I feel like every person going "look Etoken aww, cute" are totally misinterpreting the last chapters: with her short hair, she looks like Kaneki's mom in many panels and since she said she loved him and wanted him to make him "her child", it sounds to me like we're facing another case of new "parents" for Kaneki. After all he might become the one eyed king of Aogiri and in that case as his "predecessor" and guide, Eto will turn out to be his mother figure, like Rize or Akira once were for him.
Besides, he is also comparing himself to a child hating on adults currently so Eto becoming his mom rather than his lover sounds more accurate to his development. I’m thinking Kaneki is at a point where he went through so much shit that he has a set of parents for every part of him (Kuro/Shironeki/Haise/Black Sasaki). When he decides he doesn’t need to have parental figures, I’m thinking that’s when he will be able to start figuring things out better (i.e namely that he can’t side with anyone).
Very nice theory, thanks a lot for sharing and I agree 100% to this interpretation, except that, as much as I love this theory, I also get the point of view of EtoKen shippers. :)
Because, remember Rize? She became Kaneki’s first mother figure after TG started when initially he had a crush on her. So what I’m trying to say is that people looking at Eto and Ken’s interactions and thinking “romance” (especially on Eto’s part) aren’t necessarily wrong currently, and that’s without mentioning what “Takatsuki Sen” represents to Kaneki.
Honestly, I think the development you’re talking about is definitely the most likely to happen but only for Kaneki’s point of view.
When it comes to Eto, she might think of herself as his guide, since “Nameless” in her new book is definitely based on the next OEK (aka possibly Kaneki) and she also said…
but Kaneki made an even stronger impression on her in the last arc (when she already was interested in him since the raid on Kanou’s lab), and so I wouldn’t be surprised if the “I love you” of the last arc had an extra connotation of possible romance from Eto’s part (aside from her being excited that he could be the guy who will change things I mean). Especially because of that poem…
Only people dull to pain hurt me.
She truly loved me,
Only she didn’t know how to love.
What a stupid God.
I do think he meant Eto there and not his actual mom and, even if there are different forms of love, for now I still feel that Eto’s “love” for Kaneki (since she described it herself as such) can border on romance.
There is the apple metaphor too, shared by Touka (towards Kaneki as well) and Kanae (towards Tsukiyama), and considering that Eto doesn’t even believe her mother wanted her…
…I feel the best way Ishida could give her a bigger character development would be for her to know that she can love too.
This might sound very clichéd, but love and belonging are recurring themes of the manga, and considering all the characters are very complex, I just feel those themes also include possibilities of development for a villain or antagonist.
Still, I think it would certainly be very interesting to watch Kaneki starting to think of Eto as yet another mother figure, because we never really got to see the transition from one mother figure to another: Rize became Kaneki’s ghoul “mom” but we knew nothing of his real mom at that time, and we didn’t see the development since day 1 between Akira and Haise, so I would like to see Kaneki adopting a new parental figure (even though I’m not a fan of the idea that he will join Aogiri to be the OEK for a time).
I’m also personally fond of the possible love triangle between Kaneki, Eto and Touka (though it’s hard to say whether Touka still holds the exact same feelings as 3 years ago), especially because Yoshimura had a deep link with the three of them and is himself associated with a tragic and forbidden love, so I might be a bit biased. ^^
Basically, I’d like for Kaneki to see Eto as a mother figure if he somehow decides to let her “guide” him, but I’d also wish for Eto’s personal feelings to go deeper than that, since he seems to be the first one she really connects with on different levels.
Aside from that, I agree with your final point :)
Kaneki thinks he needs parental figures because of the way he built himself, mainly because he lost his dad at a young age and because he had an abusive mother (and this also goes with the love and belonging themes), and I also think that he will stop being someone else’s pawn the moment he gains his independence the same way a child does by becoming an adult and living their own life.
Parental figures are needed for his development, especially when he’s not always emotionally stable but the moment he will realize he doesn’t need to only rely on them, for example the way he did with Rize…
or when he thought of Akira and Arima during his fight against Nishiki (”Akira-san, Arima-san, give me courage”), that’s when he’ll be ready to walk on his own as Yomo once said and I personally believe that’s when he’ll potentially be able to find love.
Anyway, I feel like I just rambled my way to the Moon, so I apologize for going off my own way and adding my thoughts to your own.
Once again, it’s a really nice theory and I’d like to see it happening which is somehow paradoxical, since I’m not fond of Kaneki becoming the OEK, haha!
Great thinking, thanks a lot for sharing and passing by! :)