This episode of Tokyo Ghoul steps up the gore as Kaneki’s friend Hide is threatened.
(NOTE: I will be using the name for each character that he or she is commonly called in the narrative. This means some of the names I use in my reviews of this series will be surnames, some will be given names, and some will be nicknames.)
A lot of this episode deals with Kaneki’s continuing struggle with either starving or eating human flesh, a problem compounded by the realization that his friend is in danger around him now. He meets the ghoul who manages the Anteiku café that Touka works at; this man clearly wants to help Kaneki, and seems to want to help all ghouls. He offers Kaneki what we can assume is human flesh so that he doesn’t have to hunt (and kill) on his own. Kaneki, of course, doesn’t eat it right away because he wants to believe he can still be human.
Kaneki’s friendship with Hide is also highlighted in this episode. Not only do we see that Hide is worried about Kaneki—through his many text messages and subsequent words of concern to Kaneki when he finally shows up to school again—but we also see how Kaneki reacts when Hide is threatened. When Nishiki attacks Kaneki once more and threatens to kill and eat Hide, Kaneki unleashes his kagune (the tentacle-like limbs Rize attacked him with in the first episode) and basically goes ballistic attacking Nishiki. (It’s unclear whether or not he actually kills Nishiki; I somehow doubt he’s dead after only two episodes, but I could definitely be wrong.)
After Touka stops Kaneki from eating Hide in a frenzy, he wakes up back at the café. While Kaneki feels that he doesn’t belong anywhere now, being half-human and half-ghoul, the manager counters by telling him that he’s the one person uniquely situated to be part of both worlds because of what he is. He suggests that Kaneki stay at Anteiku to learn about ghouls and try to find his path. There’s a good chance that Hide may have heard this entire conversation and now knows (if he didn’t suspect it already) that Kaneki is part ghoul.
The closing scene of this episode focuses on a pair of men, one black-haired and one white-haired, both dressed in trench coats, talking about the binge-eater (Rize) with excitement. My initial guess is that these two are ghoul-hunters or something like that. I’m sure we’ll get specifics within the next couple of episodes.
The psychological horror so prescient in the first episode of Tokyo Ghoul definitely persists whenever Kaneki is confronted with human food or human flesh, or when he’s being attacked by another ghoul (in this case, Nishiki). Personally, I’m hoping that the psychological-horror aspect doesn’t subside once Kaneki (and we along with him) learns more about ghouls and about what his place is now. So far, I’m still pretty impressed with the horror side of this anime.