Tokyo Ghoul creator brings back divisive moment in new series

Mangaka Sui Ishida is revisiting a significant moment from his previous works, Tokyo Ghoul and Tokyo Ghoul √A, in chapter 34.4 of his new series, Choujin X.

In Choujin X, the protagonist Tokio reveals to his teammates that he is considering leaving Yamato Mori, an organization that nurtures good Choujin, after Yamato Mori achieves a decisive victory against a major enemy. This decision echoes a similar choice made by Ken Kaneki in Tokyo Ghoul.

In the Tokyo Ghoul storyline, Ken Kaneki also leaves his equivalent of Yamato Mori, known as Anteiku, a sanctuary for ghouls in need, after enduring torture at the hands of the extremist ghoul organization Aogiri Tree. Originally, Sui Ishida wrote it so that Kaneki formed his own group of loyal followers to pursue the answers he sought. However, in the anime’s second season, Tokyo Ghoul √A, Ishida altered Kaneki’s departure and made him join the very group that had inflicted harm upon him, suggesting a distorted mindset caused by his torture. Nevertheless, Kaneki remained opposed to Aogiri.

While √A’s departure from the original manga created a stronger thematic contrast, as Kaneki eventually joins another enemy organization in Tokyo Ghoul:re, Choujin X now places Tokio at a similar crossroads to both versions of Kaneki. Although Tokio does not undergo torture in Choujin X, the event’s setup mirrors Kaneki’s capture in Tokyo Ghoul. However, since Choujin X has not been adapted yet, Ishida can only have Tokio leave his “Anteiku” once, unless he later returns and departs again. The question now is why Tokio wishes to leave.

Choujin X provides Tokio with a more compelling reason than Kaneki had. The life-altering event in Choujin X occurs when a terrifying Choujin named “The Mother” has a vision that a Beast Choujin who possesses her powers can prevent a foreseen calamity. As a Beast Choujin, Tokio is the likely savior. However, Tokio’s companion, Ely, discovers that The Mother has killed other Choujins whom she believed were the savior. This revelation likely deters Tokio from joining The Mother independently. Additionally, Tokio has a vision indicating that he would destroy Yamato Mori, which compels him to leave in order to protect everyone. Despite the differences between Kaneki and Tokio’s decisions to depart, Tokio’s motivations in Choujin X appear more selfless compared to Kaneki’s actions in the Tokyo Ghoul manga and Tokyo Ghoul √A.

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