With the end of the first season of “Tokyo Ghoul”, there was still a huge amount of work to do and things were not properly resolved. The second season, which appears to be called “Tokyo Ghoul Square Root of A (“Tokyo Ghoul √A”), picks up where the first season left off and therein lies the troubles.
The first season was trying to help us understand what Kaneki was going through (that’s Mr. Moody up there), a person who was a college student, and now is a ghoul. Couldn’t you have chosen a better major? He suffered a huge amount of tortuous abuse at the hands of Jason last season and dispatches him at the start of this season, but decides to join Aogiri Tree, a fierce ghoul group who clash with the CCG (Commission of Counter Ghoul) over a degree or supremacy and of whom the aforementioned Jason was part of. The problem with the show, overall, is that we turn into the Dragon Ball Z Syndrome: endless fighting amid endless fighting when we are not endlessly fighting. I mean, it’s like the Churchill quote: “…we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.” And they proceed to do just that.
Now, CCG isn’t idly sitting by, as they get two new major members. One is Akira Mado. The daughter of Kureo (and partner with Kotaro Amon, until Kureo was slain), she is now partnered with Amon in a rather abrasive relationship, both professionally and off-duty. The other is Jūzō Suzuya. Looking no more than a boy, he was raised by ghouls, but has no qualms in cutting them down. There is a third faction, whom we’ll call Anteiku. These are the folks in the 20th Ward who took Kaneki in and tried to help him through his acceptance of his ghoul nature. They realize that they will have to fight, so we have two-front wars for everyone.
We learn of a high-security containment facility, which is the location of a massive prison break/fight, and all the good guy minions get flattened like a scythe through wheat. Now, if this wasn’t enough, the feared and dreaded One-Eyed Ghoul makes an appearance and this guy is the baddest to the bone, so there are fights all over the place now and the 20th Ward has become a major war zone. I mean, no one can contain the news or the level of destruction (please note the rubble up there. Kinda like that).
With the exception of one episode, which was a filler to allow us to get to understand Akira and Amon better-ish, the show is almost eternal fighting and all the posturing that goes with it. This isn’t Yu-Gi-Oh, where you tell your opponent what you are going to do, and then you do it, but it is. So we get all this talk about how someone is going to get carved or cleaved or crushed while they are fighting, but no one really seems to get carved or cleaved or crushed, until we get to the four-episode ending arc.
Now, as a horror show, I knew what I was getting in to, but not to this extent. It’s just got too much to take in, with all the carnage. And the actual ending of the show sets up the potential of a third season. Now, what they hope to accomplish is a head-scratcher, but I can’t give the show high marks for me. We are less focused on the ideologies of the differing factions and just want the bloodshed. You need a program at the end to figure out who comes home with their shield and who comes home on it. But if you just want to see slicing and dicing like it’s a Veg-O-Matic commercial, you’ll enjoy this show. Not for me.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (Competent for what it wants)
Plot 7 (A lot of set-up for a lot of fights)
Pacing 6 (The fights slow it all down)
Effectiveness 6 (Lost because of the extended fights)
Conclusion 6 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but potentially hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Overall 6 (Just too much fighting for me)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Making coffee is difficult.