It’s been two years since the CCG declared war on the ghouls of Anteiku, leading to unprecedented carnage on both sides that left everyone scattered in the aftermath. Most of the city’s ghouls have become quiet after suffering such crippling losses, but a few still terrorize Tokyo at night, most notably the relentless Aogiri Tree creeps. Fortunately, there’s a new team of doves on the scene to handle the most violent threats, hybridized ghouls like Kaneki who wield kagune of their own instead of relying on quinques. But what they offer in firepower, this team of “Quinx” lacks in teamwork. These desperate youngsters who’ve already lost everything would rather compete with one another than follow the orders of their gentle and reticent squad leader, Haise Sasaki. All that changes, however, when an S-class ghoul surprises them during a hunt, and Sasaki must step up to protect his underlings without giving in to the darkness that almost consumed him back when he went by a completely different name.
If it were any other show, I would assume Tokyo Ghoul:re was setting itself up as a police procedural with elements of supernatural action mixed. The premiere introduces us to a group of talented misfits with special abilities thanks to being part ghoul, establishes that they don’t get along well, and hints that they’ll eventually learn to work as a team. That said, this isn’t any other show; it’s Tokyo Ghoul. We already know from the first two seasons that the conflict between the CGC and the ghouls is far from black and white like this episode portrays it, and that the main character is very obviously Kaneki. His voice, appearance, vague flashbacks, and knuckle cracking at the end all make it extremely obvious that this is Kaneki a few years after Root A. The question of what led him to work for the CGC makes for an interesting hook, especially since he seems like a much calmer person than we saw before. Whether this comes from growth over the intervening years or something the CGC did isn’t clear, but I’m certainly interested in finding out. Outside of not-Kaneki, the new squad members also have potential as leads. They already have clear personalities and motives that make them stand out, and a brief flashback at the end indicates that we’ll be learning a lot more about them. I still want to see the old crew from Anteiku back in the spotlight, but the Quinx squad is off to a good start as well. Re’s premiere leaves more questions than answers about what happened after Root A ended, but those questions are an excellent hook for any fans of the first two seasons. It’ll still have to figure out how to proceed since Root A changed some parts that manga readers have said will become relevant later on, but that’s a hurdle for later. As is, Re is off to a good start.