20th Century Boys by Naoki Urasawa

Real rating: 6/10
Manga/GN rating 8/10
************************Spoilers*******************************
Urasawa Naoki’s 20th Century Boys is one of the top ten best-selling seinen manga of all time the reason for this is because like the characters in the story it is connected to youth. Murder, genocide, abandonment, songs and manga references from 50 years ago even with all this the tale keeps a youthful eye and allows the reader to read with not just their mind, but also their heart.
Urasawa’s standard mystery style is present as always, but unlike in Monster or Pluto where it seems most fitting in 20th it can feel over done and manipulative in places. The story has to be treated like a child’s imagination as this heavily influences the plot, so one can forgive the overtly ludicrous deus ex machina used here or there.
And as I have said in another review “there are a glut of excess characters that make you feel like Stephen King has contributed a chapter or two to this work.” and after this tale you are certain that Urasawa is a fan of King.
Like most Urasawa tales the ending is abrupt and leaves the reader feeling like they are short changed after spending all that time with those characters, yet not getting to see a proper conclusion to their tales, though in a bit of meta-fiction the notion of endings is discussed by the manga writers within the manga.
In short 20th Century Boys is a gift to your inner child with enough depth that the adult in you does not feel out of place.

20th Century Boys

 

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