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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys, Vol. 1: Friends
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Price:$11.97+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime

on August 25, 2017
Great introduction to a awesome concept . I am a long time anime watcher but this is my first manga purchase . I'm glad I chose this one . This story has a relatable protagonist . A terrible threat to humanity is presented . I love the idea of what happens when a adult tries to make a childhood game real . I will read the series to the end if it's this good .
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The story continues in 2019 (I think) aka year 3 of the Friendship Era. The world has been ravaged by the Friend's virus. Tokyo is a walled city where the Friend has recreated the Japan of his childhood and the brainwashed soldiers of the Global Defense Force patrol the streets looking for alien invaders, a category that includes dissidents and people who watch uncensored TV.

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.
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on March 22, 2016
I absolutely love this series, I read it many years ago and am now collecting the printed volumes. Naoki Urasawa is a master of his craft. This is a great sci-fi/adventure story with plenty of action & suspense.I highly recommend it to anyone who's a fan of his other works (Monster, Master Keaton, etc).
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on August 25, 2017
This volume was better than the first . The mystery of the friend was set firmly in the audiences view . The cults sinister abilities was set as well . This was the issue that hooked me . This is a must read for not just manga lovers but lovers of story
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on April 21, 2017
Only a few volumes deep, and I can comfortably say the 20th Century Boys is the most engaging manga, or graphic novel of any type, that I've read thus far. The character designs, personalities, dialogue, suspense, and effective transitions between the present time and the protagonists childhood memories are executed so smoothly. My respect goes to the translators as well for truly bringing this story to life for us English speakers. A true masterwork.
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on November 28, 2014
20th Century Boys is the story of a group of boys who must save the world. The story is non-linear, taking place mostly in 1967, when the boys first formed their friendship, and 1997, when a childhood symbol resurfaces. Kenji, a simple convenience-store manager, is the driving force behind the group in 1997, when one of the former members commits suicide by jumping off the school in which he teaches, but not before sending Kenji a cryptic message, possibly involving an ever-growing cult.

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. *****
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on May 20, 2009
If the first volume didn't bind you to this series then the 2nd one will, by the last page of volume 2 this series completely owned the highest admiration I can give a manga series. It evoked a lot of emotions from me without being cheap about it. No I didn't cry, I'm just invested in the future of all the characters and can't wait to see what lays in wait for them all. I'm going to start reading Monster now (also by this author) while I anxiously await the upcoming volumes. The only negative about this series is the price, but to be honest for something this good...the $12.99 retail price doesn't bother me one bit because this series is SO WORTH IT!
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on July 31, 2013
I loved the first volume. The art was amazing and the story was epic, so far.

This series is about a cult that is trying to destroy the world and a man in his 30's named Kenji who is try to stop it. Kenji's childhood friend Donkey "comits suicide" and when Kenji is at the funeral he recieve a letter from Donkey with a mysterious symbol on it and the letter says "do you recognize this symbol?" And at the time Kenji doesn't, but he stars to see the symbol every were. The symbol is the cults symbol and in this series there are lots of flahbacks and Kenji and his childhood gang are the ones that created the symbol used in the cult.This series jumps back and forth between 1969 and 1997.

An amazing thrill ride that I cant put down. After reading the first volume I bought 2-5 and even though the volumes are a little more expensive than other manga volumes it is well worth the price.

I reccomend this series to mature readers that thrillers, because every chapter has a new twist and turn in it, you think you no whats going to happen next and your completly off. I love thes types of series and Naoki Urasawa is the master of the thriller manga Genre. When I bought this volume I also Bought Pluto which is also by Urasawa and they are both great series'.
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It's time to face facts. Since the 6th volume this series has been padded and stalled, taking 2 or 3 times as long to tell the story as required.

Now it is some darn good stalling and padding, but when it takes 3 pages to ask a question and 3 more to answer it's pretty obvious what's going on.

In this book some of the minor mysteries of the last few volumes are resolved and the heroes come together for a confrontation with the Friend.

As the series draws to an end I hope the pace will pick up, the quality of work is still strong but the padding is obvious.
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on September 6, 2015
A great story with a lot of changing in the time structures.
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