Tagged: 20th century boys

I’m Your Toy, Your Twentieth Century Boy

So you read Death Note and you loved the poop out of it. Now you’re thirsty for more and ready to graduate into the big leagues, but reading just some other shonen title isn’t enough for you: you want the real deal — something like Death Note, but on the next level, nine thousand times more intense than Light and his killer notebook could ever hope to be. “When will someone write this?” you beseech the heavens, falling to your knees as it begins to rain violently down upon you. “When will someone deliver a manga that is even more twisted and thought-provoking than the last?”

And then heaven will rumble with a thunderous chuckle at your piteousness, for it is well-aware that you are too busy chasing after current anime fads to take the time to look to the past for the classic manga that fits this bill perfectly. That manga is 20th Century Boys, by Naoki Urasawa, the renowned creator of Monster and Pluto. It’s too bad that newer anime fans seem to be afraid of older stuff like its kryptonite or something, and it’s a huge shame that they’re missing out on great anime and manga that isn’t always so shiny-shiny desu (TM), or engineered by science to garner as many followers as possible with the right fanservice and character types. But for those who can appreciate an aesthetic for what it is and journey to the manga of old, they will be in for a real treat… especially when they pick up 20th Century Boys and steamroller all the way through to Volume 16, which comes out this week.

Though it is named after the song, 20th Century Boys is not the rock band manga you’re probably envisioning. Instead, it is a bleak telling of a dystopian future and the events that laid the groundwork for such a dark society to emerge; much like the grim hierarchy that Light set up with the aid of his death note. But unlike Death Note, there’s no Shinigami lurking nearby, casting his shadow over everyone touched by the killer grimoire; instead, it is the machinations of a mere human, whose motives are both grandiose, twisted, and naive. In the Era of Friend, a mysterious, masked individual calling himself Friend plans to eradicate the majority of humanity, leaving behind only the three million he considers to be his true comrades. His methodology is particularly striking to Kenji, who begins to recognize Friend’s contrived apocalypse as the same hypothetical one he and his childhood playmates wrote into a story when they were young. More telling still is the fact that Friend and his followers are united under the emblem that one of Kenji’s friends made up to symbolize their youthful friendship in the early 1970’s. So who is Friend? And how does he know about Kenji and his childhood fantasies of being a hero? Continue reading

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Phantasmagorical Fantasy

June is really proving to be quite the month for manga collecting! Another really full week is ahead of us, fellow otaku, so loosen those purse strings and get ready for excitements such as new Soul Eater, Higurashi, 20th Century Boys, NGE: Campus Apocalypse, and of course, Full Metal Alchemist. There are even some great reprints in store, like the Phoenix Wright manga, or Tenjo Tenge, and the first omnibus version of Negima. Suffice to say that it seems like this week’s grand theme for manga is fantasy and the unreal. Well, more unreal than what’s standard for manga, anyway. Continue reading

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KANEDAAAAA! TESUOOOOO!

By Shannon H.

Despite all the great titles coming out this week, Black Butler Volume 5 and 20th Century Boys Volume 14 among them, there is only one thing to talk about at the moment, and that’s Katsuhiro Otomo’s infamous Akira. At long last, after almost ten years, all six volumes of the most epic manga ever have finally been reprinted by Kodansha, which is glorious mostly because it means I don’t have to lend out my Dark Horse copies from back in the day anymore.

I remember my first experience with Akira, back when you were lucky to find maybe one or two mangas at any given bookseller. (God, I feel so old.) I’d heard whispers of it on my obsessive, youthful quests to find out any and everything about this thing called ‘anime’, mostly because the movie is so iconic and hard to miss when looking into the history of Japanese animation. So when I stumbled upon the firstAkira graphic novel, I thought that I should look into it, even though I had yet to see the film and didn’t know much else about it than it was supposed to be super violent and awesome. I brought the book home and began to read: by the time the week was out, I had purchased all six books and was forcing myself to pace myself through the epicness so that it wouldn’t ever have to end. (Pro Tip: watch the film of Akira before you read the manga if at all possible; otherwise, the movie is just damn disappointing, and that is not something you should ever have to think about it, because it is a very important one to see.)

Then Akira vanished. Continue reading

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Manga Drought 2011

I feel like I really ought to stop opening my mouth, because 2 weeks ago I was sounding so hopeful for a flush of new releases, and then last week we had only five. This week gets worse, there are only two books coming in, so I might as well cover them both. But first, can somebody please tell me if I jinxed this whole year? Because there have been so many minimalist release weeks, and we’re halfway through February already. Don’t get me wrong, the quality (for the most part) of the books coming seems to be much more discriminatory, and maaaaybe some of the reason is that in the last year or so, so many companies have gone out of business, so there just appear to be less books. I mean, we’ve seen Ice Kunion hit the road, we’ve said good-bye to Go Comi!, we haven’t heard hide nor hair from Net Comics, and CMX was flat out dissolved.

Continue reading

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New Manga Releases: The Week Which What Had Stuff!

By Mat K.

There may not be a whole of actual stuff coming in this week, but there are some pretty exciting titles. I think this time I’m going to start with a new title instead of your awaited favorites first. This week sees the release of Natsume Ono’s first series, (her previous books “Not Simple” and “Ristorante Paradiso” were one-shots), Gente. Ms. Ono is obviously a fan of languages and, it would seem, food. In this spin-off of Ristorante Paradiso you’re welcomed into Casetta dell’Orso, a quaint little restaurant in the heart of Rome. The food’s delicious, but the handsome staff of bespectacled gentlemen is the real draw. Follow these dashing men home and witness their romances, heartaches, hopes and dreams.

And I feel I have to report on the release of the first official Gossip Girl Manga: For Your Eyes Only. Written by Cecily Von Ziegesar, and Illustrated by HyeKyung Baek. The original Gossip Girl cast returns in a re-imagination of their high school days when Blair and Vanessa become unlikely roommates! Continue reading

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New Manga releases: Amazing Fantasy Manga Time!

By Mat K.

Okay, so this week is a bit on the short side, especially compared to last week which was fairly massive. There are a few gem selections, even though there are less than ten titles showing up. As far as stuff you will want to know about, in terms of continuing releases, Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys Volume 9 is at the top of the list. We are almost half way through the series and Kanna has decided to stand up and avenge Kenji-will she be able to muster up enough support for her cause? Kanna makes her way to a mafia-operated casino and quickly finds herself at a high stakes table. Is she lucky (and smart) enough to turn the odds in her favor at the bizarre and fast-paced game of Rabbit Nabokov? Either way, Monster is getting harder to come across, so it’s time to make the switch to either 20th Century Boys or Pluto while they’re still readily available.

So for some pretty sweet fantasy Children Of The Sea by Daisuke Igarashi is great. Volume 3 comes in this week, the issues are a little far between, but at least now you have a good jump off point. After Ruka sees a ghost in the aquarium her dad works at, and meets two strange boys and they all get caught up in a mystery surrounding why the ocean’s fish are disappearing. In book three Ruka is traumatized when Sora disappears into the night sea right in front of her. Continue reading

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Warcraft With A Vengeance

By Mat K.

There’s not a tremendous amount of stuff coming out this week, but there are some good ones, and almost all of it seems to be TokyoPop as they try to take back the reigns at the end of the month. First in their arsenal this week, (I’m not sure why first exactly, it’s not alphabetical or anything), is World Of Warcraft: Shadow Wing “The Dragons Of Outland, written by Richard A. Knaak and illustrated by Jae-Hwan Kim. Yup it’s one hell of a title, and a pain for the computer systems, but it’s also a direct sequel to the Sunwell Trilogy from a couple years ago. At the end of the Sunwell Trilogy the blue dragon Tyri, and the human paladin Jorad left the Ghostlands. Unfortunately they get sucked through a dark portal and end up in Outland where the Orcs and other species come from. And there they discover a breed of dragons unlike any they have ever seen. Find out if they can control this strange, mutated army before it over takes them.

Also appearing this week is another World of Warcraft class-based book like the Death Knight book that came out a little while ago. this new one is called Mage. Basically it follows a young mage who faces his greatest challenge when he is forced to confront a foe only he can stop. And it has a really pretty cover of a lady Night Elf. Continue reading

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Live Action 20th Century Boys 2

Via press release:

Adobe Photoshop PDFVIZ Pictures, an affiliate of VIZ Media, LLC that focuses on Japanese live-action film distribution, will release the science fiction feature 20th CENTURY BOYS 2: THE LAST HOPE on DVD on February 16th in North America through its distributor, VIZ Media. 20th CENTURY BOYS will carry a MSRP of $24.92 US / $35.99 CAN.

The 20th CENTURY BOYS saga is based on Naoki Urasawa’s manga series, 20th CENTURY BOYS (published in the US by VIZ Media), which has become a national phenomenon in Japan, selling over 20 million copies of the 24 volumes. Urasawa is the creator of many famous works such as the hit manga series, MONSTER and PLUTO also published in the US by VIZ Media.

The film is directed by Yukihiko Tsutsumi, who began directing commercials and music videos at Nihon Television. One of his most recent films includes Happily Ever After (2007) is also released by VIZ Pictures and distributed by VIZ Media. Both Naoki Urasawa and Music Director Ryomei Shirai are fans of the 1970’s rock music scene and chose “20th Century Boy” by T.REX (Imperial Records) as the main theme song.

The story began in 1969 when a young boy named Kenji and his friends write “The Book of Prophecy” in which they write about a future where they fight against an evil organization trying to takeover the world and bring about doomsday. Years later in 1997, a mysterious cult being led by a man only known as “Friend” emerges and begins to gain strong influence over society. A series of catastrophic events begin to occur mirroring the prophecies made up by the young Kenji and the greatest fear is the climax of “The Book” becoming a reality; December 31st, 2000, a terrifying giant virus-spreading robot will attack the entire city of Tokyo leading to the end of mankind. The only people who know about “The Book” are Kenji and his childhood friends. Who is “Friend”? Will Kenji and his friends be able to save mankind and live to see the 21st Century?

In 20TH CENTURY BOYS 2: THE LAST HOPE it is 2015, and “Friend” rules a disturbing new world. Kenji has been missing since the Bloody New Year’s Eve of 2000, and his niece Kanna is now in high school. Her history textbook contains a fabricated story about Kenji and his friends being the terrorists behind the horrific events of 2000. Kanna, knowing the truth, openly resents this, and as a result she is marked as a problem child by her teacher and sent to the Friend Land program because of her anti-Friend behavior. Friend Land is a facility where people with rebellious behavior are re-educated. As the program begins, Kanna and her classmate Kyoko Koizumi achieve high marks and are sent to the advanced program called the Bonus Stage, where they find themselves in a virtual reconstruction of 1971, when Kenji and his friends were kids. There, each of the girls learns crucial secrets about “Friend.”

The surviving secret base members have been separated since Bloody New Year’s Eve but each has spent the last 15 years in various activities opposing Friend and his regime. As Kenji’s friends all try to find out the truth about Friend, they discover the shocking existence of The New Book of Prophecy, the sequel to The Book of Prophecy. The New Book describes an event: In 2015, at a church in Shinjuku, a savior will rise to uphold justice but will be assassinated. Who is the savior? Once again, Doomsday looms near…

To celebrate this DVD release, VIZ Pictures will be holding a special screening event at VIZ Cinema in San Francisco on February 9th at 7:30PM. Ticket for admission is $25.00, which will include a ticket for the screening, a copy of the 20TH CENTURY BOYS 2: THE LAST HOPE DVD, poster, and pin! Additionally, VIZ Pictures is raffling off 20th Century Boys T-shirts before the show so come watch the film for a chance to win! Tickets are available at the box office or online at www.vizcinema.com. For more information about this event, please visit www.vizcinema.com or www.viz-pictures.com.

“20th CENTURY BOYS has been a mega hit since it mesmerized audiences with it’s U.S. theatrical premiere of 20th CENTURY BOYS 1: BEGINNING OF THE END in the summer of 2009, and we are excited to announce the U.S. debut of 20th CENTURY BOYS 2: THE LAST HOPE,” says Seiji Horibuchi, President and CEO of VIZ Pictures. “We also hope fans in the San Francisco Bay Area can join us for the one night only special screening at VIZ Cinema to experience 20th CENTURY BOYS on the Big Screen.

Needless to say FP will have copies available.

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December Rhymes With Delicious

December Rhymes With DeliciousBy Mat K.

Ohayo gozaimasu fellow anime fans. This week the manga news is small, but definitely still interesting. So let’s start with the big names. Vampire Hunter D the Manga Volume 4 comes in this week. I know with the 13th novel showing up just last week, all the D fans out there must be having a great December…or at least their friends know what to get them for Christmas. One Piece Volume 23 also makes it’s debut. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel like it hasn’t been that long since the release of Volume 22, or maybe it’s just in relation to how long Shonen Jump books usually release. There is some news, in case some of you haven’t heard, if you remember the last couple years viz was playing catch-up with Naruto around the holiday months, but despite how we’ve come a long way with Naruto, the catch-up game will continue…with One Piece. That’s right, we’re expecting to reach the 30s maybe even as high as Volume 40 in the coming months.

Also making appearances this week are Naoki Urasawa’s 20th Century Boys Volume 6, and Ooku Volume 2. In case it’s been so long you’ve forgotten, Ooku is the new series by Fumi Yoshinaga about a town that’s stricken by disease, and the Shogun takes all the pretty men into his care and I suppose into his harem or something to keep them safe. Continue reading

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Welcome To Sibuya-Cho

By Mat K.

Okay, all of you who keep up with me and my rants and reviews, remember the other week when I was going on about how 20th Century Boys has been falling behind and why Volume 3 wasn’t out already? Well, almost as if someone at Viz actually reads these articles, here it is! That’s right this week 20th Century Boys Volume 3 By Naoki Urasawa shows up this week. But don’t blow all your energy just yet, it’s an exciting week.

20th Century Boys Vol. 3
20th Century Boys Vol. 3

It’s also a Viz Big editions week. Fushigi Yugi 2, Dragon Ball Z 4, and Rurouni Kenshin 6 Viz Bigs are all coming in. Oh, and so is the new Shojo Beat Magazine for July. And TokyoPop thinks they can play the game too putting out the first Gravitation Collection. Though if we’ve learned anything from them, it’s that they only ever do first volumes of these things. At least we can trust Viz to finish out the series.

Gestalt Vol. 1
Gestalt Vol. 1

There are also 2 premier series that have got my antennae twitching. The first of which is the Lucky Star manga by Kagami Yoshimizu. A lot of the girls out there went mad for the anime, and the mechandise we have been able to get in, and how could you not? It’s so cute. And now’s your chance to read the cuteness. Okay, and the second book coming in is the third series to release in America by Yun Kouga (creator of Earthian and Loveless), called Gestalt. The premise? Ages ago the gods were at war. One god was cast out and found refuge on an island known only as G. I shouldn’t have to tell you the artwork is pretty, but it is, and definitely worth checking out.

Samurai Champloo Box Set
Samurai Champloo Box Set

Finally, got some DVD news for you all. A new Samurai Champloo thin pack box set came in and it’s only $69.99 (compared to the original box set that was closer to $180). There’s also the latest volume of Darker Than Black, and D. Gray-Man. There will also be much more showing up that I can’t even conceive of while I write this on Monday afternoon. Anyways, thats all this time.

Ja Ne!

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