The protagonist of the series. Kaneki is a first year college student. He finds himself turned into a ghoul after an organ transplant.
Adorkable: This is even commented on in-verse by some characters who find Kaneki adorable.
Abusive Parents: After his parents died, Kaneki went to live with his aunt. She became jealous that he excelled academically while her own son did not. She started giving him less food and eventually stopped feeding him, merely giving him some money so he could buy his own food. At the start of the series, Kaneki is a college student living alone and seems to have no contact with his aunt.
Animal Motifs: Kaneki is often associated with centipedes. He even upgrades his eyepatch to one with a centipede pattern. His kagune eventually end up taking a centipede-like form after the events in Kanou's lab, after he goes temporarily goes crazy due to acivating his kakuja for the first time, gained from cannibalizing ghouls.
Badass Bookworm: Although Kaneki lacks the experience that other ghouls have, he is able to quickly process information and creates strategies. At some points, we also see him pull off moves because he studied them so hard from books.
Being Tortured Makes You Evil: Played with. His ordeal leaves him a much more dangerous character, and he starts things off by EATING all of his tormentor's kagune, followed by systematically breaking half of another enemy's bones one by one.
Combat Tentacles: His kagune manifests as four tentacles from his midsection. His kakuja Kagune emerge from the same area, but he has six of them and they're shaped and act like centipedes.
Cool Mask: It has one eye exposed (his ghoul eye, as opposed to the eyepatch he normally wears to cover it) and a false mouth that gives him a Slasher Smile until he unzips it.
Eyepatch of Power: He wears one to conceal his Ghoul eye, originally just a plain medical eyepatch. He later begins wearing one with a centipede motif.
Half-Human Hybrid: Half-human half-ghoul, though he became one through a transplant rather than naturally.
Parental Abandonment: Both his parents died when he was very young. In his mother's case, she died because she overworked herself to help with her sister's financial problems. Kaneki later admits that he wishes that his mother had chosen him instead of her sister. If she hadn't worked so hard to help her sister, his mother wouldn't have died.
The Red Baron: "Eyepatch" or "One-eyed Ghoul" Later, "Centipede" as well, though the CCG except for Amon thinks it's a separate ghoul entirely.
Took A Level In Bad Ass: He becomes stronger and more willing to fight throughout the series, but the most noticeable jump in awesome comes after being tortured for ten days by the Aogiri. He becomes one of the most dangerous and powerful Ghouls in the setting after that. And becomes far more dangerous after gaining a kakuja kagune after eating other ghouls.
Trauma Conga Line: Seriously, Kaneki has horrible luck. First his less-than-stellar childhood, his pseudo girlfriend turns out to be a ghoul and he gets critically wounded that he needs a transplant from her dead body, finds out he's a half-ghoul and has a hard time transitioning...the list could go on and on. It gets even worse for him during the Aogiri arc, where he was systematically tortured for ten days and had a mental breakdown due to it. Can someone give this poor guy a hug?
White Hair, Black Heart: Played with. After being tortured, he emerges with white hair and becomes far more brutal than he'd been previously.
Defrosting Ice Queen: She's initially cold and harsh towards Kaneki, but slowly warms up to him over time. She even wants to go with him when he decides to leave after the Aogiri Arc but he encourages her to stay and take her entrance exams so that she can go on to college and keep leading a normal life.
Fragile Speedster: Her type is noted to be exceptionally fast, but not very strong or tough.
I Just Want to Be Normal: She wants to experience everything in the human world like a normal girl, despite the threat of being revealed as a ghoul.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: She took revenge for Hanami's mother, but in doing so she killed the wrong CCG agent and caused the organization to turn their attentions to the 20th ward, instead of letting the murder go and avoid their attention in the first place.
Tsundere: She is often brash, rude, and violent, such as when she first met Kaneki. However, she does warm up to people and she is shown caring about others such as Hinami and also her human friend Yoriko. She even forces herself to eat the food Yoriko gives her because it makes the other happy despite the fact that it tastes terrible to ghouls and even makes them ill.
Winged Humanoid: Her kagune resembles an insect's wings, and is used for delivering quick slashes.
A sweet girl with a fondness for books. However, under her charming personality and appearance she is known as 'Binge Eater' Rize, a well-known ghoul that terrorized several other wards before moving to the 20th ward.
Badass Bookworm: It seems that she liked reading and was reading the same book at Kaneki when he asks her out on a date. Tsukiyama also mentions that she liked to read and many chanters comment on the fact that she was one of the strongest ghouls. She was in fact able to take over the feeding grounds of several ghouls in the 20th district.
Big Eater: She's a ghoul known to eat humans more often than necessary, hence the moniker 'Binge Eater' Rize.
Dark Action Girl: Rize is implied to be this at the beginning of the series. She is stated to have thrown several wards into chaos before moving on to the next. Her killing of the strongest Ghouls in District 11 allowed Aogiri to move in and take over.
Femme Fatale: Known for using her beauty to lure in men. Oddly, her manner of dress while in the 20th Ward was fairly modest but still alluring.
It Amused Me: She lived solely for her own enjoyment, doing things to ease her boredom.
Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Banjou seems to have viewed her as this, while everyone else recognizes the damage her selfish actions caused to everyone around her.
Meganekko: She played this trope up, coming across as sweet and demure prior to revealing her true nature.
Posthumous Character: She dies fairly early in the series, but is referenced to by several characters. It also seems that she was specifically killed so that her body could be used to turn humans into ghouls.
Not Quite Dead: Although initially it seemed like the beams definitely crushed her, it is later revealed that she is not dead and is being kept alive to create more half ghouls. She is found half starved in Kanou's lab. However, she's barely even a shell of the person she used to be, as both her eyes are missing, she may not have any kagune left, and all she can do is eat
A second year in Kamii University, and a upperclassman to Hide and Kaneki. Before the start of the series, his hunting territory was overtaken by Rize.
Determinator: When his human girlfriend, Kimi, is kidnapped by Tsukiyama. Even starving and badly injured, he just won't give up no matter how much punishment he receives.
Character Development: He's introduced as a petty and selfish Ghoul who's willing to kill other Ghouls who simply interlope on territory he deems to be his, but has yet to actually (re)claim. He also nearly murders both Kaneki and his human best friend. Later on, he winds up realizing the error of his ways and joins the gang at the coffee shop.
Heel-Face Turn: He eventually becomes one of Kaneki's allies, after receiving help from him.
Heroic Resolve: Every single time Tsukiyama threatens Kimi, he manages to find the strength to get back up.
Interspecies Romance: He has a human girlfriend, as evidenced when Kaneki and Hide walk in on them getting hot and heavy.
Jack of All Stats: His kagune type is described as such, being far more balanced than the other types that specialize in either speed, strength, or regeneration.
Jerk with a Heart of Gold: He's rude and condescending towards others, but he also genuinely loves Kimi to the point of starving rather than harm her. After Kaneki helps him, he returns the favor and feels the need to repay his debt.
Love Redeems: He risks everything to save Kimi, and gives up on hunting humans for her sake. That Kaneki helped save Kimi leads him to become an important ally, feeling indebted to him.
Non-human Lover Reveal: He nearly attacks Kimi when she comes to check on him, revealing himself as a Ghoul. He's unable to kill her, and she willingly keeps his secret.
Tail Slap: His kagune resembles a blue glowing tail, and investigators discussing different Kagune types describe it as a "trump card".
Nice Girl: She's very sweet and friendly, and hasn't killed any humans.
Sword over Head: After badly injuring Mado, she ultimately decides not to avenge her parents by killing him.
Trauma Conga Line: She loses her mother, sees a Dove using her mother's stolen kagune as a weapon against Ghouls, nearly gets killed, and soon finds herself mixed up in all of the dark conspiracies Kaneki and co are pulled into.
Winged Humanoid: Her second kagune resembles a moth's wings, though they aren't wings so much as large shields for defense.
A young man with an eccentric personality and taste to match it. He's the ghoul known as the 'Gourmet', infamous for eating humans and ghouls alike if they interest him.
Abhorrent Admirer: To Kankei. He is fascinated with the other because Kaneki is a one eyed ghoul and wants to eat him. After the Aogiri arc he seems even more infatuated with the other due to the fact that Kaneki has become stronger and more ruthless.
Autocannibalism: This is how he survives his battle with Kaneki and Touka. While they think that they left him for dead, Tsukiyama in fact ate his own flesh in order to regain the strength to leave the church.
Bishōnen: And how. Too bad his personality doesn't match his looks.
Cool Mask: A crescent moon-shaped mask, themed after the Man in the Moon.
Gratuitous English: Loves to use French, Italian AND English, especially when he's...excited.
Green-Eyed Monster: He wants Kaneki all to himself...so that he can eat him. He becomes enraged when Touka takes a bite out of Kaneki since he wants to be the only one that eats him.
The Hedonist: He derives a lot of pleasure from experiencing different flavors. And the only reason he starts to help Kaneki is for the chance to try the other's flesh, something Tsukiyama believes will be the ultimate experience.
Heel-Face Turn: Played with. He helps rescue Kaneki from the Aogiri and joins him in his journey to eliminate more dangerous Ghouls and track down the man who turned him into a hybrid. However, his response to seeing how much Kaneki has changed is distress upon realizing how much more difficult it will be to eat him now.
In Love with Your Carnage: He is interested in Kaneki for being the one-eyed ghoul. His obsession with Kaneki grows after the Aogiri arc once Kaneki becomes even more deadly and cold hearted.
Obsessed with Food: He is obsessed with fine dining and finding the right "parts" to turn into meals. In his first appearance in the manga we see him steal a woman's eyes to turn into a meal because he thought they were beautiful. He also participates in an underground restaurant that lures humans to become entertainment and food for ghouls.
Narcissist: He is incredibly self absorbed and arrogant but also very obsessed with appearances. He's disliked Rize for the fact that she didn't care about the appearance or quality of her meals and that she indiscriminately ate humans.
Perverted Sniffing: He has a handkerchief with Kaneki's blood on it and seems to enjoy the taste and smell of it a little too much... We later see that he keeps it inside a plastic bag to preserve the scent and seems to periodically be smelling it because it's as close to eating Kaneki as he's going to get.
Picky People Eater: He only takes the eyes of a beautiful young woman after complimenting them.
This also serves to contrast him with Rize. While Rize will eat mostly anything, Tsukiyama will only eat specific people. His obsession with Kaneki comes from the way the other smells and the rarity of being a one eyed ghoul. Their differences is also why Tsukiyama actually disliked Rize despite giving Kaneki the impression that they were friends.
The Only One Allowed to Defeat You: A variation of this. He joins a rescue mission to save Kaneki during the Aogiri Arc not because he cares about the other, but because he still seeks to devour him.
Stalker with a Crush: He randomly shows up at Kaneki's school in order to have a chance to talk to him privately. And after the Aogiri arc it seems that he's doing everything he can to stay close to Kaneki and even becomes an official member of Kaneki's group.
Yakumo "Yamori" Oomori
One of the leaders of Aogiri Tree. He is also known as the 13th ward's Jason.
Being Tortured Makes You Evil: It isn't clear what his personality was like prior, but he emerges a deranged killer that preys on humans and Ghouls alike.
Cannibalism Superpower: His kagune has been enhanced through his eating other Ghouls, giving him an armored shell.
Character Tic: He cracks his fingers, a tic he picked up from his tormentor.
Cool Mask: A hockey mask, which earned him his nickname.
Expy: An in-universe example. His name came from Investigators being reminded of a certain Hockey mask-wearing murderer related to the number 13...
Freudian Excuse: He was taken to a Ghoul Detention Center sometime in the past and was interrogated for information via torture. This is where he learned about means to torture ghouls and where he developed his sadistic personality. He keeps a "hobby room" where he practices his techniques on others.
He is Kaneki's best friend. Although he comes off as a goof ball, he is incredibly perceptive and intelligent when he wants to be, so much so that some ghouls see him as a threat since he could expose them.
Locked Out of the Loop: Touka says that she will kill him if he finds out since humans discovering a ghoul's secret tends to end very badly. Kaneki also worries that Hide will stop being his friend if he finds out that he's a ghoul. However, Hide seems to be piecing some things together on his own and knows there's something up with Kankei. He also later starts working with the CCG.
Muggle Best Friend: After realizing how perceptive Hide can be, Kaneki gets worried that he'll figure out the truth and that their friendship will end. Toka has also threatened to kill him if he were to discover the truth.
Only Friend: Hide doesn't have much competition in the status of best friend as Kaneki's tragic childhood and dysfunctional family have turned him into an introvert with little other venues of emotional support.
Archnemesis Dad: It's....complicated to say the least. The priest that raised him is a Ghoul, currently being detained in the 23rd Ward. However, he refers to Kotaro as his "beloved son" and when CCG requires information they send him to speak to his father.
Badass Normal: Like all the other Doves, Amon is human but is able to hold his own against some ghouls.
Not So Different: He has quite a bit in common with Kaneki, and his encounter with the Eyepatch Ghoul leaves him questioning what he knows.
The doctor who unknowingly transplanted Rize's organs into Kaneki. It is later revealed that he is purposefully turning humans into ghouls. He even has a secret laboratory where he conducts his experiments.
Mad Doctor: He said he gave Kaneki a kidney transplant but in reality he transplanted Rize's kakuhou into him. It seems that he is purposefully turning humans into ghouls.
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: He saves Kaneki's life but unintentionally causes Kaneki's body to undergo a physically and mentally taxing transformation that removes any chance of continuing a normal life. As more information is learned about ghouls, the more Kaneki and the audience learn how impossible it is to do this surgery by mistake.
Worst Aid: Putting the organs of a victim that was pulverized by steel beams into a patient in critical condition is an extremely high risk procedure and in a normal operation would more likely kill the victim as opposed to save them. Although he already knows Rize is a ghoul and that her regenerative abilities would likely save Kaneki's life, regardless of his reckless procedures.
She is Touka's best friend at school.
Muggle Best Friend: She is unaware that Touka is a ghoul and seems to be an average high school girl.
Supreme Chef: She's an excellent cook, and always brings Touka things to try.
She is the current girlfriend of Nishiki Nishio.
Because You Were Nice to Me: Her love for Nishio resulted from him unknowingly giving her comfort after she lost her entire family in a plane crash.