The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Around 10 p.m. on Saturday, September 18th, 2021, I stared in complete shock and disbelief at my TV. I just finished the season finale of Tokyo Revengers – a Japanese anime that is currently rising with international fans. The story just hit a dramatic climax, and with a release date yet to be announced for Season 2, it left me craving for more.
Tokyo Revengers is a Japanese manga (comic book/graphic novel) written and illustrated by Ken Wakui. It was serialized in Weekly Shonen Magazine in March 2017 and is currently in its final story arc. The TV anime adaption, animated by Liden Films, aired its first season in April 2021 and ended late this month. The franchise centers around Takemichi Hanagaki, a 26-year-old man who finds out he can travel 12 years back to the past after experiencing a near-death encounter. To save the only girlfriend he ever had and change his miserable life, he decides to change the past by becoming part of the Tokyo Manji Gang – the people responsible for his girlfriend’s death. The franchise also centers around the faces of the Tokyo Manji Gang – focusing on how it formed in the past with six middle-schoolers and seeing how it got to how it was in the future – a nefarious organization.
Tokyo Revengers was an anime recommended to me by some friends, and I constantly saw it on social media. I finally decided to start it in early September, and I don’t regret my decision. The story, animation, and characters are top-tier. After finishing the first season, this anime is definitely in the running for becoming one of my ultimate anime series. The plot will leave you on the edge of your seat and wanting more after each episode ends. The story is also unpredictable! For someone like me who didn’t read the manga beforehand, you will not be prepared for the twists and turns the series goes through. It’ll leave you wondering “why?” and “how?” Sometimes, TV series that leaves you with more questions than answers are the best ones.
The animation studio that produces Tokyo Revengers, Liden Films, also made animes like Berserk and Cells at Work! Code Black. While Liden Films may not be as major as other Japanese animation studios (Studio Bones and MAPPA, for example) – this shouldn’t stop anyone watching it. The fight scenes are beautifully animated, and some aspects of the show almost look realistic. I believe Tokyo Revengers is making a bigger name for Liden Films, and I’m excited about their next projects!
The series characters are also unique in their respective ways. For example, Takemichi, the show’s protagonist – has character development that I think any audience member would appreciate if they watched past episode one. He goes from being a reactive, lazy man to becoming someone who wants to change their life for the better. And to top it off, he wants the best for others around him too! We love a resolved and determined main character!
**There are spoilers here if you haven’t seen the series yet, or haven’t gotten to episode 12!**
If you’ve watched episode 12 (the mid-season finale), you’re probably wondering why this sad (dare I say depressing) scene is my favorite. I love this scene for two reasons. One, Takemichi finally confesses his true feelings to Hinata Tachibana (his girlfriend I mentioned earlier), and it’s a breath of fresh air, despite the emotions that course through the characters and the audience’s veins. The second reason why I love this scene – it shows a brand new Takemichi. In the sadness of the moment, he firmly shows confidence, determination and finds a brand-new resolve – all to save the woman he loves. It’s a powerful scene – making it my favorite one.
**insert pic of Mikey here**
My favorite character in Tokyo Revengers is Manjiro Sano, or Mikey as he is better known. At 15 years old, Mikey is the commander/president of the Tokyo Manji Gang, which holds 150+ members. When people first saw him, they saw this short little boy who probably couldn’t do much. However, Mikey instantly proved everyone he faced wrong. Mikey’s my favorite character because he had great leadership qualities, took nothing from no one, and is one of the best fighters in Toman (short for Tokyo Manji Gang). Mikey is also my favorite character because of his personality. While he can be childish sometimes (he is still a teenager) – he greatly cares for his friends, even calling them his family several times. In some ways, I can relate to him even. We’re both leaders, and we dislike showing any forms of weakness. We both try to face any adversaries with a poker face, trying to save any tears for when we’re alone. Both Mikey and I can learn to rely on those who love us and express our emotions more to others.