Uta, you stinking liar.
“Where did Hirako transfer to?”
Oh shit. If there’s any off-screen tension that we’ve had in this manga so far, it’s whatever’s up between Hirako and Arima – the rough idea being that Hirako has spent practically his entire career in Arima’s shadow, and thus has a pretty unfavourable opinion of him. At the auction, the one thing that got Hirako to drop his poker face was Uta morphing into Arima and telling him to ‘stand by’ – and that was when Hirako got a clean shot in at Uta by targeting his face in an incensed rage. Poor Hirako.
Speaking of Uta, I have a feeling Haise knows perfectly well that Uta is lying about his permanent kakugan being contacts. Haise got his info on the mask from the Kaneki in his head, whom he knows is a ghoul – the idea is that he probably wanted to look for one of Kaneki’s past contacts, who is also likely to be a ghoul. And the chances are, ghouls have their masks made by other ghouls anyway. I’m kind of glad his visit didn’t amount to any kind of conflict – it’s not like Haise was there to fight, but pretty much anything could have gone wrong with him visiting Uta whilst dressed like a dove, so it’s good that nothing ended up happening. Haise achieved two objectives, the first of which was to confirm a potential link between Uta and Kaneki, which Uta himself hinted at when talking about how the mask was meant for a ‘regular customer’. The second was to figure out a role in his current operation that only the Quinx could play, and the custom-made masks he’s ordered must have something to do with that. I’m hoping we end up getting a team of eye-patched ‘ghouls’ running around undercover doing all sorts of stuff – that would be really cool, especially as it’d be a perfect disguise for a dove.
Hairu was such a cutie this chapter, she kind of reminded me of Juuzou with her mad skills yet childish nature. I was surprised Matsumae even survived that battle – looks like all the members of Zero Squad are where they are for a reason. Hairu joins the ranks of the investigators wanting to be praised by Arima (i.e. Hirako) although the cost of getting a compliment might be higher than she thinks. I remember Haise being praised back when he was Kaneki, but then he had his eyes gouged out and his entire personality eradicated and replaced. It can’t possibly be worth it.
So finally, we have the return of Yoriko. I… really wasn’t expecting to see her at all, let alone as someone who knows Kuroiwa Jr – damn, I bet Urie will be jealous when he hears that his one-sided arch enemy not only has the ability to strangle ghouls bare-handed, but also gets all the girls. Looks like her dream kind of came true, although Touka never really was the best judge of her food, what with being a ghoul and all. I don’t know if this means more Touka, not that Yoriko even knows Touka is a ghoul – but at least this dispels the whole ‘Yoriko is Hairu’ theory I’ve heard floating around the internet. I mean, seriously?