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    Entire Franchise 
  • Complete Monster: Tokyo Ghoul and its sequel, Tokyo Ghoul:re, are very, very dark. Nevertheless, several characters go the extra mile for evil:
    • Tsuneyoshi Washuu, chairman of the CCG (Commission of Counter Ghoul), is actually a ghoul himself, leading a genocide of his own species just to obtain power, using his own investigators as sacrificial pawns. Even worse is the "Sunlit Garden" where Tsuneyoshi himself runs a forced breeding program to create new ghouls so he can later rape them to produce pure-blood children. Humans are similarly used to create half-ghouls with shorter lifespans so Tsuneyoshi can use them as Child Soldiers and cannon fodder, not caring if they live or die. As one of the architects of nearly everything that has gone wrong in the series and a selfish, depraved old man, Tsuneyoshi demonstrates himself as one of the cruelest beings in Tokyo Ghoul.
    • Rize Kamishiro, better known as "Binge Eater Rize", is a Ghoul defined by gluttony and selfishness. While most Ghouls are satisfied with a single corpse a month, Rize indulges in killing and devouring multiple humans in a short time, not caring that it brings the authorities from Ghoul hunters on her own people while she skips on to other Wards and leaves others to face the consequences of her actions. Rize is also a vicious sadist who relishes the fear, despair and pain of her victims and has on occasion committed gruesome murders without even eating the victims. Not even other Ghouls are safe from her depravity, as Rize has shown herself willing to slaughter them should they attempt to interfere with her pleasures. She is the one responsible for Ken Kaneki's transformation, having used a Wounded Gazelle Gambit to trick him.
    • Big Madam is a wealthy, powerful Ghoul who operates a massive underground network that includes the Ghoul Restaurant where humans are slaughtered by "scrappers" for the pleasure of the audience who are then served the victim, and human trafficking operations where humans are auctioned off. Big Madam's personal depravity extends to her human "pets", such as Juuzou Suzuya, who Big Madam used as a scrapper to kill human victims. Big Madam had Juuzo tortured to dull his sense of pain, and it is strongly implied she molested him as a child as well. To make certain Juuzo would never become "masculine," Big Madam castrated him with a hammer.
    • Nimura Furuta, who later takes the name Kichimura Washuu, is the bastard son of Tsuneyoshi Washu. A half-ghoul obsessed with rising to the top, Furuta is the one to dump steel bars on Rize Kamishiro and Ken Kaneki before giving Rize, his half-sister and Lust Object, to Akihiro Kanou for torturous experiments which kill over a hundred people before being perfected. Also a regular attendee of the Ghoul Restaurant where he lures in women to be cooked and devoured, Furuta later reveals his true colors, exterminates the Washuu clan and takes over the CCG where he organizes violent terrorist attacks to tighten his grip on Tokyo, as well as spitefully cooking his nemesis Eto's book editor into a bento box when she insults his lineage. Furuta then has a hundred children made into the mutated Child Soldiers, the Oggai, before attempting to exterminate the innocent ghouls hiding under the city and causing Ken Kaneki to become the monstrous Dragon before sacrificing all the Oggai to him. Gleefully admitting he sees the world as nothing more than a toy chest full of what he can break, Furuta is a vicious, misogynistic would-be tyrant who relishes hurting others in pursuit of his goals.
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    Tokyo Ghoul 
  • Adaptation Displacement: At least in the western fandom and before the anime ended, the series was better known by its anime than its source material. Before the anime came out, there are barely any people who knew about the manga.
  • Abandon Shipping: Most shippers of Kaneki x Uta immediately went for the lifeboats after it turns out that the latter was part of the group that was responsible for all the events in the series.
  • Awesome Music:
    • The opening theme, Unravel.
    • This cover is even better.
  • Base-Breaking Character: Uta and Itori, with the revelation of their roles in manipulating Kaneki. The Scrappy for some fans, Magnificent Bastard for others.
  • Better on DVD: Almost certain to be this, with the heavy censorship of violence in the television broadcast.
  • Bishōnen Jump Syndrome: The series is primarily aimed at a male audience, but there's no denying the sheer amount of very attractive males in the series and the massive amounts of Ho Yay thanks to Tsukiyama. Notably, Kaneki and Amon are both prone to scenes that show off their amazing physiques and Kaneki gains a Sexy Backless Outfit after the timeskip.
  • Broken Base:
    • The conclusion of the manga was this, right up until the announcement of the sequel.
    • The anime adaptation is all over the place regarding how people feel about the anime's treatment of the original content.
  • Crack Ship: The various incarnations of Kaneki paired with himself, fueled by his tendency to have conversations with himself during particularly surreal moments.
  • Crazy Awesome: Juuzou's out-of-the-box thinking, above average fighting skills and utter lack of self-preservation make him an unpredictable terror on the battlefield. Snipers on the roof picking off CCG that approach? Suzuya simply drives a motorcycle up a ramp straight to roof and kills them at close range.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: Some fans feel the overall dark tone of the series makes it difficult to care about the large number of characters.
  • Ear Worm: The opening credits theme, "Unravel". So catchy, just typing it on Youtube will yield a plethora of remixes and covers, all with a very high amount of views (the top result is over 11 millions, for starters).
  • Ending Aversion: It threatened to be this, thanks to the sudden conclusion of the manga. However, averted with the announcement of a sequel.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Due to Loads and Loads of Characters and the sheer amount of Badassery, Creepy Awesome and Crazy Awesome in this series, it's no surprise that lots of minor characters became extremely popular. Though it should be noted that even these dark horses haven't managed to be more popular than Kaneki himself.
    • Rize is definitely a fan-favorite, which is all the more surprising when you put into account that she is killed not long after her introduction.
    • Tsukiyama is also hugely popular, probably thanks to his very hammy behavior, Gratuitous Foreign Language moments and Villainous Fashion Sense, all helped by the fact the he is a genuine badass when he gets serious. He also ranked third in the popularity poll, only behind Kaneki and Touka, the main characters themselves.
    • Uta is a peculiar case. His cool character design added to his eccentric yet gentle personality made him the biggest Ensemble Dark Horse of the series, probably surpassing even Tsukiyama if you consider how little screen time he has compared to the latter. After The Reveal his popularity took a fair decrease. While he's still one of the more well-known characters even outside of the fanbase, he's probably no longer one of the most liked.
    • If Juuzou already had plenty of fans before his anime introduction, the animated motorcycle scene and his backstory cemented him as this.
    • Hideyoshi Nagachika, despite being Kaneki's closest friend before becoming a ghoul, he has suffered a lot of Out of Focus and not a lot is revealed about him, but yet the fandom loves him due how kind he is to Kaneki, accepting him despite being a ghoul and his disappearance has made fans want him to return, which later became a reality in :re. It's certainly telling that in the 2nd popularity poll, he ranked 4th place, beating the other fan-favorites Tsukiyama, Juuzou, and Uta.
  • Epileptic Trees: Wild theories about Arima are to be expected.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Rize, Tsukiyama, and Ayato. Uta and Itori as well.
  • Fans Prefer the New Her: While his friends are mostly concerned about Kaneki's changes post-Aogiri, fans seem to prefer this Darker and Edgier Kaneki.
  • Fandom Rivalry: It is not recommended to bring this show up around One Piece fans. Tokyo Ghoul ended up taking its position on Toonami, ending the show's near four year long run on the block, and as a result many One Piece fans have been sore about the whole thing.
  • Fanon: Due to various factors, the fandom has come to the near unanimous conclusion that Yomo is Touka's uncle from her mothers side. Ishida himself has implied this to be true, but currently no official statement has been made one way or another.
    • This was confirmed in :re.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: Nico and Souta. Tsukiyama, full stop. In fact, many of the members of the Ghoul Restaurant wear outlandish clothing.
  • Foe Yay: Here.
  • Fourth Wall Myopia: To a certain degree. While the audience is meant to sympathize with the plight of Ghouls, there is a certain in-universe logic to the laws concerning them and CCG's Zero Tolerance policy concerning their existence. Though the audience knows there are gentle Ghouls that attempt to live without killing, the fact remains that the entire species are super-powered beings that can pass themselves off as human right up until they start to tear people apart and eat them, while even the supposedly "good" ghouls are still affected by a hellish hunger which they may give in to at any time. They are essentially a species of Serial Killers with superpowers.
  • Genius Bonus: Quite a few can be found.
    • Kaneki mentions the works of Franz Kafka, Carl Jung, and Hakushu Kitahara in line with being a Literature Major.
    • In Chapter 41, the notes to the song Tsukiyama is playing are included. He mentions that it's Beethoven, and matching it to sheet notes reveals that he's playing Moonlight Sonata. The title of the chapter, appropriately, is called "Moonlight".
    • In the anime, Tsukiyama wears a Gaga Milano watch. It retails for approximately $25,000 USD (nearly 250,000 yen).
    • In Chapter 124, Kaneki is seen reading The Screwtape Letters while contemplating his next move.
  • Germans Love David Hasselhoff: While Hide's popularity in his home region is nothing to make light of, he’s almost universally loved by western fans.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: So many events within the series.
    • In the very first chapter, while discussing ghouls, Hide jokes that maybe Kaneki is a ghoul himself. Kaneki sarcastically replies that if he were, Hide would be very much dead. In the last pages of chapter 137...
    • The first time Marude and Suzuya meet, the former remarks on the latter's youthful and somewhat androgynous appearance by asking if his balls have dropped yet. Much later in the series, we learn Suzuya was raised as the slave of a female ghoul who crushed his testicles with a hammer to keep him looking that way, with some pretty strong undertones of sexual abuse...
    • Kaneki and Hinami befriending Takatsuki Sen, with the revelation that she's Eto of Aogiri Tree.
    • The last conversation between Touka and Kaneki, in which she delivers a "Reason You Suck" Speech to him. She tells him to stay out of Anteiku. Soon afterwards. Anteiku is raided by CCG and Kaneki is defeated by Arima, with his ultimately fate ambiguous. While looking at the ruins of the cafe, Touka states her intention to wait for him to return.
    • Kaneki rejecting Tsukiyama's request to stay with him, after he disbands his gang. He is the only member of Kaneki's group to attempt to talk him out of going on a suicide mission, and weeps Broken Tears while begging him not to go. After Kaneki is seemingly killed, Tsukiyama loses the will to live and falls into an Angst Coma.
    • EVERYTHING involving Uta and Itori, since both were simply stringing Kaneki along and manipulating him for their own amusement.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Kaneki and Hide, thanks to their fates being left somewhat ambiguous. Amon and even Takizawa also fall under this, thanks to the Sequel Hook of missing bodies and Aogiri Tree continuing the experiments with Investigators...
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In an earlier chapter, Touka irritably asks Kaneki how does he expect to fight with "a body like his", and orders him to "gain more muscle". Comes chapter 88...
  • Ho Yay: Has its own page.
  • Iron Woobie: Kaneki and Amon, as the dual protagonists of the story, have had rough lives to begin with and seem to increasingly place themselves into tragic situations as the story progresses.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Pick a character.
    • Nishiki Nishio is overly abrasive to pretty much everyone he meets, but started out as a kind kid that felt bad about eating humans. Orphaned at a young age, he and his older sister grew up in poverty and lived "like stray cats". His sister eventually started working to support them, allowing him to go to school — but the manager she liked betrayed her and she ended up dying in his arms while being hunted by Doves. After that, he decided to never trust anyone again.
    • Ayato Kirishima lost his mother and later his father to Investigators. After his father's death, he and Touka were left abandoned in their apartment until a neighbor came to check on them. However, the neighbor was actually confirming that they were Ghouls and immediately turned them over to the Doves waiting outside — forcing the siblings to fight for their lives and flee their home. They grew up on the streets, fighting other Ghouls to survive. Even with his involvement with Aogiri Tree, Kaneki theorizes he's still trying to protect his sister.
    • Naki, of all people, turns out to be one. He's most definitely a villain that deserves to get wiped out, and his grief over the death of his "Big Bro" is usually played for laughs. But he turns out to care deeply about his comrades, willing to Take the Bullet to protect them and absolutely terrified of losing anyone else he cares about. Our final glimpse of him has him sitting in a playground crying.
    • Another unexpected example: Tsukiyama, at least at the very conclusion of the series. While he's spent most of the series as a very dangerous, cruel, and selfish individual... he ends up desperately trying to stop Kaneki from going off to his apparent death, and is left so broken by the loss that he loses the will to live and falls into an Angst Coma.
    • Juuzou may be amoral, prone to Disproportionate Retribution and likes killing a little too much, but the kid's life is basically a Trauma Conga Line. He was raised as a scrapper by a female Ghoul who used to treat him as a pet, torture him to the point he’s now inured to pain, and castrated him with a hammer. In the CCG Academy he's used as a scapegoat for an instructor who was torturing animals around, since it was just easier to throw the blame on him. Then, in the attack on Anteiku, he loses his right leg and the one person who really cared about him is left on life support, with little to no chance of ever recovering.
  • Launcher of a Thousand Ships: Kaneki, who is shipped with almost every single other character as well as HIMSELF.
    • Suzuya is given this treatment as well. He isn't only shipped with Shinohara, but with any other members of the CCG.
  • LGBT Fanbase: The series has developed a strong following, thanks to numerous attractive characters, considerable Ho Yay, and inclusion of canon LGBT characters.
  • Love to Hate: Tsukiyama.
  • Memetic Molester: TSUKIYAMA, in no small part due to him being a Stalker with a Crush.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Tres Bien!
    • KEN KANEKI DID NOTHING WROOOONG!Explanation 
    • There are a lot of jokes about the fact that everything in the series happened because Kaneki just wanted to go on a date.
    • Photoshopping or drawing Kaneki inside or as Arima's suitcase/briefcase as shown at the end of the manga, or simply captioning a suitcase from absolutely anything as Kaneki, was extremely popular before TG:re began.
    • The "1000 - 7?" math question in the Anime's first season ultimately takes the "Mental Abuse To Humans" Acronym Up to Eleven.
  • Moe: Hinami by virtue of being the youngest and most naive of all the characters.
  • Moral Event Horizon: The dark tone of the series results in this occurring more than once.
    • It was hard to sympathize with Yamori despite his background, but he completely passes the line when he presents Kaneki with a Sadistic Choice of saving either a mother or her child. When Nico pleads for him to stop and Kaneki attempts to Take a Third Option by offering his own life... Yamori simply kills both hostages.
    • Kureo Mado is a pretty vile character from the beginning, but he really crosses it when he lures Hinami into a trap. He does this by leaving her mother's arm in a bag for her to find, then relishes showing her how he's going to kill her and Touka using the Quinque he made from her parents. Karma is swift and final not long after that.
  • Narm: Ishida Sui's very expressive art sometimes gets overexpressive. Kaneki's reactions tend to be the most affected by this, although Tsukiyama isn't that far behind him (and in fact overtakes him in the anime). However, the Narm mostly sticks around just in the beginning of the series; the reactions get less narmy the later in the series, both because of the story itself and Ishida's art improving.
  • Narm Charm:
    • The narmy expressions above can also be seen as endearingly awkward.
    • Kaneki Twisting his leg around in order to kick Jason properly, and then the way it spins back into place, is awesome, Squick, and kinda hilarious all at the same time.
    • So is the true one-eyed owl ripping off Shinohara's leg and taunting Juuzou about it.
  • No Yay:
    • Tsukiyama's reactions toward Kaneki can be disturbing to some. On the other hand...
    • Kaneki and Yamori on the other hand has virtually no defenders.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Several shipping names have already been coined by the fandom.
    • Hidekane for Kaneki and Hide.
    • Shuuneki for Tsukiyama and Kaneki.
    • Touken for Kaneki and Touka.
    • Akiramon for Amon and Akira.
    • Seiaki for Akira and Seidou.
    • Ayahina for Ayato and Hinami
  • Reread Bonus: Reading the manga again (and possibly again) is probably necessary to pick up all the symbolism and clues and hints to big reveals and implications in the series, such as the subtle hints that Hide has known Kaneki is a ghoul this whole time. And the tarot card numbers—oh, the tarot card numbers. Needless to say, every page of Tokyo Ghoul:re is now being picked over and dissected for such hints.
  • Signature Scene: Kaneki waking up after the accident only to reveal his one Ghoul eye, signifying his new hellish life as part ghoul.
  • Squick: Quite a bit in this series, unsurprisingly.
    • The descriptions of how human food tastes to Ghouls is pretty graphic thanks to Kaneki, and doubles as Nausea Fuel.
    • Tsukiyama's disturbing behavior towards Kaneki, including keeping a cloth stained with his blood in a plastic bag so he can huff it on occasion.
    • The descriptions of the methods developed to torture Ghouls, which Yamori uses on Kaneki. Centipede in the ear.
  • Only the Author Can Save Them Now: Averted. Oh god, Averted so much with the battle between Kaneki and Arima. Fans fully expected this trope to come into play, only for things to go in the exact opposite direction. Arima dishes out a Curb-Stomp Battle and it's left ambiguous until several chapters into the Sequel whether or not Kaneki even survived.
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: The anime adaptation changed several things, naturally leading some fans to complain about it.
  • Uncanny Valley: A major visual element throughout the series. Ghouls sometimes trigger this reaction, being very human-like in appearance but displaying expressions or movements that just aren't human. And many scenes would feel simply cute, heartwarming, inspirational or otherwise pleasant if not for the horrifying features included.
    • Kaneki walks in on the adorable Hinami while she's eating human meat. She would look like nothing more than a girl embarrassed at her eating habits, but her kakugan are active, there's blood on her face and there are fingers on her plate.
    • An enormous chunk missing from Kaneki's torso gives an otherwise heartwarming moment of acceptance from Hide a gruesome touch of the terrible context in which the scene occurs.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: Ghouls, as a species, can come off this way. There are those like Touka that despise the CCG for killing their kind and seem to see humans' persecution of them as unarguably unfair, not even considering the fact that most ghouls kill innocent people, often eating them alive, and a large amount of them are sadistic serial killers for whom not even children are off-limits. There are ghouls like the ones at Anteiku, who try to subsist off of suicide victims, but it seems that many of them (like Touka herself) just don't value human life on the same level as they do humans. There's also Nishiki, who's pretty hard to sympathize with so soon after trying to kill and eat Taneki's friend just because he can't grasp the concept of being friends with a human for real. When he later does have a genuine relationship with a human girl, said girl herself comes off as pretty callous- willing to turn a blind eye to Nishiki's serial murder (as long as he doesn't hurt her family) just because she loves him.
  • Viewer Gender Confusion: Koori Ui, with his slender build and bob haircut.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The kagune animation is gorgeous in the anime, with vibrant colors and fluid movement.
  • Wangst: Kaneki's reaction to being turned into a Ghoul can come across as grating, which extends into the series itself as Touka has little sympathy for his situation compared to what the average Ghoul has already suffered.
  • What an Idiot!: Kaneki becomes this in the anime version of the Gourmet Arc, thanks to the removal of his deal with Itori and therefore his primary motivation. Instead of befriending Tsukiyama and going to the Ghoul Restaurant in order to obtain information for Itori, in the anime he simply falls for the lies of a Ghoul he's already been warned is very dangerous.
    • The majority of the ghoul race qualifies. They're beings who must eat human flesh or they will die, slowly and painfully. So surely, they'd do so using methods that would draw the least amount of attention, right? Wrong. Instead of eating cadavers or preying on truly despicable criminals, they choose to attack and devour any human they come across, sometimes even in broad daylight. Unsurprisingly, this creates an easy-to-follow trail that the government picks up on.
    • Kureo Mado's death. To sum it up: Mado's been beaten, lost an arm and a leg, and is now at the mercy of Himani (whose family he killed). Despite everything he's done, Hinami decides to forgo revenge and allows him to live. Instead of letting them go and simply hunt them down later, Mado immediately tries to attack Hinami when she lets her guard down. It goes about as well as you'd expect. This gets even more egregious with the fact that Mado is a Ghoul Investigator, meaning he likely knew that he stood no chance of fighting Hinami and Touka given his circumstances.
  • The Woobie: Quite a few.
    • Kaneki has had endured an awful life, even before the series had started. Orphaned after his mother worked herself to death, he was mistreated by the relatives that took him in. After being turned into a Ghoul, he endures tragedy after tragedy that slowly chips away at his sanity.
    • Hinami witnesses her mother's death, and is later lured into a trap and taunted by the man that killed her. She ends up wondering whether it is even alright for her to be alive as a Ghoul, and she repeatedly expresses feeling helpless to do anything for the people she cares about.
    • Amon Koutarou. When he was just a child his parents died in a accident and he was left in the care of a orphange. Everything seemed fine until he discovered his Foster Father was actually a ghoul who devoured his "siblings" and is implied to have fed them to him. After that he decided to join the CCG to save people from ghouls and his Implied Love Interest is killed in battle not long after. Then he finally found a father figure, Kureo Mado, who treated him well, only for Touka to kill him. Not only does he partner up for with Kureo's daughter, he shoulders all of her resentment for his death and makes it clear he has Survivor's Guilt, he also is believed dead in the end. Poor guy never catches a break.
  • Woobie Species: Ghouls are a species of Jerkass Woobies, since their existence requires them to eat humans to survive. Their lives are spent living on the fringe of human society, always having to look over their shoulders and concerned about either being executed by the government or killed by their own kind in disputes over territory. Many live in poverty, and almost all lose their families while still young. Even those that take extra efforts to live peacefully with humans know that they will be shown no mercy, and even children are considered "monsters" to be exterminated without mercy. Little surprise so many grow up angry and unwilling to trust others.
    • Normal humans can also be considered this. While there are obviously many who hate ghouls, many just want to live their lives in peace and yet are constantly hunted by a dangerous group of beings who are driven to devour them. It's no wonder many humans despise ghouls when so many ghouls have killed innocent families, including children, just to sate their hunger. And that's not getting into Ghouls like Rize, Tsukiyama, and Yamori who kill and eat for their own amusement.

    Tokyo Ghoul:re 
  • Americans Hate Tingle: The Japanese fandom consistently ranks Touka Kirishima as one of the most popular characters, while Western fans are far more divided on their opinions. Setting aside issues involving shipping, opinion concerning her handling in :Re tends to be strongly divided.
  • Angst? What Angst?: Scarecrow, AKA Hide is surprisingly nonchalant after having what is implied to be his entire voice box and lower jaw bitten off by Kaneki and hiding for years and frequently mingling with ghouls who would tear him apart without a second thought. All it takes is a CCG-provided voice device to have him cheerfully quipping to Touka and co. with lines like, "So, you wanna go dig up some Kaneki?"
  • Arc Fatigue: The Cochlea/Rushima arc has been met with some frustration from fans, primarily because of pacing issues and several anti-climatic battles. Loads and Loads of Characters and many a Gambit Pileup has resulted in a bloated arc with too many things going on, and not enough time spent on eagerly-awaited confrontations or reunions. The wildly inconsistent strength of characters for the sake of Plot is also quite glaring, and a major source of criticism. As an example, Amon finally reappears and gets involved only to be pushed to the sidelines within two chapters, in favor of continuing the Mutsuki parallels to Kaneki, and more Yasuhisa drama..
  • Awesome Art: The art for the series when cleaned up looks gorgeous.
  • Base-Breaking Character:
    • Arima and sometimes Akira as well, at least in regards to their treatment of Sasaki/amnesiac Kaneki. And for Arima, for nearly killing Kaneki in the first place.
    • Kaneki post his dark transformation. Some like the new direction and find his descent fascinating, while others vastly prefer the kinder version of the character and find his Kick the Dog moments detestable.
    • Tooru Mutsuki. He was initially well-liked by the fan base, particularly by the LGBT fanbase, thanks to his kind personality and being one of the more balanced members of the Quinx squad. However, after The Reveal of his Split Personality and Yandere feelings towards Sasaki/Kaneki, opinions have splintered on him. There are those who think he's a compelling character who's Not So Different from much of the cast, especially with his past and the parallels to Kaneki, and has become more interesting for it. Others feel The Reveal sours his character and that his obsession with Kaneki crosses straight into No Yay. With the events of chapter 156, though, opinions have warmed towards him.
  • Broken Base: There is already controversy and disagreement among the fandom, some quite heated.
    • Debate concerning whether Sasaki is actually Kaneki, or not prior to The Reveal.
      • After The Reveal, recently a minor discussion related to the above has been popping up in the fandom: Even if Haise is Kaneki with amnesia, could they be considered the same person or different individuals at this point?.
    • The Gender Reveal concerning Mutsuki, with factions debating whether he is a Sweet Polly Oliver, a Bifauxnen, or a Transgender man. It's known to turn into a full-blown Flame War.
    • The ghoul investigation arcs (the entire sequel, for that matter) that open up the sequel series has been very hit-and-miss with the fandom. While some are enjoying the spotlight on the CCG this time around as a nice change of pace, others find their side of the Tokyo Ghoul universe boring, and wish that it returned the focus on the ghouls.
    • Kanae's gender. Oo boy, take the Mutsuki debate, only make the text considerably vaguer on the truth and with a character who for the past 50 or so chapter fans assumed was male. It didn't even need to become a Flame War, it became one within a day of the chapter being translated. Thankfully, this seems to have since settled down as a result of Kanae's death.
    • The outcome of the battle between Kaneki and Eto, with the fandom splitting along multiple lines that feel it was a Moment of Awesome, an Ass Pull, a Xanatos Gambit, or something else entirely. Discussion has a tendency to get... heated, sufficient to say.
    • Chapter 125 has fiercely divided the fandom into several factions, with people either loving or hating it. Besides the issues of Ship-to-Ship Combat rising within the fandom, fans seem divided on whether it was a beautiful, emotionally-charged chapter or gratuitous and wasting a chapter that could have been spent on other plots.
    • Chapter 143 led to massive fan outcry when it was released, on account of skipping the fight between Kaneki and Suzuya, as well as Kaneki losing said fight badly. Many derided it as simply an attempt to force parallels to Kaneki's first match with Arima at the end of Tokyo Ghoul.
    • The ending of :re is very split between fans viewing it as epic and having a charming ending, or being rushed and containing too many Ass Pulls.
    • The anime adaptation, much like the first series', has divided many fans who either enjoy it or view it as lacklustre.
    • :re as a whole. Some fans consider it to be a useless, poorly written sequel that ruins the impact of the original ending, while some other fans love :re, and believe it's more complex and interesting than the first.
  • Captain Obvious Reveal:
    • Amon is the hooded man was so obvious that people took it as fact from the characters first appearance, thirty-five chapters prior to the actual reveal.
    • Furuta being Souta was also an easy one, after the initial reveals towards Furuta's true nature, many fans were able to stitch together the pieces of info.
    • Hikari Kirishima was Yomo's older sister, making him Touka and Ayato's uncle. No one was surprised.
  • Crack Ship: PROMOTION-Senpai/Urie
  • Cry for the Devil: Poor, poor Nutcracker.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: This was inevitable as this series has proved to be even darker and more depressing than the last, to the point where the amount of angst, traumatic experiences, and abusive parents, can come off as just excessive.
  • Die for Our Ship: Touka Kirishima suffers from this trope in the Western fandom, as a result of Ship-to-Ship Combat. It can get fairly ugly.
  • Ending Aversion: The final two arcs of the series, the 24th Ward Raid and the Dragon War arcs, are highly divisive both because they turned into one long Character Deconstruction of Kaneki, leading to Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy, and because just how quickly, and in some cases anti-climatically, loose ends of the series ended up getting tied up.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Several have emerged as fan-favorites.
    • Shirazu is quite popular, due to subverting his tough-guy image with a dorky and kind-hearted personality.
    • Mutsuki is quite popular, especially within the LGBT fanbase.
    • Seidou Takizawa, source of neverending Memes and Nightmare Fuel. His return pretty much caused the fandom to explode.
    • Nutcracker has become quite popular, after her Curb-Stomp Battle against the Ooshiba Squad.
    • Hirako seems to have a following online, mostly based around how horrible it is to be him
    • Ihei gained a fanbase within two chapter of debuting, mostly for being easily one of the most competent Action Girl's seen in the series thus far.
    • Matsumae has rapidly become a fan-favorite, thanks to being one of the most competent and fiercely loyal characters in the series. Her rivalry with Ihei definitely helps.
    • Nimura Furuta became quickly a fan favourite after a few short scenes showing his true nature.
  • Epileptic Trees: Theories abound concerning mysterious characters actually being characters from the original series. Sasaki is theorized to be an amnesic or brainwashed Kaneki, while Torso was (incorrectly) theorized to be an insane Tsukiyama and Orochi is suspected to actually be Nishiki. Then there's the mysterious "Floppy" and Scarecrow, both theorized to be everyone from Amon, to Banjou, or Hide.
    • A particularly good example of this trope is, at the end of the Christmas Episode, Sasaki receives a novel with Kaneki's full name on it, pointing to it being Hide's copy. The fandom was set on fire.
    • Numerous cryptic statements from Eto concerning the nature and identity of the One-Eyed King have the fandom coming up with a million conflicting theories.
  • Evil Is Sexy: Kanae, Nimura Furuta, Nutcracker, and Takizawa are considered quite attractive, with the former two more conventionally sexy while the later two are more creepy-sexy. The last one is particularly amusing since in the previous series and before a huge change in personality, he was at best regarded as "cute".
  • Fan-Preferred Couple:
    • Sasaki/Touka. Many hope that Sasaki will regain his memories and come back to her. Kaneki and Touka finally sharing an intimate conversation in chapters 121 and 122 were well received by many parts of the fandom. And after chapter 125, they're not exactly "fanon" anymore.
    • Ayato/Hinami.
    • Urie/Saiko has recently become a popular alternative to Urie/Mutsuki following The Reveal of Mutsuki’s yanderish obsession with Kaneki.
  • Foe Yay Shipping: Found here.
  • Genius Bonus: The literary bonuses return in the sequel, naturally.
    • In Ch. 8, Arima and Sasaki discuss a short story by Franz Kafka, A Crossbreed. Explanation 
    • In Ch. 21, Investigator Atou compares Arima to Heifetz. In particular, he notes the natural resentment others feel towards true prodigies.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • An omake early on features Chie complaining about how Tsukiyama once looked at his reflection all day. Then we get his father's diary in Volume 4, where he tells his son that if he ever wants to know about his Missing Mom, he only needs to look into the mirror.
    • It's revealed in Chapter 53 that Kaneki was physically abused by his mother, and is implied to of partially repressed the memory. This revelation makes his flashbacks more than a little painful to read.
    • Everything related to Mutsuki, with the revelations of his past crimes and Split Personality.
    • EVERY SINGLE THING related to The Washuus and the CCG itself, after The Reveal of Ch. 83.
    • When Hoji meets Takizawa for the first time after the latter was turned into an artificial Owl, he gives a chilling execution order that devastates his former subordinate and admirer. One has to look back and wonder if Hoji ever thought of Takizawa as anything other than an object.
  • Heartwarming in Hindsight: Touka becoming pregnant with Kaneki's child in chapter 129 becomes more heartwarming when her English voice actress Brina Palencia announced her pregnancy on September 12, 2018.
  • Hollywood Pudgy: Saiko is described as gaining weight and called "fat", even censoring her info box to hide her weight stat. However, at most she's only a little soft with a generous bust and rounded face.
  • Jerkass Woobie: As with the original series, there are many troublesome characters that earn pity for how awful their lives are.
    • Urie has become one, thanks to his power-induced breakdown and the revelation concerning the depth of his insecurities. All these insecurities, of course, stemming from the horrific death of his father and his resentment towards the Squad that left him (on orders) to die.
    • Kanae might be petty and jealous, but he's quickly establishing himself as one of the more tragic characters around. Not only is he the Sole Survivor of the massacre of his family, but adopted a male identity to carry on the Rosewald name and ends up latching on to Shuu as a Living Emotional Crutch. During Shuu's lengthy illness, he is slowly consumed with hatred and jealousy for Kaneki... but eventually forced to accept that only Kaneki can bring Shuu back from the brink. He tries to honor Shuu's desire to be reunited with Kaneki, but ends up on a downward spiral of jealousy. Then Eto shows up, and uses physical and psychological torture to further break Kanae and turn him into a weapon to use against Kaneki. And all because a lonely, orphaned child desperately wanted to be loved.
    • Takizawa, you poor bastard. Even while torturing Sasaki and slaughtering Red Shirts left and right, the various implications of what Aogiri has done to him make him a woobie among woobies.
    • Sasaki/Kaneki himself might be moving from The Woobie to this trope after his awakening. There has been various indicators from the start that his mental state was growing more and more unstable. Considering what his past was like which also was revealed to be even worse then we thought on top of his memories being returned at a very bad time. Yeah it's not hard to imagine that Kaneki has even worse issues then before and is proving it by being excessively cold to former friends in his previous identity ( and even Hinami)
    • Tsukiyama has certainly done his fair share of terrible things in the past....but he ends up being seriously kicked by life. Three years of depression and grief have left him on the verge of death, bedridden and frequently drugged by his family to keep him from hurting himself or others. When he finally comes back to his senses, he finds that Kaneki doesn't remember him and his family is now in danger because of their efforts to care for him. He desperately tries to come up with a way to save everyone, but instead becomes the Living MacGuffin in the bloodiest arc of the entire franchise, with the Tsukiyama Group destroyed. Everyone he cares about is killed over the course of the arc, and he's forced into a confrontation with Sasaki that turns into him helplessly watching Sasaki and Kanae try to kill each other. In the end, Kaneki regains his memories.....and seemingly betrays Shuu, throwing him to his death and forcing Kanae to sacrifice her life to save him. While he's rescued by Touka and Yomo, and reunited with his father and Chie, Shuu is left emotionally distraught and has lost everything.
    • Kishou Arima becomes one, with the revelation about his Mysterious Past. Bred by V as a Half-Human Hybrid weapon, he was born without a kagune, and was Secretly Dying as a result of an accelerated aging process. Unable to escape his masters, he was forced to kill for them while longing for freedom, and became a Death Seeker out of guilt over all the lives he took. He praises Kaneki as the only good thing he was able to leave behind, and entrusts him with his final wish before dying in his surrogate son's arms. In the end, Arima hated himself and saw death as the only way to escape his life of endless killing.
  • Like You Would Really Do It:
    • The fandom was fairly certain that Shirazu would survive their injuries. Ishida called that bluff with what may be the most horrifying and soul-crushing death in the entire franchise. They don't just die, they die begging for someone to hold their hand because their senses are failing, and they're so scared.
    • The above was subverted to the point that it managed to avert this reaction for the most part when Tsukiyama's life was in danger, despite them being a much more prominent character from the original series. At that point, all bets were off.
    • Zigzagged with Eto. First played straight in their fight with Kaneki, when he cuts her in half and they're shown fully recovered shortly after. They later suffer a strange Curb-Stomp Battle from Furuta, who somehow kills the series' strongest ghoul just by cutting off an arm and leg.
    • Ishida strikes again, this time with fans being confident that Mutsuki would be able to defeat Torso once again. Instead, the audience is treated to the horrifying sight of Torso playing with Mutsuki's severed limbs while talking about how they're getting married.
    • Zigzagged in Chapter 79 to horrific degree. Many fans called foul on the body Urie found being Mutsuki, with many (correctly) guessing it was actually Torso. The persice context on the other hand, turned out to be much, much worse.
    • Subverted with chapters 122 & 125. Chapter 122 has Touka propositioning Kaneki for sex. Many fans were expecting nothing to happen, or to the very least for the next chapter to cutaway and leave it vague if they did the deed. Then Chapter 125 comes out and it's entirely focused on them having sex.
    • Chapter 143 leaves off on Kaneki seemingly Killed Off for Real after an off-screen Curbstomp Battle. Everyone thought this immediately, yet Ishida got the last laugh once again when Kaneki promptly discarded the morality holding him back, ate the Oggai and became the 'Dragon,' a massive abomination that flipped the entire story on its head. It's less about the fact that he didn't do it and more about the fact that it resulted in things likely getting a thousand times worse than if he had.
  • Memetic Loser: Kuki Urie is shaping up to be one being hit hard by Shirazu's death, and Mutsuki, who he cares for, turns out to have a sick-and-twisted attraction for Sasaki.
  • Memetic Molester:
    • Chapter 6 made White/Centipede Kaneki into one, usually involving his harassment of Sasaki being taken to the next level.
    • Eto, thanks to her Lecherous Licking of Kaneki.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • Papa Arima! Explanation 
    • Parodies of the scene in Ch. 6 where Sasaki is tormented by his Enemy Within. Usually involving Memetic Molester and Foe Yay elements.
    • Bananaise. Explanation 
    • Waifu! Explanation 
    • PROMOTION Explanation 
    • Pineapple. Explanation 
    • Pepe Saiko Explanation 
    • Kaneki kicking the table in Chapter 60 spawned numerous parodies, and gets used as a general reaction shot.
    • THUMB ATTACK. Explanation 
    • NIMUDASH!! Explanation 
    • The shot of Suzuya Squad mockingly laughing at Kurona in Chapter 87 has become a very popular reaction image.
    • "Are you a virgin?" Explanation 
    • 269 chapters. Explanation 
    • “Want to go dig up some Kaneki?” Explanation 
  • Moe: Present and accounted for.
    • Sasaki is an Adorkable variation, with his introductory scenes focused heavily on how dorky and sweet he is. Fandom seems to want to scoop him up and keep him safe, after what happened to our last protagonist...
    • Mutsuki, the most well-behaved and gentle of the Quinx.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Dr. Kanou practices the fine art of repeatedly leaping over it, just to see how much it can make the audience hate him. Lying to Naki about bringing his True Companions back from the dead, just to get access to their corpses for experimentation he's already done. Further subjecting Kuro to abuse. Experimenting on and killing over a 1200 people. Torturing, mentally abusing, and sexually assaulting Takizawa in the name of Science. Stealing the body of Shirazu for research. If there's a horizon he hasn't crossed, he's trying to find it.
  • Narm: The end of Chapter 61 where Arima talks to Furuta about "talking" to V is probably meant to be serious...only the angle of the panel makes Furuta appear to be shoving his ass out. This made it hard for fans to take seriously.
  • No Yay: Some pairings manage to be highly contended, due to certain elements.
    • Mutsuki and Torso, because of the predatory nature of things and in particular the creepy Volume 4 diary.
    • Mutsuki and Kaneki, especially after the former displays how far he would go in order to claim him as his.
  • Portmanteau Couple Name: Several shipping names have already been coined by the fandom.
    • Arise for Arima and Sasaki.
    • Shiraurie for Shirazu and Urie.
    • Mutsurie for Mutsuki and Urie.
    • Ayahina for Ayato and Hinami.
    • Tousaki for Sasaki and Touka
  • Rescued from the Scrappy Heap: Urie was quite unpopular when the series began, many fans finding his ambition grating and antagonistic, his personality unlikable and disliked his poor treatment of the more popular Quinx. Following a nasty near death experience near the end of the Auction Arc however, he began to become considerably more popular, owing to him downplaying his ambition so it wasn't mentioned nearly every scene he was in, forming an Odd Friendship of sorts with Mutsuki and actually cooperating with the rest of the team. His breakdown over Shirazu's death cemented his redemption in fans eyes.
  • The Scrappy: Torso. While he is supposed to be hated, many fans hate him due to being overally creepy, weak and lacking the complex characterisation and cool factor other villains posses that make them popular. It doesn't help that he keeps showing up, more than the more popular members of Aogiri like Ayato and Naki, and somehow is able to outlive many much more well-liked characters.
  • Ship Sinking:
    • A notable cause of fandom rage is when Kaneki’s Relationship Upgrade with Touka sank just about every ship involving Kaneki.
    • Many Urie/Mutsuki shippers jumped ship right after it was revealed that Mutsuki had a deranged obsession with Sasaki.
  • Ship-to-Ship Combat: Between Kaneki/Touka and Kaneki/Hide fans in particular.
  • Shocking Swerve: The entirety of Chapter 56, where Kaneki blows Eto's legs off, Eto confesses her love for him and then Kaneki seemingly goes insane and begins eating the Owl. Tiny details (along with a post of Ishida's blog) foreshadow some of it, but it still feels largely out of nowhere.
  • Slow-Paced Beginning: For some, the first 50ish Chapters of the sequel series is viewed as quite fatiguing to read through. Most of this centers around the fact that the story switches its focus to the newly introduced Quinx Squad of the CCG, which was viewed as a turnoff for those that were dying to see if Kaneki was ever going to return, or if the much more interesting, and already established, Ghoul and Human characters from the original series were going to remain Out of Focus. However, it's generally agreed upon that this starting fatigue finally began to dissipate once Haise got his memories back as Kaneki at the end of Chapter 53.
  • Squick:
    • The cases the Quinx investigate are fairly disturbing.
    • Torso's possible necrophilia.
    • Nutcracker earning her name by crushing men's testicles and then sucking them up. (An In-universe example as well, with Shirazu and Mutsuki both looking disturbed.)
  • Stoic Woobie: Kishou Arima turns out to be one, fooling comrades and the audience alike with a blank expression and calm demeanor. In spite of having long ago resigned himself to his fate as a short-lived Tyke Bomb forced to kill for his masters, he never once complained or gave any indication of just how deep his despair and self-hatred really was. It isn't until he ends his own life that it becomes clear just how miserable he really was beneath his stoic mask.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Amon was one of the original manga's focal point characters, and served as a human protagonist that contrasted with Kaneki's Ghoul sided viewpoints and lifestyle. However, once the series moved into the sequel manga series, Amon was demoted so far on the totem poll of characters to focus on that he has less screentime them some of the new characters added. The series spent a long time establishing his presence by hinting he was the mysterious cloaked man that had appeared a few times, but after stepping into the spotlight, he quickly appeared barely at all in the series. Notably his character arc is not addressed, and his Relationship Upgrade with Akira happened off-screen during the final arc, where he didn't appear for a good while before abruptly showing up to fight Dontalo. In the final chapter of the series, he is given a single panel showing him, but no text accompanies that implies anything about his status or life after the series ends. For many, it left a sour taste since Amon had just as hard of a life as Kaneki, yet the series kicks him aside and gives him no resolution.
  • Unfortunate Implications: As this article puts it, Mutsuki being a gay transgender man ultimately serves the purpose of showing that he's crazy, perpetuating the stereotype that LGBT+ people are insane and have lost sense of self-identity. While one could excuse his Trauma Conga Line and Broken Bird as being typical of Tokyo Ghoul characters, he soon enters squick territory when he goes yandere for Kaneki and even screwing a corpse while pretending it's Kaneki. Additionally, he views his attraction to men (i.e. Kaneki) as being a contradiction to him being transgender. Gender dysphoria and homosexual transgender people actually do exist in real life, but this is never tastefully addressed and is just brought up to once again show that Mutsuki is Ax-Crazy. The anime does not adapt much of this content, resulting in Mutsuki's arc being Lighter and Softer, but this is likely due to the anime being a Compressed Adaptation as opposed to the writers doing an Author's Saving Throw.
  • The Un-Twist: Sasaki is an amnesic Kaneki. Who would have guessed? The anime doesn't even put up with the pretense the manga did and reveals it within the first episode of :Re.
  • Wheelchair Woobie: Due to the poor health his lengthy depression caused, Tsukiyama is barely able to walk and requires a wheelchair to get around.
  • Win Back the Crowd: After the mixed reception of the past several chapters, Chapter 65 won fans back big time with the reintroduction of Ayato and Banjou into the story, along with finally showing the Kaneki that most fans actually liked.
  • The Woobie: Of course, this series remains as cruel as ever.
    • Mutsuki, struggling with his self-confidence and fear of his own powers while repeatedly being put into deadly situations. He improves after he Took a Level in Badass, but replaces victimization with heartbreaking loss. Becomes a Jerkass Woobie with the revelations of his horrifying past.
    • Hinami resumes her place as the saddest little Ghoul around. Forced to join Aogiri, she goes to save Sasaki only for him to repeatedly tell her that he doesn't know her. She ends up imprisoned by the CCG, with her diary in Volume 4 showing how guilt-ridden she is over her decision to join Aogiri and seek power. Then comes Chapter 59, and learning that Kaneki hasn't come to see her in months. She's fallen into a deep depression, clinging to the hope of seeing him one last time before her scheduled disposal.

    Tokyo Ghoul √A 
  • Awesome Music: The acoustic version of "Unravel" that plays at the end of the last episode is just beautiful.
  • Broken Base: Some fans are excited for a new story, while others are displeased with the second season not being faithful to the manga.
    • Kaneki's Face–Heel Turn at the end of the first episode is either amazing or horrible.
    • The new opening, Muno, is either beautifully understated, or absolutely lame.
    • Amon's final fight with Kaneki is cited as one as well. Instead of Amon getting his Arata Armor and fighting Kaneki at his strongest, in his Kakuja state, Kaneki fight with Amon is more a matter of skill than power. Some fans hate the fight because it ends with Kaneki only getting moderately wounded as opposed to nearly dying. Other fans think it is the sole thing the anime does better than the manga, as the original fight is more of a Single-Stroke Battle.
    • The alternate ending, in particular Hide's death. Either's it's a massive Tear Jerker of a conclusion, or forced and emotionally manipulative.
  • Critical Dissonance: The reviews for the series, while mixed, were generally okay. Fans reception was almost universally negative.
  • Fight Scene Failure: The battle between Kaneki and Shachi in episode 4. Not only does it come out of nowhere, but the animation was notably poor in quality.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In the final episode of the first season, Rize warns Kaneki that he will lose everyone he loves and it will be all his fault. In the finale, his decision to avoid Hide to keep him safe results in Hide joining CCG and ending up looking for him during the battle in the 20th Ward. Hide is fatally wounded, and spends his final moments telling Kaneki he already knew everything. In the end, avoiding Hide was completely unnecessary and only served to make him lonely and hurt, before ultimately leading to his death.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Some people complain about the fact that some episodes copy the manga scene for scene for scene, questioning why they would deviate from the manga in the first place.
    • Kaneki frees Shachi from Cochlea, only for the latter to attack him. While Shachi did attack Kaneki in the original manga, they did not fight in one of CCG's highest security zones. You'd think they would have higher priorities.
    • Kaneki's suddden transformation into Centipede is rather anticlimactic when in the original manga it was a sum of many factors taking their toll on his sanity.
    • A lot of Tsukiyama's fans were displeased with how his confrontation with Kaneki near the end was handled, as the near complete removal of Tsukiyama's Character Development made his reaction come off as completely forced and nonsensical, destroying what was a pretty legitimate Tear Jerker.
  • Memetic Mutation: Arima's chin Explanation 
  • Narm:
    • Most of the scenes Arima is in towards the end are ruined by how horribly Off-Model his face is.
    • Tsukiyama's final scene, as a result of abandoning all the Character Development that led to it in the manga.
  • Seasonal Rot: For many fans. Many were unhappy with the changes made to the source material, considering the changes nonsensical and inconsistent, as well as cutting out scenes many fans wanted to see animated. Other common criticisms include haphazard pacing, Kaneki's character arc being butchered and the vastly reduced role of several characters (Tsukiyama in particular).
  • They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Suffice to say, some fans are displeased by deviations from the original manga.
    • Kaneki's more elaborate shirt in the anime is one early criticism.
    • The removal of the iconic 103 Bones scene has some fans up in arms.
    • Tsukiyama's lack of character development also has many fans embittered.
    • Many fans were upset at the changes for the last episode, mainly Hide's death, the removal of Kaneki's fight with Arima, and the removal of the scene where the Clowns are revealed.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Kaneki's Face–Heel Turn and decision to join Aogiri. Fans had hoped to see more exploration of the organization, its members, their relationships, and their goals. Instead, very little is shown or done with it before Kaneki abandons the organization to go solo.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: The kagune effects are even more amazing this time around, thanks to a higher budget. But special mention must be given to the incredible animation used for the Kakuja Owl and the Arata Armors — glowing veins, eerie red mist, and twitching tentacles moving on their own really bring out the full Body Horror.

    Tokyo Ghoul Jack 
  • Cry for the Devil: Lantern is a particularly tragic villain, with understandable motivations.
  • Fan-Preferred Couple: Arima and Fura is considerably more popular than either guy shipped with Minami or Aki.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The entire story ends up becoming this, as a result of Arima's secrets being revealed in :Re.
  • Stoic Woobie: Arima is hinted to be one, accepting his situation without (much) complaint. Driven home by him casually stating that he could die next time, and not seeming particularly concerned about it.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Tokyo Ghoul Jack is believed to have much better pacing and special effects than Tokyo Ghoul √A.

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