It is an interesting era of Shonen Manga, where the biggest hits have been either Dark Fantasy titles such as Shueisha’s Koyoharu Gotouge’s Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba, Gege Akutami’s Jujutsu Kaisen, and Tatsuki Fujimoto’s Chainsaw Man (which has an upcoming Anime Adaption.) Now another shonen title joins the ranks, from Kodansha, the Yanki Science Fiction title Tokyo Revengers. The Series is doing well, the newest Live-Action Film is doing well in Japan, and as of two months ago the manga series has reached a new milestone with over 20 million copies sold.
Written by Ken Wakui, Tokyo Revengers tells the story of a Freeter named Takemichi Hanagaki, a 26-Year-Old who hasn’t done anything with his life then one day he heard on the news that his middle school girlfriend Hinata Tachibana, and her younger brother Naoto was killed by the notorious Tokyo Manji Gang. Takemichi is later at a train station when his luck couldn’t get worse he is pushed in front of a train, where suddenly gets transported 12 years into the past, where it is 2005 and he is a Middle School Student.
While reliving his Middle School Years he meets Hinata and her younger brother Naoto, later he would tell Naoto their fates in the future and promises that he would protect his sister. When they shake hands, Takemichi is suddenly transported back to the present, creating a time paradox where Naoto survives and is now a detective, but has sadly failed to save Hinata’s life. Naoto deduces that every time they hold hands, Takemichi is transported 12 years into the past. Using his knowledge from the future, Takemichi vows to save Hinata.
It’s a fascinating idea that Ken Wakui brings to us in this Science Fiction Tale, it shares a similarity to Kei Sanbe’s Erased but it gives us a chance to see what Takemichi can do with this new ability, transporting him back to when he and his friends were pitted in Underground matches ran by Kiyomasa, a cruel and merciless individual. Luckily for Takemichi, this would be put to an end when he meets Mikey and Draken, the president and vice president of the Tokyo Manji Gang. Time-Travel stories can be hard to get right at times, either they don’t have a believable story or it comes off as being too foolish or preachy. That isn’t the case with Tokyo Revengers, it has a good balance of action, suspense, and drama to keep the reader’s attention.
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