Content Warning: Bullying, gang violence
What’s it about? Hanagaki Takemichi is in his late twenties and nothing is working out for him. Everyone from his boss to little kids don’t respect him and he has to deal with the fact his only girlfriend from middle school died during a brawl in a gang war. That all changes when someone mysteriously pushes him onto the train tracks and he suddenly travels back in time to his middle school days. Now he must change the future to save his ex-girlfriend’s from her terrible fate.
Was anyone else hoping this would be a revenge story? No? Just me?
This premiere had a rough start for me. While I understand the point is to show that Takemichi is going through rough times during his adulthood, it’s difficult to get invested in him because beyond that he isn’t that interesting. It’s also odd that the first thing Takemichi thinks about after remembering his recently deceased ex-girlfriend, Tachibana Hinata is that she was his only girlfriend and that he never lost his virginity (What a guy).
When the time leap does happen–it’s always either a truck or a train–Takemichi remembers that he was just a small-time punk who got into a lot of fights just to prove that he was strong. In short, he wasn’t a great person, and when pushed came to shove he deferred to people who were stronger than him. Takemichi clearly has a lot of regrets and wishes he made better choices, but at the same time I sort of wish he wasn’t so hard on himself when he was clearly still a kid trying to find some direction in his life.
It also says a lot about how strained Takemichi’s relationship with his family and friends are, since his final thoughts before his “death” were about an ex-girlfriend he hasn’t thought about in years. Speaking of Hinata, I really hope she becomes more than a plot device for Takemichi’s character development, because if she just ends up being a super nice girlfriend with no character growth that constantly needs saving then this series is going to get boring real fast.
Usually I’m not a huge fan of time travel if it isn’t done right. There are so many factors to consider. How much of the future can you change? Can you really save everyone? These are questions that Takemichi has to think about since he’s set on trying to save Hinata’s life and stop whatever bad events that may happen in the future.
This episode felt more like a prologue that will gradually reveal all of its major characters, but surprisingly it does pick up towards the end when Takemichi makes a connection with Hinata’s brother Naoto, who seems to be the only one who knows about his time travel.
The problem is I found myself not being really interested in Takemichi’s character at all by the end of this episode. The question is, will the next couple of episodes make me care about him at all? I guess I have to stick around for a bit to find out.