I’ll save my thoughts on Legend of the Galactic Heroes – Die Neue These for the next “Everything Else” post next week. I’ve been writing so much lately, I need to go easy on one or two of these days. As a result, Tuesday and Wednesday can be “weekend.” I’ll still update, but I won’t push out as much content as I usually do. Anyways…
3D Kanojo Real Girl Ep. 3
Every episode kinda plays out the same way. Hikaru will act like a jerk because he doesn’t understand girls or people in general, but luckily, Iroha has infinite patience for him and him alone. Hell, she may as well be the perfect girlfriend. This week’s episode is no different. First, the guy is afraid that he’s neglecting his best bro, so he cancels plans he had already made with Iroha. He doesn’t even give her an explanation. I mean, I get it… you gotta spend times with your friends too. Nevertheless, is it really that hard to just schedule a future hangout with the guy? Do you really have to drop everything to hang out with the guy right this instant? Yuto wasn’t even mad at him or anything. Hell, he seems plum happy that his best friend has a girlfriend (as any real friend should).
Anyways, you’d think Hikaru would wanna make it up to his girlfriend after ditching her, right? Well, you’d be wrong. The next day, she invites him to walk home with her, but he bails on her again. Not only that, he slaps her hand away. Boy, have you lost your mind? B-but he totally has a legit reason! He’s harboring intense feelings towards her, and he can’t process them. Aww, boo hoo. And I know some people are going to be like, “It’s his first relationship!” Puh-leeze. Basic human decency is not that hard. Having some consideration for your girlfriend’s feelings is not that hard. For instance, when she waves at you, wave back. Seriously, no matter how fucked up your emotions are on the inside, is it really that hard to wave back? Is it? Hell, I bet you actually waste more energy putting your head down and sulking like an idiot. For the life of me, I just can’t understand what Iroha sees in this dude.
I will give Hikaru credit for at least one thing: he starts learning how to bake pastries and sweets simply because his girlfriend is into some “Patissiere Prince” TV show. At least he’s finally taking some initiative and channeling his negative thoughts into something positive instead of just moping around with his dumb feelings. But really, he has three fuck-ups for every one cool thing that he does. The other half of the episode is about a new girl that they befriend, but it’s not particularly interesting. Basically, if you’re a guy, you better be friends with the main character. Otherwise, you’re automatically a humongous chode who treats girls like shit (but the main character also treats his own girlfriend like shit so I don’t even know!). I’m not gonna bother commenting on her and her relationship troubles any further than that.
Tokyo Ghoul:re Ep. 3
The main focus of this adaptation is the struggle between Haise and Ken, but unfortunately, the way the story is set up, it just simply doesn’t work. Too much of it hinges on the Quinx team that we know next to nothing about. Haise once again pays Donato Porpora a visit, and the topic turns to whether or not it’s okay for Haise’s memories to return. Our hero isn’t sure what he’d do if his past self does return. Why does he cling so desperately to his current identity? He does so, because he doesn’t want to lose the Quinx squad, i.e. his “family.” People will often choose what they know over what they don’t know. And since he doesn’t remember anything about his time as Ken, he would much rather hold onto what he has right now instead. These feelings are perfectly understandable, and I’ll even bet that Ken is also afraid. Afraid of what? Afraid of being erased like Haise. After all, they’re one and the same person, and this is something that Haise will eventually have to come to terms with. But for this psychological conflict to any sort of impact, the story has to establish what he does he have right now. Well, Haise’s got his team, and that’s precisely the primary problem.
Usually, these special teams don’t come pre-assembled. Usually, you’d go through the painstaking process of recruiting each member of the team, and this way, the audience can at least form some sort of attachment to the characters. At the very least, we should understand what these guys mean to Haise. But we don’t know anything about Kiku, Tooru, Ginshi, and Saiko. We haven’t spent anytime getting to know them either. For example, up until this episode — which is only the third episode, by the way — Saiko has apparently been a shut-in. Even though she’s an official member on the team, she hasn’t actually joined them in any of their investigations. It is only when Kuki lies to her and claims that she’ll be kicked out if she doesn’t do her damn job does she finally relent. Even then, Ginshi had to carry her to a meeting, which is just bad optics. Nevertheless, Haise must pity her, no? If he didn’t pity her, why would he allow the girl to loaf around for days and days on end? But like I said, that’s the problem. We don’t know why he pities her. We don’t know why she’s even on the team in the first place. We don’t know anything about any of these characters and what they mean to each other.
Towards the end of the episode, everyone (minus Kiku) go undercover and cross-dress as women in order to attract the attention of the notorious Nutcracker. They all go to the club, and Haise watches with fondness as his team starts goofing it up on the dance floor. When Haise leans against the wall with a melancholy smile on his face, thinking about how he hopes he won’t forget his precious family should his memories as Ken ever return, this is supposed to be a poignant moment that perfectly captures the psychological turmoil being waged within him. Unfortunately, it just feels hollow, because its emotional underpinnings are nowhere to be found. On the other hand, if you’ve been following Tokyo Ghoul from its very inception, then you know perfectly why he needs to recover his memories. Hell, his brief encounter with Touka in last week’s episode is the perfect argument in Ken’s favor. So to reiterate, the only way this adaptation works is if the conflict between Haise and Ken is somewhere close to being even. But it’s not. It’s so very much not the case. In fact, the team is about to raid the Auction, so there’s no doubt that Haise will bump into an old friend. The more he comes into contact with his past, the more difficult it will be for him to justify pushing Ken away. Unfortunately, there was never any justification to begin with.
As an aside, I’m disappointed that we didn’t get to see how that chance encounter in Touka’s coffee shop ended. Like… did they even speak to each other? Also, these CCG chumps are so boring. They’re another reason why it’s hard to buy into Haise’s love for his current life. You can’t point to anything about the CCG that makes you think, “Yeah… yeah, these are guys are cool, too! These guys are worth sticking with!” Outside of a couple characters, they’re all joyless, dour jerks.