This will have spoilers so if you haven’t watched this or are watching it, please stop reading now.
Today we will be discussing my thoughts on Tokyo Ghoul. So, to give a little summary or reminder, this anime is about a boy named Ken Kaneki who goes to a coffee shop and sees a girl that he thinks is cute. When he goes up to her, they realize that they both like the same author and decide to go on a date. On the way back from the date, she asks him to walk her home and ends up trying to eat him since she is a ghoul and ghouls can only eat humans. But, they happen to be near a train station, and something falls on them and crushes them. Rize doesn’t survive, but is on the brink of death, so they do a transplant and place some of her organs into Kaneki’s body.
To give a little background about Rize, she is one of the strongest ghouls to ever exist and is able to heal wounds and regenerate cells. For example, if she lost her arm, she was able to create new cells that would transform into an arm. She was nicknamed “binge eater” because she is very powerful. After the transplant, Kaneki becomes a one-eyed ghoul, which is extremely rare and much stronger than a typical ghoul. One-eyed ghouls are more powerful than two-eyed ghouls. The chances of a ghoul and a human having a child survive are so low that they have better odds if they are “scientifically” made. There isn’t really a reason to why this is, but the one eye-ghouls that are shown on the show have proven to the most powerful. The animation is mostly about how he deals with the fact that he’s become a ghoul and what he decides to do about it.
A huge issue in society is the constant war between humans and ghouls. The humans have the “CCG”, a group of people that are trained in how to hunt ghouls using quinque. The ghouls refer to this group as the doves. The quinque is made from a Ghouls Kagune. In order to be able to have one of these, they must first kill a ghoul. The weapon they use is what the quinque comes out to be. It is quite awful the way they “earn” these items and sadly, the more they kill ghouls and the higher rank they are, the stronger the quinque is.
Ken Kaneki is both human and ghoul, so he struggles to figure out where he truly fits in. He doesn’t tell his best friend Hide about the situation and has a lot of internal conflict within himself. Even though we know Hide would have been extremely supportive and acceptive of this, Kaneki doesn’t reveal his secret until much later in the show. It breaks my heart that Kaneki wasn’t able to open up to Hide. I think it would have helped Kaneki to not go off-path for awhile when he had his major downfall.
I think Kaneki has really wonderful character development, because he shows a lot of growth when coming to terms with becoming a ghoul, but also with his past. He learns to overcome the trauma he’s experienced throughout his life, and in the end, finds himself and accepts that he is a ghoul but can still find a way into both the human and ghoul worlds. He learns that it’s ok to lean on others and to not always be strong. I think it’s a really important lesson because sometimes, we try so hard to always be at our best, but forget that we aren’t meant to be perfect all of the time. Sometimes, we have to ask for help before we can get to that place.
Kaneki is truly a lovely character, because he is so caring, loving, inspirational and always tries his best to make the most of what’s happening. He isn’t afraid to fall down. He takes the times that he falls to get back up and come back stronger. I really find that hard to be able to do, so to be able to see that and know that if you set your mind to something, there is that chance. I found the anime so interesting and I binged watched most of it.
Another part of the anime I would like to talk about is Koutarou Amon’s character development and his understanding of the ghoul’s world.
Amon is very conflicted because of how he sees Kaneki try to save his life when Kaneki first became a ghoul. At first, Amon has tons of hatred towards ghouls and is also working with the best special investigator. Mado, Amon’s Special Investigator senior, set him up to learn to kill ghouls, and to have no mercy toward them. For a little more background about Mado, his lover was killed by the highest ranked ghoul named the Owl. He has resented ghouls a lot more since that happened and shares that hatred to the people he works with. Throughout the series, we see this internal conflict of trying to figure out how to feel and react. Kaneki shows him that there might be a way for ghouls and humans to come together. Although he continues to haunt ghouls, Kaneki and Amon have two more fights. On the third fight, Kaneki says again that he wishes that they didn’t have to fight, but because of their differences, they must.
In the end, Amon ends up dying, and we don’t really get any final words from him before he dies. We mostly get flashbacks of the fights from before. Although, he firmly believes even the ones that seem innocent are potential killers because Mado drove that idea so hard into his mind that he becomes who he once was but stronger.
When we thought Amon had died, he was somehow turned into a one-eye ghoul. He helps Kaneki out when he hits his roughest part, but Amon learns to accept what happened to him and that ghouls aren’t as bad as they seem after all. I think it’s a beautiful touch because in a way, it allows the two of them to finally be on the same side so they no longer have to fight for each other. It also helps Akria, Mado’s daughter, somewhat accept her mother and fathers’ death since they were both killed by ghouls. Though it was really Toka and Hinami that got her to fully accept ghouls, I think if the person she loved wasn’t a ghoul, she might not have finally learned to let go of her anger and been able to see the good side of ghouls. She sees that they have feelings as well and that they too just want to have some peace in the world.
I think overall, this anime is very eye opening and we learn that it’s important to hear all sides of the story, because we come from all different places. Despite this, we have something in our stories that others can relate to. I think it also shows the importance of finding yourself and not being afraid of asking for help. You shouldn’t be ashamed of your differences, because if your friends judge you for them, they aren’t truly your friends.