Tokyo Ghoul - Re: End, Meaning, and Purpose

Sui Ishida final art for Tokyo Ghoul

It didn’t feel that long, but one of the biggest manga hits of the 2010s’ ended last week. Tokyo Ghoul and its often-overwhelming cast of characters are now a part of modern manga history. While the ending did come a bit sudden and may not have pleased a lot of fans, I want to focus on one theme that Sui Ishida, the series’ creator, perhaps wanted to convey in the end and one that relates to the current generation of youth and young adults.

Way back in the introduction of the series, our tragic hero, Ken Kaneki, decided to undergo combat training from his now-current wife, Touka Kirishima, when he witnessed CCG investigators take part in murdering the Ghoul mother of a innocent young Ghoul whose only crime was that she existed. He said that he was tired of being helpless. During the Anteiku raid arc in Volumes 13-14 of the original Tokyo Ghoul, Kaneki had to make a decision in whether to save the home that accepted him from the very start or run for his life. Kaneki chose the former despite the high possibility of death and a plea from his friend, Shu Tsukiyama. Kaneki told Tsukiyama that he was tired of being helpless. In the end, Kaneki ends up nearly dead at the hands of the CCG’s premier warrior, Kisho Arima and becomes a “new” character working for the CCG at the start of Tokyo Ghoul:re.

Throughout Tokyo Ghoul:re, Kaneki regains his sense of self, only to be manipulated into starting a catastrophe that would turn most of Tokyo’s citizens into ghouls. During a situation in the final arc where he is almost forced to leave a friend he made at the CCG, Kaneki becomes distraught and repeated that he hates being unable to do …continue reading