Warning: This article contains strong spoilers for Tokyo Revengers Manga and anime series
If you haven’t yet ventured into the time travel story of… Tokyo Revengers, you’re missing something. The powerful coming-of-age story is a profound exploration of the human condition, wrapped in layers of tension, emotion and animated brilliance.
The original Tokyo Revengers The manga series was written and illustrated by Ken Wakui from March 2017 to November 2022. As of December, the manga had over 70 million copies in circulation, making it one of the best-selling manga series of all time. An anime adaptation was created in 2021, which was just as successful as the manga and achieved worldwide recognition.
The series’ plot revolves around 26-year-old Takemichi Hanagaki, who gains the power to travel twelve years into the past after learning that his middle school girlfriend died during a gang conflict. He then gets caught up in a complicated web of dangerous gang conflicts, complex relationships and a web of conspiracies against the dark backdrop of Tokyo’s underworld.
The original manga series consists of a total of 278 chapters collected in 31 volumes. The history of Tokyo Revengers is divided into 7 main arcs in the manga, with the final arc further divided into two sub-arcs. Here they are all, ranked from least to most fascinating and entertaining.
7. Bonten arch
The Bonten arc is the sixth story arc in Tokyo Revengers in chronological order, starting with chapter 186 of the manga until 206, a total of 21 chapters. It is set after the events of the Kanto Incident following Takemichi’s triumph against Kisaki and the dissolution of the Tokyo Manji Gang. Afterwards, Takemichi returns to the future to confirm whether everything is finally okay or not. Although Hinata is still alive in the present this time, Takemichi soon learns that Mikey is now the leader of Japan’s largest crime syndicate, Bonten.
The Bonten arc has minimal impact on the overall plot and serves more as a stage set for the final story arc. Although there are dark tones with Mikey in the villain costume, the rise of a new evil gang doesn’t seem like much of a shock at this point.
6. Final bow
The final arc of Tokyo Revengers is divided into two sub-arcs: the Three Gods Arc and the Kanto Manji Arc, spanning chapters 207 to 235 and 236 to 278, respectively. For the ranking, the bow of the three deities is placed in front of the Kanto Manji bow.
The final battle between the Kanto Manji gang and the second generation Tokyo Manji gang completes the story. After the Battle of the Three Gods, the beaten and broken Takemichi decides to make one last attempt to save Mikey from his dark impulses. He rebuilds Toman and declares war on Mikey. The Kanto-Manji arc also sees Hanma’s re-entry into history and answers many of the franchise’s mysteries, such as the origin of Takemichi’s time-jumping powers.
The developments and out-of-character moments with Mitsuya, Chifuyu, and Takemichi seemed to deviate a bit from the original nature of the story. Although the arc is pretty entertaining on the surface, the lack of details makes the ending feel a bit lackluster.
With the dissolution of the Tokyo Manji gang after the Kanto Incident, a massive civil war breaks out between the remaining gangs, and during this time three gangs rise to power. They become the three deities among the gangs, hence the name of the bow. It begins after Takemichi time travels back to 2008, triggered by his meeting with Mikey. He goes back 10 years in time, before the events that led Mikey to create Bonten.
Although the “Three Deities” arc is a reasonable progression from a story perspective, the death of an important and beloved Toman member (which we won’t reveal in case you choose to ignore the warning) occurred, changing the entire course of the story. It’s not a poorly written arc by any means, just not better than others.
5. Intro arc/Toman arc
The first arc of the story, the Toman arc, explains the main idea of the story. It covers chapters 1 to 12 of the manga and episodes 1 to 5 of the anime series. The story begins when Takemichi learns of the death of his middle school girlfriend and is pushed onto the train tracks in the events that follow. Miraculously, he survives and is transported back to his middle school days in 2005. The focus is on Takemichi’s attempts to reconnect with his middle school friends and the introduction of the Tokyo Manji gang.
While the intro arc sets the stage for the overarching plot and introduces key characters and concepts, the pacing seems a bit slow. Also, it’s quite complex for an introductory arc and things only become clearer with the following arcs. But still, the story arc manages to capture the attention and keep the readers/viewers engaged.
4. Möbius Arch
The Moebius arc is the second in chronological order and introduces the first villains of the story, the Moebius gang. It covers chapters 13 to 33 of the manga and episodes 6 to 12 of the anime. The focus is on Takemichi’s attempt to prevent the death of Draken in the fight between Toman and the Shinjuku biker gang Moebius on August 3rd. It also introduces one of the series’ main antagonists, Shuji Hanma, who announces the arrival of Valhalla.
The Möbius Arch is crucial for the expansion of the Tokyo Revengers universe, introduces new characters and increases the complexity of the overarching narrative. It marks Takemichi’s first successful mission and his official entry into Toman after receiving Mikey’s uniform. It’s quite satisfying due to Takemichi’s inspiring character development.
3. Valhalla/Bloody Halloween Arc
The Valhalla arc is one of the most important and exciting storylines, taking place in chapters 34 to 77 in the manga and episodes 13 to 25 in the anime. After returning to the present following his success in rescuing Draken, Takemichi finds that in the present timeline, Akkun and Hinata are still dead and Draken is in prison. This arc introduces history’s most fearsome villain, Tetta Kisaki, to the Toman gang.
With the revelation of Toman’s backstory, Kazutora’s imprisonment, and Baji’s death, the Valhalla arc acts as a turning point in the story, as Mikey’s slow descent into darkness begins after Baji’s death. It also shows the rise of Chifuyu as the main character and the transformation of the gang wars into a deadly game. The excellence of the story arc is that it treats each character with great emotional depth.
2. Black Dragon/Christmas Showdown Arc
The 4th story arc in chronological order, the Black Dragon arc, takes place during Takemichi’s 12th time jump and covers chapters 78 to 121 in the manga and episodes 26 to 37 in the anime. The Toman’s future is bleaker than ever as Kisaki orders Toman to do evil and Mikey goes missing. Takemichi then travels back and we see the entry of more villains from the Black Dragon gang, including Kokonoi, Inui and Taiju Shiba. “Black Dragon” is arguably the best-written arc, touching on themes of abuse, loneliness, and depression while using the Shiba family as a vehicle.
The Black Dragon arc is exceptional in terms of its fights, unexpected twists, brilliant dialogue, and well-written villains. After the Christmas showdown, Takemichi also proves to be a committed fighter and friend and changes his entire personality in the future. The story arc is also exceptionally animated and leaves no detail out.
1. Tenjiku Bow
The 5th chronological arc of Tokyo Revengers takes place in manga chapters 122 to 185 and is currently being adapted into anime Tokyo Revengers Season 3. After eliminating the previous future in the Black Dragon arc, Takemichi returns to the future to find a corrupt Toman, now ruled by an evil Mikey.
Takemichi then goes to meet Mikey, but when Naoto sees the two fighting, he shoots Mikey. Distraught, Takemichi returns to the past once again to prevent this future and discovers a new threat in the form of a mysterious gang called the Tenjiku, led and founded by Izana Kurokawa with the help of Tetta Kisaki.
This story arc explores an important connection between the Sano family and Izana and is the most difficult time for Takemichi as Naoto dies in the future and Takemichi is stuck in the past. It is the longest bow and connects various loose ends together. The vice-captains of Toman finally come into the spotlight and each character explored in the arc, be it Koko, Inupi or Izana, triggers emotions in the reader. Tokyo Revengers has undoubtedly reached its peak at this point.