There are a couple of headlines with this week’s Tokyo Revengers, but it’s the behind-the-scenes one that’s perhaps most notable. For the uninitiated, Doraken voice actor Suzuki Tatsuhisa was replaced by Fukunishi Masaya for this season (and on the Blu-rays of the first, which I find pretty absurd). The story behind it is certainly ugly: a huge scandal erupted when Suzuki was disclosed to have cheated on his wife, well-known singer-songwriter Lisa. What’s more he attempted suicide (apparently almost successfully), and both of them went on hiatus from performing for an extended period. She eventually returned; he’s largely disappeared from the industry.
Whether a seiyuu should be blacklisted for marital infidelity is a legitimate matter for debate, I suppose, though my view is that unless there are additional complicating circumstances they shouldn’t. It’s one that’s been in the news lately too, as Sakurai Takahiro, one of the biggest seiyuu names there is, has been revealed to be a serial womanizer of almost tragicomic proportions. Infidelity is an ugly thing but it should also be a private one – with celebs in Japan that’s seemingly impossible. As for Fukunishi as Doraken, all I can say is it’s too soon to tell (he had about two lines this week). I do know that Dorkaen was my favorite character in this cast and Suzuki had something to do with that, so this could certainly impact my engagement with Tokyo Revengers.
The other headline is that Takemitchy finally spilled the beans to someone in the past about what’s really going on (Chifuyu). The lead-in to that finds Taiju taking on the mantle of “beating to death” Takemitchy after his brother declines. Yuzuha intervening has no effect – Taiju is happy enough to hit her, so one assumes that Hina’s intervention would have ended the same way. Eventually Hakkai makes an offer – if Takemitchy is spared, he’ll quit Toman and go to work for his brother in Black Dragon. An interesting turn, given that in the most recent future Chifuyu told Takemitchy that Hakkai killed the previous leader of B.D., and Hakkai tells him now that he “has something to do” in Black Dragon.
I’m already well tired of seeing Takemitchy get beat up seemingly every week, though at least Hakkai took him to the hospital this time. In this timeline his four buddies are already members of Toman, and Chifuyu is on-hand to make sure he’s okay after his incident. This is a scary development for Toman, because this new Black Dragon is much different from the one the newly-formed outfit Toman vanquished. Taiju has formed his “Murder Squad” into a quasi-military unit, and enriched himself and the organization by selling Black Dragon as hired enforcers (presumably for the yakuza).
I don’t totally buy that the circumstances were so exceptional as to prompt Takemitchy to spill the beans (he should be used to this kind of thing by now) but I suppose he’s been bursting to share this burden with somebody. Chifuyu as someone whose life is on the line is as logical as anyone. And I suppose when it comes to actually believing this wild tale it helps that these are 14-15 year-old kids. Chifuyu reasons that the key for Takemitchy is to prevent Hakkai from quitting Toman, and says he has a plan for doing so. The problem is, as Takemitchy is painfully reminded, Chifuyu is kind of an idiot and his “plan” reflects that fact.
I do think another person in the past knowing the truth significantly changes the dynamic of the story. It also, even as punch-drunk, half-bright Takemitchy understands, exponentially increases the chance of the future being changed in profound and unforeseen ways. Given how most of Takemitchy’s tweaks have turned out so far that seems like it might not be a bad thing. But when it comes to time travel fiction this sort of twist is not to be trifled with – we’ll see how seriously Wakui Ken holds to the canon of the genre.