Anime Review – All The Confusing Bits in Tokyo Ghoul Season 2

Why am I writing about season 2 (or ‘√A’ as it is technically called) when we haven’t reviewed season 1 yet? Well, sometimes I feel like you can treat a series as a whole, and other times, a later season can leave me with a totally different impression than the first (like Sword Art Online 2). I liked the first season of Tokyo Ghoul, but I have way more to say about the second…

This post contains all manner of spoilers (though no explanations as to what was going on because I didn’t really understand).

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First of all – far too many new characters, some of which just sort of appeared for a bit (like the one eyed ghoul twins) and were never spoken of again. Sure, they seemed quite intriguing and in a longer season introducing them at that point may have made sense, but why were they crammed into this arc at all? They surely had something to do with the whole ‘can humans be turned into ghouls’ thing that several characters pondered over, but since we have known from the first damn episode that they can that isn’t a mystery for the viewer, it is a mystery for some of the characters. Given that it’s a mystery that doesn’t get resolved in this season anyway, it makes even less sense.

Next up – Touka. In the first season she is a badass in combat who is super fast and can fly. In the second season she literally does nothing but study, because for reasons that are never established she wants to get into a really tough university. In the end she opens a coffee shop, so that in and of itself was all a bit of a waste of time, but what bothered me more is the few scenes where we see her running around in the snow getting out of breath. In season 1 she darts around beating the granny out of everybody and yet in season two running up the stairs to go and look at brooding Kaneki brooding on a bridge knackers her out. This inconsistency vexes me.

Then there was the massive, confusing clusterfuck that was the last battle.

That old dude who runs the coffee shop reveals the Owl is his ‘son’ (I am hoping that was just a translation thing on the subs I was watching because it is later revealed it is actually that creepy bandage wearing girl who might also be that author but who the hell knows, and you see her naked so it isn’t even that it’s a trap character…). Anyway, he then sets off, to do what? I thought he was going to stop the Owl, but then he gets in a fight with the Doves, for some reason, who ostensibly kill him, thinking he’s the Owl (even though they look nothing alike).  Whether he is actually dead or not I am not sure, nobody seems to stay dead in Tokyo Ghoul unless their death can be milked for loads of angst.

Then, Kaneki has a fight with Amon and (ostensibly) kills him, but what was that even all about? He keeps saying he doesn’t want to fight you, he spared your life last season and lead to all that brooding about why a ghoul would save you, so why bloody come at him now and die pointlessly?

Then, white-haired-super-cop-with-gold-briefcase shows up and sort of saves the day for those guys. If that guy is so badass that they all feel relaxed that they will win as soon as he shows up, why didn’t they have him at the start of the clearly dangerous mission where they suffered loads of casualties? What is the deal with him anyway?

Those are just some of the things they could have explained in the last few episodes instead of having really long shots of snow, and people having conversations about coffee that maybe in Japanese had some deep subtext but to me appeared to actually be about coffee.

And that was just the last few episodes. Why did Kaneki join Aogiri? It was explained that he wanted to get stronger to protect his friends, but that isn’t enough of an explanation for me for such a massive U-Turn. He could have just joined a gym, or got that bloke who he trained with in the first season (who appeared again just in time to be barely involved in this one) to help him.

Probably, this season needs to be watched with season 3 to make any sense, and maybe these and the hundreds of other questions are answered there, but in that case, wouldn’t waiting for a 24 episode season have made more sense? Or structuring the arcs differently so a 12 episode one could have been made that wasn’t just a baffling mess? It is not a direct retelling of the manga anyway, so surely that could have been done?

Well, anyway, that’s my rant about the season over with – here’s the video for Unravel, because it’s still awesome.

Image by Domenico

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