'Tokyo Ghoul' Reveals Secret to Quinx Squad Power-Ups

The second episode of Tokyo Ghoul:re (aka Tokyo Ghoul season 3) was pretty dense. Not only did we get an awesome battle between Haise Sasaki and the deadly Orochi, but we also got a ton of subplot buildup. We learned more about everything from Sasaki's true identity, and the new Aogiri Tree threat, to what kind of precarious position Quinx Squad holds within the CCG bureaucracy. If that wasn't enough, a big twist reveal at the end of the episode gave fans all kinds of serious feels!

In the midst of all that, it almost flew under the radar that we got to learn more about the Quinx Squad members and their unique power - specifically, how they can (and might) power-up in a serious way, as the storyline unfolds.

The scene in question during episode 2 takes place when Kuki Urie (having been demoted from Quinx Squad leader by Sasaki) goes to see CCG's Dr. Shiba with a special request: he wants to power up his Kagune to be more like Sasaki's half-ghoul abilities. As Dr. Shiba explains to Urie (and subsequently, we the audience), the way the Quinx's kagunes work definitely allows for a power-up.

Apparently, when ghoul kakuhous are put into human bodies, there's a failsafe system called "Frames" put in place, which control how much the ghoul organ effects the human host, and therefore, how powerful of a kagune the host can produce. Shiba reveals to Urie that he is currently set at Frame level 2 (of 5), which allows his kakuho to operate at 40% capacity. Urie wants to increase that amount, but Dr. Shiba warns against it, without specifying why. He ends the exchange by sending Urie back to his superior officers for approval, before the procedure is done.

Tokyo Ghoul re Quinx Frames Kagune Power Up explained

No doubt, Tokyo Ghoul:re is laying out this plot thread as a foreshadow for something more serious later. There are already some corroborating clues in the series' opening credits, where we see Urie and other Quinx Squad members shown with only half their faces appearing onscreen, with red ghoul eyes. The implication here is that when a human host allows the kakuhou to operate at too high a capacity, the ghoul cells presumably begin to overtake the human ones, causing the Quinx to go "full half-ghoul," suddenly burdened with a ghoul's hunger.

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MANGA SPOILERS - Fans who have read the Tokyo Ghoul:re manga know where this little foreshadow leads: Urie indeed increases his frame capacity, but is unable to initially control the power-up. Eventually he becomes a masterful user of his kagune powers, and after a tragic death in the squad, he has his cold, disaffected demeanour finally break, becoming a true squad leader.

Tokyo Ghoul:re airs new sub episodes every Tuesday on streaming services like Hulu.