20th Century Boys (manga)


#1

[size=16]20th Century Boys[/size]

[quote]Genres: drama, mystery, psychological, science fiction, thriller
Themes: amnesia, coming of age, conspiracy, crime, growing up, music, secret identity, terrorists
Objectionable content: Significant
**Volumes:**22 (+ 2 for the sequel known as “21st Century Boys”)
Original run: January 30th 2000 – 2006
Plot Summary: Kenji and his friends start to notice a series of odd occurences related to their childhood. A mysterious cult-leader named “friend” is out to destroy the world, and it has something to do with Kenji’s childhood memories.[/quote]
ANN Info Page


Well we made a topic about this manga on the old forum, so I figured mine as well re-make the topic. So far I like the manga, but I’m not “hooked” yet. I hope to figure out what makes this guy, Urasawa, so well loved. I am enjoying it so far though, don’t me wrong. This manga got great reviews, so I can’t wait to read more of it! So far I only read the first volume. The second volume came out today. I’ll buy it when I get some money. ( I had money saved up for it, but I spent it on some rare anime DVD’s I found at Coconuts hehe).


#2

Not to double post, but I read the second volume awhile ago and I liked it. Anyone else read that yet? I’d like to talk about it a little. It’s still very “slice-of-life”, but the mystery is building. I wonder when this get’s really good though? I did enjoy the second volume. The artwork is very good, and I am enjoying the character designs. But for manga Mohiro Kitoh has the best character desings out there as far as I’m consered. Still these are cool.


#3

I saw this series in Borders today. It looks like it has an interesting plot and the art style is pretty unique, but I’m also pretty pressed for cash, so I didn’t get it. Damn college sapping all my finances. :stuck_out_tongue:

Whenever I think of a “slice of life” manga, I think it’ll be highly unoriginal, and quick to bore me. Much like Seinfeld, they can be “about nothing”, but just as the plot involves something really captivating, that’s no problem.


#4

I think you’d really like this series, Hentai.

It required some thinking further along, and it has many twists and turns and goes back and forth in the timeline.


#5

[quote=Slowhand]
I think you’d really like this series, Hentai.

It required some thinking further along, and it has many twists and turns and goes back and forth in the timeline.[/quote]

That does sound like a fun read. The only thing really preventing me from picking this series up is the length (which goes along with the financial issues). Once I get into a series that I like, I have to follow it until the end, and from what I’ve picked up so far, it’s looong. I learned my lesson from Inuyasha–I hate blowing $200+ on a series just to finish it.

Plus each volume is $13. :frowning:


#6

You are right about that - it is long. Very, very long.


#7

Oh wow, I did some more research on the series. It seems like a classic Stephen King book about childhood, what with the murder mysteries only without the horror (from what I’ve read so far). Plus it revealed to me a song I’ve been looking for for ages: “Jumpin Jack Flash” by the Stones. MAN, I owe the author.

Anyway, from my preview, I give this series a definite thumbs-up. Looks like it has a lot of potential to be a classic story. If there’s an anime, ADV has gotta pick it up.


#8

^ There’s no anime yet, but you can bet on Madhouse making one one day. They did all of the adaptations for Urasawa (Yawara, Master Keaton, Monster) so far. However there are three (“Lord of the Ring style”) Live Action movies of the manga, which are some the most expensive movies in the history of Japanese cinema. So I assume this is a good manga then, if people are willing to spend that kind of money on it :stuck_out_tongue: . I think the first 2 have already been in the movie theaters in Japan, and the next one is coming out soon.

Anyway I just read the third volume It’s starting to get good now. It hasn’t amazed me yet, but it’s building now. I really have no idea where it’s going though, so that’s a good thing. The mystery is now set in motion, although I think he spent a little too much time getting everything together, now I think we are set to go for a ride! I hope I’m right!!


#9

Initially I read the first chapter and wasn’t impressed (Maybe because of the dirty humor? I guess I wasn’t expecting that from a manga-ka that seems so renowned or something…). But after re-reading chapter 1 and then reading the rest of the book, I enjoyed it. The chapter with Donkey in the school hooked me to the story.

It’s like you think you know who’s behind it one chapter, then the next you think it’s someone else, and it goes back and forth.


#10

[quote=Mystic]
It’s like you think you know who’s behind it one chapter, then the next you think it’s someone else, and it goes back and forth.[/quote]

Wait… you’ll be dizzy after a few more chapters. :ohmy:


#11

[quote=Hentai]
I saw this series in Borders today. It looks like it has an interesting plot and the art style is pretty unique, but I’m also pretty pressed for cash, so I didn’t get it. Damn college sapping all my finances. :p[/quote]

[size=10]Psst. Sign up for the Borders Rewards program. 25-40% off coupons every week via e-mail. It’ll cut the costs down a bit.[/size]

And on to volume 3.

I loved the “Cho-san” and “Yama-san” chapters. But damn you, Urasawa! Right when I get emotionally attached to a character, you had to do that. And even worse, Pikachu went undelivered! How could you be so heartless?! ;-; Really liked the chapter with Yukiji and her “knight in shining armor” too. Everything’s adding up so quickly. Next volume should be interesting.


#12

Anyone read volume 5 yet? It just started to get amazing! I’ll post my comments in a little…


#13

I am on Vol 4. Is 5 out now? looks like I will be hitting up my Borders tomorrow.


#14

[quote=Funkgun]
I am on Vol 4. Is 5 out now? looks like I will be hitting up my Borders tomorrow.[/quote]

Volume 5 came out on October 20.


#15

Anyway here are my thoughts (promised):

Volume 5

[details=spoiler] I like how they needed two more people to “fight Friend”. So after they try everyone and anyone, guess who’s their last option? Yanbo and Mabo!! Some last resort huh? And they almost won me over, almost tricked me into thinking they were ganna help Kenji too. They do seem much nicer though at least, pleading for Kenji to not get in too much trouble. They seem to think they were friends with him as children lol. But still some backstabbers they are. It seems no matter what Kenji and the others do, the Friends are already 2 or 3 steps ahead of them!! How do you fight that? And then Kenji ships his cute niece away and prepares for the biggest fight ever, the showdown! We learn what the part in the book meant, the picture was the Japanese Diet building…and BOOM!! Now all other party members of the legislation are dead, only Friends party is left alive. The attack on the Japanese Diet building reminded me a lot of Reichstag fire during WWII in Germany. It helped make sure the Nazis were in complete control of the country, and allowed them to do away with civil liberties and such. And I LOVE how Kenji and his friends get blamed for this now. And so Kenji and his friends start preparing for the big battle when the homeless man comes and tells them to leave at once since he saw into the future and new they were ganna get raided! I like how Kenji’s niece came back on her own, awww, all she wants to do is be with her uncle…and he has to leave her with the homeless people (who rule btw they are very kind), and get ready for the showdown. And then when everything is about to come to a head, the big showdown is about to happen, will it be the end of the world or will Kenji and his pals win…right when everything is about to get amazing, something big’s ganna happen and…TIME JUMP!!! Gahh!!! How can he do that to us? OMG like it was just getting amazing.

That was the BEST part of this series so far, the parts leading up to that time skip. I kinda got mad we jumped into the future right then. But then I was wondering how this could go on for 17 more volumes if the last fight is about to happen now. After I got over being really mad that we jumped into the future, I learned to like it. Kenji’s niece, Kanna, is full of win now. I like her attitude and understand her completely. Feel a little bad for her, but I get her and where she’s coming from. Also she rules for listening to 60’s music on an 80’s walkman! Talk about retro. The manga artists were two very interesting people, remind me of Urasawa and Nagasaki a little ;). I like how they kinda feel like cameo characters. I also like how we meet the detective from volume 1- 3’s grandson. You remember the guy who had everything figured out about the Friends and stuff, he bought a pikachu doll for his grandson then was killed. I just like how his grandson somehow is now involved in all of this, like the guy dying in volume 3 wasn’t for no reason, it plays into the plot. The pieces of the puzzle are slowly coming together. Yeah well his grandson is now kicking ass in the future (which is actually closer to out present then the present time in the book lol! Guess it’s been awhile since this has been written hehe) .

Is Kenji and his friends dead now? The only one who seems to be still alive is Yukiji and damn has she aged. It’s very very sad if Kenji truly died, although I don’t think he did. I mean who else do you think brought the ramen to the gravesite? It’s gatta be him. Still I have a feeling his other friends were not so lucky. Bet they all died :frowning: . And kenji is in so much sh*t he can’t even come out of hiding long enough to tell his family that he’s still alive. That or he’s planning something… Oh and what a plot twist on the last page! the friends are still in power, and better then ever! And hey now we know who the “girl” in volume one is, you know the one who wakes up to the giant robot. She’s Kanna. I went back and looked at volume 1 and can see Urasawa is playing with us. Kanna shows up on the next page right after that scene, just to mess with you. He’s saying “haha you’ll never guess these are the same person” and I gata just sit back and admire how intelligent it all is. Well dying to see the next volume now! God how will I make it to December without knowing what happens next!! [/details]


#16

[quote=Slowhand]
Volume 5 came out on October 20.[/quote]

Oh thanks Slow. It was more or less meant more rhetorical. I sorta answered myself by saying I was going right out to buy it. I think I had just let too much time slip. I have been keeping up to date for all the other releases.
I have been buying this since Prede brought it too my attention. =)

@Prede
Dude they so played with my emotions there [details=spoiler] Mambo and Yambo looked like they were going to help out… yet they seemed to possess that whole blank look that anyone associated with the “friends” seem to have.
I was going to say, my favorite character was Shogun/Otcho. That was a shock, he is NOT the friend.

I still wonder if Yambo Mabo are going to help out later.
remember that we are seeing that someone is being congratulated for saving humanity way back in vol1
I was like you on the time skip thing. i was also a bit miffed that it looks like the friends won =O But I know it is all part of the mystery. Or i hope anyhow ^_~
Yeah and now the grandson might end up as kanna’s boyfriend? lol we will see.

You made me look up volume #1 again about kanna. Did not realize she was in that.
On that note:
I like kanna, But I am sorta tired of two tough chicks. Ok, kewl Yukiji is this tough as nails, always scowling gal who was once the toughest in the gang, I did not need another. But at least she still rocks a walkman like you said.

Total cameos! and references to manga artists, and did you catch the knock at manga that is all computer and not hand drawn anymore. Think Urasawa is trying to get a little point across? ; )
[/details]
Anyhow, I thank you for getting me hooked on this. At the time I think I told you I was just starting Monster, which I never finished and now that it is being televised I glad I did not.

I do look forward to watching the movie that is out on this manga, but dang, I have to wait 17 MORE volumes? =O wth?
Anyhow, Ciao.


#17

Just picked up Vol #6. I just started it, so I will go into detail my thoughts, however, from reading the first couple chapters of it…Looks like there are two characters that remind me of Tokyo Godfathers ^_-

OH! and a new character is introduced. =O


#18

I can’t wait until I can pick up volume 6. I am broke at the moment. Once I get some cash I’ll be sure to pick it up and comment on it.


#19

[quote=Prede]
I can’t wait until I can pick up volume 6. I am broke at the moment. Once I get some cash I’ll be sure to pick it up and comment on it.[/quote]

Aces. =) I might even hold up on reading it. I have a couple I am reading at the moment.


#20

I forget to mention I bought this awhile back, and read it really fast. It’s another AMAZING volume. Perhaps not as good as the last volume, but this is a top grade series. I LOVE this manga. This volume was incredbly good, I love how everything is coming together. I’ll comment more on it in spoilers in a little bit.