Touka and Kaneki a Step in the Right Direction
Touka and Kaneki are two characters in Tokyo Ghoul that in many ways have created a chemical reaction. Sometimes they are able to come together and make something useful but other times they cause an explosion. Touka and Kaneki are two characters who are similar but have reacted to their world differently.
They are both lonely being raised by a single parent after the sudden death of the other, and the parent who raised them left permanent scars. Touka was raised by a hypocrite who told her that humans were to be cherished as he killed them behind her back. He would later leave home one night and never come home leaving Touka to develop abandonment issues, as she never felt good enough to keep her father around. She also kept her fathers lessons close to her heart and whenever she strayed she thought of herself as a monster.
Kaneki was raised by a mother who treated him kindly with conditions, as long as he was quiet and a good boy she treated him fine. But god forbid he acted like a normal child and didn’t think of his mothers issues he was abused. Then on top of that his mother died so suddenly that he felt abandoned and his foster family in his aunt made him a recluse which made him feel worse. Kaneki also carried around the twisted message of letting himself get hurt for the sake of others.
Touka and Kaneki grew from this so differently, Touka turned bitter towards that life before she was able to examine herself, and find peace with her lifestyle. Kaneki on the other hand internalized his frustrations acting like he was at piece with his life on the outside, but he was tearing himself apart on the inside. They developed opposite of each other, as Touka matured Kaneki fell apart. They worked so well together in the beginning because in the first part of tg they had similar development. Kaneki and Touka were trying to figure out what it meant to be a ghoul. Kaneki was trying to learn what his new life of a ghoul had for him, and Touka was learning that she could live a normal life away from the violent circle of hatred. Their paths meshed together so they grew together until a the same sunlight in a way.
However, as much as they grew together, they also grew closer together, the more their faults started to creep up on them both. Touka wanted to protect Kaneki because he was once human. But as Touka did that Kaneki became more concerned and decided to protect her at the cost of himself.
But in Kaneki’s need to protect her he hit her weakest emotional cord, abandonment. He told her he wasn’t going to go home with her, and told her she couldn’t help him and asked Tsukiyama and Banjou to go with him in front of her. All her childhood insecurities came back in that moment, she wasn’t good enough and it hurt her.
It was at this point that they developed separate from each other, where Touka became a normal high school girl and Kaneki became a serial killer and gang boss. They developed into two completely different paths and they didn’t know how to approach each other. When they met up again it showed through their conversation which inevitably resulted in Kaneki lying about being fine and Touka hitting him and telling him he hates how he changed. This exact moment triggered both of their childhood trauma’s. Touka with her issues of her not being good enough for her father and how he couldn’t confide in her. Causing her to lash out against everything he taught her, and Kaneki with his abuse and him doing exactly what she wanted from him.
However, because of the Anteiku raid they never got to reconcil, so thus three years go by and Kaneki is reborn as Haise. They developed apart and had a fresh start as Touka the waitress and Haise the investigator. This is so important because this is the time that without the burden of a past they fell for each other. This taught Touka a very important lesson, that she cares for Kaneki enough to let him go, but that she still cares for him and that not every change in him is bad. Kaneki learned that he has a permanent home in Touka one that she won’t take away based on conditions because even after she said she hated his change she gave him a place to return.
Then Kaneki changed again to a highly suicidal Kaneki, willing to die to be cool, to protect others. He hit his lowest low of the series and it was in that moment Touka said three words the struck him “See you later.” which he thought was cruel because he wanted to die. Touka knew but wanted him to understand the meaning of that and it caused him to hesitate to doubt, which lead to him making a change of heart during their fight with Arima.
Kaneki and Touka are two characters that develop off of each other, they bring out the best and worst in each other. They both hit cords in each other, but they also can heal wounds that they never realized they had. This conversation between them in this chapter is an important example of that. Touka admits her man issue with Kaneki, which is the fact that he always leaves her. Something she never understood and something she keeps trying to fix to no avail. Then he tells her that it was to protect her, because he didn’t want to cause her trouble where she would end up dead.
Then he asked her to come with him, which filled the void that she had for so long. Touka also helped fill one for Kaneki as well, which was his loneliness. I’m not saying that Touka is a cure for his problems but through her confession she showed him that she cared. Which shocked him like he couldn’t even believe, that someone cared for him.
I think that the most amazing thing that even if he doesn’t accept the feelings romantically its important for him to know. Kaneki isn’t in any shape or form mentally to be with someone, he’s someone living for the moment holding onto a fragile string to survive. But for someone who has craved being loved for so long, it’s something he needed to here, that someone accepts him with his faults and respects his decision for death even if they don’t agree and don’t want him to die.
This is so important because Touka and Kaneki have reached the moment where they realized the mistakes that they made that caused the other hurt. They were able to talk about it and reach a positive note for both of them, and I excited with how this will help them develop positively moving forward.