Thursday, September 9, 2010

20th Century Boys

Am currently plowing through the epic manga 20th Century Boys and blimey it's good.
I'd tried it before and failed to get into it - partly because it's so intricate, and partly because I wasn't too keen on Naoki Urasawa's sketchy art - but after reading and thoroughly enjoying his Pluto book, I'm so glad I gave 20th CB another go.
It follows the story of a group of kids who came up with a fun bunch of end-of-the-world prophecies in the 70s and when they are in their 30s (the story jumps around in time) these prophecies start to come true. Plus there's a nasty cult of 'Friends' and it turns out that the eeevil leader has a connection to the original kids...
I've read the first 10 volumes so far...and it's unbelievably impressive stuff. You get to know some of the characters inside-out and there are some truly shocking developments.
There are a couple of downsides though. I was reeeally shocked to learn that the story lasts for 26 volumes - that's a whole lot of story! In a way it's great, because a lot of the characters are loveable, and you just don't want to leave them (although having said that, some of them do go missing for volumes at a time, which is a shame). But sometimes it feels like the story has peaked and you feel 'where can they go from here'... It's weird to think I'm only a third of the way through... I kind of wish it'd end sooner! I'm starting to feel it's being spun out a little...and getting a bit tired of some of the fake-out revelations of the Friends' leader's identity.
But now that I'm getting very disillusioned with Marvel and DC comics, it's nice to sink your teeth into this kind of manga, which is created by such a talented writer/artist. His talent is absolutely breathtaking.
Oh a couple of related points - there's been a movie of 20CB, but man it's bad!!! Unimaginative and quite badly acted, not recommended at all!
And finally, I'm really glad I haven't come across a spoiler as to the identity of the Friend's leader yet - I'm quite shocked actually! Hope I don't find out before I read it.
Anyway, if you want to check out this amazing story, you can read it online here.

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