Anime Philosophies: Tokyo Ghoul [AM I RESPONSIBLE?]
So! It turns out that I'm WAY behind on Tokyo Ghoul!
I just finished the first season and it was amazing! Reader beware, there will be spoilers.
So with that out of the way, let's dive in shall we?
In the finale Kaneki is being tortured by Jason.
During these moments, Kaneki is in a terrible mental state and Rize who shares a connection with him, is able to talk to him.
Now, if you've watched the show, you know Rize has always had a twisted side to her. She doesn't mind eating seemingly any human and eating many of them!
In these scenes, she explains to Kaneki that his torture, his mom passing away, people who he lost, have been killed, all of it is his fault. He has the power to stop it, but by remaining neutral, he's led many to their deaths and it's led him to this downward spiral.
It's a harsh reality that Kaneki faces here, even to the point of being nearly unbearable.
So why is it that I agree with what she's saying in these moments?
“There are times when you have to give up on one thing to preserve the other.” -Rize
This is a twisted version of, “If you chase two rabbits, you catch none.”
I'm in no way saying you can't attain two things that you desire. But, you by nature, will be forsaking something for another. It's an exchange of time, money, or something else. You have to be willing to make that exchange for what you want.
Rize even states that it's Kaneki's inaction, that causes these problems in his life. Simply choosing to do nothing, is an action in itself, and when not used properly, will result in negative outcomes.
While, the show pushes the viewer to watch extreme circumstances, that luckily if you're reading this, should never have to go through (hopefully). The message of personal responsibility is clear and one to take note of.
Once Kaneki takes responsibility, he begins shaping his reality and not letting reality shape him.
This fascinated me
I began researching this very topic online, seeing what I could find. Honestly, I didn't find much about this to my surprise. And perhaps to an even greater surprise, people were saying it was Kaneki giving into insanity. They viewed this as a "badass" moment that was just about him going insane and killing someone who was insane. I will certainly agree, the moment had those qualities, but it just also had more layers than that to me.
While, I do agree to a certain circumstance, that “instanity” is fitting, especially given the nature of the show as I've mentioned before.
Having a show filled with flesh-hungry ghouls, tortue, killing, etc. will lead to dark mental states and instanity. But, if you peel back those layers, you'll find Rise is very much the one whose correct.
Yes, she's twisted and has her own goals, but Kaneki correctly responds by telling her that he will remain in control of himself.
Which ties back to this article. YOU are in control of your life. Life won't give you the reality that you want, so you have to create it for yourself.
Now, I'm not going to be mean and as blunt as Rize, but hopefully this has provided some insights or at least think on things in a different way.
At the very least, I enjoy writing these types of pieces because it helps me reflect on these topics more personally and I actually believe it makes me a better person.
So, Was Rize Right?
Is this just him becoming insane? Or is this about him becoming responsible?
I'd argue both.
By the way, if you missed the first article in this series, I suggest you give it a read. It talks all about the burden of responsibility, which coincidentally fits nicely with this article.
Until next time!