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Best Tokyo Ghoul Episodes, Ranked

Updated April 12, 2019
13 min read

When you ask any action anime lover to list their favorite anime, chances are most of them will list ‘Tokyo Ghoul’. ‘Tokyo Ghoul’ is one of my favorite anime. The premise is just great but its implementation is even better. The series takes place in Tokyo where creatures whom people dub Ghoul exist in human society. These creatures feed on human flesh and are hard to detect since they can easily disguise themselves as humans.

The protagonist of the anime is Ken Kaneki who, after being attacked by a ghoul he was on a date with, ends up in a hospital where the doctors transplant the ghoul’s organs in him. This makes Kaneki a human-ghoul hybrid. The anime series revolves around him and other ghouls as they try to survive in a world which wants them dead. So far, there have been four main seasons in the series. Since I have not yet seen the fourth season, I will be restricting myself to the first three here. So, here’s the list of top ‘Tokyo Ghoul’ episodes. Don’t forget to mention your favorite episodes in the comments.

6. Season 3 Episode 12, Daybreak: Beautiful Dream

The last episode of the third season is quite heavy on action and violence. We see Matsuri Washuu learning the fact that most ghouls are gone now as they have been taken care of by the CCG. The One-Eyed Owl attacks his helicopter. She then attacks Sasaki while the latter is busy engaging Tsukiyama and Kanae. Shuu then tells Kanae to attack Sasaki and he does after which Sasaki ends up entering his subconsciousness where Kaneki mocks him. Sasaki later chokes Kaneki, asking him to die. He accepts his past, decides to stops dreaming and tears Kanae’s hand off himself.

Elsewhere, Urie finds Shirazu. The latter is mortally wounded. Urie assures him that Sasaki will be coming soon. The Quinx squad panic and want to save him but Urie tells them that the reward for killing an SS-ghoul will bring money and fame which will go to Shirazu. Shirazu then succumbs to his wounds and dies, much to everyone’s despair. We then see Eto (Owl) fighting Sasaki. The latter tells Eto that Yoshimura wanted to save her but he has no desire to save a piece of trash. This enrages Eto and she attacks Sasaki, who is then able to gain higher ground and he impales Eto’s kakuja kagune.

Later, Eto confesses her love for Sasaki as she licks her blood off his eye. Sasaki then bisects her body and her upper half falls down. When the squad reaches the location, they see Sasaki consuming Owl’s kakuja. The latter tells them that he was exhausted and needed it. Urie accuses him of not coming to save Shirazu, to which he replies that Urie is at fault since she is weak. He also tells them that he has found a connection between Rose and the Aogiri Tree. Later, we see the Aogiri tree attacking the vehicle containing investigators’ corpses. They steal Shirazu’s corpse, after which the scene cuts to the graveyard where we see everyone mourning the death of the investigators as Urie stares into the distance.

5. Season 3 Episode 6, In the End: turn

There are certain similarities between the 12th episode of the first season and the 6th episode of the 3rd season when it comes to the ordeal the protagonist of the series goes through. In the last episode of the first season, we see Kaneki having visions of Rize, going through psychological trauma and finally accepting the fact that he is a ghoul. Here in the sixth episode of the third season, we see Sasaki going through certain psychological problems while taking a beating. He begins to hallucinate Ken Kaneki and finally accepts the fact that he is in fact Kaneki. At the start of the episode, we see Seidou Takizawa beating Sasaki and the latter begins to hallucinate Ken Kaneki.

Ginshi Shirazu and Saiko Yonebayashi are two of the investigators from the Quinx Squad. They fight and take down the ghoul by the name of the Nutcracker. It is Shirazu who deals the final blow by impaling her through the chest. As she is dying, Nutcracker starts remembering her childhood and says that she just wants to be pretty. This shocks Shirazu who tells her not to say things like humans. Kuki Urie tries to pursue Big Madam. The latter starts fighting both Urie and Tooru Mutsuki. Urie starts to feel the effect of the increased frame. He slowly goes mad and in a fit of rage and grief, ends up stabbing Mutsuki. Mutsuki then uses his Kagune to wrap Urie, after which he comforts him.

Big Madam later encounters Juuzou Suzuya who gains the upper hand. But even though Big Madam is the person who tortured and abused Juuzuya, the latter is unable to kill her. But Hanbee Abara, a member of the Suzuya squad, is able to wound Big Madam and the CCG investigators finally succeed in killing her. We then see the Ghoul Scarecrow wandering the halls of the building until he stumbles upon the control room. He enters the room and starts pressing the buttons randomly and ends up switching on the intercom. This allows everyone to hear Sasaki’s screams as Takizawa beats him. Hinami Fueguchi and Saiko are the first to respond after hearing the screams and rush to the auction room. There, Hinami attacks Takizawa in an effort to save Sasaki. Sasaki then accepts the fact he is Kaneki and attacks Takizawa himself. In the end, we see both of them impaling each other with their Kagune, following which both of them fall down.

4. Season 2 Episode 11, Deluge of Flowers

Up next is the 11th episode of the second season of the anime. More action scenes follow in this episode too. This is great since in the middle of the second season, there wasn’t much action. Investigator Shinohara is mortally wounded and thus, Suzuya has to fight The One-Eyed Owl on his own. The Aogiri Tree arrives on the spot to take up arms against the CCG. Fate seems to have changed quickly. Just a few moments ago, CCG members were celebrating the death of Owl but now they are overwhelmed by the sheer number of their opponents.

Kaneki tries to go back to Anteiku but encounters Amon on his way. Amon is not going to let Kaneki pass and the two engage in a battle. It seems both of them are equal when it comes to their fighting prowess. Kaneki tells Amon that he does not want to fight Amon. He tells him that if the situation were different, they would have a lot to discuss with each other. Amon complies but replies by saying that such a situation is impossible now since they are enemies, and attacks Kaneki. Elsewhere, Taratara is looking for Houji and decided to question the investigator Seidou. Seidou is defiant and chooses not to disclose the location of Houji. Taratara then throws him in the air while Noro mutilates him. Hide ends up observing this from a distance, but Noro spots him and launches an attack. The fight between Kaneki and Amon finally comes to an end and Kaneki seems to be injured gravely. Juuzou who has been formidable throughout the battle because of his fighting skills and adaptability is unable to land any blows on Owl. But the latter manages to injure Juuzou.

As Owl is about to land a heavy blow on Juuzou Kishou Arima, a legendary investigator arrives and saves him. Arima is more than a match for Owl and doesn’t matter how much the Owl tries, it is not able to land any hits on Arima. Arima, however, is able to injure Owl multiple times. When the latter attacks Arima on the head, it cuts its arms off. We then see Kaneki slowly trying to make his way to Anteiku as somewhere Akira finds the remaining parts of Amon’s quinque. She becomes really sad after what she sees. Owl, realizing that it is outmatched, makes a run for it. It swallows the body of Yoshimura and escapes, after which we see it regurgitating the body at some place else and calling Yoshimura as ‘father’. The Owl returns to its normal form revealing that Eto is the real owl.

3. Season 2 Episode 10, Last Rain

‘Last Rain’ is the third last episode of the second season of ‘Tokyo Ghoul’. The episode is pretty action heavy and is kind of emotional at times. All the characters that we seem to build a connection with over the past episodes are going to enter their final moments in the anime. Though certain aspects about the animation could have been better, the episode is still one of the best in the series. The fight between CCG and Anteiku is at its peak. The CCG is finally going to get the infamous ghoul Owl who has been a pain in the butt for the CCG. Though most ghouls act on impulse making the entire race seem bad, Anteiku was a safe haven for them. Ghouls like Kaneki, who are unable to hunt humans or are weak, had a place there.

However, now everything that Yoshimura built is going away. Anteiku is going to fall. Each of the main ghouls tries their best to draw the attention of the CCG and to fight alongside their leader Yoshimura. Koma draws the attention of a special CCG member. He along with his gang are able to subdue many CCG members but the man with the big mustache is more than a match for him. Even after giving it his all, Koma is unable to defeat him and finally falls. He knows he is nearing his end and seems to accept his death. Meanwhile, we see Irimi fighting the investigators and is able to hold her own but then an old civilian arrives. Hachikawa ignores the old woman and continues to attack. Irimi decides to sacrifice her life to save the woman.

Finally, we get to see Kaneki take some responsibility as he saves Koma and Irimi in the nick of time. Kaneki is not going to sit back this time since many people are dying and have been dead because of him. Even though he knows that he will not be able to save Yoshimura because there are so many CCG members surrounding him, he continues to fight. But Yoshimura is no match for so many CCG members and finally succumbs to his wounds and just before collapsing, he hallucinates Ukina, his love. The CCG members start celebrating their victory but suddenly, the real one-eyed Owl appears and attacks the members.

2. Season 1 Episode 5, Scars

Tsukiyama is one of the worst antagonists of the ‘Tokyo Ghoul’ anime series. This is mainly because of his psychopathic obsession with eating human flesh. He loves to cook humans into his favorite dishes and savor them. When he smells Kaneki’s blood, he becomes obsessed with him and decides to eat him. He hatches a plan to get to Kaneki. Yoshimura relieves Kaneki for the day’s duty and asks him to check on Touka who seems to be sick. Kaneki checks up on her and finds that she is sick because of eating too much of normal human food. Hinami is with them and Kaneki teaches her.

Later, after returning from training with Yomo, Kaneki encounters some ghouls trying to beat Nishiki. After hesitating for a moment, Kaneki decides to save Nishiki and beats the other Ghouls. Nishiki then takes Kaneki to his room where he meets Kimi. After putting Nishiki to rest, Kaneki and Kimi start discussing their relationship and the former learns that the latter knows about Nishiki’s true nature but accepts him. Later, we see Tsukiyama abduct Kimi and send a letter to Kaneki. Kaneki meets up with Nishiki and shows him the letter. It enrages Nishiki and along with Kaneki, he goes to the church where Tsukiyama is keeping Kimi.

Tsukiyama, later, explains what he means to do with Kimi. He tells Kaneki that he wants him to eat Kimi while he(Tsukiyama) eats him(Kaneki). This disgusts both Nishiki and Kaneki and they attack Tsukiyama but the latter easily overpowers them. Amidst all this, Touka appears and starts attacking Tsukiyama. But again, the latter turns out to be more powerful and dominates the three of them. He then proceeds to Kimi and pulls her sweater down, revealing a scar on her shoulder. Nishiki is then reminded about the night when he was too weak after taking the beating from Kaneki. Kimi lets Nishiki eat her flesh to recover and he takes a bite from her shoulder. Kaneki knows that the only way they can escape this mess is by relying on Touka’s skills and he lets her take a bite from his flesh, angering Tsukiyama who tries to attack Touka but this time, the latter blocks his attack and in turn attacks him.

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1. Season 1 Episode 12, Ghoul

Well, no surprises there. I mean, can you blame me for putting the best episode of the entire ‘Tokyo Ghoul’ anime series on the top in a ranked list? Being a sucker for endings it made my job easier since the best episode is the last one of the first season of ‘Tokyo Ghoul’. We get to see Kaneki coming close to a mental breakdown and finally coming to terms with the fact that he is a ghoul. Though the violence and gore are no different from the other episodes of the series, this one is the most psychologically grueling.

Earlier, we see Jason kidnap Kaneki and bind him to a chair with shackles. In this episode, we see how far Jason goes on to torture Kaneki. He keeps cutting off his toes as Kaneki’s healing abilities regenerate them back. Kaneki slowly begins to lose his mental stability as manifestations of Rize starts to communicate. His thoughts then drift towards his mother. He remembers how his mother took care of him and her sister and overworked herself. She eventually dies because of this, leaving Kaneki Alone. Jason then asks Kaneki to count from 1000 backward by 7 to keep his sanity. He then forces a centipede in the latter’s ear.

To break Kaneki even further, Jason places Shuu and Haru in front of him and asks him to choose which one to spare. Kaneki is unable to do so and offers himself instead. This angers Jason who kills both Shuu and Haru. Unable to bear this, Kaneki tries to drift back into his mind. There, he meets Rize who tells him that his weakness will get others killed. He cannot protect everyone and has to make a sacrifice. Kaneki finally begins to accept the fact that he is a ghoul and undergoes a mental and physical transformation. He then attacks Jason. He pins him to the ground and uses the same torture techniques on him, finally killing him. Kaneki then consumes Jason’s Kagune to gain more power.

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