21st Century Boys 2

April 21, 2013

Naoki Urasawa – Viz – 2013 – 24 volumes
this is the second and final volume of the coda series to 20th Century Boys, for all intents and purposes volume 24

This is mostly going to be short and cryptic, since I don’t want to spoil anything. Needless to say, I enjoyed every page of this strange series, much more than I thought I would. It’s my favorite by Urasawa, which is saying something. I liked Pluto when I read it, but it seems a bit dark and slow lately, and I never really cared for Monster. But 20th Century Boys was different. It was ten times stranger than both of those series combined, yet without getting so out-of-hand that it was difficult to follow from volume to volume, let alone with a month or so between readings of said volumes. The character map in the front always made it easy to remember what was going on, and with who. And man. A lot of parts were just shocking, or triumphant, or awesome, or all of those combined. Usually something about every volume threw me for a loop. Reading this series was a ride, and it made me happy to pick up the volumes and keep up during a time when I haven’t been reading as much manga. Easily recommended to anyone looking for a good comic story. It’s a bit long for some, but it really is worth it. Great stuff.

I was so sad when my prediction didn’t pan out. Honestly, it would violate the theme of the series. But come on. It would have been so awesome.

There is a subplot about a last-minute bomb being a threat. Honestly, at this point I was done with the Friend’s surprises, but what the hell. One last time isn’t going to hurt anything. This sort of combines all the best points about the previous scares, including the fact that Kenji has to travel back into the past to find out what’s going on, the grass hideout, and a giant robot. The latter is always a treat in this series.

Extraneous bad guys are also still milling around. One of my favorites was an absolutely creepy nurse that was stalking Takasu. That nurse will give me nightmares for a long time.

I was wondering if it would end with a scene similar to the cryptic first few pages. It totally did. I love when that happens.

Also, the Friend’s identity still doesn’t matter. I also adored that about the series.

Oh, Kenji. Always the hero.

This was a review copy provided by Viz.

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