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[Fantasia '21] 'Tokyo Revengers' review: Japanese action joyfully disrupts the rules of time travel

Movie Reviews

[Fantasia ’21] ‘Tokyo Revengers’ review: Japanese action joyfully disrupts the rules of time travel

Brilliantly colorful and action packed story with heart

Anime fans are most certainly familiar with Ken Wakui’s manga series Tokyo Revengers. The film adaptation’s release arrives at the heels of the animated series which  just premiered this April. Filled with quirky characters, impeccable hair styles, and a quest to stop evil, Tsutomo Hanabusa brings Wakui’s creation to life in the live action adaptation. Tokyo Revengers is a science-fiction-coming-of- age-action-voyage through time with a lot of heart.

Takemichi is not a successful man. It’s been about ten years since high school and he now has a dead end job and lives a lonely messy life.  One day his mundane life is shaken up with the news of the death of his high school girlfriend Hinata. After his own near death experience, he finds himself with the ability to go back in time to not only save Hinata, but save the humanity of many others.

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[Fantasia '21] 'Tokyo Revengers' review: Japanese action joyfully disrupts the rules of time travel

Time travel films can be tedious. There are many rules and all sorts of complications and procedures to follow in the genre. But like Bill and Ted, Tokyo Revengers is not confined by the rules of the genre, giving it the freedom to craft a well told story and develop rich characters. 

Hanabusa’s directing does a wonderful job of capturing the action and drama of the scenes. Many of the fight scenes center around power dynamics and humiliation and those scenes cut through while still allowing the comedy and timing of the characters. The film features a strong cast that truly embraces the pathos of the characters, especially those of Takemich and the dynamic between Draken and Mikey.

[Fantasia '21] 'Tokyo Revengers' review: Japanese action joyfully disrupts the rules of time travel Tokyo Revengers makes heroes of the most unlikely characters and shows the complications of individuality. Tokyo Revengers also illustrates the importance of strong friendships and how peer groups can be influential in both positive and negative ways. Go back to high school with Tokyo Revengers, playing at the Fantasia Festival.

The Fantasia Film Festival takes place in person and online from August 5 – August 25

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