Skilfully manipulating her chessboard, Tetta Kisaki did everything to put Mikey on the sidelines, by dealing him a strong emotional shock: Ema’s murder. The Tokyo Manji, as it currently is, does not have the strength to confront the Tenjiku, but that is without taking into account the determination of Takemichi who manages to galvanize the clan, despite the absence of its two leaders. While Izana is convinced that the Toman has thrown in the towel, the gang goes to the meeting place to do battle in a final battle.
Ken Wakui gave us a monumental smack in the face with his previous volume, delivering narrated drama as efficiently as possible, while script-wise justifying one of Tokyo Revengers’ focal points. So, how to bounce back with such an event, such an emotional impact? Because the decisive confrontation against the Tenjiku led by Izana is about to begin, a desperate struggle in which Takemichi imposes himself as temporary leader to lead the troops of Toman.
With this eighteenth volume, the climax of the arc is clearly only in its first part, a feeling that one experiences by the withdrawal of the hero, by the absence of Mikey and Draken grieved by the loss they suffered, but especially by the different small focus that the mangaka makes on more secondary characters. Arc after arc, Ken Wakui has nurtured a veritable mythology, a chronology of clans fighting for Tokyo neighborhoods, bringing its share of subplots like that of the famous cursed generation, or the duality between Koko and Inupi, these two friends of childhood who today find themselves on opposite sides. One fell into sin, while the other overcame past tragedies by giving the future of his clan to the hero of the story. The story of the two accomplices is certainly the most touching of the volume, but also the densest, the one that leaves room for a beautiful ambiguity in the links between the two characters. It is a plot around secondary figures among others, but particularly successful.
All these stories, Wakui manages to tell them in a skillfully narrated general fight. Very quickly, everyone finds their ideal opponent, is entitled to a small moment of glory, or encounters difficulties during the fight. The whole thing is deliciously nervous and frantic, especially since what is at stake is not so much Izana’s head but that of Tetta Kisaki, the person responsible for all the dramas depicted since the beginning of the story, and the one whom must be put out of harm’s way at all costs. Therefore, we necessarily expect a lot from this final arc battle.
And if intensity dominates, the author knows how to implant different tones in his story. Alongside drama and adrenaline, a few touches of humor manage to intrude brilliantly, which is the case with the very last segment of the opus which introduces a combination as original as it is confusing, which has nothing to work on paper, but which could hold some surprises in the next installment. One more proof that the author knows what he wants to do with this great battle which, depending on its development, could be one of the major moments of Tokyo Revengers.
Note that this volume 18 comes, for the first time, in a collector’s edition compiling the opus in its classic form with the first guidebook of the series, thus offered in large preview more than it will be available independently in the trade until early July. The two books are accompanied by two bookmarks (randomly selected from a series of six), all in a rigid sheath illustrated by Tamemichi and Chifuyu on one side, and Mikey and Draken on the other. A nice object for fans of the series, and which offers real added value by the preview of the guidebook, especially since Glénat seems to have taken scalpers devoid of any passion by surprise, by providing large quantities.