English Dub Review: Tokyo Ghoul Re “Those Left Behind”

A complication.

Overview:

Two people make hard choices.

Our Take:

I think that there’s a lot of emotional weight in this episode that is held up mostly at the front and the end.

In the front is Mado and her feelings towards her former comrades, who are now both ghouls. She feels torn between duty and emotion and instead decides to sacrifice herself to stop the fighting. On the other is Arima, who died because not only was he already dying, he felt that his life was no longer worth living. To Arima, whose entire path had been predetermined from the start, he set up the seeds to let the world crumble and finally made a decision for himself. Instead of just destroying, he was able to nurture something in the form of Haise, and create something for once.

Was this emotional weight shown well? Debatable. Once again, I kept paying attention to how sloppy the animation was to properly appreciate what was actually happening on screen, and that ruined my experience. Except, I really don’t think I’m being nitpicky, because the animation style really is really purely mediocre for an action series with a potentially strong budget from a big IP. To be fair, I’m aware that animation crunch culture in Japan is horrific, with studios churning out episode after episode often on a weekly basis, so constantly making high-quality anime is hard if you don’t have the budget. I don’t pretend to know the budget that Tokyo Ghoul works with either. However, it is a strong enough IP that it would warrant a larger budget, and yet something like Run With The Wind, a first-time series, looks far superior. This is also off seasons 1 and two of Tokyo Ghoul, which looked far, far better in comparison.

And the thing is, you can’t really focus on the emotion of the scene, particularly the scene with Amon, Takizawa, and Mado, if all I can think of is how shoddy everything looks because everything is framed around an action sequence. However, I didn’t feel that as much with Arima, because Arima’s death is shown mostly through still images. That wonkiness isn’t there because it’s not a scene that involves action, and that’s what makes it work. Unfortunately, this is a very heavily-action centric series, and that’s not working in its favor.

This series is really something alright, and it’s not in a good way.

Score
6.0/10

Noelle Ogawa

A writer, editor, and 4th generation New Yorker. An avid fan of comics and manga, particularly psychological thrillers, or featuring sports. Can't stay away from the horror genre. Long-time kaiju enthusiast.

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