This article contains spoilers for Tokyo Ghoul
In an anime with ‘ghoul’ in the title, you can safely assume that there’s a lot of death and horror featured in the plot.
But there’s one character death that certainly sent shock waves through the Tokyo Ghoul fandom: Hide’s tragic death at the end of Season 2, as his body was carried by his best friend Kaneki through the snow-filled streets of Tokyo to the CCG.
Except Hide didn’t die.
At least, not in the anime.
There’s a lot of confusion surrounding Hide’s status as alive or deceased, and what the differences are between the anime and manga. Here, we will lay everything out for you so you can understand what exactly happened to Hide and if he is indeed truly dead.
Who Is Hide?
Hideyoshi Nagachika, or more often known as Hide, is a human being from Tokyo Ghoul and is best friends with the main character, Ken Kaneki.
Carefree and friendly, Hide was a fan favorite for his often joyful behaviour in a parallel world in which flesh-eating ghouls inhabit. He is fiercely loyal to his best friend, Kaneki, even after it is revealed that Kenaki is a half-ghoul who now must consume human flesh to survive.
Despite working for the Anti-Ghoul forces and the CCG (Commission of Counter Ghoul), he still supports Kenaki and will go to great lengths to keep his friend safe.
He’s been steadily rising through the popularity polls since the manga’s first publication in 2011, most recently reaching 4th place.
Hide’s fate is split between the manga and the anime, as manga writer Sui Ishida decided to make some changes to the plot in Season 2 of Tokyo Ghoul’s anime.
This change is what causes confusion among fans surrounding Hide, as his fate is very different between the anime and the manga.
Did Hide Die In The Manga?
In the original manga story, the mystery around Hide’s fate began in the sewers of Tokyo. After his intense fight against the Ghoul Investigator Amon, a severely wounded Kaneki flees to the sewers and eventually comes face to face with Hide.
There, Hide revealed that he knew that Kaneki was a ghoul all along and tried to help his friend as Kaneki started to lose control of his inner-ghoul. Kaneki pleaded for Hide to run, but Hide instead offered himself for Kaneki to eat so Kaneki could survive.
Kaneki blacks out, and wakes up to taste blood in his mouth and find Hide missing.
This led fans to assume that Kaneki had eaten Hide in an attempt to heal himself, as ghouls rely on human flesh for survival.
Hide’s status was unknown for a long time until the character returned in a later arc disguised as the character Scarecrow, an enigmatic figure within the CCG.
Once Scarecrow’s true identity was revealed, Hide was confirmed to be alive and that Kaneki had only eaten a part of his face in the sewers, but Hide was able to survive the event. This explained why Kaneki could taste blood after he woke up.
Kaneki and Hide were able to reunite, and Hide would go on to survive the rest of the Tokyo Ghoul manga and remained friends with Kaneki for the rest of his life.
So really, Hide did not die in the manga but fans thought he had for a long time. It was later revealed that Hide had survived, and he would be one of the few characters to make it to the end of the manga.
Did Hide Die in the Anime?
The second season of Tokyo Ghoul was…controversial, let’s just say that. It was not well received and got a lot of criticism from fans.
Now, it is often regarded as one of the worst seasons of Tokyo Ghoul, and the reason widely regarded why this is the case is because the anime deviated from the manga in many different ways.
Apparently, manga writer Sui Ishida wanted there to be changes to the anime for the second season, and the season’s director Shuhei Morita admitted that he does not strictly follow the manga when adapting a series.
It is not known why Ishida wanted the anime to be so different from the manga, but that is the direction Shuhei took and hence why there were so many changes made to the story.
And one of those differences made to the anime was Hide’s fate.
Whereas in the manga, it was only hinted that Kaneki was responsible for Hide’s supposed ‘death’, the anime straight up killed Hide off – and in a completely different way.
Instead of meeting Kaneki in the sewers, Hide is injured in the fight against Aoigiri but escapes and meets an also injured Kaneki in front of Anteiku, the small neighbourhood cafe from the series.
The two go inside for coffee and Hide reveals to Kaneki that he has known he was part ghoul this whole time. During their conversation, it is revealed that Hide’s injury is far worse than it seems.
He begins bleeding profusely and with the coffee shop burning down around them, dies in Kaneki’s arms.
The scene where Kaneki carries Hide’s corpse through the snowy streets of Tokyo is one of the most iconic scenes of the anime, and moved a lot of fans to tears. It was a huge deviation from the manga, and one that was not well received as Hide was so popular.
It seemed that Hide’s arc had come to an abrupt end, and that fans would never see him return as Scarecrow.
Except that in the sequel series, Tokyo Ghoul:re, a lot of stuff was retconned.
Including Hide’s death.
In Tokyo Ghoul:re, Hide returned as though he had never died and followed his Scarecrow storyline from the manga.
His face was still half eaten, his voice box still ruined, and he is still alive despite dying right in front of Kaneki and having his corpse carried out of a burning building.
This is where a lot of the confusion surrounding Hide’s status comes from. Fans of the anime watched him die, mourned him, and then he returned in the sequel series without much of an explanation.
Unless you read the manga, Hide’s sudden reappearance would come without much of a warning or hint. In the manga, Hide’s death was never confirmed and was just suggested to the reader so his eventual return did not seem so farfetched.
On the other hand, the anime showed us Hide dying and Kaneki carrying his corpse while mourning his friend. So how was he now suddenly alive?
Another confusing aspect of Hide’s return in the anime was when Kaneki admitted to biting off parts of Hide’s neck and face, but this was never shown in the anime as Hide straight up died in the second season.
To anime-only fans, Hide has suddenly returned from the dead with half of his face mutilated and Kaneki is now claiming responsibility. The anime left no room to show or explain this, and so fans just had to accept it and move on.
Despite dying in Season 2, Hide’s fate was completely retconned in the sequel series in order to follow the manga’s storyline more closely – leaving a lot of fans scratching their heads.
The Final Verdict
So is Hide dead?
In the manga, no. Hide never died, although it was suggested that he may have been eaten by Kaneki, he later returned with a scarred face and a disguise.
In the anime, yes.
And then no.
Hide died at the end of the anime’s Season 2 in a completely different way to the manga, and then his death was retconned for the sequel series, much to the fans’ delight.
In Tokyo Ghoul:re, Hide returns as Scarecrow and his arc continues as though his lifeless body had never been carried by Kaneki through the snow.
It is a confusing change to make, but one a lot of fans welcomed with open arms as Hide was a beloved character who fans were not ready to let go of just yet.
So whether you championed Hide’s return in the anime or hated how the sequel series conflicted with the continuity of Tokyo Ghoul overall, the fact of the matter is that Hide is now alive in both versions despite hitting a few roadblocks in the road.