Ghoul (Tokyo Ghoul)
Ghouls are a species that feature in Tokyo Ghoul.
Ghouls (喰種グール, gūru, translates approximately to eater species) were human appearing creatures whose origins were unknown but had lived among mankind for countless years. These carnivorous creatures could only sustain themselves on human or Ghoul flesh leading to lead the life of cannibals. One group of ghouls was the Washuu Clan that had originated from the Middle East who had long practiced cannibalism across their long history. They came to serve as ghoul hunters who killed members of their own kind through specialised methods.
After the discovery of their existence, humanity by the modern day established the Commission of Counter Ghoul. Its Ghoul Investigators were charged with finding and eliminating the threat by Ghouls that preyed on mankind. There were various communities of Ghouls that resided in the 13 Wards in Tokyo. Various organizations consisting of Ghouls existed that operated secretly and battled the C.C.G. such as the Aogiri Tree.
As part of the machinations of Kichimura Washuu, the head of the C.C.G. dispatched the Oggai with the mission of eliminating Kaneki now that he was the One-Eyed King. However, in reality, their purpose was to badly wound him to the point that he would lose control and consume them. Once this was done, his body became part of a large bio-mass called the Dragon (竜, Ryū) whereupon swarms of entities were spawned that began to attack people. These creatures when killed began to emit large quantities of Rc cells into the air that infected other people. The result was that humans or artificial half-Ghouls were all transformed into fully fledged Ghouls as a result.
In appearance, Ghouls typically appeared no different from human beings but were much different. Physically, they were four to seven times stronger than an average human and able to send them flying across areas if struck with enough force. Such was their strength that they were able to penetrate a human's body with their bare hands and were also able to jump several meter high. Their skin was noted to be strong enough to survive knife attacks with the blades snapping upon contact. As such, normal weapons were not capable of killing a Ghoul. Ghouls had a high regenerative capacity allowing them to heal small wounds and fractures either in records or to a day. Grave serious wounds healed after several days so long as there was an adequate food supply. The more powerful Ghouls were shown to hold a healing factor allowing their wounds to repair and their blood re-entering their body within moments. It was said that their senses were more duller when it was raining.
Nutrition could only be achieved through two sources namely either eating human beings or other Ghouls. It was said that Ghouls were the natural predators of human beings. As such, their dietary needs were completely different from humans with even the structure of their tongues being made to the point that the taste of any ordinary food being either disgusting or comfortable. This was attributed to a particular enzyme produced by their bodies that made them unable to digest any other source of food. In fact, the consumption of normal food led to the Ghoul feeling sick and seek to vomit such nutrition out. The forced feeding of such food to a Ghoul even had a harmful affect on their bodies and caused physical degradation as a result. Though unable to take normal food, they were able to drink coffee and normal water without any affect on them though it did not sate hunger. In a state of extreme hunger, a Ghoul suffered from very painful headaches and could lose all sense of reason where they turned into a feral state as they were driven on instinct alone with the need to feed. During such moments, they were a danger to everyone around them as they fed on any available source of human meat to end this hunger state and could even target close friends. Once they fed, Ghouls could go on for a long time without consuming more human meat as unlike mankind they were not quick feeders. Instead, they could survive between one to two months on a single body in order to sate their food requirements. However, some Ghouls did not feed out of a necessity but rather for pleasure that they derived from consuming special meat of select individuals. Others in fact regularly ate and consumed countless individuals with these being referred to as 'binge eaters'.
They possessed a Kakuhou (赫包, kakuhō, approximately red wrap) that was a sack-like organ that stored Rc cells which held all the nutrition absorbed by the Ghoul. All cells were transported to the Kakukou in the blood and stored inside the organ with the Rc cells being released from the organ piercing the skin either consciously or due to excitement. These cells being released formed another organ that was the Kagune and was also used to build the Quinques. A Ghoul could possess multiple such organs with them stronger Ghouls developing more Kakuhou. Exposure to large amounts of Rc cells could lead to a Ghoul losing control over their bodies. It was also capable of turning artificial half-Ghouls into fully fledged Ghouls.
One class of these creatures were the Kakuja (赫者 Shining One) that were a special kind of Ghoul that transformed through cannibalism of other Ghouls. In times of large Ghoul populations, the scarcity of food meant that Ghouls sometimes ate one another with this act leading to the absorption of Rc cells that increased their number in the body. Once a sufficient number were present, a Ghoul underwent a mutation within their cells causing the formation of a new kagune. One of the outcomes of this transformation was the evolution of a special armored kagune that clad the body and served as protection with them even forming a natural armored mask over their faces. Typically, Kakuja Ghouls were highly predatory and their kagune amplified their strength as well as offered new abilities that made them powerful as well as dangerous combatants. Kakuja kagune were, however, nearly impossible to use as their users tended to lose their minds when fighting with it though some managed to retain their sanity. In some cases, the transformation of a Ghoul into a Kakuja was incomplete leading to the creation of Half-Kakujas.
A Kagune's appearance and place on the body largely depended on the Rc type of the ghoul. There were four different Rc types which were:
- Ukaku : (羽赫, ukaku, "feather-red")
- Koukaku : (甲赫, kōkaku, "shell-red")
- Rinkaku : (鱗赫, rinkaku, "scale-red")
- Bikaku : (尾赫, bikaku, "tail-red")
Ghouls of different Rc types were able to breed and have children with a small chance that they inherited the abilities of both parents. Such a trait was extremely rare and these children were referred to as possessing a Chimera Kagune.
Ghouls were able to breed with humans with them sometimes producing powerful hybrid offspring. This led to the birth of a variety known as a One-Eyed Ghoul (隻眼の喰種, sekigan no gūru) or half-ghoul (半喰種, han-gūru) who with these hybrids possessing the abilities of a Ghoul. Their name was derived from the fact that they only possessed a single Kakugan leading to only a single eye manifesting when they used their abilities. Naturally occurring One-Eyed Ghouls were incredibly rare as the chance of a pregnancy was low and even then the child typically died during the pregnancy. The bodies of human mothers were unable to provide the needed nutrients to the developing child leading to them starving to death unless the mother engaged in cannibalism during the pregnancy whilst Ghoul mother bodies mistook the child for food and absorbed its nutrients. Another variation were the more common half-human (半人間, Han ningen) hybrids that were born of copulation between a Ghoul and a Human. These largely appeared human though retained the advanced physical traits though they had an accelerated lifespan with few able to survive past 30 years of age. In some cases, it was possible to transplant Ghoul organs into an ordinary human turning them into a Ghoul.
Whilst they could only survive on human flesh, they were able to hide within human society and pretend to be humans. In such situations, they were able to pretend to eat food in order to remove any suspicion of their true nature and fool others. Despite seemingly eating food, the Ghoul in question needed to throw up the food afterwards otherwise face becoming sick. As such, Ghouls had to battle their own instincts and reflexes when pretending to eat human food.
Though able to operate among humans, such Ghouls lived a complex life as they had to keep their civilian identity separate from that of their Ghoul life. As such, masks held an important part in their lives. When using their abilities, Ghouls wore masks to conceal their identities that they could not take off otherwise the truth of their nature was revealed. Mask creation was a type of business made for Ghouls by their own kind with some being given custom individualised designs to fit the users personality or nature. Some Ghouls preferred to live the life of hermits instead due to their strong physiques and dietary requirements that meant that they could live alone with no money. However, such a life was not comfortable for them though any money they had could be spent on other necessities rather than food as they needed to only consume human meat.
Ghouls were able to survive for days without food before feeling hungry again. However, there were some Ghouls that consumed for pleasure rather than sustenance with these eating human flesh more regularly. Such members of their kind were called "binge eaters" for their excessive consumption. This binge eating was dangerous for other Ghouls as it attracted investigators from the C.C.G.
Beyond living among humans, Ghouls were shown to hold their own society with various groups managing different areas. Some elements of their society saw death sports being made whereby humans were forced to battle one another in order to be consumed. In some cases, a Ghoul was thrown into such battles with the loser being eaten by the audience.
One prominent bloodline were the prestigious Tsukiyama family that were an upper-class family of Ghouls that possessed considerable wealth and influence with their true nature being hidden from humans. The headed the Tsukiyama Group (月山グループ, Tsukiyama Gurūpu) that operated as a powerful international business conglomerate.
A figure within Ghoul society was an individual known as the One-Eyed King (隻眼の王, Sekigan no Ō) with them being an individual associated with revolutionary ideology. It was said that they arose in times of hardship to lead Ghouls. In reality, it was a title that was passed from one person to the next.
- Ken Kaneki :
- Yoshimura :
- Eto :
- Rize Kamishiro :
- Ayato Kirishima :
- Touka Kirishima :
- Shuu Tsukiyama :
- Karren von Rosewald :
- Hinami Fueguchi :
- Uruka Minami : a young female teenager who wanted to live a normal life as a human but resented how her classmates took it for granted leading to her becoming a serial killer called Lantern that wore a jack o'lantern on her head.
- Nutcracker :
- Ghouls were created by Sui Ishida and featured in the setting of Tokyo Ghoul.
- They were based on Ghouls from legends.
In other media
- In Tokyo Ghoul, Ghouls featured in the 2017 live-action adaptation of the Manga storyline.
- Tokyo Ghoul: