Anime Review

Anime Hajime Review: Tokyo Ghoul:re 2nd Season

Original Run: October 9, 2018 - December 25, 2018
Number of Episodes: 12
Genre: Action, Drama, Fantasy
Based on the Series Created By: Sui Ishida

***Warning, the following may contain spoilers for Tokyo Ghoul:re Chapter 2. Reader discretion is advised.***

Series Synopsis

Haise Sasaki (voiced by Natsuki Hanae) has reverted to his true identity as the human turned ghoul, Ken Kaneki. At last, recalling who he is, Ken breaks his ties with the Commission of Counter Ghoul (CCG) and seeks to fulfill a long-desired dream.

Ken chooses to become the beacon that will hopefully bring about a lasting peace between ghouls and humanity.

However, old grudges do not die quickly. Many people on both sides are constantly conspiring against Ken. Luckily, he still has the loyalty and love of many dear friends. Ken’s task may be daunting, but it is not one he needs to do alone.

The ultimate battle is coming. A devastating war is on the horizon, and many lives will be lost during the ensuing violence. The bitter combatants have reached their final crossroads. They must either work together to build a new future or destroy everything in their wake.

The once shy boy who loved to read now faces his biggest, greatest, and final test.

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Series Positives

As it was for the Tokyo Ghoul:re Chapter 1 review, the Tokyo Ghoul series will be referred to as follows:

  1. Tokyo Ghoul (2014) – Season 1
  2. Tokyo Ghoul √A – Season 2
  3. Tokyo Ghoul:re Chapter 1 – Season 3A
  4. Tokyo Ghoul:re 2nd Season – Season 3B

In my Tokyo Ghoul Season 3A review, I sought to determine if it was worth getting excited for the continuation, Season 3B. I concluded that despite its problems, Season 3A managed to retain enough of what made the original two installments of Tokyo Ghoul great. Therefore, I thought it was worth getting excited for part two.

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Well, part two has come at last, and I cannot remember the last time I wasted such a hopeful sentiment. In as clear a manner as possible:

Tokyo Ghoul:re Chapter 2 was garbage.

I’m not just saying this season was the worst entry in the entire Tokyo Ghoul series; that much is a given. No, even as a standalone product, Season 3B was trash.

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Legitimately, I’m trying to think of a single aspect to Season 3B that was positive. All the staples of what made Seasons 1 and 2 outstanding – narrative, characters, action, animation, music – were either grossly subpar or abandoned.

Within this mess, I suppose there was one element which was not a complete headache. I am referring to the reunion of Ken Kaneki and Touka Kirishima (voiced by Sora Amamiya), particularly the Touka part of that equation.

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Since Touka’s presence was nearly nonexistent in Season 3A, it was nice to see her play a much more significant role again. At first, I thought this meant we would get another chance to witness the Rabbit’s beautiful fighting style and deep character development.

As of the writing of this review (two years after I showcased Tokyo Ghoul for my 200th special), I still remember a powerful scene in the original season where Touka berated a woe-is-me Ken. She is a character I have liked for some time.

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Touka’s role in this chapter and the progression of her relationship with Ken were among the many things I thought we were going to get out of Season 3B. Sadly, much like everything else, there was only disappointment.

I’m not going to lie, the resolution to Touka and Ken’s story went in the direction I was rooting for ever since the two characters met back in Season 1. However, this was a bittersweet ending because Season 3B portrayed these events as though they were being adapted from a self-indulgent fanfiction written by someone who had grown impatient with the official story.

I have never read the Tokyo Ghoul or Tokyo Ghoul:re manga, but let’s give the benefit of the doubt. I want to believe series creator Sui Ishida put in more effort with the two main characters than the anime did. Granted, it’s not as if that would have been a hard thing to do.

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Series Negatives

Where does one even start?

I make no excuses. I know full well and openly admit my tendency to lose track of story details after long breaks between series. As a result, I try not to harp on any continuation if a few bits don’t line up or make sense. That said, I watched the finale of Season 3A only a few months prior to this review, and it was rather memorable.

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If I am wrong about this next bit, I will happily eat my words, but the bridge between Seasons 3A and 3B was missing.

Serving as the opening of Season 3B, there was a massive battle between ghouls and the CCG. I’m not sure how this started or how any of the main players got into the positions they were in. On top of that, this season indicated this fight was picking up precisely where Season 3A left off, as well as being a totally separate incident taking place a few days afterward.

I honestly don’t know which was the case.

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The rocky beginning of Season 3B had a lot to do with a holdover problem from its predecessor. One of the primary criticisms I had with Season 3A was its insistence on overwhelming the viewer with names, locations, lore, and other pieces of information. It was exceedingly difficult to keep track of the events from the previous installment, and Season 3B only exacerbated the issue.

The majority of the characters seen across the Tokyo Ghoul:re story were utterly unknown to me. This series provided no help when it came to recalling who was who. Then for the characters I did recognize, some were never worth caring about, and others became not worth caring about.

There were fights and deaths throughout this season which consisted of people I either didn’t know or had zero investment towards.

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Speaking of action, that was once one of the elements which made Tokyo Ghoul amazing. Although combat has never been the focus of this series, this story has never been afraid to provide a good row from time to time. And when the fists did start flying, Tokyo Ghoul became a paragon of color and visuals.

Then we got to Season 3B, and its answer to its predecessors’ legacy was a steaming pile of crap.

A fight in Tokyo Ghoul had never failed to excite me until this season.

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The tragedy of it all was, Season 3B was the finale. This was it; the Tokyo Ghoul story has now come to an end. Too bad this season didn’t bring things to an end. Instead, this season put things to a stop. There were no resolutions; there was no ultimate climax. If I had to make a guess, the people behind the Tokyo Ghoul anime were in a rush to be done with this franchise.

As a swan song, Tokyo Ghoul:re 2nd Season was nothing more than a pitiful whimper to one of the biggest anime franchises in recent memory.

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Final Thoughts

This season’s failure has affected my thoughts on the entire Tokyo Ghoul:re storyline. Season 3A, troublesome as it was, did what it could to maintain the spirit of its predecessors. This season, on the other hand, soured the whole package.

“Convoluted” is nowhere near the proper word to describe this narrative. Many of the characters would have been forgettable, had I actually known who they were. The animation, action, and soundtrack not only failed to live up to this series’ standards, they were flat out lazy in their own right.

The one silver lining is, this season did not tarnish the greatness of the original two seasons. Tokyo Ghoul and Tokyo Ghoul √A will live on.

It is with a heavy, but no less infuriated heart – not just  2nd Season – all of Tokyo Ghoul:re is not worth your time.

But these are just my thoughts. What are yours? Have you seen this show? What would be your advice concerning Tokyo Ghoul:re 2nd Season as well as the full Tokyo Ghoul:re series? Leave a comment down below because I would love to hear what you have to say.

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For Anime Hajime, I’m LofZOdyssey, and I’ll see you next time.

Post Edited By: Onions

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