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Tokyo Revengers: Christmas Showdown
Episode 10

by Nicholas Dupree,

How would you rate episode 10 of
Tokyo Revengers: Christmas Showdown ?
Community score: 3.9

© Ken Wakui, Kodansha/Animation 'Tokyo Revengers' Production Committee

Well, all's well that ends well, I suppose. We have at least two episodes left in this season, where we'll presumably catch up with whatever is going on in the future timeline, and maybe even what Kisaki is planning. For now, however, Christmas Showdown is more than happy tying up loose ends and wrapping up this inconsistent story arc in a nice little bow. Like much of this arc, it's a mixed bag. Maybe a mixed stocking, if we're keeping up with the Christmas present analogy? Whatever container it is, there's a pretty even ratio of decently entertaining and disappointingly weak story choices in this episode.

On the good side, it was nice to see a little glimpse of Mitsuya and Draken as kids. The flashbacks to how all of Toman's founders met eachother are always fun, if just for the novelty of seeing these pint-sized punks getting up to PG-13 no-good. Delinquent anime and manga are supposed to be at least a little subversive, and seeing some elementary schoolers playing poker with sex workers in the backroom of a brothel certainly qualifies. Honestly, I'd kind of love an entire spin-off about Draken's wild childhood. It's also nice to find out that this was the time Mitsuya “ran away” from his responsibility towards his sisters, which he mentioned a couple episodes ago. In the grand scheme of things it wasn't a major deal – he was barely gone for one evening – but for him it was a turning point where he learned how even his less-than-ideal family situation has its blessings.

On the not-so-great side, pretty much everything with Hina and Takemichi was a total letdown. After dramatically ending last week's post-credits scene with their meeting – seemingly arranged by Mikey – it's incredibly anticlimactic for basically nothing to happen or change between them. Takemichi cries, apologizes, and is instantly forgiven with no real explanation or resolution. There's no reckoning with him lying to her, or for hiding things from her, or even a question from Hina about the very specific things he promises to protect her from. This could have been the perfect time to actually build their relationship beyond the basics, or at the very least let Hina in on her own impending doom, but nope. Dad gets a minor scolding from Mom, Hina immediately says everything is fine, and they're back to being a doofy couple like nothing ever happened.

“Like nothing happened” is unfortunately how I feel about this story arc at this point. Maybe (hopefully) that will change once we see how the future shakes out, but compared to where we were last time Takemichi fixed something in the past, it doesn't feel like much has been gained or lost. Sure, Hakkai and Yuzuha are in a better place and Black Dragon is disbanded, but we didn't even know about those characters until this arc. We didn't learn anything new about Kisaki's motivation, and considering he's already repeated his plan twice, there's no indication that he won't just try this again as soon as Takemichi slips back to the future. Like, I guess Chifuyu is in on things now, so maybe he can steer things in the right direction between the two timelines, but otherwise we could have skipped everything between now and the penultimate episode of season one and lost very little.

Again, I really hope I'm proven wrong. I sincerely want there to be some kind of lasting, dramatic change to this story's status quo, if only so it doesn't feel like we spun the tires for weeks on end. Yet as the credits rolled on this episode, that was the impression I was left with, and it really, really sucks.


Tokyo Revengers: Christmas Showdown is currently streaming on Hulu.

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