What’s the show? Tokyo Ghoul:re, Episode 9.
Have they stopped introducing new characters for a second? Thankfully yes, this episode is a lot more focused with the continuing of The Gourmet arc—which started in proper last week.
And is it good? More than any arc this season I’m immediately way more invested in this storyline, it’s got depth and history and it’s depth and history I can actually remember from the first season which is always a bonus!
What’s the arc about? More or less it’s The Gourmet trying to reconnect with Ken Kaneki—or Haisie as he goes by now—trying to get him to remember his lost memories. More than anything it’s the story of a troubled, misunderstood man whose lost a dear friend and is trying to get any semblance of it back, because without it he’s a mere shell of a ghoul.
But isn’t The Gourmet like a psychopath who eats people? That’s a tiny bit more than just ‘troubled’ and ‘misunderstood’. True, but if pop-culture has taught us anything it’s that there’s just as much depth and pathos in the three-dimensional villain. I don’t usually like to bring up live-action shows but one of the rare ones I actually watched and loved was ‘Hannibal’ from a few years back. The Gourmet kind of reminds me of that character both aesthetically, intellectually and personality, right down to him obsessing over someone (in Hannibal it’s Will Graham).
Uh-huh… I didn’t think you watched live action tv-shows? I make time for one or two per season… but that’s off-topic.
Right, so he’s a well-rounded villain then? I think even “villain” is a bit far in a show like this, but yes you could put it like that.
So it’s a good episode then? It is, it was a lot more consistent than some others, at least narratively. Though it’s got a lot of comedic moments, and I’m not sure all of them were intentional… like the way The Gourmet’s assistant Kanae throws in his random German words and delivers them with such gusto. Also, The Gourmet’s just so damn quirky I can’t get enough of him!
And what about the rest of the episode? It’s all good too, there’s an interesting little skirmish in a parking garage between Aogiri Tree and Haisie’s team, though I don’t like how Saiko’s just told to hide and wait out the fight rather than participate—like I know she has some ~issues~ and might not be the best fighter on the team but it does feel a bit sexist (from a characterisation stand-point). Saiko ends up getting attacked by a crazy Ghoul but is “rescued” by a cloaked figure, who I’m probably supposed to recognise but at this point I’m just glad Saiko is okay. She’s my special girl, nobody touches Saiko!
Okay then… so uh anything else to add? Not really. Oh there’s a cool little scene with Uta the mask maker and Haisie’s team, it doesn’t amount to much but I liked the character interactions and personality on display. Less stuffy CCG scenes and more of this please! Overall, pretty on track with the rest of the season, just with a more immediately engaging story-arc to accompany, at least in my opinion.
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