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Manga / Tokyo Tribe

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This is the other side of Tokyo, a Tokyo of a different color. There, various tribes are living.
Young men living in the city...the public of modern times builds a home out of corruption.
These young men of the sordid side of life, a side called "reality", are depicted here.
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The story of Tokyo Tribe is heavily based around the hip-hop and street culture of modern day Tokyo. It focuses on members of the Saru street gang (Shivuya branch in the original manga, Musashino branch in Tokyo Tribes). The Saru exist as a safe haven from the rampant crimes that occur between the Wu-Ronz of Bukuro and the Hands of Shinjuku.

When three Saru members turn up dead, Kai, a lieutenant within the gang, hunts for their assailants. He finds Mera, leader of Wu-Ronz and former friend, and accuses him of the murders. Their fight ends in the death of Tera, the Saru leader, and begins the Second Gang War. Meanwhile, a prostitute named Sunmi may either hold the key to bringing the two friends together or destroying all three gangs from the inside out.

Tokyo Tribe and the sequel Tokyo Tribes were both written by Santa Inoue. The first was published in 1993 and covered the events prior to the First Gang War. Tokyo Tribes was published between 1997 and 2005 in the magazine boon. Tokyo Tribe 2 was the anime based on the second manga and was directed by Tatsuo Sato and produced by Madhouse Studios. The series ran for 13 episodes between 2006 and 2007.

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A Live-Action Adaptation developed by Sion Sono (Suicide Club, Strange Circus) premired in late 2014 at the Toronto International Film Festival. It is currently seeking U.S. distribution.


This series contains examples of:

  • Arms Dealer: Ibu.
  • A Nazi by Any Other Name: In Tokyo Tribe 2, the NEO WU-RONZ, after nearly taking over a majority of Tokyo, become the "Skunk Empire", named after its leader and former underling of Mera. The outfits of the Skunk Empire members are reminiscent of Nazi uniforms, with the kana "ズ" in place of the swastika. Even Skunk, who grew a mustache over the course of two episodes, dresses very similarly to Hitler during his reign as the leader of the Skunk Empire.
  • Bald of Evil: Mera and Skunk in Tokyo Tribe 2.
  • Band of Brothers: Members of the Saru gang are less focused on the turf war and more focused on bringing a settlement of peace throughout the region. In doing so, they build closer bonds than the other gangs.
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  • Batter Up!: Kai's weapon of choice in Tokyo Tribe 2.
  • Bloody Hilarious: The "goosh goosh" rape scene is initially horrifying, but when you see an amount of blood coming from under the door in an amount comparable to The Shining, it immediately Crosses the Line Twice.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: When Mera confronts Buppa about him killing his parents, chopping them to pieces and putting them on display, Buppa expresses his confusion and says he has no idea what Mera is talking about. Mera has a Heroic BSoD moment and starts laughing before killing the fat gangster.
  • But Not Too Foreign: It's implied by their facial features that Mera and Kai might be of mixed Japanese/African heritage, or even simply 1st or 2nd generation Japanese born immigrants, though the show never goes into detail.
  • Depraved Bisexual: The same place the "goosh goosh" comes from: Buppa, in Tokyo Tribes.
  • Eye Scream: Renkon the Chef, when Jada Kins eats his eye out in episode 6 of Tokyo Tribe 2.
  • Fat Bastard: Buppa.
  • Friendship Tropes: Let's list all the tropes Kai and Mera exhibit as friends, shall we?
  • Gonk: Buppa, Skunk and some minor characters.
  • Groin Attack: Skunk gets his nuts clubbed with a microphone by Sunmi. Serves him right.
  • The Juggernaut: Jadakins towers over everyone.
  • Katanas Are Just Better: Mera's main weapon.
  • Local Hangout: A Captain Ersatz of Denny's. Yes, Denny's. They're pretty popular in Japan.
  • Mafia Princess: Sunmi.
  • Mob War
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: The amount of blood Buppa takes out of the Bishōnen guy is just amazing.
    • The amount Nkoi, Buppa's son loses before succumbing to his impalement is just as absurd.
  • Police are Useless: A comment made after the Shivuya riots informs the audience the police never arrived.
  • Scary Black Man: Jadakins. Also, to some extent, Mera.
  • Tank Goodness: Somehow, the Hands manage to get a tank on the streets.
  • Villainous BSoD: Buppa, when he gets stabbed in the face by Mera in episode 10 of Tokyo Tribe 2.
  • Villainous Glutton: Buppa.

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