Tokyo Revengers and the Rise of Seinen Manga (2023)

More than Angry Boys Being Angry

Tokyo Revengers and the Rise of Seinen Manga (1)

Tokyo Revengers wallpaper from Wallpapers Den

Tokyo Revengers is a Seinen manga created by Ken Wakui and published by Kodansha. As of this writing, it has sold over 65 million copies. Yes, it is very popular.

Seinen manga refers to manga aimed at teenagers as opposed to adults or children. In short, manga’s version of YA (young adult).

What is the difference between Shonen and Seinen? Aren’t they both for young adults?

Yes, but Seinen is more character-oriented and emphasized emotions over action whereas Shonen is all about action and explosions.

Tokyo Revengers had a lot of buzz last year. I shortlisted it as my anime of the year based on word of mouth but I chose The Case Study of Vanitas because I had not watched it, and I did not intend to.

I had zero interest in watching anime about youth biker gangs and gang fights.

Tokyo Revengers and the Rise of Seinen Manga (2)

Tokyo Revengers, scene from episode 21

Presented as such, I resisted watching Tokyo Revengers. Why watch a show about angry boys being angry? Isn’t plenty of that already on television?

But there is time travel and time loops. It is borderline sci-fi, they said. Still, no interest.

And then, I watched the first episode out of curiosity. It reminded me of Erase, one of the best anime shows I’d seen with adult themes. The similar premise, go to the past, change the future, and save the life of a loved one. Seen it before, done it.

(Video) The Entire Tokyo Revengers Story Explained...

Except, describing Tokyo Revengers as an anime about teenage gang fights in Tokyo is a disservice.

That is an oversimplification. It is like saying Cowboy Bebop is about bounty hunters and not about damaged people coming together to become a family of sorts.

Tokyo Revengers is about redemption and second chances, as well as the weight of your choices and how they affect our present.

In effect, the time travel is the lamest thing about it (time travel by handshake? Way too silly).

Nevertheless, Mikey (the gang leader), Baji (and his noble sacrifice), Draken (coolest character design), Emma (such a complex girl), Naoto (the likable nerdy detective and Hinata’s brother), Akkun (always ending in tragedy), and all the other characters will keep you watching.

Tetta Kisaki will make you hate him. What a villain he turns out to be. Cunning, vicious, duplicitous.

The Best, or the Worst Anime of the Past Year?

Tokyo Revengers and the Rise of Seinen Manga (4)

Tokyo Revengers, scene from episode 23

Tokyo Revengers is a commercial and critical success. However, it is also quite polarizing. Fans either love it or hate it.

Count me in the love camp. Otherwise, I would not bother reviewing it. There is so much to love here, beginning with the main characters.

(Video) WTF Is Going On With Tokyo Revengers?

Conversely, I can see why some people hate it. Indeed, some of the physical and emotional abuse our protagonist, Takemichi Hanagaki, goes through makes me uncomfortable.

He gets kicked, punched, and hurt until he bleeds and has bumps and bruises all over his body. Is he a masochist?

No, he is just in love with Hinata. Indeed, it is Hinata‘s murder by a gang that becomes his motivation to change the past and try to avoid her murder.

Tokyo Revengers and the Rise of Seinen Manga (5)

Hinata and Takemichi

Except, she still dies, right in front of him. Killed by a close friend. Opening more questions in the viewer. Where did he go wrong? Where did he fail?

That particular scene was heartbreaking on so many levels. And it works because we witnessed everything we went through to change the past only to see it happen again, but worse.

Tokyo Revengers is a paradox full of contradictions.

Tough guys who are sweet but damaged kids; delinquents with a heart of gold and a code of honor; female characters who are more than fan service; youth gangs as a surrogate family; best friends who end as mortal enemies…

All wrapped in a time loop of loss and regret.

Tokyo Revengers and the Rise of Seinen Manga (6)

Poor Takemichi is always getting beat up

(Video) Tokyo Revengers...Yikes.

Furthermore, there seems to be a lot of fans hating on Tokyo Revengers due to its constant plot holes and plot twists that do not make sense or have the main characters act out of character.

Since the series has not ended, I will reserve judgment–although I can also understand their anger.

By the way, this is not a tale of revenge despite its title. Not in the traditional sense. Don’t go in expecting Vinland Saga or Blade of the Immortal.

Again, was this the best anime of the past year? Or the worst?

How about most engaging? And don’t think Seinen means lack of action.

The buildup to the fight between Tokyo Manji Gang and Valhalla and the actual fight makes a compelling case, not to mention all the small character interactions among the three main characters.

For me, Toko Revengers is a solid 9.1/10 after only one long season of 24 episodes. There is a forthcoming season two scheduled for 2023.

Is Tokyo Revengers a Metaphor of Our Times?

Tokyo Revengers and the Rise of Seinen Manga (7)

Draken, Mikey, Mitsuya. Tokyo Revengers

Whether we disagree or agree about the quality of the writing of Tokyo Revengers, it cannot be denied it is a commercial success, both inside and outside Japan. Why?

Why about youth bike gangs in Tokyo resonates with teens in the USA, Europe, and Latin America? I believe it has more than just the time travel premise or the violence.

On one level, you have the wish fulfillment premise of time travel.

We all have regrets about our past we wish we could change knowing what we know now. Whether is “the one that got away” or “the one who is no longer alive”.

Likewise, we all wish for a do-over. A fresh start, a new beginning.

Similarly, we all crave to belong to something bigger than us, something special, to hang around the cool kids and pretend there are no consequences for our actions.

Nonetheless, perhaps my initial impression was correct.

This is an anime about angry kids being angry–and acting out such anger. Maybe Tokyo Revengers is a metaphor for our modern times.

It is never easy growing up. In the 2020s, even more so.

Social media exacerbates and multiplies peer pressure to extremes my generation did not have to deal with.

Furthermore, we have climate change, a pandemic, and the worst economy since before I was born.

School is not a place of learning, it is a battleground of ideologies between left and right. Parents are exhausted from working two and three jobs, and depressed.

Tokyo Revengers and the Rise of Seinen Manga (9)

Tokyo Revengers image from Wallpaper Cave

Is it any wonder kids are so angry? Empty? Our always online, hardly ever interacting face-to-face culture is slowly removing those safe places kids used to frequent.

Yet what resonates about Tokyo Revengers is not because of the youth gang culture but because the readers/viewers see themselves reflected in the characters’ need for acceptance and camaraderie, in the sense of empowerment from being in a gang, and in control.

(Video) This Is Masked From The Future. This Video Is Wrong

How times change. My generation wanted to be Goku, Luffy, Ranma, Ichigo, Spike, Vash, maybe Onizuka sensei. Likewise, the girls wanted to be either Alita or Usagi (Sailor Moon).

This generation’s heroes are not the Shonen heroes or the magical girls of yesteryear. This generation craves heroes such as Takemichi, Mikey, Draken, Akkun, Hanma, Chifuyu, Kazutora, Baji, and even Naoto.

Seinen manga is rising in popularity because young adults want to be heard. But who is listening?

Reader, are you a fan of Tokyo Revengers? Who is your favorite character? Do you think Hinata and Takemichi will end happily ever after?

Related

FAQs

Why is Seinen not popular? ›

Seinen is mainly targeted at adult men, so many stories focus on mature themes that couldn't get as much attention in stories meant for younger audiences. Despite the older target demographic, not every seinen anime is dark and gritty. Sometimes, seinen shows can blur the lines between seinen and shonen.

Has the Tokyo Revengers manga been completed? ›

Written and illustrated by Ken Wakui, Tokyo Revengers started in Kodansha's Weekly Shōnen Magazine on March 1, 2017. The series will be ending in five chapters, provided there are no breaks the series will end on November 16, 2022.

Is Tokyo Revengers shonen or Seinen? ›

Tokyo卍Revengers (東京卍リベンジャーズ, Tōkyō Manji Ribenjāzu?) is a shonen action manga series written and illustrated by Ken Wakui, originally published by Kodansha Comics.

Is AOT seinen or shonen? ›

Attack on Titan defies what the Shōnen genre offers and is better grouped as a Seinen anime – a demographic that houses titles that mirror the Titan-based show.

What are the big 3 seinen anime? ›

The Unrivaled Seinen Big Three

These three series: Berserk, Vagabond & Vinland Saga, embody the true potential of the seinen genre. Their art styles, blood-lined battles, and exceptional characters make them the ideal reads for seinen fans.

Is kisaki a time leaper? ›

C) Kisaki was a time-leaper, or in some way gifted with a temporal power, but he was not the only temporally powerful person other than Takemichi. There was likely another time-leaper, one who came from Takemichi's own time and worked to reverse every progress the Cry-baby Hero made.

Why did Mikey shoot Takemichi? ›

Mikey never intended to kill Takemichi. He shot him to push Takemichi away for his own good and when this didn't work, he intended to sacrifice himself. But Takemichi became the one person in Mikey's life that refused to leave him or let go of his hand.

How many chapters are left in Tokyo Revengers? ›

Mangaka Ken Wakui plans to end his magnum opus Tokyo Revengers by November 2022. It was previously announced that the next issue of the manga will contain a major update for the series. Today, several reputed leakers posted on social media that Wakui plans to end Tokyo Revengers in 5 more chapters.

What is the top 3 shonen anime? ›

As an anime fan, you are probably familiar with the titles: One Piece, Naruto & Bleach, collectively referred to as "The Big Three." A major contributing factor to the celebratory title, "The Big Three," is a result of the smashing successes of these titles in the Weekly Shōnen Jump manga.

What is the age range for seinen manga? ›

In Japanese, the word seinen literally means "youth", but the term "seinen manga" is also used to describe the target audience of magazines like Weekly Manga Times and Weekly Manga Goraku which cater specifically to men's interests, and are marketed towards a demographic of young adult men between the ages of 18 and 40 ...

What is the female version of seinen? ›

(The female equivalent to seinen manga is josei manga.)

Is promised Neverland Seinen? ›

Despite its dark tone, Shirai wanted to publish The Promised Neverland in Weekly Shōnen Jump instead of a seinen manga magazine because "the plot is not related to age, even if the themes of the story are dark, and that there was no reason to deprive the magazine's readership of a story due to an editorial line".

What makes an anime a shōnen? ›

First, shonen anime is a category of anime made specifically for younger boys. Usually there is some type of main character, normally male, who has muscles, good martial arts abilities, and some type of ability to enhance their strength.

What genre is Tokyo Revengers? ›

Tokyo Revengers

Why is AoT rated 18+? ›

Parents need to know that Attack on Titan is a violent and brutal entry in the anime genre not suited for children, tweens, or some younger teenagers.

Does AoT have 18+? ›

Attack on Titan Age rating is 15 and above.

Did AoT reject Shonen Jump? ›

In fact, while Attack on Titan author Hajime Isayama did pitch his story idea to Shonen Jump, it was ultimately rejected. It's a decision the behemoth likely regretted following the series' quick success in Bessatsu Shonen Magazine, a publication known for titles like A Silent Voice and xxxHolic.

What is the big 4 shonen? ›

In the Shonen anime community, there are four main series that have helped to define the Shonen genre. Dragon Ball, One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach are known as the “Big Four.”

Why seinen is the best? ›

The Seinen genre offers tons of unique narratives that differ from the usual formula. These shows stand as the best the genre has to offer. Anime is not a world for children's eyes alone. While plenty of shows cater to a younger audience, some of the best in the medium fall under the seinen category.

Who is the new Gen Big 3 anime? ›

Which of them deserve to be considered the new "Big 3"? With the “Big 3” making a bit of a resurgence with Bleach's return, One Piece's Wano Arc in its climax, and Boruto's big moments like Naruto's Baryon Mode, many anime fans are debating on what this generation's “Big 3” really are.

Why is Sanzu so loyal to Mikey? ›

Haruchiyo's most notorious trait is his fanatical idolatry towards Manjiro Sano, believing Mikey to be his "king" (akin to the Chess King), and thus deserving of the utmost respect, loyalty and devotion.

Who is the main villain in Tokyo Revengers? ›

Tetta Kisaki is the main antagonist of the Japanese anime and manga series Tokyo Revengers. He is a manipulative, deceitful gangster who is on hellbent becoming the leader of the Tokyo Manji Gang and turning it into the largest criminal organization in Japan.

Why is kisaki so obsessed with Takemichi? ›

Suddenly, Takemichi enters the fray, engaging in combat with the bullies. Kisaki sees Hinata's expression during Takemichi's display of bravery and realizes that she has fallen in love with him. This creates a deep hatred for Takemichi, whom he believes has stolen away Hinata's favor.

Is Mikey a hero or villain? ›

Type of Villain

Mikey's admiration to Takemichi after he told the latter of him being from the future. Takemitchy is my hero. Manjiro "Mikey" Sano is the deuteragonist-turned-final antagonist of the 2017 Japanese manga series Tokyo Revengers and its 2021 anime adaptation.

Is Mikey the second time leaper? ›

Theories concerning this topic have dominated the community for months, as the identity of the second time-leaper could help solve many of the mysteries of the franchise. In Chapter 268, it was revealed that the second time-leaper is none other than Shinichiro Sano, Mikey's late older brother.

What chapter does Mikey died? ›

Tokyo Revengers Chapter 270: Baji's reappearance & Mikey's tragic death | Entertainment.

Will Tokyo Revengers end in 2022? ›

Tokyo Revengers, the popular delinquent manga series by Ken Wakui, has officially ended. The mangaka recently released the latest chapter of the series, titled "Revengers," and confirmed on his official Twitter account that it's the final chapter of the series.

How old is Draken Tokyo Revengers? ›

Tokyo Revengers Statistics Chart
CharacterAgeBirthday
Ken Ryuguji (Draken)15 (Past) 27 (Present)May 10, 1990
Keisuke Baji14 (Past)November 3, 1990
Takashi Mitsuya15 (Past) 27-28 (Present)June 12, 1990
Haruki Hayashida (Pah-Chin)15 (Past) 27-28 (Present)February 24, 1991
18 more rows
17 Nov 2021

How long is Tokyo Revengers final arc? ›

Mangaka Ken Wakui will publish the final Tokyo Revengers chapter on November 16. THIS PICTURE OF MIKEY AND TAKEMICHI GOES SO HARD? It was announced in Weekly Shounen Magazine issue 47/2022 that mangaka Wakui plans to end his series in five more chapters, including Tokyo Revengers chapter 274.

What is the #1 anime? ›

Anime Top 10
Top 10 Best Rated (bayesian estimate) (Top 50)
#titlerating
1Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood (TV)9.08
2Steins;Gate (TV)9.04
3Clannad After Story (TV)9.02
8 more rows

Who is the Big 5 anime? ›

Any manga reader as well as many other people could name you the names of the 5 largest names in the manga industry. Fairy Tail, Dragon Ball, One Piece, Naruto, and Bleach.

What is the number 1 ranked anime of all time? ›

1. Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood. The struggle of most anime is laying out intricate world-building while balancing a cast of memorable characters, iconic moments, and thrilling fights. And that's what makes Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood so special.

Does seinen anime have romance? ›

Seinen may be a genre that is targeted towards older men, but that does not mean they do not enjoy a bit of romance. From Kaguya-sama: Love is War to Ah! My Goddess, there is an abundance of couples to choose from to give one a spark of happiness.

Does seinen have romance? ›

A seinen romance animie is one that is targeted at an audience of young and mature men. The best seinen romance anime series are essentially put together to portray romantic adventures and tales, in compelling plots and twists backed up with a strong narration.

What does seinen mean in Japanese? ›

The Japanese word seinen is spelled in Japanese as 青年 and translated into English as “youth” but really only applies to men. Furthermore, when it talks about a “young man” it is typically someone who is in their 20s.

What age is seinen? ›

Much the same way that shônen is meant for boys up to about high school age, seinen is meant for men older than high school age. It's basically the next male demographic. Seinen manga and anime have a very wide range of stories. Seinen can be almost anything that's intended for men over 18 years of age.

What does Yuri mean in Japanese? ›

Borrowed from Japanese 百合 (yuri, “lily”), by analogy to 薔薇 (bara, “rose”), indicating love.

Is seinen real? ›

Real is written and illustrated by Takehiko Inoue. It started its serialization in the seinen manga magazine Weekly Young Jump in 1999.

Is bleach a shonen or seinen? ›

Bleach (manga)
Bleach
First tankōbon volume cover, featuring Ichigo Kurosaki
MagazineWeekly Shōnen Jump
English magazineShonen Jump (former) Weekly Shonen Jump
DemographicShōnen
16 more rows

Can an anime be both shonen and seinen? ›

Seinen and Shonen aren't genres, they're target audiences (male boys and male teens). As such, it's obvious that you can have shows that are both, all you need is a story that's appealing to both age groups and respects age restrictions.

Is JJBA Part 7 seinen? ›

JoJo's Bizarre Adventure (ジョジョの奇妙な冒険, JoJo no Kimyō na Bōken) (often shortened to JoJo or abbreviated JJBA) is a shōnen and later seinen manga written and illustrated by Hirohiko Araki, and the main subject of this wikia project.

What is anime for adults called? ›

Adult animation is known in Japan as adult anime (アダルトアニメ, adaruto anime).

What is the best anime genre? ›

The shonen genre is by far the most popular brand of anime and the majority of breakout hits and major successes like Dragon Ball Z, Naruto, and One Piece all fit into the shonen brand.

What is the most popular shonen in Japan? ›

5 Most Popular Shonen Manga In Japan (& 5 In The US)
  • 10/10 JAPAN: Demon Slayer.
  • 9/10 AMERICA: My Hero Academia.
  • 8/10 JAPAN: Kingdom.
  • 7/10 AMERICA: Black Clover.
  • 6/10 JAPAN: One Piece.
  • 5/10 AMERICA: The Promised Neverland.
  • 4/10 JAPAN: Haikyu!!
  • 3/10 AMERICA: Demon Slayer.
15 Jan 2021

Is Tokyo Revengers R rated? ›

Tokyo Revengers (PG13 : Some Violence & Nudity) Some Violence & Nudity.

Which character has most fans in Tokyo Revengers? ›

In the latest issue of the Tokyo Revengers manga series, Ken Wakui released the results of the latest popularity poll. Millions of fans voted to select their favorite character from the vast and unique cast of the series.

Who is the real protagonist in Tokyo Revengers? ›

Takemichi Hanagaki is the main protagonist of the 2017 Japanese manga series Tokyo Revengers and its 2021 anime adaptation. He is a young man who can travel back in time: a time leaper.

Is shonen more popular than seinen? ›

Seinen, however, stretches across a much wider demographic, marketed towards adult men aged between 20 and 50. Although seinen seems to have an advantage by appealing to a wider audience, shonen takes the crown in terms of franchises under its belt, with many being the best-selling anime titles of all time.

Why is AOT shonen not seinen? ›

It's more mature than most shonen but it's published in a shonen magazine so it's shonen. That's how it works. Just keep in mind that shonen and seinen are labels for the target audience, and not necessarily labels for the content. Its published in a shounen magazine therefore its a shounen.

What is the target audience for seinen? ›

In Japanese, the word seinen literally means "youth", but the term "seinen manga" is also used to describe the target audience of magazines like Weekly Manga Times and Weekly Manga Goraku which cater specifically to men's interests, and are marketed towards a demographic of adult men between the ages of 18 and 40.

Is seinen or shonen better? ›

Definitely Seinen. Shonen has their typical plot and mc while Seinen is deeper, darker, and more complicated. Shonen is for those hormonal teenagers so the genre is filled with fan service while Seinen has strong female characters.

Is Demon Slayer shonen or seinen? ›

Beneath the gorgeous animation, “Demon Slayer” is a typical shonen. It follows the tropes commonly seen in the genre without doing too much to differentiate itself, especially in the beginning.

Are shonen for adults? ›

Shonen anime may be the most popular and well known marketing demographic, catering to younger boys from tweens to teens. Seinen anime is similar to Shonen, but is targeted towards adult males over 18 years old.

What is shonen for adults called? ›

Seinen: Manga targeted at adult men (18+).

Common themes: Action, Violence, Sex, Adult themes. Just like shonen manga, seinen manga features action and violence, but with a more serious or darker tone, as well as adult content such as sexual situations, graphic violence, or foul language.

Why is AOT rated 18+? ›

Parents need to know that Attack on Titan is a violent and brutal entry in the anime genre not suited for children, tweens, or some younger teenagers.

Does AOT have 18+? ›

Attack on Titan Age rating is 15 and above.

Did AOT reject Shonen Jump? ›

In fact, while Attack on Titan author Hajime Isayama did pitch his story idea to Shonen Jump, it was ultimately rejected. It's a decision the behemoth likely regretted following the series' quick success in Bessatsu Shonen Magazine, a publication known for titles like A Silent Voice and xxxHolic.

What age group is seinen anime? ›

Much the same way that shônen is meant for boys up to about high school age, seinen is meant for men older than high school age. It's basically the next male demographic. Seinen manga and anime have a very wide range of stories. Seinen can be almost anything that's intended for men over 18 years of age.

Is seinen a romance? ›

A seinen romance animie is one that is targeted at an audience of young and mature men. The best seinen romance anime series are essentially put together to portray romantic adventures and tales, in compelling plots and twists backed up with a strong narration.

Why do you like seinen? ›

Seinen anime is meant for older male viewers, but anyone can enjoy the many things this genre has to offer. Japanese anime has a lot to offer for fans of animated TV shows, from action-packed adventure stories to captivating romance sagas and even horror and mystery, among other literary genres.

Videos

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(Ben Off Screen)
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