When the anime adaptation of Tokyo Ghoul first aired, it took the anime community by storm. This dark and gritty story about the main character Ken Kaneki becoming a man-eating monster and learning to live his new life drew a lot of attention from fans right away. The series world-building and lore were always intriguing and left viewers with more questions. It's easy to see why Tokyo Ghoul was such a big hit and why so many of the series' elements became iconic.
The aesthetics of its world, the distinctive masks worn by the ghouls, and the colorful character designs all contributed to Tokyo Ghoul's story standing out from other anime. But the dialogue in the show was particularly potent. There are many profound and well-known quotes in the story, but one in particular stuck in the minds of every Tokyo Ghoul fan. "What is a thousand less seven?" This remark sums up Kaneki's personality and is accompanied by a grim and horrifying past.
The Meaning of "1000-7"
Kaneki was not the first person to speak this famous quote. The originator was Yakumo Oomori, nicknamed Jason, a major antagonist of Kaneki. Jason was a sadist torturer who often wore a hockey mask, referencing the horror movie killer Jason Voorhees. Before he became the sick and twisted version of himself shown in the series, Jason was a victim of torture himself. While held in a prison, Jason was tortured relentlessly. In order to escape his reality, he convinced himself that he was the torturer instead of the victim. Eventually, he managed to kill his torturer and escape the prison.
This event permanently changed Jason for the worse. He became obsessed with torturing his victims in horrific ways. Kaneki became one of these victims when he was captured by Jason. While being tortured, Jason forced Kaneki to count down from 1,000 by seven. This would keep Kaneki's mind focused and make sure he didn't lose consciousness from the pain. Jason's command was repeated constantly while Kaneki was tortured, and it became a kind of mantra.
What is the Significance of Kaneki's Quote?
Jason tortured Kaneki for a total of ten days. Jason was able to inflict damage on Kankei that would have killed a normal person due to ghouls' incredible healing factor. Jason would use pliers to cut Kaneki's fingers and toes off and then force him to eat them so they would regrow. The trauma of this experience profoundly altered his personality and worldview. Kaneki's hair had turned white by the end of the torture, and he was no longer the kind boy he had been.
KEEP READING: 5 Anime & Manga Great for Tokyo Ghoul FansEventually, Kaneki broke free of his captor and attacked him. When Kaneki defeated Jason, he enacted his own torture on the man. This time, he made Jason count down from 1,000 by seven while he slowly devoured him. This event represented a major change in Kaneki's character. He was no longer willing to be a pacifist and would gladly hurt or kill those who got in his way.
Kaneki adopted some of his torturer's mannerisms to further symbolize the shift in character. Kaneki would occasionally ask himself or the people he was fighting, "What's 1,000 minus seven?" He'd even crack his knuckles the same way Jason did. All of this confirmed that the sweet boy had vanished, to be replaced by a darker, more sadistic version of himself.