I just want to say that when Tokyo Ghoul began, I was definitely new to the series. I had only head of it days prior from a friend who wanted to cosplay Touka. I had no manga experience with it (and I still haven’t found time to read it).
Being the person that I am, I tend to be repelled by the “whiny,” “weak,” “Don’t let me become this” characters. I’m usually yelling “Man up!” and “Get the f*ck over it!” That being said, I didn’t expect to warm up to Kaneki Ken (also known as “THE BAE”) as quickly as I did. Immediately, I felt pain for him in the first or second episode when he was fighting against himself – fighting against the hunger he felt when he saw the corpse of a man. Kaneki Ken writhing in physical and mental pain nearly brought tears to my eyes. I’m not sure why. Was it because he was a shy bookworm like me? Was it just the situation he was in? No one can say for sure. But I can say this: I did not expect Kaneki to become such a f*cking badass!
Did I expect him to become strong? Duh. This is a horror-action series and he’s the main character; of course he’d become strong. And he does. Kaneki grows stronger in both mind and body as he makes new connections in a peaceful ghoul coffee shop, Anteiku. Of course, there are moments in the beginning when Kaneki has bursts of strength that are fueled by hate, such as when he is protecting his best friend from Nishiki. But of course, even with the battles Kaneki participates in, he wasn’t THAT badass until the end of the anime’s first season.
This, of course, is a convenient Segway into my choice for “The Most Badass Moment From Any Anime Character!” The final anime fight isn’t much of a fight. Having been tortured for what I believe was nearly a month, Kaneki snaps. There is a beautiful symbolic scene of introspection where he lets the monster, animalistic side of Rize Kamishiro take over. He has given up his philosophy of being passive and the snow white flowers we see in his mind become red spider lilies – a symbol of death. And, to me, a symbol of Kaneki’s rebirth. I said that the Kaneki versus Jason fight wasn’t much of a fight, and I mean it. It was more of a pure pummeling on Kaneki’s part. Kaneki gives Jason no time to respond as he beats the crap out of him. This scene gives me chills every time I watch it because of the complete one-eighty that happens. I found myself breathless through most of the scene (aprox. The last five minutes of the episode). And when I could speak, all I could say was “That’s not The Bae” to Trystan. Kaneki’s feral growls and his emotionless, if not sardonic, voice made goosebumps appear all over my arms.
I’m not sure what I expected to happen to Kaneki after his torture but I most certainly expect such a drastic change. To me, this proves to be the most badass scene from any character I can think of because not only has Kaneki evolved mentally, but physically as well. Kaneki was willing to give up his conscious thought and return three-fold what was brought on him by Jason. Kaneki Ken is a near-perfect representation of why not to push nice people to the edge, because one day, they will snap. And that’s just what Kaneki did. And it was Badass.