The episode opens with ghouls ripping through one of the many anti-ghoul branches. According to a victim, these perpetrators are from the Aogiri Tree. I’m not sure the anime has ever fully explained what the Aogiri Tree really is. All we know is that they’ve taken over the 11th ward, and they’re big enough — 200 members, in fact — to directly attack an anti-ghoul branch. Obviously, there will be repercussions for their actions, but the superiors in this Aogiri Tree must be confident enough in the organization’s strength that they can repel any counterattack from the doves. Anyway, these new ghouls certainly are a colorful bunch, though. Previously, ghouls have looked like normal people we might encounter on the street. Shu may have appeared somewhat dandyish, but he’s normal enough to walk about in the crowd. The Aogiri Tree ghouls, on the other hand, look like rejects from some shounen anime series. Not only that, their leader has a nickname: the One-Eyed King. I’m a bit wary of this new direction the anime has taken, but I’ll just wait until the end before I make my final judgment.
Banjo, one of the many people looking for Rize or someone who smells like Rize, is the first to reach Anteiku. This means the others can’t be too far behind. Naturally, Banjo’s an idiot, so he quickly mistakes Ken as Rize’s man simply because he smells her scent on our protagonist. I’m not sure why that’s enough to enrage the guy. Maybe he had a thing for her, but it’s not something the anime has bothered to develop whatsoever. And to show that Banjo is as weak as he is stupid, Ken inadvertently manages to knock the guy out cold. He then apologizes profusely when he finally listens to Ken’s explanation. Honestly, I don’t know what to make of Banjo’s character. He just seems like a straight-up clown; he’s useless, and at this late stage of the game, I’m not sure his character is necessary. As soon as Banjo is done feeding us exposition, Ayato immediately crashes the party. It seems that Touka has known nothing about his whereabouts until now, but their reunion is short-lived as Yamori makes his appearance as well. It’s just one big party at Anteiku, and neither Yoshimura nor Renji are close enough to lend a hand.
The doves are hardly helping the situation. In one big assembly, the director stirs shit up by declaring that there will soon be war between humans and ghouls. After having drummed fear into the investigators’ hearts, he then demands that they turn their lives over to him: “This is an order, by the way! You have no right to refuse me!” Whoa, okay there, buddy. The thing is, there will never be peace in this world because both sides are full of chest-thumping, power-hungry jackasses. On the other hand, nice, kind-hearted people like Ken know nothing about what’s really going on. Of course, Ken is the exception, but that’s my point. The average person or ghoul in the Tokyo Ghoul universe certainly live in fear of the other side, but they are mostly ignorant to the events unfolding around them. As the saying goes, bad things happen because good people do nothing. But you can extend this even further: good people do nothing because they know nothing. Anyway, the kid with all the stitches on his body finally shows his face. It turns out he’s just Shinohara’s underling, i.e. another anti-ghoul investigator. Even the doves are looking sillier and sillier too.
Back at Anteiku, Yamori finds what he’s looking for, and he quickly overpowers Ken. I’m still curious what they are after. Yamori asks Nico if Ken would do, so apparently, they have some plans to do… “stuff” to Ken’s body. At the same time, however, they had no idea he was a half-ghoul. When Ken reveals his true nature in an attempt to resist Yamori’s brutality, everyone in the room suddenly look shocked. What were they intending to do with Ken before they realized he was a half-ghoul? Of course, Ken isn’t strong enough yet to defeat Yamori, so Yamori quickly recovers from Ken’s sudden increase in strength. The giant ghoul then stab the protagonist with his kagune. Touka tries to save Ken, but Ayato knocks her out before Yamori could do anything. Essentially, her otouto is still protecting her; he’s just doing it in a rather roundabout way. Ayato’s character is simple. Unlike Touka, he’s not content to live alongside humans. Rather, he wants to prove that ghouls are superior to humans. In a way, this is not so different from two of the other shows currently airing this season. But Tokyo Ghoul has a lot more heart, and a lot less fluff, so I’ll stomach it.
Anyway, Yoshimura and Renji finally return later that day to a trashed Anteiku. Touka’s slumped over, and Ken is nowhere to be found. As the days pass, we learn that the doves will soon attack Aogiri Tree head on. When they do so, it’ll only be a week since Aogiri Tree had stormed the 11th ward’s branch. Seems pretty quick on their part. Do they even know what they’re going up against? Nobody seems to even know anything about this One-Eyed King. In any case, storm clouds are brewing overhead as members of Anteiku debate their next move. Yoshimura suggests, “You’ll be served not thinking we’ll ever see Kaneki again.” Like before, he’s responsible for everyone’s lives, and he knows perfectly well what they’re up against. If we’re being realistic, our heroes are even worse off compared to the doves. But he’s not heartless; he just wants them understand what they’re getting into. They will try to save Ken, but they will likely lose their lives in the process. If anyone wants to turn around now, this is their chance. That’s when the group gets a very unlikely pair of hands to help them: Shu, the dandy?! I thought he was dead! I can’t wait until the story explains how he managed to survived the incident at the church.
— Yamori continues torturing Ken in a rather gratuitous scene. I don’t really understand why the scene had to go for so long as the anime cut from one grimacing face to another. I already know Yamori’s a sadistic asshole. It seems like the anime is trying to prove a point it doesn’t need to make. Even Nico tries to calm Yamori down only to get punched through the gut himself. But it’s okay, because Nico apparently enjoys this abuse.
— Speaking of Nico, I know anime in general has never been portraying gay men, but Nico’s character’s fucking ridiculous. I’m not saying I expected Tokyo Ghoul to do any better, but I’m disappointed nevertheless. Nico is yet another ridiculous gay caricature; it’s like they’re not even trying to not be offensive.
— I’m not sure I understand why Shinohara is so afraid of the director making small talk with Juuzou. Is there something I’m missing?
— Amon’s one encounter with Ken continues to haunt him. Apparently, Ken managed to stir up old memories in Amon that he doesn’t want to remember. We briefly see a younger Amon entering a darkened room to an blood-covered old man saying, “Kotaro, who said you could come in?” But then the flashback ends there. Maybe the old man was a ghoul and had eaten someone close to Amon. In any case, there still seems to be plenty things to learn about the characters in Tokyo Ghoul, but knowing that the adaptation will soon come to an end, I’m afraid a lot of these questions will likely go unanswered.
— It turns out Mado had left Amon one of his quinque in a will. Knowing what we know about Mado, however, I don’t think it’s a good thing he’s passing anything of his down to another generation.
— We see Juuzou look up to the sky and address someone by the name of Rei. The kid also seems obsessed with quinques.
— I’m surprised members of Anteiku allowed Hinami to be in the room as they discussed such dire topics. But who knows? Maybe she’s mature enough already to handle it.