20th Century Boys 22

October 11, 2012

Naoki Urasawa – Viz – 2012 – 24 volumes

WHAT.

Just. What.

I don’t even.

I… can’t really say anything about it, because I absolutely don’t want to spoil what goes on here. But for a series that made for such a crazy ride as 20th Century Boys, I was expecting only the most insane of conclusions. There was so much craziness going on. Disease. The eradication of humanity. UFOs. Vaccinations. Murder. Psychic power. Childhood vendettas.

Ah, that last one. That was glorious. I mean, I guess we know who the friend is, right? I think? Maybe we don’t. When the big reveal came, and it was a fringe member of Kenji’s group, I was a little disappointed. So maybe it was revealed to be a different fringe member, I don’t know, it’s not a detail I focused on. But there’s a flashback in this volume. He saw Kenji do something. He saw Kenji be a villain.

He demands an apology.

I LOVED THAT.

I also love that the people demand a concert, that Kenji’s music brought everyone together, that it moved them in a way that an offer of survival could not.

There was definitely a lot to like about this volume.

But it had the most normal freaking ending I’ve ever seen. Everything simply finishes, and that’s it. It does exactly what it ought to at this point, which is never something 20th Century Boys has done.

Perhaps the insanity came all the way back around to normal, and I just don’t realize it. I was disappointed everything was so normal. But man, there was still so much awesome stuff going on.

Mainly, at the very end, where Kenji said no. That’s what I’ll always remember about 20th Century Boys. Seriously, Kenji is so awesome.

So I think I’ve gushed vaguely for long enough. You just have to read it. Absolutely. It is fantastic, if you’re looking for an action/adventure manga, or a good comic, or anything at all, really. I’m sure that the number of characters will lose people, but I found it easier to keep track of everyone, even while reading a volume every two months, than reading volumes of Monster consecutively. And there are those who will think that this is just a smidge too crazy for their tastes, and I can’t blame them.

But seriously. This series rocks so hard. I’m waiting for 21st Century Boys to wrap up all the loose ends, and then I’m going to start over from the beginning knowing what I know. It’s so fantastic.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

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