At the beginning of the story Ken Kaneki is a kind, sweetheart-ed and at times naive person. Even after the horrific incident with Rize and being a ghoul Kaneki still manages to hold those same traits. This all begins to change after his torture at Yamori's hands. Kaneki becomes ruthless and cold-hearted towards his enemies. He even kills another ghoul for the first time in is life. He is still shown as kind and caring towards his friend but, can change in a heartbeat to those he doesn't trust.
Even as an adult Kaneki keeps the traits he had as a child up until he was tortured. After being tortured by the brutal ghoul Yamori, Kaneki's hair turns white and his nails turn the color black as the result of heavy mental stress and forced regeneration.
He lost his father when he was four years old. He barely remembered his face and was awfully curious as to what sort of person he was. He knew that his father was an avid reader and had loads of books, so when he followed the sentences in the book his father had been reading, he felt like he was having a conversation with his dead father which calmed him down, strangely.
His mother later died overworking herself when he was ten, simply by all the work that she had to deal with, especially with his aunt, who was tight on money and hounded his mother for cash. He was then adopted by his aunt's family, the Asaoka family, after his mother passed away.
His aunt's son, Yuuichi, who she always compares with him since Yuuichi didn't do well at school;this fact made her angry. When comparing her son with Kaneki, she also compared Kaneki with his late mother, saying how alike they were. Her feelings of inferiority regarding Kaneki's mother were turned on him as spite. As time passed, the family became a place that didn't give Kaneki any comfort for long because nobody in the family would look after or cared for him.
He barely had any friends during elementary school. During that time, Hide approached Kaneki, most likely because he noticed that Kaneki had trouble dealing with his classmates. Since then, Hide and Kaneki have been best friends. Hide was his only support during the time the Asaokas began to ostracize him, which really saved him from loneliness.
He later works as a waiter for Anteiku under Yoshimura's guidance. After his fight with Amon he gains the name "Eyepatch" because of his mask's design and becomes somewhat famous after a ghoul saw him defeating Amon. He loves to read and is normally quiet and reserved. He has a bad trait of easily trusting strangers which sometimes puts him in life threatening situation.
Powers and Abilities
Kaneki starts off as weak and not used to fights, with a feeble body that has neither muscles nor flexibility. He has poor reflexes, reflecting his terrible athletic skills when he was previously human. Despite this, he is shown to be very adaptive and a quick learner. He is highly intelligent having the ability of learning martial arts in a short period of time through martial arts books and strict training from Touka and Yomo, making him a competent fighter above the average level.
After being tortured by Yakumo Oomori and accepting his ghoul side all the knowledge and skills he learnt are put to use, he became capable of easily dodging quick attacks, his reflexes and strength were greatly enhance becoming capable of defeating Yakumo with ease. Kaneki is also a tactical combatant, his intelligence and improvisational abilities allow him to challenge foes far more powerful than himself.
- Rinkaku Kagune: After the organ transplant, Kaneki also inherited Rize's kagune. Rize's kagune is special because it has an abnormal regenerating factor even among the Rinkaku types. While his body is soft and fragile, his kagune focuses on providing enough brute force to take down even the toughest enemies. So far, his kagune can produce four tentacle claws that provide him with muscular blades to cut or pierce foes.
Despite the surgery, Kaneki seems to lack the sense of smell other ghouls have that can differentiate between humans and ghouls, although he is shown to be unaffected by Ghoul-Detecting machines.