Here’s the last of my weekly episode reviews before starting off fresh for the new Spring season!
Tokyo Ghoul S2 Episode 12 Review
Where do I even begin with this… there were so many things I loved about the episode, but also so many things that I heavily disliked.
I guess I’ll start with the praise. Overall, the episode was a masterpiece in terms of artistic qualities. The animation was on point, the use of silence to convey the aftermath of the war, seeing all of the despair around them as the night is calm and quiet, the use of lighting, from a visual standpoint, it was an amazing episode.
Now onto the episode content itself. Kaneki and Hide finally meet face to face, no longer able to hide the fact that he’s a ghoul. Kaneki was afraid of being shunned by his friend for his true identity and avoided him all together. Hide was aware of this all along and treated him no differently. He wanted to be there for his friend, and felt some of the guilt for not being able to support him.
Kaneki was too busy trying to protect others and he didn’t even realize how it was affecting those around him. Anteiku was like a happy family, and it looked like Kaneki had a place to belong. Hide on the other hand was left alone and felt kind of like an outsider. He tried his best to watch over his friend, and try to understand him.
The two have a heart to heart talk (or I guess Kaneki just listens). Kaneki finally realizes that he had a home all along. With Hide, and those at Anteiku, he had a place where he was accepted no matter what. Unfortunately, all of this came too late as Hide was fatally injured from Noro (I assume).
At this point, he really has no where left to head to. He’s together with Hide, but he can’t return to school, and he can’t return to Anteiku, so he begins aimlessly wandering the battlefield.
While all of this is going on, Touka reflects on what her life once was. Anteiku where she really grew up as a person and was able to enjoy her life to the fullest. All of that has come to an end as the final remains of Anteiku are burnt to the ground. She tries to retrieve Kaneki, but is inevitably stopped by Yomo. Whether his final mission was to protect Touka from entering the battlefield, or to allow Kaneki to find his own path, Kaneki has to walk alone.
Kaneki begins marching down the district, carrying the body of Hide. As the acoustic rendition of Unravel begins to play, all is silent on the battlefield. All we can see are the fallen soldiers, slaughtered ghouls, mourning comrades, and the injured. In a battle like this, who really won in the end? A once peaceful district was shattered because of this war, and all that’s left is chaos.
At the end of the road, Kaneki encounters the unstoppable man himself, Arima. What happens after is left up in the air. We don’t know what transpired from that point, and the fate of Kaneki Ken remains unknown. As a new day dawns, Arima is left standing with his weapon drawn, and what we can assume is a defeated Kaneki’s hair blowing in the wind.
At the end, we see some time has passed since the Anteiku Raid, and there is a new coffee shop in town. Touka has decided to continue carrying on her dream of running a coffee shop, and uniting all kinds of people together.
Overall, I loved the episode, but did not really enjoy the content of it. We have gone down a somewhat anime original ending in the sense that it’s more ambiguous and we don’t really have a concrete answer to the fate of certain people. The first half was great, but the fact that this was also the final episode made it seem unfitting for an ending.
What happens to Eto and Yoshimura? What about Irima and Koma? We really have no answers, and yet questions continue to accumulate. It feels similar to how the first season ended, where we ran out of time and the story just cuts off.
You can watch Tokyo Ghoul S2 Episode 12 on Funimation
Tokyo Ghoul Root A Anime Review
I could probably dedicate a whole post to this, but I figure I might as well write while the finale is still fresh in my mind.
As a stand alone series, I don’t think Tokyo Ghoul Root A did a very good job at the story telling. They claimed for an anime original series, but what we got was a rehash of the manga storyline. Not much actually changed, some small details along the route were altered, but the overall facts remained the same.
Having seen both the manga and the anime, I found that the anime was a bit more enjoyable when I could fill in some of the gaps with knowledge from the source.
Tokyo Ghoul Root A completely changed Kaneki’s character. In both anime series, Kaneki is seen more like a helpless kid who ends up all alone and suffering. The majority of Kaneki’s character progression was scrapped from the anime. It also didn’t help that he had very little screen time during this season, so the only instances of him that we saw, he was either fighting, or sitting by himself all depressed (woe is me).
Without spoiling too much, Kaneki’s story is a tragic one in the manga. He seeks power to protect those around him, but ends up going down the wrong path and leads to insanity. He completely changes who he is, but by the end of the series, he’s able to find peace within himself.
I wasn’t a fan of how they treated some of the side characters in this season. Characters like Shachi, Kuro, Shiro, and Naki were introduced for seemingly no purpose at all. You’d think that the revelation of other one-eyed ghouls would be a huge deal, but the two disappear after their fight with Juuzou. Shachi was another seemingly random introduction. We never understand why Aogiri wanted to retrieve him or why he randomly attacks Kaneki. He never makes another appearance, which makes you question why he was even introduced in the first place.
I think the only character that really got additional character development was Ayato. He doesn’t have much of a presence in the manga, but being Kaneki’s partner, we see another side of him. I don’t think it was ground breaking to say that he still cared for Touka, but it was nice to see his soft spot for his family.
Luckily, Juuzou still manages to retain most of his character development throughout the series. He went from a psychotic kid, to a more normal person. He began understanding what love is and what it means to fight for someone you care about. He also learned the value of life and the agony that comes with losing a loved one.
I already said it, but this wasn’t really an “anime original”. I know that term gets thrown out there a lot to justify the differences in the story, but overall, it’s still the same plot. There were so many instances that just didn’t make sense.
One of my biggest issues was how Kaneki left Aogiri. They made a huge deal when he joined back in the first episode, so I believed that this would affect the story. In the end, he just leaves Aogiri randomly, and the events continue to play out unchanged. We were never given any insight as to how he left, or his reasons for leaving. All we saw was Owl (Eto) retrieving him, and then that was the end of his stay.
There were also a lot of open ended plot points that were never revisited. In the manga, we understand where Shiro and Kuro originated from, or why Shachi is significant to the story. These mentions were nice, but for those who haven’t read the manga, I can only assume that it left many viewers confused.
The ending of this season also sets up for the sequel. All of the events remained consistent, but the details remain up in the air. What is the fate of Kaneki? Did Hide succumb to his wound? What is Aogiri’s next move? I feel like a third season could be opened up to bridge the gap between Tokyo Ghoul and Tokyo Ghoul RE (the sequel), but it’d have to be rewritten and include all of those smaller details that we missed.
From a viewing standpoint, Tokyo Ghoul Root A was a step up in terms of animation (for the most part), artistic direction, and music. There were a ton of amazing OSTs (which were recently released) that elevated the viewing experience.
I’m not a fan of how they handled the adaptation. A lot of corners were cut, which resulted in butchered story telling and experience. I’m also disappointed that the ending remains quite different. It was impossible to have the exact same endings given all of the details and events that were cut out. However, I still firmly believe that the final few chapters of Tokyo Ghoul were some of the best I’ve ever read.
Now that the second season has come to a close, I highly urge any Tokyo Ghoul fan who hasn’t already to check out the manga. I’m sure you guys are sick and tired of hearing people comparing the two, but it really is a completely different experience. I’m probably sounding a bit harsh, but it should answer a lot of the questions that were left open in the anime.
If I had to give it a rating, I’d say 7/10 is a fair number. While I really didn’t like how the adaptation was handled, I can’t discredit how the episodes were directed. The music, art, and camera control made the series worth watching. It wasn’t a terrible series, but it definitely could have been so much more based on the source material itself.
That wraps up my final review for the season, stay tuned for my Spring reviews in the coming weeks!