Tokyo Revenger concluded with one hell of a cliffhanger. Common sense tells you that our cry baby protagonist Takemichi will be fine, but of course how he evades his demise is up for speculation. However, today, I want to reflect on the entire season and what I thought of it.
Here’s the synopsis of Tokyo Revengers:
Takemichi Hanagaki’s second year of middle school was the highest point in his life. He had respect, a gang of friends he could count on, and even a girlfriend. But that was twelve years ago. Today, he’s a nobody: a washed-up nonentity made fun of by children and always forced to apologize to his younger boss. A sudden news report on the Tokyo Manji Gang’s cruel murder of the only girlfriend he ever had alongside her brother only adds insult to injury. Half a second before a train ends his pitiful life for good, Takemichi flashes back to that same day twelve years ago, when he was still dating Hinata Tachibana.
After being forced to relive the very same day that began his downward spiral, Takemichi meets Hinata’s younger brother. Without thinking, he admits to his seeming death before flashing back to the past. Takemichi urges him to protect his sister before inexplicably returning to the future. Miraculously, he isn’t dead. Stranger still, the future has changed. It seems as though Takemichi can alter the flow of time. Given the chance to prevent his ex-girlfriend’s tragic death at the hands of the Tokyo Manji Gang, Takemichi decides to fly through time to change the course of the future.
For me, watching this anime was like being on a rollercoaster. A lot of ups and downs. At first, I sympathized with Takemichi, having to go back in time, try to change the future, and dealing with the loss of his ex-girlfriend, but after the 5th episode, I become frustrated with Takemichi’s growth. Or lack thereof. Look, I get that Takemichi is an emotional guy, but for crying out loud, when does the rain works stop? Not to mention that all he did was just stand around when shit went down. Look, I get that Takemichi is not a fighter, but you’d think that living in an environment where fighting is common, not to mention that he’s on a mission to change the future, he would try to at least get some work out in between missions. Takemichi honestly became my least favorite character in the entire show, and I would have dropped the anime if it wasn’t for the rest of the anime being top tier.
Characters like Mikey and Draken, the members of Toman Gang, the mystery behind his time travel ability, the hidden villain, and the relationship these boys formed kept me coming back. The other characters actually showed growth after each event, yet Takemichi remained relatively the same. Always crying, always calling out people’s names every time he sees them. There was actually a scene that really bothered me, and that was when he went to visit Draken in the future while he was in prison. The way he acted, denying that Draken wouldn’t have done it, while Draken literally told him he killed the guy annoyed me. He hadn’t known them for that long yet act as if he grew up with these guys. I don’t know if this has something to do with the time travel messing up his perspective of time but man. That whole episode kinda annoyed me. Not to mention the Baji episode, I mean COME ON! The dude got stabbed, what was going on in your head to not try and stop the guy. You knew he got stabbed, you knew he dies in that event, yet you just stood there. His death could have been avoided. It’s things like that, the decision process that really annoyed me in this season.
When Takemichi does make a move and actually tries, especially during the fights, it was pathetic sure but at least he tried. When he saved Draken’s life and stood up, I was like “FINALLY”, but AFTER THAT EVENT, HE HASN’T SHOWN ANY PROGRESS. I don’t know, hopefully, he grows up, because when you think about it, he’s technically a grown man in a child’s body, he’s gotta do better.
Outside of Takemichi, like I said this anime can be really good. Though slow-paced and repetitive recaps tend to get cumbersome, when the show is allowed to flow and let things happen, it’s great.
I liked the mystery aspect of what is going on, especially how no matter what Takemichi does, it seems that Kisaki is one step ahead of him, so I’m guessing he too is a time traveler. But again, Kisaki too was a better character in the short time he was revealed so I’m hoping he has something up in store for us. Overall, I really hope that Season 2 picks up the pace, less of the scaredy-cat Takemichi and more growth, please. You’re a grown man, time to literally act your age.