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At the end of root A, all that is shown to us is this at the last scene: enter image description here

Can someone help me understand what is happening here? Or what do you guys think is happening here if we don't have solid evidence?

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In the ending, we can see that Kaneki is carrying injured (almost dead) Hide. Hoji informs Marude about Kaneki's appearance. Marude then asks Yoshitoki how shall they deal with Kaneki considering he's carrying a CCG inspector and is not showing any hostility (it's a sign that Kaneki has given up on fighting and is ready to sacrifice himself for Hide). A few scenes later, we can see Kaneki is smiling whilst looking at Hide (it can be a sign that Hide is still alive).

Then after that, the CCG comes to a conclusion that they will let Arima deal with Kaneki. Kaneki continues his walk and then finds Arima, who is ready to fight him and won't let him go. Arima picks up his Quinque IXA, Kaneki puts down Hide, the stage is set and then suddenly the screen goes blank (you can hear a short clicking sound here though).

About that sound, you can safely assume that it was the click of Arima's weapon, so it's implied that a fight occurred. It's just now shown in the anime.


After a few scenes later, the picture you have posted in your question is shown. Arima is standing with his Quinque IXA stuck in the ground. This scene depicts that he finished his mission or a fight (if there was any). They removed some details from this picture because they didn't want to spoil anything for the next season. The original picture is as follows (credits to http://tokyoghoul.wikia.com/):

Arima defeats Kaneki


Summary

Yes there was a battle between Kaneki and Arima in the end of root A. Kaneki gave him a good fight, considering Arima is a Special Class Investigator (and holds many titles including CCG's Reaper, White Reaper, or a mysterious One-Eyed King). Arima dealt a serious blow to Kaneki in the start without any warning and then lunged his quinque IXA through the back of Kaneki's skull, which pierced his brain and destroyed his left eye. Then during the end of the fight, he finished Kaneki off with a stab through the other eye.


might spoil a bit of next season

Kaneki still survives in the end, but becomes amnesiac (experiences total or sometimes partial loss of memories). Arima started bringing him books in the prison and his health improved substantially. Since he lost his memories, Arima gave him a new name using his (formerly Ken Kaneki)'s two favorite kanji from the words "coffee" and "world" - Haise. Guess that's all to make you excited for the new Season now, the story of Haise Sasaki.

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    I thought the anime gave up on following the manga's plot? also the fact that hide might still be alive is news to me. I thought kaneki's smile at the end was a "I am glad to have known you" smile. – A T Mar 26 '18 at 14:56
  • @AT Well the manga had it implied (not confirmed) that Kaneki Ate Haise right before his fight with Arima. Not confirmed because it and Kaneki blacked out during their meeting, and we resumed with Kaneki facing Arima and describing a sweet taste in his mouth. Its only in the recent chapters of RE (currently at 166, reveal around 145 or so) that we get actual confirmation on if he was alive or not, and 10-15 chapters later, what actually happened during the blackout. – Ryan Mar 26 '18 at 17:03
  • @Ryan ok. just as a side question: If Arima was a ghoul, what rank do you think he'd get? – A T Mar 26 '18 at 17:38
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    @AT he would be SSS-rated (meaning that even multiple special investigators might not be enough to deal with him) – Syed Rafay Mar 26 '18 at 18:41
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    @AT So long as he has his main weapons, he can and has beaten both Owls, who are SSS rated. Owl (Yoshimura) took on several special class investigators, including Suzuya, and he put up a very good fight. One eyed Owl took over, and easily won against them, partially thanks to their weakened state fighting Owl, but Arima arrived and destroyed her (in the manga, he was short a weapon Kaneki destroyed, which I believe in the anime One eyed destroyed mid combat, but still dominated her). Some big stuff happened regarding those 2 in RE, which questions if either/both were at 100% for that fight tho – Ryan Mar 26 '18 at 19:18

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