The TV anime of “Tokyo Manji Revengers” written by Ken Wakui (serialized in Weekly Shonen Magazine) has finally started its broadcast!
One day, 26-year-old freelancer Takemichi Hanagaki learns that his ex girlfriend, Hinata Tachibana, has been killed by the Tokyo Manjikai, a group of gangsters, and in order to save her, he travels back in time to his junior high school days.
We asked Yuki Shin, who plays the main character Takemichi, and Yu Hayashi, who plays Manjiro Sano, the president of Tokyo Manjikai, to talk about the appeal and highlights of the work, their impressions of their own characters, and what they keep in mind when playing them!
|A passionate work that shakes the soul while incorporating elements of time-lapse into Yankee manga.
–Please tell us about your impressions and impressions after reading the original story of “Tokyo Revengers” and playing the role in the anime.
Yuki Shin as Takemichi Hanagaki: After reading the original story, I thought that I had come across a character that was quite human among the works I have come into contact with. I think it’s rare to find a work about delinquents these days, and I personally like time-lapse stories, so I simply thought it was a very interesting work.
When we actually started recording, the heat was really high. Takemichi in particular has a lot of monologues, and he is constantly shocked by various situations, and while he seems to have changed, there are aspects of him that remain true to his beliefs. He is a fascinating and interesting character from a human point of view, so it is very rewarding to play him.
Yu Hayashi as Manjiro Sano: There are fewer and fewer works in the category of “Yankee manga” these days, but in my junior and senior high school days, there were many great Yankee manga such as “Bastard Blues”. Reading this work, I was suddenly reminded of those days and felt nostalgic. At the same time, there is an element of time-lapse, which gave me a fresh feeling that this is a Yankee manga that has never existed before.
Each of the characters has their own deep darkness, and their fierce battles unfold, with some surprising twists and turns, but I was also moved by their passionate feelings for their friends. I thought it was such an interesting work that I read it in one sitting.
|A series of surprises and shocks! The straightforwardness and pure love that is typical of Yankee works, as well as the strategic use of time leaps!
–I’ve read a lot of Yankee stories that are rather simple in terms of relationships and storyline, but this one is different in that it is complex and takes a surprising turn.
Shin : It was a series of surprises and shocks, and I was just as surprised as Takemichi every time.
Hayashi: The episode of today’s recording was pretty bad, too! Some of the things I did for good reasons turned out to be bad.
Shin: Just when you think one problem has been solved, another one surfaces behind it. It’s the kind of work that keeps things interesting all the time, and no matter how much you bite into it, the flavor keeps coming out. I also think that the good thing about being a delinquent is that you can express your feelings honestly, and that’s why you can fight with each other and communicate with each other.
Hayashi: I guess that’s one form of adolescence.
–And it’s also novel that 26-year-old Takemichi can make a timely leap back to his middle school days 12 years ago, and that he can only return to the same day.
Shin: You can only go back to today, 12 years ago, and the conditions for a time leap are limited. That’s why you have to use it effectively and strategically, and you need people to help you. That’s also interesting because it’s not an ordinary time-lapse story.
–The heroine is also a part of Yankee works, and Takemichi also does his best to save his ex-girlfriend.
Shin: It’s pure love, isn’t it? For Takemichi, Hinata was the only girlfriend he had in his life, but he had forgotten about her until the incident happened. But I think it’s cool that he puts his life on the line for Hinata.
Hayashi: But as the story progresses, there are more and more characters I want to help.
Shin: That’s right, I’m not sure if I can handle it all by myself (laughs). LOL As you get to know the past and inner life of the characters you get involved with, your desire to help them becomes stronger, and the bond between them deepens, which is also wonderful.
|Takemichi is a man who is honest and easily influenced, but can stand up for his friends.
–Please tell us about your impressions of the characters you play, how they are different from yours, and what you can relate to. First of all, please tell us about Takemichi.
Shin: I can relate to Takemichi in many ways. He’s honest and has convictions, but he’s also easily influenced. He always does everything for his friends, and the reason why he wanted to change from running away was to save his friends.
–The 26-year-old Takemichi was a freelancer, living a helpless life, but when I saw Budo in junior high school, I thought he was a good person, and it was because he was clumsy that he became so.
Shin: The route to turning 26 is not depicted, but I guess I’ve been living my life in good shape because I’m pure, and when I realized that I was getting older. But I thought that the reason I was able to change myself was because I had it in me to begin with, and maybe I just didn’t have the opportunity or the luck to be around others.
|Mikey is undefeated in fights and is also childlike. According to Shin, “His innocence is the same as Yu’s.
–Please tell us about Mikey next.
Hayashi: I guess the common denominator is childishness. I’m a grown man, but I still have Peter Pan syndrome and haven’t fully grown up yet.
Shin: I also feel that Yu’s innocence is similar to Mikey’s.
Hayashi: And the part about being undefeated in fights. I’ve never been in a fight, so I’m undefeated LOL. Also, Mikey tends to take everything on himself, and although he sometimes relies on his partner Draken (Ken Ryuguji), he can’t expose his dark side to others. I think being able to show your weaknesses to others is a form of strength, but he lacks that. I also don’t want to tell people about my weaknesses and tend to digest them in my own mind, so in a way, our high pride may be a similarity.
–He is the president of the “Tokyo Manjikai” that everyone fears, but he is not only strong and scary, he is also very frank and likes Takemichi and calls him “Takemitsu”. I think that’s what makes him unfathomable.
Hayashi: I’m congenitally strong in fights and can beat anyone with one shot, but I realize more and more with each passing episode that Draken is a big part of the reason I’m able to stay on the straight and narrow path of a delinquent.
|Takemichi remains a bum in the beginning! Just like the age of modern martial arts, it’s easy to play.
–Please tell us what you were conscious of when playing Takemichi.
Shin: Around episodes 1 to 3, I was given the direction that “Takemichi is still the same 26-year-old who has been running away, so please remain a bum. I also thought that Takemichi and myself were similar, so I tried to play the role as I was, without thinking about anything else. Although the time leaped back in time is the same as the time I spent in the past, everything that happens will be a fresh surprise, and I played the role thinking that it is Budo who can enjoy it instead of being reluctant.
–Wouldn’t it be difficult to play a junior high school Takemichi with the memories of a 26-year-old?
Shin: I turned 27 the other day, but I was only 26 when I recorded the first episode, so I thought that me playing the role of Takemichi, a junior high school student, would be exactly like the situation in the film. So I thought that me playing the role of Takemichi as a junior high school student would be exactly like the situation in the anime, and I would adapt to the environment as I went along, and the scary people would remain scary. There are many scenes in which Takemichi is concerned about his classmates and older students from junior high school, but I think that because of his honesty, when he became a junior high school student, his feelings naturally became like that, and I think it is because he has not yet become an adult even at the age of 26.
Hayashi: Thanks to the people around me, too.
Shin: That’s right. The people around me treat me normally, and I just have to go along with it. Even so, I was directed to be 26 years old in the monologue, and when Hinata told me that I looked like an adult, I acted as if I was looking at a younger girl I liked.
Hayashi: Takemichi is great. Most of the other characters are strong, but Budo is easy to get along with because he’s good-natured and has a goofy attitude. It’s like people naturally gather around him. In a way, I think he is a people pleaser.
Shin: I don’t think it was like that when the five of us were hanging out in Mizonaka. We were foolish and had a good time, but we got hurt and became corrupt.
Hayashi: People can change a lot with just a little courage. I think that’s what this film taught me.
|This is the most difficult role in Hayashi’s life as an actor. In the recording, he attacked various aspects of the role on the very edge of blurring.
–What were you conscious of when you were playing Mikey?
Hayashi: Mikey has many different expressions, such as his youthfulness, the charisma of the president, and his dark side. I’ve been acting since I was a child, but this may be the first time I’ve played such a difficult role. I’m so grateful to have been given this big role at this time. I was instructed to “make my facial expressions bigger and change rapidly,” so I played the role just barely enough to keep the character intact.
Even so, there were times when I received orders to make them even bigger, so in the early stages, I kept working on the characters while keeping them in sync with each other. There were also a lot of childish scenes that showed his youthfulness, so I let the audience enjoy those scenes to the fullest, and I hope to show the darker side of his character step by step, as he takes on bigger and bigger responsibilities and accumulates a deeper darkness as he fights more and more. I’m challenging myself in many ways, so I hope you’ll look at me with warm eyes LOL.
Shin: When I read the original story, I had an image of Mikey as cool, cool and strong, but after seeing Mikey played by Yu and listening to his direction, I came to think that Mikey’s charm is that he changes so often. In the beginning when he first appeared, there were a lot of innocent scenes, but when the meeting started and he showed his face as the president, I felt his charisma and strength again through Yuu’s voice.
Hayashi: I’m glad!
|Tatsuo Suzuki, who played Draken, led the scene. He also paid tribute to Shin!
–Please tell us about an impressive episode from the recording.
Shin: It’s not so much an episode ……, but I sweat like crazy every time I do it (laughs).
Hayashi: You were lazy again today. But it was good. You’ve always been very passionate, but I think you go beyond that every time.
Shin: I’m glad to hear you say that.
Hayashi: The atmosphere on the set is good. In the movie, Draken is in charge, but on the set, Tatsun (Tatsuo Suzuki), who plays the role of Draken, is the leader. I would say, “Please do it. Whenever I would stumble over my lines, Taktsun would immediately butt in (laughs). (laughs) I think the relationship between Mikey and Draken comes out in that aspect.
Shin: I often worked with Yuu-san and Tatsuo-san during the recording, and just like in the movie, Budo would watch with trepidation as Mikey and Draken joked around happily, but they gradually let me join their circle. It was easy for me to play the role thanks to Yuu’s good personality and Tatsuo’s ability to lead and create an atmosphere.
Hayashi: Taktsun compliments me a lot, doesn’t he? He said, “It’s just like a Takemichi.
Shin: Tatsuo-san said, “You’re too honest, it’s not a plan. But that’s what makes it Takemichi. I’m glad that he thought so, because I was trying to be straightforward at first.
|What is the tone episode of Shin like Takemichi?
Hayashi: He seemed to be nervous at the beginning and it was perfect for him to be tense and stand up to the Yankees, a play he could do only because he was new.
The other cast members were also very impressed with him. The next time Shin met the cast member, he overheard him and said, “I heard that you were complimenting my performance when I wasn’t there. Thank you very much. This guy gets carried away when I praise him. He’s totally Takemichi! Something like that.
Shin: Mr. Yu immediately gave me a compliment. I was so happy to hear his praise that I just had to tell him.
Hayashi: No, you didn’t look like that. He was like, “Thank you very much,” and his Takemichi I’m sure he’ll wear sunglasses in the next recording LOL
Shin: I’ll be careful in the future. ……! LOL
|The excitement and elation that comes with PV. What was it that made Mr. Hayashi particularly excited?
–Please tell us your impressions after seeing the videos in the PV and other media.
Shin: It was refreshing to see Takemichi and the others moving with colors. In addition, my voice was also attached. I felt shocked and moved, which is different from the feeling of watching PVs and videos of anime I’ve performed in. There were parts of my performance that I thought were good and others that I wondered if they were good. I’m curious about everyone’s reaction.
Hayashi: That’s the fate we have to carry with us. Let’s do our best together!
Shin: That’s right. Especially in the second PV, the OP song was played and there were even people who were like, “You’re going to show that character already? I was really excited.
Hayashi: No matter what kind of anime it is, when you see the PV, you get a sense of excitement that it’s finally starting. Also, I personally love the OP song by Official Bearded Otoko dism, and I even went to see them perform at the Budokan for the first time. I even went to see him perform at the Budokan for the first time. Being able to be involved in the same work as Higedan is a treasure for me, and I feel like I’ve been given a great opportunity.
|Your two favorite characters.
–There are many different characters in this work, but other than yourself, who are your favorites or characters you are interested in?
Shin: There are some attractive characters that I can’t spoil too much yet, but in terms of character illustrations, Mitsuya is stylish and has a cool face and silver hair. Also, Naoto is a character that I’m deeply involved with as Takemichi, and Ryota Aisaka, who plays him, is a wonderful person, which made me like Naoto even more and want to work hard with him for the sake of Hinata.
Hayashi: As for the role of Mikey, it’s Draken. I think it was great that he was played by Taktsun. He’s a manly man, he looks out for his surroundings, and he’s the one who brings everyone together. I like Draken, and I like Tatsun even more now.
|Shin’s impression of Hyuga and the episode with Azumi Waki, who says she still regrets it.
–Shin-san, why is it that you have mentioned so many names, but Budo’s girlfriend, Hinata, is not mentioned at all?
Shin: I dared to mention a male character because Hinata is so obvious and so unique that I didn’t even dare to mention her name!
Hayashi: Let’s put it that way, shall we?
Shin: No, it’s not! Hinata is cute! I was so nervous at first that I couldn’t talk to Waki (Azumi), who was playing her. I was so nervous at first that I couldn’t talk to Waki (Azumi), who was playing the role. When my voice got hoarse during the recording, Waki gave me some syrup for my throat afterwards. I had the same syrup, so I said, “Oh, it’s okay! I still regret that I said no.
Hayashi: That’s when I said, “I have the same one, so why don’t we exchange it? Right?
Shin: You can’t do that! And it was a conversation we had when we were left alone in the booth.
Hayashi: You’re so kind. You’re so kind, Waki-san.
Shin: Next time I have a chance, I’ll apologize. Don’t run away, lol.
|In junior high school, Shin was “shy” and Hayashi was a “basketball kid.
–By the way, what kind of junior high school students were the two of you?
Shin: We were very shy. I had a girl who was my childhood friend from kindergarten to elementary school, and I called her by her first name, and we played together well. But when I got to junior high school, he happened to come to my class and waved, but I just bailed lightly. I couldn’t talk to him after that.
Hayashi: Was he conscious of me?
Shin: Probably. I was in a phase where I liked all the girls who sat next to me and talked to me. I was like, “She talks to me. I like her! I liked them!
Hayashi: Oh, man! That also sounds like Takemichi.
Shin : That’s true. But it’s not like that now! When I was at the vocational school, there were more girls than boys, so I thought it would be easier to talk to girls. I was also on the soccer team, but I wasn’t very good and I didn’t like being teased about it, so I stopped playing at the end. I ran away from there as well.
Hayashi: I was a basketball kid, I was in a theater troupe from the age of five, but I started playing basketball in the upper grades of elementary school. I was stressed out because I had to work after school and couldn’t play basketball with everyone, so I quit the troupe when I entered junior high school because I wanted to play basketball, and became passionate about the basketball club.
I spent almost every day, including holidays, playing basketball. However, when I entered high school and thought about what I wanted to do, I realized that the voice acting I had done as a child actor was appealing to me, so I rejoined the theater company.
|The highlight is a story of male friendship and pure love, Mikey’s past, and Takemichi’s final mission!
–Please introduce the appeal and highlights of the anime “Tokyo Revengers,” as well as your own character’s highlights and points of interest.
Shin: It’s a work full of youth, showing the friendship between men with the bumps and bruises that only delinquents can have, and the pure love with the girl they like. There are also serious and hard scenes, but there are also comical and funny scenes in between. I think you will be drawn in by the slow and steady tempo of the work.
The fight scenes, which are an important part of the delinquent’s story, are very powerful, and even during the recording, everyone is giving it their all to the point of exhaustion, so I hope you enjoy it.
As for Takemichi, he has a strong desire to save Hinata and his friends, but when he gets scared or in pain, he wants to run away. The story is not all pretty, but it also portrays weaknesses, which makes it more humanistic and easy to relate to. Don’t miss out on the question of whether Hyuga can be saved and how he will move forward to do so.
Hayashi: I think it’s a new type of Yankee anime that incorporates time leaps, and the highlight is how the future changes when Budo goes back in time and overwrites the past. There is a strong element of sadness, but you can be moved by the way the guys forgive and solve their problems through their big and deep friendship. And the way Takemichi fails again and again, but faces up to it each time, gives courage to those of us who can’t see a way out of the current situation.
Also, please pay attention to why Azuma Manji, of which Mikey was the president, has become a vicious organization that threatens people.
|An animation filled with love, passion, and feelings for the work has finally started!
–Please give us a message for everyone.
Shin: I’ve poured everything I have and all my energy into this work, so I hope that even a little bit of the charm of Takemichi will be conveyed. I hope you can feel the passion and love for the work of the seniors.
The original story, the anime, and the live-action movie are now being developed in three different media, and I’m sure you’ll find them all interesting and love them. I hope you’ll check them all out and enjoy “Tokyo Revengers” to the fullest.
Hayashi: I’m playing Mikey with all my might, borrowing the enthusiasm of Takemichi and Shin, who plays him, and it’s an important work that has given me the opportunity to return to my initial feelings. There are many aspects to Mikey, and I hope to express the various changes that will occur in the future with my voice.
I feel that the synergistic effect of everyone working together in unison, inspiring each other to create the work, is that the enthusiasm for the work is increasing. The staff and the cast love this work, and we believe that our passion will live on in the anime.
It was a very long interview. It was a very long interview, but I felt a lot of love and I’m looking forward to seeing your work. There are two episodes available on Netflix. I can’t wait for the next episode to come out!