Tokyo Revengers has been, for me, one of the great discoveries of the season. I follow religiously the manga edition that Norma Editorial publishes in Spain and, although sometimes the plot becomes more convoluted than necessary, I love it. Tokyo Revengers is a story about teenage gang members. A group of motorcycle-loving kids wants to create a new era of criminals in Japan. To make it, form the band Tōkyō Manji-Kai in 2005 led by Manjiro “Mikey” Sano. But reaching the top will not be easy, because they will have to fight against the rest of the organizations in the country.
But the funniest thing about Tokyo Revengers is not only its context, but what happens to the protagonist of the manga. The story does not focus on Mikey, but in Takemitchi and his strange power. In his present, in 2017, the person he loves the most in the world dies, so he travels back in time to prevent that from happening. And it is by doing so that he becomes involved with the gang. In order to save Hinata Tachibana, he will have to climb the ranks in the organization. and put his life at risk over and over again.
The greatness of Tokyo Revengers is that it combines Takemitchi’s ideas and comings in time with everything that surrounds the Tōkyō Manji-Kai
The greatness of Tokyo Revengers is that it combines the ideas and events of Takemitchi’s time with everything that surrounds the Tōkyō Manji-Kai, and this is a very interesting organization. It is divided into several divisions with their own problems, with deserters, loyal warriors and others who hate it. Its past and foundation is stained with blood, and there are a thousand and one conspiracies flying over it, politicking, hatred and envy. Does all this ring a bell? Yes, it is pure Yakuza from the Ryu Ga Gotoku studio.
Ryu Ga Gotoku needs Tokyo Revengers
Reading Tokyo Revengers, not only did it seem like a very good idea for Ryu Ga Gotoku to take over to turn the manga into a video game, but I thought it would be very good for them. I like the Yakuza saga, but I think they have become too entrenched in the stories about middle-aged men who are out of their time. This is something I noticed, especially, in Like a Dragon. Most of its protagonists are gentlemen who play at being children, who are frustrated at not being able to be and who hate society.
The game’s own producer, Masayoshi Yokoyama, stated that he was inspired by One Piece heroes to write those of this title. And Luffy, Zoro, Sanji and the others are the most wanting to live pre-adult teen thing ever. What I want to say is that it shows that the series needs new airs, new characters, younger and with more desire to look with a smile to the future than crying over the past.
Mikey, his right-hand man Draken, and Takemitchi are full of life. They fight to advance, they do not run away from anything but they fight to achieve something. And this is the new approach that could come in handy for the future of Yakuza. With this new perspective, there are two parts of the manga that Ryu Ga Gotoku has already mastered: the narration with cinematic scenes and the fighting. This is the basis of every Yakuza game, and It is perfectly extrapolated to Tokyo Revengers, but the manga would bring something that the Japanese video game saga needs to revitalize itself.
Takemitchi’s time travel would refresh the Yakuza formula
Takemitchi can travel through time, but in a very specific way. He has to shake hands with his girlfriend’s brother, Naoto. If he does it in the past, he travels exactly 12 years into the future. If he does it in the future, move those same twelve years into the past. The interesting thing about this is how we could bring it to the video game. You, as Takemitchi, can make decisions and more decisions in 2005, rack up wrongs and right ones, and then reach for Naoto’s hand to see what happened later.
What makes a video game with decisions great is not how it reflects your successes, but your mistakes
Once you go back to the future with him, you can go back to the past, but with the limitation that what was decided can no longer be changed. The only thing we could do as players is check the consequences of what we have done in the present to take new ones in 2005. This is something that has not been seen too much in our environment, and it would give more weight, meaning and play to the kinematics, and a very interesting narrative draft. Because what makes a video game with decisions great is not how it reflects your successes, but your mistakes
Because another problem that the Yakuza saga has, and here I take off my mask, outside of masks and lies, is that I have seen many of its cinematics while browsing my Instagram with my mobile. It is not personal, I have also swallowed some of Kojima with the smartphone next to me. However, if decisions have to be made, and these take on such a momentous aspect, things change. I would be so hung up on every line of dialogue that I wouldn’t blink an eye.
Decisions, time travel and group fights, doesn’t that sound good for Yakuza?
For example, choosing to save someone’s life in the past may mean that a new, even more dangerous mafia gang is formed in the future. By killing another person, our character can appear in 2017 behind bars… And it adds up and goes on. This is the level of surprise that Tokyo Revengers handles, and it is the reason that it is such a beloved manga. In addition to all this, there is another factor that would also suit the video game franchise very well: group fights.
Many of the manga’s story arcs are resolved with pitched battles. A whole gang fights against the other in various corners of the city, in open fields or through small skirmishes here and there. Carrying this over to Yakuza would serve to add new mechanics and gameplay options to the adventure. It would be interesting to incorporate the possibility of dominating zones, controlling and managing your troops or doing something that One Piece Odyssey already put on the table.
The JRPG about Eichiiro Oda’s manga which is published in January 2023 has some peculiar turn-based fights. In the same confrontation several fighting zones appear, and in each of them they fight each other. This gives a very curious depth to the battle, because you have to be aware of more factors at the same time. In one ring a friend may die, in another someone may need help… If a Tokyo Revengers were made respecting the turn-based combats of Like a Dragon, That would be how these massive combats would have to be done.
And, of course, fixing and crafting motorcycles
In Tokyo Revengers there is a lot of love for motorcycles. They are not a simple means of transport, they are a symbol, something special that is inherited, which is passed down from generation to generation and is even made with your own hands. The motorcycles in Tokyo Revengers are a flag, They are home and also a weapon that’s why they should be in the video game.
I think the manga has everything Ryu Ga Gotoku’s video games need to make the leap into the mainstream.
I imagine a workshop near your doorstep where you would go regularly to add new pieces, but not by yourself, but with Draken or Mikey. It would be a good place to have side conversations and build trust bonds as in person 5. Mikey shows up, pushes a spark plug on you, and tells you something about his childhood. Then Hinata appears and the same thing; always with the motorcycle as the driving element.
And once you have reached the maximum level of friendship with one of the characters, you share with him a beautiful motorcycle ride to a deserted beach in winter. poof! It’s just that I think about the scene and I get excited. What’s more, after reflecting on Yakuza and Tokyo Revengers while writing this article, I think the manga has everything Ryu Ga Gotoku’s video games need to make the leap into the mainstream. Without a doubt, the work of Ken Wakui could be Arc System Works Dragon Ball. I hope the miracle works. If they set up a kickstarter for this, they can count on my euros.