Any thought about what's going on with Arima's narrative? I feel that, despite of the reveals, his character remains more confusing than ever.
Thanks for the question, anon.
Hm, personally I must say that I don’t find it specifically confusing, but I agree that Arima’s narrative went through many surprising twists.
He had this typical megane apperance and this smuggy, high maintenance attitude, which made me conclude that he is a royal asshat.
Then he transformed into gundam megane and suddenly became the most totemo sugoi transformer in Nippon.
And now he is some kind of mecha god, paparin and farmer with his pseudo garden and his kafka-esque relationship with sesame head and stuff.
Joking aside, I would have never expected that 29th chapter Arima would turn out like this, really not. In fact, I needed to fact check who kaneki was fighting with in the last chapters of the first manga because I couldn’t even recognise the transition he made, and that’s just, as I said, in the first manga.
But strangely enough, I don’t find it that confusing in the second series I must admit. It was implemented in the very first chapters of Re that Arima served as Haise’s father figure and it lasted to the very end. I was surprised that Arima would actually, the very first time, be affecionate towards Haise and reveal his deepest thoughts and feelings to him, even in his deathbed (I thought he would be so prideful that he wouldn’t slip any personal revelations from him). It also showed how much Arima was affected by the CCG, it’s investigators and collegues as well as his overall position as an individual and as a weapon, which is pretty much entangled. I interpreted his suicide also as form of pride, not wanting to succumb to old age and being stripped away that maintained him reconition and sadly self worth as well so far.
And this last line was actually what hit me the most. As a V member, he wasn’t really able (allowed) to leave anything behind, had no role and purpose according to the institution he grew up in and served as a tool, so having shaped Kaneki in such a fundamental way was Arima’s attempt to me be remembered as well. Kaneki carries Arima’s will now, one of the most fundamental things he left behind. It’s a bit ghastly for Kaneki, who, in my opinion, was also partly forced out of guilt into this revolutionary role by Arima if you ask me, but it finally highlighted Arima’s human, weak and flawed side in it’s raw and most passionate form.
And I think this is the part where I might actually agree with you.
In the beginning of this series, Arima genuinely appeared to me as the average Joe who tries to maintain order as much as possible. Then he gets promoted to “goodhood status” and Arima’s character appears to be ever so fantastical. In Re, Ishida switches from this deity role and his investigator role quite a bit, so it’s really hard to make out Arima’s personality in general.
And the reveal that Arima was a V member and Sunlit Garden child, was in my opinion, made a bit too late, so I do understand where you are coming from.
Arima practically died where all the revelations are going start and it’s really hard to swallow that because he has been one of the most integral parts of these organisations and institutions that it’s kind of sad that we are going to see everything in from the reader’s perspective again instead of actually following his thoughts.
It’s really feels like some… something is missing since Arima is gone and now we are thrown only bits and images of him so Ishida can torture us so we are reminded how important Arima to the overall storyline is, but experiencing Arima as a person will be probably an issue we have to interpret instead of following through.