Kaneki joining the Aogiri Tree was a key point of the series that shaped his character. Tokyo Ghoul readers were even more stunned at the turn of events because this never happened in the manga! So why did this deviation take place? Why exactly did Kaneki join the Aogiri Tree?
The Aogiri Tree was a ghoul terrorist organisation whose violent brand of activism made them a thorn in the CCG’s side. Both peace-loving ghouls and humans feared them alike. In their search for Rize, they stumble upon Kaneki at Anteiku. They kidnap him, following which Yamori (Jason) brutally tortures him. This brings about a huge change in his personality.
But rather than turning against the Aogiri, Kaneki decides to join the very same organisation that made his life hell. Fans could not help but question this decision. However, Kaneki had valid reasons for joining the Aogiri Tree!
Why did Ken Kaneki join the Aogiri Tree?
Kaneki joined the Aogiri tree because he wanted to get stronger to protect the people around him. He also wanted to keep an eye on the Aogiri, whom he viewed as a potential threat to Anteiku.
While he was being tortured at the hands of Jason, Kaneki came to the conclusion that lack of power was the main reason behind people not being able to protect the ones close to them. Kaneki realised that if he wanted to keep the people at Anteiku safe, he would have to grow stronger. Joining the Aogiri would basically fulfill his motives.
Let’s take a look at his motives in detail!
Get stronger at the Aogiri
Being an Aogiri Tree member, Kaneki would get to fight stronger enemies (top CCG investigators and other strong ghouls) day in and day out. This in turn would help in his growth. This was similar to what Ayato did to keep Touka safe. Kaneki also wanted to draw the attention of CCG investigators away from Anteiku and the 20th wards.
The 20th ward had become a hotspot after Rize’s binge eating habits and due to the murder of Investigator Mado. Being at Aogiri, Kaneki could draw the attention of the investigators away from the 20th ward by being active somewhere else. The raid on Naki’s vehicle and even Ayato acting as the black rabbit pointed to these facts. But getting stronger was not his only motive.
Get closer to Aogiri Tree and its leader
Kaneki knew the threat that the Aogiri Tree posed to Anteiku and other peace-loving ghoul organisations. He was basically sticking to the concept of “keep your friends close, but keep your enemies closer.” If at any point Kaneki felt that Aogiri posed a threat to Anteiku, he would quickly destroy it (that’s how strong he wanted to be). He also wanted to get to know more about the One-Eyed Owl, who was attracting unwanted attention.
Kaneki also wanted to uncover some information on Rize. He wanted to know more about her and why she was being chased. Since Aogiri was already after Rize, Kaneki thought he would get some valuable info on her if he joined them. This is also how he came across Shachi in the Cochlea raid.
Did Kaneki Join Aogiri Tree Tokyo Ghoul Manga?
Kaneki joining the Aogiri Tree was something that only took place in the anime. In the manga of Tokyo Ghoul, he created his own small group with Banjo and Tsukiyama. They were gaining info on Rize and Kanou. They were also fighting Aogiri from the shadows (ok not exactly fighting). But the underlying intentions were mostly the same here too. Protect Anteiku by getting stronger and keep an eye out on Aogiri.
However, both his actions in the manga as well as the anime fail to fulfill their objectives as Anteiku gets attacked and destroyed in a CCG raid at the end.
Do you think the anime did a better job by making Kaneki join Aogiri? Or was the plot and character development in the Tokyo Ghoul manga much better? Let us know your opinion in the comments section!