“It’s okay if I disappear, so… please give me the power to protect.”
The lyrics of Unravel actually fit Haise so much more than they do Kaneki.
A really poignant chapter – and a really cool one as well. I’m so proud of how strong Hinami has become – she looks like she can use four rinkaku tentacles now, but she doesn’t even need to rely on her koukaku to be able to push back Takizawa. It’s very same Takizawa who wrecked Haise easily, but Hinami is able to cut off his hand in a flurry of badass and force him to say that ‘it hurts’ – and in light of all the torture he must have gone through at the hands of Aogiri, to get Takizawa to say that something hurts is a feat indeed. And yet, even though she’s grown so much stronger, she’s still the same Hinami deep down – a girl who loves books, and someone who still misses and believes in her onii-chan even years after his disappearance. It’s become apparent that her goal in leaving Banjou and joining Aogiri is ultimately ‘to protect’, and this auction is the first opportunity she’s had to do that directly, instead of indirectly minimizing the damage caused by Aogiri through her influence.
It was vindicating and yet a little sad to see Juuzou confronting and ultimately killing Big Madam. Well, his subordinates did, anyway – Hanbee is such a great guy, you know? No matter what Juuzou thinks of Big Madam, it’s undeniable that she (or he?) brought him up, and her last words were not something he would have wanted to hear. I love how Juuzou came to terms with both his past and present though, and it really cements how he’s matured so much: “I don’t hold a grudge against you. This is just my job.”
It doesn’t look good, though. Takizawa does indeed have a power-up, and it seems like Hinami can’t handle him in his half-kakuja form. It’s really odd that it seems to mirror that of Kaneki, though of course we have no idea what Yoshimura and Eto had for half-kakujas, or even if they went through that sort of transition. It’s given Takizawa a major boost in power whilst turning him crazy, as all half-kakujas do, so negotiation has gone completely out of the window now. If Haise couldn’t handle normal Pineapple, he has a snowball’s chance in hell against his half-kakuja version. But are we still dealing with Haise, here? In the panels below, he’s displaying some awfully Kaneki-like traits. He has decided to accept the Kaneki inside him as the ‘power to protect’ – and remember, a desire to protect is exactly what triggered the transformation during the battle against Nishiki. And yet, it doesn’t seem like he’s about to descend into insanity. Is Haise still at conflict with Kaneki? Even if he doesn’t remember Hinami, he now knows that Kaneki was loved very much – and that this girl is willing to protect him, even if he’s not Kaneki, several years down the line. Haise has always mentally blocked Kaneki out of fear and denial, forcing him down into the recesses of his mind as an evil, unstable entity – but now he has recognized that Kaneki may not actually have been a bad person. Both Haise and Kaneki have people who care for them – Haise has Saiko, and Kaneki has Hinami. It feels like Haise has come to some sort of silent reconciliation with himself, and if I had to predict his change now, I’d say it’d be more a merger than a takeover.
That is, if he even has time to engage Takizawa properly before the unknown question mark makes its way to their battlefield. Get hyped, because
Amon Rize Floppy is here!