Not the show we were all hoping for
by: Nico Maturo Follow Nico on Twitter by clicking here
Tokyo Ghoul : re is the third season of the TG anime, and thankfully it tries to follow the story of the manga by the same name. Our story follows a man named Haise Sasaki (formerly Ken Kaneki), who survives the events of season two, but loses all memories of his past. He is retrained under the title Ghoul investigator, essentially taught to hunt the people he was fighting alongside previously. He is even in charge of an elite task for called the Quinx Squad, a small group of humans with built-in quinque in their bodies, giving them the abilities of a ghoul. While hunting ghouls and training this squad throughout the season, Haise struggles internally with finding out who he was before his amnesia, and holding back the other personality (Kaneki) inside of him.
That’s about all of the story we are given. Unfortunately, the plot/pacing of this season is a complete mess. We are almost never properly introduced to any of the characters in the show, or their motives. I was left confused multiple times as to why the story was progressing the way it did, or who exactly our protagonists were fighting. It seems like tons of important plot points and details about characters were left out for the sake of cramming everything into 12 episodes.
Also, it seemed like most of the fights just randomly occurred and had no real meaning behind them. For a show that had so much potential, seeing these 12 episodes play out was kind of a bummer.
Haise himself was also a let down. He is probably the most boring character in the entire show. The only traits we are given about him are essentially that he likes the life he’s lived since becoming a ghoul investigator and that he likes his friends. That’s it. He spends almost all of his screen time battling his inner problems and getting his ass kicked until he loses control of his abilities. I found myself way more interested whenever Urie or Shirazu were on screen.
Not everything about the show was bad, though. Even though the animation itself is arguably a slight downgrade from previous seasons, the action is as brutal as ever. TG :re is full of gore and does a fantastic job of making each fight gruesome, intense and feel like a true life or death moment. There are decapitations, limbs being severed, and even a pretty nasty spot involving a chainsaw that I won’t spoil. The last three or four episodes are completely filled with action and can arguably make the entire show worth watching, even if you can’t fully grasp the gravity of the situation (thanks to terrible pacing).
TG :re even does a somewhat decent job of showing just how cold hearted and despicable people can be on both sides of battle. Also, the score of the show helped elevate some of the battles and made moments feel very intense, for what it’s worth.
All in all, Tokyo Ghoul :re isn’t completely unwatchable, but I had high hopes for the season and ultimately was a little let down. To fully understand this quick season, one would probably have to read the manga first. The action pieces alone make the show worth watching, but be prepared for some confusion as to what’s going on story-wise.
It’s a shame I have to give TG :re a somewhat low rating because there is an absolute gem of an anime in there somewhere. Sadly, the execution was poor and the show was never fully brought to life. Here’s to hoping season four capitalizes on an outstanding premise of the fan favorite manga.