|Air Date:||July 4, 2014 (Japan), March 25, 2017 (Toonami)|
|Episode Direction by:||Morita Shuuhei|
|Storyboard by:||Morita Shuuhei|
|Animation Direction by:||Miwa Kazuhiro|
|← N/A||Episode 2 →|
Tragedy (悲劇, Higeki) is the first episode of the anime Tokyo Ghoul.
- Rize Kamishiro
- Yakumo Oomori
- Ken Kaneki
- Hideyoshi Nagachika
- Touka Kirishima
- Kaya Irimi
- Kazuo Yoshida
- Sen Takatsuki (Mentioned)
- Yasutomo Nakajima
- Ippei Kusaba
- Ken Kaneki's father (Mentioned)
- Yoriko Kosaka
- Akihiro Kanou
- Hisashi Ogura (Television)
- Ken Kaneki's mother (Flashback)
- Nishiki Nishio
- Renji Yomo (Omake)
Intruders are reported at the 20th Ward's Aqua Building, and believed to be ghouls; the CCG is dispatched immediately. At the Aqua Building, a female ghoul feasts nude on a pile of corpses. She is interrupted by a masked man, who has orders to apprehend her. They have a confrontation before the female ghoul, dissatisfied from having her meal interrupted and unthreatened, steals the masked man's pliers before taking off, leaving him enraged. The female ghoul tosses the pliers off the top of a building.
The next day, ordinary college student Ken Kaneki sits at a café with his best friend, Hideyoshi Nagachika, while the news reporting the incident at the Aqua Building in the background. Hide teases Kaneki about his crush and his lack of experience until he calls a waitress over. After Hide takes his order, he asks for the waitress's name and she introduces herself as Touka Kirishima. Kaneki scolds Hide for flirting with her until she ran away, but is then captivated by Rize Kamishiro, who just entered. After seeing what she looks like, Hide thinks that Kaneki has no chance with her, then left shortly afterwards. Left alone, Kaneki reads The Black Goat's Egg, then notices that Rize is reading the same book. She notices him as well. Later that night, Kaneki informs Hide over the phone that he and Rize have an upcoming bookstore date. Hide rides his bike by the Aqua Building where Ghoul Investigators Yasutomo Nakajima and Ippei Kusaba investigate. They discuss ghouls and their lack of worth, considering them worse than animals.
On their date, they go to a restaurant while discussing their favorite author. Kaneki comments that Rize does not eat much, who then explains she is on a diet and excuses herself to the restroom, and Kaneki glances on her barely touched food. After their bookstore date, Rize confides Kaneki that she lives near where all these ghoul-related crimes are taking place and is scared, so Kaneki comforts her, telling Rize that he will walk her home. As Kaneki accompanies her, he tells Rize about his life feeling comfortable around her, having only ever told Hide about his past. Taking a turn down a dark alley as they approach Rize's home, the waitress Touka walks by with her friend and glances suspiciously at them before she continues on. Alone, Kaneki asks to see Rize again and things appear to be going well. She too expresses interest. Kaneki blushes as she reveals her liking to him, and Rize embraces Kaneki and bites in his shoulder. With sadistic joy, Rize attacks Kaneki with her Kagune and corners him in a construction site. After Rize impales him, Kaneki appears dead, but before she can eat him, Rize is crushed by falling steel beams.
Kaneki is taken to the hospital where Rize's organs are transplanted into him. Upon waking up, his left eye turns red and black, unbeknownst to him. While recovering, his nurse and Dr. Kanou are concerned with his lack of appetite. Kaneki notes that since the incident, the food starts to taste bad, but his doctor assures that nothing is physically wrong and that it was most likely psychological. After being discharged, Kaneki walks home and thinks that something has been strange since the incident, and that it feels like a dream. When he arrives home, he finds a bag of groceries and a note from Hide at his door, telling him among other things, that he brought his favorite burger. Sitting on his bed, a television program airs, in which a ghoul-expert explains ghoul biology. Kaneki panics then proceeds to eat everything then vomits immediately afterwards as everything tastes unbearable. In the meantime, Hide has repeatedly tried to contact Kaneki, but the latter ignores his phone calls and won't open the door. Hide's classmate does not think a person like that is worth the effort, but Hide and Kaneki have been best friends since childhood. Kaneki listens to Hide's messages, and the news of an autograph session by Takatsuki is enough to get him out of bed. It is too late however, and on his way home, his hunger starts to take over and Kaneki suddenly has intruding thoughts about other people's appetizing flesh. He rushes home and horrified by his eye, Kaneki tries to deliver a stab to his stomach – only for the knife to break.
Kaneki suffers an emotional breakdown, then wanders the streets while fighting his craving for human flesh. He chases a delicious aroma that reminds him of his mother's cooking and is hopeful that it is something harmless he can eat, until he stumbles across a ghoul eating a corpse. Kaneki is horrified that he was attracted by the stench of dead flesh, but the ghoul introduces himself as Kazuo Yoshida and was about to share his food before he is killed by Nishiki Nishio. Nishiki is angry about other ghouls trespassing on his territory and attacks Kaneki next. Touka intervenes, and she and Nishiki argue over the territory before a fight breaks out. It ends quickly and Nishiki flees. Kaneki continues to struggle with his hunger and Touka offers him flesh. Touka is confused by Kaneki's denial of it, then recognizes him as the person who was with Rize. Kaneki, confused and upset, cannot comprehend ghouls or his situation and vehemently denies eating human flesh and retaining his humanity. Tired of Kaneki's attitude, Touka shoves meat into his mouth.