A kagune (赫子, red child) is a ghoul's predatory organ and functions as their weapon and claws. It is usually as red as blood (the colors are varied in the anime to distinguish the kagune of each individual), flexible like the flow of water, but firm and sturdy. When released, a ghoul's physique is strengthened, they are more resilient, and their mobility heightens. A kagune is composed of Rc cells, which flow just like blood, can become as solid as teeth and can be described as "liquid muscles." The Rc cells are released from a kakuhou piercing the skin, and the released Rc cells form the kagune. The kagune are voluntary muscles as ghouls can control them whenever they want and repeatedly harden and soften them at will. Kagune size depend on the Rc cells' quality and quantity while the shape depends on the creativity and intellect of the user.
Although a ghoul's healing ability is high, the healing of wounds tends to be delayed if the wounds are inflicted by a kagune. It is also evident that in order to counter a kagune in battle, one must also have a kagune, if not, at least something in relation to a kagune. Hence, ghoul investigators use kagune-based quinque as a tactical means to battle against ghouls.
Research conducted by the CCG Laboratory Division resulted in identifying three stages of kagune formation. At their current knowledge, the stages are the same for every ghoul capable of manifesting kagune.
At the point base of the kagune where the Rc cells erupt from the kakuhou, the erupted Rc cells will form bonds with each other. They will organize themselves in the structure best fit for their Rc type in a repeated web. This repeated action of the cells will occur instantaneously and lead to the next stage.
The bonded Rc cells will retain the resulted form for a fixed length of time. The basic shape of the kagune is seen at this stage. During this time, the defensive and offensive capabilities and weaknesses will take on their respective properties to the ghoul's Rc type. The manifested kagune's appearance is usually hereditary, taking on the shape and characteristics of their genetic predecessors, additionally, kagune size also depends on the Rc cells' quality and quantity while the shape depends on the creativity and intellect of the user. In relation to this stage is the user's manual control of the kagune's movement and actions, which can include crystallization and increase in length, dexterity, sharpness, and concentration.
After time has elapsed, the bonds between the cells begin to break apart. At this point, the kagune loses its intactness or solidity and deteriorates.
The kagune's appearance and the place of emergence on the body depend on the Rc type of the ghoul. There are four different Rc types: ukaku, koukaku, rinkaku, and bikaku. As a guideline, each type can characteristically subdue another type, although it may be different for two specific opponents. Each Rc type has a set of strengths and weaknesses, each one unique to its type. These are exploited by the CCG in the creation of the quinque and Q bullets.
An ukaku kagune (羽赫, ukaku, "feather-red") is spread out like feathers and is released from the shoulder area, it specializes in high speed attacks, most of the users seeming to have highly enhanced speed. The kagune is lightweight and can be used to deliver high-speed attacks against an adversary, the primary method of attack is crystallizing their kagune to deliver a high speed torrent of spike-like projectiles, however whilst crystallized they are much stiffer and cannot be used for short range combat; at least one ukaku-type can generate powerful lightning-like bolts, a possible rare ability. While the kagune is suited both for short-distance and long-distance attacks, short-range is considered their weakness. They may use their kagune as a shield and several are capable of shaping them into sharp blades reminiscent of a koukaku to aid in close quarters. Many ukaku-types are able to increase the flexibility of their kagune for short-range combat, though this makes it ill-suited for their distinctive long-range attacks.
Altogether ukaku-type ghouls have a high chance of ending a battle quickly, releasing Rc cells depletes stamina. Thus, ukaku-type users lack endurance and are at a disadvantage if the battle drags on for a long time. Ukaku-type users can use their speed and mobility to shoot down bikaku-type users from afar. However, a koukaku-type user can suppress an ukaku-type user by successfully guarding against the ukaku-type user's attacks, leaving them vulnerable to counterattacks and exhausting the ukaku-type user in the long run.
Known ukaku ghouls are: Shinsanpei Aura, Kazuichi Banjou, Fei, Shousei Idera, Kaya Irimi, Sumiharu Katou, Ayato Kirishima, Hikari Kirishima, Touka Kirishima, Kurei, Noyama, Ruchi, Shikorae, Ginshi Shirazu, Seidou Takizawa, Koutarou Amon, Koharu Utsumi, Renji Yomo, Yoshimura, and Eto Yoshimura.
A koukaku kagune (甲赫, kōkaku, "shell-red") is released below the shoulder blade. Due to its high density of Rc cells, it is heavy and extremely robust, giving it the greatest sturdiness and making them very well suited for defense. Normally, they are generally shaped into armors or shields, but on the offense, they can be shaped like melee weapons such as drills, hammers, blades, and swords.
Due to its high weight, a koukaku's speed is inferior to all other Rc types and the kagune is difficult to wield.
A koukaku can fend off an ukaku onslaught using its guarding capabilities. However, a rinkaku kagune can deliver severe strikes against the slow koukaku, breaking their kagune and breaching their defenses.
Known koukaku ghouls are: Hinami Fueguchi, Ryouko Fueguchi, Ching-Li Hsiao, Arata Kirishima, Mairo, Matsumae, Ikuma Momochi, Naki, Nutcracker, Nutcracker's partner, Donato Porpora, Rou, Shikorae, Tanaka, Mirumo Tsukiyama, Shuu Tsukiyama, and Kuki Urie.
A rinkaku kagune (鱗赫, rinkaku, "scale-red") has an appearance similar to scaled tentacles and is released at the back around the waist. A rinkaku wielder has powerful regenerative abilities and some could even survive the most critical of damage. Its peculiar appearance and structure yield a superior striking power and they excel in brute strength. Some rinkaku users are able to manipulate the shape of their kagune, such as changing its usual tentacle form into swords or claws.
This type's regenerative power is a result of the Rc cells easily binding together. Their Rc cells are similar to liquid. However, this means that the binding force among the Rc cells are weak, therefore making the kagune very soft and easy to break. But because their Rc cells bind so easily, some rinkaku can bind their multiple tentacle-like kagune together to make a larger, stronger kagune. So far the number of tentacles that rinkaku users can create are from one to eight tentacles.
A rinkaku kagune can deliver severe strikes against the slow koukaku, penetrating the kagune and breaching the koukaku's defenses. However, a rinkaku has serious problems fighting against the balanced bikaku kagune: A bikaku has comprehensively high power, allowing them to fight against the brute-force rinkaku, and the rinkaku kagune softness makes it comparatively easy for the bikaku to cut the kagune off. This disarms a rinkaku no matter how much strength it may possess, leaving the rinkaku at a disadvantage on the defensive. It has been shown that in some cases, a bikaku attack can disable a rinkaku's regeneration.
Known rinkaku ghouls are: Yuuri Akanuma, Asa, Asaki Fueguchi, Hinami Fueguchi, Nimura Furuta, Hooguro, Rize Kamishiro, Ken Kaneki, Kinko, Kie Muramatsu, Yakumo Oomori, Rio's brother, Kanae von Rosewald, Karao Saeki, Kurona Yasuhisa, Nashiro Yasuhisa, and Saiko Yonebayashi.
BikakuA bikaku kagune (尾赫, bikaku, "tail-red") typically has a tail-like appearance and is released around the tail-bone/coccyx. It is good for medium-distance attacks and has decent offense, defense, and speed. Thus, they have no notable strengths or weaknesses like the kagune based on other Rc types, meaning the kagune itself is treated as a surprise "trump card." So far, the number of tails a bikaku user can create are one to fourteen tails, as shown by Mutsuki.
A bikaku has better speed and durability against the brute-force, breakable rinkaku, allowing them to cut off the rinkaku's kagune. However, a bikaku will be overwhelmed by the faster ukaku-user and will lose against the ukaku's long-range attacks.
The balanced characteristics makes the kagune a preferred quinque type for inexperienced investigators.
Known bikaku ghouls are: Big Madam, the Bin Brothers, Cain, Touma Higemaru, Matasaka Kamishiro, Akashi Kobayashi, Enji Koma, Uruka Minami, Miza Kusakari, Tooru Mutsuki, Nishiki Nishio, Noro, Nutcracker, Shikorae, and Yumitsu Tomoe.
In some cases, a ghoul's kagune can possess several unique abilities. While the kagune's basic structure itself is quite simple, the occurrences concurrent with these phenomena are unexplained, however they have been accredited to highly concentrated amounts of Rc cells.
The kagune while in use may be surrounded by a lightning-like aura, capable of generating electricity that can be utilized in an offensive and destructive manner. This is not a learned characteristic, but is hereditary, originating from the kakuhou. Note this ability may be passed onto a quinque, shown by Narukami and T-Human.
Thus far, this has only been demonstrated by a user in kakuja form, however, the mutated Rc cells were able to generate heat, as well as flames reaching 4000 degrees Celsius.
In both an ukaku and rinkaku ghoul this skill has been present, suggesting it may be an ability all Rc types are capable of. The wounded may be healed from injuries such as large fatal wounds to needing whole bones replaced. Whether they are another ghoul, human (albeit with added complications involving increased Rc factors), or the owner of the healing kagune, healing can be achieved within varying time parameters. Unlike electrokinesis, healing is not exclusively hereditary but can be learned like a skill which can be improved over time with experience, an example being Nico's experience healing humans, describing it as a "trick."
This ability to mimic the appearance of others has only been shown by a single ghoul, indicating its uniqueness. The extent with which it can be achieved is far enough to fool even those familiar with the individual being mimicked. This includes creating detailed facial features and body structures to be realistic enough to function much like the real thing.
- Main article: Kakuja
When ghouls repeatedly cannibalize other ghouls, they (rarely) develop an abnormal kagune apart from the common predatory kagune. This kagune typically takes an armor-like shape, and ghouls with such a kagune are called kakujas.
This abnormal transformation kagune also takes after the Rc types.
- Main article: Chimera kagune
When ghouls with different Rc types have children, there is a small chance they will inherit abilities from both parents and be born with a chimera kagune. This trait appears to be extremely rare, with only three known examples appearing in the series.
Though the method has still not been explained, some ghouls possess a rare ability to detach part of their kagune. This detached piece maintains its traits for some time, and continues to function separate from the main body. Thus far, two distinct uses have been observed: walls and traps. A detached...
- kagune wall buries into the ground, and sprouts like a thorn bush or other organic barrier. It extends itself to fill the entire area, making passage impossible.
- kagune trap can be buried within any surface, and coils up on itself. These traps will lie in wait until nearby movement triggers them, bursting from their hiding place to impale what has set them off. It appears to be possible to set more than a half-dozen traps at a time, though the exact limitation is unknown. The only example thus far is the chimera ghoul Nutcracker.
- kagune signal is able to transmit data similar to a distress signal. How the information is transferred as well as received is unknown, but a small piece of kagune can reveal the owner's location. It has only been shown to work one-way so far.
It is possible for ghouls to use their detached kagune in more destructive and offensive ways. For instance, Kurona Yasuhisa later detaches her kagune and wields it similarly to a quinque. In comparison, Koutarou Amon uses the kagune from his arm to complete the form of his damaged quinque, Doujima 1/2. Tooru Mutsuki, like Kurona, uses his like a quinque and applies his knife-throwing skills, he shapes them into knives to use them as such. On the other hand, the one-eyed ghoul Eto demonstrates the ability to detach pieces of her kagune, using them to manipulate and restrain targets.
|Kaneki inherited his kagune from Rize, and gained her abnormal regeneration and power. His tentacles are noticeably thicker than Rize's and are at first impossible for him to control, but as the series goes on, he masters the use of his kagune and shows the ability to shape it in multiple ways. After eating the Owl's kakuhou, he is able to form eyes and mouths on his kagune.
Kaneki's cannibalism also led him to develop a kakuja. Kaneki's first kakuja takes the form of two large tentacles resembling centipedes and a beak-like structure on his head. While powerful, they cause Kaneki to become mentally unstable when used. His second kakuja forms a carapace covering on his whole face, and a kagune-like claw where his hand is. This kakuja can also form eyes and mouths. Unlike the previous version, Kaneki is able to maintain control of his mind while using this kakuja. His third kakuja encases his upper half and forms a koukaku-like blade.
|Rize Kamishiro||Rinkaku||Rize's kagune takes the form of four slender, claw tipped tentacles. She's been shown to be able to create up to six of them at one time and can move them at high speeds for attacking and defending.|
|Kanae von Rosewald||Rinkaku||Kanae's kagune take the shape of several tentacles with jagged tip, which he is able to shape into swords. After being tortured by Eto, his kagune becomes a large singular tentacle with mouths forming along the kagune.|
|Kurona and her sister inherited Rize's kagune. She is later shown to be able to form and detach her kagune. Due to repeated cannibalism, Kurona developed a kakuja that contains four arms and a mask with multiple eyes covering it.|
|Nashiro Yasuhisa||Rinkaku||She gained her kagune from getting one of Rize's kakuhou transplanted into her. She is capable of creating up to 2 tentacles from her waist. Like all rinkaku types, she overpowers her opponents with brute strength. In addition, she mostly fights alongside with her twin sister and adds pressure to their enemies with their combination attacks.|
|Saiko Yonebayashi||Rinkaku||Among the Quinx Squad, Saiko's Quinx compatibility test results were highest. This may be why her kagune is the strongest of the squad. Her kagune takes the form of a large tentacle. However, she quickly tires after using it. After the Tsukiyama Operation, Saiko shows better control over her kagune, able to shape it to several tentacles, and does not run out of stamina as quickly while using them. She can control its shape, either using it as several lashing tentacles or its giant form. Saiko can easily force her kagune to take on any shape she wishes to duplicate. Several of the forms Saiko has successfully created include a net and two destructive massive arms capable of smashing buildings, as well as multiple arms she may use simultaneously.|
|Karao Saeki||Rinkaku||Karao Saeki's rinkaku kagune takes the form of several tentacles which allow him to attack from a distance.|
|Yamori's kagune take the form of several tentacles with barbed edges, greatly damaging anyone who is stabbed with it. Due to repeated cannibalism, he became a kakuja. Yamori's kakuja develops over his upper skull and right upper torso, forming a gigantic limb where his right hand is. The limb is powerful and can be used for grabbing, throwing, and striking.|
|Nimura Furuta||Rinkaku||Furuta inherited Rize's kagune, and shares its traits. He has demonstrated the ability to form the tentacles into wing-like blades, or a pair of scaled tentacles.|
|Yuuri Akanuma||Rinkaku||Yuuri possessed a thick whip-like kagune.|
|Touka Kirishima||Ukaku||Touka's kagune manifests into one full red-black wing on her back and one smaller one. In √A, she's shown to be able to switch the sides that her larger wing manifests itself on. Touka's kagune is unusually flexible for an ukaku and is well suited for short range combat as well as providing some degree of defense. In :re, she is able to manifest two complete wings with the ability to generate a lightning-like aura.|
|Ayato Kirishima||Ukaku||Ayato's kagune is similar to his sister's, the only noticeable differences being the colour and the strength. Ayato can manifest a full pair of wings and he shows better control and strength than Touka does. In :re, he is shown to be able to form a blade in a similar fashion to a koukaku-type.|
|Yoshimura's kagune forms spikes and fires fast projectiles very rapidly. His other kakuhous form concentrated Rc cells that fans out as heavy shotgun pellets and pours down through cover. He is the only ghoul shown so far to be able to shoot projectiles from anywhere on his body. His kakuja resembles two large scimitars. These are useful as they can attack in close ranges while his normal kagune can attack middle to far ranges. He is able to maintain full consciousness while having his kakuja deployed.|
|Eto's skill with her kagune is far more advanced than most ghouls shown so far. After the timeskip, her kagune takes the form of multiple grotesque appendages attached to her back. The appendages can be shaped into eyes, mouths, arms, and legs in order to suit Eto's purposes. Her kagune appears to be an extension of her conciousness as the mouths often speak incoherent sentences, possibly her thoughts at the moment. Like Nutcracker, her kagune is also detachable, capable of ensnaring her opponents with relative ease. She appears to be able to "implant" her kagune into others and significantly alter their physiology. Eto also demonstrates the ability to detach pieces of her kagune, using them to manipulate and restrain targets. It is possible this is a variant of the kagune wall, though the exact details are unknown at this time.|
|His kagune features the Owl's distinctive "plumage" of spikes along his shoulder blade, which can fire a barrage of crystallized Rc cells across long distances, and can also swiftly shred through flesh.Takizawa's shards can also vary in size, some growing to be as large and wide as a pillar when fired from his kagune. He also has the unseen ability to extend his kagune into a large wing, which differs from Yoshimura's usage. Later on, he demonstrates greater versatility and is able to rapidly shape his kagune into a multitude of shapes. This includes forming an elongated and armored limb for greater striking power, forming sharpening tentacles for stabbing, and precisely-aimed projectiles that batter rather than pierce the target.|
|He appears to have an ukaku kagune of decent power, capable of firing off numerous projectiles. These can easily blast holes into another ghoul's body. His projectiles can vary in size, from small to human sized. Amon is also able to detach kagune from his arm to complete the form of his quinque, Doujima 1/2.|
|Kaya Irimi||Ukaku||Irimi's kagune takes the form of two beetle-like wings with a tail protruding between them.|
|Renji Yomo||Ukaku||Yomo's kagune takes the form of two large black wings that resemble those of a raven. It can shoot large masses of crystalline projectiles and has been shown to be capable of shooting condensed Rc cells in the form of lighting bolts.|
|Kazuichi Banjou||Ukaku||Banjou has a kagune which he never used in battle, as it serves as his healing factor.|
|Ginshi Shirazu||Ukaku||Ginshi's kagune takes the form of a launcher-like protrusion, and fires multiple claw-like missiles with very limited accuracy. After breaking his frames during his combat with Noro, his ukaku morphs into a moose-horn shape and his projectiles gain explosive properties, vastly increasing the damage they can inflict upon anything they hit.|
|Sumiharu Katou||Ukaku||Katou possessed an ukaku kagune in the shape of two wings with drills growing out of them. He was capable of shooting the drills towards his targets. They contained enough concentration and strength to penetrate a sheet of metal.|
|Koharu Utsumi||Ukaku||Koharu's kagune resembled a pair of thin dragonfly wings, delicate and ill-suited to combat. She quickly ran out of stamina, and was defeated without launching any significant attacks.|
|Skull Masks Leader||Ukaku|
|Shuu Tsukiyama||Koukaku||Tsukiyama's kagune resembles a metallic ribbon that wraps around his arm. To extend his reach, he can form a large blade for thrusting and stabbing out of his kagune.|
|Mirumo Tsukiyama||Koukaku||Like his son's kagune Mirumo's kagune is shaped in a corkscrew like spiral around his right arm. Unlike his son's his kagune is tipped with a massive barb and appears to be much larger.|
|Naki||Koukaku||Naki utilizes his kagune as a broadsword-like blade on his right arm.|
|Nutcracker's partner||Koukaku||This kagune resembles two large shields originating from just below each shoulder blade. They can be used for blocking and striking and have been shown to posses enough strength to shatter large pillars.|
|Kuki Urie||Koukaku||Urie's kagune first resembles a large armored structure with a blade protruding from the end. After he had his fourth frame released, it now has two blades rather than one.|
|Ching-Li Hsiao||Koukaku||Hsiao's kagune takes form of a sword and shield.|
|Matsumae||Koukaku||She possesed a koukaku kagune. After saving Karren, Matsumae displayed the ability to detach her kagune in the form of a wall. In the Auction, her kagune was two jagged tentacles. During her fight with Hairu Ihei, her kagune took the form of a sword and shield.|
|After consuming the corpses of ghouls, Arata developed a kakuja of seemingly only defensive purpose. It consists of metal-like plates covering the entirety of his body.|
|Ikuma Momochi||Koukaku||Ikuma has a shell-like kagune, which encases his left arm when in use.|
|Donato Porpora||Koukaku||His koukaku kagune resembles a long tentacle formed from intertwined strands of sinew and an outer layer covered in cross-like shapes. It is capable of ranged attacks, and allows him to extend it over long distances and spear targets with great precision. In spite of the type's greater weight, he is able to wield it with incredible speed, attacking faster than the eye can follow. He also demonstrates the ability to detach pieces of his kagune.|
|Tanaka||Koukaku||Tanaka's kagune was simply one large tentacle of fairly strong ability that vaguely resembled that of Minami's bikaku in his own koukaku form and was capable of grabbing, throwing, and attacking opponents.|
|Nishiki Nishio||Bikaku||His kagune pushes his foot to increase the power of his kicks even further. However, his kagune seems to only enhance his leg strength and isn't viable for any other task. After the timeskip, Nishiki has completely mastered his kagune's abilties. It can vary in length and size, ending in a double-pronged tip. Rather than wrapping his kagune on his leg to strengthen his kicks, it is now used as a weapon by itself.|
|Tooru Mutsuki||Bikaku||His kagune possesses several segmented edges. He is able to extend it for use at long distances and it can be used it to block. It has also been shown to posses binding capabilities such as during the fight with Noro. He also has shown to be capable of detaching fragments of his kagune, applying his knife throwing skills.|
|Touma Higemaru||Bikaku||Higemaru's kagune resembles a long tail that seems to have a claw-like design on the base of the tail. Higemaru can activate a frame 3 kagune that resembles a long, scaly tail that is forked at the end.|
|Big Madam||Bikaku||Big Madam's bikaku kagune resembles an extremely large tail which can extend to reach long distances.|
|Miza Kusakari||Bikaku||Miza's kagune forms three large blades capable of effortlessly cutting through flesh and bone.|
|Matasaka Kamishiro||Bikaku||Kamishiro's kagune resembles a large orca tail. It is considerable larger than the average bikaku kagune.|
|Enji Koma||Bikaku||His kagune takes the form of a monkey tail. His uses for it are mainly prehensile, using it for agile movement on surfaces such as walls and using it to dodge attacks rather than using it as an actual weapon in combat.|
|Bin Brothers||Bikaku||They both had one bikaku tail.|
|Noro||Bikaku||Noro has a very thick kagune able to consume food. With it, Noro easily destroyed the CCG's computer system, and pierced through the CCG's forces with minimal effort.|
|Yumitsu Tomoe||Bikaku||Yumitsu's kagune takes the form of three pronged blades. However, similiar to an ukaku, the use of her kagune drains her Rc cells very rapidly. Due to this flaw, she refrains from using her kagune in combat.|
|Cain||Bikaku||Cain possessed a bikaku with a barbed end.|
|Uruka Minami||Bikaku||Minami's bikaku resembles a lizard's tail, and has extreme flexibility. She alternately used it like a whip, or a sword wrapped around her arm. She is also capable of burrowing her bikaku in the ground and attacking with it from below.|
|Hinami Fueguchi||Rinkaku / Koukaku||Hinami possesses a chimera kagune comprised of both a rinkaku and a koukaku kagune. The koukaku kagune resembles that of two flower petals which she uses as shields. After the time-skip, she is able to form 4 "petals" capable of taking considerable punishment. The rinkaku kagune take the form of spines and after the time-skip she is shown to be able to create up to 4 and have better control over them.|
|Nutcracker||Bikaku / Koukaku||Nutcracker is one of few ghouls to possess a chimera kagune. Her bikaku kagune takes the form of a long tail which she can use to hang from ceilings. Her koukaku resembles a pair of small winged limbs used for defense. She has also been shown to detach her bikaku to be used as traps using vibrations to attack her unsuspecting victims.|
|Shikorae||Ukaku / Koukaku / Bikaku||Shikorae is the only known case of a ghoul with three Rc types, with a "special" kakuhou. His ukaku kagune forms "wing" structures capable of firing projectiles over a moderate distance. His bikaku kagune resembles a long tail which he can use to pierce the ground and surprise opponents. His third type, a koukaku kagune, takes the form of a blade encasing his right forearm.|
|Uta||?||Uta's kagune takes the form of a tail which can strike opponents from a distance. He can release up to three of these tails.|
- While the abilities of a ghoul's kagune can be primarily inferred based upon their Rc type, several ghouls' kagune differ in appearance and/or function from what their Rc type would normally imply.
- Yumitsu Tomoe's bikaku kagune drains her stamina significantly, to the point she prefers not to use it in battle.
- Ayato can use his ukaku kagune for long periods of time with little drain in his stamina. He also excels in close-quarters combat, despite those of the ukaku-type typically being better-versed in ranged combat. Both him and his sister's kagune are unusually flexible for an ukaku, being well suited for short range combat and defense, as well as the long range attacks ukaku-type ghouls specialize in.
- Yoshimura's ukaku kagune takes the form of a long blade, resembling a koukaku-type kagune and functioning just as well in close combat.
- During the Auction Mopping-up Operation, Matsumae sprouts hers koukaku into several versatile threads much like a rinkaku's to carry Kanae von Rosewald away.