Whenever you see, read, or hear something about Tokyo Revengers, one element immediately comes to mind — and not necessarily Takemichi Hanagaki, the time-traveling protagonist of the series.
No, we’re talking about the ever-popular Manjiro “Mikey” Sano, president of the Tokyo Manji Gang (or Toman for short)!
Pull your hair back, loosen that jacket, and rev those engines — we’re here to take a closer look at the curious case of Mikey from Tokyo Revengers, and find out just what makes him tick!
Tokyo Revengers' Mikey: Quick Profile
Before diving into the nitty-gritty of Mikey's story and its development, take a moment to review some essential information about his character.
How old is Mikey? How tall is Mikey?
Does he have siblings?
Here's a quick refresher on all that and more!
|Real Name||Manjiro Sano|
|Role||Tokyo Manji Gang founder and president|
|Date of Birth||August 20, 1990|
|Age||15 years old (past)
27 years old (present)
|Height||162 cm (5 ft 3)|
|Weight||53 kg (123 lb)|
|Siblings||Shinichiro, older brother
Emma, younger sister
|Likes||Dorayaki, taiyaki, omelet rice|
It's interesting to note that the average height of a 15-year-old male in Japan, according to 2020 government statistics, is about 168 cm (5 ft 5).
Sure, Mikey doesn't necessarily tower over the opposition in a physical sense (leave that to his best bud Draken) -- but as you're about to find out, the level of respect and authority he commands means that people certainly do look up to him, no question!
Read on to find out more!
5 Hard Facts About Mikey
The great thing about Mikey is that he’s far from your bread-and-butter OP shounen character. There’s a complexity about him that solidifies his legendary status both inside and outside the Tokyo Revengers universe.
In front of his loved ones, he’s free-spirited and juvenile. But to the Tokyo Manji Gang, he’s the boss: an incredibly charismatic leader who instills fear and commands respect at the same time.
That’s a heck of a dichotomy to roll into the one character, yet Mikey pulls it off both effortlessly and effectively — and all while charming his way into your heart.
Just who exactly is Mikey?
What makes him so intriguing, enigmatic, and downright lovable?
Without further ado, here’s 5 hard facts about Mikey — and the darkness within — that you’ll definitely want to keep close to heart.
NOTE: Significant spoilers for the Tokyo Revengers manga and anime lie ahead!
#1: Mikey is a strong, dependable leader
You need only look at the Tokyo Manji Gang itself — its members, how it begins, and what it becomes in the future — to get an idea of just how strong a leader Mikey is.
From pranksters to predators
The Tokyo Manji Gang is founded by a handful of naïve (albeit well-meaning) middle schoolers — Mikey, Draken, Kazutora, Baji, Mitsuya, and Pah-chin — as a means of dealing with a rival gang.
It’s nothing more than a typical case of schoolyard testosterone and brotherhood — in fact, its initial members mostly spend their time goofing around with their motorbikes and playing pranks on each other!
But fast-forward to 2017, the “present day” that series protagonist Takemichi originally time leaps from. Toman has established itself as a full-fledged crime syndicate, committing felonies left and right — even killing people without hesitation.
It’s all a far cry from the goofball golden days of middle school, and you can bet that Mikey has a part to play in all of it.
Reining in the troops
Mikey transforms the Tokyo Manji Gang into a formidable collective over time.
A group’s dynamic largely depends on whoever is king or queen of the castle. No doubt you’ll remember in your own school days how the overall mood and atmosphere in a class with a loud, fun-loving teacher was more upbeat and cheerful than one with a stern, by-the-book instructor!
That’s what happens with Toman.
Though Mikey is young and carefree at heart (more on this later), a tragic darkness gradually festers within him that helps him both suppress those characteristics and rein in his fellow Toman members, molding them into hardened criminals. Toman’s motto is “all for one and one for all,” after all!
Mikey’s effective presidency stems from his calm, imposing behavior when it’s time to get down to business. With his ability to deliver in any situation and stay protective of everyone under his wing, it’s easy to see why the other gang members look up to him as a dependable leader.
Only the strongest survive
Of course, the law of the jungle also values those with unrivaled strength — and Mikey has that in spades.
When it comes to fisticuffs, Mikey is as formidable as they come. He’s practiced martial arts since early childhood, and has come into his own so much that those around him see him as nothing short of a prodigy.
True to his position as president of the Tokyo Manji Gang, on more than one occasion it’s Mikey who saves the day after entering the fray.
Bolstered by this pure fighting prowess, Mikey positions himself — and Toman — at the top of Shibuya’s underworld.
A discerning eye for potential
Though Mikey is a tough beast, that’s not to say that he’s all brawn and no brains — or that he only acknowledges strength as someone’s defining qualities.
One final characteristic of a great leader is their ability to see past the haze and scope out the true value that someone has within. Imagine a wrestling coach or a section manager giving up on their team simply because they seem unable to deliver immediate results!
Mikey, in true leader fashion, is able to properly look at a person and judge their potential. This is never more true than when it comes to his appraisal of Takemichi, who isn’t exactly a heavyweight boxer himself. Mikey sees part of his beloved brother Shinichiro in Takemichi: namely, a certain charisma that allows him to inspire and rally people to his cause, and the resolve to never give up whenever things go south.
If Mikey had simply dismissed Takemichi as a weak crybaby, who knows how the Tokyo Revengers story would have played out!
#2: Mikey is cool and carefree
They say that opposites attract, and this is true for Mikey as well — in the sense that he’s a mix of multiple opposing personalities. Sure, he gives off a truly formidable aura when things get down to business, but it’s like he’s a totally different person otherwise!
For one thing, Mikey is pretty darn slovenly and lazy at home. He has the innate ability to sleep anywhere and everywhere, regardless of what those around him may think about it — an impressive feat in itself.
Moreover, like many regular teenagers, he’s got a natural happy-go-lucky attitude. Understandably, this makes him a hit with his close friends (everybody loves a mood maker); however, it regularly draws the ire of his little sister Emma, whose efforts to try to act older than her age may very well be in part due to her wanting to keep Mikey in check.
#3: Mikey loves his family and friends
Brother and protector
It might not be the first thing that comes to your mind when you picture the president of a delinquent gang, but Mikey loves his family very much.
He respects and idolizes his older brother Shinichiro, hoping to one day follow in his footsteps insofar as what qualities he has as a leader: not unbridled physical strength per se, but rather enough allure and charisma to naturally draw people to him.
Mikey is highly protective of his aforementioned sister Emma. Technically half-siblings, the two are exceptionally close — to the point that unknowing folk mistake them for lovers on multiple occasions throughout the series. In fact, Emma is the reason he picks the nickname “Mikey” in the first place; he doesn’t want her to feel out of place as the only one with a Western-sounding name.
The final sibling in the mix is Izana Kurokawa, Mikey’s adoptive older brother. He’s not a Sano by birthright — only entering their lives as a literal result of an affair — but Shinichiro treats him as one all the same, pushing for them all to live together as one family. Izana is jealous of Mikey because he wants Shinichiro’s attention all to himself; however, Mikey holds no will against him, even going so far as to try to save him after learning what Izana becomes.
Brother in arms
It’s not just family that has a special place in Mikey’s heart. Love also manifests in the form of the bond and loyalty that he shares with his friends.
First there’s Ken “Draken” Ryuguji, whom he fondly calls “Kenchin.” Mikey and Draken have been best buds since childhood and have stuck to each other’s side throughout the years.
The death and suffering that forever seems to surround Mikey weakens him mentally; it even drives him to depression. He needs something to keep him from losing his way. That’s exactly what Draken is to Mikey— a confidant and a moral compass to whom he can turn for support. The two are so close that Mikey sheds tears of joy and relief when he realizes that Draken survives a serious stabbing; notably, it’s the first time we see Mikey cry during the series.
As mentioned earlier, Mikey also feels a deep sense of closeness with Takemichi — not because of the latter’s fighting skills (or rather, lack thereof), but the fact that his sheer determination rubs off well on all those around him. Just like Draken, he views Takemichi as a ray of light; he’ll never lose his way as long as they’re together.
#4: Mikey has been through hell
To say that Mikey’s life has been fraught with hardship would be a grievous understatement. Death, depression, and despair all rear their ugly head at some point in his life, no matter what timeline Takemichi meets him in.
Warning: More spoilers ahead!
The slaying of his brother Shinichiro
Shinichiro meets his demise at the hands of Mikey’s very own friends, Kazutora and Baji. The two break into the elder Sano’s bike shop (without realizing who owns it), intent on stealing a bike as a birthday gift for Mikey himself — and what follows is a tragic series of events that serves as a turning point for everyone involved.
Not only does Mikey lose his beloved older brother (for whom he had the utmost respect), he also has to deal with the pain of knowing that the ones responsible were two of his closest comrades.
A friendship turns fatal
Mikey’s suffering continues some time later, when Kazutora stabs Baji during a conflict between Toman and rival gang Valhalla. For Kazutora, it may well be a means to an end: the Sano blood on his hands has driven him insane, such that he not only blames Mikey for the death, but also has a long-held desire to “finish the job” and kill Mikey as well.
Mikey resolves to fight Kazutora to the death and end years of bad blood once and for all, but Baji steps in between them and takes his own life to prevent any more carnage between the two former friends.
Mikey, now forced to come to grips with the loss of a true brother in arms, is understandably devastated.
Saying goodbye to his sister
Between the accidental slaying of his dear brother and the bold sacrifice of his best friend, Mikey’s life has been anything but roses.
One of the shining lights in the darkness is his sister Emma, who he continues to love and protect at all costs. But, as much as it pains us to say it, even she isn’t safe from the dreaded crossfire of gang warfare.
Series antagonist Kisaki Tetta attacks Emma under the orders of Izana Kurokawa — who, as we explained above, is Mikey and Emma’s own adoptive brother (talk about sibling rivalry!). Mikey springs into action in a desperate bid to save her, but it’s too late — and once again, an innocent Sano becomes a casualty of reckless violence.
Just when you think things couldn’t possibly get any worse for poor Mikey, the story throws you another curveball — and you’re left wondering when on Earth he’s ever going to catch a break.
#5: Mikey looks to be facing a grim future
During the Bonten Arc, Takemichi finally gets (what initially seems to be) the happy ending he’s been yearning for all along: everyone alive and well, with Hinata as his fiancée.
There’s just one problem: Mikey is nowhere to be found.
It wouldn’t be a true happy ending without the president of Tokyo Manji Gang around, so Takemichi sets out in search of him.
A new level of infamy
Unfortunately, the Mikey that Takemichi eventually finds is not at all like the one he knew so well in the past.
Toman is no more, and in its place is a ruthless crime syndicate — which Mikey himself leads. The new position brings with it a whole new level of infamy, too: he’s now seen as one of the nation’s most heinous criminals.
It’s all a far cry from what Takemichi expects; after everything he and Mikey have been through, you can’t help but feel for the both of them.
A broken man
Yes, Mikey is infamous by the time the Bonten Arc rolls around, but his life is also in tatters. With so much suffering and tragedy plaguing his young life, he’s now a shell of his former self — and who could blame him for it?
For starters, as mentioned above, the Tokyo Manji Gang no longer exists. Mikey disbands it, perhaps out of guilt or some sense of responsibility, after Takemichi informs him what becomes of it in the future. Toman was Mikey’s rock throughout his adolescent years, so its absence must no doubt take its toll on the poor guy.
Second, he’s all alone. His siblings are gone, and he’s distanced himself from the other Toman members; there’s no Shinichiro to look up to, no Emma to fight for, and no Draken or Takemichi to act as his brothers in arms. He promised Takemichi he’d protect everyone dear to them until they meet again in the future — but unfortunately hasn’t been able to follow through.
Mikey is emotionally vulnerable, and is easily swayed (read: corrupted) in the absence of a guiding light like family members or friends. Now he’s lost, trapped in the darkness that has been looking deep within him for years. He even tries to take his own life during the Bonten Arc, but Takemichi comes to the rescue. And when Mikey emotionally implores him to save him from the darkness, Takemichi finds himself (perhaps inadvertently) on yet another time leap — this time to his high school years in 2008.
Here’s hoping Takemichi will be able to save Mikey — and finally give him the happy ending he so truly deserves.
Recap: 5 Hard Facts About Mikey From Tokyo Revengers
Manjiro “Mikey” Sano from Tokyo Revengers is a complex beast of a character. Here’s what we discovered about him in this blog post:
- He’s a strong, dependable leader
- He’s cool and carefree
- He loves his family and friends
- He’s been through hell
- He looks to be facing a grim future
Mikey undergoes an immense amount of character development over the course of the Tokyo Revengers story. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for him next!
Tokyo Revengers: An Unstoppable Juggernaut
The world is slap-bang in the middle of Tokyo Revengers fever, and it’s not very hard to see why.
The manga was one of the best-selling franchises in the first half of 2021, and the anime adaptation continues to light up popularity polls online. And then of course there’s the film version, starring rising talent like Takumi Kitamura and Ryo Yoshizawa, which recently opened at #1 at the Japanese box office.
It’s a huge universe with a larger-than-life cast of characters, all intertwined in an intricate web of action, turmoil, and emotion.
But what makes it even more memorable is the fact that, despite the grand scale, it’s undeniably a tale of human relationships and personal change.
And none exemplify that more than everybody’s favorite blond boss, Manjiro “Mikey” Sano!
Over to You!
What are your favorite Tokyo Revengers moments?
Who’s your favorite member of the Tokyo Manji Gang?
How do you think Mikey’s story will conclude?
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You can watch Tokyo Revengers on Crunchyroll and Netflix.
About the Author
Cristy is a freelance writer and artist who enjoys drawing manga and trading crypto for a living. She also enjoys lurking around anime, manga, and seiyuu-related fandoms in her spare time.
This blog post was edited and published by ZenPlus.
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