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36 Tokyo Ghoul Facts About Kaneki Ken/Sasaki Haise

Updated on April 19, 2018
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'Fact Fact no Mi' is a three-person team. We like to write articles about our interest that include manga, anime and k-pop in our free time.

Different personalities of Kaneki Ken - Kuroneki, Shironeki, Centipede, Sasaki, and Akaneki.
Different personalities of Kaneki Ken - Kuroneki, Shironeki, Centipede, Sasaki, and Akaneki. | Source

Introduction

Kaneki Ken is the main protagonist of the Tokyo Ghoul series. In a world where human-eating ghouls exist, Kaneki ends up in an accident after he was attacked by a female ghoul named Rize Kamishiro. But, Kaneki survived by receiving an organ transplantation, performed by doctor Kanou, from that same ghoul who was suspiciously killed by steel beams which fell on her. Kaneki's situation soon takes a turn for the worse, when he finds himself unable to digest normal food and starts craving human flesh. After finding out that he was turned into a half-ghoul, Kaneki asks for help form Anteiku's manager Yoshimura, who offers him food and shelter in exchange for manual labor. There, Kaneki becomes friends with other ghouls, especially Touka, but his happy days are soon over when a series of tragic events starts happening, not only to Kaneki, but to those around him as well. The series ends with Kaneki facing off with Arima Kishou and the CCG, an organisation made to counter ghouls, in an attempt to save Anteiku form their raid. After their final fight, all traces of Kaneki Ken vanish leading us to a major time-skip.

The series continues in Tokyo Ghoul:re, where the main protagonist is Sasaki Haise, a ghoul investigator and the leader of the QS Squad who has no memories of his life before joining CCG. All seems well and fine until Sasaki encounters the ghoul Serpent who identifies him as Kaneki. Confused by all of this, Sasaki loses control and goes berserk, but is soon put to sleep by his superiors. After this event, Sasaki aims to find out more about Kaneki Ken and his past, but he finds himself at a great disadvantage when his superiors start taking notice. After finally finding out the truth that he is actually Kaneki himself, Sasaki decides to deceive the other investigators.

After taking a huge risk and revealing his real intentions, Kaneki is forced to duel Arima, his mentor and "father", but is unable to do so due to his strong devotion. Even with all of Arima's threats and provocations, Kaneki refused to kill him, which leads to Arima cutting his own throat. Soon, Kaneki finds out about Arima's past and his tragic destiny and is asked to fulfill Arima's wish, as well to pretends that he was the one who killed him. With his desire to protect his friends and Arima's legacy, Kaneki takes on the title of the rumored One-Eyed King to lead all the ghouls and humans alike, and to enable them to understand each other and live in peace together.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Kaneki Ken as the One-Eyed King.Kaneki as the One-Eyed King in chapter 100 of Tokyo Ghoul:re.
Kaneki Ken as the One-Eyed King.
Kaneki Ken as the One-Eyed King.
Kaneki as the One-Eyed King in chapter 100 of Tokyo Ghoul:re.
Kaneki as the One-Eyed King in chapter 100 of Tokyo Ghoul:re.

" 'Ghouls are to be exterminated.' 'In order to live, we must kill and eat humans.' The reason our mutually destructive relationship has never changed is because we have never, together, made an attempt to make even the smallest step forward. Ghouls and humans can understand each other... The fact that I, who was once a human, stand here before you is proof enough."

— Kaneki Ken

We have managed to find as many facts as we could. Since this character has a lot of different personalities and names, you will rarely find them all listen in one place. So, here is our list of the 1000-7.... I mean 35 facts about Kaneki Ken/ Sasaki Haise/ Eyepatch/ Centipede/ One-Eyed Ghoul/ Kakuja's Egg/ Shironeki/ Kuroneki/ Akaneki/ Number 240/ Black Reaper/ Sassan/ Maman/ Sasako/ Sasaki the Sasarious/ The One-Eyed King.

Note that this list is not spoiler free for those who are not up to date with the most recent chapters of the manga and for those who have only watched the anime!

In the following table of content you can see what we have written about in our article:

We will talk about Kaneki's/Sasaki's:

Name and nicknames
Traits and abilities
Family
General info
Ranking and medals
Torture
Birthday
Quinque
Reference to tarot
Habits and hobbys
Kakuja form
Reference to Kafka's book
Appearance
Relationships
Parallel to The Black Goat's Egg

The List of Facts about Kaneki/Sasaki:

  • Kaneki (金木) means "golden tree" and Ken (研) means "to grind/polish" or "study", while hos other name Sasaki (佐々木) means "wren" and Haise (琲世) means "halsband world". The second name was created using the kanji from "coffee" and "world."

The name "Sasaki Haise" was chosen by Kaneki himself alongside Arima, who freed him from Cochlea. Apparently, it all started because Arima felt sorry for Kaneki, a former human who would gouge his own eyes out every night due to the trauma he suffered. Therefore, to make things a little bit easier for him, Arima started bringing books to Kaneki and soon grew fond of him. This all lead to Arima asking for permission to start a new program where Kaneki would be a ghoul investigator and leader of their new QS Squad.

Kaneki/Sasaki coming up with a name with Arima.
Kaneki/Sasaki coming up with a name with Arima.
  • Kaneki's surname is a reference to the famous novelist Osamu Dazai, who was born in Kanagi and most famous for his novel "No Longer Human".

When Kaneki and Eto Yoshimura/Takatsuki Sen met at the book signing, she briefly discussed Osamu Dazai with him. The story of the novel he wrote is told in the form of notebooks left by a troubled man incapable of revealing his true self to others, and who is instead forced to uphold a facade.

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Kaneki and Eto/Takatsuki Sen discussing Osamu Dazai.Osamu Dazai and his most famous work "No Longer Human".
Kaneki and Eto/Takatsuki Sen discussing Osamu Dazai.
Kaneki and Eto/Takatsuki Sen discussing Osamu Dazai.
Osamu Dazai and his most famous work "No Longer Human".
Osamu Dazai and his most famous work "No Longer Human".
  • Kaneki has a habit of touching his chin with his left hand when he is hiding something. This habit appears to be subconscious, as he still does it even after his memory loss while under the name Sasaki.

This fact was first mentioned by Hide, who told this to Touka. After closely examining this trait of his, we can note that Kaneki has lied a lot of times, for instance, when he left Anteiku, when he talked about his mother, when he said he was happy working at the CCG and not knowing anything...

Sasaki lying about being happy with his life in the CCG.
Sasaki lying about being happy with his life in the CCG.
  • Kaneki was ranked second in the latest character popularity poll, while Haise Sasaki came third.

This fact seems a bit funny considering that Kaneki and Sasaki are the same person, but still, fans tend to like the violent and badass-looking Kaneki more than the caring Sasaki. All in all, this just means that he has earned a double place in our hearts thus deserving two places in the character popularity poll.

  • Kaneki shares the same birthday with Arima Kishou.

He has actually two birthdays, one as Kaneki, which is on December 20th, and one as Sasaki, which is on April 2nd. The one he shares with Arima is actually the one in December. It is also very interesting that Kaneki "killed" Arima on their birthdays (according to the date when that chapter came out).

Kaneki's and Arima's birthday on the Tokyo Ghoul calendar.
Kaneki's and Arima's birthday on the Tokyo Ghoul calendar.
  • Kaneki likes reading, beautiful language, intellectual women, and hamburgers.

Throughout the series we have all noted Kaneki's love for books, even as Sasaki he was a big fan of Takatsuki Sen's works. It can also be said that reading calms him down. Also, it's a bit sad that even though he likes hamburgers, he won't be to eat them anymore, but, luckily he has found something else to replace it and that is Touka's hand-made coffee.

  • Beginning with the Aogiri arc, Kaneki has been repeatedly associated with the number "12" in panels. This is a reference to the tarot card The Hanged Man (XII).

The Hanged Man is a card that deals with surrender and sacrifice, as well as many other interpretations. Ishida is well known for his references to the tarot cards and he has used this to foreshadow some of the scenes, future happening, and character developments many times. This lead many fans to believe the theory that Kaneki follows the path of the Fool (0), encountering other tarot cards which were used for other characters.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Kaneki and the reference to The Hanged Man (XII).Kaneki and the reference to The Hanged Man (XII).
Kaneki and the reference to The Hanged Man (XII).
Kaneki and the reference to The Hanged Man (XII).
Kaneki and the reference to The Hanged Man (XII).
Kaneki and the reference to The Hanged Man (XII).
  • Sasaki's quinque, Yukimura 1/3, has been used by both Kishou Arima, as a teenager, and Take Hirako, when he was partnered with Arima.

Even though Sasaki possessed a Kagune he rarely used it. He almost always fought using his quinque, except the times he lost control. Also, he was always telling the QS to not rely on their Kagune too much, but to first learn to use their quinque since they are investigators first of all, and then half-ghouls.

Young Arima using the quinque Yukimura 1/3.
Young Arima using the quinque Yukimura 1/3.
  • Kaneki compares himself to Gregor Samsa, the unfortunate protagonist of Franz Kafka's "The Metamorphosis". In the sequel, he briefly discusses Kafka's "A Crossbreed" with Arima, another story with strong parallels to his situation.

From the very beginning, the story has been developing in a similar manner as in Kafka's book. Samsa, similar to Kaneki, transforms into a huge insect, is unable to eat normal food, and ends up being rejected by his family who saw him as a monster. It can also be said that this book was the inspiration for Tokyo Ghoul.

Kaneki talking about Kafka's "The Metamorphosis".
Kaneki talking about Kafka's "The Metamorphosis".

"I’m not the protagonist of a novel or anything. I’m just a college student who likes to read, like you could find anywhere. But... if, for argument’s sake, you were to write a story with me in the lead role, it would certainly be... a tragedy."

— Kaneki Ken
  • The sudden whitening of Kaneki's hair caused by torture is a condition known as Marie Antoinette Syndrome.

This syndrome is a sudden whitening of the hair, caused by extreme stress or emotional trauma. It was named after the last queen of France, Marie Antoinette, whose hair turned white during the imprisonment prior to her execution by the guillotine. This same thing happened to Mutsuki Tooru as well after she was tortured by Torso.

  • The relationship between Sasaki and his mental projection of "Kaneki" is akin to his relationship with his projections of "Rize" and "Jason" in the past as Kaneki.

"Rize" and "Jason" would often tempt Kaneki to give in to his ghoul self, while "Kaneki" tried to have Sasaki accept him. Both projections represent the ghoul side of himself. This also means that Kaneki's talk with Hide during his fight with Arima was a projection as well.

  • Both Kaneki and Yamori/Jason went through similar torture methods and were both completely changed from their previous selves. Yamori turned into psychotic killer who killed more for fun than to eat, while Kaneki became cold and ruthless, but retained his desire to protect his friends.

That is also why Kaneki picked up the habit of cracking his fingers. He got this from Jason, who started this habit after being tortured himself in Cochlea. They were both forced to count backwards from 1000 always subtracting 7 in order to keep their sanity during torture. One more thing they have in common is that they both became incomplete Kakuja after their torture. Jason started devouring ghouls after driving them insane, while Kaneki ate Jason's Kagune and later from other ghouls as well, like Eto's.

Yamori/Jason being tortured.
Yamori/Jason being tortured.
Kaneki being tortured.
Kaneki being tortured.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul Trump, Kaneki and Sasaki are each featured as "Ace of Hearts" and Kaneki is also featured on the "Queen of Hearts" card alongside Rize. In a redistributed version, he's also featured as a "White Joker."

I believe rather than normal cards, it would be more interesting to see the Tokyo Ghoul characters on tarot cards, since there are already a lot of references to tarot cards in the manga. It would certainly be interesting to see which character would represent which card.

  • In Tokyo Ghoul Root A, according to Ishida's rough drafts, Tatara insisted that Kaneki eats Taguchi to prove his loyalty to Aogiri Tree. However, Noro ate her before Kaneki and Tatara had finished arguing. This scene was cut out from the finalized work.

You should know that the anime and manga are different in some parts. The ending of Root A is not cannon and the fact that Kaneki joined Aogiri Tree did not happened in the manga. But, it would have been interesting to see Kaneki as part of Aogiri and arguing with Tatara. All the more if they demanded from Kaneki to prove his loyalty by eating someone. I wish I could see how Kaneki would have reacted and what he would do to get out of that pinch.

  • Kaneki was studying Japanese Literature at Kamii University before becoming a ghoul.

This is really no surprise since Kaneki is really fond of books, especially novels. He started reading books when he was still a child, wondering what his father was like. He though that if he read his father's books, he would find something out about him. Later, he began to like books because the calm him down, and he loves the scent of the old books.

Kaneki reading his father's books.
Kaneki reading his father's books.
  • Kaneki has 16 different names/nicknames.

We are already aware that he has two different names, but beside that, he has 14 different nicknames or aliases: Eyepatch, Centipede, One-Eyed Ghoul, Kakuja's Egg, Shironeki, Kuroneki, Akaneki, Number 240, Black Reaper, Sassan, Maman, Sasako, Sasaki the Sasarious, and The One-Eyed King.

Sasaki the Sasarious.
Sasaki the Sasarious.
  • He has been part of 9 different groups and organizations (in the anime he was part of Aoigiri Tree as well).

I believe that none of the other characters have been part of so many groups. Here are the groups Kaneki/Sasaki was part of: Anteiku, Anti-Aogiri, Kaneki's group, Aogiri Tree (in Root A only), CCG, Mado Squad, Quinx Squad, S3 Squad, Arima Aquad, and Black Goat.

  • The only known alive members of Kaneki's family are Kaneki's aunt and uncle, and their son Yuuichi Asaoka, Kaneki's cousin.

It is known that Kaneki lived with his aunt after his mother died. At first, everything was fine, but later, his aunt started hating Kaneki because he was better in school than her own son, and so she started neglecting Kaneki, she didn't even prepare food for him. Right now, their status is unknown, since they haven't been mentioned or shown in the manga after that.

  • Kaneki has the least amount of RC cells out of all the half-ghouls, 2753 RC cells, with Takizawa having the most, 7188.7 RC cells, and then Kurona and Nashiro who have 4110 and 3787 RC cells. Furuta's and Amon's amount of RC cells is currently unknown. I'm not counting the Quinx Squad because they have frames which prevent the Kakuhou from fully integrating into their bodies

The average amount of RC cells for humans is from 200 to 500, while for ghouls it's from 1000 to 8000. From this, we can see that Kaneki has a normal RC level, considering the amount of times he had to regenerate. In contrast to him, Takizawa has a ridiculously large amount of RC cells, so I wonder if that level could go beyond the limit, and what could become of him if that were to happen.

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Levels of RC cells of half-ghouls Takizawa, Kurona, Nashiro, and Kaneki.Sasaki's level of RC cells.
Levels of RC cells of half-ghouls Takizawa, Kurona, Nashiro, and Kaneki.
Levels of RC cells of half-ghouls Takizawa, Kurona, Nashiro, and Kaneki.
Sasaki's level of RC cells.
Sasaki's level of RC cells.
  • Kaneki is 23 years old. He is 170 cm tall, and has 58 kg. His foot length is 25.5 cm, and his blood type is AB. He is rated as an SS ghoul.

It is really great to have a main character who is older than 20 for a change. The series did start with Kaneki having 18 years, but it's was the perfect age to show a person's mental state and how it changes. Now, we can experience a grown and mature protagonist.

  • During his time as a CCG ghoul investigator, Sasaki earned two honors: Single White Wing Medal, and Golden Osmanthus Medal.

In Tokyo Ghoul Epilogue, Sasaki started off as a Rank 3 investigator and made his way to Rank 1, First Class, and, finally, Associate Special Class. In the process he got two medals of honor. It's really a shame that he had to quit being an investigator.

Sasaki with his medals and the QS Squad.
Sasaki with his medals and the QS Squad.
  • Kaneki would at times refer to his actions as "we" or "us," albeit mostly while in a stressed state. He refers to himself as if he consisted of more than just one person, which is also the result of his constant mind projections.

As mentioned above, Kaneki is prone to making imaginary projections of people who greatly influenced him. At some point, when Sasaki talked to "Kaneki" when he got the eye-patch mask for a present, he unconsciously mentioned him to the Quinx who were confused, so Sasaki quickly covered for it.

  • Kaneki's first impression of Tsukiyama is that he looks like a model.

Poor Kaneki didn't know any better. Because of his pure thought, he was targeted by Tsukiyama, and was almost killed. Later, he became more cautious, but know they are very close friends. Tsukiyama became someone who Kaneki can put his trust into, and he became a precious member of Anteiku, now :re.

  • In Tokyo Ghoul:re it was revealed that Kaneki was physically abused by his mother.

This is where Kaneki's habit of holding his left hand on the chin played a big role. While talking about his mother at the end of Tokyo Ghoul, Kaneki was shown doing exactly this while saying that he loves his mother. We can see that he was suppressing the fact that he may hate his mother, and is trying to find an excuse for her behavior by saying that she was overworked.

Kaneki being physically abused by his mother.
Kaneki being physically abused by his mother.
  • Kaneki once got his wallet stolen by Suzuya Juuzou in Tokyo Ghoul. Suzuya later returned that money to Sasaki in Tokyo Ghoul:re aware of the fact that Sasaki is Kaneki even though Sasaki wasn't aware of that himself.

During his debut, Suzuya was shown stealing Kaneki's wallet. Ever since then, it was not completely clear whether he knew that Kaneki was a ghoul, but later that was confirmed when he recognized Sasaki as Kaneki and returned the money. It's really nice how he didn't hold any grudges against him or behaved differently towards him just because he was a ghoul, like some of the investigators who didn't like nor trust Sasaki.

Suzuya returning the money he stole from Kaneki to Sasaki.
Suzuya returning the money he stole from Kaneki to Sasaki.
  • Sasaki always prepares for meetings with Suzuya by hiding treats in his pockets, letting Suzuya frisk him as a greeting.

This shows us just how big of a friendship Sasaki and Suzuya have. Out of all the investigators, I believe that Suzuya was the only one who didn't care about Sasaki's background. They are on really good terms and help each other out as seen at the scene where Suzuya asks to join Mutsuki's undercover mission to help Sasaki, as well as get revenge on Big Madam.

Sasaki prepared sweets for Suzuya and hid them in his pockets.
Sasaki prepared sweets for Suzuya and hid them in his pockets.
  • Kaneki was tortured by Jason on his 19th birthdays. He was held in Jason's hobby room and abused for 10 days.

This is one of the most disturbing facts I've read about Kaneki so far. His live surely is a tragedy. He experienced such cruel things, especially being abused on his birthday, for 10 days straight, enduring unimaginable amounts of pain, and being responsible for the death of a mother and child. No wonder his hair turned white. But, regardless, this the favourite scene of many fans.

  • When fans asked Ishida about Kaneki's battle suit, Ishida suggested that Tsukiyama was the one who made it for Kaneki.

Everyone really liked Kaneki's battle suit. It made him look stern and intense, and it also had a slight centipede-like theme. It would be great if Tsukiyama would design another battle suit for Kaneki now that he is the One-Eyed King.

  • Kaneki is hated a lot by Ayato. The reason is that he strongly resembles his and Touka's father, Arata Kirishima.

There really a lot of similarities between Arata and Kaneki, from the way they behave, to their "weak" mentality and "strength". Even the fact that Arata became a Kakuja is similar to Kaneki who is still an incomplete Kakuja.

Arata Kirishima as a Kakuja.
Arata Kirishima as a Kakuja.
  • Kaneki is good at drawing.

This can be seen in the first chapter when Hide asked him how a ghoul would look like. Both of them drew their own versions of how they imagined ghouls looked like, and here we can see that Kaneki has a talent for drawing.

Kaneki drawing his depiction of how a ghoul looks like.
Kaneki drawing his depiction of how a ghoul looks like.
  • As a ghoul, Kaneki can survive for a month on one human body.

I believe that Kaneki can last even longer, or at least he used to do when he was refusing to eat humans, and was using little cubes which he put in his coffee to satisfy his hunger.

  • Kaneki's role in the story is a parallel to the Goat's child in Sen Takatsuki's book "The Black Goat's Egg", which is also his favourite book.

In this book, the story centers around the relationship between a young man and his mother, a brutal serial killer known as the "Black Goat". Though he is disgusted by his mother's cruel actions, he begins to discover the same depraved impulses exist within him as well. It focuses on graphic descriptions of violence, as well as an exploration of the protagonist's mental state.

  • Kinmokusei, also known as the Fragrant Olive, is a flower associated with Kaneki due to being an alternate readings of the same Kanji.

Kinmokusei is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing to 3–12 m tall. The flowers are white, pale yellow, yellow, or orange-yellow, small, with a four-lobed corolla, and have a strong fragrance. They are produced in small clusters in the late summer and autumn.

  • The form of Keneki's incomplete Kakuja resembling a centipede may be a result of Yamori's torture by having a Chinese red-headed centipede placed in his ear.

This caused a big trauma in Kaneki. After being tortured in such a way, he snapped, and when he fought Jason, he did the same to him, placing the same centipede he pulled out of his ear into Jason's ear. But, it doesn't end there. When he started developing his Kakuja form, his Kagune took on the form of a centipede, and at some points, Kaneki starts acting the way he did when he fought Jason.

Kaneki's incomplete Kakuja form which resembles a centipede.
Kaneki's incomplete Kakuja form which resembles a centipede.
  • The reason why Sasaki's hair was half-black and later turned completely black was due to Sasaki suppressing his RC cell activity which temporarily increased his melanin production.

While under the name of Sasaki, he tried to suppress his ghoul side, which is also the reason why he imagined the projection of "Kaneki", who asked him not to forget "him". That continued until his hair was completely black again, but after he accepted his ghoul side once more during his fight with Arima, his hair turned white again, just like when he was tortured by Jason and accepted his ghoul side.

Sasaki with black hair.
Sasaki with black hair.
  • Because of Tooru Mutsuki, Ishida has stated that he often forgets over which eye he needs to put the eyepatch on Kaneki.

Since both of the characters used to wear eyepatches, this seems to have confused Ishida as to which side the eyepatch is on. While Mutsuki wears the eyepatch over his/her right eye, Kaneki wears it over his left eye. But an even greater confusion comes while drawing their ghoul masks since the eyepatch position switches, so that their ghoul eye can be see.

Kaneki and Mutsuki with their eyepatch.
Kaneki and Mutsuki with their eyepatch.

Which of Kaneki's personalities do you like the most?

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About the Tokyo Ghoul series.

Tokyo Ghoul is a tragic story about Ken Kaneki, a college student. He meets a girl, Rize, who turns out to be a ghoul, a species who are just like humans, except the fact that they are only able to feed on humans and other ghouls. Rize quickly turns on Kaneki Ken, attacking in an attempt to devour him. During the attack, an accident happens that kills Rize. A nearly dead Kaneki Ken gets subjected to an operation that involves an organ transplantation from Rize. Thus Kaneki Ken becomes a half-ghoul.

Tokyo Ghoul is a seinen manga series created by Ishida Sui. In 2010. Ishida won the Young Jump 113th Grand Prix award with a Tokyo Ghoul One-shot, which was later published on March 15, 2011. in the 2nd Issue of Miracle Jump.

The Tokyo Ghoul manga was published from September 8, 2011 to September 18, 2014 in the magazine Weekly Young Jump. The sequel, Tokyo Ghoul:re, began serialization on October 16, 2014 in the same magazine. An anime adaptation of Tokyo Ghoul aired from July 4, 2014 to September 19, 2014 and the second season, Tokyo Ghoul A, aired from January 9, 2015 to March 27, 2015. The second season has an alternative ending then that of the manga.

© 2016 Fact Fact no Mi

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    • Emilea Andrews profile image

      Emilea Andrews 

      13 months ago from UK

      i love this anime! omg

    • factfactnomi profile imageAUTHOR

      Fact Fact no Mi 

      20 months ago from Novi Sad, Serbia

      I totally agree. The same goes for human Kaneki. They are too pure for this world :D

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