Tokyo Ghoul Ep. 11: And the disappointment begins

Tokyo Ghoul - 1101

There’s a lot to dislike about this week’s episode. A lot. So the all-out war between CCG and Aogiri Tree is a joke. To set the stage, CCG can’t seem to break through Aogiri Tree’s first line of defense, because a pesky sniper’s nest is holding them back. So what happens? Marude grabs a gun, stands completely upright and in the open, and manages to take out two of the snipers all by himself. Uh, is there a reason why a sniper’s nest couldn’t headshot a guy who didn’t even try to hide behind cover? But if you think that’s dumb, Juuzou commandeers Marude’s motorcycle much to the latter’s chagrin. First off, what is the dude’s bike even doing there? Do you mean to tell me he rode his bike into a fucking warzone? Second, I had to sit there and watch Marude contort his face as if I’m watching some sort of stupid comedy. Finally, while Juuzou was flying through the air on said bike, no one took a shot at him. Not a single person decided, “Gee, this looks like trouble! Let’s shoot the lil’ fucker out of the air!” Nope, the entire sniper’s nest sat there and gawked until the oh-so-wacky Juuzou careened his way through a window. He then proceeded to murder them all down without taking any damage in return. What. The. Fuck?

What happened to the show and its heavy emphasis on character development? Why has it devolved into this action movie wannabe schlockfest? Even when the episode tried to delve into Yamori’s backstory, it’s a sorry, pathetic attempt that doesn’t live up to Tokyo Ghoul‘s own standards. And that’s what I find so maddening about this. For the first eight episodes, the anime had set the bar at a relatively high level. I wasn’t about to call Tokyo Ghoul the best anime of the year or anything like that. I’m not saying it was that good. Still, I enjoyed the show, and it gave me plenty food for thought. All of a sudden, the final arc rolls around, it’s like, “Welp, time to cram in as much shit as we can before the season’s over!” As a result, Yamori’s story became an afterthought. Yo, guys, he was totally tortured. And like, he was tortured so bad, he invented a different personality to protect himself. One day, he broke free and that’s that. Did you enjoy that dry and boring exposition on Yamori’s character? No? Well, too bad, ’cause that’s exactly what I got in this week’s episode. Some guy sat on a bus and pretty much read the Cliff’s Notes to Yamori’s character out loud to Amon. You may as well wipe my ass while you’re at it. It’s so incredibly disappointing what the story has become.

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The rest of the episode isn’t any better. Just look at how Ayato dispatches his enemies. What the fuck is this? His kagune has become a protective “tornado” around him? Yeah, obviously, you have to suspend your disbelief a bit when watching anime, but this isn’t even cool looking. This is literally a guy with “tornadoes” around him. If you’re going to give me shounen action, give me slick, well-choreographed shounen action. Not Ayato standing there, letting the CCG soldiers shoot at him for some arbitrary amount of time, then finally pressing the “I win” button and murdering them all. That’s just boring. If you want wacky shounen action, fine, whatever. But for the love of God, at least do it right. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want the show to become a shitty shounen, but since it looks as though we’re headed down that path anyway, at least get the job done correctly. Then there’s more of that negative image shit because we wouldn’t want children to pretend they were ghouls. They might grow kagunes and start murdering their classmates! But what really gets me is that we still get these stupid color filters even though there isn’t any gore on screen. Here, we have Touka deep in introspection, as she wonders if, by killing Mado, she’s responsible for Amon’s anger. Why has the image gone negative for this? Why?

But what do I find most damning about this week’s episode? Right before the ending credits roll, we see locks of flowing white hair. Now, it’s probably a safe bet that we’re staring at Ken’s hair. Yamori’s brutal torture has been so profound that Ken has finally embraced his ghoul’s side… well, that’s the idea, anyway. Unfortunately, the execution has been absolutely terrible. So terrible that Ken’s ultimate transformation — the watershed moment in his character development — has gone to complete and utter waste. Why? Because I hardly feel his torture, man. I hardly feel it at all. It sounds physically painful, but that’s about it. And not only that, the torture amounts to… what? Maybe ten percent of the episode’s runtime at most? No, I’m not asking for an explicit, gratuitous look at Yamori’s torture techniques. I don’t need to see the hyperdermic needle puncture and slide its way into Ken’s eyeball. What I do want, however, is for the anime to convince me that there’s no turning back. I want the anime to convince me that Ken had to turn. He had to embrace his ghoul side, and abandon everything he had been fighting to hold onto all series long. This torture should be so profound because it literally shakes the very core of Ken’s foundation. But I don’t fucking see anything. Some blood has been spilled, and our hero has moaned and groaned a whole lot…. BAM, white hair.

Tokyo Ghoul - 1105

C’mon, Tokyo Ghoul, what is that? The show doesn’t have to be the anime equivalent to Martyrs, but you gotta admit this shit is weak. I expected both physical and mental anguish, but moreso the latter than the former. Unfortunately, I got hardly any physical anguish, and you can just forget about the mental part. Here, have Juuzou do an air jump with Marude’s bike instead.

17 thoughts on “Tokyo Ghoul Ep. 11: And the disappointment begins

  1. John Nash

    I don’t like it when people claim the source material to have done everything better than the anime adaption, since it is mostly just an excuse for someone when their favourite mangas adaption gets criticized by the public opinion, but this weeks episode was actually a prime example of an adaption gone wrong. Not only did the physical abuse get cut so short that it doesn’t actually feel like it ever existed, no, they even cut out the psychological torture that Yamori did to Kaneki. Oh, and the manga also gives us a pretty good example of Kaneki’s state of mind with Rize having a reappearence as the “Ghoul”-Part of his personality.

    So, if they don’t somehow put at least a bit o this into the last episode (which I doubt, since there still are at least three stand-offs to be resolved), then Tokyo Ghoul has actually failed as an adaption.

    1. Sap

      I don’t really agree with you on the first part, cause most of the times I see fans who do want to avoid their favourite manga/visual novel being criticised rather defend the adaptation than reject it (take the Mahouka fans for eg. and the “it gets better” speech every episode).
      But when you have a phenomenom of general and complete rejection of an adaptation (like the “there is no Tsukihime anime”, or more recently Pierrot’s Tokyo Ghoul), it’s usually pretty safe to say that it failed to do the source material any justice.

      But yeah, other than that I’m 100% with you. Tokyo Ghoul anime is the definition of adaptation decay.

  2. Sherris

    Not skillful at all. I understand that they are running out of time, but some of the changes were simply out of place. Like the point you mentioned about Yamori’s past. In the manga it’s what he tells Kaneki about himself and you actually get plenty of insight into his twisted mind. In the anime his character feels kind of empty. Was it really so damn difficult to animate more of yapping Yamori instead of the yapping militia?
    Over the course of several chapters there is a lot going through Kaneki’s head and, including some important reveals about his past, which helped in shaping his mindset and beliefs later on, yet they decided to skip ALL OF THAT. SERIOUSLY I’M MAD. DO THEY FEAR KIDS MAY TURN INTO PSYCHOS IF THEY WATCH SOMEBODY ON THE BRINK OF LOSING IT? WILL THE VIEWERS GET TRAUMA UPON LEARNING THAT ADULTS ARE FULL OF SHIT?

    No scene with the centipede. Fuck you, Pierrot. How come they censor almost all blood on screen? The anime airs at night so what’s the deal?

  3. Anonymous

    I’m with John on this one. I haven’t even read the manga and it’s still glaringly obvious that a lot of important stuff was omitted from the story in this episode. So much went unexplained that the plot had almost no consistency. It was just a convoluted mess of shit going down with no sense of meaning or purpose.

    The pacing was jarringly janky in this episode. It took me right out of the experience. Everything was going slow and steady at first. I felt like I was watching a two-cours show and I was fine with it being that way, but not if it leads to nonsensical grandstanding like this! :/

    So many things were happening with little to no pretense. I didn’t feel like I knew why anything was happening, nor did I feel like I had any reason to care. All sorts of things were happening, but the lack of narrative structure made it come off as being really incoherent and difficult to related. Everything was happening just to happen. It felt like I was reading a book by skipping five pages for every one that I read.

    I wanted to like this show… …I have enjoyed it thus far, but the prognosis is grim when shit like this happens so close to the end. Here’s hoping this show doesn’t end with a premature ejaculation. (anybody remember Claymore?)

    1. Naota

      Oh lord, don’t remind me of Claymore. At least Tokyo Ghoul understands that it needs to actually build characters and motives, and makes its secondary cast colourful and interesting (if a little one-note). This is more like the creators of the anime deciding they didn’t trust themselves to write a satisfying conclusion to the personal story of humans and ghouls they very effectively abstracted from a much denser work. It’s not just pacing that’s a problem – they’ve jumped genres, taken a giant climactic battle right from the manga and jammed it into the last three episodes of what was previously a reasonably well-paced, well-directed plot.

      And… yeah, most of the fighting simply isn’t competent or interesting. Aogiri Tree are effective fighters because they can use their kagune as… scopes and riot shields? That’s the best tactical advantage Tokyo Ghoul can think of? That’s the extent of their imagination? No thought for the environment the ghouls are fighting in, their inherent strength and speed advantages, ways to exploit human weaknesses? Strategic targets? Kagune as traps? Bluffs? Disguises? Nothing? These are veteran combatants from two sides that exist to fight one another! Does nobody here have a proper battle plan?

      Amon flashes back to a lesson of Mado’s where he concludes that humans can only beat ghouls through guile and dirty tricks. Mado’s display of trickery is detaching the two halves of his sword and somehow magically no longer getting his ass kicked. Further, this entire fight showcases a whopping amount of absolutely no trickery going on, as SWAT (Stormtroopers Without Any Training) teams ineffectually spray bullets at ghouls from the middle of empty rooms, stock-still and clueless like they’re just waiting for a kagune to kill them. Forget dirty tricks… I don’t even seen human sentience in these combatants! The same applies to the ghouls fighting quinqe users, who arrange themselves in a line and take no action so their enemy can murder them more efficiently. It’s a two-front battle of the lobotomized, for the glory of mookdom in all its forms.

      And finally… where did this giant ghoul army come from, and how could it possibly exist in the same city as the persecuted subculture we’ve seen living terrified in the shadows up till now? The human element that was Tokyo Ghoul’s best quality is brushed off with a wave of the hand. Yeah, the entire ward has been evacuated overnight, leaving not a single innocent soul behind, and nothing interesting happened regarding the tens of thousands of people who had to drop their everyday lives to go… where again? Not important. There are shounen battles to have!

      Despite all this, though? Claymore is so far below even where Tokyo Ghoul has fallen to now… surely it has to hit something on the way down. R-right?

      1. Anonymous

        We can only hope. I only thought of Claymore because it had a similarly drastic face-change at the end. The situation with Claymore was a bit unique.

        Looking back on TG, I’m not even sure what genre it’s actually been going for all long. I seem to recall this being foretold around the time the anime was announced. There was talk of it starting off as an interesting psychological character study only to souffle into a shonen.

        I’m starting to feel bamboozled.

      2. Iormungand

        “And finally… where did this giant ghoul army come from, and how could it possibly exist in the same city as the persecuted subculture we’ve seen living terrified in the shadows up till now?”

        What you saw so far was the 20th ward which is one of the most peaceful districts.

        1. Naota

          Sure, but it’s kind of hard to imagine this kind of thing taking place right next door to a place where ghouls stay secret for their own protection and live in fear of the government because they can’t fight in the open and have nowhere to turn for help. Across the world, maybe, but it’s not like an invisible wall keeps the problems or people of the 21st and 19th districts from spilling over into the 20th. I find it hard to believe that an all out human-ghoul war was waging everywhere else, and only now do we notice. It’s just too big a contrast.

  4. BoyTitan

    Rushed ending coming your way. Why do they make short animes they know they will not be able to finish the last arc of properly the world will never know. Given time the anime was actually improving and making the mangas story better. Now they just fucked up. The torture scene for instance was all screwed up. In the manga it was a combination of mental and physical torture with the goal of mentally breaking ken. Here it was just I am bored so I am going to do violent things to you. Even the kidnapping make no sense in the anime. In the manga it was we wanted rize to join us shes dead so lets just kidnap the guy with his organs and see what we can do with rize organs or if he can be of use.

  5. BoyTitan

    Why did they even attempt this they just tried to do over 13 chapters of a monthly manga in 1 episode. That was just absurd.

  6. BoyTitan

    When simple stuff gets messed up it is frustrating even with all the chapters done in 1 ep this episode could have been better. All they had to do was for 1 have ken or Yamori say why they were counting in some way. In the manga it is explained this is done to keep him conscious. Also Yamori should have told his back story like he did in the manga. It was the whole trope where the torturer thinks the victims want to know what makes them a monster in the middle of torturing them deal. I really don’t get how simple things like that get messed up.

  7. Good Taste

    People saying the show is ruined because of one episode? Seems like kind of an overreaction. It’s unfortunate that the show didn’t manage to retain it’s strength for the entire run but it still did a lot of things well. Overall I definitely enjoyed Tokyo Ghoul and am hoping for a Brotherhood version or something similar.

  8. BoyTitan

    The over the topness was mainly for Suzuya who is literally a Joker character. He has a good back story tho. But I feel this series just can’t pull of a joker character he just is lacking humor. I laugh at the joker I didn’t laugh at the joker clone in kill la kill but she was amusing. Point is you can’t have a none amusing jester then you just want them dead. Also his past is a little to tragic I would just kill myself if I was castrated. Hell now I can’t even look at him with out my nuts hurting not cool.


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