WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Tokyo Revengers Episode 16, "Once Upon a Time," now streaming on Crunchyroll.
The title of Tokyo Revengers Episode 16, "Once Upon a Time," is perfect. It goes into the early days of the Tokyo Manji Gang, where it used to be a simple group of six friends who rode around on their bikes all day. They all had each other's backs and would do anything for their friends. But the fairy tale ends with a choice -- borne out of good intentions and love for a friend -- that ultimately tears one member away from Toman.
Click to start this article in
Toman's roots in Tokyo Revengers have always been in bikes. While everyone else has been riding on their motorbikes, Mikey has had to make do with a moped. Although he's significantly slower than everyone else, he doesn't mind. He isn't going to switch it out for any motorbike: he wants a CB250T, no matter what.
His moped runs out of gas so, in true diplomatic fashion, they decide who's going to get gas through rock-paper-scissors. Baji loses and has to push the moped all the way to the gas station. Unfortunately, he encounters the older gang who had harassed them earlier, even threatening to destroy Mikey's moped. Baji gets beaten quite badly but at the sight of one of the gang members getting ready to bring a bat down on Mikey's ride, he blocks it. This ride means everything to Mikey and there's no way Baji would allow anyone to touch it, least of all these goons.
For a moment, it looks as though Baji is going to get destroyed along with the moped -- but Mikey steps in out of nowhere. His signature kick sends his moped flying. Mikey turns to the gang, a dark glint in his eye, and tells them they have some nerve hurting something important to him. And it's obvious he's not talking about his Street Hawk.
On August 13, 2003, Kazutora takes Baji out so they can get Mikey's present for his upcoming birthday. They know how much he wants a CB250T, but they also know they won't be able to get it either through buying or borrowing it -- so they have to steal it. Baji tries to talk Kazutora out of it, knowing Mikey wouldn't be happy with a stolen bike, but his friend assures him their leader doesn't have to know where they acquired it.
The two break into the bike shop later that night. Baji hesitates at the door, telling Kazutora there's no turning back but the latter is already well into the shop. At the sight of the CB250T out on display, the two are immediately drawn toward it. All they can think of is how cool Mikey is going to look riding on it, both of their eyes shining. They love and admire their leader, and only want to see him happy.
So, they quickly get to work cutting the various chains. Kazutora leaves first to open the shutters while Baji waits. Suddenly, a voice and footsteps cut in near where Baji is standing, frozen. The shop's dark but the little bit of light manages to reveal enough of Baji's face to the shop owner who recognizes him. And Baji knows him too: it's Shinichiro.
Baji realizes the CB250T they're in the middle of stealing is Shinichiro's. Out of the corner of his eye, Kazutora comes racing out and smashes his chain cutter into the side of Shinichiro's head. Baji races toward the motionless body and screams at Kazutora: the man he has just killed is Mikey's older brother. It's a shocking and tragic moment as Tokyo Revengers reveals a major turning point in the story of Toman.