It’s finally here, the moment everyone’s been waiting for, Kaneki’s evolution!
Before we get to that though, the episode starts off with a bit about Amon’s history. Being an orphan, he was adopted by Donato, a ghoul priest who raised children for his own consumption. For some reason though, he chose to spare Amon’s life. Perhaps it was just his twisted personality, seeing Amon’s reaction, he decided to let him bear the guilt of being the only survivor.
This likely fueled Amon’s strong hate for ghouls. Every single one of his interactions with them has been horrible. All the ghouls he’s come face to face with had no regard for human life. That’s probably why he was so fascinated with Kaneki, since for the first time, he met a ghoul who didn’t want to harm humans.
Even during the raid, Kaneki simply disarmed the guards while Aogiri slaughtered everyone in sight. Kaneki’s only goal is to free the intended target, and doesn’t try to get the fodder characters involved. Unfortunately, Shachi reacts in a hostile manner to Kaneki’s appearance.
Meanwhile, Kuro and Shiro are tailing behind, trying to retrieve Kaneki. Stumbling into Juuzou, we learn more about them. Them being old acquaintances, it’s revealed that they were once human as well. Like Kaneki, these two are artificial ghouls who were likely produced by Kanou.
Elsewhere, Akira and Amon engage Naki. He seems to have picked himself up quickly and is already taking part in an important raid. His fighting style feels really clumsy, and I found it interesting that they struggled so much dealing with him. Akira is caught off guard which nearly costs her her life. For someone who talked about abiding to their duties, she didn’t put up much of a fight and was ready to roll over and die.
The Ayato and Shinohara meeting was a nice addition to the series. In the manga, both Touka and Ayato never saw the Arata armor in person. They were pretty certain that he had been killed, but his disappearance always left a shred of hope for them. Seeing the armor in person, Ayato gets confirmation that his dad had been harvested. Even though it’s been so long, confirming his death still hurt Ayato.
Kaneki and Shachi end up duking it out. And by duking it out, I mean Kaneki gets his butt pummeled. After the Jason incident, Kaneki vowed that he’d become strong and protect everyone close to him. Even though he thinks he’s come a long way, he’s still nothing compared to the other ghouls. Shachi barely even uses his Kagune to overpower Kaneki. Despite being a ghoul, Shachi relies on his physical strength and martial arts abilities.
It seems like Eto had a specific reason for wanting to break Shachi out. Not only is he powerful, but she seems to have ulterior motives. The big revelation though is how he shares the same last name as Rize. We know that Aogiri came after Kaneki because they were searching for Rize, but for what purpose? She was supposed to be dead, but with the appearance of the other half ghouls and Eto’s invitation to reunite them, she’s likely still alive.
The ending was killing me because I’ve been waiting so long to see this moment animated. Kaneki begins his mental breakdown. He had tried so hard to be strong but in reality, he’s still just another small fry in the world. As his mental state deteriorates, we see his kagune begin to evolve. After all of the torture he was put through, it seemed weird that he was pretty much back to his normal self. All this time, he just put up a strong front, but deep down he was suffering and breaking down. This evolution of his Kagune was the result of his cannibalization of Jason.
Overall, I’m glad that the season finally started to pick up the pace. It seems like they’ve rewritten 2-3 arcs of the story and combined everything into one. The details are still pretty consistent with the manga, but a lot of character development is lost. On top of that, the revelation of other one-eyed ghouls feels really lackluster to me. I remember when I was reading the manga, and how excited I got when Kuro and Shiro were revealed. With so many other things going on, I feel like the impact is lost.
The fight scenes felt a bit lacking as well. Something about Shachi’s movements felt a bit sluggish. Maybe that was what Perriot intended to show his graceful fighting style but I was expecting to see more out of him. Not to mention Akira’s fight seemed like an RPG where everyone stands around waiting for their turn before striking.
Still, it looks like with this pacing, we might actually adapt everything in the manga.
You can watch Tokyo Ghoul S2 Episode 4 on Funimation