Tokyo Ghoul √A: Episode 04

深層 – Deeper Layers

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Le gasp, so Kaneki is not the first man-made ghoul?! SHOCKING!

As was blatantly revealed by the monochrome twins, they are ghouls who have given up on being human, as they are no longer interested in the warped world that is that of the humans. Surely this is something that escapism fanatics would probably be able to relate to, and anime fans would probably have at some point or other wished they could just be done with this human world, but really, is it that bad? While some ex-human-current-ghouls seek solace in such whimsical fantasies-turned-reality, there are others ghouls that try to be, or just can’t help being, “human”. Take the Anteiku crew for instance, or even Eto who goes by the pen name Takatsuki Sen, or the delectably deranged gourmet – all of them are living some part of their ghoul lives emanating humans ones. Even Kaneki, who had very recently embraced his ghoul nature, holds on to his human conscience.

As Kaneki raggedly said at the end of the episode, all the disadvantages in this world are due to the one’s inadequacies; if he remains weak, everyone will be killed. So that is why Kaneki struggles – by extrapolation, it would seem as if he wants to protect Anteiku, he wants to make sure that what happened with Ryoko never happens again. Which is why… *darn you cliff hanger!!*

Which then begs the question: why the struggle? At the very root of it all, me thinks, is the concept of survival. Shiro and Kuro grew tired of their human lives, but wanted to continue living. And so they do, by leaving their humanity behind and carrying on as ghouls. One does what one has to, in order to survive – be it for the survival of the individual or for one’s loved ones. It is like what Amon reiterated: once the enemy is before you, even if it costs your limbs, fight. We saw it with the doves as they fought Aogiri’s advances; with the ghouls as they fought to overcome the doves’ defence; with Touka’s and Ayato’s father, Arata in his new dove-armour form; as well as with Kaneki as he got up, time an again after receiving near fatal blows from Shachi (Yanada Kiyoyuki). Regardless of beliefs or motivation, all living things abide by this very basic principle of survival. They want to live so that they may fulfil whatever goal it is that they had set for themselves.

So, all in all not at all a bad episode! It was an invasion of the robe-clad Aogiri members (Yusayusa, just the two (too short!) lines to make my heart go kyu~n) as they commenced their attack on CCG’s Cochlea, the ghoul detainment facility that housed some of the more sinister ghouls that were captured alive, and golly was there lots of fighting going on! Fighting was one thing, but new faces and even more questions have surfaced – just who is Suzuya-Rei (again, Kugimiya Rie, respect!!)? But above and beyond, I absolutely loved how ghoul instincts were juxtaposed against human behaviour, because the human-ghoul conflict is the very heart of Tokyo Ghoul after all, isn’t it?

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