Okay, episode two of Tokyo Ghoul is out and let’s just see-HOLY SHIT THIS SHOW IS AWESOME. I am still loving this dark and twisted little series. I plan to review every episode of this little dark shiny bloodstone of a show, and so far the ride promises to be amazing. With an ep by ep review of this nature, some spoilers of story and appetite are inevitable, so be forewarned. Settle down with a nice chunk of delicious meat and we’ll get started.
Episode two picks up immediately where episode one left off, with Toka pushing a chunk of flesh into our main character Kaneki’s face while demanding that he it eat. No, this isn’t a hentai. Kaneki breaks down into a flood of angst about how doing so would make him a monster, and that he can’t and how terrible is now, when Toka just slaps him down physically and verbally. She demands to know how he can say her entire life as a ghoul must be this horrible existence, and that if his life is terrible now that he is no longer terrible, how much more terrible would her life be to have never been human in the first place. It’s a touching moment and powerful rebuttal against the main character’s angst. The scene ends abruptly with some sort of gory snap-back to reality, but the effect is somewhat spoiled by heavy handed censorship covering nearly the whole screen. Buy the Blu-Ray indeed.
The opening to the show plays for the first time, and I’m just going to touch on this briefly. The show seems to like giving it’s music a sort of distant, muted quality. The artistic images accompanying the opening and closing – especially the closing – are phenomenal, and almost any would be desktop worthy. Seriously look at this hunk of gorgeousness:
Toka is about to leave Kaneki to his own devices when her apparent mentor, Yoshimura appears and chides her for not helping her fellow ghouls. Yoshimura is something like a random butler in the middle of the show, although his actual profession appears to be that of barista: apparently in this universe ghouls can drink coffee perfectly fine, just nothing else. I guess the blood is the life for vampires but for ghouls the only thing is java.
Yoshimura gives Kaneki a package of…something, and while Kaneki debates with himself about whether to rip the package open and devour it’s contents he’s joined by Rize, the female ghoul from episode one now apparently living as a voice in his head representing the expression of all his ghoul lusts. I have flashbacks here to, of all things, An American Werewolf in London, with the ghosts of the dead haunting the main character and urging him onwards. Before Kaneki can finally give in to his desires, his friend Hide from episode one calls him up and snaps him out of it. Hide, playing goofy comic relief, runs up to Kaneki the next day and announces how much he has missed him and makes a fairly chilling comment and Kaneki needing to eat more. We see a brief flashback to Kaneki’s childhood and how he and Hide met; it’s a nice moment to establish a little bit of character.
Hide brings Kaneki along to help with a school project, so they go to meet up with an older student for help – who just happens to be Nishio, the rival ghoul from the first episode. There is a subtle tension at first, with Kaneki commenting on how well Nishio seems to hide his ghoul nature. He seems easy going and friendly, and even shares a taiyaki with the group; Kaneki pockets him for later. Everything seems to be going fine until Nishio suddenly ninja kicks Hide into an alleyway. He then turns and accuses the main character of wanting to eat him, and we get more exposure to what a total asshole this ghoul is.
A really awesome fight scene ensues, with Nishio throwing Kaneki around like an old t-shirt. He kicks him through a ceiling and across the parking garage, all while threatening to kill and eat Hide. Kaneki finally snaps and just when everything is going fine, the Censorship Nation attacks, inverting the colors of the fight scene so we don’t have to see any of that icky blood.
Kaneki triumphs, only to suddenly be seized by his hungers. Hide looks so tempting lying there helpless. He looks so tasty, and it’s been so long since Kaneki has eaten. Hide is his friend after all – who else should he eat really? Toka appears to try to snap him out of it, and the scene cuts before they fight.
Kaneki awakens to find he is back at Yoshimura’s restaurant, and they discuss his place in the world. Kaneki holds that as a half-ghoul, half-human there is no place in the world for him. Yoshimura insists that because of his dual nature he may be at home in both worlds.
The show ends with two mysterious figures discussing the events of the opening of the first episode, and there is mention of a sighting of “Jason”. The final credits play over some awesome images.
And then there is a short comedy sketch. What.
I love this show. It’s interesting, although I am starting to feel the show might be moving in a decidedly shonen territory; it’s starting to feel less like Shiki and more like Blue Exorcist, but I’m not sure that’s a bad thing. The fights are awesome, and the characters are good. I’m greatly enjoying the inner conflict with Kaneki. The only thing really bothering me is just how heavy handed the censorship is at times. Still, I’m hungry for next week!