Kaneki Ken is the protagonist of author Ishida Sui's Tokyo Ghoul series. Starting his journey as a human, Kaneki's life is turned upside-down when meeting with a girl ghoul named Rize leads to him becoming a one-eyed ghoul. With no place to belong to and a constant thirst for his own kind, Kaneki's life is full of struggles until he meets people, both human and ghoul, who he can depend upon.
Over the years, Kaneki has assumed many personas and as such, there's a lot of stuff about him that fans missed. Here are 10 things about Kaneki that you probably didn't know.
10 Kaneki's Gentle Nature
Almost all Tokyo Ghoul fans know that Kaneki possesses a gentle soul and rarely ever harms another person unless forced to do so, but few know the reason behind it.
Kaneki has always been afraid of being alone, and the fact that he'll go back to having nobody if he hurts people around him haunts him until a significant period of time. Even when Kaneki has a change of persona, he tries to protect everyone by himself, primarily because they mean a lot to him, but also because he never wants to face the trauma of being alone ever again.
9 Kaneki's Hair
Over the course of the Tokyo Ghoul series, Kaneki's hair has changed its color often. Different people attribute its change of color to different things, and a lot of it has to do with temporary melanin production due to his unstable Rc cell activity.
More than that, this abrupt change is symbolic for the author of the series. Kaneki's initial transformation from a black-haired person to one with white hair symbolizes his mental progression. It only takes place when Kaneki embraces his ghoul side and allows it to cannibalize on his human side, symbolically speaking, to break free of Jason's torture.
8 Kaneki and Haise
After fighting against the White Reaper of the CCG for the first time, Kaneki is completely annihilated and is then turned into a CCG investigator by Arima. Bearing the name of Haise Sasaki, Kaneki leads the Quinx Squad, which he develops a close bond to.
Although unknown at the time, there was always a link between Kaneki and Haise. For example, the name Kaneki means "gold tree," while Sasaki literally translates to "Helpful Wood," bridging the two personas while also providing clues about Haise's identity at the same time.
7 Kaneki's Secrets
Being the reserved person that he is, Kaneki doesn't often let those around him know what he's truly thinking. However, it is actually pretty easy to figure out if he's hiding something or not. Whenever Kaneki is hiding something, he has a habit of touching his chin with his left hand, albeit subconsciously.
Even after he became Haise Sasaki, Kaneki's habit stuck to him. Throughout the series, this has been pointed out by a lot of people, especially those who know him very well, such as Hideyoshi Nagachika, and Touka Kirishima.
6 Kaneki's Father
Contrary to the once-popular belief that Kaneki's father would eventually appear, Ishida Sui never drew his father in the entire series. According to Kaneki, his father died when he was just four years old. As expected of a gentle person like Kaneki, he probably loved him quite a lot, but his mother didn't let him feel his absence.
Nonetheless, Kaneki often wonders what kind of a person his father was, as his memory of him is hazy. Over the years, Kaneki has slowly started to forget his face but he does know his hobbies very well.
5 Kaneki and Books
Right from the very beginning of Tokyo Ghoul, Kaneki can be seen as an avid reader of books and novels. Even as he gets different personas, Kaneki's love for books always stays the same. Surprisingly, this habit of his comes from his memory of his father.
According to Kaneki, while he doesn't remember a lot about his father, he vividly remembers that he used to read a lot. So, he started reading books, and as it turns out, the feeling was awfully soothing to him. It is presumed that the smell of his father's old books could've possibly made him feel like he was in his presence, and before he knew it, he fell in love with reading.
4 Kaneki and Arima
Kaneki and Arima didn't start at the best of terms. In fact, the first time they met, Arima 'killed' Kaneki Ken. However, his relationship with Haise was very different. To Haise, Arima was his father figure. Even though he didn't remember much about his past, he knew that Arima and Akira were there for him.
Even when Haise got his memories back, he still had a soft spot for Arima, who he still considered a father figure. Ishida Sui had planned well for the two to be close, and surprisingly, they even share the same birthday!
3 What Kaneki Likes
Although Tokyo Ghoul is all about Kaneki's story, little light is thrown on what he likes and dislikes. This could be because Kaneki, as a convoluted character, was still trying to understand himself throughout the series. From what little we know about his preferences, it's clear that Kaneki likes reading, as mentioned above.
Apart from his love of books, he also seems to enjoy language, as seen when he teaches Hinami. Kaneki also enjoys the company of intellectual women, which is likely why he was drawn to Rize at the Anteiku Coffee shop, and he also enjoys eating hamburgers.
2 Kaneki and Jason
In the first part of Tokyo Ghoul, Kaneki undergoes severe torture at the hands of Jason of the White Suits. The unbearable pain caused him to accept his ghoul side since that was the only way he could've been saved. After managing to break free, it is implied that Kaneki Ken eats Jason, especially in the anime.
However, Kaneki's intention was just to eat his Kagune. Since Kaneki didn't have much to do with Jason, he was left to die right there as Kaneki made his way out.
1 Kaneki's Evolution
As a character, Kaneki Ken's mental progression is one of the best qualities of both himself and the manga. At the beginning of the story, Kaneki realizes that the world is full of atrocities caused by both humans and ghouls. Initially, he blames the world for turning him into a Ghoul.
However, towards the end, Kaneki's train of thought evolves to a point where he realizes that everyone is the protagonist of their own journey. Everyone steals and protects for their own benefit. The world isn't what's wrong; it just is. At the end of the day, if he had a choice, he would still choose to strive like he always has been, no matter what.