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© Ken Wakui, Kodansha/Animation ‘Tokyo Revengers’ Production Committee

Between the last three episodes, it feels like I’ve been eulogizing Christmas Showdown for nearly a month. We’ve had the happy wrap-up to the current arc, then the bittersweet goodbye, and finally the shocking twist. So this season finale should be more like a season premiere for a (currently announced) sequel; setting up our new conflict and adversaries in record time. Truth be told, I’m happy to say goodbye to that previous story arc and move on to (hopefully) greener pastures. So, sure, why not?

Though there’s some awkwardness to this introduction. As funny as it is to finally return to the bathhouse scenes that showed up so often in season one, it’s strange to have it so soon after watching Mikey bleed out in Takemichi’s arms. Similarly, it’s weird to see Takemichi revert to a comic relief doofus when five minutes ago he was beating his knuckles bloody, trying to get strong enough to save his friends. I imagine that’s a consequence of turning this last episode into a finale since there was probably a better sense of passing time in the original. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the returning humor and rapport these characters have, but the transition is a rough one.

Oddly enough, this episode looks anything but rough. It introduces our new enemy gang with some of the best action I’ve seen from this production. The scene of Takemichi and Akkun trying to escape the train station while Chifuyu struggles to hold back the tide is easily the most pulse-pounding the show’s been in ages, as it perfectly escalates the tension of this sudden invasion. The whole chase scene works, selling us on the size of this new threat, and how isolated Takemichi and his friends are against them. Things are chaotic and dangerous, and we feel just as unprepared as the characters when dozens of red-suited thugs pour out of the trains and into the streets.

There’s also that final moment with Kisaki that leaves me uncertain about how much I should read into Takemichi’s unfinished thoughts at the end. My instinct says he has realized Kisaki is also a time traveler, and that they’ve been playing 4D chess against each other this whole time. If that’s the case, that’s a wild move that could have huge implications for this story. However, it’s equally possible that I’m grasping at straws, and Takemichi is just expressing shock that the guy who keeps secretly taking over enemy gangs to conquer Toman is trying it once more. If that is the case—that is a weak cliffhanger to leave us on for potentially years.

Overall, it’s a solid way to start this new storyline. Considering how Tokyo Revengers is better at starting new storylines than finishing them, perhaps that’s what makes it a great choice to end this season with. At the very least, I’m more curious about seeing what’s next, rather than focusing on the disappointment that came before. I’m sure we’ll be seeing more of this show eventually. For now, I’ll take as much upside as I can.


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Episode 13 – Tokyo Revengers: Christmas Showdown