The Best Time-Travel Anime Stars The Worst Character, Stream Without Netflix

By Jonathan Klotz | Updated

Tokyo Revengers is one of the most successful mangas of all time, with over 80 million copies sold. It’s now a hit anime series as well, with a fourth season, hopefully, on the way, and yet, despite the incredible amount of success, it’s hated by a large segment of anime fans. That’s because even fans of the series, like myself, have to admit that the hero, Takemichi Hanagaki, is a horrible character.

Takemichi Starts Out Annoying And Stays Annoying

My Hero Academia detractors make fun of how often Izuku Midoriya cries, but they haven’t seen Tokyo Revengers and don’t know what a real crying protagonist looks like. Takemichi starts the series as a 26-year-old, barely employed loser who’s barely living his life with no friends or hobbies to speak of when he suddenly is shoved 12 years into the past and gets to fix his mistakes. By the end of the first episode, he’s on a mission to save Hinata Tachibana, his girlfriend, back when he was 14, who was murdered in the present by the Tokyo Manj

Relies On Everyone Else

It’s a noble mission, but the problem with it is that Takemichi doesn’t go through the typical anime hero arc. His initial problems stem from his own behavior when he ran away and abandoned his friends and when he was a coward who didn’t stand up for anybody. To make it worse, he’s not that bright, by his own admission, so the only character who knows what’s going on in Tokyo Revengers is a complete loser unable to see the big picture.

Unlike most other isekai anime starring a loser main character, like Reborn as a Vending Machine Now I Wander The Dungeon or Rising of the Shield Hero, Takemichi doesn’t immediately try to improve himself.

The Concept Of The Series Is Fantastic

So if Tokyo Revengers stars one of the biggest losers in anime, why is it such a massive success? I started watching it because of the hook of the time-loop concept, as I’m a sucker for those stories, and going back to fix your own mistakes in middle school with the knowledge of your 30ish-year-old self, is the stuff dreams are made of. I kept watching it for everyone else.

In a few episodes, Mikey, the leader of the Tokyo Manjin Gang in the past, is introduced. He’s smart, capable, seemingly loyal to his friends, and everything you’d want in an anime protagonist. That’s when it becomes clear that Tokyo Revengers isn’t about Takemichi; it really is a story about everyone that surrounds him and how he can impact their lives if he decides to, you know, do something with his life.

Worth Watching For Everything But The Hero

That’s why Tokyo Revengers is worth watching; even if Takemichi is an annoying character, the side characters are fleshed out, and bouncing between time periods shows how small changes drastically alter all of their lives in interesting, unexpected ways. It helps that the animation, done by Liden Films, is top-notch, and the original opening song, aptly named “Cry Baby,” is an award-winning banger. You don’t have to take my word for it, as on MyAnimeList (MAL), the series sits at 106 in total popularity, which is incredibly impressive.

Streaming On Hulu


Tokyo Revengers starts slow, but by the time you’ve met all the major players (which takes a few episodes), the way everyone is connected and impacted by Takemichi helps make this one of the best time-travel anime out there. The mechanics of the time travel leave a little to be desired, and again, Takemichi is a horrible person, but there’s going to be one of the side characters that will become your new favorite.

Tokyo Revengers is streaming on Hulu.