20th Century Boys – A masterpiece from the Monster author

Hey guys what is up welcome back to my blog I’m so thankful that you guys took the time out of your day to read my blog post. First let me confess, I’ve never read or watched Monster because I’m scared and after reading this manga I really want to so I’ll get to that. Other than that, I think that this manga is something that should receive its own boom and people should get talking about it more again. Anyway, as always SPOILERS FOR THE FIRST VOLUME AHEAD.

The story switched between different time periods that is the youth of our protagonist Kenji in 1969 and the present day timeline. The 1969 timeline shows us our hero Kenji in his elementary school days, hanging out with his friends in his ‘secret base’. In this year, playing their childish games, the children come up with various ideas, all of which affect their grown up life in the present timeline. In the present, a grown up Kenji is looking after his shop while also taking care of his niece Kanna who was left in his care by his sister. A new cult with its faceless leader ‘friend’ is rising up and using a symbol familiar to Kenji. As he continues about his normal life, strange things begin happening around Kenji spurring him on to dig up the secrets of his youth, of the year 1969 so that he can solve the mystery of the future. As a threat that could destroy the entire world looms overhead, will Kenji be able to gather his friends and stand up for the good guys in time ?

The characters are vast and I mean VAST in this manga which serves for a complex plot and always keeps things fresh and don’t worry, no one is forgotten, all the characters serve their roles and get their time in the spotlight. There’s our hero with the guitar, Kenji who is currently running a convenience store and taking care of his niece Kanna. There’s Kenji’s friends, Donkey, Yoshitsune, Maruo and many many more characters. Of course there’s the charismatic leader and villain referred simply to as ‘friend’ by his followers who is also a character who has a past with Kenji. The characters all have their own distinct personalities and quirks and their own storylines to follow. The characters all at the same time, go through different paths and the manga manages to intertwine them all quite well. The growth of the characters is also huge throughout the more than 200 chapters of the story as they all fight their own battles to take on ‘friend’. The characters all also receive their own conclusion arcs towards the end and it will leave you deeply satisfied having watched your favorite characters grow and become their best selves.

The manga knows exactly how to set up a mystery, as expected from the author of the great ‘Monster’. The way that the mystery is first talked about and then slowly develops into a much more complex story is really a thing of beauty. The many plotlines spread across the timeline of the story, all coming together to craft a story which is a work of a master. Even after revealing that the true villain is friend and giving us lots of interaction with him, the manga still manages to keep an air of suspense over us, the readers. Every move, every chapter leads us spiraling down the hole of the mystery which seems to never end as it runs deeper. You don’t need to fear getting bored as well because it isn’t that things get repetitive because the author certainly knows how to constantly keep increasing the scale of the mystery and keep us on our toes as we keep searching for the truth about this mystery.

The lesson I managed to pull from this manga is that even if you make a mistake, it can always be fixed but the more you delay fixing your mistake, the more you’re going to suffer because of that mistake. Another lesson is to always keep fighting, just like Kenji, I don’t want to spoil the story over here but just know that Kenji and a lot of other characters also feel like they’re just running from the problem and once they understand that, they turn back and run back to face their problems. Running never helps the characters and it will never help us as well that is why, running from a problem is useless.

The manga is finished at 269 chapters. Beware, the last 2 volumes of the story was published under the name, 21st Century Boys. The ending is satisfying and ties every plot point up neatly for us and makes you feel content when you finish story showing just how much effort the author had to put in in order to make that manga. An emotional rollercoaster which manages to connect you deeply to the characters, making you feel their pain when they lose and making you celebrate in their victories, 20th Century boys is a manga that is a masterpiece and deserves a read by every manga enthusiast who is into mystery and horror.

Rap section:

Now let’s take it to the 1990’s with some old school music,
The calm old town it’s almost therapeutic,
Growing up is tough it’s all so confusing,
But a threat now looms and this game is amusing.

Kenji is the leader of these heroes of justice,
There ain’t no help coming it’s upto just us,
They will try their best in order to bust us,
But no matter how many times they try to crush us.

He’ll just get back up again because justice never dies,
So don’t fear now let’s all just go and rise,
Fighting against the world with our old war cries,
It’s upto us to save the world from demise.

When he rocks the guitar the people make noise,
The shouts can be heard from Japan all the way to Illinois,
‘Friend’ is having his fun as with us he toys,
But we won’t let them get away cause we’re the 20th Century Boys.

So that is it for this post guys hope you got some value from this.  Thank you guys for reading to the end hit me up on Instagram and Twitter with your thoughts and if you have any ideas on what I should write about. Stay safe from the COVID-19. Thank you again and I’ll see you all next week.

Published by Harshit Sagar

I am a 18 year old teen who has a passion for writing and loves anime.

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