Wind Breaker and Tokyo Revengers have even less in common than haters believe

Wind Breaker and Tokyo Revengers have even less in common than haters believe (Images via CloverWorks, Liden Films)
Wind Breaker and Tokyo Revengers have even less in common than haters believe (Images via CloverWorks, Liden Films)

With the massive success of the Wind Breaker anime early on in the Spring 2024 anime season, it’s no surprise that parallels are already being drawn to Tokyo Revengers. After all, the two are delinquent anime, and with the latter series’ television anime adaptation still ongoing, the comparisons were inevitably going to happen sooner or later.

While the similarities between the two series go further, such as having unconventional protagonists for the delinquent genre, there are some key differences between the two. This is especially true in their tone and plot, but can also be applied to their seemingly shared genre of general “delinquent” anime.

However, in reality, both are very distinct representations of Japanese delinquent culture, meaning Wind Breaker and Tokyo Revengers have even less in common than many think. While these differences aren’t apparent to casual fans, those extensively familiar with delinquent anime are likely aware of the distinction in the delinquent culture they represent.

Wind Breaker and Tokyo Revengers may both be delinquent anime but represent different subcultures

As mentioned above, both series represent two distinct subcultures of Japanese delinquency in their plots, settings, and cast. While Wind Breaker represents the core “yanki” delinquency culture, Tokyo Revengers represents the “bosozuoku” subset of Japanese delinquent culture. The latter, which Tokyo Revengers best represents, first began in the early 1950s due to the difficulty Japanese veterans found in post-war societal reintegration.

Many turned to custom car and bike-making, with the early bosozoku members also taking heavy inspiration from old American biker culture as portrayed in greaser culture and imported Western films. Young people viewed this lifestyle as appealing, leading to them eventually taking over the identity and the first modern bosozoku appearing in the 1970s.

Around the same time, the yanki subculture of delinquency (which Wind Breaker best represents) also began emerging. While they had similarities, the yanki subculture distinguished itself via its members’ greaser-like appearance, such as dyed and slicked-back hair. While this group also sometimes rode bikes, they were more associated with an overall aesthetic and getting into spontaneous fights rather than the bosozoku’s organized efforts.

While many prior anime and manga series have represented each of these groups in different ways, Tokyo Revengers and Wind Breaker bring the two subcultures down to their most quintessential levels.

This is especially seen in their first episodes, with the former series establishing its central cast as biker delinquents while the latter establishes them as brawler delinquents. In other words, the former is more akin to the bosozoku, and the latter is similar to the traditional yanki culture.

Furthermore, there are no real similarities between the two series beyond each representing subsets of delinquent culture. Their plots are one major difference, with each utilizing their chosen subculture in vastly different ways to further their overarching narratives. Their settings also differ greatly, with one implementing time travel and the other fully being set in one era. The casts are also inherently different, given the different subcultures represented.

While it’s difficult to say which is “better” between the two due to these nuanced differences, it can be easily said that both do a great job of representing their chosen subcultures. Likewise, both are equally appealing series to all anime fans, whether by their nuanced differences or by each being a fantastic delinquent-genre anime/manga series.

Related links

Wind Breaker episode 2 highlights

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Edited by Meenakshi Ajith
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