I have successfully finished watching Tokyo Ghoul anime. Tokyo Ghoul is one of those animes that is based upon a world of disorder and chaos. To be quite honest, actually the entire anime does not shy away from showing or displaying humans as the biggest enemy of their own existence. Primarily, we do have a very simplistic ideology of a world ruled by humans where Ghouls co-exist with them. Ghouls are similar to the humans, but different in the sense of their natural need, which in case here, is their hunger. They need to feed themselves with human blood and flesh to gain energy, or else they go really mad!
What’s interesting is how a simple thing like hunger, can be devastating for a Ghoul. What’s even more interesting, is the ability of the Ghouls to decide the way in which they can devour humans. They could either hunt down a person down an alleyway, or they could simply eat the dead ones to avoid so much hassles. But among this chaotic world, our protagonist Kaneki Ken, falls into the trap of love with a Ghoul, which ends up pretty bad!
Kaneki Ken, being a half-human and half-ghoul, faces a lot of trouble when it comes to eating stuff. Kaneki can no longer feed upon the usual burgers and sandwiches, since being a half-ghoul, he needs some fresh human flesh to replenish his hunger. ‘Realization’ and ‘Acceptance’ is always hard, when it comes to the bitter truth. Even in the case of Kaneki, it is very difficult for him to accept that he is now a Ghoul and needs to eat humans in order to survive.
How will I accept myself?
Acceptance is a very broad topic, and one could write endless of things about it. But one thing I am sure about is that it is not an easy task. Being able to adapt to something out of choice is something which is quite okay, but making yourself adapt to something against your will is a completely different thing. In the case of Kaneki Ken, the decision of just accepting the fact that he needs to eat humans in order to survive is so difficult. On top of that, desires come into play. Desires and natural need draws him towards multiple encounters where he sees a fresh body in front of him, he starts salivating to the point where he could actually lose his control.
This is devastating, as this is not only about survival, but also about the mental aspect which we are talking about here. Kaneki is enslaved by his own desires, further making him take an action which he thinks he will regret. But it is not just about being just a ghoul. The fact that Kaneki is the only ghoul who has retained the human characteristics, makes this even more difficult for him. This is one the best portrayal of acceptance and desires that I have seen in any anime uptil now.
Its even more intriguing, for the fact the other ghouls could possibly feel the same thing or not, we don’t know about it yet. As a ghoul, what they could possibly do is live with humans, and eat them as well, without getting caught or killed by them. Sounds insane but this is literally what it’s all about. Ghouls don’t just accept themselves, but they accept everything around them. They accept that they live among their own feasts and work for them. I feel that this is very heartbreaking.
The two faces of evil
If ghouls are supposed to be evil in the sense that they kill and eat humans, then the statement would be so absurd. This is due to the fact that even wild animals kill humans and other animals to eat them. But the only reason why wild animals cannot be considered as evil, is because they eat us due to their natural need. If we choose to live far away from them, they cannot interfere with our lives.
Tokyo Ghoul shows you two faces of the same coin. By that I mean that even if Ghouls have to accept their lives, they pretty much can control the way they live it. Ghouls can choose whether they should live with other ghouls or humans peacefully, or if they should use the search and hunt method and go berserk. In the sense of survival, the former would be the best one, however this also means that the ones opting for the latter choice could impose restrictions and enslave the docile ones to fulfill their desires. This theory created in the story of Tokyo Ghoul is really important to push it forward towards a more meaningful context.
The dilemma of good and bad
Kaneki Ken subsequently falls into the biggest confusion of his life, the notion of goodness and evil that he has embedded in his mind, keep becoming blur and transforms into something which he had not even realized himself. The story changes the belief system of this character, targeting solely upon his ideology of good and evil, shatters it completely, and tries to build it again bit by bit as he understands and accepts himself as a ghoul.
What will Kaneki starts believing and accepting is now in his own hands, which would be refined by his knowledge and experience, which he gains through constant efforts of surviving. What will Kaneki do tomorrow mostly depends upon what happens with him in the first place. The basic ideology of good and bad gets erased from his memories. His mind now tries to rebuild the new ideology, based upon the scenarios he faces, keeping in mind that the one thing constant for him is now survival and nothing else. Everything changes for him, and so does he!
Not about Humans vs Ghouls
Thinking deeply from both the perspectives, one can easily say that the entire story is not a versus thing. In fact, the whole story could be summarized as something where we are trying to debunk the reason or cause behind why there should be a rivalry between the humans and the ghouls.
Humans in this world try to hunt down ghouls, basically due to the fact that they are causing a lot of casualties. People do not feel safe, and would avoid to go out freely during the nighttime or to a secluded spot alone. Ghouls can be seen as something which is not only stealing human’s lives, but their freedom and mental peace. Humans want to survive, it is as simple as that. But what about the Ghouls? They too need to survive. So if survival is put forward at the forefront as an agenda, there is absolutely no way that humans should kill ghouls and vice-versa. Things can be different, possibly better, once both the parties realizes each other’s potential and needs.