Friday, July 03, 2009

20th Century Boys.


Simply put, this is THE manga that I think the story, substance and drawing surpasses even American graphic novels. In fact I'd call it a Japanese style graphic novel.
I thought I'd never get emotional again over comics yet today I almost cried over 20th Century Boys.
I really don't know how Naoki Urasawa pulled it off, but his drawing style is a combination of Slam Dunk, One Piece, and Frank Miller.
At first glance, the story is really B grade: A bunch of middle aged men realising that the disaster stories they've written as kids are happening in real life. But the way it was told through three time lines spanning over 50 years from the 1970s to 2015 really adds another dimension.
I can't put my finger on the genre. There's childhood, there's modern Japan, there's conspiracy, cult, biological warfare, religion, mystery, virtual reality, giant robot, politics, all tied together with substantial historic events.
What broke me was probably the loss and mistake you made as a child, and the consequences you face as an adult years later. Everyone is vulnerable and no one wants to be a hero. Come to think of it, the whole manga is about making up for wrong doings in the past. Some take a lifetime to resolve.
This review can't do it justice. Imagine a kid trying to explain Shakesphere with a blog post. I'd recommend you to read it now.