An action-packed anime adaptation based on a popular manga by Ken Wakui: this is anime series that uses a lot of cliches, and at first glance, it would seem like the typical shounen anime. The “time-travel-to-save-his-loved-ones” has been used a lot in manga and anime, but the way the creators used this premise is awesome.
If you haven’t seen the 12 episode anime series yet, SPOILER WARNING: there might be spoilers.
1. Captivating Time-travel story
Takemichi Hanagaki’s life was at its best when he was in middle school. His second year of the beginning stage had respect, a gang to count on and even a girlfriend. But that all happened twelve years ago now- Takemichi is just another nobody today with no one left who cares about him anymore. He’s a nobody that is easily threatened and made fun of by little kids. To add to his miserable existence, his only ex-girlfriend and only girlfriend: Hinata Tachibana, is murdered by the Tokyo Manji Gang.
One day, he falls off the train station platform onto an oncoming train. In the few seconds before he was about to die, he opened his eyes to his life 12 years ago. Thinking it was his life flashing before his eyes, he relives the experience and remembers why he was so miserable. He starts acting differently, not knowing that he actually had the ability to time travel.
2. Character building
After waking up in the present day and figuring out what he can do, he decides to change the past and “Save everyone.” With the help of Naoto Tachibana, his ex-girlfriend’s brother, who he unwittingly gave a warning to in the past about his sister’s death, they investigate and try to change the fate of the Tokyo Majin Gang.
But how can this scrawny middle schooler go against a whole gang that already beat him half to death, made him a slave, and drove him to the pits of despair? But of course, his determination to change the past and save everyone in the future gives him the resolve to fight or die trying, which he almost does throughout the series.
Here, we also meet his friends and see their development, and as he leaps back and forth through time, we see how one of his best friends, Akkun, turn out differently every time, and every time asks him, with his dying breath, to “save everyone.” This is the same guy that calls Takemichi the “Crybaby Hero.”
We also meet an array of characters like the members of the Tokyo Manji Gang and see that these characters aren’t purely evil. The character development in just 12 episodes is masterfully done.
3. Romance elements
But as he time leaps to 12 years ago, of course, our protagonist would like to see his one and only love. He builds himself up and takes extra steps to show his affection, although it’s kind of creepy as these aren’t things a middle schooler would think of doing. He finally succeeds and saves everyone, and he meets his Hinata again. Happy ending! Or so we thought!
4. A Roller Coaster of Emotion
Only 12 episodes out, and we are treated to a whirlwind of drama, lighthearted comedy, and the feeling of loss. This is not your regular shounen anime!
From the first episode: we feel pity; then we have a little chuckle; then we empathize with Takemichi, and finally, that episode gives us that feeling of purpose. And right when we thought everything was going to be alright for Takemichi after seeing Hina alive again in the 12th episode, we are treated to “Please save everyone, Our crybaby hero” again! That’s right, Takemichi gets to watch his best friend die, not just once!
But that’s not all; there are twists in the story that we haven’t shed light on! Where’s the next episode, LIDEN FILMS?!?!
5. Animation and Music
I’m calm. The use of music to drive the atmosphere paired with the crisp animation and does not shy away from the blood and violence drives the audience deeper into the scene. The score and animation in action scenes could be done better, but it does not affect the story since it’s not a fighting anime. Character animations fit perfectly, and the shots and the angles are composed so well that it takes whatever emotion it’s presenting and shoves it down your throat and leave you hanging!!
I am calm, studio LIDEN FILMS.
Anyway, the music is awesome. The song in the opening sequence rocks and the end credits is a bop. Any anime fan would support these artists, right? Check them out; they’re on Spotify.
Opening sequence: Cry Baby by Official Hige Dandism
End credits song: Koko de Iki wo shite by Eill
The overall quality, the character designs, the voice actors, and the pacing of the anime already deserves a “must watch.” The reasons mentioned above makes Tokyo Revengers an anime series for those looking to confuse their emotions. Or anime fans that enjoy an amazing story, and have the patience to wait for the next anime release. I apologize to the anime community, but I cheated and found the manga.
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