WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Tokyo Revengers Volume 21 by Ken Wakui, available in English now from Kodansha.
Tokyo Revengers has garnering a lot of attention and hype of late, boosted even further thanks to the anime's success. In Japan, the series has over 20 million copies in circulation and counting. And, as of June 3, it's even been outselling the manga giant One Piece.
Protagonist Takemichi has been through a great deal in his quest to save everyone he loves in the series. His journey evolved from trying to prevent Hina's death to saving Toman and his friends. Now, with the announcement of Tokyo Revengers' final arc, it looks like his journey is coming to an end. The stakes are heating up with what will likely be Takemichi's last chance to change the past. Here are some major events fans might want to see before we say goodbye to Toman for good.
Mikey Vs. Takemichi: The Final Showdown
Takemichi once declared he would become the top boss of Toman. At the time, he said it because he thought this was the only way he could take control of the gang before it spiraled into darkness, plus it would be easier to prevent the evil Kisaki from completely taking over. He didn't end up as the leader in the end but did become one of Mikey's closest friends. In the final arc, since dissolving Toman, Mikey has effectively cut all ties with the rest of his friends in Toman and is now the leader of a new gang.
This Mikey is much stronger and more dangerous than the ones Takemichi has seen before. And despite being the one who asked for help when Takemichi met him again in the future timeline, this Mikey doesn't seem to want it anymore. It'll all come down to a final showdown between the Crybaby Hero and the Invincible Mikey.
The Mystery of the Second Time-Skipper
One of the frustrations Takemichi experienced was that no matter what he did, which deaths he prevented, or other events being altered in the past, the future would always have the same ending: Hina's death. Over time, that future has gotten bleaker with members of Toman ending up in jail or dead. Everything felt futile.
Takemichi has raised the possibility of a second time-leaper, theorizing that Kisaki might be messing with the timeline -- but with the way things currently are, that might not be the case. So far, Wakui hasn't revisited this theory in the manga so it's unclear whether he'll address it in future chapters, or if it was simply a red herring.
How Takemichi's Time-Leaping Works
So far, readers haven't gotten much of an explanation on Takemichi's time-leaping. The mechanism is simple enough, where all he needs to do is shake someone's hand. Along with Naoto, Takemichi's goal had always been to save Hina while with Mikey, his goal was to save the longtime Toman leader himself. But it's not clear how these time-traveling abilities occurred in the first place.
Much of Tokyo Revengers is focused on the interpersonal relationships between Takemichi and his friends, so it does feel like the time travel is used more or less like a plot device rather than a tool to tell the overall story -- but that might change as more chapters are released. Will we see the consequences of Takemichi constantly jumping from the past to the future? Is there a deeper message Wakui is trying to convey through the time travel mechanism?
The contrast between Toman in the future and in the past is stark. Toman was initially created by a group of friends who wanted to ride bikes, protect their friends, and be honorable. But over the years in the past timeline, the gang has undergone many changes from its founders to its very make-up, but the core group has always remained together.
In the future, there hasn't been a time where Takemichi has seen Toman together because the members are either in jail or have died horrific deaths. The Tokyo Manji Gang was also unrecognizable with how corrupted it is in the future. Takemichi has rarely seen Mikey in the future, only hearing about him from others. If the final Tokyo Revengers arc includes a future with a Toman that's together and happy, it would be a nice full circle moment.
Mikey Needs a Happy Ending
Takemichi's last journey through time with Naoto resulted in Hina being alive and Toman saved. It was a happy ending for everyone -- except for Mikey. He has always put his friends above his own wants and needs so it's heartbreaking, but not surprising, to see Mikey choosing to walk down a dark path by himself. He believed that as the leader of Toman, it was a burden he had to bear on his own.
Mikey hasn't had an easy life. He has lost practically everyone and everything he cared about and in every new timeline that Takemichi jumps back to, Mikey is either absent, leading a corrupted version of Toman, or doing heinous crimes. He admits that he often finds his thoughts spiraling into darkness when things get too overwhelming -- he's been holding it back but without his friends supporting him, he gets consumed by it. Mikey has been in pain by himself all this time. After saving everyone else along the way, it's time to let Takemichi save him now.