Unlike the first half of Tokyo Revengers which I devoured in one sitting, I had to wait several weeks until the second half was done. Even so, I refrained from binging it in one go because it was just too intense. My heart could not take the suspense in one go.
Synopsis: After Takemicchi saved Draken from death in the Battle of 8/3, another danger looms in Toman. Tetta Kisaki manages to ingratiate himself with Mikey to be appointed as the 3rd squad captain. Not only that, as soon as he is appointed, 1st Squad Captain Baji Keisuke defects to rival gang Valhalla, to rejoin a former Toman founding member Kazutora, who has a long standing beef with Mikey.
In the second half, things get quite complicated for Takemicchi who is technically not gang material at all. He is welcomed as a member of Toman but he is nowhere capable of fighting. He panics and goes in an internal monologue when things get tough and at the most inopportune moments. Even though he was a weakling though, he does manage to boost the morale of Toman members when they most need it — case in point — Bloody Halloween.
There were times that I was annoyed by Takemicchi’s slow reaction. This flustered me to no end because he should have been more prepared to respond. He was from the future and privy to important information but he just sat on it until it was too late. For a 26 year old trapped in a 15 year old’s body, I really did not see any advantage that he was using in his favor. Still, Takemicchi was tops when it comes to pureness of heart. I actually felt bad for him when he returned to a far different future than whence he came. Pretty soon though, it became clear that he really was easy pickings of Kisaki.
I seethe at any mention of Kisaki but I have to admit that he was a master manipulator. No matter what timeline, he always played his cards right and always put one over Toman. His cryptic last words to Takemicchi was puzzling though and left a weird cliffhanger looming over the second season even as more villains were introduced.
I was a bundle of nerves leading up to the Toman vs Valhalla fight. The lead up was no less stressful. The fact that Baji would go against Mikey, beat up his closest friend Chifuyu and cut himself off the rest of Toman felt very dangerous, and it was. Valhalla was obviously evil and as Chifuyu and Takemicchi learned more about the gang and its mysterious leader, the more obvious it became that Kisaki was running the show. Yet, even with the knowledge that they gained, they were still unable to prevent the tragedy. It was heartbreaking.
I liked that the second half of the first season explored the details of Toman’s creation. Figuring out where things went wrong became the running theme of Naoto and Takemicchi’s mission, but it was nice to look back on the days that things were not as complicated.
While there were plenty of laughs in the flashbacks, things swiftly turned dark and there was no turning back from that. What’s even more tragic was the reminder that these were middle school kids who started their gang when they were 12 and 13 year olds. From the time they formed Toman to Valhalla battle, there was no smiling Mikey to be found. Things become even grimmer with the following episodes.
The Baji centered episode just destroyed me. I really loved Baji’s character from the start and wanted to know more about him and his dynamic with the group. But I hardly got to see him. It felt like a knife being twisted in my heart to watch flashbacks of how great he was to his friends after he was out of the picture.
The second half of Tokyo Revengers Season 1 was all about loyalty and friendship. Baji to the Founding Members, Chifuyu to Baji, and on the flipside was pure treachery, and at its center was Kisaki. While episodes 1-13 was filled with multiple deaths, the continuation left no doubt that the Tokyo Manji gang is still faced with even more tragedy in its past and in its future. I have half a mind to read the manga now to answer all of my questions but I fear that it will destroy the suspense that I’ve built up for the anime.