Sui Ishida’s Tokyo Ghoul manga was adapted into an anime, with its 12-episode run ending in 2014. With a stroke of his pen and a touch of his mind, Ishida welcomed us into his dark and twisted tragedy. It was praised for its art style, fascinating characters and captivating storytelling, which earned the manga a lot of praise! While the anime divided manga fans, solely anime viewers mostly loved the adaptation. It was capable of pulling at heartstrings and sending shivers down your spine, with merely a dozen episodes. While that’s not an accomplishment, it’s a noteworthy achievement without a doubt!
So, was there ever a consensus on the show? Well, there was one thing most of us agree upon – the music was absolutely excellent! Whether it was Yutaka Yamada’s breathtaking score or TK’s phenomenal opening theme song, Tokyo Ghoul songs are truly memorable. If anything, it’s arguably the reason why this 12-episode anime had us cheering, excited and crying, elevating moments to new heights! So, with that being said, perhaps it’s time we dig into Yamada’s work and rank the best Tokyo Ghoul songs? Down below, you’ll find the top 5 Tokyo Ghoul songs of season 1! Be gentle, I know how music can move people.
You might enjoy another anime songs list: Top 5 Gundam AGE Songs.
*This list is based on music from season 1 of Tokyo Ghoul.
Honorable Mention – Auferstehung (Resurrection)
While merely an honorable mention, I couldn’t leave Auferstehung off this list! Considering how difficult it was to narrow things down, I was forced to break my rule of “no honorable mentions”. Consequently, I even considered including Centipede. However, I felt like that would’ve been overkill – one honorable mention is enough. It’s simply difficult to summarize Yutaka Yamada’s masterclass of sound on such a short list, yet it appropriately lifts the cream of the crop! Therefore, I wanted to be transparent and highlight Auferstehung, a track that hit my heart, and perhaps I wasn’t alone? Let’s be honest, it’s pretty epic!
5. The Saints (Seijatachi) – People In The Box
There’s something calming about this song, isn’t there? Perhaps it’s the slow and melodic tempo or the hard-hitting lyrics? One thing’s for sure, it succesfully counters the energy of the opening song (Unravel), guiding us out of each episode in a relaxing fashion. However, while it’s quite an enjoyable song and deserves praise, it somewhat pales in comparison to some of Yutaka Yamada’s work. In turn, I wanted to be fair and not give The Saints a pass simply because it’s a fully-fledged song. Therefore, I couldn’t place it any higher. Keep in mind, the way the music compliments the anime is just as important as the music itself. In turn, it made sense placing it at the fifth spot, as The Saints is a complete and utter vibe, which is a positive. Nevertheless, it kind of feels out of place, yet not enough for me to exclude it entirely.
4. Licht und Schatten (Light and Shadow)
Yutaka Yamada’s work on Tokyo Ghoul needs to be recognized and praised. It’s one of the most touching and memorable scores in recent history, with Light and Shadow among the highlights! While it lands on the fourth spot, I wouldn’t be surprised if some would rank it higher. It’s such a memorable song, with an excellent melodic structure, evoking a joyous and heartwarming feeling that few tracks can rival. In turn, the subtle pauses and eerie undertones add depth, with the addition of the guitar making it feel complete, right? While it’s all subjective, it reminds me of sunshine after rain or happiness after sadness. As if to say, the tides have turned and I’m feeling accepted by the world, once again.
3. Schöpfer (Creator)
If there’s any of Yamada’s tracks that encompasses what a victorious battle music should sound like, it’s Schöpfer. It’s catchy and empowering, with a slow burn that explodes, lights up the sky and fizzles out beautifully! That’s too poetic, isn’t it? Anyways, it reminds me of old-school action movie fight songs, like a training montage from Bloodsport or Rocky. It’s the sheer triumphant implication that Schöpfer gives when listening to it. As if anything’s possible, with your free will and determination as the only limitation. There’s something special about the feeling when the unthinkable becomes feasible, which is the empowering vibe of the song. It can even send shivers down your spine, just let your imagination loose, and you’ll see! In addition, Amon’s battle against the Bin Brothers was made badass thanks to this excellent track.
2. TG Symphonie (TG Symphony)
I honestly can’t say enough great things about TG Symphony. It’s by far the most complex track, being all encompassing and captivating from start to finish! It’s like a rollercoaster, without the safety harness, leading your mind astray and pushing your emotions/feelings to the limits. In turn, there’s depth to variety and the disturbing melodies, accompanied by majestic orchestral sounds that make you feel invinsible! I might be going overboard, yet it feels downright magical, showing Yamada’s range and depth as a composer. So, whether it’s adventurous vibes or downright disturbing feelings, you’ll likely feel a variety of things subconsciously. In turn, it’s the best of Yutaka Yamada’s Tokyo Ghoul songs from season 1!
1. Unravel – TK from Ling Tosite Sigure
This shouldn’t be surprising, right? The main reason we fell in-love with Tokyo Ghoul was because of Toru Kitajima (TK). He’s raw delivery, androgynous voice and heart-wrenching storytelling made Unravel an instant hit! Keep in mind, he didn’t merely perform Unravel, he wrote it and composed it as well, showcasing TK’s immeasurable talent. In turn, his opening theme song helped carry Tokyo Ghoul. I’d even make a case that Unravel is among the best anime opening songs of all time! Yes, you read that correctly.
Honestly, it’s rare for a song to capture the essence of a manga, with both melody and lyrics, to the point where it’s elevated above the anime itself. So, whether you loved the show or hated it, one thing’s certain, TK’s Unravel was excellent! While I’d never force anyone to share my opinion, this song made Tokyo Ghoul’s ending epic. It’s not just about the action, emotions or depiction, yet delivery overall. Hence why Kaneki vs Jason is also arguably the best moment in Tokyo Ghoul – because of Toru Kitajima’s breathtaking work!