Tokyo Revengers – Volume 1 and 2 – Manga Review

I hadn’t heard of Tokyo Revengers until the anime started to air last year. I liked the title, but knew nothing about it. When the manga came out in English, earlier this year, I ended up buying it as a present for my partner, purely because I’d heard of it. At that point I still didn’t know what the story was about, then she read it and said that I would really like it, potentially more than her. It ended up on a pile of books and then I started reading it, thinking I would read a couple chapters, because it’s quite a long book for a manga. As it contains the first two volumes it’s around 400 pages. I ended up reading it in one sitting and now I need more.

Takemichi Hanagaki finds out that his only girlfriend Hinata, from when his life peaked in junior high, has died during by a gang that he himself used to be involved with. Shortly afterwards Takemichi is pushed in front of a train and thinking his life is flashing before his eyes, ends up transported back in time to when he was in junior high. Finding he has the ability to travel through time, and change the past, he sets out to save Hinata’s life.

The main character is really well written. Someone in their mid-twenties who is struggling with regret and looking back on better times. He’s relatable, even though the story is larger than life, which makes this really engaging and entertaining to read. He’s being helped by Hinata’s brother, a police detective, Naoto. He’s not featured as much, but he’s a great character so far. Hinata, who we’ve only seen in the past, and not the events leading to her death, is also a really strong character. The characters make the story great.

The biggest rule of time travel in this manga is that Takemichi is only able to travel back exactly twelve years, taking the place of his younger self, and while he’s in the past, time still moves forward so he’s always missing out on time, depending on where he is. As you’d expect from a time-travel story there’s a lot of focus on the changing of events and how that would affect the present day. Most of the story is set in the past, at least at this point, so there’s not much changes shown, but it’s still evident and once the story gets more underway I imagine the present will feature more. I really like how they are questioning people in the present to find out more about what happened in the past and how to change things. It’s an interesting way to make the present day side of the story interesting. It’s also really great that people in the past notice that Takemichi is acting differently when he’s travelled back in time. He’s acting more mature, but when he’s in the present, as he can only go back in time by exactly twelve years, his younger self regains control and acts how he would have done. It’s really exciting to see how this will play out.

I have so many questions about how things work and I can’t wait to find out more. Around two thirds of the way through this book it’s revealed who pushed Takemichi in front of the train, but it just raises further questions, of who did it and is that in all timelines or just the one that’s currently in place. I also want to know the story of the original timeline that lead to the beginning of the manga. I feel that some of the answers will be coming in future volumes, and can’t wait to find out more.

I really loved the first Tokyo Revengers book and will definitely be seeking out the next few volumes as soon as possible. I know I’m late to it, but it’s honestly one of the best stories I’ve read in a while, and one of the few that’s had me hooked from almost the first page.

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About ashleymanningwriter

Young Adult Fiction writer. Horror and fantasy blended together.
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