Thursday, October 27, 2011

Manga Review: 20th Century Boys Volume 1 by Naoki Urasawa

Product Description

R to L (Japanese Style)
Failed rock musician Kenji's memories of his past come rushing back when one of his childhood friends mysteriously commits suicide. Could this new death be related to the rise of a bizarre new cult that's been implicated in several other murders and disappearances? Determined to dig deeper, Kenji reunites with some of his old buddies in the hope of learning the truth behind it all.
Humanity, having faced extinction at the end of the 20th century, would not have entered the new millennium if it weren't for them. In 1969, during their youth, they created a symbol. In 1997, as the coming disaster slowly starts to unfold, that symbol returns. This is the story of a gang of boys who try to save the world.

My Thoughts

I have jumped backed into the manga scene. I realized after a series of comments on one of my Amazon reviews of a manga(Peepo Choo) that I have not really given this genre the time and energy needed to really distinguish the good from the bad.

One of the comments from one of the reviewers posted the following:

Anyways your really closing yourself off if you think that this represents manga.
How about you reading from legends,award winners,people who are considered the best of the industry ... instead of some guy where the only reason it got any attention is because it's from a non Japanese person and got published in Japan.
Read Naoki Urasawa's 20th Century Boys then you might see why manga is great.

So I put the first volume of this manga series on hold at my library and a few days later it was available. I read this with hesitation as much as I tried to read it with a clear mind.
I loved this story. This was a great story with a great plot line that I really found rather intriguing. I liked the characters and especially how the story bounces back and forth from present times to when they were kids. In a sense it reminded me of my childhood with the secret forts, symbols, and handshakes.
I have now gone in pursuit to track down the rest of the series. I would like to continue reading this series to see how the story develops.
I am thankful that my Amazon review sparked a communication with others who know their manga and offered this suggestion.
I know it sounds simple, but the symbol discussed in the storyline really intrigued me. I really found it fascinating.
I have renewed my interest in manga and would love further suggestions to find out and discover some more great manga.

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