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"The normal days which seemed natural will crumble in an instant. The end... always comes in the blink of an eye."— Nishiki Nishio, Tokyo Ghoul Chapter 128

Nishiki Nishio (西尾 錦, Nishio Nishiki) is a ghoul whose original feeding ground was taken by Rize Kamishiro. He was a second-year student in the Pharmaceutical Department of Kamii University and the boyfriend of Kimi Nishino who was heavily wounded in a fight with Ken Kaneki, but he eventually became a waiter at Anteiku and ally to Kaneki.

Recently, the CCG gave him the nickname Serpent (オロチ, Orochi [3][4][5]and he is known for killing other ghouls after gaining information out of them. He was investigated by the CCG's Hirako Squad while he was targeting Torso for unknown reasons.

After the Rushima Landing Operation, he joined Kaneki's newly formed ghoul organization Goat and began living in the 24th Ward.


Nishiki is a slim young man whose distinctive traits are his glasses and messy hazelnut hair. Like other disguised ghouls, Nishiki dresses in normal casual clothes to blend in. He also wears two bangles that Kimi Nishino brought for them to match together. After the Aogiri Arc and into the Owl Suppression Operation. Nishiki cut his hair into a bowl-cut hairstyle similar to the one he had during his first year at Kamii University.

After the time skip, Nishiki appears as a ghoul named "Serpent", donning a snake-like mask and wearing a hooded cloak. With his mask off, he appears to have gained a scar over his left eye during the time skip and his hair has grown back. His expression has become much more melancholic after the time skip.

Manga Depiction[]

Anime Depiction[]


Nishiki is a diligent student and prodigy. He has an insensitive attitude with a knack for abrasive language. He also demands that people younger than him show respect for their elders. Touka Kirishima once insulted Nishiki and called him "sex-obsessed," in reference to his relationship with Kimi Nishino. Above his sharp tongue, he is a cautious individual who isn't keen on trusting others. Despite this, Nishiki can be shown to be loyal. He is willing to sacrifice himself for Kimi.

As a child, Nishiki had the same attitude as Kaneki. He questioned eating humans and questioned his sister's mindset. Nishiki deeply loved his sister and had a very close relationship with her.

After his sister was betrayed by her boss and killed by members of the CCG, Nishiki became unable to trust people, especially humans but also ghouls, and hardly socializes with others. He acts like a lone wolf[7] and attacks ghouls that seem to trespass in his feeding ground.[8] He originally approaches his girlfriend Kimi to use her for his own ends.[9]

After fighting Kaneki, Nishiki is weakened to the point where he resorts to eating Kimi in order to recover. However, after she accepts him as a ghoul, he cherishes Kimi more than anything else and has regained some trust in others. He joins Anteiku so that he is provided with food and doesn't have to kill humans to eat.

After the time skip, Nishiki is primarily noted as a ghoul hunting other ghouls, showing little regard for the lives of both humans and ghouls alike. He is ruthless in dispatching those he considers troublesome or useless, killing those unfortunate enough to encounter him. When he encounters the Quinx Squad, his personality is further revealed to be surprisingly casual and laid-back, with a sarcastic edge. He makes mocking observations of his opponents, calling them names and littering his speech with foul language. Overall, he comes across as arrogant due to his great ability and doesn't seem to take others very seriously. However, despite this arrogant attitude, he appears to be quite saddened seeing Kaneki in his current identity as Haise Sasaki.



A young Nishiki talking to his sister.

Nishiki and his sister grew up without their parents and lived in a shabby hut. When he was young, he was opposed to eating human meat. His sister obtained their food, and she started working to improve their living conditions.

Nishiki's sister's death.

Nishiki's sister admired the owner of one of the shops she worked at, but the shop owner betrayed her by selling her out to the CCG. Nishiki's sister was killed, and in revenge, Nishiki killed the shop owner. His sister left her savings to him from the family register; therefore asking him to live by the name Nishiki Nishio. Nishiki started studying at Kamii University. There, he approached Kimi Nishino. Originally intending to use her, he started going out with Kimi.[9]


Nishiki about to kill Kazuo.

Nishiki first appeared when he advised Kaneki to buy the instant coffee Blondy. Shortly afterwards, he killed Kazuo Yoshida because he was eating a corpse in his feeding ground.[8] For the same reason, Nishiki also attacked Ken Kaneki. At that moment, Touka Kirishima appeared and declared the place was not Nishiki's feeding ground, but Rize Kamishiro's. Nishiki retorted that this was originally his feeding ground until Rize came, but Touka, unfazed, responded that the feeding grounds would be allotted among the weaker ghouls and that it was his own fault for being too weak. Angered, Nishiki attacked Touka, but was immediately defeated.[10]

When Kaneki and Hideyoshi Nagachika visited Nishiki to get the DVD of the previous year's college festival, they disturbed Nishiki and Kimi Nishino when they were making out. Kaneki discovered that the Nishiki was the ghoul that attacked him shortly before.[11] Nishiki told them to help him look for the material, but then claimed that he took the disk home.

Nishiki is pierced by Kaneki's kagune.

He proposed that they should go to his home. In reality, he deceived Kaneki and Hide, took Hide out and started fighting Kaneki.[12] He provoked Kaneki by standing on Hide's face with his foot, but Kaneki was no match for Nishiki. However, when Nishiki tried to kill Hide, Kaneki was able to unleash his kagune which took the form of three semi-sharp tails. [13] Kaneki and Nishiki fight which results in Nishiki being pierced multiple times by Kaneki's kagune. Nishiki ends up unable to fight any further due to the multiple wounds inflicted on him by Kaneki.

Gourmet Arc[]

Due to the wounds Kaneki inflicted on him, Nishiki lost most of his strength. When he went out to hunt, he was attacked by ghouls of the 14th ward who decided to eat him. Kaneki saved him from the ghouls and brought him to his apartment, while Nishiki was cursing Kaneki. When Kaneki wanted to leave, Kimi attacked Kaneki to protect Nishiki, thinking that Kaneki was the "narcissistic man"; however, Nishiki asked her to stop.[7] Later, he came to Anteiku looking for Kimi. Kaneki told him that Tsukiyama had kidnapped her. They decided to face Tsukiyama together to save Kimi.[14] Kaneki and Nishiki were no match for Tsukiyama, and even after Touka joined them, they were losing because Tsukiyama was the only one who could use his kagune. However, Nishiki's tenacity and Kaneki's idea to allow himself to be partly eaten by Touka led to victory against Tsukiyama.[15]

After the fight, Nishiki had started working at Anteiku.[16]

Aogiri Arc[]

Nishiki still had suspicions about Yoshimura and questioned his motives but intended to take advantage of his offer to live without hunting humans. When Kaneki was captured, he patiently awaited Yoshimura's answer to the situation. When the manager explained that Kaneki was possibly dead, he was outraged by Yoshimura's cold response and volunteered to rescue him from Aogiri. During the raid in the 11th ward, Nishiki and Anteiku fought their way into the Aogiri base and learned of a new prisoner who was undergoing torture by one of Aogiri's executives in an outer building. As Nishiki and Touka made their way to investigate, Ayato ambushed Nishiki, injuring him and left him incapacitated with Ayato's subordinates. Shortly after, he was saved by Kaneki, who killed the Aogiri Tree members attacking him, and asked to protect Touka for him. Nishiki returned to Anteiku after the raid.

Owl Suppression Operation[]

In the months following the battle, Nishiki continued to work at Anteiku and offered Touka help in preparing for her college entrance exams. He had little patience with Roma Hoito, often berating and arguing with her.

While on errands with Touka, he ran into Tsukiyama and Hinami. He was immediately suspicious, and warned Hinami about how dangerous her companion actually was. Tsukiyama responded with mocking comments, berating the members of Anteiku for not being there for Kaneki and quickly departed with Hinami.

Nishiki and Touka in Kami University.

When Touka expressed interest in attending Kamii University, Nishiki offered to show her around since he had work to do. However, once they arrive on campus, he quickly abandoned her, leaving her to look around on her own. In preparation for the dinner on Anteiku, Yoshimura ordered Yomo to contact Nishiki and help him escape from the 20th Ward.

While the raid on Anteiku took place, Nishiki sat on the roof of a nearby building, gazing over the 20th ward. Before Kaneki joined in the fray, Nishiki mentioned that he will be leaving the 20th ward so he can survive, but not without saying goodbye to his girlfriend first. He witnessed Tsukiyama's breakdown and desperate attempt to prevent Kaneki from going into battle, and was left to watch over him. In the aftermath of the battle, Nishiki brought Tsukiyama canned coffee and worried over the future.

Post-Owl Suppression Operation[]

At some unknown time, Shachi visited Nishiki and Yomo who had been taking care of Rize per his agreement with Yoshimura. Shachi told them since Yoshimura's capture by his daughter, he could not be saved, and urged them to be rid of Rize as keeping her would be too dangerous for them. As he left, Nishiki questioned why he still cared for her. Shachi remarked it was a stupid question and stated it is his duty as a parent.[17]

Torso Investigation[]

Nishiki had become a S-rated ghoul due to his potential and was given the epithet of Serpent. Kuramoto Itou noted Serpent was unique because he pursued his fellow ghouls. A CCG squad was assigned to investigate him but he killed the entire team. The investigation was then assigned to the Hirako Squad.[2] While the Quinx Squad were investigating Torso, Nishiki, as Serpent, interrogated another ghoul and asked him about Torso. The cornered ghoul was then killed by Serpent after having revealed that he knew nothing.

Nishiki engages Urie and Shirazu.

When Torso was finally cornered by the CCG, Serpent appeared and told the investigators that the capture of Torso was called off. He observed that his opponents are from the Quinx Squad, and expressed his disgust with the experiments CCG had been performing — noting they are no different from Aogiri Tree. With this, he declared he would "play" with them and launched an attack, wounding Kuki Urie with a kick. He suggested that they could become a problem in the future, and decided to kill them just in case. Ginshi Shirazu and Kuki Urie both attacked with their respective kagune, but were unable to land a single blow and were quickly defeated. Serpent noted their weakness and mocked them, calling them "imitations" of a real ghoul. He then noticed Tooru Mutsuki nearby and prepared to attack him, but Shirazu ambushed Serpent with a close-range attack. Unaffected, he prepared to finish the three investigators off with his kagune when Haise Sasaki arrived and blocked his attack.

Serpent mocked Sasaki as another fake, but was brought up short by something about him. They fought briefly, with Serpent using his kagune and Sasaki using both his kagune and quinque. The two fought evenly for a time, but Serpent eventually gained the upper-hand and kicked his foot through Sasaki's stomach. When Sasaki recovered, Serpent noted that he was far more interesting than his subordinates, but was surprised when Sasaki cuts his kagune with his own. As Sasaki relentlessly attacked, he went on the defensive, noting that Sasaki's strikes became stronger. Distracted by Sasaki's attacks, Serpent was caught unaware as he was impaled in the stomach by Sasaki's kagune, which he had hidden underground to trap him. Serpent was then repeatedly stabbed in the stomach by Sasaki's tentacles before being thrown. Realizing who he was fighting, Serpent said, "I'll die", quoting the words he had said the last time he fought Kaneki. As Sasaki is about to kill him, he remarked that Kaneki just can not seem to be saved, revealing his face to Sasaki. Sasaki subconsciously recognized him, which caused him to lose control of his kagune. Nishiki used the distraction to retrieve his mask and flee, apologizing to Kaneki as he did.


Nishiki was at :re with Touka, Renji Yomo, and Uta discussing what to do about Kaneki.

Rose Extermination[]

Nishiki was present when Tsukiyama visited :re to discuss Kaneki, and expressed opposition to his plans. He sided with Touka, pointing out that if Sasaki were to regain his memories, he would lose his current life and be hunted down by the CCG.

Rushima Landing Operation[]

Nishiki killing two Quinx with a single kick.

Nishiki arrived at the lab on Rushima, surprising Akihiro Kanou who was preoccupied with Kurona Yasuhisa. From behind, Nishiki wrapped him in his kagune and held Kanou in mid-air as he agreed with Kurona's statement that Kanou was just a "crazy mad scientist". Nishiki stated his Aogiri hunt had been to find Kanou. He killed two Aogiri Quinx with a single kick after Kanou commanded them to kill Nishiki. Without warning, Shikorae cut his kagune in half, and Okahira grabbed Kanou. Distracted, Nishiki intended to pursue them but was stabbed by Roma Hoito. After Nishiki fell to the ground, he told Roma he would punish her.[18]

While trying to dispatch all of Kanou's Quinx who were on his tail, Roma appeared in front of him ready to assault him. He was saved by the timely surprise attack on her by Kurona. She declared that since both were after Kanou, she would help him. The fight went on, with Nishio and Kurona making a great team, fending off Roma's berserk attacks. Just when they managed to pin her down, she called out to Shikorae for help. He startled Kurona by using his dual kagune, but Nishiki managed to make him fall back with a high-force kick. This made Shikorae retreat in haste from the pain. Nishiki afterwards denied Roma's hopeless pleas at reasoning without a fight and took her captive.[19]

Nishiki's powerful kick against Shikorae.

He later appeared escaping Rushima along with Kurona, the captive Roma, all the Aogiri executives and the group of Anteiku lead by Shuu Tsukiyama. Also, during the epilogue of the Rushima Landing Operation, his former girlfriend Kimi Nishino had become a lab assistant of Kanou's. This was probably the reason Nishiki is so intent on pursuing and capturing the doctor himself.[20]

Post-Rushima Landing Operation[]

After a month had passed, outside :re, the former members of Anteiku gathered and Nishiki joined them all, leaning on Touka's shoulder, asking if he was apart of the group. He then remarked about Kaneki's new hair color and told him where Roma was (with one of Banjou's subordinates) before he suggested they leave to Tsukiyama's. After Touka shrugged him off, they left to the meeting where Kaneki explained his goals and formed his group, Goat. When Kurona stated she only had one ally in the room, he remained silent.[21] When Hisashi Ogura mentioned a medical student who endorsed their ideologies and was in love with a ghoul, Nishiki seemed perturbed. Ogura's attendant asked Nishiki if he was okay, to which Nishiki told him he was fine and to continue. After Ogura and his attendant left, Kaneki asked Nishiki about the founder of the Great Wheel Act, but Nishiki interrupted him and invited him to sing karaoke with him.[22]


NIshio is dedicated to supporting Kimi, who is immersed in her research, often used as a test subject.


His Sister[]

Nishiki loved his sister very much. Growing up poor, she was the only family he ever had. Her death greatly shook him, and he would grow up resenting humans because of his sister's death. It wasn't until meeting Kimi that he would regain his trust in others.

Ken Kaneki[]

At the beginning, Nishiki shows enmity toward Kaneki as he thought Kaneki was invading his feeding ground, thus showing his strength to intimidate the weaker ghoul. He maintained his hate towards Kaneki after the latter mortally wounded him. However, after Kaneki helped him save his girlfriend from Tsukiyama, he joined Anteiku and became more like a close friend to Kaneki. He becomes more concerned for Kaneki and participated in rescuing him from Aogiri, telling him to be careful when Kaneki decides to leave Anteiku. When he recognizes Kaneki now living as Haise during their battle, he appears to be saddened at his friend's current state and apologizes to him. However despite being saddened by Kaneki's change, he still considers him a friend and did not wish to force him back into the violent ghoul world he was in before.

Touka Kirishima[]

Nishiki initially saw Touka as a rival in ghoul strength that he was hostile towards her. After joining Anteiku, they become friendlier to each other, though they frequently argue and use foul language on each other. Despite this, they share common ground in their concern for Kaneki, and were the most vocal proponents for his rescue from Aogiri. They are also similar in that both become more reluctant to kill humans over the course of the series because of their respective relationships with humans. After the timeskip, Nishiki is seen as a frequent customer in :re, where he continues to trade insults with Touka. Both show concern for Haise, and believe it is best if he does not remember his past as Kaneki.

Hideyoshi Nagachika[]

He has a very casual senior-junior type relationship with Hide but hardly has any emotional attachment to him, even attempting to kill him out of fear of Hide's observant and investigative nature. After joining Anteiku, he continues to treat him casually, but no longer sees him as a threat to eliminate.

Kimi Nishino[]

Nishiki is Kimi Nishino's lover and as such, is very caring and protective of her. When Tsukiyama kidnapped and attempted to consume her, despite being badly injured, Nishiki continued to defy him and rescue her. In :re, Nishiki starts his own hunt for her after they separated at the end of the first series. This all stems from Kimi being the only one who accepted his ghoul nature and allowing him to eat a small amount of flesh from her when he was at his lowest.

Shuu Tsukiyama[]

Nishiki began hating Tsukiyama ever since he kidnapped Kimi Nishino to have Ken Kaneki feed on her while Tsukiyama eats Kaneki. Over the course of the series, Nishiki remains distrustful of him, but never as hateful as he was during the Gourmet Arc. After the Owl Suppression Operation, Nishiki offers Tsukiyama, in a depressive state, coffee so that he doesn't die from starvation. When Tsukiyama visits :re, Nishiki disagrees with his plan to bring back Kaneki's memories.

Powers and Abilities[]

Ghoul Physiology: Nishiki is a bikaku ghoul, which grants him increased regeneration and durability, as well as agility and strength apart from his bikaku kagune.

  • Bikaku Kagune: While adept at combat, Nishiki uses his wits rather than brawn when in battle. His kagune pushes his foot to increase the power of his kicks even further. However, his kagune seems to only enhance his leg strength and isn't viable for any other task. As a typical bikaku user, Nishiki makes certain care that his trump card kagune isn't exposed. After the timeskip, Nishiki has completely mastered his kagune's abilities. It can vary in length and size, ending in a double-pronged tip. Rather than wrapping his kagune on his leg to strengthen his kicks, Nishiki now uses the kagune as a weapon by itself.
  • Superhuman Durability: Nishiki has remarkable endurance, even for a ghoul. He was capable of surviving a large hole torn into his stomach by Kaneki’s kagune and make it home. After only consuming a bite of flesh from Kimi’s shoulder Nishiki was capable of moving around and traveling to Anteiku alone to ask for Kaneki’s help and later traveling to a church to save Kimi. Nishiki managed to endure multiple attacks from Tsukiyama’s kagune and maintain consciousness and later take a blow from Touka’s kagune a short time later.
  • Superhuman Strength: In :re, his strength vastly improved as he was able to break Urie's kagune with a single kick without much effort.
  • Superhuman Agility: Nishiki was agile enough to shrug off multiple attacks from members of Quinx.

Manga Depiction[]

Anime Depiction[]


  • The name Nishiki means "brocade, fine dress, honors" (錦).
    • Nishiki most likely comes from 錦蛇 (nishikihebi), which means "python", furthering his snake motif.
      • His alias name Orochi is short for Yamata no Orochi (八岐の大蛇, lit. "8-branched giant snake"), a dragon in Japanese mythology and folklore.
  • Nishiki's surname Nishio means "west" (西) (nishi) and "tail" (尾) (o).


  • Nishiki likes pretending to be human, chemistry lectures and experiments and Kimi Nishino.[1]
  • In the first character popularity poll, Nishiki was ranked ninth. In the latest, he came in as eighteenth.
  • Nishiki enjoys drinking the coffee Blondy.[1]
  • Nishiki claims that "If I really went all out with it, even Touka or Yomo wouldn't be able to beat me."[13]
  • Nishiki is never seen wearing a personal mask in the manga, but in the anime[6], he is seen briefly wearing one. The artbook Tokyo Ghoul: zakki includes designs for it, revealing it to be snake-themed. In the manga, he started to wear his Serpent mask. He was seemingly unaware of what he was being called, as he learned from other ghouls who recognized him as 'Serpent'.
  • The English voice actor for Nishiki, Eric Vale[5] , is the same for America in Hetalia: Axis Powers. [23]
  • While the reason for Nishiki targeting Torso is yet to be explained, it can be assumed it have something to do with Kimi as she had a scar on her shoulder and Torso was targeting women with scars.
  • Nishiki seems to have a habit of saying the word "crap" (クソ, kuso).
  • In Tokyo Ghoul Trump, Nishiki is referenced as the "Six of Spades."
  • Nishiki is oftentimes used as an experimental test subject for Kimi's research. [24]


Tokyo Ghoul[]

  • To Ken Kaneki and Hideyoshi Nagachika: "Someone who can't plan ahead on their own won't be able to live a good life."[12]
  • To Kaneki: "The moment you betray an idiot who believes in you and when their anguished expression emerges the looks of hopelessness and such from other humans, just doesn't stimulate ones' appetite the same way right?"[13]
  • To Kaneki (while being stabbed by his kagune): "Stop it! Stop it you fucking idiot! I'm dying, I'm dying! I'm dying! I'm dying! I'm dying! I'm dying! I'm dying! I'm dying! I'm dying!"[25]
  • To Kimi Nishino (indirectly - after she accepts him as a ghoul): "Trusting a human is difficult...but...maybe being betrayed by you wouldn't be so bad."[9]
  • To Kaneki: "Like this everything is abruptly coming to a stop, huh? The normal days which seemed natural will crumble in an instant. The end... always comes in the blink of an eye."[26]

Tokyo Ghoul: Void[]

  • To Hinami Fueguchi (about human society): "It's like dominoes: if one goes down, they all go. And once you lose it, it doesn't come back that easily[.]"[27]

Tokyo Ghoul:re[]

  • To Kaneki (after his mask was taken off) "No matter where you go, you're irredeemable, Kaneki."[5]
  • To Shuu Tsukiyama (upon hearing his decision to bring Kaneki's memories back): "You're still full of crazy talk… You have gotten skinnier, but you're still the same on the inside."[28]


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