Episode 2 Impressions: Tokyo Ghoul

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We left off last week with our protagonist, Kaneki, in despair over his “acquirred nature”. Will he be able to regain sanity or is he to fall further into the abyss that separates humans from ghouls?

e2tokyoghoul3Synopsis
Kaneki is still being brutally confronted with the hardships attached to being a ghoul by Touka, both mentally and physically. This goes on for a while, much to Kaneki’s dismay, until “Manager” Yoshimura finally interrupts his torture. He does this while reminding Touka of their policy to help out fellow ghouls. Kaneki then gets escorted to the “Anteiku” cafe where he learns about an amusing fact: ghouls can enjoy coffee. Out of all the foods and beverages that mankind knows and consumes, coffee is the only thing that ghouls can drink. I’m sure Starbucks approves.

After Kaneki leaves, it becomes clear that Yoshimura is aware of how Kaneki has Rize’s organs. Important things to note from his conversation with Touka is that Kaneki’s case is unique and that his body may be becoming like theirs (referring to ghouls).

e2tokyoghoul2Back at Kaneki’s room, we get a nice visual representation of Rize tormenting him as she’s now a part of him. Yoshimura gave Kaneki a “package” earlier that quite obviously contains human flesh, based off Rize tempting Kaneki to eat what’s inside. This time, it’s a text from Hideyoshi or “Hide” that snaps Kaneki out of it. They meet up and we get some flashbacks that establish their friendship as being lengthy and thorough. Hideyoshi is a good friend, even noticing how pale Kaneki looks because he isn’t eating. Everything shifts into high gear when Hideyoshi asks Kaneki to accompany him to go borrow materials from an upperclassman.

That upperclassman is none other than Nishio, the ghoul who had his feeding ground stolen from Rize. He attacks both of them on the way to his house and nearly kills them. But a sense of duty to protect Hideyoshi pushes Kaneki to fight back and defeat Nishio in a very epic display of willpower. However, an unconscious Hideyoshi looks extremely delicious to Kaneki now as “Rize” shows up again to tempt him. Much like a devil on his shoulder. He very well may have eaten Hideyoshi if it wasn’t for Touka’s intervention.

e2tokyoghoul4We’re at the Anteiku cafe now where Kaneki’s emotions switch from relief that Hideyoshi is OK, to sadness because he can’t be around his friend any longer. We learn that Yoshimura fed Kaneki some human flesh while he was out of it after Kaneki notices he has some blood in his mouth. Yoshimura reminds Kaneki that there’s only one way for ghouls to survive which makes Kaneki even sink deeper into despair. But in an attempt to comfort him, Yoshimura also says that Kaneki is the only person that has a place in both worlds.

He also extends an invitation to join Anteiku cafe where he can learn more about ghouls and their true nature. Kaneki accepts. The episode ends off with two mysterious guys discussing some of the recent events. They’re out for blood (more specifically the blood of ghouls), and they look government-affiliated. But I’m sure we’ll learn more about them in the not so distant future.

e2tokyoghoul9Thoughts
Other than the censorship, I have no complaints when it comes to this episode of Tokyo Ghoul. The brilliant voice acting and OST make the conveying of emotions a very natural process. The animation was beautiful and consistent throughout the episode, and we explored more of Kaneki’s psychological struggle. I did find coffee a random(?) pick to be consumable by ghouls, but that could still get explained.

As I stated earlier, the only real complaint is the censorship. An entire scene was blacked out, while the ghoul fight (Nishio vs Kaneki) had inverted colors during the most bloody scenes. While it wasn’t too problematic to me personally, as it doesn’t take away from the story, I’m sure some could appreciate the gory fan service. However, one must remember that the Blu-ray releases will be uncensored.

Episode 2: Incubation

THUMBS UP!

THUMBS UP!

IMPRESSIONS VERDICT:
Very Good!

Pros:

  • Informative (learning about ghouls)
  • Psychological turmoil
  • Good setup for a third-party that gets involved

Cons:

  • Censorship might throw you off
  • Perhaps too many moments of anguish for Kaneki?

Impressions are based on a single episode and don’t necessarily reflect the series as a whole. Unless dropped, we will continue to give updates on thoughts and impressions of the series as time goes by.

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By offering anime and manga reviews, Ernest aims to cater to the needs of the geeky masses. After having written for various platforms including KissAnime, and with a perspective backed by a plethora of content, he now lends his writing skills to OtakuSpirit.