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Friday, 4 September 2009

Manga Review: 20th Century Boys


Title: 20th Century Boys & 21st Century Boys
Author: Naoki Urasawa
Release: Biweekly
Status: Finished
Genre: Mystery, Seinen
Art: A
Originality: S
Story: S
Characters: A
Humor: B
Action: S

Impression: This is the story of Kenji, a man who trying to make ends meet by working in the convenient store that he and his mom are managing under the authority of some chain of such stores. His sister leaves her baby with to be taken care of while she disappears without a trace. He is confronted by his childhood in the form of a cult that's rapidly gaining power in Japan. This cult is making use of world domination plans he and his friends made as children as prophecies foretold by their mysterious leader, Friend. This story is split into three parts and spread out over two series. 21st century boys is the continuation of the story only that it's done under a different title for reasons that I do not know but it wraps up the story by tying up all the loose ends including the identity of Friend. This by far is the most epic of the three stories by Urasawa-sensei and is also the most confusing. There are many, many plot twists and an incredibly high number of characters that I am surprised that it actually makes sense in the end. The level of convuluted storytelling never reaches Tsubasa Resevoir Chronicles' level but nevertheless, it'd be ridiculously impressive if you could keep up with the story on your first read through. IMHO, I think it should have ended in the second arc because by the time it reaches the third arc, there are so many things that happen with very few or weak convincing reasons behind them that it's hard to tell whether or not they're plot holes. Despite all that, the story is EPIC with more questions being raised for every answer they give you and despite all the confusion you'll go through it is truly a page turner.

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