[Review] Tokyo Ghoul Episode 9

Holy shit this episode. Nothing much happens BUT A LOT HAPPENS AND THEY’RE VERY EASY TO MISS

A lot of new characters and I just want to cry at the sight of some of them, especially this guy

CRYING LORD WHY

Yes, him. Actually, all of them.

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. Don’t try too hard to read it if you don’t want to be spoiled.

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: 

Nothing much here, I think.

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

Episode 9 – 鳥籠 (Birdcage)

As I mentioned, nothing much actually happens in this episode. It’s very much a transition from the previous arc to the next one. Even so, I think this is my favorite episode so far because it added scenes that were just shown in flashbacks in the manga as if they were put there to answer continuity—which isn’t to say it’s bad. But showing it here now makes it better. And because I’ve read the manga, well, I’ve gained more insight to the characters. I have no idea how much has been revealed in the coming episodes, so I’ll be considering character insights spoilers.

To start, I’ll comment on the new characters.

First, we see Kishou Arima, voiced by Namikawa Daisuke

ARIMA FUCKING SHIT

I didn’t really expect to see Arima so soon because as far as I remember, the first time Arima shows up is through flashbacks from his fight with the One-Eyed-Owl (and he was pretty young with black black hair and actually pretty). We don’t hear much about him here, but we do get the idea that he’s of a higher rank than everyone  in this scene. He looks pretty young even now, and somehow, he has the authority to assign Mado’s partner.

I don’t have a gripe about this, but I’m not sure what it does to the impression of Arima’s character that the first time we see him is here, smiling no less. In the manga, at least how I remember it, we only hear stories of Arima before we actually see him, and the first time we actually see him is when Kaneki sees him for the first time. Seeing him there welcoming Amon, normal, takes away some of the wonder.

Arima, for the duration of the manga (Tokyo Ghoul), seemed like a God almost. All the stories about him are told in awe and fear, and when we do see him, he is stoic, untainted and almost detached. He has no backstory (yet, I hope) and is very much undefeated—known to many as The Reaper.

The second character to make an appearance is Yukinori Shinohara

Shinohara

He… well, he made me cry in the manga gdi. He has the patience of a saint, is2g. He’s kind, and pretty open minded I mean I feel like if they had given him the chance he probably could join Amon in his dilemma about ghouls being like humans.

They’re probably going to mention it on the next episode but he’s the partner of this thief Suzuya Juuzou.

Kaneki and Juuzou

it should be noted that while Suzuya forgets Kaneki’s name at some point, he remembers his face

Yeah, we barely see his face here. As you could probably tell, he’s a bit insane. Those red marks are actual stitches he did to himself because it was apparently in fashion. He doesn’t care about anything in particular and just goes after ghouls because it’s fun… or at least, that’s how it is in his head. He has a… horrible backstory that kinda explains what’s going on with him, and probably why Shinohara’s so kind and understanding toward him and also why he’s so small and pretty despite being Kaneki’s age. He gets better though, and again, this bastard made me cry.

The next one, again we don’t see her face but

I SHIP IT

I SHIP IT

Her name is Akira Mado, and as you might’ve guessed by her name she is Mado’s daughter, as well as replacement. And so, we have this ship partnership. Her, Amon and

UGLY SOBS

Takizawa Seido form a sort-of trio. Seido is pretty clumsy, and sees Akira as his rival since they were in the academy. And he sort of has a man-crush on Amon. He can be a bit annoying, because he’s pretty average (not very strong, usually afraid) while comparing himself to Akira (who’s pretty much a badass) all the time, but that’s how a normal human is so. He has no sad backstory as far as I know, but god damn his future please just kill him. Word of advice: treasure him while you can.

They also mention Tsunayoshi Tsuneyoshi Washu

WASHU WAS MENTIONED REALLY

who they either did not mention in the manga or I just completely missed it because they don’t show him until like the last chapter.

Next we have the ghouls. Again, someone we can’t see the face of

Nico

No, not Hide, dumbass. The pink dude!

His (idk how s/he wants to be referred to as so for now I’m going for he okay) name’s Nico, and as you might’ve guessed, he’s a part of Aogiri not really. He’s also pretty close to Yamori.

Then we have Banjou, the dude with the weird-ass beard.

BANJOU

He is a masochist pretty much infatuated with Rize, of all people. He is supposedly the head of the 11th Ward’s ghouls before Aogiri took over. He is kindhearted and pretty much useless in battle save for his sturdiness. There is one line I’d like to hear from him… but it would probably not happen in the anime so okay :c

Right now, Banjou works under Ayato Kirishima

AYATO YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE YOUNGER THAN TOUKA WHO IS ALREADY YOUNGER THAN KANEKI

AYATO YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE YOUNGER THAN TOUKA WHO IS ALREADY YOUNGER THAN KANEKI

Touka’s younger brother. He was *A* bby cute juju can’t handle worms until life screwed him over and made him hot. Kaneki breaks half of his skeletal system in the manga, but since season 2’s said to be an Aogiri Route, I doubt it’ll happen unless they want Ayato to be angry at Kaneki 90% of the time.

As this is a transition between Hinami’s arc and the Aogiri Arc, I am really happy with how the sequence showed the characters we’re about to meet one by one. None seemed forced, and everything happened while dealing with the aftermath of the previous arc.

We first see a bit of context behind Amon and Mado’s relationship, how Mado mentored him

you fight

Recall how Amon says the same thing while fighting Kaneki, and I think even when he was fighting Touka

and a bit of how Mado was seen by fellow investigators (saying he’s a bit mad) and the few who actually got to work with him (like Shinohara, who says “I still can’t believe he’s gone” and this)

crybaby amon

crybaby Amon huhu

I really like how Tokyo Ghoul doesn’t paint characters in a bad light and leave it at that except maybe the clowns. Much like how the humans and ghouls tend to see only one aspect of the other, we saw only one aspect of Mado. While to us, he’s an evil jerkface, to the people he was with, he was a colleague and friend. This does not excuse his actions, of course, but it makes him all the more human.

In any case, Amon visits his grave, and he sees Mado’s daughter on his way home (not that he knows who she was yet).

On the other side of things, we have

with touka

Hinami takes in a bird they named Loser (Hetare), but since Touka doesn’t do well with birds due to a tragic backstory, Anteiku takes him in

hetare

And we have Touka dealing with Mado’s death

he had a family too

I don’t think she regrets what she did (not completely anyway) but she’s in the process of understanding why Yoshimura is unwilling to avenge the slaughtered ghouls. She’s beginning to see the difference between revenge and fighting for someone. She thinks about the consequences of her actions,

huhuhu

We’ll get to Kaneki’s backstory when the anime hopefully gets to it

while she doesn’t quite open up to Kaneki, the fact that she even started a conversation like this is proof of how much their relationship has grown. And in front of Kaneki, she remembers her family

Ayato and Touka

On the left is bby!Ayato, on the right is bby!Touka, and in the middle is Arata Kirishima, their father. He’s one of the ghouls who wishes to live peacefully among the humans. His death, and the betrayal of the humans around them led to Touka and Ayato going separate ways—with Ayato swearing off humans, and Touka continuing their father’s wish to live among humans.

I mean, it’s sad how this

AYATO WHAT HAPPENED

turned to this

ayato pls

but more on that when we get to it.

While dealing with the aftermath, we also see the daily life of Anteiku which mainly consist of everyone

devil ape

ignoring Koma’s attempt to tell his backstory

TREASURE THE JOKES WHILE YOU CAN

Word of advice: TREASURE THE JOKES WHILE YOU CAN

The episode also smoothly moves things forward

looking for Rize

to the 11th Ward

NO

NO

Also, uhm, Itori

KANEKI NO

KANEKI NO

Spoilery bit. Read after the next red bit.

I mean, holy shit. Seriously. I can’t believe I liked any of these clowns. I even expected Uta to save Kaneki from Arima. My friend had a fucking crush on Itori. I totally did not realize how someone like the Itori I thought I knew would be happy about the change that happened to Kaneki—remember how Itori said she loved Kaneki’s innocence, and yet when she saw post-Aogiri Kaneki, she was still happy. That should’ve been a sign that the way she found Kaneki’s innocence cute was different from how we thought she found it cute. I have never felt more betrayed than when I read that last chapter holy shit. 

End of spoilery bit. You can read again.

Aside from this, we have bonuses in the form of HIDEYOSHI NAGACHIKA

SORRY I HAD TO HIDE BBY

I’m sorry, it’s just that it’s been so long since I’ve heard from this guy that I feel compelled to screencap every frame

FUCKING FUCK

FUCKING FUCK IDK IF YES OR NO BUT HOLY SHIT

he

HIDE PLS

ugh my heart

is

He keeps drinking because it's a reminder of the only thing human Kaneki can taste

Bitter, but he keeps drinking anyway because it’s a reminder of the only thing human Kaneki can taste

in

THANK

The anime makes it more obvious that Hide knows about Kaneki. In the manga, there are hints, but most are pretty vague and you can’t really tell for sure even though you’re probably 99% sure that he knows. I am very, very grateful because they’re giving Hide more scenes because he is fucking important okay.

THANK YOU

This scene in particular gives Hide cause to investigate Yamori and the 11th Ward. He heard that they’re searching for Rize, and probably concluded that they’ll be coming after Kaneki who he might’ve inferred got his ghoul parts from Rize.

If we know anything about Hide, it’s that he cares for Kaneki. A lot. And he understands Kaneki better than anyone, maybe even better than Kaneki himself. Even if he didn’t know that Kaneki was a ghoul in the beginning, he would’ve definitely figured out that Kaneki had been keeping something from him. Eventually, he would’ve realized how Kaneki seemed uneasy every time he spoke about ghouls, and would’ve probably realized the truth anyway. In any case, Hide also understands why Kaneki doesn’t want to tell him, but this doesn’t stop him from looking out for him.

YOU DORK JUST ADMIT THAT IT'S FOR KANEKI

YOU DORK JUST ADMIT THAT IT’S FOR KANEKI

He does research on ghouls

YOUR FAULT

THAT’S BECAUSE KANEKI WANTS YOUR ASS SAFE NAGACHIKA

and talks about them without sign of malice. He talks about them like he would a person—treats them as intelligent beings and not as monsters as if to try and tell Kaneki that hey, it’s alright bro. Of course, he wants Kaneki to tell him so he can support him more openly, but he’s not going to pry because Kaneki doesn’t do well with that kind of thing.

So him coming across Yamori talking about a dead ghoul whose body parts are on his best friend best brotp ever, of course he’s gonna keep an eye out.

The problem in the manga is, we don’t see this part until Hide tells the story about how he just happened to be really inquisitive and conveniently happened upon Yamori drinking coffee somewhere which enabled him to put a tracking device on Yamori. We don’t see how Hide came upon the conclusion that Yamori had something to do with why Kaneki was missing, just that he did and he tipped CCG on Yamori’s whereabouts so they can go save him maybe, and so we have the raid of the 11th Ward.

The transition here is smoother, and we see how Hide would probably come upon the conclusion that this guy had something to do with Kaneki’s disappearance when it happens. We’ll see how the anime deals with the next events.

All in all, as I mentioned, I really liked this episode. It was able to tie up loose ends and at the same time pave the way for the events of the following arc. And, of course, because there was more Hide.

Now, on to the 11th Ward! Thanks for reading!

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