Tokyo Ghoul Episode 2 Review – “Incubation”
Ken Kaneki became the first half human half Ghoul, after his date Rize turned out to be a Ghoul herself. During the surgery, the doctors transplanted some of Rize’s organs into Ken. Starving from lack of nourishment, he stumbles into an alleyway to find a Ghoul feasting on a corpse. Before he can eat, two ghouls named Nishiki and Toka show up. Toka drives away Nishiki, and against Ken’s wishes crams an decapitated arm into Ken’s mouth…
Ken still won’t eat – he’s trying to remain human as long as he can. Toka points out that while he continues his whining, she was born a ghoul and has had to endure this her whole life. Toka is about ready to leave him to fend for himself when a stately man that looks reminiscent of a waiter takes Ken in. This is Sir, and he is of the mind that Ghouls must help each other in times of need. (Or so he says. He could be hiding something sinister!)
He prepares a cup of coffee for Ken, who gingerly takes it – and surprisingly it’s ok to drink. According to the show’s lore, coffee and human flesh are the only two things that keep Ghouls from starving. Sir gives him some flesh (at least I think he does?) in a small brown package to take home.
Back at his apartment, Ken’s stomach is growling quite loudly but he can’t bring himself to eat it no matter how much pain he is in. But there is another voice telling him to indulge in the meat, give in to his hunger – and it’s Rize.
The next day at college, he still hasn’t eaten. It’s the first time Hide’s seen him since that night Rize and Ken went out on a date. Hide correctly points out that Ken hasn’t been feeding himself well, showing that he’s more perceptive that he seems to be. Hide has to quickly run by his prof’s office to get notes for his class – and wouldn’t you know it – Nishiki is the very prof he was speaking of. Nishiki’s forgotten the notes at his home (or he’s lying) so the three have to visit Nishiki’s place.
In comparison to Ken, Nishiki’s doing a good job of blending in with the human populace. He even convincingly eats a pastry (he throws it back up later). But once they are in an underground parking lot, he knocks Hide unconscious and attacks Ken. Ken gets the living shit beat out of him, and it looks like Hide is going to be eaten and/or killed by Nishiki. Thankfully Ken uses his new Ghoul abilities to transform. Using Rize’s tendrils he takes out Nishiki (in a weird video filter – censorship maybe?).
However, his hunger is greater than his reason and there’s an human on the floor that won’t fight back. Rize whispers in his ear “he’s your friend, you have to eat him.” The saliva begins to pool in his mouth (EWW) and eating Hide is becoming quite tantalizing. Until Toka shows up and kicks his ass that is. XD
Ken awakens to find Sir watching over him. Hide is safe, and Ken has been fed while he was asleep. Ken is understandingly distraught, as he is no longer human but not fully a Ghoul. The possibility of a normal quiet life is now far behind him. All is not lost it seems though, as Sir asks him to join “Anteiku”, where he can see that Ghouls are not just mindless beasts. From his bed, Hide appears to have heard the whole conversation…
Back on the rooftop of the building where Rize and the man in the hockey mask duked it out, two men named Amon and Mado seem to be excited about some development. They talk of a Jason sighting – wait, so the guy in the mask actually IS named Jason, after the Friday the 13th character? Not sure how I feel about that *shrugs*. Just who are these two?
Ok that was a cool episode. I like where Tokyo Ghoul is going so far. The characters are interesting and their dilemmas are well portrayed. The voice acting is excellent as well. Of the relationships, Ken and Hide’s is the best so far. I liked the added touches of the flashbacks to moments in their friendship peppered across this episode. I’m also curious to see how Hide responds to Ken being a half human half ghoul.
The notion of coffee being the only other thing ghouls could ingest apart from human flesh is inherently silly, but in light of all the positives of the show, it’s something I can let slide. 😛 On another note, I thought the whole Rize talking to him – or Rize manifesting as his subconscious, which seems more likely to me – would be a negative aspect. Instead it adds to the atmosphere of the show, and amps up the crazy quotient. I’ve always enjoyed a good mind-screw subplot.
Hell yes. I must admit I’m curious to find out more about ghouls and their society, and just what Anteiku is. Who are Amon and Mado and where do they lie on the villain/ally scale, if at all? How will Hide fit into the working of the show now that this has transpired? I’m totally into where this will take me!