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Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, Vol. 1: Friends Paperback – February 17, 2009
"Warlight" by Michael Ondaatje
A dramatic coming-of-age story set in the decade after World War II, "Warlight" is the mesmerizing new novel from the best-selling author of "The English Patient." Pre-order today
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About the Author
Naoki Urasawa's career as a manga artist spans more than twenty years and has firmly established him as one of the true manga masters of Japan. Born in Tokyo in 1960, Urasawa debuted with BETA! in 1983 and hasn't stopped his impressive output since. Well-versed in a variety of genres, Urasawa's oeuvre encompasses a multitude of different subjects, such as a romantic comedy (Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl), a suspenseful human drama about a former mercenary Pineapple ARMY; story by Kazuya Kudo), a captivating psychological suspense story (Monster), a sci-fi adventure manga (20th Century Boys), and a modern reinterpretation of the work of the God of Manga, Osamu Tezuka (Pluto: Urasawa x Tezuka; co-authored with Takashi Nagasaki, supervised by Macoto Tezka, and with the cooperation of Tezuka Productions). Many of his books have spawned popular animated and live-action TV programs and films, and 2008 saw the theatrical release of the first of three live-action Japanese films based on 20th Century Boys. No stranger to accolades and awards, Urasawa is a three-time recipient of the prestigious Shogakukan Manga Award, a two-time recipient of the Osamu Tezuka Cultural Prize, and has received the Kodansha Manga Award. Similarly, Monster has been nominated three times for the Eisner Award in America. Urasawa has also become involved in the world of academia, and in 2008 accepted a guest teaching post at Nagoya Zokei University, where he teaches courses in, of course, manga.
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We catch up with a few returning characters and through a flashback see the nightmarish days of the plague when neighbors killed each other for the vaccine.
This book could have been gloomy and depressing but Urasawa sprinkles in signs of hope throughout to keep things lively.
After 17 volumes and 1000s of pages of story 20th Century Boys has yet to disappoint! An excellent read from start to finish.
This is simply the best manga I've ever read. The edition is very nice, with a fold-around cover. The flashbacks to 1967 are full of nostalgia for the era, and there are a number of cool references to popular culture. For instance, at a karaoke bar, Kenji sings the theme to Gatchaman (known in America as Battle of the Planets) three times. Usually, first books of manga are somewhat weak, but this is a particularly strong opening chapter, with a lot of mystery. *****