What’s it about? Hanagaki Takemichi is in his late twenties working in a job where his boss doesn’t respect him, is dealing with little kids bullying him, and has to keep apologising to his landlady about how loud his TV is. To top it all off, now he’s also dealing with the news that his middle school girlfriend died in the middle of the Tokyo Manji gang war.
After hearing this news Takemichi is mysteriously pushed onto train tracks and while facing death, he suddenly finds himself travelling back in time to 12 years ago when his ex-girlfriend was still alive. Now he must save her.
Thoughts on this episode? It was interesting that the story so early on and bluntly explained that Naoto is linked to Takemichi’s ability to jump back to 12 years ago and is the person who’s able to make this jump happen. Hopefully as the story progresses, they’ll explain how this works, why it happens, and how Naoto figured this out. Naoto’s also done some serious research on the Tokyo Manji gang which is insanely helpful in figuring out what needs to be done to resolve the conflict of the story. Without his knowledge, jumping back in time could end up being pointless for Takemichi.
The animation, voice acting, and soundtrack were also very solid this episode as well. And the story maintains your interest while progressing at a good pace. I have to say this though, and this is just a personal opinion, but gang hairstyles are so strange to see. I understand the style but they look so strange compared to other ‘normal’ hairstyles so I might do some minor research into the history of the style. But I do appreciate that they’ve made Takemichi’s friends so obvious – their differing hair gives them away!
I’m glad that Takemichi has these friends as well. Although they’re not exactly ‘cool’ or good students, they’ve got each other’s backs. Especially as Takemichi tries to save Hinata, which will likely cause some strange situations to witness or explain, it’s good that he can have support both in the past and future to help him.
It’s also nice to see more of Hinata, and how cheerful she seems to be. Without developing Hinata’s character the stakes of the series really aren’t raised. Hopefully she continues to get more screen time and development. It’d be boring to just watch someone jump back through time to try to save someone the viewers know so little, and have no attachment to. So far her and Takemichi’s relationship seems quite nice, and they seem to be quite sweet to each other.
It’s also rather brave of Takemichi to challenge Kiyomizu to a fight, but stupid. He has almost no fighting experience or technique as a child or adult I assume, and now he’s also in his middle school self’s body. This could never end well.