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2018-10-11 16:54:01 (UTC)

Ken Kaneki

Friday, October 2018
White Silence
Glassy Sky

Those are just some of the songs from the series Toko Ghoul that I like. I'm pretty much going to totally nerd out of this series here in a second, because it is way up there with one of my favorite series.

I first saw it when I was fifteen after I saw it in a edit that my friend sent me, I asked him for the name of the anime and he said it was Tokyo Ghoul. It's based on a manga, which got completed only a few months back. I've read the manga in it's entirety. The anime is still on going, but it's in it's final season right now.

The series follows a young highschool boy named Ken Kaneki, who lives in a world that is both populated by humans and creatures known as "ghouls". These ghouls look identical to humans and are almost indistinguishable from normal every day humans in terms of looks. However, their eyes become darkend with red pupils whenever they are starving or have activated their kagune. The kagune is basically a weapon inside their body made out of "RC Cells", it's primarily used for either hunting or defending from attackers. The ghouls, eat humans. In fact they can't eat normal human food, they can, however for whatever reason drink coffee. There are different types of kagune, but I won't get into each one. However I remember it being explained that some are strong against other types, while also weak to some other types. Kind of how rock loses to paper, but it beats scissors which beats paper. That sort of thing.

Anyway, Kaneki is a human. He's timid and doesn't really have any friends except for a boy named Hide. His mom died when he was young, and his dad died when he was even younger. He's shown to be pretty kind and a smart kid. Although he's also pretty sensitive.

The story starts with him meeting and then going on a date with a girl called Rize, who unbeknownst to Kaneki is a ghoul. More precisely, a dangerous ghoul that the government has been trying to track down, as well as others. Her nickname is "The Binge Eater". She got this name because despite most ghouls being able to survive on just one human a month, she would kill multiple different humans and eat them.

The part of the government that investigates and exterminates ghouls is called the Commission of Counter Ghoul or Counter Ghoul Bureau. You can also just call them the CCG for short.

After the date with Rize is over, she asks him to walk him home where she then secludes him to a deserted area where she then reveals that she is a ghoul and attacks him. However, mysteriously a bunch of steel beams were dropped on the two as Rize was toying with Kaneki. You later find out who dropped the steel beams and why they did it, but I'll get to that later.

Rize is reported as dead, and an emergency operation is preformed on Kaneki where her organs are transplanted in him, as it was deemed by the doctor that he would die if he did not receive the transplant.

Right after the surgery Kaneki shortly finds out that he is unable to eat any human food, but the doctor says it was likely due to the trauma he suffered. Being unable to eat he was almost driven to insanity and even had quick thoughts about eating different people that walked by him, including small children. These thoughts were quickly dismissed in disgust.

Some more events happen that lead him to realizing that he's a ghoul. Well, not quite. He's a half ghoul. An unheard of phenomenon in the world of Tokyo Ghoul. Meaning, well, he can't eat normal human food anymore. In fact besides from cultural differences he really becomes more ghoul then human.

So anyway, he meets a girl he's seen before at a coffee shop. The girl is named Touka, and she pretty much almost immediately dislikes Kaneki for being a half ghoul. Calling him a freak and asking him what it was like being able to live in peace every day without having to worry about being hunted down. However, the owner of the coffee shop that Touka works at, and which is also secretly a safe haven for ghouls, Yoshimura, takes Kaneki in and teaches him how to live as a ghoul, in exchange Kaneki has to work at the coffee shop Anteiku.

Here Kaneki begins to learn more about ghouls, and even likes some of them, realizing that besides the whole killing and eating humans thing, they're pretty much the same.

I'd say two pivotal points early on are when another ghoul that Kaneki had a previous run in with named Nishiki attacks him and Hide. Hide is presumably knocked unconscious by Nishiki (it's revealed much later on that he wasn't, and that he saw the whole thing including Kaneki being a ghoul), Nishiki and Kaneki then begin to fight, and while for awhile Kaneki is getting whooped he gets the upper hand after Nishiki continually antagonizes him by saying he was going to kill and eat Hide. Kaneki, after hearing this goes berserk and for the first time releases his kagune, which is shown to be extremely strong, since it's basically the same one Rize had, who was also really strong. However despite winning against Nishiki, Kaneki loses control of himself as he hasn't eaten properly since he became a ghoul, and well as later stated by Touka, starving is like Hell for a ghoul to where they pretty much resort to their primal instincts ready to kill and devour whatever is in their way. This becomes apparent when Kaneki loses it and actually comes close to killing and eating Hide, before being stopped by Touka.

The other pivotal point is when Kaneki befriends a young ghoul named Hinami. Since ghouls can't go to school she isn't all that educated. But it's shown that she's pretty smart and eager to learn, so Kaneki teaches her about different words and their meanings. The important moment is when Hinami's mom and her are tracked down by two CCG investigators, Mado and Amon. Mado is a skilled investigator with a strong hatred of ghouls after his wife was killed by one. In order to protect her daughter, the mother tells Hinami to run far away. Reluctantly Hinami does this, and happens upon Kaneki who is walking near by. She tells Kaneki what is happening, so the two of them run along to try and do something to help, but Kaneki can't do anything to protect the mother. He would of died if he did anything. He didn't know the first thing about fighting, they were out numbered and two of the Investigators were highly skilled, the two being Mado and Amon. "All I could do is stand and watch as I hid Hinami's eyes." I believe he said something like that.

This event leads to Kaneki wanting to become stronger. He wanted to make a difference, he didn't want to stand by idle while more of his new found friends were hunted down. So with the help of Touka and another ghoul who worked at Anteiku, Renji, he begins to train. Renji says he doesn't really have any natural born strength and can't really fight all that well, but he's a pro at dodging and being evasive.

Later, Touka and Kaneki go searching for Hinami, who goes missing. Kaneki ends up facing off with Amon, the fight goes back and forth for a little until Kaneki begins to lose control and starts beating Amon. Kaneki, crying, as he could of then easily finished off Amon let him go. He told him to run because he didn't want to eat him, because he didn't want to not be human anymore. Amon was shaken and confused, but he got away. Touka and Hinami ended up killing Mado while this was happening. As they were all walking back together, Kaneki said to himself that this world is wrong.

The story further progresses to the point where Kaneki has been kidnapped by a group of ghouls known as the Algori. This at the start is largely unknown, but it was because they believed he had some connection to Rize.

Pretty much up until this point the anime mostly followed the manga. It all differs here a little bit, but I think it's significant enough. I'll be telling this, as well as the rest of this entry from the view point of the manga.

Kaneki befriends a few underlings in the Algori tree, who were all basically forced to join. They plan to escape, but they're caught and captured. Kaneki decides to try and strike a deal asking that if he gives himself up since he was the one they wanted, that they would let him go. Jason, one of the higher ups in the Algori agrees to this.

Jason is shown to be a sick and twisted individual, being extremely sadist. And when he learnt that Kaneki had extraordinary regenerative abilities even for a ghoul, he took and used him as his torture doll.

For days Kaneki was tortured almost non stop by Jason. His fingers, fingernails and toes were all removed over and over. Jason would make Kaneki fill up multiple buckets of blood and have him count backwards from a thousand by seven to keep him sane, so he would be aware of every bit of torture that happened to him. There was even a moment where Jason put a centipede in Kanekis ear. The sign of a centipede then later forshadowed some bad event for Kaneki later on in the manga.

Meanwhile as this was happening, Anteiku, along with the CCG, were launching an attack on the Algori hideout.

To further break Kaneki down Jason decides to not only torture Kaneki physically but mentally as well. He brought in a mother and a son before Kaneki. These two were apart of the group that Kaneki was trying to escape with. The group Jason promised to let go. He then told Kaneki he had a choice, "who dies?" He had to choose if the son or the mom was going to die. Kaneki, couldn't choose either one. Despite the mother pleading for her to choose her to die. So, Jason killed both of them in front of him.

During this time, Kaneki has slowly been losing his grip on reality. In between torture sessions he'd speak with Rize in his head. And she'd constantly pester him, saying it was his fault that this was happening. That his lack of strength and failure to act was why the two died. She also challenged his idea of his mom and her ideals. Kanekis mom had always told him that it was better to be hurt yourself, than to hurt others. An ideal that Kaneki kept with him until Rize broke it. Eventually, Kaneki broke and was furious with his dead mother. That she had chosen to work herself to death to help pay her auntie's debt rather than care for Kaneki. When asked by Rize if that meant even if his aunty was to die, Kaneki responded tearfully "If that's what it takes." With this, Kaneki chose to accept her power and the fact that he was now a ghoul. During this time as well, his hair had slowly started to turn white. This is a syndrome that's pretty much classed as fictional, but it's called Marie Antoinette Syndrome, where the person after suffering abnormal amounts of stress has their hair turn white. It's based off the old folklore that Marie Antoinette's hair turned white before her execution.

Kaneki ends up beating Jason, cannibalises him, and breaks free. I've gone pretty in detail with the first part of Tokyo Ghoul, but don't worry I won't do that with the rest.

Kaneki then leaves Anteiku and forms his own group. He finds out a lot of stuff and that the doctor who operated on him purposefully turned him into a half ghoul as an experiment. It's then shown that there are other half ghouls, however Kaneki is praised as his "prize experiment".

Kaneki at this point in the story has changed as well, while to his friends he's still pretty similar to the old Kaneki, being nice and sympathetic. He's cold and heartless to pretty much everyone else. He no longer has any real problem with killing anyone.

Anteiku is found out to be a hiding place for ghouls, and it is found out that the owner of Anteiku, Yoshimura, was once a strong and feared ghoul known as the Owl. Because of this a large scale attack is launched on Anteiku by the CCG. Touka and Hinami are evacuated and have Renji there protecting them. Meanwhile two other employees of Anteiku, as well as Yoshimura himself stay behind. I can't remember the two employees names, but I can remember their ghoul names. "The Black Dobberman" and "The Devil Ape". Kaneki, tells Nishki who he's now somewhat befriended, that he's "Tired of not being able to do a thing." Runs into the siege of Anteiku.

He manages to rescue the two employees, but becomes wounded after a fight with Amon. He is unable to save Yoshimura, and passes out. When he awakes he sees Hide, who started working as errand boy and later solider for the CCG. He reveals to Kaneki that he's known since his fight with Nishiki that Kaneki was a ghoul, and that he didn't care that he was a ghoul. That he just wanted to go home. Hide, along with Kaneki is badly hurt. Kaneki blacks out again and the finds himself walking alone away from where he was. It is insinuated that he ate Hide.

Kaneki then faces off with Arima, the White Reaper of the CCG. An unbeaten opponent that almost nobody has ever escaped. Kaneki faces off with Arima, and in a almost totally one sided battle loses.

Before we get to the next part of the story I'd like to go over how Kaneki has evolved and grown as a person. He went from a shy timid boy who despite his short comings wanted to grow stronger so he could protect those around them. After he was tortured by Jason his personality drastically changed, well for the most part he was still kind to his group, but otherwise to other people he was cold and even at times crazy and sadistic. In the end he ended up going into a fight he didn't really have a chance of winning, and you could say that besides saving the two other Anteiku members who were content with dying to "atone for their sins" his sacrifice didn't really mean anything.

It's presumed he's dead until we find out later that Kaneki was taken in by the CCG and pretty much had his memory wiped. He went wild in his holding cell shrieking and crying because of horrific nightmares and repeatedly scratched his eyes out, through this (if I remember correctly) the CCG, more specifically Arima, who would visit him in his cell, slowly changed his identity to Haise Sasike.

Haise was a completely split personality from Kaneki, while you could say that Haise was pretty nice to his own personal group that he had in the CCG much like Kaneki was, they were pretty much two totally different identities.

Haise knew he was a ghoul, and he lead a experimental team of genetically engineered ghouls called the Quinx Squad, or "QS" for short. These were people who had quinque, weapons made from ghoul's kagune, built into them. They weren't as strong as normal ghouls but their training at the CCG would level the field against normal ghouls.

Haise never really asked any questions about his past until he began to run into people who used to know him as Kaneki.

Haise would have these occasional moments during fights where he would lose control of himself and his inner ghoul would surface. With this, the Kaneki personality would try to break free telling Haise that he is weak and can't do anything without Kaneki's power.

Much later towards the end of Haise, he regains all of his memories and fighting prowess, defeating a top tier ghoul named The Owl, the same name that the manager of Anteiku had.

For awhile rather then go back to being Kaneki, he keeps on being Haise convincing himself that he's not that person anymore. Going as far as to exterminate other ghouls as a CCG operative. He is then nicknamed "The Black Reaper of the CCG".

However he isn't able to fool himself forever, and during a raid on a prison for ghouls he rescues Hinami, who has been kept there for some time. Kaneki knows his mentor Arima is also at the prison, and that fighting him will likely mean his end. Still, he goes ahead anyway fully prepared to die so Hinami can get away. You could say Kaneki was almost suicidal at this point. In his head he had now turned his back on everyone who was close to him, both ghoul and human. He didn't have that much of a will to go on anymore.

That is until he sees Touka there in the prison. Unbeknownst to each other, Touka and other members of Anteiku had planned to rescue Hinami during the raid. It's pretty clear Kaneki loves Touka at this point, I mean even as Haise despite not knowing her he found himself strangely drawn to her. He even found himself crying one time by looking at her, but he never knew why. Before Kaneki went to depart to fight Arima, Touka said this to Kaneki "I'll see you later, okay?" I can't remember what Kaneki said to her, if he said anything at all. But I remember him saying to himself that it was cruel of her to say that. He wanted to die, but he couldn't go in there dying. He wanted to live, for her. "It isn't stylish, but live."

During the fight with Arima they both noticed they were holding back, and when Arima asked Kaneki if he really had no intention of actually killing him, Arima decided to kill himself, because like Kaneki, he was going into the fight to die as well. Arima basically reveals to Kaneki that he was extremely ill and was going to die anyway, as well as some secrets about the CCG. Primarily that at the very top of the organization is run by ghouls. Yeah, crazy plot twist. "The one who wished for death more then anyone else, was the Grim Reaper himself."

With the help of some of Arimas subordinates, Kaneki managed to escape.

I'm going to fast forward a lot, but after this Kaneki returns to his old self. He's kind to his people, but eventually openly states that he doesn't care about protecting anybody who isn't his own. He forms his own group called Goat, which he named after an authors book. He also now called himself The One Eyed King, and fought against the CCG.

Things slowly start going bad for Kaneki however. Since he isn't a full ghoul, the amount of regenerating his body has done has taken a toll on his life span, and it becomes predicted that at the rate he was going he was going to die very young. Partnered with this, his arm wasn't properly healing. He had to mange his now large following in secret as they were now being hunted down at an alarming rate.

The best thing Kaneki experiences during these events, is that him and Touka both come to an understanding that they love each other dearly. They have sex, both of them were virgins and eventually end up getting married. It then is revealed that Touka is now pregnant with Kaneki's child.

Of course, things get bad for Kaneki. Really bad, while he takes about half of his group away on a supply run he gets this feeling that something isn't right, so he returns back to base by himself to see that he was right and that they were under attack with half of their forces gone.

Kaneki manages to kill a lot of them, he has no idea where Touka is, is severely weakened due to the amount of fighting he's been doing recently and the regenerative strain on his body. Partnered with this, he then has to fight two high ranking CCG investigators wearing special armor built from kagune. One of them being dubbed the next Arima. Kaneki, loses the fight. He pretty much beats one, and had he been at full strength I'm sure he could of won, but he lost. His arms and legs were dismembered and he was taunted by those around him. He felt shame, not only that he lost but that he couldn't protect those around him. And again, Rize appeared to him much like she did when he was being tortured and taunted him as well. Saying that this was his fault, since he thought he was going to be a brave hero and rush in and save everyone all by himself.

Just when Kaneki is about to give up, he thinks of Touka and his unborn child. He remembered his reason for living, Touka. He decided he wanted to live for Touka, to protect her. When one of the CCG investigators leans down face to face with Kaneki to further taunt him, Kaneki bites the man in the face and slowly goes on a rampage, despite being legless and armless.

This however went according to plan with the new leader of the CCG, who set Kaneki up to eat these specific investigators who had been tampered with, which lead to Kaneki growing into a massive centipede like monster. This becomes the final arch of Tokyo Ghoul.

I won't go over what happened really, but with a combined effort of ghouls and humans combing forces they manage to take it down and save Kaneki. People die, because in this form Kaneki ate so many people and ghouls he gained back his health. The world started working towards a ghoul and human co existence.

I've done a pretty poor job on explaining the events that happened in Tokyo Ghoul. I've missed out a bunch of events and important characters so it probably sounds very confusing, but I'll try and finish this off.

Kaneki to me is a very relateable character, I like that he is a kind person through and through, although a lot of who he is kind to changes quite a bit after all the events that happened to him.

I like that even though he becomes strong, he isn't invincible and actually loses some of his fights.

I think it's beautiful that he wants to protect those he cares about, especially Touka.

In the end I'd say Tokyo Ghoul is by far one of my favorite series. I can't say it's my favorite because I genuinely don't think I have a favorite, but I definitely like it a lot.