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Headscratchers / Tokyo Ghoul

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  • Here's a wild thought: it's just ludicrous to assume that Kaneki's dad doesn't have other relatives. So why, just why did Kaneki never go to one of them to find out how his dad was as a person? Let's be fair here, reading his books just doesn't cut it. (Then again, it's just like our dear Kaneki to stick his nose in a book instead of interacting with another living person.)
    • ...aaand I just answered my own question there, didn't I?
  • Did we ever find out who the second rabbit killing investigators was?
    • Actually we did. Check Chapter 143, we see Ayato sleeping clutching the black mask of the second rabbit.
  • With all the physical advantages Ghouls have over humans, it seems odd that humanity is the dominant species with Ghouls living in the shadows and fringes of society, in constant fear of their lives. The Anti-Ghoul technology like Quinques and RC scanners seem like post-Industrial science, so how is it that humanity has kept Ghouls as the oppressed group throughout history? It seems like their natural advantages would lend itself to them being the dominant species unless there is something significant holding them back that wasn't elaborated on in the series. (Lower birth rates than humans? The balance "V" has been maintaining? Whatever secret Dr. Kanou stumbled upon?)
    • Theory: In addition to low birth rates and conspiracies like V, there were probably ancient precursors to Quinques, like normal weapons coated with kakuhou fluid.
      • That theory seems to be Jossed by the latest chapter, as Akira states that prior to the invention of Quinque, humans used firearms against Ghouls to minimal affect. The invention of the Quinque changed the game considerably.
      • CCG was founded in the 1700's, and before that several smaller groups had figured out various low-tech ways of killing ghouls, but at extreme costs of life (the main effective way....stabbing them through the eyes with swords to liquify their brains and then packing their skulls with rocks to prevent their brains from recovering and burying them till they starved to death, after having a couple dozen people dog-pile on top of them).
      • CCG was founded in 1890. If we think of it like natural predator-prey relationships, there were probably very few ghouls before the 19th Century, mostly scavengers. But human population began to grow exponentially with the Industrial Revolution. Then, most likely, the ghoul population also ballooned. And humans felt more threatened, driving them to organize more efficiently when they finally had technology to reduce casualties while fighting ghouls.
      • Myths often describe ghouls as scavengers or grave robbers. Perhaps in the past, most ghouls got their food from corpses, like the ghouls at Anteiku, especially when wars and illness made corpses much easier to find. Once technology and medicine made the death rate and average life span higher, more and more ghouls then resorted to killing people to feed themselves.
  • What is it about the One-Eyed Owl that makes its very existence a threat to "V"? Kaneki, an artificial hybrid, doesn't seem to be considered a threat in the same way that a naturally-occurring one does.
    • Wasn’t the One-Eyed Owl the first of the species they became aware of? I don’t recall if V even knows about Kaneki's existence. I just imagined they considered the One-Eyed Owl a threat because it was one of the first One-Eyed ghouls, and they already knew the whole story about that specific ghoul's mother and all.
    • :re seems to suggest that One-Eyes are uncontrolled and therefore undesirable competition for the Washuu's hybrids.
  • How exactly are Rankings determined for Ghouls? Is it based solely on how many Investigators they've killed, or are other things considered such as number of victims? Rize is ranked fairly low, though seems to be more powerful than Shachi based on his comments about her.
    • SSS: One-Eyed Owl, Owl (Yoshimura)
    • SS: Centipede (Kaneki), Shachi, Black Dog (Irimi), Priest (Donato Porpora)
    • S: Naki, Yamori, Binge Eater (Rize), Bin Brothers, Gourmet (Tsukiyama), Orochi
    • A: Torso
    • The rankings are likely based on a ghoul's combat capabilities, but are limited by what the CCG is actually AWARE of. The Owls are SSS rank because they managed to attack well-defended CCG installations and survive against overwhelming opposition. Rize is not well known to the CCG, and likely never engaged investigators of Special or Associate Special Class, so they have no idea how powerful she truly is.
  • So it's entirely possible I'm an idiot, but I think that there's an obvious solution to the ghoul problem that isn't really addressed. Since the 1960s, scientists have had access to several "immortal" human cells. They're human cell cultures that reproduce infinitely,quickly and cheaply. Given that this would provide an ethical food source for ghouls, why hasn't anyone tried that as opposed to the current extermination doctrine? Is there a lore problem I'm not aware of here or is this just one of the things that the author had to ignore to make the story work?
    • The problem with humans providing ghouls with food is that they would probably ask ghouls to sign up, and I don't think any ghouls would risk their lives by telling the government (with ghoul-killing technology) that they're a ghoul for food that they have no guarantee is safe and not poisoned.
    • Also, ghouls specifically need RC cells. It's unknown what becomes of ordinary cells when eaten by a ghoul (or, for that matter, the clothing and other bits they seem to swallow on a regular basis?!) or whether RC cells can be reproduced in-universe.
  • Kaneki is a college student with no known source of income until he starts working part-time at Anteiku, and seemingly estranged from his abusive relatives. So how does he afford an apartment in Tokyo with multiple rooms, when other apartments shown in the series are realistically small and humble?
    • His mother's life insurance money went into a trust that his aunt pays his living expenses out of, and he received the rest once he came of age, which is why he moved out.
    • For that matter, how does the average ghoul make any money? We do know that a few ghouls are investors, artists or engaged in other means of generating income. But that's only a few and it's implied that being able to blend into human society is rare, so how do the majority of unaffiliated and/or uneducated ghouls support themselves?
      • Well, it's not like the average ghoul really needs much money. They can get food by killing; shelter must be good, but their species seem resistant and strong enough that they'd be able to, say, live in an abandoned building without fearing for their lives (as in, the risk of them getting killed especially by humans is rather low). They don't blend, they just live on the underground. Also most of them seem to pass their lives in gangs, fighting for food or just for the sake of fighting. These groups seem to have place to stay, so that's covered.
  • Since he's so gentle and cannot even use his kagune, how the hell did Banjou make it to adulthood? It doesn't seem like he's capable of hunting for himself, so who was taking care of him all that time?
    • I remember something about ghouls being able to eat recently deceased bodies. Maybe that's how he ate. He also probably had parents at some point, maybe.
  • It seems like the CCG isn't doing all it can to help stop ghouls or protect the public. Why? It would seem relatively easy to advertise in the media, publish lists of precautions, maybe even sell quinque knives for self defense if they have enough Kakuhou. Judging by the fact that Kaneki and Hide didn't even know what a ghoul looked like in Chapter 1 and the Occult Club thinking Kaneki was a ghoul but not reporting him, it seems that ghouls aren't taken that seriously. Some of the points taken from here.
    • Maybe it's because the area where the story takes place (20th Ward IIRC) isn't really an area that has lots of ghoul problems. There don't seem to be that many dangerous ghouls there, at least until Rize showed up and the operation on Kaneki. We don't really see how the other Wards respond to the Ghoul threat. Although I doubt the CCG is going to hand out quinque since they seem to need all the weapons they have and would want to try and improve the tech they already have.
    • It should be pointed out Ghouls looks just like humans till they use their Kagune, so it's hard to tell who's a ghoul or not. Also giving out quinque to normal humans in the hopes of defending against a ghoul is like giving a gun to an untrained civilian going against a skilled sniper with the most up to date guns.
    • The CCG may have feared inducing a mass hysteria in the citizen populace if they upped their exposure of ghouls. Considering that ghouls look and act like regular people, it would be pretty easy for normal humans to get mistaken for ghouls by panicking civilians, resulting in them getting targeting by anti-ghoul groups and killed. Conversely, there's also the possibility of ghoul hunting groups formed by civilians trying to take down real ghouls and getting slaughtered.
  • A major headscratcher remains from the first arc of the story. Kaneki spent weeks in the hospital. Excluding Kanou and the nurse, why didn't anyone notice he wasn't eating in that time?
    • Kanou is clearly very wealthy and influential, and/or has powerful backers. This would have allowed him to isolate Kaneki and ensure that only Kanou or staff loyal to him were involved in his care. Also extends to the surgery itself, which would have been impossible to pass off as a normal organ transplant.
  • It may be moot but I still wonder what Hide's plan was in the underground. As noted above on this page, he'd have known where Arima was. But he told Kaneki to fight with all he had one more time. Was Hide going to lead him right to Arima, hoping Kaneki could actually win against CCG's "God of Death"?
    • It's not clear he knew if Arima was there or not. Plus Kaneki was so out of it that he wouldn't know if Hide told him anyway.
    • From the way he phrased it, and Kaneki's later reflections on the event, it seems pretty clear that Hide wanted Kaneki to show Arima his worth in the hopes that Arima would then potentially decide not to kill him. In other words, no, Hide did not think Kaneki could win, but instead wanted him to impress Arima enough for the latter to spare his life.
  • What do baby ghouls eat? Are they born with teeth, or do their parents just feed them liquefied flesh, or blood?
    • Coffee, obviously. Anyway, seriously: I think it’s not too crazy to assume they can drink milk in their first year if it’s breast milk from a female Ghoul. Then the parents just start feeding them minced human meat with blood or something similarly easy to swallow. Wouldn’t be too far-off to assume baby Ghouls also grow teeth a bit earlier than your average baby, as well.
  • Have the kanji in Hinami's kagune been translated? The information isn't on the TG wiki, here or in forums as far as I've found.
  • If Ghoul's are durable enough that a knife won't hurt them, how did Uta get tattoos?
    • Perhaps he managed to obtain a tattooing needle made from Quinque steel?
    • I'd imagine he injects himself with the RC suppressant that Yamori had and then gets himself inked up.
  • If Kaneki has been in denial this whole time about his mother beating him, why would he be reading something like "Black Goat's Egg", which is explicitly about violent impulses passed from mother to son?
    • He enjoys the author's works in general, and he could subconsciously see the connection. You don't have to only read things you have experienced.
  • Is it possible that some ghouls like Eto, Takizawa, and Kanae almost cannot be killed anymore? They have all undergone astonishing feats of regeneration. It even seems as if Noro's body has developed to the point where it is a constantly active kagune, allowing him to warp his shape in bizarre ways. Given the clarification in :re on the "RC channels" that develop to fill in damage, it does seem feasible that a ghoul who has managed to survive enough damage may be... essentially immortal.
    • All superhuman feats Ghouls can possess, such as their strength, tough skin and regeneration depend on their RC cell levels. Use of a kagune, losing blood, suffering wounds and regenerating them all presumably drain these RC levels, which forces a Ghoul to eat and rest to restore them. Once RC levels reach a critical point, abilities such as regeneration slow down or stop working. We see this with Shirazu who likely drained his RC supply during his final assault on Noro, thus lacking the resources to recover from a severe injury before loss of blood got to him. Stronger ghouls, like mentioned, are essentially semi-invulnerable while their RC levels are stable, but become increasingly vulnerable too if pressured enough.
  • What in the everliving hell has Sasaki been eating while with the CCG?
    • Probably whatever the Ghouls in Cochlea eat. It could be remains that the CCG orders somehow.
  • Mutsuki wishes to be seen as a man but was born a female and so far as we know hasn't had a sex change operation so what gender is Mutsuki?
    • Male. Pre-op trans people are still the gender they identify.
      • Mutsuki is not transgender; he explicitly states in the first few chapters of :re that he has no feeling of being a man and lives as one solely to evade the male gaze. That makes him gender non-conforming but not trans.
      • Where does he say that. He says he's uncomfortable with the male gaze, but uses male pronouns and never says he has no feelings of being a man.
    • It's kind of confusing. To be more accurate Mutsuki thinks in chapter 13 "It's not that I think like a man but...I don't like the gaze of a male." While Mutsuki first refers to themselves with masculine pronouns and is revealed to use the men's restroom as well as wearing a binder with clips in chapter 3/4 all the way up to chapter 114 where it looks like they are still wearing one when they undress to do something intimate to Uta/Sasaki who they have mutilated and are sitting atop of while referring to themselves as being "almost embarrassingly female". Then there's how following chapter 114 when they meet Kaneki at re they are so deranged by Kaneki's refusal to return to the CCG to be with them they disassociate and switch rapidly back in forth between female and male pronouns. And then other characters start to refer to them as Mutsuki rather than he/she and they refer to themselves with gender neutral pronouns when talking to Urie in chapter 126.
  • What is Aogiri's goal even? I read that they wanted to expand Ghoul Rights in the WMG page, but how are they trying to accomplish that? Do they wanna take over humanity, or are they just causing chaos for the Evulz? I know they seem to wanna take out CCG first, but what's their plan after that?
    • Going by Eto's vague monologues I have interpreted it to be "nearly take over humanity" disguised as "expand Ghoul Rights". You can't really do much for Ghouls without taking over the world, since their very existence is dangerous to humans; they can't eat anything else, certainly won't survive just on coffee, and most of them turn into straight-up sadistic, often cannibalistic serial killers, just because that's their nature (which is why they just have to cause chaos as means to an end; Aogiri is mostly made of chaotic killers, why not at least keep them in check for the ghoul's greater good?). But they can't also kill every human in the world since then they'd have to start eating themselves, so I'm guessing they must have some plan about co-existing with them. Without CCG they certainly would have much more autonomy and could walk around more freely. Perhaps next step would be turning Aogiri into an official organization, able to actually discuss ghoul matters with the government without any CCG agents trying to blow their heads off. Or maybe they'd infiltrate the government straight away and start calling the shots.
    • In the original series, Nico claimed that Tatara told him that the goal of Aogiri was to "smoke out a liar". With the revelation of the Washuu clan being both conspirators with V and Ghouls themselves, this statement could be interpreted in the following matter: they want to bring down the CCG and expose V to the world.
  • Something I've always wondered about this story is that if ghouls can eat cooked human flesh or does it have to be raw? I'm just curious.
    • I don't know if they actually can eat it cooked, but they definitely seem to prefer it raw; they drink the blood that comes from the bodies they hunt as well. In the manga, when a human mother pregnant with a half-ghoul child eats human meat in order to keep the fetus alive, she eats it raw, and I can't imagine a reason she wouldn't cook it. It could be a perpetuated preference, such as us eating cooked meat because it's safer. Technically we can eat it raw too (carnivores in the wild eat it all the time, after all), it's just a lot more unsafe. It could be the reverse for ghouls, and I can't see a reason why cooked meat be unsafe for a ghoul's organism if raw meat isn't (then again, it's of course a fictional species so this is all my speculation).
    • They can. But it's probably only the fussy, privileged ones who do. (Remember the teppan at the ghoul restaurant.) Most ghouls wouldn't have the luxuries of time and kitchens to cook in. And I suppose most would feel it's pointless even if, like Anteiku staff, they do have the means.
  • Heat also destroys cells and nutrients, which is why fresh fruits and vegetables are considered healthier than cooked ones. Ghouls that cooked their meat as opposed to raw would also be getting rid of the RC cells they need and would presumably need to eat more meat to get more nutrients
  • Is there a reason why so many ghouls choose to feed on live, innocent human beings instead of picking other options? Not unlike the case in True Blood, there are other viable options than "eat the first man, woman, or even child that you set eyes on, such as murderers, rapists, psychopaths, child molesters, etc. In addition to being the less immoral option, it'd also be quite a bit safer, as these types wouldn't be missed by anyone but their closest loved ones, supposing they have any. Then, there's always the option of cadavers, assuming the meat doesn't need to be farm-fresh.
    • Whether it's because they grow up in a world where most humans call them monsters or because they have a predator mentality (after all, they are physically much stronger than their "prey" and they can only eat that one prey), most ghouls just turn out to be real psychos who probably prefer to torture innocents. And we're not sure on how much meat a ghoul needs to stay satisfied for a while; if one body won't get them through a week, it'll be hard for them to find murderers, maniacs and sexual predators every single week depending on where they live. And what if they kill something that didn't do anything wrong, by accident? Even the government does it, and they can actually investigate the stuff. The nice Ghouls in the series usually do eat cadavers, and I'm 50% sure that in the TG prototype where Kaneki was a ghoul, he did only feed on bad people.
    • Oh, I understand. That makes a bit more sense now.
    • Also, it takes a lot more work to be a "vegetarian" ghoul. Bodies unclaimed by police and hospitals are rare enough that they have to be shared so they don't go to waste, and few wards have as many ghouls as the 11th to do something like a food processing line. And there's taking the time to find bodies in the first place. Fueguchi-san was dangerously optimistic to think that she, a hunted single ghoul with a child, could do it herself.
  • At the beginning, what was stopping Kaneki from suing Dr. Kanou? What the doc was doing was clearly malpractice, and it would've been pretty easy to prove in court that Kaneki had taken on Ghoul-like traits after the operation. Even if Ghouls are super-shunned by humanity, surely this incident would be world news, and it'd be an open-and-shut case with Kaneki getting mountains of cash for what happened to him, and Dr. Kanou would be stripped of his medical license for life and kept under surveillance, ensuring he doesn't do any funny business again. In other words, his shady surgery and his aspirations can come crashing down should someone so much as take legal action against him. (I started watching this on Toonami, so I've only seen the first episode, but I looked around to see if there's any explanation on how the doc can perform an operation straight out of The Golden Age of Comic Books and get away with it, but I couldn't find any explanation on how he's legally protected.)
    • Ghouls aren't just shunned. They're exterminated as soon as they are identified as Ghouls. No lawyer would take the case, and even if they did, it's likely Kaneki would either be placed in the prison for Ghouls or killed.
    • Still, it seems Dr. Kanou was taking a big risk by letting Kaneki walk free after the surgery. Even if Kaneki didnt turn himself into the CCG once his ghoul traits started emerging, what if he ended up attacking someone out of hunger or manifesting his kagune in public? And if the CCG did some background research on Kaneki, they'd know that he was operated on by Kanou, especially since the operation was public news. Given that there's no way that someone could operate on a ghoul without knowing he was one and not reporting a ghoul is considering, it seems like Kanou should have been expecting the CCG to come on his doorstep
  • It seems like there'd be an easy way to weed out ghouls: try to prick their flesh with a needle. So how is it that it's so easy for ghouls to blend into human society?
    • Just as easy it is for a normal person to disappear in a crowd of people without anyone learning of their existence at all. People most of the time never bother looking at other people, being occupied by t heir own personal "bubbles" that's their lives. A ghoul could easily pass for a person in such a environment, like hiding a tree in the woods.
  • Why, why, why is every LGBTQ+ character a villain?! Big Mama and Uta are slavers. Tsukiyama just happened to be reformed but is a hell of an abuser to begin. Mutsuki became a full-blown stalker and serial killer. Eto is... likely the most unhinged character out of all. Nico is in the villainous chessmaster Pierrot. Furuta is..... Furuta. Matsuri is relatively benign but still a Washuu, and as obsessed with Urie as Tsukiyama is with Kaneki. And Kaneki being bi is more Epileptic Trees than canon. (Straight men aren't incapable of admiring other men.) Etc., etc., etc. Seriously, in this world of Grey and Gray Morality, the LGBTQ+ are the only group to consistently spawn outright evil.
    • Kinda disagree on Tsukiyama since he's pretty much overall characterized as one of the good guys after his reform; he had a human friend whom he liked, and was respected by his close family. I mean, Nishiki killed people as well, which qualifies him as a grey character, and they're on the same side as Kaneki now. Anyways, though I don't have an answer to this headscratcher, serious question: are Eto and Furuta LGBTQ+? I only remember Eto showing an interest in two characters, Kaneki and Karen, and it only seemed romantic if you take what she says at value (it felt more like In Love with Your Carnage than anything), and Furuta only likes Rize, right? Don't remember any of the two having gender-related storylines either.
    • Furuta was described somewhere as crushing on Kaneki but I suppose it might have been WMG. Eto picks up Karen because she's weak from indecision and therefore easily manipulated, so it's definitely not In Love with Your Carnage. Why would In Love with Your Carnage or.... In Love With Your Weakness make Eto's seductive toying with Karen non-homosexual, though? ILWYC and sexuality aren't mutually exclusive. Regarding Tsukiyama, his development doesn't erase his history.
    • "ILWYC and sexuality aren't mutually exclusive" Nor mutually inclusive either. Not everyone read "Kaneki, I looove you~" as confirmation that she has a sexual or romantic interest in him either (I certainly didn't), and I didn't do the same for Karen. I'd say it's up for interpretation on both accounts. Also, Tsukiyama's development doesn't erase his history certainly and it cements as an overall bad person, but it does take him out of the villain list (which was your initial argument) to the Anti-Villain area since he is able to show empathy for other people + his goals are the same as Kaneki's and he's actively helping him. But well, agree to disagree on both accounts I guess, and anyway I have no arguments for Matsuri, Nico or Mutsuki. There's definitely a disparity going on in the manga. Edit: Actually, thinking now that Tsukiyama most definitely started as a villain and was definitely portrayed as bisexual even from that time, and taking the pattern of the other queer characters in consideration, I can see the point you're making, so I'm giving you that one.
    • I think the fact that characters have reformed yet still retained their LGBTQ+ status already saves things. And the character's sexualities are not the cause of their actions. Mutsuki is trans yet was still portrayed as a sweet, sympathetic guy. At least, one side of his was. He just got dealt a really bad hand as a child and now as an adult, something that happens to most everyone, causing him to go mad. Heck, him constantly being preyed on by depraved characters that is eerily reminiscent of hate crimes is meant to to be met with disgust. Mutsuki is a victim that has caused him to go down the same tragic route Kaneki did. Anyone has the capacity to be affected that way. Matsuri Washuu is the nicest of the clan, and the only one to reform too, especially after his feelings for Urie are revealed. As for Tsukiyama, true, he is portrayed as extremely flamboyant. But let's not forget that he did not have feelings for Kaneki initially as a villain. He wanted to eat him. He considered him a rare delicacy. It was only afterwards when he joined his side that he began to develop actual feelings, and he has since matured and bettered himself. Kaneki himself even noted that Tsukiyama was handsome and blushed a lot around him. Tsukiyama's flamboyancy is for humourous purposes and shows how theatrical he is. At least, that's how I've been seeing it. Every character in the story is flawed, yet if they're not completely evil, then they still have their good points. The gender or sexuality doesn't matter in this. The morality does. Again, just how I see it. Side note: Not confirmed but I feel it's pretty obvious that Saiko and Hsiao have a thing for each other.
  • Where might the chin/cheek-touching tic have actually come from? The earliest, in-universe, examples are Kaneki's mom doing it in a flashback and Hide doing it right when he met Kaneki. How might the same tic have showed up independently in two people who, as far as we know, had no contact? Or did they? Or maybe they had a mutual connection with the originator?
  • I get that the Dragon is formed from Kaneki eating the Oggai but why are there multiple forms of the Dragon in each ward? And why do they survive Kaneki being retrieved? And why is Rize brought back by this? And why do they spawn the poison-emitting monsters? Basically, everything about the Dragon has me confused.
    • I assume there aren't multiple forms of Dragon across Wards, but one giant one spanning across them. I believe it was also mentioned that Kaneki subconsciously creates clones of himself only to consume them while Dragon, so that could be an alternate theory.
    • Rize was brought back because it was her kagune being the cause. Kaneki had Rize's kagune, as did the Oggai.
  • What happened with Touka's goal of going to Kamii University? Did she graduate between the gap between the original series and :re? Did she give up on that dream once Anteiku was destroyed to start up her own cafe?

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