I have no idea what the hell is going on, this second series so far is just a bunch of events that happen. I don't know what's going on with the characters, why they make these choices, or where it might all be heading i'm a big ball of confusion and anger. The music is really creepy though so, they get a gold star for that, and right now, I'm still keeping up because of all the characters I grew attached to in the first series. I just wish they'd explain crap~!! Also why do the ghouls and or humans, just sorta stare at their prey for an hour if they are important to the plot instead of you know, killing them. Not a very successful form of fighting if you ask me.
"Well, would you look at this artistic anime! My, my. Kaneki is unlucky and tragic and that makes him a deep and well developed character."
This is a blister that needs to be popped. This show is a sequel to a decent production by Studio Perriot made fairly recently. Tokyo Ghoul. What a controversial show that's turned out to be. Quite unpopular with some manga fans, the first was really only decent at best. It's philosophy was done before and a bit underdeveloped, and the characters weren't very well explored. In addition, the show had a very open, "trollish" ending, and so a second season wasn't exactly met with hostility.
Instead, the show was met with a very wary, defensive feeling. Feelings were mixed, it could either be good or it could also be a trainwreck. Now that the show is out, and the show has ended, these feelings have mixed up even more. People find the ending to be artistic, mindblowing, and one of the best they've seen. Others (like me) found it to be trash, boring, and an extremely poor work. Of course there are some in the middle, but I don't belong there.
Therefore, despite this being a review, it's best that you watch this yourself and make your own judgment. This applies to most things I suppose, but this more than others. However, I would meet the show with skepticism, and here is my opinion of whether this is worth a watch, or whether or not the manga is more up your alley.
The philosophy of humans vs creatures have been done before. Particularly in this airing season, it's been compared quite a bit to its counterpart with a similar conflict, Parasyte. Looking back, there isn't much of a story to this show at all. Kaneki Ken, once a nerdy teenager, has been killed by an unfortunate accident and had his internal organs replaced with ones of a ghoul. The rest surround the world -- different groups of ghouls, and human head hunters trying to kill every ghoul in sight. Ken is in the middle ground -- and the first show set up a conflict of humans vs. ghouls, and Ken being a bridge between the two entities. That was the main theme established in the first show
Now, what about this one? To be honest, the story of this show has almost completely shifted, at least for a large majority of the show. This sequel instead attempted to turn itself into a character piece -- exploring its characters, and through this spouts a bunch of incoherent plot points. None of which are resolved. Kaneki leaves and branches out into another group, Touka tries to get by in life posing as a human, and the CCG, the premier ghoul hunters, begin to make a move against the ghouls.
There is no inherent problem with trying to go down a more unexplored story route. In fact, I find it to be kind of a wise decision, since the ending of season one was incohesive and a bit of a wreck. The problem comes in the show's execution. The show purposely attempts to give the story a deep edge, and a neat and loose way to tell it's story. The first half is absolutely incomprehensive. The story is almost literally impossible to follow, but that's not in the fault of the viewer. They do not give any explanations to any of the story threads. Characters and situations are introduced one by one, but absolutely nothing happens to explain any of this at all. There's even an obligatory, yet unexplained super shounen power up as well through the middle of the show, and not even this is expanded on, only being used as a convenient plot point that is hardly even expanded on.
The second half slightly improves upon this formula, taking the time to slow down and actually explore characters beyond very cliché measures. However, despite this, the plotlines of the first half are still hardly explored. The ending ends up being an absolute trainwreck. It's actually very artistic and as an individual episode -- it's quite well done. The problem is the ending is an artistic one when the show was presented as a narrative that should have a beginning, middle, and an end. It does end, but it is once again open and nothing is done.
ANIMATION & SOUND
The technical aspect of the show is mediocre. There are very silly moments of poor animation. Studio Perriot really skimped out, presenting it's action scenes (might I mention those are few and spread out) in a very boring and unengaging way. The fight choreography is very static and undynamic, particularly in the first half of the show.
Backgrounds and character designs are decent, yet in many places are drawn strangely and at times even look like poor sketches. At times it's even distracting to the show, and largely contributes to the boredom factor of everything.
I've never had a problem with the sound aspect during the show. The original soundtrack is quite good in this show, the insert songs being of all good quality. Many people dislike the opening, but I found the song to be quite pretty to listen to. The visuals are of more of an artistic quality. Many people do dislike the song, comparing it to Unravel, but I find it to be a good listen. Insert songs are slightly abused however, despite being relatively good songs. It's not a really big issue, but I did find it to be a bit cheesy at times.
The next part of this trainwreck is through its characters. Almost none of them aside from Hinami are really fleshed out aside from square one, despite its attempts. Touka's resolve almost complete revolves around Kaneki, making her a very poor individual character. Other side characters like Hide, Uta, and Tsukiyaka are just there as side characters, very poorly developed with little screentime.
Other side characters do get some development, and are even likeable. Hide, despite being poorly developed, at the very least has a sense of intrigue around him. Akira is enjoyable, and Amon is decently built up, despite being quite generic.
Kaneki is our final main character, and is absolutely terrible. He's given an incredible silent treatment -- his screentime consists of only him screaming and crying in agony because of how tragic and terrible his life is. We are constantly reminded of how awful Kaneki's life has become, but with his lack of screentime, all we know now about Kaneki is that his life sucks. And trust me, this act gets old really fast.
• Characters are mostly underdeveloped. Side characters aside from Touka have little screentime and don't really impact the story. Kaneki is an awful main character.
• Story is incoherent and unresolved. First half moves at an absolutely sluggish pace and is incredibly boring, though second half improves slightly.
• Animation is laughable at times and even distracting at points.
• Sound is quite good. Enjoyable OP (though be wary since most people hate it, lol)
FINAL SCORE: 2/10
Tokyo Ghoul Root A is maybe not the AOTY 2015, but because I see it collects here only criticisms at best not very fair, I must restore the balance of the opinions.
I think the problem, above all, is the state of mind with which we perceive this second season. Indeed, in the echoes which I received from Tokyo Ghoul, there was hardly only of three sorts: "S1 is a little bit boring but in S2 it gets interesting", then "S2 is a waste which murders S1", and "S2 isn't canon compared to the manga since Pierrot has fucked it up". And indeed, we have in front of us 2 seasons with different rhythm which do not have much in common between them.
Personally, when we spoke to me about Tokyo Ghoul, in view of the name, the pictures, the first minutes of the first episode of S1 with a glowing Rize, and... a certain white-haired boy who can "no longer see the world", I imagined at once something bloody , violent, merciless; a persistent war between ghouls and humans until the annihilation.
As a result, I felt an afterstate of slice of ghoul life, in front of a S1 which has certainly its moments of cruelty and tragedy, but which gets mainly down to show us that ghouls are as the human. They too have their ties, their pains, their hopes, their despairs...
It was not what I expected, but it wasn't unpleasant after all. It is necessary to be immersed, this season is essential to blur the manicheanism, make us wonder ourselves of which side we take place in this war.
It takes sense only because we know the battle arrives. The last episode of this S1, symbol of its depth, justifies everything, and represents a transition towards a more bestial S2 putting an end in this "calm before the storm".
But let us bend over this S2. The answer is yes, it reigns a certain confusion... a certain lack of sense in the plot's structure. However, I would here want to bring a nuance: it's not inconsistent for all that. Those who didn't read the manga are certainly going to miss some information, and in order general the decisions of the characters are not clarified. But nevertheless, by making a little effort there, they can easily, and even with the few of elements they have, to understand what it takes place and why.
The biggest riddle, of course, remains Kaneki Ken, our protagonist. It's maybe the one who seems most emotionally weak at first sight. However, you shouldn't forget as far as himself, in the situation, is not necessarily capable of being completely rational, having lost its innocence. Even if he makes a little bit debatable decisions, it works. It's not a plot weakness, but a will to let the public think about cogs. His character developpement is memorable.
And then, it's a season much more turned to the action, with an anthology OST and a magnificent animation made by Pierrot which hits the score, and can show itself rather epic. The characters psychology is not aside left for all that, it's even more developed than in S1... But it's moved, expressed through flashbacks which often take 1/4 or 1/3 of the episodes (it's not inevitably a flaw).
According to me, without saying about it too much, THE big flaw of this season is the end: excess of doors left open, too many tracks which we would have liked seeing exploited throughout the anime and which are dedicated to remain unsettled; despite of a conclusion endowed with a beautiful staging. But I saw it in so many series, and especially I saw so worse than that, I don't see of what complain here. It's less hateful than the disease from which suffer so much animes when, in two episodes of the end, they begin to hesitate absolutely anything, to accelerate things and arrive at a conclusion, which besides making no sense, most of the time solves nothing for all that.
And now, it's time for the notation :
-Story part : 4/10
.An average pacing, too slow in S1, and too fast in this S2. (0,5/2)
.A pretty good premise like S1, with an freshly enigmatic Kaneki. (1/2)
.Complexity isn't really present.. Too much focus on the protagonist. (1/2)
.Regarding Plausibility, there are some obvious plot holes. (0,5/2)
.A conclusion which makes diverge passions, and disappoints me. (1/2)
-Animation part : 9/10
.All hail Pierrot, overpowered production value. (2/2)
.Great use of shadows and darkness, good visual effects. (2/2)
.Memorable character design (Special mention to Eto. Spooky.) (2/2)
.Animated by Pierrot? Animated by god. (Especially to the end of the show). Very good staging. (2/2)
.A decent background, but there is a lack of details. (1/2)
-Sound part : 8/10
.High quality sound effects. (2/3)
.According to me, an anthology OST (Special mention to White Silence which isn't integrated in the show : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NogZeIey-Jo... This is art.) (3/3)
.A great voice acting (Special thanks to Eto again...). (2/3)
.Good BGM, atmosphere is immersive. (1/1)
-Characters part : 8/10
.Acceptable presence, especially with the main characters. (1/2)
.Very poignant catharsis, definitively. (2/2)
.High quality character developpement, in particular in Kaneki and Amon. (2/2)
.Detailed and deep characters personality. (2/2)
.Good but incomplete backdrop... (1/2)
-Miscellaneous part ( doesn't count in the notation ) : 7/10
.Good Rewatchability. (2/3)
.Disappointing OP and ED contrary to S1. Just saying. (0/1)
.Enjoyment is here. It'll stay in my memories. (5/6)
OVERALL : 7/10
This S2 thus has nothing exceptional. It's true, it doesn't reach its full potential, but the whole thing remains effective despite of these frustrations.
Hey look, It's my first review! And it's also on my current favorite series right now. Now that I've watched the 12 atrocious episodes of this trash, I think it's about time I give my view on Tokyo Ghoul √A...
OH LORD WHAT HAPPENED, ISHIDA??? Root A's plot is a mess through and through. Nothing makes sense at all, like why did Kaneki join Aogiri Tree, the group that tortured him for ten day cause him a whole slew of mental problems, and to develop Marie-Antoinette Syndrome. (His hair changing from black to white due to intense amounts of stress, Yeah it's a real thing.) Root A also has a problem with introducing character then having them disappear again/not developing them. Main example of this is the Twins: Kurona and Nashiro, their whole existance is irrelavant. They show up in episode 3 (?), get absolutely "rekt" by Suzuya in the next 2 episodes, and then disappeared off the face of the earth. What was the point. I was honestly confused to the point where I went and read the manga. All in all this plot was a train wreck from start to finish.
You can't get complex when the watcher can barely figure out what is going on.
The coloring most of the time was absolutely beautiful, especially the end cards that were drawn by Ishida, himself. Of course there were some spots that didn't look to hot, but overall this was one of the better things that came out of this anime.
Action Sequence: 1.5/2.5
The action sequences were few and far apart, and even then the choreography was notiable stale and boring. The only exceptional fights were Centipede Vs Shinohara and Shinohara's team Vs The One Eyed Owl.
Normal Animation: 1/2.5
The normal animation, while good at times, was laughable horrid. The long tedious walk cycles, and the classic protagonist hair blowing were just time fillers that happen way too often, and the snow makes it even worse. Please just give TG to anyother studio because Pierrot did a horrible job with this.
Music-wise everything about Tokyo Ghoul √A was Great! Especially that acoustic version of Unravel. The chills man! Some of my favorite OST are Glassy Sky and White Silence. So this is one of the few catagories that got it right!
The Seiyuus represent their characters exceptionally well, and show a lot of emotion behind their characters. I'm quite amazed with everyone acting, but the clarity of Tsukiyama's Seiyuu with all his outlandish expressions is quite amazing!
Both songs are equally beautiful in their own respects, but Muno (Incompetence) can't come close to the God-Like opening that Unravel was. IMO, they probably just should of kept Unravel as the Opening and changed the animation.
No rest for the weary as they say. Kaneki's character is buchered to the point of no return, and then given the slient treatment for the rest of the show. He doesn't explan his reason why he did anything through the entirety of the series. Like how is able to still see Yoshimura??? Didn't Aogiri Tree want to destroy Anteiku, for not joining them? Most of the time, he's just screaming about how fucked up he is, and he's not wrong.
Baby girl, What did they do to you? Touka has now become like every other main female protagonist- Obsessed over Kaneki. She seem weaker than most of the other ghouls even though she an S-class ghoul. But in root A, she doesn't get a fight. Yeah her brother gives her a beatdown in the first episode and that's it. Why couldn't she be the strong protagonist like she was in the manga.
I'm honestly happy that Hideyoshi got a little more screen time this season. But now he's actually dead and I'm not sure how I feel about that. The finale is really where Hide comes into play, making Kaneki realize that there's no point in fighting anymore. He came in and they took him right back out again.
Eto, Eto, Eto... You my, good girl, are one fucked up son-of-a-bitch. Essentially the leader of Aogiri Tree. You fuck with both the investigators and the Ghouls, and I got to say you do a hella of a good job doing it. She one of the few intrguing character fo the series and I can't wait to learn more about her.
Kaneki's Opposite as most people call him. Amon gets a whole lot of charater development with literally whole episodes dedicated to him. The righteous investgator just can't get a break between Mado and Kaneki (who he spares once again this season). Amon also fits into the cliche, "All about Justice" male.
The witch is back and not so better than ever. Akira Mado is Investigator Mado's daughter and she acts just like him. Although there are some differences, she seem just like a carbon copy of her father who she morns about in one episode.
(Notable) Side Characters: 1.5/2.5
Probably the most fleshed out character in the entire series. Hinami gets to grow up in Root A and try to experience a normal life, after the death of her mother and father in TG. You can really see the turmoil she's going through after Kaneki's departure as well, which make her such a good character.
Suzuya's life just takes a turn for the worst in the finale, but they could of did more to flesh out his character before killing Shinohara, the person who pretty much makes Juuzou's world go around.
I'm very sad the Tsukiyami's charater has pretty much changed into comic relief. Other than the second to last episode, the only thing Tsukiyama does is rave about how much he still wants to eat Kaneki. Another character that didn't get the proper backstory they needed.
All in all, Tokyo Ghoul Root A is hard to understand, and the character's are next to horrible and corny. The Sound and Seiyuus are great but can't cover for how bad everything else is.
Overall Score: 6/10
What a disappointing end to a brilliant story, which has only left me wondering what could have been. I have to sympathise with the anime-only viewers; they must have absolutely no idea what happened over the course of this show. In the first season of Tokyo Ghoul, Pierrot cut and changed bits and pieces, but it was generally enough to make sense of the story and I actually really enjoyed that first half. The same cannot be said about Root A, which has made little sense from start to finish.
Paraded as a story unique to the anime, Root A is largely the same story as the manga but with events taking place in different locations. Any major differences still result in the same end point, with a very similar path to bring you there. The only real difference is that large amounts of the manga have been cut, resulting in the viewer not really understanding the situation. Kaneki turning into a centipede for some reason, the random earthquake in episode one, Kaneki's doctor who was mentioned in season one, the clowns who showed up in episode one; nothing was explained or revisited. I wonder if the viewers will even know who Shachi is. I appreciate that Pierrot were given a limited budget, but this story needs 50-60 episodes to be told in full.
The animation was generally good, though very sloppy in episode 4. The soundtrack was nice but overused; I guess they didn't commision enough songs. But the plot just wasn't there.
I think the opening sequence reflects the season very well: after Unravel, we had all hoped it was going to be great. We sit through the new one and it's absolutely awful, surprisingly and shockingly so. Despite this, people try to see the positives in it and enjoy it but, in the end, it's just not very good. Hopefully Pierrot will never touch this anime again and we can have a different studio remake it in the distant future.