there were certainly some awkward parts of the individual battles, but like the mall raid last season, the collective whole still proved very entertaining.

      Still, a step down from the last two episodes, to be sure, which I kind of expected, since this was an episode that was clearly going to focus on action.

      As for inverting the colors during particularly gory scenes, well…unless the show’s channel and timeslot changed, censorship is simply something we’ll have to contend with. IMO, I prefer the momentary inverted colors to pink blood, as was the case in Danganronpa, Sabagebu!, and Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.

Comments are closed.