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Mystery Behind Tokyo Ghoul’s Phrase “1000-7”

(Last Updated On: February 17, 2023)

The anime adaptation of Tokyo Ghoul made a huge impact on the anime community with its gripping and dark story. The main protagonist, Ken Kaneki, transforms into a flesh-eating monster and embarks on a journey to navigate his new life, captivating audiences instantly. The intricate world-building and fascinating lore of the series constantly left viewers wanting more, making Tokyo Ghoul an instant hit and many of its elements iconic.

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The series stood out from other anime in many ways, including its visually stunning world, the unique and recognizable masks worn by the ghouls, and the vibrant character designs. However, the dialogue in the series was particularly memorable. It featured many profound and unforgettable quotes, but one, in particular, stands out and has become etched in the minds of every Tokyo Ghoul fan. “What’s 1,000 minus seven?” This quote defines Kaneki’s character and carries a disturbing and haunting history that has left a lasting impact on viewers.

The Origin of the Phrase “1000-7”: Exploring Its Meaning and History

The famous quote, “I’ll make you count down from 1,000 by sevens,” is not only a chilling reminder of the sadistic character Jason from the anime “Tokyo Ghoul,” but also a testament to the character’s traumatic past.

Before becoming the twisted and monstrous antagonist that terrorized the series’ hero, Kaneki, Jason was a victim of brutal torture himself. While imprisoned, he endured relentless torture that left him broken and traumatized. To escape from the horrific reality of his situation, he convinced himself that he was the torturer instead of the victim.

After killing his own tormentor and escaping from prison, Jason was forever changed. He became obsessed with inflicting pain and suffering on others, using his twisted logic to justify his heinous acts.

Kaneki became one of Jason’s unfortunate victims, and the quote “I’ll make you count down from 1,000 by sevens” became a haunting mantra that was repeated constantly as he was tortured in unspeakable ways. The pain was so intense that Kaneki risked losing consciousness, so he had to focus on counting down to stay alive.

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The origin of this quote adds a depth of darkness to Jason’s character, as it reveals the trauma that drove him to become the monster he is. It also highlights the psychological manipulation that Jason used to keep his victims under his control, using a seemingly innocuous task to distract them from the excruciating pain they were enduring.

The Reason Behind Kaneki Saying this Quote in Tokyo Ghoul

In the world of Tokyo Ghoul, Kaneki’s experience of being tortured by Jason is one of the most harrowing events that ever took place. For ten agonizing days, Jason subjected Kaneki to unimaginable horrors, relentlessly cutting off his fingers and toes, only to force him to consume them so that they could regenerate. Despite his incredible healing factor, Kaneki suffered both physically and emotionally from this traumatic experience.

The effects of the torture were profound, leaving an indelible mark on Kaneki’s personality and worldview. When he emerged from his captivity, his once dark hair had turned pure white, and he was no longer the gentle and kind boy he used to be. Instead, he was now a dark and complex individual, one whose experience of torture had twisted him into something altogether different.

In a stark reversal of roles, Kaneki later turned the tables on his tormentor, Jason, and subjected him to his own brutal form of torture. As he devoured the ghoul who had once held him captive, Kaneki slowly made Jason count down from 1,000 by seven. The experience represented a radical shift in Kaneki’s character. No longer was he content to be a pacifist, but instead, he was now willing to use violence to achieve his goals.

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To further emphasize the changes that Kaneki underwent, he even adopted some of Jason’s mannerisms. He would crack his knuckles in the same way that Jason did, and ask his opponents, “What’s 1,000 minus seven?” before attacking them. All of these quirks reinforced the idea that the sweet boy Kaneki once was, was long gone, replaced by a darker and more dangerous version of himself.


The transformation of Kaneki from an innocent victim of torture to a complex and unpredictable character is one of the most fascinating story arcs in Tokyo Ghoul. The depths of trauma and the way it can change a person is a theme that is explored in a raw and powerful way, leaving a lasting impression on those who witness it.

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Arjun Goyal
A seasoned Software Engineer with a rich tapestry of passions that span beyond the technical realm. My journey with anime started with 'Bleach', which spurred an exploration into the wider world of novels, movies, mangas, and webtoons. Favorites of mine include 'Solo Leveling' in webtoons and 'Dragon Rioting' in manga.
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