Ken Kaneki (金木 研, Kaneki Ken) is the main protagonist of Tokyo Ghoul and Tokyo Ghoul:re, and the husband of Touka Kirishima. Formerly, he was a human studying Japanese Literature at Kamii University, living a relatively normal life. However, this soon changed after Rize Kamishiro‘s kakuhou was transplanted into him, transforming him into a one-eyed ghoul. After joining Anteiku as a part-time waiter, he learned how to live as a ghoul and eventually became known as Eyepatch (眼帯, Gantai).
After being captured by Aogiri Tree, he underwent a drastic personality change and after escaping, formed a group with the goal of protecting those precious to him and exterminating individuals threatening his place of belonging. His kakuja‘s distinct appearance earned him the alias Centipede (ムカデ, Mukade).
Two years following his defeat against Kishou Arima, he lived under the identity of Haise Sasaki (佐々木 琲世, Sasaki Haise), an Associate Special Class Ghoul Investigator who formerly served as the mentor of the CCG‘s Quinx Squad. His memories were initially lost to him, but regained during the Tsukiyama Family Extermination Operation. Six months after the operation, ghouls came to know him by the moniker of the Black Reaper (黒い死神, Kuroi Shinigami).
After defeating Arima and Eto having unveiled their joint plan to raise a one-eyed ghoul who could stand as the hope for all ghouls, he calls himself the One-Eyed King (隻眼の王, Sekigan no Ō). Kaneki has since then formed the organization he named Goat, which until recently resided in the underground chambers under the 24th ward, where he married Touka Kirishima who was carrying his child.
When the Oggai Squads, Juuzou Suzuya, and Hanbee Abara among others invaded the outpost, Kaneki engaged them to buy time for Touka and other members of Goat to escape. Kaneki was then defeated in conflict with Hanbee and Juuzou, and then mocked by Kichimura Washuu in his state of helplessness, having lost all limbs save his head.
Kaneki then summoned all his strength, and regenerated instantly, devouring all of the Oggai, using the thought of Touka to drive him on. However, this was exactly what Furuta intended, and Kaneki then morphed into the Dragon (ドラゴン, Doragon), a huge, uncontrollable kagune which he is still currently trapped inside.
As a child, Kaneki had all the same features he has now as an adult with black hair. As a normal university student, Kaneki was a somewhat short and scrawny young man with little to no athletic background and preferred to read books. After the steel beam incident, Kaneki bears a scar from the transplant operation on the right side of his abdomen not far from his navel.
At work, he wore the standard Anteiku waiter uniform, consisting of black trousers and a gray waistcoat over a white dress shirt and a black necktie (brown cravat in the anime). Because he could not yet properly control his single kakugan that manifests in his left eye, he wore a medical eye patch to cover it.
His ghoul mask resembles a leather gimp mask with an eye patch. It bears a lipless mouth with large, gnashing teeth, much like a restrained asylum monster. The bolts sticking out of his neck and the fact that he is an artificial ghoul invoke a Frankenstein-like theme.
After being tortured by Yamori, his appearance changed drastically. His hair became completely white, his nails were blackened, and he developed a more muscular physique. He began to favor monochrome clothing and wore a form-fitting black bodysuit with cutouts when going into battle.
In the years since adopting the identity of Haise Sasaki, his hair began to develop black streaks growing out from the crown. He wore the standard business attire of a ghoul investigator, favoring black dress shirts and pinstripe pants with a knee-length white trench coat. He also wears a pair of round eyeglasses when reading. After the events of the Auction Mopping-up Operation, his hair slowly began to revert back to its original color with almost no white remaining.
After the Tsukiyama Family Extermination Operation, his appearance changed drastically again. His hair had completely reverted to its original black color, and he started wearing his glasses at all times. He wore a black version of the Arima Squad uniform, pairing a black dress shirt with black slacks and a long, black trench coat. In contrast, he wore a pair of red gloves that disguised his right hand which was covered in reptilian scales. In his second battle with Arima, Sasaki wore a form-fitting black bodysuit underneath his uniform.
Upon regaining his identity as Ken Kaneki, his hair turned completely white again after having his limbs cut off repeatedly by Arima. Unable to heal properly from the incident, both of his arms are covered in reptile-like scales. As a result he continues to wear gloves to cover them with black turtleneck shirts with a pair of white pants. Around his neck, he keeps Touka’s parents’ ring on a chain, and after their marriage, the scar from her bite mark on his right shoulder. For a time, Kaneki wore a collared black coat over his new sleeveless battle suit with dark gloves reaching past his elbows.
After becoming immobilized inside Dragon, Kaneki takes on the form of a beast big enough to wrap around skyscrapers, with many huge kakugan protruded from large, black limbs. Kaneki is uncontrollable in this state and will keep expanding.
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