Modern Visual Culture

Recommended Works

Contributor Reviews
93%Al Jensen

20th Century Boys

20世紀少年

Mangaka: Naoki Urasawa 浦沢 直樹
Born: 2nd of Jan, 1960 Tokyo Metropolis, Japan
Original Publisher: Shogakukan
English Language Publisher:
Published: January 1999 to January 2006
Status: Finished
Number of Volumes: 22
Serialized: Big Comic Spirits ビッグコミックスピリッツ
Genre: Mystery, Science Fiction
Demographic: seinen

    Synopsis
    Kenji Endou's lackluster life changes forever the day he learns that a childhood friend has committed suicide. Believing that his friend was in fact murdered, Endou sets out to unravel the mystery behind the killing, and, as he comes to realize, his own past.

    Written by Naoki Urasawa, of Monster fame, 20th Century Boys sprawls across the later half of the 20th and early part of the 21st century as Kenji Endou and his remaining friends try to understand how a doomsday cult has appropriated a childhood game of theirs, and to prevent them from causing more destruction.

    Filled with references to popular culture of the 1960s-70s (the title is taken from a T. Rex song), the manga is at once both a nostalgic yarn as well as an intricate conspiracy tale.
    Background & Impact
    One of the best-selling seinen manga of the first decade of the 21st century, the series was adapted into a trilogy of expensive live-action films. Additionally, it won the 2001 Kodansha Manga Award in the General category, as well as the the 2003 Shogakukan Manga Award in the General category.