[Review] Tokyo Ghoul Episode 4

WOW THEY DID IT. THEY ACTUALLY SKIPPED AMON VS KANEKI I AM SO SAD

This took soooo long because it’s also soooo long.

Notes:

1. This article comes from the perspective of someone who has read the manga.

2. I wouldn’t be critiquing the plot as much as I am going to comment on its progression.

3. Blue text usually indicates a topic change within a section.

4. Gray text, sometimes labeled as run-on note, are basically that–a no-punctuation ramble about whatever.

5. A spoiler among non-spoiler shit is like this for a reason.

6. If it wasn’t obvious from before, the manga scans I put up are butchered to fit what I’m trying to say. Everything is credited at the beginning though.

Warnings: 

Spoiler warnings apply because I’m going to talk about some deviations from the manga, and if the anime is planning on going for those events despite the changes, then spoilers. I might also end up talking about how the changes can possibly affect future events, so more spoilers. If the anime does not go for the events in the manga, then they’re nothing more than comparisons.

There will be gore and violence, so keep safe friends.

 

Release Watched: DameDesuYo
Screencaps taken from: DameDesuYo Release
Manga Scans taken from: Twisted Hel Scans

 

Alright, despite my disappointment, I will try to go about this in a coherent manner. Let’s start where I’ve acquired the habit of starting these things.

I caught one censored scene, which I actually do not get the point of because we have this

Yeah, I'm going to use this photo again later.

Yeah, I’m going to use this photo again later.

before the actual censored part which is this

for a moment I thought Taro's blood was actually black

for a moment I thought Taro’s blood was actually black

I mean. Why? They showed the great splatter of blood, but they grayscale the rain? Besides that, they were talking about eating someone since they came to the restaurant. Taro had been running around trying to cut Kaneki in two. Those things  should’ve warned anyone who didn’t want to see blood that there will be blood and you better change channels or skip or something if you don’t wanna see. And again, it’s Tokyo Ghoul. Come on. The premise alone is gory and violent and bloody. Why would you do this?

Well at least they didn’t blind us by inverting the colors all of a sudden.

 

Now, onto the actual episode.

Episode 4 – 晩餐 (Supper)

The title’s really telling, so I should’ve guessed they weren’t going to expound on Hinami’s story and the Amon vs Kaneki thing wasn’t going to be. That being said, they skipped a lot. And by a lot, I mean an entire arc so the deviations are to be expected. People who are supposed to be dead are alive, and people who were supposed to undergo character development don’t so… I’m sad to say the least, but I’ll try to look at the anime as an independent thing on the first part, then I’ll rant about the deviations on the second part. I read somewhere that they are going to make it until the Aogiri Arc, but I hope they don’t rush things any more than they already have.

Well then. Before going into Tsukiyama, because he practically owns the episode, I’ll go into the shorter scenes first.

First, we take a peek at Touka‘s human life. We see her being fed by her human friend Yoriko.

I'd love some of that egg roll

I’d love an egg roll

She looks gullible and clumsy, but she truly cares for Touka. In this scene though… err, I know she means well, but wow I’m so sorry Touka. Then, we see Touka in the bathroom in the process of vomiting… or so I thought before she goes

don't vomit

Yeah, girl. You’re going to grow weak because of that.

This was meant to show how Touka cared about Yoriko. Granted, it’s stupid but it shows the sincerity of her feelings because no one is looking and Yoriko sure as hell wouldn’t know if she puked the lunch she fed her. But she doesn’t want to reject something given to her by her friend, so she forces it down.

The manga actually expounds on this further, but because of all the things they skipped, some things didn’t happen, therefore making the extension an impossible scenario. I’ll go into detail in the next section. Yomo also tells her off on it there about her eating human food though

The other sequence which doesn’t include Tsukiyama is the Training. Yomo decides to train Kaneki because of Amon and Mado’s assignment to the 20th Ward.

it's not completely terrible, I guess

Yomo doesn’t train Kaneki until later in the manga, but I’m not complaining because MORE SCREEN TIME FOR YOMO

Note: Also, Yomo calls Kaneki “Ken” in the manga like a big bro huhu I hope they do that in the future

The training doesn’t really last for long (in our point of view anyway). Maybe Yomo’s just gentle, but Kaneki doesn’t really end up with much bruises. Yomo comments on how Kaneki’s forte is evasion. When they finish, Yomo tells Kaneki that there’s someone who would like to meet him.

Aside from calling Kaneki “Ken,”I want to put this here because Yomo is totally adorable okay. In the manga, Yomo asks Kaneki to come with him, and Kaneki panics thinking that Yomo is asking him to help him gather ‘food’ again. Yomo then clarifies that there’s someone who requested to meet him. When Kaneki asks what kind of person they were, Yomo is unable to answer

I am lamenting over how the anime is failing to capture how adorbs Yomo actually is

Yomo’s face—I am lamenting over how the anime is failing to capture how adorbs Yomo actually is

In any case, the person who wants to meet Kaneki is Itori

I actually thought her hair was a lighter color

I actually thought her hair was a lighter color

who appears to know Yomo and Uta before they came to the 20th Ward.

In the manga, she scares Kaneki with one of Uta’s masks when they enter her bar

Kaneki's adorbs too haha

Kaneki’s adorbs too haha

In any case, after badmouthing Yomo, she reveals why she wanted to meet Kaneki by spilling what I think is human blood on him causing Kaneki’s Kakugan to show. After giving Kaneki something to wipe off the blood, they talk. She then mentions something that seems to be important because everybody’s all hyped about it

Everyone’s either terrified or ecstatic

A hybrid of a human and a ghoul is said to have a Kakugan (a ghoul’s eyes) that only manifests in one eye, hence the name “one-eyed ghoul.” We learn from Itori that hybrids are said to be more powerful than the parent species, in this case the human and the pure-blooded ghoul. They are also believed to be a myth because it’s extremely rare for a hybrid to be conceived, and more so for a conceived hybrid to survive. However, Itori mentions

I SMELL AOGIRI

I SMELL AOGIRI

that despite one-eyed ghouls being almost mythical, there is supposedly at least one more one-eyed ghoul wandering the around. They call him the “One-Eyed King” although they probably wouldn’t mention that one until later.

Note: This has no relevance to the plot, but I wonder if ghouls exist in other countries as well 😛

Aside from the one-eyed ghoul, Itori also mentions the fact possibility that

It wasn't an accident

Rize’s death wasn’t an accident

When Yomo scolds Itori, she plays everything she said off as mere rumors–but we all know better, don’t we?

And finally, we have Tsukiyama. I think from several things that happen in the episode, it’s obvious what Tsukiyama wants.

he obviously

uhm...

wants

Eh?

This is what you call putting things out of context

What?

why do you think

What do you mean they’re not going on a date?

This is what you call putting things out of context.

Let’s backtrack a bit and put context into things.

Continuing from the previous episode, they reveal Tsukiyama for the creep he actually is in the first few minutes.

Like everyone who meets Kaneki for the first time, he sniffs him.

Like everyone who meets Kaneki for the first time, he sniffs him.

After leaving Anteiku, we see him eating in a french restaurant.

quite a sorry replacement

Now that scene up there isn’t quite what happens in the manga, but it’s an acceptable replacement if they were avoiding having to black out entire frames to “save” everyone from the gore

It is quite horrifying, I suppose.

It is quite horrifying, I suppose. I think I’d be too dead to ask for help if I was in her place.

The only actual difference is the manga lets us know how much of a picky eater Tsukiyama is because he brings his own food.

Tsukiyama catches his own food

Tsukiyama’s mask looks better in the manga

While eating, he comments on how interested he is in Kaneki’s scent.

In any case, even before Kaneki himself says so, it’s quite apparent that Tsukiyama is the Gourmet by this point.

the gourmet

He’s the “scourge” I guess because he’s tagged as a dangerous ghoul by the CCG, and is one of the reasons, other than Rize and their wrong assumption of Yamori’s hunting ground, for the Dove’s deployment to the 20th Ward. That, and maybe also because no one likes him haha.

Anyway, he approaches Kaneki while he’s on break and talks to him about books.

appealing to kaneki's inner nerd

appealing to kaneki’s inner nerd

He talks about how books helped him get through rough patches. We heard Kaneki talk about how he came to like books with Rize (in the manga, afaik, the talk about his father doesn’t come up until later but the story’s the same). We don’t know for sure if he was lying, but he probably was. He’s luring his dinner, after all.

NO KANEKI THE LAST TIME YOU WERE AWFULLY ALIKE TO SOMEONE THAT SOMEONE TRIED TO MAKE YOU DINNER REMEMBER

NO KANEKI THE LAST TIME YOU WERE AWFULLY ALIKE TO SOMEONE THAT SOMEONE TRIED TO MAKE YOU DINNER REMEMBER

Fast forward—

I TOLD YOU YOU SHIT

I TOLD YOU YOU SHIT

Now, going back again—

Kaneki agrees because he’s Kaneki. They go to the coffee shop Tsukiyama claimed to be frequented by Takatsuki Sen. Kaneki asks Tsukiyama about Rize, and Tsukiyama talks about how they had similar tastes. He gets carried away and remembers how Rize called him out for being pretentious. Tsukiyama, of course, hates her for it and it shows on his face as he breaks the cup in his hand.

it's the cleanest breaks-cup-with-grip-out-of-anger I've seen ever

it’s the cleanest breaks-cup-with-grip-out-of-anger I’ve ever seen ever

Note: The cup breaks all over but the coffee just spills from the bottom like that part just came off? It’s pretty to look at but is this legit? 

Kaneki attempts to help Tsukiyama and he is cut by one of the shards in the process. Tsukiyama offers him his handkerchief to stop the bleeding. He then goes to the bathroom, claiming he’ll wash the handkerchief and instead, we see

HOW CREEPY CAN YOU GET

HOW CREEPY CAN YOU GET

and just when I though it went on long enough

IT WAS A RHETORICAL QUESTION

IT WAS A RHETORICAL QUESTION

In any case, as an apology, Tsukiyama offers to take Kaneki to somewhere Rize used to visit—which is, of course, the ghoul restaurant. He intended for Kaneki to be shared to the members, that is until

put up the manga version because look how the ghoul side looks manic

put up the manga version because look at how they made that panel *A*

Look at how even the speech bubbles are in contrast in the manga *A*

Anyway, Kaneki somehow escapes for a bit, and everyone in the ghoul restaurant basically gasps “o-o-one-eyed ghoul??” or something similar, and Tsukiyama went bat shit, throwing off his ladies for Kaneki. Kaneki’s unable to move because of the drug he drank with the coffee, and just as Taro is about to cut him in half,

compare

Tsukiyama cuts Taro up and offers him to the ghoul restaurant members in Kaneki’s place.

manga tsukiyama looks cooler

Manga!Tsukiyama looks cooler, somehow.

Tsukiyama then

The nerve of this shithead

A joke? He’s covered in blood, you shit (not his, but still)

He doesn’t save Kaneki out of goodwill, if course.

more gay

Yeah, not a date. Tsukiyama’s still totally gay for Kaneki though.

And the episode ends with that.

All in all, read-the-manga biases aside, the episode was good. The pacing could’ve been better, but maybe that’s just some of my bias leaking through. I couldn’t completely enjoy it though, because I keep thinking of that entire arc they left out 😦 In any case, I hope they don’t leave out the conclusion of this arc.

 

Deviations from the manga

Lots of spoiler text and spoiler photos coming up, so if you don’t wanna be spoiled, you better run before Tsukiyama bites your ass. Thanks for reading ’til here!

Again, spoilers below until the Aogiri Arc. Also, more gore. Everyone good?

Alright, here I go.

Okay. Okay. I already raged about the possibility that they would skip Amon and Kaneki’s fight but wow I did not actually think they would? To add to this, they also changed a bunch of stuff for this episode. Now, my judgement on the episode as a whole stands: it’s not terrible. The episode in and of itself made sense and is pretty well paced with no unnecessary cliff-hangers. It’s just that as someone who’s read the manga, I think the progression in the manga was more fluid and gave more life to the characters.

That being said, a lot of the things they skipped were brought about by the events that they previously skipped so I understand why they had to forego a lot of things. But I just want to talk about them.

I mentioned in a previous review how Hinami’s father died (by Mado’s hands) before we meet her, and shortly after meeting Kaneki, she loses her mother to Mado as well.

ryoko's death

In the manga, instead of Yomo sort of leaving no choice for Kaneki but to learn how to fight, Kaneki asks Touka to teach him how to fight after witnessing this. It’s not difficult to see how Touka’s very irritable of Kaneki. She seemed to dislike Kaneki’s naivety and never forgave him for his words when they first met—“I’m not a monster like you!” But something to understand about Touka is despite this, she doesn’t deny people the ability to change. She sees how Kaneki tries to work hard at Anteiku, how he treats Hinami, and how he’s slowly accepting his identity as a ghoul. When Ryoko died, Touka became frustrated at the lack of action from Anteiku and acted on her own—killing a CCG worker and attacking Mado.

touka

 

For Touka, to not retaliate means betraying Ryoko and Hinami. Keeping quiet is tantamount to saying “it’s okay, it can’t be helped.” Yoshimura advises her against it, but doesn’t stop her because they’re free to act as they see fit. As a result, he also does not help her when she got hurt.

yoshimura

Kaneki tells Yoshimura that he acknowledges the extent of his experiences and the reasons behind his choices, but he [Kaneki] would like to see things for himself.

At this point, Touka thinks that ‘people who does not act have no right to be concerned’ thus she snaps at Kaneki in the previous image. Kaneki asking Touka to train him is different from what Touka had in mind, but she acknowledges that it’s a step in a direction she could accept. It shows Kaneki’s willingness to fight, if not for what Touka believes in, at least for what he himself believes in. The way Kaneki slowly finds his way through all the shit slowly shifts Touka’s animosity to acceptance, then further on into companionship.

In Kaneki’s mind, Touka is scary (as he told Uta) but she’s dependable. He knows she’d get angry at him, but she’d help him if it was for an acceptable purpose. So despite Touka being scary, he asks her to teach him how to fight. I think that maybe the reason they didn’t make Touka teach Kaneki in the anime is because Yomo is more agreeable. He wouldn’t resort to the methods Touka took to make Kaneki realize the gravity of fighting as a ghoul. For example

Kaneki wails, and Touka's pretty chill about it, going "It'll set by tomorrow."

Yeah, ouch.

and Yomo would still be able to teach Kaneki anyway. Even so, I feel like because they skipped a lot of interactions between Touka and Kaneki, the build of their relationship isn’t as solid.

Because they skipped Hinami’s story, they lost a good introduction to Kaneki’s character. I know Yoshimura already mentioned it when he offered Kaneki a place to stay at Anteiku, but aside from everything I said in my rant last time, fighting Amon also solidified the idea.

feels

Kaneki has yet to be called “The Eye-Patch Ghoul” too, but it isn’t too much of a loss, plot-wise. Just that he becomes quite known among ghouls. Also, Amon is supposed to know him 😦

They also couldn’t show Kaneki visiting Hinami in Touka’s home. After the whole mess with Mado (who is now supposedly dead), Hinami goes to live with Touka. So, Kaneki waits outside Touka’s apartment after school.

stalker

Kaneki helps Hinami with her things, and while they’re at it, Yoriko visits Touka out of worry. She brought Touka more food and leaves when she sees Kaneki, obviously misunderstanding something. When Kaneki comments on how much of a waste it is to throw all the food Yoriko brought was, Touka stops him, telling him she’ll eat it. Kaneki attempts to help her, but gives up on the first bite.

yoriko's food

Kaneki and Touka’s relationship have a rough beginning (not rougher than his with Nishio and Tsukiyama, however), but somehow understanding makes its way around them. Kaneki witnessing how much Touka cares about Yoriko is an important event, especially for the conclusion of the Gourmet Arc, which I now fear they would skip over again because this hasn’t happened yet

Then he sees... Then he sees...1

Before the entire thing in the ghoul restaurant happened, Kaneki encounters Nishio getting beaten up and helps him out. Nishio curses Kaneki as Kaneki drags him to his apartment (the one he previously visited with Hide). When he lays Nishio on the floor, a woman attacks him until Nishio stops her. She is Kimi, the woman we see on top of Nishio the first time we were in his apartment Nishio’s girlfriend. Kimi, apparently, knows about Nishio being a ghoul and by association concluded that Kaneki was a ghoul too. She apologizes to Kaneki for attacking him, saying she thought he was the “narcissistic guy” pertaining to Tsukiyama who she saw in the university grounds (when he visited Kaneki). She then asks Kaneki for help, and Kaneki promises to ask the other ghouls he knows for help. Kimi thanks him and asks him to keep Nishio’s condition a secret.

Going back to what I was saying before, what makes Kaneki witnessing Touka’s friendship with Yoriko important here is how after Kimi is kidnapped by Tsukiyama in order to lure Kaneki to him, Touka decides that Kimi had to die. Kaneki stops her by saying, “[Kimi] is probably, to Nishio, what Hide and Yoriko is to us.”

I really like this part because we see how Touka is sometimes too focused on protecting what’s hers to protect that she disregards others. Here, Kaneki who should’ve felt enough grudge on Nishio for what he did to Hide to choose to not help him instead accepted how Nishio had changed and explained to Touka in a way he knew she would understand. This, furthermore, is important for the feels when white-haired!Kaneki appears because… well, this is just my opinion, but when Kaneki changed, the majority of my feels was caused by how Touka and the others seemed to regret the loss of the current optimistic and innocent Kaneki. I mean, look at their faces when they see white-haired!Kaneki for the first time

You can go ahead and ignore Tsukiyama’s face. Uta looks like he couldn’t care less too, but at least he gives Kaneki his hood and tells him to leave the rest to them

I don’t think anyone actually knows what happened to Kaneki while he was under Yamori’s… care. All they know is whatever it was that happened, it’s terrible enough to twist Kaneki into someone who kills and tortures without difficulty when the time calls for it. He doesn’t become insane, alright. He’s still pretty level-headed, but his view on the world has darkened considerably (something Touka admonishes him for in a later chapter).

Yes, Kaneki becomes badass. Yes, he becomes stronger. But wow, I still mourned the loss of the dorky Kaneki. His compassion for anyone who threatens his “place” is all but gone. That being said, I absolutely love how they chose to change him in this direction. It almost feels like “a hero living long enough to see himself become the villain” except I know too little about what is actually going on to label anyone heroes and villains.  If ever they tackle this part (or not) in the anime, I’ll go into more detail. For now, I’ll leave things at that.

Just a few more things I want to point out.

First is how the conversation with Itori went. Again, it isn’t much of a deviation, but I feel that the manga gave more life to Itori’s (and Yoshimura’s) character because if this. When Itori tells Kaneki about the suspicious circumstances surrounding Rize’s death

NOT A GOD DAMN RUMOR

Kaneki asks Yomo if the manager knew about it, and Yomo confirms that Yoshimura did but kept quiet because he didn’t want Kaneki to get caught up in the confusion. This isn’t much of an issue, but further on, I feel that Kaneki would want answers from him because he always keeps information from them. This is a good way to plant suspicion.

And when Kaneki asks Itori for more information (who was the silhouette), she asks for a price

the price is info about ghoul restaurant

“I hear the Gourmet has been following you around lately…”

This serves as an introduction on the ghoul restaurant, as well as Itori’s character. Itori is something like an information merchant. She sells information for information. Under normal circumstances, she doesn’t give information for free.The previous info she told Kaneki was in exchange for letting her see his Kakugan. More, and she charges him.

Another thing is related to Kaneki’s thought process. This

THAT'S NOT WHAT HE'S SUPPOSED TO BE READING

is not what he was supposed to be reading.

Due to the skips and the resulting rearrangement of events, Kaneki’s training doesn’t begin until after Tsukiyama visits Kaneki at school. As a result, he has yet to develop an interest in martial arts, and is in fact not much of an athlete. In the manga, he is already training with Touka and Yomo when Tsukiyama visits him. To add to his knowledge on the matter, he reads books. Tsukiyama asks if it’s to give him a sense of security, and Kaneki replies that he feels like the more he knows about the topic, the more he can appreciate it.

One of the things that fascinates me about Tokyo Ghoul is Kaneki’s thought process. He is logical and critical without being robotic. He likes to read, and it shows in the narrations/monologue/analogies. He is also very adaptable. He uses what knowledge he has and applies them to fit both the situation and his goals. It manifests in his fight with Taro in the ghoul restaurant as he recalls a description of a way to (I think) dislocate an elbow and applies it. Just look at how his thought process is shown here

this is where the book comes in

Tsukiyama notes the awkwardness of the attack and

MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY TSUKIYAMA

MY THOUGHTS EXACTLY TSUKIYAMA

Note: Yes I still feel the loss of Kaneki’s thought process in the anime *sighs*

Aside from that, Kaneki isn’t openly looking for danger, but he is cautious. While he was being guided through the ghoul restaurant, he notes how the windows were barred and how the mask of the ghoul guiding him seemed a bit strange. In the end, he realizes that the reason for those was the drug coming from the vents. In the manga, Kaneki isn’t alone. There are two others with him, also brought by other ghoul restaurant members to be shared.

kaneki wasn't alone

When they’re served them coffee, the two other people took it without thought, but Kaneki doesn’t.

Kaneki doesn't drink

I understand why they made the change though. They’re trying to save time. To do this, they took out two relatively unimportant characters and made Kaneki drink the drugged coffee because he would’ve felt the effects of the drug sooner or later anyway. And also, maybe, they were trying to avoid having to black out these

maybe to avoid showing this1 maybe to avoid showing this2

That being said, I still feel that it’s a big loss in understanding Kaneki as a character. We already lost the literary references, and even a good part of Kaneki’s monologue, but I wish they’d do something to retain things like this one.

One last thing I want to talk about is the difference between the anime and the manga’s portrayal of Tsukiyama.

Somehow, the anime portrays Tsukiyama as completely crazy. Even how they drew him in certain scenes, for example this one. Compare

DAT FACE

Tsukiyama’s completely bat shit in the anime, I don’t even know. And he’s so manic, it shows in his actions.

For example, the bathroom scene. In the anime, Kaneki is accidentally cut by the shards of Tsukiyama’s broken cup. And what they do is make Tsukiyama throw a handkerchief on the wound, then a few minutes later retrieve it with stiff, almost frantic words telling Kaneki he’ll wash it himself. In the manga, Tsukiyama cuts Kaneki on purpose while Kaneki hands him the book they were talking about

on purpose

He’s crazy in both versions, but somehow he seems crazier in the anime. The difference is that the Tsukiyama in the manga is shown to be more calculative and calm. He is careful to hide his motives. His “taste testing” of Kaneki was on purpose, unlike the accidental cut in the anime. This shows a clarity in his motives and schemes. Everything that happened during the day they went to the cafe were all according to his plan. From the beginning, he’s been planning to take Kaneki to the ghoul restaurant

before the coffee shop

I feel that the manga portrayed Tsukiyama as a more balanced character. He’s crazy but he is also cunning. He maintains his calm if he can help it. Moreover, he isn’t a good guy. He plays for his own motives—in the current case, to eat Kaneki—and it’s not something he agonizes over. He doesn’t get attached, and he does whatever is necessary to his motives.

tsukiyama

Who knows, maybe he just hasn’t found anyone worth his time. Maybe, he’ll develop something akin to feelings of companionship and loyalty in the future, but right now this is who he is.

 

All in all, things are sufficiently within context for the audience in the anime, but I still feel that the removal or changing of events and scenes took away important parts of the context within the development of the relationship of the characters, and the characters themselves. Granted, the anime makes sense as it is, the fluidity of the flow of the storytelling isn’t as smooth as the manga. We may assume that time granted Touka and Kaneki friendship, but it’s not the same as seeing it develop. I understand the need to cut certain scenes and events for a time-constrained medium like an animation, but cut any more and there might not be much left to be seen and to be felt.

————————-

Additional Credits:

The line “…a hero living long enough to see himself become the villain” is paraphrased from Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight.

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