Tokyo Revengers: Hybridization | Blogs | MANAGEMENT

Hybridization: from the business world to Japanese anime

When I do creativity and innovation trainings, one of the tools that I usually share is “hybridization”, where we review both current and historical cases so that they can corroborate that it is a tool that has always been in our creative process as human beings, and that with the help of some tools we can generate new ideas more easily and quickly, so this time I wanted to share with you what I have been watching during my vacation: “Japanese anime”

Eureka: sources of inspiration

When it comes to creating (from stories to products and services) we all have our influences, but here the idea is not to “literally copy everything”, but to use it as inspiration to experiment a lot and thus end up creating something really good as Linus Pauling said (Prize Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1954), and finally shout “eureka”.


What is the animated series that stars someone whose planet was destroyed and whose parents sent planet earth to save it, and who acquires amazing powers that allow him to defend people as well as save the earth?

Maybe some will say that it is Goku from Dragon Ball, right? Or Superman?

dragon ball

And what is the story whose central character suddenly discovers that he has the power to travel through time with the help of a very simple tool, and does so trying to save his “loved one” from a devastating future?

It could be ‘The Butterfly Effect’ by Eric Bress and whose protagonist Evan is played by Aston Kutcher in 2004.

But I could also refer to the new international phenomenon (2021) created and drawn by Ken Wakui (manga) and which has been taken to the “anime” of the same name “Tokyo Revengers”.

Tokyo Revengers (2021): Inspired by time travel, but with different archetypes than those used in “The Butterfly Effect”

First of all I would like to explain what is an archetype? There are different definitions of archetype, but here I share a couple of them:

  • “An archetype is a kind of general character template that can then be customized to fit almost any story.”. Source: Interactive Storytelling for Video Games: A player-centered approach to creating memorable characters and stories. Lebowitz, J., Klug, C. (2011). Focal Press,
  • “The archetype is, therefore, a particularly general and recursive type of character in a particular work or time or in all literatures and mythologies”. Source: Theater dictionary: terms, concepts and analysis. Pavis, P., Carlson, M., Shantz, C. (1998). University of Toronto Press.


How are they alike?

The similarity between both creations is that its protagonist has to “travel recurrently to the past to change the destiny of his loved one.”

What is the difference between them?

In the first place they differ in the archetypes that their central characters have, since in “the Butterfly effect” is a “journey of the hero Evan saving his beloved from death”, in Tokyo Revengers the role of hero is a little different, since its protagonist Takemichi (who since childhood surely dreamed of being a hero like any other child) ends up entering the world of “gang members”, and has set himself the goal of becoming the leader of the “Tokyo Manji” gang (Toman) , to create a timeline (future) in which his beloved Hinata Tachibana is not murdered. Thus, Takemichi will frequently make changes in the past, and then return to the “present” and see if he managed to save “Hina”.

Spoiler alert: Precisely at the end of season N ° 1, the central character Takemichi has managed to become leader of the 1st division of the “Toman” in the past, and in the present a member of the high command of the “Toman” However, they have left the entire audience in suspense is that things get irreparably out of control since unlike “The Butterfly Effect”, you can only go back 12 years to the past counted from the present, and each time you travel time continues to run in the “present”, so each trip only has a single opportunity to change certain events “, and another possibility is the possible death of Takemichi, although the latter is unlikely because otherwise the” anime would end ”, But the road ahead is still long in line with the arcs of anime, and therefore has left his fans eager to see the new season.

What ending could this anime have? Similar to “The Butterfly Effect”?

The first season of Tokyo Revengers was released in April 2021, and the second season is due to be released in 2022. What path will you have prepared for Takemichi? What ending will the anime have? Many times in the world of anime, they are literally guided by the “manga”, but sometimes when taking it to the world of animation they can take some different or even divergent paths. Perhaps the ending will be based on the ending of “The Butterfly Effect”, where “Evan” (Aston Kutcher) made the final decision not to meet his “beloved” in the past, and to return to the “present” to verify that that was the only way to save her.

How does this apply to the world of product and service design?

As in stories, inspiration may come not from your industry, but primarily from other, different industries in which you compete.

  • Tokyo revengers (anime) inspired by a time travel movie (fiction)

To design new products, services and in general any solution: It is important to collect ideas from different sectors in a systematic way to do experiments along the way, creating many prototypes, and putting them to the test until you find a “eureka”, “mentality” that is part of creative teams, and of those teams that use design thinking.

Do you want to know more about hybridization and creativity?

I invite you to read some of my previous articles on hybridization and creativity:

1.- IBM perspectives: skills and employment of the future (11/24/2021). URL:

2.- Hybridization to adapt or reinvent itself (10/09/2020). URL:

3.- Impro Innovation (04/01/2016). URL:

Thanks for reading “Innovate or be changed”

Let’s keep talking, find me on Google: like “Andy García Peña” or @andygarciape