‘Tokyo Ghoul’ Season 2 Blu-ray
Tokyo Ghoul season two picks up right in the middle of the action left off at the end of season one. A battle between three entities–Aogiri Tree, the CCG and the Cafe Anteiku ghouls–comes to a climax when Ken Kaneki (Natsuke Hanae; Austin Tindale) rescues his friend Touka Kirishima (Sora Amamiya; Brina Palencia) from her brother Ayato Kirishima (Yuki Kaji; Todd Haberkorn), and the CCG are unable to defeat the ghouls, particularly Yoshimura (Takayuki Sugo; Sean Hennigan).
As the battle dies down and each faction retreats to tend to its wounded, Kaneki seemingly abandons his friends from Cafe Anteiku to join with the ghouls of Aogiri Tree despite his dramatic rescue of Touka. His friends at Anteiku, specifically Touka and Hinami Fueguchi (Sumire Morohoshi; Lara Woodhull), are left to wrestle with Kaneki’s abandonment in their own ways throughout the season.
Touka begins taking her studies seriously and pursuing the idea of entering the university Kaneki used to attend. Hinami speculates about his sudden disappearance and searches for ways to help Kaneki.
Meanwhile, Kaneki is not only working with Ayato to free some former Aogiri Tree members and allies from CCG custody but also gains more power by cannibalizing fellow ghouls. Kaneki seems to fall deeper and deeper into his ghoul persona. Everything takes a turn, however, when in the midst of a fight between the CCG and Aogiri Tree, the most powerful ghoul the One-Eyed Owl appears, diverting the CCG’s attention.
Season two wraps well, answering the major questions it poses. Why did Kaneki join Aogiri Tree and start consuming other ghouls? Who is the One-Eyed Owl, and will he or she be taken down by the CCG? How will the employees of Cafe Anteiku fare as the final showdown centers on its location?
Tokyo Ghoul season two does a great job providing closure to these questions while still leaving bread crumbs for a possible season three. While there is plenty of action throughout the season, the writers don’t shy from quiet scenes for character progression. This allows for the tough emotional notes at the end to be hit with mournful precision.
These quiet scenes, and the agonizing ones too, allow the English voice talent to shine, particularly Tindale and Palencia. It’s a shame these two characters don’t have more scenes together, however, as they have great chemistry in these roles.
Particularly impressive is the performance of Lindsay Seidel who juggles the roles of the ghoul leader of Aogiri Tree Eto and writer Takatsuki Sen. Seidel draws a vocal distinction between these two roles to keep not only the other characters in the show guessing but also the audience.
The Blu-ray of Tokyo Ghoul season two features 1080p high definition video and Dolby TrueHD English 5.1 audio. While the animation, particularly of the ghouls and CCG’s weapons, shines in the HD, the audio is lacking.
Tokyo Ghoul season two features great music, and it doesn’t shy away from quiet character-building scenes, but the audio has a hard time balancing all these things. The quiet scenes are too quiet and the action sequences are too loud, leaving the audience bouncing back and forth.
The Blu-ray features audio commentaries for two episodes, including the final episode, and a video commentary for one episode. The commentaries all feature ADR director Mike McFarland, who also voices Amon, and different voice actors depending on the episode.
The final episode commentary features the English actors voicing the key characters for the episode: Tindale, Palencia and Clifford Chapin, who voices Hide.
The talent chosen for the commentaries was thought-out, and McFarland keeps the conversation on track with each actor discussing their character, process and the story overall. These commentaries are a worthwhile addition to Blu-ray.
Other extra features include promotional videos, textless opening song and trailers.
Season two of Tokyo Ghoul is a well thought-out continuation of season one. The larger story continues bringing the tension between humans and ghouls to a head with the CCG, Aogori Tree and Cafe Ateiku. This wrestling plays out on an individual scale as Kaneki’s battle with his two identities comes to a climax and Touka tries to blend in with humanity. In the end, all the players have to live with their decisions.
Though there are some issues with the audio presentation of the show, the commentaries make the Blu-ray a worthwhile addition to any Tokyo Ghoul fan’s collection.