Tokyo Revengers’ Most Tragic Character Gets the Spinoff They Deserve
Get the yakisoba ready (and save me half of it)
Spoilers for Tokyo Revengers season one
Recently, new information was revealed about the upcoming season of Tokyo Revengers. While I’ve been expecting to hear news about the next part of the anime series, I did not expect to see news about a spinoff manga that focuses on one of the most tragic characters in the cast.
Here’s a quick translation from Google.
The official spin-off comic that was released at yesterday’s event “Tokyo Revengers ~Letter from Keisuke Baji~” The first episode will be published in the 35th issue of Weekly Shonen Magazine released on July 27 and will be serialized in Maga Poké!!
The story from the encounter to the farewell of Baji and Chifuyu will be drawn by Professor Yukinori Natsukawaguchi under the full supervision of Professor Wakui.
Wakui refers to Ken Wakui, the original creator of the series. He will be supervising Yukinori Natsukawaguchi in the creation of the manga.
Tokyo Revengers is probably one of my biggest “I did NOT see that coming” anime series of 2021. Granted, I should’ve known since it involves time travel, but the amount of heartbreak that happens in the first season is a lot to deal with. If you read the manga, you know that it only goes downhill from there. That being said, out of all the tragedy that happens in this “please let these delinquents smile again” series, nothing hit quite as hard as Baji, his death, and the aftermath of it all.
Why is Baji’s story so tragic?
While Baji isn’t the first character to die in Tokyo Revengers (or the last, whoo boy), he IS the first character to stay dead. As Takemichi works to try and prevent a growing number of deaths that happen in the future, he learns the hard way that you can’t do anything if someone dies in the past. Baji is one of the founding members of Toman (the gang Takemichi initially goes back to stop, only to discover they aren’t as bad as he thought) who seemingly changes sides to join the rival gang, Valhalla, for no reason. You find out he does have a reason. He’s suspicious of Kisaki, who just joined Toman, and he’s right to be suspicious because every bad thing is Kisaki’s fault. There’s also the entire tragic backstory with him, Kazutora (another founding member of Toman), and Mikey (the leader of Toman).
Near the end of the first season when Valhalla and Toman are facing off, Baji ends up killing himself. Why? Because Kazutora stabbed him, which led to Mikey going off and nearly killing Kazutora. In order to stop Mikey from killing their old friend, Baji finished the job and stabbed himself so Mikey wouldn’t be able to blame Kazutora for his death. It sucks, especially with the way the series handles what comes next.
After Baji’s death, you get to actually learn about him. You get to see his influence on Toman AND you get to see his relationship with Chifuyu (his second-in-command). This illustrates why Chifuyu trusted Baji so much (he believed right from the start that Baji had a reason for leaving Toman) and how much of an impact Baji had on the rest of the gang.
Of course, seeing all of this now makes a sad situation worse because it’s not like Baji’s around anymore. Hell, Chifuyu leaves half a serving of yakisoba on Baji’s grave because they used to share it—something we learn AFTER Baji’s death. And don’t get me started on all of the merchandise that was released after the anime aired his death. There were matching rings you could buy for the two of them. No, I’m not kidding. Baji is forever a character who died way too soon. Like. I have nothing but the utmost respect for a guy who keeps a hair tie on hand so he can pull his hair back and get shit done. The rest of the series has some significant character deaths, but it’s usually after we actually get to know who they are. Not Baji, though. You see his life and his values after the fact and that will always be a downer.
The spinoff manga
“The story from the encounter to the farewell of Baji and Chifuyu” makes me think that the manga will start with how Baji and Chifuyu met. At the time, Baji was trying to do better at school so he wouldn’t make his mother cry, and Chifuyu ended up helping him out. In return, when Chifuyu was being cornered by some thugs who look thirty-seven, but are probably, like, sixteen, Baji fought them off, revealing himself to be in Toman. Chifuyu fell in love immediately (I’m kidding, lol, unless…), and the two formed a bond that involved sharing yakisoba, finding out they lived in the same apartment, and Chifuyu joining Toman.
We don’t actually see that last bit in the anime, so I imagine the manga will show them actually SHARING that damn yakisoba and how Chifuyu became such a valued member of Toman. Basically, everything that’s been promotional art of these two hanging out will be in a manga now. I understand that I’ll probably hurt more after reading the spinoff, but I’ll take what I can get if it means more Baji.
The next season
The spinoff manga isn’t the only major Tokyo Revengers news we got. The next season of the anime officially has a release date of January 2023! No word on when it’ll stream here in the U.S., but since the first season was available on Crunchyroll, that hopefully means this new season will be there, too.
Titled the Christmas Showdown arc (three guesses as to why, ho ho ho), the anime will presumably pick up where that stressful cliffhanger left off. After the battle against Valhalla ends with Baji dying, Kazutora willingly going to jail, and Takemichi becoming the First Division Captain in Baji’s place, Takemichi returns to the future to see that life has gotten better for him. He’s absolutely THRIVING, which is the perfect time for him to be tied to a chair by Kisaki (who’s still in Toman), witness the death of Chifuyu (who never trusted Kisaki after Baji’s death), and have a gun pointed at his head.
With the announcement comes new art highlighting some of the main characters of this next arc. Takemichi, of course, is to be expected, along with Chifuyu, Draken, and Mikey. Mitsuya and Hakkai are especially noteworthy in the picture as they’ve been in the series, but not really as main characters. As someone who’s read this manga arc, I can tell you that Mitsuya and Hakkai fans are going to be pleased with this one (and Tokyo Revengers fans in general, this is an exciting story arc coming up).
(Featured image: Ken Wakui, KODANSHA/TOKYO REVENGERS Anime Production Committee)
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