Tokyo Ghoul: Episode 05

残痕 – Scars

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Wow.

Because saying it once just isn’t enough, I have to say it again. Just, wow. That was intense! This episode was by far the most gasp-inducing episode (in my opinion) of Tokyo Ghoul yet. This episode garnered two reactions – first I was utterly awestruck by how amazingly good this episode was, that I was rendered pretty much speechless. Then of course neurons started working and blood started flowing once again (I think forgot to breathe at some point during the second half of the episode) and could not stop rambling on about how beyond incredible this episode was (my fellow koekara writers can vouch for that fact lol). It was all levels of wow.

A spotlight (or two/more) is (or are) focused on a character (or characters) in each episode, and this episode was definitely Nishiki’s turn to shine. Three episodes ago I thought that Nishiki was just another one of those pain in the arse side characters with an attitude too big to for his own good. Of course, a very entertaining one at that because I was so amused by his snarky remarks and impressed with Asanuma Shitarou’s performance that I could not help but take a liking to this character. That said, we did not get to see much of Nishiki because he was sorely beaten up by Kaneki in episode two. However, he made a reappearance in this episode, and well.. let’s just say Nishiki is now probably my favourite character after Uta. This episode gave us a little more insight into Nishiki’s past, a look into his relationships and his transition from a sweet little boy who couldn’t bear to eat humans to the bitter and almost empty ghoul that he currently is.

Last week, courtesy of Itori, we learnt that there are ghouls and humans out there who actually love each other to be able to sustain an actual loving relationship. Of course, that was all talk until we actually witnessed it this week. And in the shock horror of all shock horrors, it turned out to be Nishiki who falls into that category of ghouls. Yes, I was definitely beyond stunned at this revelation, but appreciative nonetheless because it added so much depth to this already interesting character. A part of my heart went out to him when as a little boy, he confessed to not being able to eat humans; then another part of my heart went out to him when his sister died; yet another part of my heart went out to him when he took all but one bite out of Kimi’s neck before telling her he didn’t want anymore; and finally the last bit of my heart went out to him when he said that Kimi is all he has and that he would protect her even if it killed him. Nishiki and Kimi, both wounded; both brought to realise the bitter reality that is life; both finding comfort and solace in each other despite belonging to two different worlds. The two of them just work.

This series banks a lot on its characters and with good reason! Out of all the things that Tokyo Ghoul does so fantastically well, characterisation has GOT to be one of them ranked at the top of the list. I am confident that many viewers who appreciate this series would agree that Tokyo Ghoul has managed to present its characters in such a way that viewers would either instantly take to that character or hate it, and do so with good reason. I mean, take Nishiki’s sister as an example. We knew her for all of a minute and a half before we saw her dying and I literally let out a desperate ‘NOOO~’ as she said her final words to Nishiki. And I am still reeling from that scene *once again makes indiscernible noises of appreciation*

Okay, time to shine the spotlight on NOT Nishiki. I guess I have not been giving Touka enough credit. Last week, she forced human food down her digestive system. And she did so again this week, all because she treasures her friendship with Yoriko. Showing her appreciation by shoving food down her throat even though it makes her weak really speaks volumes about her compassion. But at the same time, I find it rather odd a character development. I guess there is a whole lot more to Touka than meets the eye (haven’t read the manga, and don’t intend to just yet), so I do hope that viewers are let in on whatever remains to be shown sooner rather than later. While I still can’t bring myself to like this character, she has come in handy on more than one occasion, so Touka gets a free pass this week~ props again to Amamiya Sora for her performance. She is probably the only reason why I am still able to tolerate her character.

Again, we can’t praise seiyuus without mentioning Miyano Mamoru. His Tsukiyama still blew me away this episode and he sounded more psychotic this episode (wanting to eat Kaneki while Kaneki was eating Kimi, oh Tsukiyama you are all kinds of twisted), if that’s even possible. Then there is Hanae Natsuki who plays our conflicted and troubled protagonist Kaneki. I have a self-imposed restriction on the number of times I am allowed to mention Hanae’s name, because I fear that Hanae would pop up in every single review if I let myself go. Let’s just say Hanae’s performance was once again spectacular, and leave it at that. While the seiyuus are talented and brilliant in their own right, it seems that Morita Shuhei’s direction is proving to be immensely effective, because his seiyuus are delivering episode after episode. Honestly, no amount of praise would be able to do justice to the level of voice acting that the seiyuus in this series have showcased. And we are only on episode five!

Before this review gets way too long (thank you for sticking with me up to this point), just one question – how do people continue eating meat?! Shikes~

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