Wednesday, September 29, 2010

I finished 20th Century Boys! My review...

Some spoilers in this...
Just finished 20th Century Boys. Man that got a bit hard-going!
It's a fantastic story - more like a novel really, as there is so much to it - and it's a fantastic achievement by Naoki Urasawa, but it is slightly flawed, I think. It's like watching the best movie ever, but it's 10 hours long - it's just a bit too much. It really doesn't need to be 22 volumes long!!
It starts to go off in tangents, some good (the new schoolgirl who gets taken to Friend Land) and some a bit boring (Frog's story). One of the worst things is how it 'loses' characters - so Mariah Chan goes missing for sooo long, and (big spoiler in rest of paragraph, just in case you decided to read this) obviously, Kenji, who you know is gonna come back at some point, takes way too long to come back. And having gone in and out of some really tedious events, why don't we see what Kenji got up to - and, more importantly, how he survived the explosion?
As the book was coming to an end, I kept thinking 'how are they gonna wrap this up in just a few chapters?', and i don't really feel it was very satisfying. Having taken several chapters to tell a minor story, going round and round in circles, it was disappointing that the ending was crammed into a handful of chapters. There are some fantastic characters in the story, and I feel they got a bit lost along the way.
The other problem of it being so long is that you start to get ahead of Urasawa a bit. You knooow that certain characters are gonna come back, you start to think 'well why'd he do that that way?' and there are other things, like I was convinced Mariah is Maruo's son, and I was waiting for that revelation that never came.
But all in all, it's a fantastic read, not perfect, but really worth a look. It reminded me of Lost and I think it's actually more satisfying than Lost, in that you get a lot of revelations that make sense - how did Donkey die? what happened in the Science Room? - whereas Lost's revelations (well, the ones they bothered to answer) just come out of nowhere, really.
I give 20th Century Boys an 8 out of 10!

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