Stops right as it’s headed towards greatness, but WHAT A WAY TO GO! 🙂
Much like previous arcs, this show is a mixture of great moments told as a highlight reel rather than a story. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again; when this show wants to be impressive, it can be DAMN impressive. Whether it’s setting up sparks for a bigger conflict or revealing something about these characters, the presentation and core writing never fails to catch my interest. It’s just disappointing that in order to bring as much highlights as possible, they trim down the moments in between for elaborating the small details and rush the introduction of new plot elements or character backgrounds.
But what makes it stand out here compared to previous arcs is just how ambitious it is. With an all-out war between rebel ghouls and CCG members taking place, there’s plenty of new characters and desperate situations to work with. After seeing 3 different arcs involving ghouls and humans acting among the shadows, the sheer chaos and open bloodshed that’s shown here freshens up what was starting to become a tired premise. Neither side is backing down and Anteiku doesn’t really have an option for staying neutral in this fight. Whether it’s thanks to family ties, respect for the dead, helping a friend or a simple issue involving who’s the superior species, everyone plays a part in this battle till the inevitable non-ending.
And while the last episode doesn’t resolve any of these plot threads, I’m fine with how they sacrificed a proper conclusion for a character study of Kaneki. After 11 eps of getting the short end of the stick over and over, the show makes a clear argument on why he’s so weak-willed and why he needs to change. We get to see how his childhood influenced his belief on not hurting anyone, and we also get a clear example of how broken that philosophy is when in a violent world such as this. Even after enduring hours of torture by Jason and refusing to choose who lives or dies, he’s left responsible for the blood of two innocents and possibly the death of everyone he knows. It’s at this point where he directly confronts Rize and devours her, giving into his violent urges in order to judge the guilty and protect the innocent. The entire episode is well-presented, well-paced, and surprisingly emotional. It may not work as a conclusion and a development like this would’ve been great in the middle of a show, but I’m happy that it ends on a high point.
I can definitely understand how manga fans and stand-alone fans may be pissed off with this adaptation. Not only does it focus more on moments rather than an experience, but it ends on a freaking cliffhanger after setting up half a dozen conflicts. However, I haven’t read the manga and I eventually gave up on this show maintaining consistency. And after allowing myself to just be swept in the moments on screen, I found myself in awe of how cool the show can be in a visceral sense. Story consistency and character connections be damned, because the true beauty of this show is its presentation. I look forward to the uncensored cut and eagerly await a sequel.