Who is Bad? Who is Good? 'Tokyo Ghoul Root A' Review

Friday, July 29, 2016

Tokyo Ghoul Root A

Studio: Studio Pierrot
Producer: None (As stated by MAL)
Genre: Action, Drama, Horror, Mystery, Psychological, Seinen, Supernatural
Episodes: 12
Episode Length: 24 minutes per episode

In Tokyo Ghoul √A, monsters live among humans, looking like them while craving their flesh. That is the world Ken Kaneki has struggled to navigate ever since a first date went horrifically awry and transformed him into a half-human, half-ghoul. For months, he has fought against his new cannibalistic hunger and violent tendencies. But after being captured and tortured by a sadistic ghoul, Kaneki has accepted his darker half as his only means for survival.

His choice could not be more timely. Tokyo has become a battleground between humans and ghouls. The CCG, a government agency created to deal with the perceived ghoul threat, has ramped up its efforts to eradicate the inhuman monsters. In response, the terrorist ghoul organization, Aogiri Tree, has made destroying the CCG its priority. And throughout it all, the ghouls who frequent the coffee shop Anteiku merely want to live a peaceful life. But Kaneki, who worked at Anteiku while he attempted to reconcile his human and ghoul halves, makes a shocking decision: he joins Aogiri Tree. Even as his choice sends shockwaves through his newfound friends, many more questions are raised. What is Aogiri Tree's true purpose? Will the CCG triumph over the ghouls? And has Kaneki truly betrayed his friends and everything that Anteiku stands for?


It's been a while since I saw 'Tokyo Ghoul'. But I loved it. It was the amazing story of human versus ghoul. You felt for the ghouls as you saw their society. That anime truly embodied the idea of good guys being bad and bad guys being good. Just because you're a human doesn't mean you're good. Just because you're a ghoul doesn't mean you're bad.
This was the thing that drove the anime forwards. Many people loved that. And I did too.
But that doesn't mean the anime continued this theme. Season two was more about loss and grief. With lots of action scenes.

Something that I loved about this season was the multiple perspectives. We saw the nice ghouls the Anteiku group, the evil ghouls Aogiri, the good humans, and the bad humans. It's not a show about a clean and even divide between good and evil. Touka killed, but she was 'good'. Amon was righteous, but he attacked harshly. Even Juuzou who seemed like this crazy killing machine had a heartfelt backstory.
This anime showed us that there is always a good and evil force. It changes from person to person. Perspective changes how things are seen. As the saying goes, history is written by the victor.

Because of the different perspectives, you saw the truth. The truth is that everyone will die. You have to accept this and move on. But coping with your grief is okay. This anime, both seasons, had high body counts. People died left and right.
But the living had to deal with that. It's something to have to take as fact. There is no magical healing potion. There is only death. (Dark but true.)
I honestly think that if there was a third season, it would be great to see their coping mechanisms. I know that if we followed the manga, we'd have a massive time skip (Thanks, Google.) But wouldn't it be cool to see a ghoul's burial service?

The second half of the anime was very action-y. I quite liked the raid at the end. It was tension-filled, and we finally got to see the two employees of Anteiku fight. I never knew they were important ghouls. It was this amazing arc, and I really loved seeing the different fights.
I love action scenes a lot. So it was exciting to see this.

I really didn't like the lack of Kaneki. It was because of the multiple perspectives. I didn't mind seeing Akira and Amon and Juuzou, but I would have preferred Kaneki's perspective more. He was the star of the last season. Why couldn't there have been more about him? He wanted to get stronger and protect the group at Anteiku. I wanted to know more about that. What did he do? I have unresolved questions.

Even though the second half of the plot was interesting, but the first half was tiresome. There were a lot of raids. The CCG and Aogiri really danced around each other. The conflict wasn't anything special. Kaneki wasn't really seen. I was annoyed at his elusiveness. And while the CCG was given depth, I felt like there wasn't a lot of characterization in general. I was tired of this back and forth.

This anime wasn't as amazing as the first season. But I do quite like it. As always, the message is amazing, and the action sequences are fabulous. Not too bad as a sequel for the 'Tokyo Ghoul'. But it could have been much better.

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