Tokyo Ghoul, a dark fantasy manga and anime series, is renowned for exploring the coexistence of humans and ghouls in a complex and brutal world. Central to the story are the violent and tragic deaths of various characters, each resonating deeply with the audience.
These deaths are not merely plot devices but critical turning points. The series presents a spectrum of sad demises from ghoul investigators consumed by revenge to ghouls seeking acceptance. This list explores the most tragic deaths in Tokyo Ghoul, examining how they contribute to the story’s profound impact and the intricate tapestry of its dark yet compelling world.
- Release Date
- July 4, 2014
- Gore, Action
- Studio Pierrot
10 Rize Kamishiro
Binge Human Eater
What Makes Rize’s Death Tragic?
- Accidental and surprise death
- Presumed dead by beams landing on her
Rize Kamishiro is a dark character whose death is tragic primarily due to its irony and its lasting impact on the series’ protagonist, Ken Kaneki. Rize, a ghoul known for her seductive and predatory nature, initially appears to be a charming young woman. She lures Kaneki into a secluded area with the intent to devour him.
However, in a twist of fate, she is crushed by falling steel beams in a seemingly accidental incident, just as she is about to kill Kaneki. This event leads to Kaneki receiving her organs in a transplant, turning him into a half-ghoul. Rize’s death, while not permanent, as she later reappears in a diminished state and is killed by Kaneki.
9 Hairu Ihei
S1 Squad Leader
What Makes Hairu’s Death Tragic?
- Brutal death via decapitation
- Death signifies the loss of young potential
Hairu Ihei’s death is tragic due to her youth, potential, and the abruptness of her demise. As a young and talented investigator for the CCG, Hairu is known for her exceptional skills and enthusiastic approach to her duties. Despite her prowess, she retains a certain innocence and idealism about the world, which contrasts starkly with the harsh realities she faces.
Hairu’s tragic end occurs during a raid operation by the CCG. In a brutal and unexpected moment, she loses her footing in a pool of blood, creating an opportunity for Matsumae, a ghoul who serves the Tsukiyama family, to impale her, and she eventually dies due to decapitation.
8 Kureo Mado
Brutally Hunts Ghouls
What Makes Kureo’s Death Tragic?
- Leaves behind daughter Akira
- Shows the dangers of single-minded vengeance
Kureo Mado’s death is tragic, stemming from his intense hatred towards ghouls. Mado, a dedicated and skilled investigator for the CCG, is driven by a deep-seated desire for revenge against ghouls for killing his wife. This obsession shapes his ruthless methods and outlook, leading him to often view ghouls as mere monsters to be exterminated.
Mado meets his end at the hands of ghouls he was hunting, specifically Touka and Hinami, the latter being the daughter of the ghoul Mado mercilessly killed. His demise is tragic as it underscores the destructive cycle of hatred and revenge. His death deeply affects his daughter, Akira Mado, who follows in his footsteps.
7 Yukinori Shinohara
What Makes Yukinori’s Death Tragic?
- Doesn’t die right away
- His coma deeply affects Juuzou
Yukinori Shinohara’s death is a poignant tragedy, marked by his dedication and mentorship. As a seasoned CCG investigator, Shinohara is known for his kindness and fatherly guidance, particularly towards his protege, Juuzou Suzuya. Shinohara’s tragic end is not a typical death but a debilitating injury that leaves him in a vegetative state.
He sustains these injuries during a fierce battle with the powerful ghoul Owl while wearing Arata armor, a quinque made from a ghoul, ironically contributing to his downfall. His condition profoundly affects Juuzou, who kills him by turning off life support, showcasing the brutal consequences of the relentless war between ghouls and humans.
6 Eto Yoshimura
Leader Of Ghouls Liberation
What Makes Eto’s Death Tragic?
- Dies as an antagonist and anti-hero
- Leaves a void in ghoul and human worlds
Eto Yoshimura’s death is tragic due to her complex character and unfulfilled goals. Eto, born to a human mother and a ghoul father, is the infamous One-Eyed Owl, a powerful and influential figure in the ghoul world. Her life is marked by loneliness, discrimination, and a deep-seated desire to overturn the oppressive system that pits ghouls against humans.
Eto is not just a villain but also an author who subtly reveals truths about the ghoul world through her writing. Her death comes during a confrontation with Furuta, a member of the CCG with his own twisted agenda. Eto is defeated and killed without fulfilling her dreams of ghoul liberation.
5 Ryouko Fueguchi
A Mother’s Sacrifice
What Makes Ryouko’s Death Tragic?
- Dies protecting her daughter
- Symbolizes the plight of ghouls in hiding
Ryouko Fueguchi’s death is tragic, highlighting the series’ brutal depiction of the human-ghoul conflict. Ryouko, a ghoul, is the mother of Hinami Fueguchi. She and her family live a peaceful life, trying to coexist quietly with humans. This semblance of normalcy is shattered when her husband is killed by ghoul investigators, leaving her and Hinami alone.
The tragedy intensifies when investigators discover Ryouko. In a heart-wrenching scene, she shields Hinami with her own body, sacrificing herself to protect her daughter. Ryouko is killed by Kureo Mado, an event witnessed by Hinami. Her death underscores the maternal instinct to protect and the relentless persecution faced by peaceful ghouls.
4 Shirazu Ginshi
Quinx Squad Leader
What Makes Shirazu’s Death Tragic?
- His death leaves Quinx Squad sad
- Highlights the dangers faced by CCG investigators
Shirazu Ginshi’s death is particularly tragic due to his youth, aspirations, and the circumstances of his demise. As a member of the Quinx Squad, Shirazu undergoes a procedure to gain ghoul-like abilities to fight against ghouls. Despite his brash and sometimes reckless demeanor, Shirazu harbors a strong sense of responsibility, especially towards his sick sister, for whom he seeks to earn money for treatment.
His tragic end comes during a battle against the ghoul Noro, where Shirazu plays a crucial role in the ghoul’s defeat. However, in the process, he sustains fatal injuries. As he lies dying, Shirazu reflects on his life and his unfulfilled desire to help his sister.
What Makes Tatara’s Death Tragic?
- Killed by the CCG
- Dies seeking revenge for his brother’s death
Tatara’s death is tragic due to his unfulfilled aspirations and the abrupt end to his quest for vengeance. As a high-ranking member of Aogiri Tree, a ghoul organization, Tatara is driven by a deep-seated desire for revenge against the CCG (Commission of Counter Ghoul), particularly for the death of his brother at their hands.
Tatara has a unique kagune but meets his end during a battle with Kuki Urie and Takeomi Kuroiwa of the CCG. His death is marked by a sense of poetic justice, as he is killed by the very organization he sought to destroy. However, it’s tragic in the sense that it represents the futile cycle of revenge and the unresolved anguish and rage that fueled his life.
2 Kuzen Yoshimura
Anteiku Cafe Ghoul Guardian
What Makes Kuzen’s Death Tragic?
- Body used for experimentation
- Symbolizes the tragic cycle of violence
Kuzen Yoshimura, also known as the Owl, is a former ghoul leader who turns to a peaceful life, running the cafe Anteiku and acting as a father figure to many, including the protagonist, Kaneki. His past, marked by violence and loss, shapes his desire to create a haven for both ghouls and humans.
Yoshimura’s tragic end comes during an operation by the CCG to capture the Owl. In a twist of fate, he is defeated not in his role as a cafe owner but as the Owl, the persona he sought to leave behind. Yoshimura was killed, and the CCG harvested his body to create Quinx squad members like Haise Sasaki.
1 Kishou Arima
Strongest Ghoul Hunter
What Makes Kishou’s Death Tragic?
- Leaves a void in CCG’s leadership
- His suicide highlights the story’s tragic nature
Kishou Arima’s death is particularly tragic due to his legendary status and the revelation of his true intentions. Known as the Reaper, Arima is the CCG’s most formidable investigator, feared by ghouls. However, Arima harbors a deep sense of despair and futility beneath his stoic and unbeatable facade.
He is aware of the doomed nature of his existence due to a genetic illness, slowly killing him. Arima’s tragic end comes by his own hand during a battle with Kaneki. In a shocking twist, it’s revealed that Arima never intended to kill Kaneki; instead, he aims to prepare him to bridge the gap between humans and ghouls. Arima’s suicide is a poignant moment, revealing his role as a tragic hero.