Tokyo Ghoul:re Chapter 58: Playfully Faint

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Tokyo Ghoul:re Chapter 57: Regretting Smile

Being Tsukiyama is suffering.

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Impression

Are we killing off a character per chapter now, Ishida? It was Kanae this week, but if we look back at the chapters we see Eto, Shirazu and Haise all experience some sort of ‘death’ in reverse order. I wonder what Kaneki was thinking when he threw Tsukiyama off the roof? Is this tendency to chuck his enemies off the top of buildings an acquired trait from what Kanae did to him in his last moments as Haise? For one, I can definitely see Kaneki not caring about Tsukiyama at all – in the end, they were acquaintances and Kaneki never reciprocated the emotions Tsukiyama felt for him. But at the same time, Tsukiyama was still his trusted comrade (to an extent) and I can’t imagine Kaneki just leaving him to die. If he’s going to conduct a Cochlea jailbreak at some point, wouldn’t it be safer to capture Tsukiyama and claim ownership of him? Or did he think that the CCG would want him dead – making it a better option to throw him off and hope he survives? Would Ui have killed him on the spot? I think he glanced at Kanae slightly before doing it, so he might have been baiting Kanae to catch Tsukiyama and sacrifice herself for his sake – and he doesn’t give a fuck about Kanae, I’m sure of that.

08

It’s also a little bit funny that Kanae was the one who warned Haise he would die if she dropped him from this height, and in the end it was Kaneki who baited her into jumping off herself to save a falling Tsukiyama. It was a sad scene, but I also laughed. Sorry.

What will Tsukiyama do now? In retrospect, his entire character has been suffering. He’s not worse off than Kaneki, but given what this arc has taught us about him it’s been pretty bad. He grew up all alone, and if we don’t count his servants he has a single friend, Hori Chie. He almost dies after trying to eat Kaneki, and despite managing to get into his group of ghouls he’s trusted by nobody. Kaneki turns suicidal and tries to kill himself, and Tsukiyama falls into a deep depression. Even when he learns Kaneki is alive, Haise gives no fucks about him and none of his former friends want to help him recover his memories as Kaneki. Then his servants start getting tortured and killed one by one. As the Tsukiyama heir he becomes the key target of the largest CCG operation since the Anteiku raid. His dad drugs him. He loses all his family and friends as they’re all slaughtered mercilessly as he runs away. Matsumae dies. His helicopter blows up. He’s forced to fight Haise, who fucks him over before fucking up his most devoted servant who was tortured, had their eyes and mouth sewn shut and was secretly in love with him. Haise fucks him over again, before throwing him off a skyscraper. That servant cushions his fall and dies instead of him. Tsukiyama is now on the run, wanted by the CCG, homeless and penniless. His family is dead. He has no friends. He lost all his money and influence. The only ones who will help him now are maybe :re and Hori Chie, who will laugh at him and take pictures of him before offering to buy him a coffee.

04-05

As for Urie, I’m a little disappointed to learn that he hasn’t changed as much as I thought he did. It’s not that his edginess is gone, but rather that it’s just been transferred elsewhere as the Qs are now within his category of ‘things he cares about’, which previously only included ‘promotions’ and ‘himself’. How was it Kaneki’s fault that Shirazu died? He wasn’t climbing the stairs or watching the operation from a safe location, he was in deep shit himself. What was he supposed to do? What did Urie want him to say? “Oh I’m sorry Promotion-kun, I should have defeated the three S-rank, SS-rank and SSS-rank ghouls I was fighting on the roof faster so I could come downstairs and help you beat that animated corpse controlled by my favourite author.”

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At any rate, creating an awkward atmosphere between him and the squad he used to mentor is the least of what he’ll do to the CCG from now on, because it looks like that Cochlea arc really is about to occur. At long last, my darling Hinami will finally be broken out of jail, and Kaneki will leave the CCG after wrecking havoc and triggering an obligatory full-page watercolour of Saiko: “I believe he will return to CCG”. That might be a little too predictable actually, but I do hope best girl is rescued. A lot will depend on what the CCG do with Haise now that he’s an Associate Special-Class. I suspect Akira won’t be able to override him for rights against Hinami now that they’re the same rank, but in general ‘Haise’s’ movements will depend very much on who he gets partnered with. If it’s Ui – forget it, any action will have to be taken over his dead body. It might be someone fun like Juuzou or a little daunting like Arima, but I suspect it’ll be someone who is slightly lower in rank than him, but who is still good enough to keep up with him. Someone who is, say, Rank 1, and has recently lost his own Associate Special-Class partner in a recent operation. Someone like… Furuta.

Oh shit.

-E. T. O. (Exterminate Tsukiyama Operation) arc end-

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Tokyo Ghoul:re Chapter 56: The Second King

Long live the king.

12_13

Impression

Is this real life? Is this actually happening?

I can’t get over how each chapter of :re manages to consistently surprise or subvert our expectations. It never manages to fall in line with the predictions of the fandom – and believe me, as insufferable as it can be at the worst of times, it is definitely imaginative. I think a lot of us were expecting Eto to mount a comeback somehow – it was already a huge surprise to learn that Kaneki could so easily outmanoeuvre and injure her like that last week. He’s now taken full advantage of his speed and precision to go as far as to defeat her outright – and to top it all off, he’s not even any more injured than he was before! Kaneki killed and ate Eto without his own kakuja and while he was one-armed! Of course, that assumes that a kakuja would be an overall benefit to his fighting ability, and that may not be the case given its latest appearance against Arima (cf. the fight against Shinohara). He’s eaten Eto though, so things may now be different – I don’t know how much the strength of the ghoul you cannibalize affects your own kakuja, but it must mean something. I wonder how she tastes? Sorry, mind in the gutter there. And I like Hinami, I’m not supposed to be betraying best girl for Eto.

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But I do feel almost obliged to mention Kaneki x Eto – while we’re on the topic, that is. It’s… well, closer to existing than I was previously willing to recognize. I’ll admit that. And it all sounds very erotic, with all manner of lines from ‘I love you, Kaneki Ken!’ and ‘SOMETHING WONDERFUL IS POURING OUT… AAAAAAAAAAAAA’ to ‘I’ve really grown so fond of you! We’re totally the same!’ I stand by my views, though. For one, she’s supposedly dead – so for now, that’s the end of that. And for another, it takes two to tango, and Kaneki honestly looks like he doesn’t give a fuck that Takatsuki-sensei was confessing to him.

16_17

Is Eto really dead? If she is, it would have been nice if she’d gotten a longer backstory than just a single page showing Yoshimura giving his baby to Noro. But this series has never been one to anticipate character deaths with obviously placed flashbacks as death flags. If she has Noro or Kanae-level regeneration, it would make sense if she survived being bisected in half (she’s a true half-ghoul now, har har) and that’s a likely thing given that it was her kagune who granted them that power. Eto is rather detached from her kakuja as well, so it could very well be the case that Kaneki is just eating her kakuja shell and not her actual body. She ended up being awfully vulnerable once her kakuja was damaged though – once she got hurt, she went into full insanity mode. Was that just her reacting to the pain, or her kakuja going out of control?

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Ui and Washuu have also now walked in on Kaneki eating the One-Eyed Owl. I think it’s just Ui actually, assuming Washuu is still on a lower floor – which means he’s even more fucked if Kaneki decides to stop playing Haise and attacks him. It’s an important turning point for this manga, because how he reacts to his former co-worker will indicate exactly what he’s planning to do in the future. It’s safe to say that if he’s on SSS-rank now as a ghoul, then Ui has little no chance of grazing him at all – more importantly, he’ll notice an unconscious Tsukiyama in the corner (yes, he’s still there) and Kaneki’s actions then will determine the future course of this manga. Is he going to lead Aogiri now, as the ‘Second King’? It would fulfil the foreshadowed parallel with the first Aogiri arc. Or will he go back to CCG, and we start a jailbreak arc? I mean, if Ui has caught him cannibalizing, he’s pretty clearly not Haise any more. If he can pull off some sort of elaborate lie, it might work. After all, just like his mentor he’ll need… a new quinque.

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Tokyo Ghoul:re Chapter 55: Alice&

;_;

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Impression

Not cool, Ishida. Not cool. Do you even have a heart? I swear, if it was Saiko who died instead – I would be reacting worse than I did with Hairu. Of course, that’s not to say that this wasn’t brutal as fuck, because it really was. It’s true that the death flags for Shirazu were there, with his reckless actions during the Noro fight implying that there would be consequences for him at the very least – but why did he have to suffer even in death? Shirazu doesn’t deserve that! If he’s going to be killed off, then to an extent I can respect that decision. I imagine all the hardcore Shirazu fans are taking this a lot harder than I am. But why make it the most suffering-filled death in the arc? What the hell did he do to deserve dying alone, scared and confused? He lost his senses, and thought no-one was beside him even though Urie and Saiko were. He died all by himself, and to him nobody was there for him. Why, Ishida? Could it not have been peaceful at least? Why is it that this arc has been one massive inter-character competition to see who can get shit on the most? I mean, just think of the death count so far. Off the top of my head, there’s:

  • Matsumae
  • Mairo
  • Hairu
  • Kijima
  • Shimoguchi
  • Michibata
  • Kanae(?)
  • Noro
  • Shirazu
  • Haise

10

And remember that these are all full characters with character designs and speaking roles before they were killed off. As sad as it might have been to see Shirazu call out for Sassan (we will never him say Sassan again) it’s better that he doesn’t know about what Haise has become. I think there’s an irony in that being one of his deathbed requests – because of course, he can’t see Haise any more even if he could have made it to the rooftop. I actually feel incredibly sorry for whoever ends up with the responsibility of telling Kaneki that the Qs leader, his precious subordinate, was killed. And imagine if Kaneki found out that he died in a fight against Noro, who it’s implied is the corpse of Eto’s caretaker which she’s now controlling through her kagune. The absolute worst-case scenario would be if Kaneki and Eto find out at the same time that Shirazu and Noro have died. A few other sufferers include Urie and Saiko, Urie in particular – remember how all his thoughts have recently started expressing genuine worry for his fellow squad members instead of how he used to badmouth them in private? Urie has gone through a hell of a lot of subtle development. Not only did he offer to give all the credit to a dying Shirazu, he even decided to stay with his deceased friend instead of leave with Washuu in order to fight Eto. Washuu needs to suffer. A lot. I don’t know about you, but I felt so angry seeing his stupid poker face that indicated he didn’t give a shit about his dying subordinates. Does he even know what morale is? What is he even doing during every single CCG promotion and memorial ceremony, counting his money in his office? And what does he think Urie and Kuroiwa Jr will even be able to do against Eto? Isn’t that just asking them go upstairs (faster than Ui) and die for him as fodder?

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As for Kaneki and Eto, I’m finding their new dynamic really cute. I want to stress that I’m not saying they should be shipped together, which I know is an increasingly popular stance to take. And just like the red hair theory, I think it’s an increasingly stupid stance to take. There’s a lot of intrigue and banter in their current relationship, and both of them seem to be having fun trying to kill each other more than anything else – I don’t see any romantic tension at all. It’s also interesting that Eto seems to be treating Kaneki as an equal, and hasn’t looked down on him as much as she has on most of the other characters – like how she treated Haise, for example. She’s now speaking to Kaneki as a fellow one-eyed ghoul in their long-awaited battle.

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I do wonder, though, whether Kaneki will mention something about Eto being Takatsuki Sen – he’s told her about his mandate to save her (but doesn’t seem to be too pleased about it all) which indicates that he remembers a hell of a lot about his former life, if not everything. It’s also pretty amazing that he cut off a chunk of her kakuja. Who was the last person to injure her, Arima? Do you remember how she tore apart a top-tier Special-Class team comprising Shinohara, Ui and Juuzou back during the Anteiku raid? We only have estimates as to how strong Kaneki is now, but if he managed to destroy Kanae and is putting up a fight against Eto with no reliance on his kakuja, I think he’s just gotten a boost in power level.

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