BookDragon Books for the Multi-Culti Reader

20th Century Boys (vol. 05) by Naoki Urasawa, with the cooperation of Takashi Nagasaki, English adaptation by Akemi Wegmüller

 

20th Century Boys 5Full disclosure: I pre-ordered all the scheduled next volumes for this series, too. Anything that has “Urasawa” on the cover, I’ll be greedily reading …

Kenji, the protagonist in the first four volumes of 20th Century Boys, all but disappears in volume 05. His childhood “Book of Prophecy” calls for a team of nine to save the world and he’s assembled the original seven – himself, Maruo, Fukube, Mon-chan, Otcho, Yoshitsune, and even Yukiji, always the lone girl. But two more knew of about that fated book: Yanbo and Manbo, “the evilest twins in history,” who now run a growing conglomerate, and have some pretty selective memory to say the least! Can they really be the last two to complete the nine?

December 31, 2000 comes and goes with massive death and destruction. Kenji utters his final words: “Let’s save this world from annihilation …” before the magnificent seven disappear.

Fast forward to the 21st century when the Friends control everything, ruling with mayhem and chaos. Kanna, Kenji’s niece, is now 17 years old, constantly listening to the soundtrack of Kenji’s life (and driving all her neighbors nuts with the not-quite music). She’s run away from her guardian, a much-older Yukiji, seemingly the only survivor of that fateful day of destruction, for not letting her perform Kenji’s music on the streets.

By night, Kanna waits tables at a local dive, giving away her salary to free food for those who can’t pay. She’s one tough cookie, able to control the street mafia bosses with her steely strength – and when that fails, she’s got some amazing grip. More than anything, she misses her uncle (whom she channels through big bowls of specialty ramen they used to share), who promised that he’d come back and get her on that fateful day they disappeared …

Readers: Young Adult, Adult

Published: 2009 (United States)
20 SEIKI SHONEN © Naoki Urasawa/Studio Nuts
Original Japanese edition published by Shogakukan Inc.

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