Tokyo Ghoul creator imagines Aogiri capturing Ken and Hide in new manga

In chapter 32.2 of his new manga Choujin X, Sui Ishida takes the concept of capturing characters to a whole other level by revisiting a critical moment from his previous work, Tokyo Ghoul. This chapter delves into the question of what would have happened if Aogiri, the notorious terrorist ghoul organization, had captured not only Ken Kaneki but also his close companions Hide and Touka. By introducing a parallel scenario in Choujin X, Ishida presents a fresh perspective on the dynamics of captivity and its consequences.

One of the most memorable and pivotal moments in Tokyo Ghoul occurs when Kaneki finds himself captured by Aogiri. Initially, Kaneki goes with them willingly, but his situation quickly turns dire as the sadistic Yamori subjects him to relentless torture. This period of captivity marks a dramatic turning point for Kaneki’s character, as he not only adopts Yamori’s mannerisms but also embraces the darker, more violent aspects of his own ghoulish nature.

In Choujin X, Ishida poses the question of how events would unfold if Aogiri had captured not only Kaneki but also Hide and Touka. In the opening part of chapter 32.2, the protagonist of Choujin X, Tokio, watches helplessly as Noh Mask, the mysterious antagonist, begins transporting Tokio’s comrade Ely and childhood friend Azuma to an unknown destination. Fearing the loss of his friends, Tokio makes a bold decision and jumps into the portal created by Noh, finding himself in a place known as the Tower of Mourning.

While the Tower of Mourning does not replicate the exact horrors of Aogiri’s lair, it bears unsettling similarities. Noh Mask, like Yamori, exhibits an oddly hospitable demeanor towards his prisoners. Drawing comparisons between the characters, Azuma can be seen as Choujin X’s equivalent of Hide, given their shared childhood friendship. Although Ely is more amicable towards Tokio than Touka was towards Kaneki, their relationship only formed after Tokio gained superhuman abilities. Unlike Tokyo Ghoul, where readers primarily focused on Kaneki’s capture and its impact on Touka and Hide, Choujin X places all three of its main characters in their own distressing predicament. Tokio, Ely, and Azuma are all in danger, requiring rescue from their more experienced and powerful allies, who themselves are secondary characters.

By amplifying the stakes set in Tokyo Ghoul and subverting the traditional trope of the protagonist or deuteragonist rescuing the other from capture, Ishida once again challenges the narrative norms. Captivity not only affects the victims but also evokes intense worry in the spared hero, including feelings of survivor’s guilt and the fear of their friend’s life being in jeopardy. Ishida skillfully executes a well-crafted plot twist, further highlighting his ability to defy expectations. Interestingly, Ishida recently played with fans’ expectations by teasing a potential torture sequence involving Tokio’s earlier capture, leading readers to anticipate a different outcome that never came to fruition. Such narrative surprises and thought-provoking twists continue to make Choujin X an engaging and dynamic manga experience.

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