Ken Kaneki is Secretly a Washuu
Kaneki’s Connection to Rize
Throughout the story of Tokyo Ghoul, Kaneki constantly refers to his tragic meeting with Rize as a “fateful” day. However, despite this we later learn that part of this day was not fateful, but instead premeditated. In his bid to destroy the Washuu clan, Furuta partnered with Kanou to abduct Rize and to use her powerful kakuhou to create one-eyed ghouls that could upset the balance created by V. Kanou already had two subjects (Kurona and Nashiro Yasuhisa) that he intended to use his experimental procedure on. However, before he performed the procedure on them, he needed a prototype to work on to ensure that the procedure actually worked:
Therefore, they decided to use one of the victims Rize constantly lured in as a guinea pig. Furuta would incapacitate Rize before she could kill her victim, and Kanou would transplant her kakuhou into said victim to test the effectiveness of the procedure. This victim could have been anyone, but it just happened to be Kaneki. He even tells Kaneki this in the sequel:
However, upon observing the evidence I have wondered if this was truly the case. Despite these statements, in the sequel Kanou refers to Kaneki as his “beloved prototype.” During a conversation with Naki, he reveals that even though Kaneki was only a prototype for Kurona and Nashiro he ended up exceeding their power. Additionally, Kaneki was able to defeat Takizawa, a one-eyed ghoul created from the kakuhou of Yoshimura (which was more powerful than Rize’s). What are the odds that someone Rize met by chance would just so happen to be the perfect specimen Kanou required?
Different tg metas focusing on biology and genetics have attempted to explain why Kaneki was more successful than any of Kanou’s subsequent creations based on evidence given in the story. However, the reasons they give still require Kaneki to have certain unique attributes that make him perfectly suited to become a one-eyed ghoul. Again, could Rize have just randomly met someone who could perfectly receive her kakuhou? I am inclined to say no.
So, if Rize and Kaneki didn’t meet by chance, what outside force conspired for her to meet with him, and why him in particular? The answer to this lies with the reason Kaneki was such a perfect donor. When an organ is grafted onto a foreign host, the host’s body has a reaction to the foreign cells. The body can either accept or reject the new organ depending on the compatibility of the donor and the new host. For two completely unrelated hosts the chance of rejection is 60-80%. However, as noted in an analysis by @nekomode, this probability of rejection can be reduced to 30-40%: if the donor and the host are related.
Kaneki’s Connection to the Washuu
Now, you may be wondering how I could think Kaneki could be related to Rize, and by extension the Washuu clan. Well, if you look closely throughout the story, you’ll notice that Kaneki shares several similarities with the Washuu clan members he regularly interacts with. The most notable of these is Kishou Arima. I’ve noticed in their scenes together that Kaneki and Arima physically resemble each other quite a bit. For an example of their similar looks:
Not only physically, but others in the story have noted they resemble one another personality-wise as well.
This also extends to them having similar interests such as reading (they exchanged books often in their time together). He also shares a number of similarities to Rize herself. At the end of the 5th volume of the original series, Sui Ishida released a solo chapter on Rize that took place six months before chapter 1. At this time Rize was not wearing glasses and had not “dolled up” her appearance so to speak. So, we get to see her face and expressions unimpeded. Throughout the chapter I noticed her face and a few of her expressions looked similar those of Kaneki’s original design (before and right after he became a one-eyed ghoul).
In addition to this, she and Kaneki also have similar personalities and interests (again, primarily books) as shown when they hit it off on their date. On another note, during their date it’s revealed that they both have the blood type AB.
In Japan, only 9.9% of individuals have the blood type AB. Is this really a coincidence? There is even a time when Ishida makes a parallel between Kaneki and Furuta before the latter’s true identity was revealed. In the original series when Touka is visiting Kamii she mistakes Furuta for Kaneki when looking at the back of his head. And what is Furuta doing when Touka mistakes him for Kaneki: reading.
Aside from these similarities he has with members of the Washuu family, there are also a few references in the story that link him to the Washuu clan. When Itori first meets Kaneki she calls him “Kanekichi,” and she constantly refers to him as this throughout the remainder of the story. The character for Kichi is “吉”meaning “good luck.” This is also the character for “Yoshi.” Whenever a member of the Washuu Clan ascends to the rank of Bureau Director, they add this character and either “Yoshi” or “Kichi” to their given names. So, this seems to be Ishida giving Kaneki a link to the Washuu clan. Additionally, when Kaneki first fought Arima at V14 he recited Ainu poem, and then deduced who he was from this. This implies a personal connection.
How Kaneki is related to the Washuu Clan
It certainly seems that Kaneki is related to the Washuu, but how exactly? We know little about Kaneki’s family overall. His father died while he was young, and he remembers little if anything about him. The only extended family we know of his abusive aunt and her family. However, in the flashbacks he has of her their faces are blanked out, and the only relevant information he gives on them is that they neglected him. That just leaves one person left: his mother. In a post a few years ago, @linkspooky did a post on the real reason Kaneki was initially attracted to Rize: she resembled his mother.
When Kaneki meets Rize, it seems to be love at first sight:
However, there’s really no such thing as love at first sight, and so what could be the real reason for his attraction? At first, he justifies his attraction for her as a result of her taste in literature:
However, as we saw in the previous image, he became attracted to her upon first seeing her, long before he knew of her literary tastes. So, what was it then? Things become clearer when we see who Rize resembles:
They both have attractive looking faces, curved eyebrows, dark hair with sight curls at the ends, and they both wear glasses. They certainly have the same look.
The three Washuu clan members I mentioned that Kaneki had similarities to (Furuta, Arima, and Rize) all had one thing in common: they were the children of Tsuneyoshi Washuu. As Kaneki’s mother resembles Rize, by association that suggests she is Tsuneyoshi’s daughter as well. So, this would mean she originated from the Sunlit Garden. According to Itori, a ghoul mother would mistake a hybrid child for food and absorb it. As Kaneki survived his birth, she couldn’t have been a ghoul. Thus, it’s more probable that she was an escaped half-human. I say “escaped” as we see in the story that the Washuu keep a tight grip on those from the Sunlit Garden: the pure-blooded ghouls they use as breeders are constantly kept at the facility, and all the half-humans we’ve seen have been forced to work as CCG investigators. This could explain why in flashbacks we see Kaneki and his mother living in an obscure, run-down looking neighborhood: she was trying to avoid being found by V. This could also be the true reason for her premature death.
In flashbacks, Kaneki describes that after his father died when he was four his mother had to take care of both of them by herself. This by itself didn’t seem to be too troublesome, but this changed when Kaneki’s aunt entered the scene. She constantly pestered Kaneki’s mother, making excuses as to why she needed money from her. According to Kaneki, his mother had to increase her workload due to this. She was working practically around the clock, and this constant overwork eventually led to her death.
However, in one of the Tokyo Ghoul novels, Past, it’s revealed that Kaneki’s aunt never truly needed this money. After Kaneki moved in with his aunt’s family, it’s revealed that they lived in a comfortable two-story home (far better than Kaneki and his mother’s home). His aunt merely used the money his mother gave her to buy a few expensive appliances. While this would increase his mother’s workload somewhat, it wouldn’t justify her having to work around the clock to the point where she died of exhaustion. However, if she were a half-human, this early death could be due to a shortened lifespan. Kishou Arima revealed to Kaneki that half-humans have drastically shortened lifespans, and this is confirmed in :re 174 where Furuta is looking at a family tree of the Washuu half-humans.
Furuta states everyone on the list died around 30 years of age. Indeed, on this list the oldest died at age 33. Kaneki’s mother appeared in her early 30s when she died, and the story gives a few visual cues that her death was due to more than just exhaustion. In chapter 62 of the original series, his mother appears with progressively more white hair.
Kishou Arima originally possessed dark blue hair, but his premature aging led him to develop white hair before he even turned 30, and similarly Kaneki’s mother developed white hair while still appearing youthful. Now taking all of this into account, Kaneki not knowing of his mother’s heritage wouldn’t know of her shortened lifespan and thus just assumed it was due to overworking.
Another hint of her premature aging is shown when Kaneki is in the 24th ward in the sequel:
When Kaneki talked to his mental construct of Rize in chapter 62 of the original series, they talked about the concept of “choice.” Kaneki’s mother died because she “chose” to work herself to death in order to provide for her sister rather than “choosing” to stay alive for her son. However, in this chapter of :re the text suggests death was the only fate awaiting for her, and this occurs at a time when Kaneki is confronting his own accelerated aging problem.
However, if Kaneki’s mother’s financial difficulties weren’t as dire as Kaneki thought, why would she still work herself around the clock? The most likely answer is that she knew she was dying, and she wanted to make sure her son was taken care of after she was gone. At the beginning of Tokyo Ghoul, Kaneki doesn’t have a job before he starts working at Anteiku. Despite this, he still able to afford to his own apartment and living expenses while attending Kamii University. It’s unlikely that Kaneki’s neglectful and abusive aunt continued to support him after he moved out (given how little she gave him while he was still living with her). So, how did Kaneki support himself at the beginning of the series? I’ve found a source stating Kaneki started receiving his mother’s insurance after he turned 18. So, Kaneki’s mother spent all the time she had left working in order to provide Kaneki with as much insurance money as possible. She supplied her sister with money whenever she asked because she was hoping she could guilt her into taking Kaneki in after she died.
Now, the one hole in this theory is Kaneki’s aunt. If Kaneki’s mother was dying of premature aging, shouldn’t her older sister have died before she did? If she was an escaped half-human, perhaps this was an adoptive sister (they don’t resemble each other that much physically)? Given that we know little about Kaneki’s aunt we can’t really say for sure.
So far, I have gone over evidence how Kaneki is secretly related to the Washuu clan. However, this raises another important question: what are the chances Rize would’ve met a relative of hers by chance? I don’t think it was. When Kaneki talks to his mental construct of Rize about his mother and his past, for some reason he flashbacks to a play he acted in as a child.
His classmates forced him to be the lead. On the back of his cloak is part of the leaf symbol associated with the representation of the One-Eyed King.
So, the reason this play was shown was because it foreshadowed his future as the One-Eyed King. However, if this part of the play foreshadowed Kaneki’s future, then it stands to reason that the rest of it does as well. Not much detail is given about the plot, but the basic premise is that Kaneki in his role as the protagonist fights against a witch (who manipulates events from behind the scenes) and her servant.
Both Furuta and Kanou both believe Kaneki only met Rize by chance. So, if Kaneki was indeed selected then it must have come from a 3rd party manipulating events from behind the scenes. Could it be the Witch foreshadowed in the play? When Tokyo Ghoul :re was still in serialization many on Tumblr hypothesized about the identity of the Witch. There have been a few characters in the series that Ishida-sensei has given witch symbolism to. For example, in a few volume omakes Nico was portrayed as the witch from Snow White and Hansel and Gretel.
However, because these references occur in omakes I’m not sure if these are meant to be taken seriously. Another character who some considered might be the Witch is Eto, as she herself has manipulated events from behind the scenes and was portrayed as a witch in one drawing of Ishida-sensei’s.
However, if Eto was somehow able to manipulate a scenario where Kaneki meets Rize for the purposes of Kanou’s experiment, that would mean she’d have had to know about Furuta and Kanou’s plans from the beginning. It also means she would’ve known about their whereabouts and movements. However, if this was the case why did it take Aogiri Tree so long to locate Dr. Kanou in Part 1? Also, her conversation with Furuta (in Cochlea) in :re makes it clear that she didn’t know of their plans until after Kanou joined Aogiri Tree.
The final candidate many were considering was Itori based on the design of her clown mask.
This is also bolstered by Itori calling Kaneki by the name “Kanekichi,” which hints at his connection to the Washuu clan. However, her somehow manipulating Kaneki and Rize’s meeting would’ve required her to directly shape events, and we’ve seen in :re that she adheres to the Clown’s ideology of watching from the sidelines as opposed to influencing events herself (until the final battle in :re however). Thus, it’s likely the true Witch is none of these characters, but rather someone that hasn’t been introduced. So, we may never know who the true Witch is unless Ishida-sensei decides to continue the series someday. However, even if we can’t determine the identity of the Witch, we do know who the Witch’s Servant is.
The Witch’s Servant
Throughout the story of Tokyo Ghoul, Hide essentially serves as Kaneki’s “shadow.” He observes Kaneki from behind the scenes, and molds events to his benefit (or not as we’ll get into). Additionally, for some reason he has intimate knowledge and an apparent connection to the Washuu clan.
What could someone like Hide do to make the Washuu clan constantly be on the lookout for him? Also, he somehow has a deep knowledge of the Washuu’s secrets. For example, he somehow knew the Rc gates were rigged not to respond to Washuu clan members. He even left this information to Marude as a tip, which helped him learn the Washuu clan members were ghouls.
How would Hide have known this information? In the epilogue of :re, it’s stated Hide grew up in the CCG’s facilities, but this doesn’t explain how he obtained such intimate knowledge of the CCG heads, nor does it explain what his true goals were. Back to the topic of the play, if Kaneki’s role as the protagonist was direct foreshadowing, then it stands to reason that Hide serving a “Witch” was also foreshadowing. If Kaneki’s meeting with Rize was engineered by the Witch, then Hide is her agent. He’s been monitoring Kaneki’s progress as a ghoul and intervening when needed on her behalf. For evidence of this, we look to a trait of Hide’s that he shares with Kaneki. Whenever one of them lies, they touch their faces. In Hide’s case, he normally touches his cheek. I will chronologically list some of the instances where he’s done this.
In chapter 8, Kaneki has a flashback of when he first met Hide. Here, when he asks Kaneki to be his friend he justifies this by saying says he just moved there and didn’t have any friends. However, we know he’s lying as he’s scratching his face. So, he must have had an ulterior motive for befriending Kaneki. Likely, the Witch (knowing of Kaneki’s Washuu heritage) assigned Hide to become his friend in order to keep an eye on him.
Here, in chapter 2 he scratched his cheek after saying she died instantly. If the Witch knew of Furuta and Kanou’s plans then she would know Rize was alive, and thus she would tell her servant (Hide).
In chapter 7, Hide takes Kaneki to meet Nishiki (supposedly for club activities). When they must go somewhere to retrieve some things, Nishiki insists Kaneki come with them. Here Hide scratches his face (lies) when he states that isn’t necessary. Why would it be necessary for Kaneki to come with them? Well, Kaneki actually met Nishiki the night before when he unknowingly walked into the latter’s territory, and this led to a violent confrontation between the two. What are the chances that Hide would take Kaneki to meet the very same ghoul he met the night before, and why would he need to take Kaneki with them? Well, if the Witch has been keeping a track of Kaneki’s movements then she would know of his encounter with Nishiki, and that a further meeting would result in a fight between them. Remember, the significance of Kaneki’s fight with Nishiki is that it’s the first time he releases his kagune. So, if the Witch engineered him becoming a one-eyed ghoul, then she is also monitoring his progress as one.
During Kaneki and Nishiki’s fight, Hide is knocked unconscious. After reawakening, he scratches his cheek (lies) when he says he doesn’t remember anything. He does this because doing so would force him to admit that Kaneki is now part-ghoul, and make it difficult to be around him and keep an eye on him (for his master, the Witch).
Later, Marude questions Hide when it’s revealed he was the one who tipped off the CCG about the whereabouts of Aogiri Tree. Here, Hide scratches his face (lies) when he says pretending to be a private investigator is his hobby. So, what are the other reasons he was spying on Yamori? On Hide’s phone, the name “Ken Kaneki” was shown, and Yamori was the one who kidnapped Kaneki. However, how would Hide know that Kaneki had kidnapped Yamori (the Anteiku members wouldn’t report what happened due to them being ghouls). So, he must have another source (the Witch). Also, he just “somehow” managed to find a dead ghoul that he could take clothes from, and despite seemingly being an ordinary college student he for some reason possessed a high-tech transmitter. Sound a little far-fetched?
Later, during the 20th Ward battle, Hide is somehow able to make it through the battlefield unscathed and reach V14 (where he somehow anticipates Kaneki will arrive). He once again scratches his face (lies) when he states he wants to help Kaneki, suggesting he has an ulterior motive.
Later, when Hide finally reveals his identity in the sequel Amon asks why he is going so far to save Kaneki. Hide replies that he loves him, but when questions if he truly needs another reason, he scratches his cheek (lies). So, what was his other motive? Hide’s ulterior motives are never revealed in-story. So, unless Ishida-sensei decides to make another sequel in the future, we’ll never know what Hide’s precise motivations were or why he was serving the Witch (or even who the Witch truly is). Well, until then.
Say Goodbye, touken fanfic
Summary: The city lights penetrate the damp windows of :re and they land on Touka’s eyes, eyes that shine with tears and a plea, eyes that wait for an answer to the question she’s so afraid to ask. Will you stay? Both know he won’t, and this is their reality. Trembling lips that will never be free and hearts that may never be fully mended.
Rating: M, smut, angst | Words: 2,776k | Read on AO3
A/N: I like to suffer ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ woops.
If someone would’ve said to Touka that three years from now Kaneki would be long gone, she would have stand up and punch them out, cause they were all wrong.
Yes, they were.
She knew better, for in the quiet of the night her tears pleaded a don’t leave me alone that he swore with a towering I won’t.
People are like stars, her father once said, they shine for you in the sky above and even when sometimes their lights fade away, they’re still there, watching over you. Touka never knew how to maintain Kaneki’s radiance, until one day his light evaporated like blood and Touka lost him, there in the highest place of her gloomy sky where thousands of stars disappeared each day, Touka lost his track and never found him again.
She was wrong. They knew better, they warned her, but still his lips swore I won’t. He knew too, and still he left her.
I’ll see you later, okay?
At the beginning, silence remains.
His eyes don’t look at her; under the dim of a room that suffocates them both, Touka is able to contemplate his worn features clearly, his eye bags shining like dying diamonds and his withered lips shivering occasionally with the intention of saying something, anything, but the quietness takes control of him. The city lights penetrate the damp windows of :re and they land onto Touka’s eyes, eyes that shine with tears and a plea, eyes that wait for an answer to the question she’s so afraid to ask.
Will you stay?
Both know he won’t.