After the last episode of Tokyo Ghoul season one ended with a major cliffhanger, season two (called Tokyo Ghoul √A) wasted no time in continuing on with where things left off. This episode gave viewers a taste of what’s to come in this second installation of the popular anime, with the introduction to a brand new plot that strays from the original manga story line. Be warned, spoilers are ahead!
The episode picks up right after the finishing fight between Kaneki and Jason. The intense battle between the ghouls of Anteiku, Aogiri Tree, and the humans of the CCG comes to a close with a stalemate between the three opposing groups. All sides are left with great casualties. If this series was following the original story line of the manga, Kaneki would have started his group of ghouls on his quest for power and redemption. But here’s the twist: instead, Kaneki decides to join Aogiri Tree, the organization which contains some of the most powerful and antagonistic ghouls of the series. Although many fans were upset that the story line is becoming nonlinear to the original narrative, I, for one, am excited about this change. Now I will get to experience the show with a clean slate rather than knowing what’s to come. I’m sure we’re all wondering what path this decision will lead our protagonist? I guess we’ll find in the next few weeks.
After watching this episode, I was left with mixed feelings. As a huge fan of Tokyo Ghoul, I felt like my opinion would have been more positively biased, however, I was left pretty dissatisfied. I didn’t like that a lot of important scenes that were presented in the manga weren’t incorporated into the anime (although this is understandable because of the plot change as well as the time restraint). I also didn’t like the new opening.
The opening theme is something that I’m sure the whole fandom was anticipating almost as much as the second season itself. First off, the song is called: “Munou (無能)” or “Incompetence” by österreich. When I first saw the opening, I thought that they were showing us the ending theme of the show because the song didn’t seem like a typical opening theme. Although the visual for the new opening is just breathtaking, and the lyrics equally beautiful, it doesn’t seem very memorable yet. Who knows? Maybe everyone will eventually get used to it.
Do I think that it is a suitable replacement for “Unravel”? Not exactly. The opening theme for season one of Tokyo Ghoul gained a lot of popularity for it’s imagery, lyrics that deeply resounded with the story, and the overall strong impact. At this moment, I don’t feel like the new opening has that same connection. Personally, I think that it would’ve been better to have TK from Ling Tosite Sigure follow up with another opening theme for the show. After the success of his songs “Unravel” for Tokyo Ghoul season one and “Abnormalize” for Psycho-Pass, I think that it wouldn’t have hurt to leave the creation of the opening in his capable hands. Plus, he really seems to understand the themes of Tokyo Ghoul.
The episode wasn’t all bad. There were a lot of things I liked, too. One of my favorite things about the new season is the quality of the animation. The art seemed to be a lot more refined and consistent than it was in the first season. The fight scenes seemed to be more elaborate as well. As for the new plot, I liked how the author, Ishida Sui, had a lot of influence on the direction that this season will take. And even though I wasn’t pleased with the new opening, I was happy with the ending theme. The song choice is great and the accompaniment of Ishida Sui’s original artwork made things even better. I also liked how this episode contained a lot of funny, lighthearted moments in the midst of all the seriousness which resulted in a ton of new memes (ie. the Tsukiyama counting meme and the Kaneki dancing meme). It was also great seeing all of the characters again. I was starting to miss them.
All in all, I think that it’s way too soon to make any assumptions about this season. I think that I’ll have to see how the story unfolds first. While the manga version of Tokyo Ghoul continues to be more well received throughout the general public; the reception of the anime is less favorable. But don’t let this discourage you from watching the series to see for yourself! For those of you who are still wondering where you can watch it, it’s available in most streaming sites, as well as the official Funimation site, and youtube. Episode two will air next Thursday. I can’t wait to see how this story will unfold!
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