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This theory will not be updated anymore due to the fact that Tokyo Ghoul:re chapter 86 (which came out on the 23.07.2016.) confirmed this theory to be true.
In chapter 86 of the Tokyo Ghoul:re manga, Kaneki stumbled upon the dying Eto, who told him that the real One-Eyed King was actually Kishou Arima and it was revealed that she and Arima were actually working together on "making" a new king. She declared that "as long as a ghoul who killed Arima Kishou exists, it will no doubt become the hope of the ghouls. Hope like the dazzling halo the sun emits." Her last words to Kaneki were: "The throne of the king, that the One-Eyed King - Arima Kishou and I have been keeping warm... Whether you sit on it or destroy it is all up to you, Ken Kaneki". The chapter ends with Kaneki showing up to save Touka and the others and him declaring that he is the ONE-EYED KING!
The theory: Eto vs Sasaki/Kaneki
Tokyo Ghoul:re chapter 55 "Alice &" and chapter 56 "The second king" not only connect their names ("Alice & the second king"), but also Kaneki Ken and the One-Eyed Ghoul Eto (Takatsuki Sen).
During the Tsukiyama family extermination mission, while Kaneki was fighting with Kanae von Rosewald (after Tsukiyama refused to tell Sasaki everything he knows about Kaneki), Eto unexpectedly arrived and interrupted their fight in Tokyo Ghoul chapter 53. She then attacked Sasaki, who then remembered his past.
Eto seemed mentally unstable and was chasing Kaneki while screaming and repeating random words. She said that she will make Kaneki her child and came closer to him, licked his eyeball and proclaimed that they are exactly the same and that she grew fond of him. Kaneki reacted and cut her in half, leaving Eto's upper half of the body to fall from the building. While falling, Eto said that she loves Kaneki with a satisfied expression on her face. Kaneki responded by paying respect towards Takatsuki Sen. After the fight, Koori Ui from CCG saw Kaneki Ken/Sasaki Haise eating the kagune that Eto left behind.
Although, Eto survived and regenerated the lower part of her body, she could probably have avoided being hit at all, let alone avoided being cut in half. Why would Eto risk getting injured like that just so she could have some fun/break Sasaki mentally? That's why I believe that all of this was a part of her plan.
What is Eto's plan?
Could it be that Eto lost on purpose? Why? Here are some reasons:
- She sent Seidou Takizawa to fight against Kaneki in Tokyo Ghoul:re chapter 26 (probably to test his power against someone as powerful as Seidou).
- She tortured Kanae (in Tokyo Ghoul:re chapters 45 and 52) for the sole purpose of making him/her stronger in order to beat Kaneki (she probably once again did this in order to test Kaneki’s power).
- She came herself to watch the showdown between Kaneki, Tsukiyama Shuu and Kanae and said that she was interested in seeing who of them would survive.
- She wondered who was stronger between Kaneki and Arima.
- On top of everything, she looked extremely happy upon seeing Kaneki’s “awakening“.
- I think that her plan all along was to make Kaneki remember everything and then to make him consume her kagune…
Which raises another question: why would Eto want Kaneki to eat her kagune?
There are a lot of possibilities, but there’s this interesting theory according to which Eto plans to make Kaneki play the role of the One-Eyed King. She is trying to shape an "heir". Tatara mentioned they couldn’t use him when they first brought him to Aogiri because his eye was on the wrong side. Why did that matter? What were they going to use him for?
All of Aogiri’s plans have been focused on creating new half ghouls. They’ve gone through huge extents to find Kamishiro Rize, Akihiro Kanou and subjects for Kanou’s experiments. Why is creating new half ghouls so important? Maybe she just wants someone else like her, since she hasn’t quite managed to upset the equilibrium that the world is currently in, no matter what she does. She’s gotten very close, but she’s not quite there. So if one half ghoul couldn’t do it, what about two? Two half ghouls, both powerful and pissed off and angry at the world…
That would certainly be enough to tip the balance of the world. Or maybe because she can’t quite do it herself, she wants to ensure that there’s someone stronger than her who can? If she dies fighting him and he’s just like her, then there’s still an angry half ghoul running around who maybe has enough strength to do what she barely couldn’t.
During The Raid on Kanou’s Lab arc, she called Kaneki “The Kakuja’s Egg“. So does she wants him to become a full kakuja? In the chapter 56 of Tokyo Ghoul:re, she said something about him becoming her child which fits perfectly, because, in a way, Kaneki’s full Kakuja form would be born after eating Eto’s one ‒ so she’s the mother and he’s her “egg”. Also, Ishida Sui posted a really interesting drawing, showing Kaneki.
During the Rue Island arc (the Aogiri extermination arc), where the CCG is trying to completely exterminate the Aogiri Tree, Eto held a conference and revealed her true identity as the One-Eyed Owl to the ghouls. She explained that the parent organization of the CCG was founded in order to eliminate an extremely powerful One-Eyed Ghoul, whose appearance signified a great change.
Saying that there are ghouls who believe that the One-Eyed Ghoul is their King, Eto proclaims that she is NOT the One-Eyed King (Tokyo Ghoul:re chapter 61), with the scene switching to Kaneki Ken!
Other articles you might find interesting:
- Sixteen Things You Didn't Know about Ishida Sui (Creator of Tokyo Ghoul)
- What Happened to Hide from Tokyo Ghoul (Toukyou Kushu)? [THEORY PROVED]
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Eto's capture and the new hope
In Tokyo Ghoul:re chapter 62, Eto was arrested by the CCG for suspicion of being the One-Eyed Owl. In the next chapter (chapter 63), Eto held an interview about her last work. During that interview, Eto revealed to the whole world that she is a ghoul. She, also, introduced her newest and last book - "Bileyg, the king". In this book, Bileyg (which is another name for Odin and means "he who lacks one eye") actually refers to the One-Eyed King.
The story is about a One-Eyed Ghoul by the name Nameless, who leads his fellow ghouls as a king against a world that oppresses his kind. But, the meaning of the story changed when Eto stated her true self. Eto, also, stated that the book was addressed to her fellow ghouls, meaning that the book has a hidden meaning, which is meant only for the ghouls to understand.
In Tokyo Ghoul:re chapter 64, Kaneki asked Eto what she meant by that book and story. She replied that this was an offering to the king, a symbol of hope for all ghouls.
Later, in chapter 65 of Tokyo Ghoul:re, Banjou is shown reading Eto's book and wondering what that woman is planning. One of the ghouls stated that "anyone who read it ought to have their heart moved". Aafter Banjou asked "how?", Ayato appeared and completed the explanation. He said: "To wish for the coming of the One-Eyed King. That's how.".
Connecting all this to the above mentioned things, I believe that Eto is trying to make Kaneki the next One-Eyed King. All that she had done was for the sole purpose of preparing Kaneki for taking the throne as their king. The book that she wrote was actually an offering to Kaneki himself and to announce the arrival of a new king to the ghouls.
I believe that she chose Kaneki, not only because he is a half ghoul, but because he is a part of both "worlds". He understands both the ghouls and the humans, and as such is able to unite the two. Kaneki is the only one who belongs to both worlds.
The first One-Eyed King
The One-Eyed King a mysterious Ghoul figure, whose identity we don't know yet, causing him to be something of an Urban Legend within the Ghoul community. Thus far, the One-Eyed-King has been shown with a skull-like mask with a kakugan in one eye only.
Although some ghouls believe that the One-Eyed Ghoul does not exist and is only a legend, Eto proves otherwise. She convinced that the One-Eyed Ghoul not exist, but is also their rightful king. Therefore, she is determined to find a perfect heir who will continue what the first king started - Kaneki Ken.
In Tokyo Ghoul chapter 141, while fighting CCG investigators, Tatara said to get out of the way, because the "king" was going to pass. This could have been meant for Eto, since a lot of ghouls believed her to be the One-Eyed King before she denied it. But, it could have also been meant for Kaneki who was in Arima's hands.
Does Kaneki know?
Now that we have discussed the possible reasons for Eto's behavior, there is another question. Is Kaneki falling right into Eto's trap or does he know about her plan? Since there are only two possibilities, we will begin with the first one.
If we say that Kaneki is clueless about Eto's plans for him, then he is falling right into Eto's trap. Everything will go according to Eto's plans and Kaneki will eventually end up being used by her and become the next One-Eyed King.
But, something tells me that it's most likely the second possibility, and that is that Kaneki knows what Eto is planning and will come up with a counter plan, if he already hasn't. Of course, I don't think that Kaneki knows what Eto is exactly planning, but is aware that there is something she's planning to do and that he is associated with it.
This can be clearly seen during Eto's interview, when she revealed that she is a ghoul. Kaneki was surprised, since he wasn't expecting Eto to do that. Also, he didn't know what Eto was trying to achieve with her book and asked her directly. This shows us that Kaneki isn't completely aware of Eto's plan to make him the next king.
Other articles you might find interesting:
- Hide is Evil [Tokyo Ghoul Theory]
- 36 Tokyo Ghoul Facts about Kaneki Ken/Sasaki Haise
- The New One-Eyed King Kaneki and V's King [Partly Proved Tokyo Ghoul Theory]
In Tokyo Ghoul:re chapter 57, Kaneki told Ui that he was only replenishing himself after his fight with Eto. Furthermore, he adds that the Tsukiyama family is connected to Aogiri Tree and that they need to be exterminated. He lifted Tsukiyama Shuu with his kagune and threw him off the building. Kanae saw this and jumped after him.
Later, we see that Kanae died after falling, but Tsukiyama wasn't there. Kaneki's actions in front of Ui seemed cold-hearted and ruthless. He basically just tried to kill one of his friends, and we should keep in mind that he remembers everything. But, I believe this is all part of Kaneki's plan and that he is doing this for the sake of this plan of his.
The CCG doesn't know that he remembered everything, and still think that he is the same Haise Sasaki that worked for them. The only purpose of his actions is to gain more trust from the CCG. They mustn't figure out that he changed, and that is what he is trying to do. Even Tsukiyama, before Kaneki threw him, wondered if this was the path Kaneki decided upon. He was probably aware that Kaneki was doing it in order to fool the CCG. Also, after Kanae jumped, Kaneki said: "Farewell, Tsukiyama. I'll be going now.". This is not how you treat someone you just tried to kill. It's more like he was confirming Tsukiyama's thoughts and like he was telling him what he decided - and that is to fool the CCG.
At the end of this chapter, Kaneki/Sasaki was promoted for fending off the One-Eyed Ghoul. This shows us that the CCG is not suspecting him and that Kaneki's plan is going well. He is probably trying to reach the highest rank in the CCG so that he can proceed with his plans - most likely to save Hinami from Cochlea, maybe to destroy the CCG from the inside, maybe to get revenge on Arima...
Also, in Tokyo Ghoul:re chapter 54, before Kaneki's fight with Eto, Kaneki stabbed Tsukiyama (most likely to prevent interruptions) and said: "It's okay.". I highly doubt that these word were directed to Eto. I believe that he said that to Tsukiyama to tell him that it's going to be fine and that he has a plan. Even in this chapter we could have guessed that Kaneki made up his mind to do something, which was going to be revealed later. This was most likely the first indicator of Kaneki's plan to deceive the CCG. With this sentence, I believe that he made clear to Tsukiyama that he is NOT going to kill him. Later, when he threw Tsukiyama, I believe that he was counting on Kanae to save him.
About Tokyo Ghoul series.
Tokyo Ghoul is a tragic story about Ken Kaneki, a college student. He meets a girl, Rize, who turns out to be a ghoul, a species who are just like humans, except the fact that they are only able to feed on humans and other ghouls. Rize quickly turns on Kaneki Ken, attacking in an attempt to devour him. During the attack, an accident happens that kills Rize. A nearly dead Kaneki Ken gets subjected to an operation that involves an organ transplantation from Rize. Thus Kaneki Ken becomes a half-ghoul.
Tokyo Ghoul is a seinen manga series created by Ishida Sui. In 2010. Ishida won the Young Jump 113th Grand Prix award with a Tokyo Ghoul One-shot, which was later published on March 15, 2011. in the 2nd Issue of Miracle Jump.
The Tokyo Ghoul manga was published from September 8, 2011 to September 18, 2014 in the magazine Weekly Young Jump. The sequel, Tokyo Ghoul:re, began serialization on October 16, 2014 in the same magazine. An anime adaptation ofTokyo Ghoul aired from July 4, 2014 to September 19, 2014 and the second season, Tokyo Ghoul √A, aired from January 9, 2015 to March 27, 2015. The second season has an alternative ending then that of the manga.
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