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Hideyoshi Nagachika, a.k.a Hide, is one of the most popular characters from Tokyo Ghoul. Despite the little times he has appeared in the story, he has captured most of the fans' hearts. Everyone is touched by his actions and the way he cares for his best friend Kaneki Ken. But, is that really the case? If you look a bit closer, you will be able to find some suspicious things about Hide, which indicate that he is not really who we think he is. So, here is my theory that Hide is actually evil.
In this theory we will talk about:
Hide's mysterious character
Kaneki's imaginary depiction of Hide
Hide as a tragic character
Hide's connection to ghouls
Hide's role as an informant
Hide's mysterious character
When reading the manga and especially when watching the anime, you will find yourself to be a huge fan of this very likeable character. He is certainly someone who deserves Best Friend of the Century Award. It is very hard to believe that Hide would be harmful or evil for that matter, but that is precisely why it would be so shocking to find that out. If you pay close attention and look at the small details and signs left, you will notice that something is not quite right with Hide. It may not be as noticeable, but it is undeniably there.
There is certainly more to this character than we think. First, if you read through our article Fourteen Facts About Hide, you can find some interesting things that support this claim of mine and this theory.
First we have the fact that he is the only character with "No Data". This may have changed, but he is still one of the more mysterious characters. We don't know anything about his family. I know we know nothing about Touka's friend Yoriko either, but Hide is way more involved in the story than her, and we got to witness Yoriko's engagement and wedding.
Second, is his unnatural talent when it comes to analysis and his great deduction skills. This may not seem that suspicious. He may just be this one extremely talented character, just like Mado. But, the fact that he gets this aura which scared even Kaneki and Nishio to the point that he labeled him as dangerous in chapter 30 of Tokyo Ghoul is something else.
Even before that, in chapter 8 of Tokyo Ghoul, Nishio stated and explained why Hide is so dangerous, especially for someone who is trying to hide that he is a ghoul. Nishio said that Hide is perceptive and he must have sensed something about Nishio, because he tried to stop Kaneki from coming with them. Even Kaneki confirmed that Hide is very observant and that he would notice even the smallest change. Kaneki thought that it was only towards him, because they have been friends for so long, but that is not true.
However, his deduction and perception skills are not the only things that are out of the ordinary. Hide is not afraid of ghouls, rather, it seems as though he is confident that he can easily deal with them and come out unharmed. If you don't believe me, here are some scenes that show this. First, we have Hide trying to prevent Kaneki from joining him and Nishio. If he sensed something, and we can be sure that he did, why didn't he himself refuse to go? Instead, he agreed, but didn't want Kaneki to go with him. It's as though he was sure nothing would happen to him, or that he could handle any situation that would occur.
Secondly, there is a scene, after the fight with Nishio in chapter 10, when a ghoul who was a customer at Anteiku observed Hide and even followed him later. We can clearly see that Hide was aware of the ghoul glancing at him and the ghoul himself even said: "Don't tell me that spiky-haired kid sensed I was...".
This kind of skill of being able to lose a ghoul that is tailing you despite their keen smell sense is extraordinary. Even his sense of awareness that it was a ghoul, in both this and probably in Nishio's case as well is unnatural.
This is still not all there is. Even when he tailed Jason/Yamori and put a tracking device under his shoe in chapter 84 speaks for itself. He did it knowing that Jason was a ghoul, who captured Kaneki. He even went so far to get so close to him to put a tracking device and the most shocking thing was how he covered his smell. He wore clothes of a DEAD GHOUL. Now this is clearly something a normal person, not even an investigator, would do. And where did he manage to find a dead ghoul to take the clothes?
Later, we can see him posing as a ghoul named Scarecrow, which would mean he was actively part of the ghoul world and their life style, though we don't know what he did during that time.
Even with all of this, Hide has more traits that are out of the ordinary. When he was attacked by Nishio in chapter 8, he was still conscious. I find it hard to believe that he would be able to grab Nishio's pants otherwise. Even Nishio wondered whether he did it unconsciously or if he pretended to be asleep. But, since he lied to Touka about not remembering the accident, it seems that he was indeed aware of everything that was happening at the time. He also pretended to sleep when Kaneki talked to Yoshimura about his place in the world as a half-ghoul, so it wouldn't be the first time.
Despite him not being afraid of ghouls, he also seems to dislike the CCG. Rather than saying he dislikes CCG, it is more like he dislikes them sending more investigators to their ward. In chapter 47, when it was announced that more investigators would be sent to the 20th ward, Hide didn't look pleased. It's as if he doesn't want investigators to be present in the ward, and not because of Kaneki, but because that might hinder his job as an informant. Now, let me explain about Hide's lies and his job as an informant.
At first, Hide may seem as a very loving and caring character. But, I believe that he has a goal of his own, and that he is working for someone. First of all, have you noticed that Hide has a similar habit to Kaneki's chin touching when he's lying? Hide, when he lies or hides something, scratches his face. This habit of his occurred several times in the manga already.
The most notable was when Kaneki asked him whether he remembered what happened with Nishio Nishiki - how they were attacked by him and that Nishio is a ghoul who wanted to eat him. This could be taken as proof and argument for the statement that Hide scratches his face when lying.
The first time he actually used this habit was when he first met Kaneki. Since his childhood, he was actually hiding something from Kaneki. While first approaching him, Hide told him that he just moved there and didn't have any friends. Even Kaneki isn't sure why Hide talked to him that day.
The next time it happened was after Kaneki's surgery in chapter 2, when Kaneki started to act strange. He himself started a conversation about Rize, stating that she didn't have a family and died instantly. Then he apologized to Kaneki for reminding him of the horrible accident, but we can see him scratching his face meaning that he mentioned it on purpose. For some reason, he had to mention this information to Kaneki.
The third time this habit occurred was when Nishio permitted Kaneki to accompany him and Hide to his room. Hide tried to stop that from happening saying that it was the first time they met and that it may be awkward, but failed to do so. The fourth time was already mentioned at the beginning, when Hide said he didn't remember anything about Nishio, and them being attacked.
Even later, this habit of his will keep appearing. When Hide was working for CCG, he lied that it was his hobby to play detective and that was why he placed a tracking device on Jason. But, that is obviously a lie. Now, all this doesn't really prove much. Hide might have been trying to help Kaneki by doing all of that. But, here is the real shock.
When Hide met Kaneki at the end of Tokyo Ghoul, he told Kaneki that he wanted to help him. Here, we can see that habit of his once again, and for the last time. Why would Hide lie about something like that? If everything he did was to save Kaneki, this wouldn't be a lie. But, what if that was not his objective from the very start? Hide may have done all that for an entirely different reason.
Even Akira sensed something was off with Hide when she questioned him about his interest in ghouls. She says that Hide was interested in ghouls for a long time and not just because of the news about them. And as we know, Akira has very good intuition and is almost never wrong. This is where the theory starts.
Other articles you might find interesting:
- What Happened to Hide From Tokyo Ghoul (Toukyou Kushu)? [Theory Proved]
- Fourteen Tokyo Ghoul Facts About Hide
- 36 Tokyo Ghoul Facts about Kaneki Ken/Sasaki Haise
Hide's connection to ghouls
From the very start, Hide had a weird connection to ghouls. In the first chapter of Tokyo Ghoul, you can see that Hide was already aware of the existence of ghouls. Even though Kaneki heard of them on the news, he denied their existence unlike Hide, who was 100% sure that they actually existed. But, that is still not that strange. He could just be a ghoul fanatic.
But, despite the information they had on ghouls, that they look like humans and that they hide among the human society, Kaneki doubted that they were actually human-like. He thought that they are just human-shaped and that they look differently, showing that on his own drawing of a ghoul. But Hide, on the other hand, drew a human. It's as if he knew what ghouls were really like. Even Rize commented that his drawing was rather unique when Kaneki showed her in the same chapter.
Later, I believe that Hide was already aware that Nishio was a ghoul. He approached him probably because of some other reason. Maybe his superior told him to do so. The same happens with Jason as well. Why in the world would he put a tracking device on Jason, without any evidence that he is a ghoul? Obviously, Hide knew that Jason was a ghoul and targeted him for a reason. Hide even tells that he wore the clothes he took form a ghoul's corpse.
Also, how did he manage to survive that mission? He must have had lots of experience and skill when it comes to this. It can't just be luck alone, as we can see how he managed to avoid being followed by ghouls even before that. There must have been someone else who demanded Hide does that. He even knew of the gang's name and Aogiri Tree before those information were revealed to the public, as noted by Marude. It is obvious that something is fishy about Hide. No matter how you look at it, this is more than simple coincidence.
Even more so, if you look at the remake of the first chapter of Tokyo Ghoul. When Kaneki and Hide were discussing the existence of ghouls, Hide told him: "Hurry up and notice already Kaneki... the "ghoul" that is closest to you". This is really out of character for Hide. He even makes a very creepy face and grins, as if he was the one he meant by that statement. If we take into account that Hide actually meant himself, then that would make him the "ghoul" closest to Kaneki. The reason why the word ghoul is in speech marks is because it is a metaphor. Rather than a ghoul, Hide is an informant or servant for one, which would make him equally dangerous, thus a "ghoul".
Have you ever wondered why Ishida decided to do a remake of the first chapter? Sure, it may be because he wanted to see how much he had improved, but there is certainly another reason. I believe that the reason is so he could drop a very important hint which most of us missed. If you compare the two versions of the first chapter, you will see some changes.
The scene where Hide and Kaneki joke about ghouls and draw has been completely left out. Instead of that, Ishida goes out of his way to add a completely new scene - the one where Hide tells Kaneki to notice the ghoul closest to him, not to mention how much Hide's character seems changed compared to before. He doesn't look like the innocent angel he was in the first version anymore. Now, I believe that Ishida wanted to correct his mistake of not dropping enough hints about Hide.
He even added Kaneki wandering about what Hide told him. "Was Hide trying to tell me that he's a ghoul? How long does he think we've been together..." If this isn't hint enough, I don't know anymore.
Hide's role as an informant
I already mentioned that Hide is an informant for some ghoul. The reason why I believe this, other than all of the things stated above, is due to the play Kaneki remembers while he was tortured. There is a huge connection between the play and the real story. We could even say that the roles the characters have are the same. Kaneki plays the main character with a hoodie, which has the sign of the One-Eyed King on it. In the real story, Kaneki is the main protagonist and the new One-Eyed King. He even comments that he was forced to play the main role, just like in the real story.
Then we have Hide. He plays the witch's servant. If we consider the witch as the main antagonist, the enemy, then that would make Hide an enemy as well. I believe the same is the case in the real story too. Hide is the servant, or rather the informant of the ghoul who will turn out to be the main enemy. No one really said that Furuta was the final boss. For all we know, he may be killed by that unknown ghoul. There are still a lot of organizations we know nothing of. Take the Clowns for example. Note that Hide is dressed like a jester in the play. Maybe it has something to do with the Clowns.
If you look at the tarot card which is mostly associated with Hide throughout the manga, you can see this connection as well. The Magician (I) represents the bridge between the world of the spirit and the world of humanity. In a similar way, Hide may represent the bridge between the ghouls and humans as he is a human who works under a ghoul, and an informant. He would be something that connects those worlds together, just like Kaneki, who is both a ghoul and a human.
As an informant, Hide's role would be to live as a human, but to secretly gain information about the ghouls in that ward. That would explain why Hide lied that he just moved and didn't have friends to Kaneki. It may be a bit similar to how Arima worked for the CCG while he was still a student. Have you ever wondered why we never heard anything about Hide's family? Also, this would explain how Hide knew about Jason and Aogiri, and all of the others being ghouls. He was investigating them for the unknown ghoul. That is also why he investigated the case of the Rabbit and Hinami. Those were just information he were to provide to the unknown ghoul.
The reason why he approached the CCG could be so he could help them crush Aogiri and destroy the CCG from the inside. He was the one who told Marude to question the Washuu. He most likely wrote that in his testament that Marude told him to write. He couldn't have obtained all those information about Washuu being V and ghouls alone. The one who provided him with those information was the unknown ghoul. Their goal was probably to weaken V and destroy them. That is why Marude mentioned Hide before he shot Yoshitoki. He said: "It was just like you said Nagachika".
You may wonder how Marude could have meant Hide, when the characters he used for the name are not the same as Hide's (or it could be that the note applies to Washu Chika). But, remember how it was explained that ghouls always change names when they move from one ward to another. Even though they change their names, they keep the pronunciation of their name the same. The same could have happened with Hide as well. It could be possible for him to have moved from ward to ward to investigate and thus changed the characters for his name. He may have told Marude one version of his name, leaving the real one hidden, so no one could track him.
Other articles you might find interesting:
- Sixteen Things You Didn't Know about Ishida Sui (Creator of Tokyo Ghoul)
- The second One-Eyed King in Tokyo Ghoul (Toukyou Kushu). [Theory PROVED]
- The New One-Eyed King Kaneki and V's King [Partly Proved Tokyo Ghoul Theory]
Kaneki's imaginary depiction of Hide
If Hide was really as evil as I described earlier, why would he have helped Kaneki stand up on his feet once again. The sole existence of Hide is Kaneki's driving force and his reason for living. But, isn't that just how Kaneki sees him? Regardless of what the truth is, Kaneki will see Hide as his friend, nothing more and nothing less. When he speaks with him in his mind during his fight with Arima, Hide is the one who brings Kaneki back to his senses. But, that isn't really Hide himself. That is Kaneki's imaginary depiction of Hide.
The same happened with Rize, Jason and Shironeki before. While Kaneki depicted Rize and Jason as very powerful people who tormented him, it was actually different. The oh-so powerful Rize was actually weak and starved to death by Kanou, and Jason begged for mercy and was ultimately killed. Kaneki's depictions were nothing more than his own imagination and how he viewed the characters. The same goes for Hide as well. While Kaneki may regard him as a friend and idol who would say such cool stuff and sacrifice himself for another, the reality may be different.
Hide as a tragic character
Though I say that Hide is evil, it may be possible that he didn't choose that of his own free will, or he changed his mind later on, but wasn't able to escape from that mess. I really do believe that Hide is a tragic character. His friendship with Kaneki may have been the only thing that he did out of his own free will. The only person he could be close to.
While he did investigate ghouls in the meantime, Hide did try to keep Kaneki out of it. He would always tell Kaneki that he would be an easy prey due to his carelessness, like he was warning him. He even tried to prevent Nishio from approaching Kaneki, but failed. While he was unconscious, Hide tried to stop Nishio by pulling his pants. Also, Hide didn't inform his superior of the new half-ghoul when he found out about Kaneki.
We can see that his intentions were genuine and pure, but sometimes things don't work out the way we want them to. His fate was determined long before he met Kaneki. He was in the grasp of a ghoul, in his clutches, from where he can't escape. That may be why he sometimes discussed the theme of ghouls with Kaneki. He would sometimes ask Kaneki who he would eat if he were a ghoul.
Though he never answered the question himself, it is possible that Hide had a certain person in mind - the unknown ghoul whom he served. He may have wanted to escape, but gave up on the idea. In one of the chapters we can see Hide drinking coffee and saying that it's bitter. I don't think that Hide normally drinks coffee. This may actually refer to his situation and inability to break free. Maybe it refers to his wish to change something, wishing to be a ghoul, but realizing that's ridiculous.
Then, when Hide tracked Jason, he may have told CCG without his superior's permission as a way to save Kaneki, but that was the most he could do. He isn't allowed to pry into that matter any more than that. Unfortunately, there are no arguments to support this claim. Also, when he talked to Kaneki before the fight with Arima, Hide may have really wanted to save Kaneki, but there is no proof for this either. It might as well been part of the plan which Hide had to follow, as we can see that he was really distressed and concerned as he said that.
Hide's genuine friendship with Kaneki
Even in Tokyo Ghoul:re we can see traces that Hide is a tragic character. This time, for sure, I can say that he is not 100% purely evil. This time he really gave his all to help get Kaneki out of that monster that destroyed Tokyo. He even blamed himself for not being able to help earlier. The time he asked for Akira and Amon's help, Amon asked him why he is going so far to help Kaneki. Hide simply replied that it was because he loves him. Not even once did he show the habit he does when lying, meaning he was telling the truth.
Despite everything going on in Hide's life and his connection to the ghouls, he does consider Kaneki as someone he wants to protect. That is also why he never has nor will he ever tell Kaneki about being an informant for a ghoul. He never wanted Kaneki to be a part of that world and even now that Kaneki is a half-ghoul, he still tries to keep him away from certain things. Kaneki himself knows this trait of Hide's as he mentioned it while speaking to Hide. He said that Hide always hid the things Kaneki didn't want to see. Though Kaneki mentioned this because of the wound he gave Hide, it seems that Hide had something else in mind when he agreed - his connection to the ghouls.
At the end of Tokyo Ghoul, after the Owl Suppression Operation, it was said that Hide went missing. In Tokyo Ghoul:re, it was mostly implied that Hide died, but I am sure that is not the case. Here you can read proof that Hide is actually alive: What Happened to Hide from Tokyo Ghoul? Would Ishida really kill Hide in this way?
I mean, Hide is the most important person in Kaneki's life. He is the sole reason why Kaneki is able to keep his sanity. He is Kaneki's driving force. So, if Ishida really planned for Hide to die, I believe he would have made his death more dramatic. Hide's death would be crucial for Kaneki's breakdown and character development. Ishida would have surely done it in a similar or even more brutal way like he did with Arima. Therefore, I believe that Hide will play out his role elsewhere. Just imagine what a breakdown Kaneki would have, if he finds out that Hide is his enemy.
If you read my other theory about Hide being alive and hiding as the ghoul Scarecrow, it could be connected to this. Read the theory here. As a ghoul's informant, he would have to have a ghoul mask and identity. We can also see that Scarecrow participates in a number of undercover missions, such as operating on computers in the control room, going to Rue Island for some reason, and saving Amon from Kanou. Those may all have been missions given to him by the unknown ghoul for the sake of destroying other organizations and ghouls. Also, note that the newly introduced characters were almost always characters we knew from before: Floppy was Amon, Owl was Takizawa, Furuta was Souta etc.
This could also be the reason why Hide is regarded as missing. He may have moved to another ward, where their base is, leaving no traces behind. Due to another name change, no one would be able to track him down. Especially, if he is now acting disguised as a ghoul. Also, to hide the fact that he is human, he wears that mask which covers up his whole head. Because he really isn't a ghoul and doesn't know how to fight (because his job is to gather information), he is regarded as a C-rated ghoul. He even has to cover up his connection to the unknown ghoul, so he could successfully gather information. That is why he is considered a stray ghoul. But, it could also be because he moves from ward to ward.
Scarecrow's appearance in Tokyo Ghoul:re chapter 111 is very important. This time, Amon remembered that he met Scarecrow, though his identity still stays hidden. While Amon was under the control of Kanou and unable to escape from Kanou's experiments, Scarecrow appeared and got rid of Amon's guards so he could escape. There is no doubt about it. Scarecrow was the one who saved Amon. Also, you can notice that he knows who Amon is and aimed to rescue him specifically. That is one more reason to believe that Scarecrow is Hide.
Hide was the one working under Amon and Akira for a certain period of time. That explains how Scarecrow knows Amon. Why he actually rescued him could be because he was ordered to do so. What kind of plan does the unknown ghoul have? Or maybe he did it on his own. Could he secretly be rebelling against the unknown ghoul?
After it was finally revealed that Scarecrow was indeed Hide the whole time, Hide took on the role of an acting leader or a strategist for the whole operation of rescuing Kaneki and even the fight against V. Now you would believe that the whole talk about Hide being evil is pointless, since he wouldn't help them out if that was the case. But, you are wrong.
With new chapters came along Hide's new lies that I was able to spot. So far, he lied only on two occasions and his habit of scratching his face is noticeable in both cases. The first lie in Tokyo Ghoul:re was in chapter 151 when Touka asked him to remove his mask. He was obviously flustered as we know what happened to his face. Thus, he was making excuses to not do it, but removed the cloth in the end.