Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Manga Review: 20th Century Boys

20th Century Boys
and Art by Naoki Urasawa
Distributor: VIZ Media

I read a lot of reviews on this manga and live action movie. It was not in my main stay of manga that I read, but thought it was worth a shot. I did a short blurb about it on another post.

Cover to 1st volume

I have to say after reading the back of the 1st volume, I was sold. It was an interesting concept that I have never encountered before in any media. Naoki Urasawa is an excellent story writer and illustrator. Though this story would bounce from future to present to past and back again, it was done in a way that kept the story flowing. It is set up like a murder mystery, but with a 1950's science fiction twist.

You get introduced to the characters as adults while at the same time seeing them as young kids hanging out together. We learn about their friendship, their dreams and fears. Through this we learn of the symbol and how it may be linked to a friendship that once existed between them all. We follow Kenji who seems to be the focal point of the story and are slowly introduced to the "Gang" through his interaction. We see him trying to keep the King Mart running while trying to raise his sister daughter. In all this he is dragged into this mystery of a symbol and the "Mysterious Friend".

If you get any manga this year, you best add this to your collection. It is one of my favorites now and one that I am glad to have picked up. So if you do not have yours yet, what's the holdup?

Character Breakdown from the Manga

Here is an IMPORTANT page excerpt

Excerpt from Amazon:
"Failed rock musician Kenji's memories of his past come rushing back when one of his childhood friends mysteriously commits suicide. Could this new death be related to the rise of a bizarre new cult that's been implicated in several other murders and disappearances? Determined to dig deeper, Kenji reunites with some of his old buddies in the hope of learning the truth behind it all.

Humanity, having faced extinction at the end of the 20th century, would not have entered the new millennium if it weren't for them. In 1969, during their youth, they created a symbol. In 1997, as the coming disaster slowly starts to unfold, that symbol returns. This is the story of a gang of boys who try to save the world."

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