After his defeat at the hands of Kishou Arima during the Owl Extermination Operation, Ken Kaneki was incorporated into the CCG as a ghoul investigator. He went by a new identity Haise Sasaki, a half-ghoul who was being trained by Arima and was mentored by Akira Mado. During this phase, he was quite loyal and dedicated to the cause of protecting humanity and also to the CCG. However, he was not hellbent on exterminating the ghouls and showed mercy towards them.
While his underlying personality was still deep-rooted in the ideology of protecting others, the major change in his outwardly appearance and behaviour created a lot of confusion at the beginning of Tokyo Ghoul:re. In fact, questions are still raised by fans as to how Kaneki became the Ghoul Investigator Sasaki. How did his personality change? What did the CCG do to him?
Why did Kaneki become Haise Sasaki?
Kaneki became Haise Sasaki after he lost his memories about his past. Seeing that he had lost his memories, Kishou Arima came up with a new name and identity for Kaneki (Tokyo Ghoul:re chapter 67). For this purpose, Arima asks Kaneki to choose his two favourite Kanji characters. Kaneki chooses kanji from the words coffee and world, which makes his name Haise. It is a combination of the second character in the word coffee and the first character in the word world. In German, the name Haise means “no name”.
During this time, Kaneki was being held at Cochlea and was in a bad mental state due to his defeat at the hands of Arima.
Once his condition had improved, Arima took him under his wing and trained him to be a ghoul investigator as part of his rehabilitation program in the CCG. Haise would look up to both his mentors Akira Mado and Arima. He would come to accept them as parental figures in his life.
How did Kaneki lose his memories?
Kaneki lost his memories after his defeat at the hands of Kishou Arima in the Owl Extermination Operation. Contrary to the popular belief, Kaneki suffered from amnesia not because of the brain damage he received, but because he forcefully suppressed his memories.
During their fight, Arima inflicted Kaneki with a serious head injury after piercing his Quinque through his eye and subsequently his skull. This is seen by many fans as the primary reason for Kaneki’s memory loss. While this attack left Kaneki disoriented, there is proof that he still had some part of his memory intact. In Tokyo Ghoul:re chapter 67, we see Kaneki fervently asking to be released from his detention ward in Cochlea, so that he could go rescue the others.
However, Arima pushes him into further despair saying that he killed all of them, which referred to his friends at Anteiku. Knowing that he was unable to save them, Kaneki’s mental state deteriorates further. He subconsciously suppresses his identity and his memories so that the loss of his close ones won’t cause him any more pain. He kept on crying and clawing at his eyes, refusing to eat anything. Seeing that he won’t survive long if he continued to do so, Arima starts bringing him books to read. This eventually calms him down, following which Kaneki is given the new identity of Haise Sasaki.
Amnesia can be caused due to major stress. In Kaneki’s case, his loss of memory seems to have been triggered by a combination of brain damage and heavy stress caused to him! Did you hate Arima for what he did to Kaneki? Let us know your opinions in the comments section!