Tokyo Ghoul has a very complex narrative and a lot of characters so people often find some of the narrative elements confusing, which is why there are a lot of questions asked on a daily basis. One of these questions is about Hideyoshi Nagachika’s (or Hide’s) death in the series. Did Hide really die in Tokyo Ghoul, or does he come back?
Hideyoshi Nagachika (Hide) did not die in Tokyo Ghoul, neither in the manga nor in the anime. He seemingly died in both iterations, but survived and later joined the CCG as the mysterious Scarecrow, before finally revealing his true identity to Kaneki during Tokyo Ghoul:re.
The rest of the article is going to be about Hide’s real or apparent death in the Tokyo Ghoul franchise. You’re going to find out whether he actually died (and, if he did, how he died) and whether he ever came back to the main narrative. We’ve prepared an interesting text for you so keep reading to the end.
Hideyoshi Nagachika, later known as Hide, was a childhood friend of Ken’s who attends his university. Apparently always cheerful and superficial, in reality, he possesses an extraordinary spirit of observation: he is in fact the first to notice the transformation of Ken into a half-ghoul.
Following Ken’s disappearance, he joins the CCG to secretly gather news of him; he was praised as a diligent worker while in the CCG, but was kept away from the more important missions. His arc seemingly comes to an end during the second half of the original Tokyo Ghoul manga, i.e., during the Tokyo Ghoul √A anime. Although his fate remained the same in both iterations, there are a lot of differences between the manga and the anime, so we are going to analyse them separately.
The circumstances are mostly the same. Hide, in order to follow Kaneki, joins the CCG’s troops during the Owl Suppression Operation as a soldier. After Kaneki’s intense fight with Amon, Kaneki fled to the sewers, badly wounded. There, Hide confronts him, revealing that he had known about his transformation all along and asked Kaneki to come back home.
Kaneki was very unstable during the conversation and he feared that he would lose control and kill Hide, which is why he urged him to run away, while Kaneki tries to escape; Hide explained that Arima was close by and that Kaneki would not be able to avoid him. He then urged him to fight one last time with everything he has.
Hide then said that he wanted to help Kaneki and offered himself to Kaneki for him to eat; he was aware that Kaneki was weak and unstable and that he needed flesh to survive. Kaneki hesitated, obviously, and was shocked by Hide’s proposal, but Hide explained that there was no other way for him to survive a fight with Arima, who was waiting for him. Hide, who knew about Arima, wanted to show the CCG’s main enforcer that it would be wise to let Kaneki live, but he needed a fit Kaneki for that. Kaneki then blacks out and when he comes back to his senses, he finds Hide missing and tastes blood in his mouth.
The anime described the circumstances of Hide’s death much differently. Here, Hide snuck into the Owl Suppression Operation as a soldier, hiding his true identity, so he could spy on and help Kaneki if needed. He was caught off guard and injured when Aoigiri arrived, but escaped, finding a wounded Kaneki in front of Anteiku.
He takes him inside and tries to make coffee for both of them, revealing that he had known about Kaneki’s transformation from the very beginning. Hide’s behavior – he acted as if nothing had changed – surprised Kaneki and caught him off guard.
During their conversation, it is revealed that Hide suffered a severe stomach injury and was bleeding profusely. Hide was, as it seemed, dying and his last wish was for Kaneki and him to go home. As Anteiku was burning down, Kaneki took his dying friend in his arms and marched through the streets, as the CCG’s troops – completely shocked – watched in silence. Kaneki ultimately stopped and put his friend’s body down in the snow, just before facing Arima in the epic duel we never saw in the anime.
In Tokyo Ghoul:re, a new mysterious character joins the CCG – Scarecrow. Scarecrow is an enigmatic figure disguised as a scarecrow; disguises weren’t something odd within the CCG, but most of the masked members’ identities were known. Scarecrow was an exception. He was very intelligent and knowledgeable, and he participated in the CCG’s most important missions, although always in the role of a consultant; he did not fight.
At some point, the Scarecrow approached Kuki Urie and asked for his assistance, ultimately revealing himself to be none other than Hideyoshi Nagachika (Hide).
It is soon revealed that Hide never actually died. He was bitten by Kaneki, who consumed part of his face and neck, but the injury wasn’t fatal and Hide survived, which Kaneki did not know since he blacked out. The manga sticks with its own continuity here, as this explanation makes sense – we know Kaneki tasted blood in his mouth after realizing Hide is gone.
The anime is a bit trickier to explain, since in Tokyo Ghoul:re, Kaneki admits to having bitten off part of Hide’s face and neck when his friend reveals his scars to him. With what we know about Hide’s apparent death in Tokyo Ghoul √A, there just doesn’t seem to be any space for that to have actually happened. Kaneki took Hide out from the burning Anteiku and carried him in his arms until he was confronted by Arima.
The two then fought and Kaneki was also apparently killed so we don’t actually know when he could’ve bitten Hide, but he admits to doing so himself so we have to assume that it is correct.
In the end, it’s not really that important. Hide never died in both the manga and the anime, and this is continuity error – although not as small as you might think – is just a mere detail when compared to the big picture.