The ghouls in Tokyo Ghoul aren’t just undead monsters running around the bustling metropolis. Besides being stronger and faster than average humans, they each possess a Kagune, a special weapon that’s more powerful than any manmade weapon around (except for a nuclear warhead, perhaps). What can ghouls do? Here’s all you need to know about their powers and weaknesses.

 

Powers

1. Special predator organs called “Kagune”

Yo Oizumi as Kureo Mado in Tokyo Ghoul. Credit: Encore Films

Yo Oizumi as Kureo Mado in Tokyo Ghoul. Credit: Encore Films

The impressive and unique power of each ghoul is their Kagune. It usually manifests as a giant set of tentacles or wings, and comes from a special ghoul-only organ in their bodies. When ghouls do battle, they usually reveal their Kagune to fight.

Unfortunately, a ghoul’s Kagune can also be harvested and turned into a weapon called quinque. In Tokyo Ghoul, the Commission of Counter Ghoul (CCG) is an organisation made up of humans who wield quinques to defeat ghouls. These ghoul hunters from the CCG, as they are referred to in the movie, are known as doves. The more ghouls the doves kill, the more quinques they acquire.

 

 

2. Enhanced strength and speed

Fumika Shimizu as Tōuka Kirishima in Tokyo Ghoul. Credit: Encore Films

Fumika Shimizu as Tōuka Kirishima in Tokyo Ghoul. Credit: Encore Films

Ghouls are stronger and faster than average humans. They don’t have Saitama-level speed and strength, but they are significantly more powerful than normal people. That’s part of the reason why they’re so dangerous – ghouls look human, but they can snap your neck as easily as you can snap your fingers once you turn your back on them.

That’s how they hunt, by the way – by pretending to be humans, then eating them when they least expect it. But with a powerful enough quinque, a dove can subdue a ghoul.

 

3. Tough skin

Fumika Shimizu as Tōuka Kirishima in Tokyo Ghoul. Credit: Encore Films

Fumika Shimizu as Tōuka Kirishima in Tokyo Ghoul. Credit: Encore Films

Ghouls also have tough skin that can resist the piercing of ordinary weapons – hence the need for quinque to defeat them. Another ghoul’s kagune can also pierce the skin of a ghoul. However, regular weapons, like a golf club, have absolutely no effect on them.

 

4. Enhanced senses

Masataka Kubota as Ken Kaneki in Tokyou Ghoul. Credit: Encore Films

Masataka Kubota as Ken Kaneki in Tokyou Ghoul. Credit: Encore Films

Yep. The ghouls know you’re there because they’ve got heightened senses. It’s a bit like fighting Wolverine. But the worst part about their heightened senses is that their sense of smell and taste is much more acute than humans, which leads to feeding problems.

But even if you can strike a blow on a ghoul, they have:

 

5. Regenerative abilities

Bandō Minosuke II as Uta in Tokyo Ghoul. Credit: Encore Films

Bandō Minosuke II as Uta in Tokyo Ghoul. Credit: Encore Films

Ghouls don’t immediately heal from wounds, but they can recover from fractures and cuts much faster than humans can. It only takes a few days for them to recover from wounds that would kill a human. The most powerful ghouls can even survive being stabbed through the skull twice (and we’re not even talking about a character that’s 100% ghoul here).

But a lethal enough blow (like beheading) is still enough to destroy a ghoul. Or crushing them with a bunch of steel i-beams.

 

Weaknesses

 

1. Eyes turn red and black when they’re excited

Yū Aoi as Rize Kamishiro in Tokyo Ghoul. Credit: Encore Films

Yū Aoi as Rize Kamishiro in Tokyo Ghoul. Credit: Encore Films

Fortunately, ghouls have a tell – their irises turn red and their sclera (the white part of the eye) turn black when they’re excited. So you know you’re facing a ghoul when their eyes suddenly go black and red. And that happens a lot more often than you think…

 

2. They can only eat human flesh for sustenance

Masataka Kubota as Ken Kaneki in Tokyou Ghoul. Credit: Encore Films

Masataka Kubota as Ken Kaneki in Tokyo Ghoul. Credit: Encore Films

The biggest weakness of ghouls is that they need to eat human flesh to survive. And they can only eat human flesh – normal human food, like salads or burgers or sushi, tastes like acrid cow dung to them. It’s exacerbated by the fact that they have acute senses, so every bite of human food makes them want to vomit.

But if you’re a ghoul hiding in a human world, sometimes you have no choice. Sometimes you have to eat human food just to keep up the pretence. Imagine eating cowdung while having a pleasant conversation with someone – that’s the life of a ghoul for you.

However, ghouls can drink coffee. It’s the only human beverage that they can consume without retching.

 

 

Now that you know what ghouls are like, are you ready to catch the live-action adaptation of Tokyo Ghoul? Set in a world where ghouls run rampant in the world, it centres around normal high school student Kaneki (Masataka Kubota) whose life is forever changed after his, erm, encounter with Rize (Yu Aoi). Thereafter, he becomes part of the underground world of ghouls, where he gets drawn into the politics and intrigue of the ghoul world. Things get worse when the Commission of Counter Ghoul learns of their existence…

What’s Kaneki’s Kagune? Will he survive being in the ghoul world? And who is the most powerful ghoul of all?

Check out Tokyo Ghoul to find out. Fans are already raving about it, so you’re going to be too!

 

Credits: Encore Films, Golden Village Pictures