Here we enter the final arc of the Tokyo Ghoul series, the raid on Anteiku.
Last week, the CCG declared that they would be raiding Anteiku. All that remains is for the CCG members to prepare for this large scale operation. Seeing how Owl operations have had massive casualties, all members are expected to write a testament so all of their affairs are in order, and their family can receive closure in the worst case scenario.
We’ve seen a lot of CCG members get slaughtered, but something about this scene really got to me. We always saw them as the enemy, but with more focus on them in the second half, we can see that they’re really no different from the ghouls. Takizawa, and the other CCG members are at a loss of what to write. Writing one basically acknowledges that there’s a chance of you dying during the mission, and nobody wants to acknowledge it. Everyone is uneasy except for Juuzou, who has never feared death.
Seeing how dangerous this mission is, Akira and Amon go to pay their final respects to their fallen comrades. With avenging her family in sight, Akira is ready to die. She tries to make a move on Amon, but he stops her. Perhaps acknowledging that would mean that they have accepted their deaths and there’s nothing to lose. If they’re going to die, then she might as well confess her feelings now, but Amon isn’t keen on this being the end.
I really loved how they handled Kaneki hearing the news. It was just like a normal day, the city is still bustling with people. The calm music innocently plays as the paper plane drifts around. Then, within an instant, the music cuts and his entire world comes crashing down as he reads the news.
As the operation begins, CCG is confronted with two notorious gangs, the black dobers and the devil apes. This should have alarmed them since they’re targeting Owl of the Aogiri Tree, yet these unaffiliated gangs were present. Having invested so much into the operation they proceed anyways and call for total extermination.
Yoshimura had changed his ways from his Kuzen days. He tried his best to live peacefully in a world where both humans and ghouls could co-exist. Now CCG are here to take away everything from him. He’s ready to repent for all of the sins he’s committed, but he’s also going to defend his coffee shop and punish those who try to take it away from him.
Hearing the news, Touka can’t sit still at home while her entire life is being destroyed. She’s had so many people torn from her life. Her father, Ayato, Kaneki leaving, and now her peaceful life is coming to an end as well. Everyone who stayed to defend Anteiku are ready to give their life as they feel that they’ve been allowed to live far too long for all the sins that they have committed. Touka is still young and makes the rash decision of trying to join in on the fight. Yoshimura and everyone else are ready to receive their punishment, while allowing the younger kids of Anteiku to continue living on. Touka running in there and dying would be a complete waste of their sacrifice.
Kaneki originally left Anteiku in order to protect everyone. By joining Aogiri, he thought he could gain the strength needed. Now, none of that even matters since the CCG have set their target on it. Nishio tries to convince him that he can continue to live on rather than donning his mask and trying to protect a lost cause. Basically, they had a good run at Anteiku, but those days are over and it’s time to move on.
Tsukiyama tries his best to convince Kaneki to stay as well. Ever since he met him, he has become obsessed with Kaneki, and he ultimately gives his life meaning. While being creepy, he’s trying to show Kaneki that he means a lot to him (and others) and he can’t just throw away his life like this.
Kaneki has his mind set though. He left to become stronger in the first place, and he feels that he has to protect everyone. If he sits on the sidelines like he has in the past, he will continue to lose those important to him. He’s done being passive and is ready to fight to protect what’s important to him.
Overall, I loved the direction of this episode. As I mentioned, the first part conveyed the mood perfectly. Takizawa’s helplessness of not wanting to die, and Kaneki losing everything in an instant. The music used was perfect for me, Glassy Sky really is an amazing, depressing build up song. The entire episode carried a somber atmosphere. The mission has only begun, but all you can feel is hopelessness and despair from both sides.
Now onto some of my issues. Again, I don’t want to compare manga versus anime but there were definitely some things that could have been handled better. Tsukiyama’s outburst carried a lot of emotional weight when I read it since he had been by Kaneki’s side throughout his entire journey. The way he’s portrayed here, just makes it seem like he’s good old crazy Tsukiyama. He did show some instances of genuinely caring for him (keeping tabs on Kaneki), but it wasn’t as fleshed out.
My other issue is how Kaneki suddenly departed from Aogiri. Given how strict Ayato was on Banjo back in the first season, leaving Aogiri should be no easy feat. After the Cochlea raid, Kaneki suddenly no longer has any affiliation towards Aogiri and is on his own. I guess the lack of focus on Kaneki’s character made me feel some of the disconnect between his character and the story.
You can watch Tokyo Ghoul S2 Episode 9 on Funimation