Publisher: Viz Media
Publication Date: October 18, 2016
It has been six months since the Aogiri Tree Operation. The CCG is continuing to investigate the Binge Eater and the Gourmet. There are several promotions in the CCG, and Kotaro Amon, finds himself assigned to a new partner who opens up old wounds, all while disregarding his rank and experience. In the meantime, Kaneki and his friends continue to search for Rize, in hopes of finding out what happened the night of his accident. Instead, they discover Madame A, who only leaves them shrouded in more mystery.
This volume spends a lot of time focusing on the innerworkings of the CCG. Amon gets promoted to Senior Investigator, which is a great honor because he is so young. It is also a testament to his abilities as an investigator. Many members of the CCG aren’t so lucky to make it to his age or to the rank of Senior Investigator. Juzo Suzuya gets a promotion as well, which may feel a little premature since he’s eccentric and young; however, it shows that the CCG really acknowledges hard work. After the Aogiri Tree Operation, there are plenty of promotions to go around. Additionally, Amon gets his first subordinate, a new character that really gave me pause. This new character is Akira Mado, whom, yes you guessed it – is the deceased Mado’s daughter. Amon has spent his time trying to avenge the death of his superior and mentor, Kureo Mado. To refresh your memory, Mado had an unusual obsession with Quinques and hated Ghouls for killing his family. Now, we have his daughter on the scene, who reveals the complexities of the superior/subordinate relationship in the workplace. She’s a fun and fiery character who bases her work on hunches rather than facts and considers that the difference between her generation and Amon’s. He often has to put her in her place, but has little success in taming her in volume 9. Of course, I should add that young Mado is very pretty and intelligent, which has to be intentional. The age difference between Mado and Amon isn’t great, which leaves a lot of options for their relationship in future volumes. At the moment, she shuts him down and has no interest in even fostering team work – she just wants to follow her thoughts.
Since I spent a good deal of time looking at the first half of the volume, I’m going to be brief with the remaining 100 pages. The second half of volume 9 follows Ken Kaneki in his quest to figure out Rize’s real identity. As we know, he is a different person after his kidnapping and it shows in his thoughts, mannerisms, and fighting. He is more determined and skilled as a Ghoul. It’s as if his human side has become suppressed. He is ready and eager to fight. Eventually Kaneki finds two more Ghouls like him and a woman, Madame A, which leave him filled with more questions. The volume ends in a cliffhanger, with Kaneki returning to Dr. Kano.
I really enjoyed the focus this volume had on the CCG. We have been following Kaneki and the Ghouls for 8 volumes. This is a nice change of scenery and perspective. We now get to see both sides of the same war. Yes, I know we have had some opportunities to follow the CCG, but something about this volume makes it different from the last time. The investigators are shown as people who are striving for a safer society, who want the same things the Ghouls want – peace, safety, prosperity. Despite this, neither side realizes that they both have the same goals in mind. Amon sees the one-eyed Ghoul as someone who needs to be brought to justice, without understanding that the Ghoul has morals and is doing what he needs to do to survive. We could see this in the previous volumes, but it really resonates in volume 9. I also enjoyed seeing Amon’s promotion to Senior Investigator and his first experiences with having a subordinate. It was a nice twist that his subordinate would be the daughter of his deceased mentor and senior partner – which opens up old wounds for him while reminding readers of Mado’s history with the CCG. I am looking forward to seeing more of young Mado in the series.
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**This item was provided for review.