Apr 21, 2020
birdsyoongi (All reviews)
Tokyo revengers is interesting. It starts off with an exciting premise; a seemingly naive, innocent guy who has to go back into the past to save his girlfriend. The story that follows as our hero gains courage and makes friendships that he wouldn't otherwise have if not for the time leap are narrated quite compellingly. These friendships and the MC's relationship with his girlfriend in fact form the heart of the story and we understand his desperation, his motivations and the reasoning for decisions he makes as the story progresses. The plot twists in the beginning were convincing, but somewhere in the middle, the author loses his steam and the plot twists seem start to seem contrived and introduced solely because the author didn't know how else to keep the plot moving forward. A great example of this is how, at the very beginning, we are introduced to who apparently is the main villain of the story, but then we move onto other small fries before the author finally pulls out another guy as the main villain in the very recent arc. There have been no clues about this new villain from the start of the story and yet we are to believe his background and intentions - why? Because the author says so in 2 chapters worth of background. The old villian is cast aside and we don't know why/how he is obsessed with the MC baring a couple of panels over 150 chapters. This essentially means there is no sense of brooding over the antagonist's schemes because of his poor development and this sense of fear is especially needed because that is what turns a good story into a great one.

The second protagonist - Mikey (who I believe could in fact be the antagonist of the story because of the author's tendency to jump between villains like he is playing football), and his relationship with the MC is interesting and the author creates a camaraderie between them that makes us believe that their relationship is reminiscent of the one Mikey had with his brother. However, Mikey's relationship with Ken is also very similar to his relationship with the MC, thus taking away the uniqueness. If I had to pick one relationship that seemed unique and written beautifully compared to a lot of shounen manga, I have to give it to his relationship with his ex-gf. The author narrates their relationship beautifully and we see why they care for each other as much as they do.

A minor complaint I have with this manga is the fact that the MC seems to never train and is a bit of a wuss, and usually I wouldn't have a problem with that, but, over the course of 150 chapters, I have yet to see him engage in a compelling fight. He is excellent at being the voice of reason and strives his best to endure in fights as much as possible, I just wish there was a training arc of some sort where he puts his best into learning how to fight. It seems a little ridiculous that we are to believe this guy grows up to become the biggest yakuza when he starts bawling at every opportunity available.

This came at a time when I was feeling the drought of good manga and it might be recency bias, but despite it's shortcomings, the art, characterization and plot of this manga deserve one read at the very least.