Anime Tokyo Ghoul brought manga fans to their knees when it was adapted into an animated version. If you are a fan of the franchise, you must have heard the term 1000-7 before and its significance to the protagonist, Kenaki Ken. Nevertheless, if you’ve watched it and don’t understand what the term meant, I’m going to help you gain insight. So what does 1000-7 exactly mean for Tokyo Ghoul?
The term 1000-7 measures Kenaki Ken’s level of insanity. It was first mentioned when Jason tortured him and made him count down from one thousand by sevens as a psychological torture method to keep Kenaki conscious while being physically mutilated.
The main character in Tokyo Ghoul, Kenaki Ken, went through many phases throughout the anime. The first turning point in his life was when he turned into a ghoul, and the second was after losing his sanity. Even though he was known as the kindest person and ghoul, he was later labeled as the craziest and most brutal of them all.
Tokyo Ghoul’s Story
Tokyo Ghoul is set in a fictional world where ghouls coexist with humans. They have to eat human flesh to survive. Some of them found a way to live peacefully by eating dead humans instead of murdering people. However, the CCG, who was responsible for killing ghouls, couldn’t distinguish between the good and the evil ones.
Ken Kaneki, the protagonist of the story, was a regular human until he met a ghoul, Rize, that he had a crush on. When they were both involved in an accident, the doctors transplanted her organs into him, resulting in him becoming a one-eyed ghoul. He then joined Anteiku to understand more about his new identity.
This anime has a lot of human elements, three-dimensional characters, and fight scenes that hook you from the very first episode. I found it hard to sympathize with or completely despise a character because they all have justifications for their actions.
The Significance of 1000-7
Anetiku’s protection and warning was Ken Kaneki’s goal when he joined the Aogiri tree. As soon as the organization discovered that he had betrayed them, they turned him over to Jason to be tortured. Jason was imprisoned before and tortured by a sadistic investigator, which had an effect on his personality. He was subjected to an indescribable amount of pain and in order to withstand it, he imagined being the torturer rather than the victim. That gave him a thrill and made him forget about the pain. As a result, he became a torturer and had his own torture chambers.
Jason tormented Ken Kaneki by cutting off his fingers and waited for them to regenerate, then does it all over again. He also injected him with chemicals to speed up his recovery. Kaneki was known for his incredible regenerative abilities, so it was a chance for Jason to keep cutting his fingers more often.
The physical torture wasn’t enough for Jason, so he had to inflict some psychological pain as well by forcing him to count down from one thousand by sevens. This kept Kaneki conscious throughout the painful process.
By the end, Kaneki was asked the infamous question “What is 1000 minus 7?” which meant that he was cut 993 times. Kaneki’s sanity was slowly eroded by the pain until he finally broke free and devoured Jason. He became a cannibal after eating another ghoul and grew much stronger.
Furthermore, Kaneki copied Jason’s habit of cracking his fingers whenever he was on the brink of losing his mind. Victims of abuse mostly do that to have something that keeps them tied to their sanity. Later in the anime, 1000-7 was used to measure Kaneki’s insanity.
When Was 1000-7 Mentioned Again?
After Kaneki broke free, he became a cannibal devouring ghouls. He wasn’t completely insane, but he was on the edge and lost his nerve quite fast. He was found by Shinohara in a lab feasting on artificial ghouls. A fight started between the two of them and Kaneki wasn’t holding back. The more he fought, the more brutal he became.
Despite Shinohara being one of the best investigators and fighters in the CCG, he was almost killed by Kaneki. Before receiving a lethal strike, he confessed that Kaneki was the craziest ghoul after being asked by Kaneki “What is 1000 minus 7?” However, Shinohara was saved by Amon, and Kaneki was chased away.
Ken Kaneki was special because he maintained his human side while being a ghoul. Jason’s torture unfortunately brought forth more of Kaneki’s ghoulish side. For a long time, he was more insane than sane and committed atrocities in the name of protecting the ones he loved and becoming stronger. The term 1000-7 remained a fundamental part of Kaneki as he struggled to keep himself from falling into the abyss.