“What do you people want to do? Wait for Kaneki? Or…”
So the question is: how seriously are we supposed to take this? It’s canon for sure, but for an omake-styled chapter its content seems to be a little too significant – it pretty much reveals the status quo a month on from the auction raid, and there’s a lot that can be inferred. Haise is still alive as Haise, for one, but Kaneki is now a continuing presence in his life – they still talk to each other, and it’s actually pretty nice seeing Kaneki relay little tidbits of advice across to a Haise who’s willing to listen to him. All seems normal with the Quinx Squad as well, with their existence now acknowledged as useful by the CCG. It quickly became apparent that Hinami was not around, and I think this (unfortunately) debunks the theory that Hinami would live with Haise like she used to – this takes place a month after the raid ended, after all. And Haise still refers to her as ‘Yotsume’. I guess she’s in Cochlea. I hope Haise visits frequently at least, it’s the least she deserves after having saved his life. At least he’s thinking of Touka, the only other contender for best girl!
It really is odd to see that treacherous bastard Uta just sitting in :re, as if he’s truly on their side. To be honest, I don’t even know what’s up with him any more, it’s confusing just thinking about the short exchange between him and Yomo. After Uta mentions that he met Kaneki (which he kind of didn’t, since he only really heard his screams over the intercom), Yomo asks what the Clowns are thinking. It’s vague enough such that we don’t know what he really meant – is he directly addressing Uta, thus implying he knows Uta is a member? Would Uta be a double agent in that case, if Yomo is tacitly approving? But then in asking what ‘they’ plan to do with Kaneki, it’s like he’s instead making a general statement, meaning he doesn’t know what Uta is up to. It’s not like Uta’s response is any less cryptic – he says he doesn’t know much about the boss of the Clowns. Is he saying that as a member? As a ghoul with general knowledge of the Clowns? Is he not supposed to be the boss in the first place? Is he just a lying bastard who’s deceiving everyone and their dog?
At any rate, the Clowns are moving. It’s a really audacious move for Uta to suddenly gift Haise his old mask for Christmas. It’s not enough to trigger a relapse (we may not even be getting those spasms of insanity now that he’s found some inner peace) but Kaneki recognized it. I just find it really strange that this is happening now, in a seemingly unimportant chapter – because it’s symbolic and really significant, and I can easily see this moving the plot forward. I guess the same goes with Eto giving him one of her books for Christmas, signing it to Kaneki Ken from Takatsuki Sen. That’s just evil. It also means both the Clowns and Aogiri know where Haise lives, which is kind of scary. It could also possibly be Hide who sent that book, given that he’d gotten a book signed for him back in the original manga at the event Takatsuki held. But that raises questions about what he’s up to, how he knows about Haise and why he hasn’t approached him before now – and now in such a roundabout way. Again, these are issues that are important enough to be raised in a chapter of its own.
We still got some fun, omake-style interactions though. Stuff like Saiko only being able to decorate the bottom half of the tree, the doves playing Smash, or stories about Arima defeating ghouls with umbrellas when he didn’t have Ixa – I think it’s the happiest we’re going to see these characters for quite a while, if ever. It’s still really unnerving whenever I see Arima and Haise talk casually though. I mean, Haise is giving a Christmas present to the same guy who ran through his skull twice through both his eye sockets, giving him forced brain surgery and further mental instability.
And now they’re smiling together.