Ken Kaneki, who accidentally becomes a ghoul after surviving being eaten by one, is the protagonist of Sui Ishida’s Tokyo Ghoul manga and the anime as well as the protagonist of our article. In this article, we have decided to clear up a mystery that has been confusing fans for some time, a mystery that is the result of Ishida’s complex narrative style and the fact that the protagonist changed identities more than once. In this article, we are going to talk about Ken Kaneki and clear up whether he appeared in Tokyo Ghoul:re or not.
Ken Kaneki is the central protagonist of Tokyo Ghoul and although he has changed names and identities more than once, he was still Ken Kaneki all the time. This means that Ken Kaneki was in Tokyo Ghoul:re and that he was the series’ protagonist, just like in all the iterations. In :re, Kaneki lost his memories and was given the identity of Haise Sasaki, but it was still him and he ended up returning to his old identity quite soon.
Today’s article is going to be about Kaneki’s evolution as a character in the Tokyo Ghoul:re series. You’re going to find out how his story evolved in the second part of the narrative and how he developed from an ordinary student in love with an enigmatic girl to the king of the ghouls who would save both his own people and the human race. Enjoy!
Is Kaneki in Tokyo Ghoul:re? What happened to him?
At the beginning of Tokyo Ghoul:re, a new protagonist called Haise Sasaki was introduced. He looked a lot like Kaneki but was different and he seemingly had no clue who Kaneki was. This confused a lot of fans, especially since it did seem that Kaneki was either dead or imprisoned after his defeat at the hands of Arima. So, what happened?
The character of Haise Sasaki was introduced as a replacement for Ken Kaneki in season 3 of the anime but as it soon turned out, Haise Sasaki was actually Ken Kaneki. Namely, after his clash with Arima, he was left with serious brain damage but alive. The CCG realized Kaneki’s potential so they used the situation and gave him a new identity, as he had no clue about his former self. His appearance was slightly changed and he had now become a well-respected inspector with the CCG. He also led and mentored the Quinx Squad, especially Kuki Urie, who was sort of an enfant terrible of the group.
Haise Sasaki and Serpent, who was actually Nishiki Nishio, an old friend of Kaneki, got into a fight during the Torso case. Sasaki was ready to be vanquished when the “picture” of Kaneki appeared in front of him and awakened his powers. Sasaki was unaware of the origins of these powers because he still couldn’t recall his previous life. He utilized his ghoul abilities to assault Nishio, and when Nishio’s mask came off, he revealed to Sasaki that he was, in reality, Ken Kaneki, which caused him to crumble as memories started to build up. It was eventually revealed to Kaneki that the CCG was aware of his past but chose to treat him as a human despite his nearly complete breakdown. As long as he behaved like one, that is.
Sasaki now struggles with his subconscious mind on a daily basis and worries that he will always lose control. The CCG carries out its plans for the Rose Extermination and Auction in the interim. Ken Kaneki ultimately reappears when Haise Sasaki regains his memories and accepts his true self during the conflict with the Tsukiyama family. Sasaki/Kaneki assists the CCG despite being once again different and more brutal. They even manage to kill and consume Eto’s ghoul, the One-Eyed Owl; Eto escapes the fight and is subsequently apprehended.
Haise Sasaki’s white hair becomes black, and he acquires the moniker “The Black Reaper” after realizing that he is indeed Ken Kaneki. He is, once more, very different from those around him. He is far more vicious and determined to get rid of the nasty ghouls, but he also doesn’t give a damn about his coworkers. He is determined to get rid of the Aogiri Tree and has a perfect record. Even though he was cold and emotionless, the “new” Sasaki never lost touch with his ghoulish side. As a result, when he learned that Arima was going to hunt down his comrades, he betrayed the CCG and set them free, even though he knew he would undoubtedly perish at Arima’s hands.
When the fight finally takes place, Kaneki defeats Arima’s Owl despite the fact that it initially seemed as if Arima would win. This gives him the final victory. Arima uses the broken Owl to slit his own throat after pleading with him to murder him but he refuses. Kaneki was upset since he thought of Arima as his friend and mentor, and Arima also had a great deal of respect for Kaneki. Arima admitted to Kaneki that he was also a half-ghoul and the One-Eyed King, a title that Kaneki would soon take over, as he was dying.
Arima reaffirmed his confidence in Kaneki’s ability to fulfill his responsibility as the One-Eyed King and bring about peace between the ghouls and the humans. Kaneki underwent another shift as a result of this: he developed into a responsible leader of the ghouls and their human sympathizers. He also became more protective and conscious of his place in the world. Soon after, Kaneki and his crew left the CCG, which was then being run by the vengeful Furuta, and established their own organization, Goat. After defeating a few inspectors, Kaneki experienced another mental collapse as Goat battled the CCG. This time, he absolutely lost it as all of his personalities collided with his already frail head.
Another burst of strength was triggered, but Kaneki lost complete control as a result, once again. As Kaneki was imprisoned inside the Dragon’s shell, having hallucinations and having no control over the Dragon at all, a new form was produced, the Dragon, which was massive and started destroying Tokyo. With Rize’s assistance, Kaneki was able to combat the hallucinations this time, and he rapidly returned to life with his companions awaiting him.
However, the Dragon was still alive and a threat to everyone; in addition, there was the matter of the crazed Furuta. When Kaneki learned that the Scarecrow was actually his best buddy Hide, back in the real world, he gained new strength to battle Furuta and the Dragon. The ghoulish creature was successfully defeated by Kaneki in the final chapters when he defeated Furuta and broke the Dragon’s final defenses. With this, Kaneki ultimately put an end to all internal strife and emerged as the real One-Eyed King, the king of the ghouls and the person who made peace between them and humans.