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anime

Tokyo Revengers

Takemitchi is a 20 something that works a dead-end job, under a very stern and demanding manager, from his perspective at least. He also doesn’t live but kills time day by day. He has been living like this for many years, unaware of his condition. His room, full of trash that should have been taken out a long time ago, is a metaphor for himself, a person unattended for, decaying under the rubble of time.

That starts to change once he sees that his first girlfriend, Hina (along with her younger brother Naoto) died in a tragic car accident, which is later revealed as a staged attack by a mob. The next day he is pushed onto the tracks and instead of dying he travels back in time, 12 years to be exact when he is still dating Hina. One night, he helps her brother Naoto, saving him from a bunch of bullies. Takemichi makes Naoto promise that he will take care of his older sister and protect her when he grows up. Naoto does so, they shake hands and Takemichi travels back into the present.

In the present, he is greeted by the now-adult Naoto. Naoto kept his promise, became a detective who closely follows the Tokyo Manji. But he also failed to save his sister. Hina was non the less killed in the same accident. Aware of Takemichi’s ability, Naoto constructs a plan that will save his sister. Takemichi needs to travel back in time, join the Tokyo Manji gang, and stop Kisaki Tetta from joining the gang. Tetta is the big evil that looms around the organization, destroying its idealistic and charismatic leader Mikey. From there on Takemichi discards his condition and starts to grow a backbone. He goes after his goals head first, in some cases quite literally. His consciousness shifts quickly. He pushes past the pain, fear, agony and tries to make a difference. He knows that is at stake, he literally lived through it and will do anything to change the future.
Fore in the road moments and regret are the backbone of the anime. Everybody at least once in their life, some once every few days, ask themselves what would have had happened if I did X instead of Y, what would my life look like right now. Takemichi actually knows and he hates it. He lost the only woman he loved, and the only woman who loved him back. But that is not all, he also lost a lot of his friends along the way. Lives are never truly lived in a vacuum. What we do or do not do affects the lives of others. Some of the things Takemichi does or does not do will bring ruin to the lives of his closest friends. The cry baby hero, as he’s dying friend calls him strives to eliminate those mistakes and create a better future for all those he holds dear. How realistic this is, is hard to tell. We will need to see it in the second season of the show.

Every time he meets someone from the past in the present, they are vastly different. Lives and the regrets that they regularly look back to shape them into versions of themselves that they don’t like. Drakun, Akkun, Mikey, the list goes on. All those people have had their person disfigured by both times, mistakes, and the influence of the darkness that is Kisaki Tetta.

On the other hand, coming to terms with the responsibility of one’s own action is key to growing up. A person who fails that test is Kazutora, a former member of Tokyo Manju, and a former close friend of Mikey. He wants to make somebody happy, does bad things to get it, and ends up committing a serious crime. But who does he blame? Everyone but himself. That outlook leads him towards a life more and more toxic, hurtful, and hurt inflicting.

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