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? Takemichi has challenged Kiyomasa to a fight and is determined to win, even saying that for Kiyomasa to win he will have to kill him. It’s is a bit dramatic I personally think. Especially when you still need to save someone from dying 12 years later and when you are weaker and less skilled than your opponent…
It’s great to see how far Takemichi’s friends are willing to go for him too. I personally don’t think I would ever be ready to stab Kiyomasa to help Takemichi out.
Fortunately, before Kiyomasa gets the chance to get out his bat the gang’s bosses show up. One is a boy with a tattoo along the side of his head called Ryuuguuji Ken or Draken (Vice-President), and the other an eccentric boy called Manjiro Sano or Mikey (President). Mikey declares Takemichi as his friend.
Mikey is, interestingly, quite young. Mikey and Ken have already been shown to be strong fighters as well. I’m interested in how Mikey became President since he doesn’t show much aptitude so far for leadership. I clearly don’t know enough about how Japanese gangs with high-school students work though since they talked about the ‘attack division’ and ‘host’ – so I assume these will be areas that are further explored in the story.
Mikey shows up to Takemichi’s school the next day, dragging him out of his class. Hinata, in a stroke of bravery but also stupidity, decides to intervene and slaps Mikey. She’s then saved as Takemichi warns Ken not to touch her. Fortunately, once again, the story almost too nicely lets Mikey be fine with this and the gang bosses actually respect Hinata and Takemichi for standing up for each other.
Mikey later talks a bit about his backstory and his desire to create a ‘new’ type of delinquent – which is likely to tie in later into the story with how the Tokyo Manji gang forms. It’s revealed that Mikey likes Takemichi because this new type of delinquent will be people like Takeimichi, people who are willing to risk their life on the line for what they need to do. Mikey comes across as rather carefree, and Takemichi remarks that he struggles to believe that Mikey and Ken in the future are involved in something like the Tokyo Manji gang. The priority therefore becomes making sure Mikey doesn’t met Kisaki Tetta, whom Takemichi sees without realising at the end of the episode.