Tokyo Ghoul Root A: Old Nines gives us the backstory of the Owls. After Kaneki meets the One Eyed Owl, he has a few questions that need to be answered. This is what he went to see Yoshimura about. Coincidentally Yoshimura has to tell us his own backstory in order to answer Kaneki’s questions about the Owl. Yoshimura lived his life the same way Kaneki is currently living his own. Yoshimura was alone and had no family to call his own. This meant that he was willing to do whatever it took in order to survive. This often meant feeding on ghouls and on humans. In addition, he joined a secret organization that not that many people know of.
Yoshimura soon met a human woman after. Her name was Yukina and she loved him for who he was. He was shocked by her willingness to see through the ghoul in him in order to see the humanity that is still there. She was the first person to care about Yoshimura and soon he fell in love. Although ghouls impregnating humans were unheard of, their love created a child. There were complications with the pregnancy since ghouls are not able to survive on human food. Because of her love for Yoshimura and their unborn baby, she chose to devour human flesh. Doing so ensured that the baby would survive. Things were fine and Yoshimura finally had a family. There was one tiny problem: the organization he joined before meeting Yukina. This organization targeted his family. Yoshimura lost his wife and abandoned his child. He assumed another ghoul found and adopted the baby.
Yoshimura has to live with the guilt of not being able to save his wife. He also has to live with the fact that he left his child to die and did not care for him, as a father should have. Because of the child’s strange upbringing, he became full of hatred for the world around him. He started doing unspeakable things and building a name for himself as the One Eyed Owl. Yoshimura deals with his guilt by posing as the One Eyed Owl as well. This is to protect the child that he left behind and get some of the attention away from him.
The eight episode of Tokyo Ghoul Root A is a little too peaceful. This episode shows us one last cheery day at Anteiku as the people there happily run the store and take care of customers. We are repeatedly shown that Anteiku is a place where ghouls can belong without fear of being judged or killed. However, this happiness does not last for long. Yoshimura realizes that the CCG is investigating them. This means that Anteiku could be destroyed at any moment. He asks Yomo to take Hinami and Touka to a safer place. They are only young ghouls with their whole lives ahead of them. They need to be protected. Yoshimura, on the other hand, refuses to run. He is almost like a captain who wants to go down with his ship. He stays behind to defend Anteiku. Surprisingly, Irima and Koma are more than willing to fight beside Yoshimura.
Shinohara visits Anteiku once more at the end of the episode. It seems as if he is making this visit right before a raid is about to happen. He has always hated ghouls. He has viewed them as killers and evil beings without the ability to feel or care. Yoshimura seems to do his best to try to change that view. While they sit for a cup of coffee, Yoshimura begins to talk about the beauty of making coffee. He implies that not all ghouls are the same by explaining to Shinohara that not all beans are the same. Some are good and make a great pot of coffee while some are simply bad. It seems as if Yoshimura is trying to get Shinohara to open up his eyes and to see through the hatred and fear. Although this might not save Anteiku, it would be a step towards the right direction in the future. There can only be peace if humans can realize that not all ghouls are merciless killers
I think that next week’s episode will be the raid on Anteiku. There have been many tense situations in the past couple of episodes. Next week will be another large event that brings most of the characters together. We finally know where the Owl came from and now we know what actions have been driving most of the conflict in Tokyo Ghoul. The only questions I have are now related to Kaneki and the other one eyed ghouls out there.
Kaneki left Anteiku in order to try to protect his family. It is possible he caused the death of Anteiku. The disappearance of Kaneki and the notoriety of the eye patch ghoul have caused CCG to draw a connection between the two. When this is combined with the hints that Takatsuki provided, the CCG have plenty of reasons to start their raid.
The story of the Owl was an extremely important part of the Tokyo Ghoul manga. This is why I was so excited to see it in Tokyo Ghoul Root A: Old Nines. However, there are a couple of differences. The details of the secret organization that Yoshimura was a part of were never included in the anime. I doubt the organization will be brought up again in the future. In addition, the way Yukina died in Root A is different from the way she died in the manga. There are only four episodes left in this season of Tokyo Ghoul and I still do not know if they will follow the ending of the manga.