An Anime QandA review for Tokyo Ghoul:re Episode 4.
What’s the show? Tokyo Ghoul:re, Episode 4.
And what’s happening? As I recall, last episode was just a whole lot of set-up for an action filled episode. Did this one deliver the goods? I’d say so, it was very sinister, and moody and then exploded into a lot of action scenes between different characters in a lot of different locations in and around the human-auction site.
So it succeeded in its promise? Well…
Well what? Well I didn’t say the action was great…
Oh no. Okay so it’s not all bad, I mean there were a couple of moments that were pretty great and stylish, but there was also a lot of parts that didn’t seem very clear or the action didn’t seem very impactful or visceral. Like things weren’t connecting in the right ways, it’s kind of hard to explain… it’s like… it’s like if you’re watching a live action horror movie and there’s practical effects and then suddenly there’s some CGI blood. And it just doesn’t look right.
Since when do you watch live action horror movies? I went through a phase.
Right, I guess I see what you’re getting at. It’s just it seemed weightless and lacking detail and ‘oompf’. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me.
Any other problems? Yes, unfortunately. They introduced, or reintroduced so many damn characters in this episode it was insane! And because my memory of season 1 is hazy at best, I don’t know if these are characters who were introduced then, or during the not animated period between the first season and this one. It was mildly confusing at first, but this is the first time I feel like I’m actively missing out on important information from not having read the manga which bridged the story.
That bad, huh? Like we suddenly have characters who have important relationships to existing characters and I’m just sitting there like ‘I get this is supposed to be an important scene with these characters meeting again, but I have no idea why?’
So what does that mean for watching this show going forward? Not a lot really, I mean maybe I’ll look into some backstories like what’s the deal between Juuzou Suzuya and Big Madam? Maybe I should have watched the much maligned Root A series before watching this one…
So you’re going to continue then? Of course, confusion aside I’m still enjoying the show a lot. I enjoy the universe and the characters and for those who thought the show was too light it does feel like it’s getting darker. Obviously if you’ve not read the manga and gave Root A a wide berth like me you’ll probably be pretty confused too, but I can usually overlook those things if it’s not an adaptation problem and rather a problem with me not being clued up to the events preceding the season.
And what’s it about? I’ve got to be honest with you, this is the 4th time I’ve tried to write this review, because every time I’m writing it and it gets to this question I’m stumped. Not because it’s a complex or convoluted or confusing show, it’s because I just plain don’t remember. Like sure I remember, characters and the setting and I know I enjoyed it a lot while I watched it, but wow is this show forgettable.
Well that’s… something. Did you consider maybe watching it again as a refresher? Or even just reading a plot synopsis online? I did! I mean the latter, I only watched it a year and a half ago, I don’t need to rewatch it so soon. But even reading individual episode synopsis’ I was like, “oh that happened did it?” and “did I maybe watch a different show?”
Hmm, okay. So with the assistance of Wikipedia and to the best of your recollection what is the show about? It’s about an alternate universe where creatures called ‘Ghouls’ exist alongside normal human beings, they look and sound just like us except that they survive on the flesh of humans and possess superhuman abilities like strength, speed and regeneration.
Interesting! How could you forget about a show like that and yet you know to the excruciating detail all about K-On which you watched at roughly the same time about a year and a half ago? Cute girls?
Yeah, yeah… you and your cute girls… I can’t help it… something happened a year and a half ago and I haven’t been the same ever since.
Right. So who are the characters in this show? Hmm? Oh, the protagonist is university student Ken Kaneki, who is about to be killed by his crush Rize who is actually a Ghoul, until she is crushed by a falling beam on a construction site. He’s left in a critical condition but is saved after some of Rize’s organs are transplanted into him, which makes him half human-half ghoul! It’s honestly an extremely strong first episode, and easily the most memorable thing about the first season, well except for…
For what? That opening theme song! Oh my god, it’s like an auditory orgasm!
The theme song? Way to have your priorities in order! Bite thy tongue heathen! The anime theme song is a hallowed institution for otakus such as I.
Yeah? Then why don’t you talk about them in reviews more often? Well it’s not exactly the easiest thing to bring up when talking about a show in a restrictive format such as this, hmm, maybe I’ll do a new blog series about anime theme songs!
Focus, focus! Oh right, where were we?
Literally the first episode. Who are the other characters? What’s the central conflict? Details, details! Yes, um, so there’s a small café that’s secretly run by ‘good Ghouls’ i.e. the one’s that don’t go out eating humans indiscriminately. The stoic and dependable Yoshimura runs the café, and there’s also a waitress called Tora, who has her own tragic backstory and it’s all very rich and dramatic and interesting.
Stop being so flippant! People are probably getting angry about how you’re acting! It’s the Internet, I could literally post a picture of me petting a cat and people would send death threats.
Eh, fair point… Besides, it’s not all my fault; it’s just so hard to get over what happened to me a year and a half ago…
Either tell me or get on with it! So, the Ghouls of the city are relentlessly hunted by the CCG (Commission of Counter Ghoul) and specifically two agents of brutal efficiency, Kureo and Kotaro who go to extreme lengths to rid the streets of ghouls, regardless of whether they eat humans or not.
So it’s kind of like the story sides with the monsters and not ‘justice’? It’s not so black and white as that, there’s good and bad people on both sides, everybody has their own personal agenda and their own stake in the game, it makes for a very dynamic and thought provoking show.
Though not ‘thought provoking’ enough to stay in your memory, huh? Listen, if I tell you what happened to me a year and a half ago, will you promise to lay off me a little?
I guess so. Fine, so a year and a half ago, round about the time I was watching Tokyo Ghoul I was beset upon by a ravenous gang of cute girls, they tore me limb from limb but I survived, but only because one of the cute girls sustained fatal injuries in the attack, her organs were transplanted into me and ever since that day, I have an insatiable appetite… FOR CUTE GIRLS!
Fuck off. And besides, that doesn’t make any sense, why would having the organs of cute girls make you obsessed with cute girls, wouldn’t that just make you half a cute girl (if we’re entertaining this absurd logic)? Because in my heart I am a cute girl and so every time I look in the mirror and see my bearded male face staring back I have no recourse but to devour every cute girl anime I can ‘til I can forget about who I really am! I’m, I’m… a monster!
I’m so sorry if you read this expecting a sensible Tokyo Ghoul review, you see what kind of shit I have to deal with? *sigh* Final score? It’s a violent, gory and disturbing show at times, but it’s got pathos and humanity and tension! It’s also, unfortunately (at least for me) exceedingly forgettable, all jokes aside I couldn’t even remember half the things that happened in this series without reading through a recap and even then it was like a half remembered dream. Absolutely I recommend this show, but only based off the fact that I remembered liking it a lot when I first watched it. Prime meat: 87 out of 100.