While I enjoyed the episode, the censorship combined with weird artistic direction really distracted from my viewing experience. The inverted colours during the fight made it unpleasant for me to watch. I’m actually a little concerned about the series after seeing the first two episodes as well. They’re changing up quite a bit from the source material and breezing through the chapters. It’s starting to feel like this will be a one-cour series despite having plenty of source material to cover. It also doesn’t feel like there’s a whole lot of budget for Tokyo Ghoul. There were moments where the animation felt off (fight scenes) and the lack of an ending animation makes it feel like they aren’t going all out for this series. Anyways, enough of my rambling, I’ll get into my thoughts on the story instead.
We get to see more of Kaneki’s struggle of finding his identity. He’s not like other ghouls since he was artificially made. However, he’s lost a lot of things that allowed him to be human in the past. At this point, despite only having one ghoul eye, there isn’t any difference between him and other ghouls aside from a mental block. His body craves flesh and the only thing stopping him is his conscious.
His little identity-crisis annoys Touka. Even though Kaneki is physically a ghoul, he keeps telling himself that he’s not a monster like the others. He looks down on ghouls despite being one himself. Touka’s had to live her entire life as a ghoul and Kaneki’s constant demonizing of ghouls to be infuriating. She just does what she needs to for survival since it’s all natural instincts for her. These ghouls have been living discreetly within their society for ages now. Kaneki has never said a thing about them, but the second he learns that they’re ghouls, he suddenly classifies them as monsters.
It turns out that not all ghouls are crazy about consuming flesh as Kaneki had thought. Anteiku understands how hard it can be for ghouls to hunt people and provides them with enough flesh to satisfy their urges. Kaneki’s under a lot of misconceptions which caused him to overlook the fact that ghouls have emotions and personalities just like normal people.
He finally meets up with Hide, and we get to learn a bit more about their pasts before we’re introduced to Nishiki. Nishiki is one of the ghouls who have fully embraced who they are and think that they are superior to humanity. To him, the only purpose for humans is to be eaten by the ghouls. He thinks that all ghouls are fundamentally the same, which is why he doesn’t believe that Kaneki actually wants to protect Hide. When their hunger takes over, they lose all control and are unable to distinguish between humans.
After the fight, Kaneki nearly succumbs to his hunger. Ghouls are conscious and don’t necessarily need to constantly consume flesh. However, Kaneki allowed himself to reach starvation in which his ghoul instincts began to take over his body. Had he just satisfied his craving earlier, he could have steered clear from even considering to eat Hide. Touka manages to prevent Kaneki from making a horrible decision and they end up feeding him with the flesh from Anteiku.
In the end, Kaneki finally begins to accept what his life has become. He doesn’t have to go down the same path as Rize or Nishiki. Being a ghoul doesn’t mean he has to be obsessed with feeding on humans. Now that things are finally sinking in with Kaneki, I’m interested in learning more about the ghouls (origins, how they’re defeated). Since we’re done with the intro arc, we get a glimpse into the next antagonist, an investigator who treats ghouls as play things.
Anyways, that wraps up my thoughts on Tokyo Ghoul episode 2. I enjoyed the episode but there was definitely room for improvement. Let me know what you guys thought about the adaptation or your thoughts on the censorship!
Tokyo Ghoul episode 2 is available on Funimation (available to free users a week after airing)