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Instead we hear the most about black single mothers when something has gone wrong in an individual family. While this is even more true if the family recieves welfare, the negative fallout impacts on all single black mothers. Ignoring all evidence to the contrary, a vast majority of black male leaders have championed the patriarchal family model. RARELY DO THEY TALK ABOUT WHAT HAS MOTIVATED FATHERS TO ABSENT THEMSELVES FROM FAMILIES OR TO FAIL TO CONTRIBUTE ECONOMICALLY. Black males who participated in the Million Man March pledged to assume greater responsibility in families, claiming what some patriarchal men consider their “rightful place as heads of households. ” They critiqued welfare, but they simply did not talk about the dangerous implications of patriarchal male rule.
—  bell hooks, Cherishing Single Mothers | salvation: black people and love

anonymous asked:

Can anyone point me in the direction of this character development for tsukiyama? I really don't mean any disrespect, but I obviously need something to open up my eyes, 'cuz I'm not seeing it. He went from I'd eat anyone as long as they appeal to me! to I smelled that guy now I'm obsessed and he died so Imma die too cuz I can't get on that. I don't know, he just sounds like one of those guilt tripping Nice Guys to me :( if anyone says but he cares for ken i'm not here for that,he wants dinner

Whether you decide to answer that or not, I’ll respect your opinion, cuz I respect you a whole lot, and I like your meta-breakdowns, so I’m asking. Thanks, in advance

Anon, I appreciate your kind words but I have to disagree with how you’re framing this in your mind. Maybe I can give you a different frame of reference for Tsukiyama’s actions. 

Now, I adore Tsukiyama but I haven’t read the novels and so I am not as up to speed on his (former) character as other tumblr users. There are other metas about him from people who have read the novels, and you’re welcome to look those up for reference. But from what I can tell, there are two components to your question:

1) How has Tsukiyama’s character developed through the manga?

2) Is Tsukiyama following the “Nice Guy” trajectory, or does he give a damn about Kaneki? (I know you said you’re not here for the idea that he cares about Ken, but that raises the question, so.)

So I will address them in that order. 

Tsukiyama’s Character Development

It’s undoubtable that when Tsukiyama was first introduced, he was interested in Kaneki for one reason only–he wanted to eat him. 

He was a nuisance. Touka said so, and I am sure she wasn't’ the only one who felt that way. Lest we forget, the “Gourmet” was one of the reasons why the CCG decided to increase Dove presence in the 20th Ward, so Tsukiyama was clearly bringing some very unwanted attention. Then, he went on to try and eat Kaneki, going so far as to make him one of the dishes available at his ghoul restaurant. 

When Kaneki fights back and breaks Taro’s arm, Tsukiyama is pleased…he’s pleased that Kaneki was able to think clearly in the situation, was able to fight back, and was able to provide entertainment for his guests. 

Did Tsukiyama care about Kaneki at this point? No. Absolutely not. He just wanted to impress his guests by providing a good show. But Tsukiyama did save Kaneki, only to make him a meal of his own. Tsukiyama selfishly wanted to have Kaneki to himself. He did not want to share him with the others. So he made a new plan. He lured Kaneki into a church so that he could eat him there. I am not going to examine this part too closely…we know that Tsukiyama selfishly wanted to eat Kaneki himself, and that he was beaten. But there is one part I would like to draw attention to:

“I do not have any memories of ever being broken.”

Just….keep that quote in your back pocket, for now. 

Of course, as we know, Kaneki was kidnapped by Aogiri and then tortured by Jason. When Anteiku decided to try and rescue Kaneki, they knew that they needed all of the assistance that they could get. One of the people who chose to help them was Tsukiyama. Now, obviously, going on this mission meant risking their lives. So Tsukiyama was risking his life, but still only for a meal. He wanted to eat Kaneki. He wanted to consume the creature who had managed to evade him twice, while intriguing him so. He wanted to make Kaneki his, and he didn’t want any of those Aogiri assholes to eat the meal he’d worked so hard to obtain. He was willing to put his life on the line for his dinner. Did Tsukiyama care about Kaneki as a person at this point? No. You could argue that there was some more intense, subliminal stuff going on, but for all intents and purposes, for all that we know, Tsukiyama just wanted his dinner. 

After Kaneki is rescued, Banjou pledges himself as Kankei’s Sheild, and in response, Tsukiyama pledges himself as Kaneki’s Sword.

Kaneki accepts this, but warns Tsukiyama that any unnecessary actions will not be tolerated. Tsukiyama is turned on by this, and wants to eat Kaneki even more.

Time passes. The next several chapters focus on Amon, Akira, Shinohara, and Juuzou, which a little bit about Hide. When we see Tsukiyama and Kankei again, it is in a flashback. Tsukiyama appears to be up to his usual hijinks…

He proceeds to help Kaneki murder and cannibalize all of his “friends.” Though he may not have felt much affection or loyalty toward them, he had known these ghouls for a very long time. This is the first time I would claim true development of character. Why? Because Tsukiyama is more loyal to Kaneki, or to his desire for Kaneki, than he is to those he has known for a long time. Remember, the first time he brought Kaneki into the restaurant, he merely killed a scrapper. Scrappers are considered pets, so while it was violent, it wasn’t even remotely similar to killing a fellow ghoul. In this case, he didn’t kill one ghoul…he killed hundreds. 

This is development because his devotion to Kaneki is growing. This is confirmed a few pages later when we see…

Him acting as essentially a bodyguard to Kaneki. 

Him referring to Kaneki as his “master”…

Him admiring Kaneki, and standing back while Kaneki takes down his enemies.

Now, there’s way much here to give pictures for, but as that chapters go on, we see that Tsukiyama is working side by side with Kaneki. He is bankrolling Kaneki, providing him with a home, getting him into the places that he needs to be, going along with all of Kaneki’s plans, and not trying to eat him. It could be argued that this is all a part of Tsukiyama’s plans, but I think at this point - spending all of his time on Kaneki, spending vast amounts of money on Kaneki, designing Kaneki’s clothing (where did he get the new centipede eyepatch? His new clothes? we know he designed Kaneki’s sexy af battlesuit) - it’s safe to say that Tsukiyama’s interest has….outgrown what he would do for a meal. 

He considers the people in Kaneki’s squad to be his friends, and he is lonely.

Later, we see him confused when Kaneki left him behind at the hospital, and fighting at Kaneki’s side, even sustaining physical damage from Naki on Kaneki’s behalf. 

This goes on. He follows Kaneki everywhere, and he does everything at his side. He never once tries to eat him, though he keeps acting like that is what he’s getting at. Then, after the incident with Kanou when Kaneki goes half-kakuja and hurts, Banjou, he’s very depressed. He wont leave his room. It is Tsukiyama that dares to enter, and this is some of what happens.

Apparently, he has observed Kaneki so closely that he knows the one thing that can cheer him up: novels. And Kaneki goes from this:

To this:

In a matter of hours. 

To cheer up Hinami, Tsukiyama takes her out for tea:

Showing that he’s not only well behaved when Kaneki is watching, but when he doesn’t particularly stand to gain anything. Now, of course, Tsukiyama is still claiming to himself that he is just working to acquire Kaneki as a meal.

Yes, Tsukiyama is creepily sniffing his Kaneki-cloth, But actions speak louder than words, do they not? And Tsukiyama hasn’t done anything to actually harm Kaneki in almost over 6 months at this point. In fact, everything that he has been doing has been to help Kaneki and those who surround Kaneki. And he knows it.

What he doesn’t seem to realize yet, is why.

Kaneki chooses to return to Anteiku, and tells his “family” that he is going and that he would like them to join him. 

Tsukiyama claims, within his own mind, that though Kaneki is a lot of trouble, he’s still “good spice,” and therefore worth following. 

But lets consider this for a moment. At this point, Tsukiyama has risked his life several times, allowed his friends to be killed and cannibalized, bankrolled Kaneki, taken pains to cheer him up when he’s down, fought by him at his side. He’s made friends with Kaneki’s friends. He’s done everything that he possibly could do for Kaneki. 

At this point, do you really, honestly believe that this has anything to do with wanting a meal?

Then the Anteiku raid begins. And this is where Tsukiyama has his moment of truth. Kaneki is intent on sacrificing himself for his friends. Tsukiyama…well…

Tsukiyama has seen Kaneki fight. He has seen Kaneki’s struggle. He’s given everything in his power to help Kaneki. And now Kaneki is throwing his life away on a battle that he can not win. Tsukiyama still says he wants to eat him, but you can not convince me that is his motivation in this scene. He’s hysterical. He’s in massive distress. He doesn’t want to lose someone that he’s actually come to love. 

That’s right. I am saying that Tsukiyama actually loves Kaneki, and that his actions in this seen are borne from that love. 

He’s devastated because he can’t stop Kaneki.

And if you need more proof, Kaneki himself thanks Tsukiyama for trying to stop him. Because in that moment, Kaneki knows that Tsukiyama isn’t trying to hurt him, and he isn’t trying to kill him. In that moment, he knows that Tsukiyama was trying to stop him because he cares about him. And Tsukiyama was willing to throw his life away for that. 

And honestly, he does. Losing Kaneki, but even worse, being incapable of stopping him from throwing his own life away, literally destroys Tsukiyama. He doesn’t move, for how long we don’t know. He doesn’t eat for three years. That’s not mourning a lost meal. That’s grief. That’s devastation. That’s coming from a place of deep, deep love. 

And this is where point 2 comes in.

The “nice guy” trope pattern is as follows: Nice Guy falls in lust, Nice Guy does nice things for object of lust, object rejects Nice Guy, and Nice Guy flies into a rage and aims to hurt the object. 

But by this time, Kaneki is not an object to Tsukiyama. If Kaneki was an object, Tsukiyama would not have gone three years without eating. He would not have been devastated. He would have actually tried to hurt Kaneki, instead of just losing his shit and falling impotently to the ground. If Tsukiyama only cared about Kaneki as a meal, he would not have lost literally every aspect of his identity when Kaneki threw his life away. 

Somewhere between agreeing to be Kaneki’s sword and begging him not to go for dear life, Tsukiyama Shuu fell deeply in love with him. He started out at the Nice Guy, but he ended up being the tragic half of love unrequited. And in the end, Kaneki understood that Tsukiyama’s attack came from a place of love, not lust or hunger, but love. That’s why he thanked him. 

Before Kaneki, Tsukiyama was a carefree, hedonistic ghoul with very little conscience to speak of. Kaneki changed him in a way that Tsukiyama still can’t come back from. And despite his connections, his money, his energy, his efforts, and his love, he couldn’t stop Kaneki from throwing himself at the mercy of the CCG. And that devastated him. 

I hope that you read all of this, anon, it’s taken me two hours to write. But if you read all of this and still think that Tsukiyama hasn’t developed as a character, at the very least, then I don’t even know what to tell you. To me, it’s entirely clear that Tsukiyama both developed like crazy AND fell in love with Kaneki. I hope that, at the very least, you can understand where I am getting this viewpoint from.